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Open letter to the DFL State Central Committee

by The Big E on November 4, 2010 · 53 comments

Now that the 2010 election is over … erm … except for the recount in the Governor’s race, we need to consider who is going to be the next Chair of the Democratic Farmer Labor party.  We just got whupped.  There’s no denying it.  We need a new direction with a comprehensive communications strategy that includes social media.  We’ve got a huge debt from the 2010 campaign.  And this national Republican tsunami exposed many other problems.

We need a party chair who can address these problems.

There have been a couple of times in my life where I got a real beat down (figuratively not literally) and I used these hard times as opportunities to reevaluate what I’m doing, how I’m doing it and sometimes even why.  I learned some hard lessons and while I still make plenty of mistakes, they’re new mistakes.  Not the same old ones.

There are a number of talented people who care about the DFL who over the coming months will be making the case about how they can lead us to new victories.

Below the fold, I’ll elaborate upon what challenges our new Chair will face.
Let’s start with the easy one:  money.

We’re nearly $500,000 in debt.  The next Chair will need to quickly pay down our debts so we can start building for 2012.

In addition, the party has been pretty broke for the last few years.  The new Chair will need to have a plan to raise the money so that, for example, candidates only need to make a token contribution to get access to the database.

Candidate Recruitment

The new chair needs to work at finding strong candidates and support them better.  As a blogger I spoke to a lot of candidates as well as do many of my cohorts here at MPP.  Many candidates speak of feeling abandoned.  They feel like they get little to no support and help from the DFL.

Communications Strategy

Communications is no longer just holding a press conference, handing out print-outs to attending media and emailing everyone else.  The DFL needs a Party Chair with a comprehensive strategy to tie blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube together.

If we want to control messaging for races up and down the ticket, we need to control what people see about our candidates and their opponents on the search engines.

Imagine a blog interview about a State House candidate that DFL staffers share on their Facebook and retweet on Twitter.  Imagine a load of other DFL candidates doing the same thing.  Imagine supporters of all these candidates also doing the same thing.

Imagine the same thing done for a great letter to the editor or guest commentary piece at a newspaper.

YouTube is the second highest searched site after Google.  Imagine if we all did the same thing for a video of a candidate talking about an issue.  The video would go viral.

Imagine coordinated messaging.  Imagine if the statewide and congressional candidates pushed messages and memes that the down-ballot candidates could pick up on.

Imagine using this comprehensive communications strategy as a way to recruit volunteers for events.  Not just for the statewide or high profile races, but for the outstate State House desperately in need of volunteers?

Database and Information Collection

Our GOTV effort is only as good as our data.  How can we improve our data collection and our database.  If we are not constantly updating, upgrading and improving our database, we run the risk of ossifying.  The last thing we want is to be stuck with a out-dated user interface and bad data.

The next Chair needs a strategy for constantly improving our database.

Team Effort

All DFL candidates need to feel that there is a team supporting them.  If the party isn’t deeply in debt, they could give more to their candidates.  If the party wasn’t broke, they could hire more organizers to help candidates.

Candidates need to have a party that is going after their opponent’s records and beliefs for them.  They need bloggers promoting them and calling out their opponents.  A comprehensive communications strategy would go a long way towards making candidates feel like the endorsement which they often fought long and hard to win actually meant something.

We also need to seriously rethink the Coordinated Campaign.  The joke amongst many of the down-ballot DFL candidates I speak to is that the Coordinated Campaign is neither coordinated nor a campaign.  With the CC, chaos reigns.  The next Party Chair should have a plan to improve or revamp it.

Jeff Rosenberg November 4, 2010 at 3:29 am

The Republican party is on-message all the time. The DFL isn’t just off-message, there IS no message. The DFL has no communications strategy, and frankly, no sense of what they stand for as a party. No wonder progressives always feel like we’re playing defense.

ProgressivesUnite November 4, 2010 at 8:25 pm

the message from the Representative was different than the message from the Governor’s candidate.  Makes it more difficult when you are door knocking for multiple candidates.

dustytrice November 4, 2010 at 3:40 am

As a former DFL staffer and as a new media professional, I agree with what you’re saying here.  When the DFL meets to select a new chair I hope they consider these suggestions.  A winning communications strategy will be key in 2011-12. The DFL could do a much better job of dealing with new media, Twitter, Facebook & Blogs.  It’s time we start to have this discussion.

HalKimball November 4, 2010 at 5:37 am

I’m tired of the bs.

Chris November 4, 2010 at 6:37 am

…but only because I believe Mr. Trice has given a Sherman-esque statement on this matter.

ericf November 4, 2010 at 9:55 am

Dusty, I told you not to march through Georgia!

ProgressivesUnite November 4, 2010 at 8:28 pm

I realized it was part of a wager.

David Brooks November 4, 2010 at 11:05 pm

I even had a MN_DFL twitter I was willing to give them. I got no response. They are very unprofessional, especially when compared to the Republicans who respond about things right away and get people involved.  You have to at least show up to this ballgame in order to have a chance to win.  

BearBudMN November 4, 2010 at 3:52 am

I cannot detail everything as well as you did.  I agree with what you wrote.  One of my biggest criticisms of this State DFL group is their lack of organization on the inside working out.  The disorganization of the State Convention, the endorsement process of Stonewall DFL are all examples of organizational disasters happening without waiting.  At some point we need better organizing, communications and overall process.  And we need instant run off voting to avoid what we are going through with the MN Governor’s Race.  

sam November 4, 2010 at 4:38 am

Message from DFL was clear:
We want more taxes.
Punish Business.
Increase spending on everything.
Government should run everything.
We will bring home the bacon.

The problem was not that the message did not get, the problem is the content of the message.

Grace Kelly November 4, 2010 at 6:05 am

Lets tax the poor more and the rich less
then let’s give what’s left to the corporations!

ProgressivesUnite November 4, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Let Big Business pollute the environment and provide third-world working conditions. (Get government out of the way)

Chris November 4, 2010 at 4:46 am

Thanks, Big E, for starting this important discussion.

From the vantage point of someone who worked in the suburbs this year, I appreciated that the DFL engaged in its targeted races and went mailer for mailer and door-knocker for door-knocker against the Republicans. In contests between two equally matched candidates/campaigns, it’s important that we have the cavalry and we did this year.

That said, the Republicans rode into town with M-16s and our guys were firing six-shooters.

The GOP’s message of they “voted to raise their pay,” “job-killing tax increases,” “record debt,” etc. was no match for the DFL’s (and related groups’) theme of “(insert Republican’s name) wants to cut spending on (insert program).”

I could go on forever, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll answer the question this post poses:

The next DFL chair needs to be someone who understands the answer to every question doesn’t have to be how much money you want to spend.

The next chair should be someone who understands majority-maker districts. Perhaps even a rural Minnesotan or a suburbanite.

And the next DFL chair needs to be someone who embraces the fact that America’s center and center-left have over the past two decades balanced budgets, paid down debt, created jobs and empowered people to succeed.  We shouldn’t be ashamed of being a party of fiscal responsibility and economic prosperity. When we don’t talk about this record, it makes it that much easier for the GOP to beat us senseless on these issues.

This was going to be a very tough year because of the national climate. (Thank you Washington Democrats for going into duck-and-cover mode last summer. Your courage inspired a nation.)

But it didn’t have to be a total wash-out. Yes, we won during our landslides of 2006 and 2008, but so what? What’s more important is how you fight on a level field or how well you hold ground when confronted with wave coming at you….

keewatinrose November 4, 2010 at 5:18 am

but there is one more important piece that must not be overlooked. The DFL is no longer the party of Hubert Humphrey and Orville Freeman. We have strayed so far from our base that we are unrecognizable to either ourselves or the voters. We will not win elections until we find our way back.

cttrace November 4, 2010 at 6:17 am

explain the process of selecting a new chair?

PS I totally agree, it comes down to messaging and the GOP is kicking our ass in Minnesota and nation wide

The Big E November 4, 2010 at 6:41 am

Basically, the State Central Committee elects the new chair.

Dan November 4, 2010 at 6:56 am

Do you have any confidence that the State Central Committee is capable of hiring the kind of person who can make the radical, but very necessary changes you are talking about?  Does the State Central Committee realize how broken things are?    

ProgressivesUnite November 4, 2010 at 8:34 pm

then we need to tell them.

Joel in Duluth November 4, 2010 at 6:50 am

The fundamental problem is that the higher up you get in the DFL and Labor establishment in Minnesota, the more brain dead you get.  These folks are great at fighting pissing matches with each other, but they are utterly incapable of connecting with actual voters.

Did anyone else receive a “sample ballot” from the state party?  What a piece of crap.  The Duluth DFL got suckered into helping fund the state party’s sample ballot pre-primary.  We would have been better off taking $500 in quarters and dumping them into Lake Superior.

For the general, we said “thanks but no thanks” to the state party, and instead produced our own local sample ballot.  If we can produce a effective local sample ballot with volunteer labor, why is the state party unable to produce anything other than total crap?

What do I want in a state party chair?  I want someone with passion who actually knows how to communicate with and mobilize people.  What don’t I want?  I don’t want another goddamn hack.

Dan November 4, 2010 at 6:58 am

The fundamental problem is that the higher up you get in the DFL and Labor establishment in Minnesota, the more brain dead you get.  These folks are great at fighting pissing matches with each other, but they are utterly incapable of connecting with actual voters.

And these “brain dead” people are going to select the next party chair.  

Judeling November 4, 2010 at 7:27 am

While I agree with most everything said above, it is important to remember we are talking about the Democratic party. This is more of an assemblage of people moving in a more or less similar direction. Republican level message discipline is way out of reach.

Joel in Duluth November 4, 2010 at 8:00 am

It is hard to develop a persuasive message when large elements of the party establishment (especially at the national level) don’t believe in the agenda.

Part of why Dayton won (we hope!) is that he had a clear and persuasive message– we must restore Minnesota to its former greatness by rebuilding the public sector, and that we can only do this by restoring fairness to our tax code.  That was a great message, and I think Dayton actually believes it.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of Democratic elected officials and functionaries who don’t believe in this message.

ericf November 4, 2010 at 10:11 am

I have to agree Dayton had a clear message, and this was his strength as a candidate. It’s also the case many Democratic elected officials are scared of being accused of supporting a tax increase. We could choose or not to follow Dayton where he went with his message, and to the degree we chose not to, we lent to the appearance of having no coherent message. We don’t have the sort of discipline Republicans have — make this message yours, or you’re out of the party — but sometimes that comes back to bite them. Besides, let’s face facts — people who lean Democratic just aren’t the sort to take well to being told to fall in line. They are the sort who think seeking consensus and finding reasonable compromises is a good thing. It’s how we run ourselves — look at party meetings, where typical votes are unanimous after a long discussion. It just doesn’t always serve us when dealing with people who think compromise is weakness.

Judeling November 4, 2010 at 11:17 am

We are not Republicans, what works for them will not work for us.

That should be central to the Party’s messaging. A very basic branding effort that highlights the fundamental differences that underlay all our policy and ideological differences. At a very basic level the message should get out that it is always safe to vote for a Democrat because as a Party we strive to see both sides and will compromise as much as possible.

That is not to say we should not have a broad basic themes to counter. Bottom up vs top down, Government sized to work vs Big government, We are in it together vs Your on your own. Lots of broad definitional fodder to work with.  

MinnesotaBulldog November 4, 2010 at 8:34 pm

It’s fine to say that you listen to all reasonable ideas, but if your basic platform is that we’re going to compromise on all the things which we pretend to believe in, but which we’ll happily negotiate away if you ask nicely, then you’re doing it wrong. That was the previous Legislature’s approach, and they got decimated. People respect those who stand up for their beliefs, even when they may disagree with you. Cave all the time, and you come off as weak. It’s a fine line to walk.

Joel in Duluth November 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I agree that there must be room in the party for diverse views.  I am perfectly happy, for instance, to be in a party in which there are differences of opinion among the rank-and-file over gun control issues.

Every single rank-and-file DFLer I know, however, believes we must reinvest in the public sector via progressive taxation and believes in honest to god univerasal health care.  Those are, at least on the grassroots level, our unifying issues.  When our party leaders and elected officials fail to represent us on these bottom line issues, I have no problem at all seeking different party leaders and elected officials.

its_oshea November 4, 2010 at 7:54 am

As a SCC member and a SD Chair I’m definitely interested in the Business Conference in February where we’ll elect not only a chair, but also an Associate Chair, Treasurer, etc.

The Chair, Associate Chair, and the Executive Director hired by the Chair will make most of the program decisions made by the DFL.

Depending on the candidates running, I think it may indeed be time for some better representation from the ‘burbs, where we lost the State Legislature, or from Greater MN.

The DFL and their program always have ups and downs. We had a great year in 2006 and a great year in 2008, but it is clear that without outside money via the DCCC, the DSCC, or a presidential campaign, things were much harder this year. Hopefully the DNC returns to Dean-style support for state parties instead of its current centralized approach, but we’ll see.

Either way, it will be n interesting SCC meeting :)

Joel in Duluth November 4, 2010 at 8:05 am

Believe it or not, for all our problems the DFL is actually in better shape than is the party many other places.  The Wisconsin Democrats, for instance, are in total disarray (as reflected in the election results there).  That doesn’t change the fact that our state party leaderhsip leaves a lot to be desired.  The strength of the DFL is its local party organizations, in those places that are actually well organized.

I also agree that Dean (regardless of how you viewed him as a presidential candidate) did wonders for the party as chair and that since he left the post his accomplishments have largely unravelled.

ericf November 4, 2010 at 10:17 am

There are a lot of state parties with bigger problems than ours. Not only were Wisconsin’s losses much worse than ours, but the same can be said for a bunch of states. Doesn’t mean those state parties are badly run, but sometimes, they are in lousy shape.

I was a big supporter of the 50-state strategy, and I hated seeing Dean step down. I was worried we would go back to the swing-state strategy that never worked, and it seems we have. One of Dean’s goals was that Democrats would contest every partisan election, regardless of the difficulty of the state or district, and we seem to be going backwards.

ProgressivesUnite November 4, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Howard Dean’s “50 State Strategy” is what got me re-engaged in the political process.  I figured if we were going to contest every election, then we finally had the guts to take our message everywhere and that meant that our message was a great message.  Howard Dean’s strategy inspired me to donate, organize, and work toward that goal.

newtbuster November 4, 2010 at 8:40 am

Communication is a real problem for Democrats as Eric points out.  A prime example occurred in District 40.  When the DFL sent out that questionable flyer with the religious figure on the front, they got called on it.  But instead of using the opportunity to drive home their point about the GOP not caring about the poor, they tried to play unnecessary damage control.  They argued the semantics of the piece itself rather than pushing the real message.  Personally, I won’t argue the merits of the piece itself, but if you want to push the point, then follow through.  Being edgy about what you want to say can get attention, but be prepared to USE the attention.  Republicans do this all the time.
I wouldn’t advocate using Republican methods but they do have message discipline.  Even on things they know aren’t true…they just keep repeating them in their echo chamber until the media asks the same questions.
DFL leadership, that is prepared to use all of its methods for messaging, needs to be put into place.  Just my thoughts.

arronolson November 4, 2010 at 9:02 am

1. When it comes to money, the State DFL is not where the money really is or should be. There is no reason the party should have money in the bank post-election. The MNGOP raised and spent a lot less and is far deeper in debt. Most of the money the DFL spends is on the Coordinated, and it seems like hiring a coordinated organizer for all the candidates in a Senate District is much more useful than giving a $1,000 (or something) to the candidates.

2. Messaging statewide would work if we were Republicans. In that, they boil things down to soundbites and repeat them over and over. We know they are full of s#&*, and never follow through with what they say. But even if we were just as unscrupulous, I doubt we can find issues that all (or most) DFL candidates would run on.

I wholeheartedly agree that we need to use social media more than we do, but the only thing I see that the party doesn’t do is tie in with blogs.

3. My understanding of candidate recruitment is that it comes from the smallest possible party unit. Local or CD Chairs have better relationships with potential candidates than the State Chair. Also, the process for selecting candidates shouldn’t be influenced by the State Chair while the local DFL’ers decide who should be their candidate. For example, several candidates (and their supporters) howled when the Party seemed to favor the MAK campaign before the State Convention.

4. The Voter Activation Network (or VAN) is always improving. It gets better every time someone inputs a piece of information, but also when users ask questions. The data team at Plato only learn what campaigns need when they ask. Unfortunately, they can only urge the DNC to add capabilities to the VAN. The VAN has shortcomings, but since its creation in ’06 we’ve made it a lot better, including features like smart-phone use.

5. Team effort is what the coordinated is about. Unfortunately, there seems to be a disconnect from what the coordinated is and what it is not. The coordinated campaign is funded by the candidates who agree on statewide plan. The plan generally is turning out DFL voters, which means seeking out volunteers to contact DFL voters all over the state.

So, coordinated staffers are not working for any one candidate and they are not responsible for the campaigns in the district they are working in. Staffers get frustrated because they are paid to contact voters not host events or march in parades. The CC is not chaotic, it’s a monomaniacal machine designed to contact and turn out voters.

matthurm November 4, 2010 at 10:37 am

The post above certainly has some points about messaging, but let’s be honest with ourselves.  What the post calls for is for the DFL to do more and spend less money.  

The suggestions were that the DFL improves messaging (meaning communication staff which costs money), more outreach to “abandoned” candidates (meaning more organizers which cost money) and more money to candidates (money).  BUT, we’re in debt so we should try and save money.  There is an inherent contradiction there.

Maybe a new chair could raise more money, but I remind you…money was NOT the problem this year.  The House and Senate caucuses dramatically out-fundraised their republican opponents.  

Yes, nearly every DFL candidate is going to say they feel abandoned.  Every candidate wants the party to run their campaign, wouldn’t you?  Running for office is hard work.  Still, only 10-20% of races are targeted(meaning close), so yes, 80-90% will (and frankly should) feel abandoned.  It’s not that the DFL doesn’t care, it’s called intelligent resource allocation.

We lost.  It was a wave year.  No one is as good as they look when they ride a wave, and no one is as bad as they look on the low end of a wave.  Let’s settle down and analyze what worked and what didn’t after emotions have passed.

I don’t remember us calling for the DFL Chair’s head in ’06 and ’08.  In fact, he was heralded as good, by some.  He’s still the same person, with a similar plan, but suddenly there is a republican wave year and he is terrible and needs to be replaced?  We must have 50 pretty incompetent state party chairs then, because they all lost something big.

JML November 4, 2010 at 11:37 am

We’re not winding up on Brian Melendez here.  We’re talking about a new chair because the word has been drifting around for months than Brian was not planning to run for another term.  So I think a lot of people are operating on that assumption.

A couple of things to think about.  

1.  We need to let the dust settle a bit before really digging into this election.  It’s too easy to drive things off the cliff based on emotion.  As Steve Sarvi reminded me: “ready! fire! aim!” is a bad policy…

2.  Assuming Mark Dayton holds on through the recount, the governor is going to have something to say about who the next party chair will be, and while I don’t think the governor should dictate who it will, we also don’t want it to be someone who will spend the next few years butting heads.

3.  We need to think about what role the party and party leadership will have in an environment where we hold the governor’s office.  Skills that may have been important while dealing with opposition governors may be less of a priority with Dayton in the job.  Regardless of title, a Governor Dayton will be seen as and dealt with as the leader of our party.

4.  Let’s make sure we differentiate between planning and execution when doing our analysis.  Did we get the plan wrong, or did we execute it poorly?  

5.  Keep personalities and personal issues out of it.  Payback and settling old scores doesn’t have a place here.

The Big E November 4, 2010 at 6:24 pm


Actually, I want the next Chair to raise more and spend more.  All the things I advocate cost more money.  

jma November 5, 2010 at 12:06 am

The Party had more money Cash on Hand, and both the Senate and House caucuses FAR outraised their Republican counterparts.

And this idea that the party is hugely in debt is just not true.

As someone said earlier, the problem this year was not money.  

The Big E November 5, 2010 at 3:40 am

And did we use that money well?  

HongPong November 4, 2010 at 9:48 am

One thing which has always stuck out to me is the hodgepodge and fail-ful array of BPOU DFL websites, most of which seem to be forgotten folders of Microsoft Word files or something.

What you (centrl cmte) ought to do is set up one umbrella system which creates all the BPOU websites (they can opt out and make their own but a standard should be offered).

The idea would be like would be a sub-site of the main site, you could login, get your notifications, swag, etc, have some discussion groups etc. The Republicans have similar web portals (one for college GOP I think works kind of like this). But imagine if people could actually not spend effort reinventing the wheel to have coherent BPOU stuff online, imagine if things like meeting minutes and fundraising infos were actually online, updated reasonably often. (dare I suggest live webcasts of stuff?)

Then you can just bump status updates / posts to the twitter & facebook fanpages for that BPOU automatically – any various services can be subscribed. that’s the kind of relating to people which worked really effectively for Obama08 and its exactly part of the organization void so visible today.

Another thing is you would definitely want to use Drupal for this. It does these multiple domains these pretty well, there are already a VAN-related module developed to pull VAN data into Drupal, it can serve as both a private intranet type function and the basics for the public. Anything would be better than the current circumstance. (just another web guy’s $.02 )

MinnesotaBulldog November 4, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Allowing SD/CUs to create subsites off is something the DFL has already been considering implementing.

As a sidenote, uses Drupal as well. It’s a great content management system. As a fellow web guy, I concur that it’s the way to go.

ericf November 5, 2010 at 8:22 am

And as the main person keeping up the web site, I hate it.  

Joe Bodell November 5, 2010 at 1:51 am

The DFL does not use the term “BPOU” (Basic Political Organizational Unit) — only the RPM does.

But yes, the party definitely needs a new technology approach as well, on top of everything else.

Judeling November 4, 2010 at 12:19 pm

I want the Party to mainly do Party building. The majority of its effort should be in expanding itself. That in and of itself will give more support to candidates then any other help a candidate could hope for.

To that end I hope that the State party will look towards reinvigorating the County Party structure. There is nothing wrong with filtering the message by county. “The Republican proposal to ___ will cost Sherburne county XXXX”. Part of the success of the Republican campaign strategy is that they can abstract the issues off into the distance of Washington or St. Paul. We need to counter this with local consequences. For a large part of Red Minnesota that can best be handled at the county level (after all we really have no SD cover there). Engaging a group of voters more concerned with local issues then statewide issues only helps expand the receptive audience.  

HalKimball November 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm

The DFL caucuses drastically outraised the GOP.

Senate DFL Caucus:  $1.9 million raised, $550K COH
House DFL Caucus:  $2 million raised, $730K COH

HRCC:  950k raised, 80k COH
GOP Senate:  470k raised, 280k COH

A 4:1 COH advantage and we still lost both the House and the Senate?  

The GOP’s stronger communication strategy far outweighed the COH advantage.  

JML November 4, 2010 at 8:30 pm

the Caucus FR was offset by lack-luster FR from a number of individual candidates.  I don’t disagree that the GOP had a stronger communications strategy this cycle.  But the caucuses had a lot more seats to defend, which spread the money a little more thinly.

ProgressivesUnite November 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm

when we forgot to make this election about Tim Pawlenty’s policies.  Mark Dayton did a great job of this but I didn’t see as much at the local level.  If you look at the polls, people who thought the country was going in the wrong direction were planning to vote for Republicans while those who thought the state was going in the wrong direction were planning to vote for Democrats.  The DFL should have made its central message “Time for a New Direction” from the very start.  Unfortunately, Tom Emmers campaign confiscated OUR message because we failed to utilize a competent communications strategy.

In addition, if we had made this campaign a referendum on Tim Pawlenty, we would have done better with suburban and rural voters.

BridgetCusick November 4, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Every time Democrats lose, we talk about the fact that we lack a coherent message or fail to communicate it effectively. Here’s a structural issue worth considering — true as much for Democratic campaigns (cross-country, not just in MN) as for parties:

I’d venture a guess that 80 percent of the people who get hired to spearhead campaigns and parties have a background in finance or field. I’m not hating on field and finance, obviously; everybody plays their part — critical parts — in campaign and party operations. But is it really any wonder, given this dominance, that we then end up with poorly executed messaging and comm?

If you keep doing the same things you’re going to keep getting the same results. If you want to improve message and comm, you have to put people in charge whose focus is on those things. Or hey, at least try it and see what happens.

P.S. Lots of people also say “but it’s so much EASIER to just say you’re for cutting taxes and smaller government!” Maybe it is; maybe it’s not. The most important thing is for the message to be authentic. Say what you believe and say it over and over and over again. I could go on and on about this… but I won’t… right now.

MinnesotaBulldog November 4, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Listen to Bridget: She’s a real pro.

Chris November 5, 2010 at 4:44 am

…much easier to attack than defend seats.

But I think we had so much success in 2004-2008 b/c we picked lots of candidates who fit their districts well. But in defending in 2010, I think we could’ve done better w/ strategies that fit districts….

Every chair election is going to be different. Erlandson did things well and didn’t do some things well. Same w/ Melendez. Right now the focus is on fixing some of the stuff that didn’t work in 2010…

ProgressivesUnite November 5, 2010 at 6:44 pm

I agree we need to fix the stuff that worked in 2010 but we also need to realize that history will repeat itself.  In that end, we need to go back to the last time the Republicans held both chambers of the legislature and see what worked in the preceding elections and what didn’t work.  Of course, we might need to update the message because although some things stay the same, some things will change with the times.

David Brooks November 4, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I would say, they should even take it a step further. As a blogger myself, we all want to get involved to help the team. I would love it if the DFL had insight for me or had some things they wanted me to write about. I have over 2,000 visitors a month to my site, most from MN. That would help if we all had the same message. Imagine a chair sending out an email to 100 bloggers. Telling them all to talk about this issue this week. Then another issue the week after.

Another thing. We NEED to get young people involved in whatever way possible. I think making our message clearer is better.

EX: A number of Tea Party/GOP candidates talk about lowering the minimum wage, getting rid of Social Security, leaving the UN or privatizing our police/fire. Why not tell the people about this?

I have spoken with a number of people around my age, 25, and most did not vote. When I asked them if they knew the new GOP might look at privatizing Social Security, or lowering the minimum wage, they were surprised and furious. Why did they not know before hand? Because almost every young person spends a ton of time on facebook and there was no DFL on FB (except a few candidates.

Frankly, we need a whole new crop of DFL candidates and policy makers.  

dyna November 5, 2010 at 1:54 am

We loose out here on the Buffalo Ridge because the party writes us off and doesn’t share the resources needed to win.

Tehya14 November 5, 2010 at 11:08 am

What I don’t understand is the DFL’s hiring requirements.  There are plenty of young, smart, hardworking people right here in Minnesota that deeply care about this state and the direction it is going.  Every election cycle the “Coordinated Campaign” brings in people from different states that really don’t understand our state and the politics here not to mention they have nothing invested in the future of Minnesota.  

LitterBug November 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm

This seems like a self-inflicted quandary, no? It seems embarrassing that we are that much in debt. It also makes me feel silly to be a mouth piece for our effort. While most households and businesses are doing more with less–paying down debt, scaling back, and sacrificing– we move against these currents. Maybe we should suspend our finger pointing and holier than thou message until we can get our house in order.


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