Chris Kluwe at Vote No rally (
by Tony Petrangelo
Nov 16, 2012, 3:00 PM

The Weekly Wrap 11-16

A few quotes before we begin the wrap:

“Elections have consequences.” – unknown

“I agree with you; I want to do it; now make me do it.” -FDR

Keep these two ideas in mind as you read the first wrap item.

♣ Earlier this week LeftMN’s own Aaron Klemz started a petition to let the DFL legislature know that marriage equality is something that needs to happen this session.

As of this writing there are more than 700 2,400 signatures so far. If you haven’t yet, please go and sign the petition and forward it to your friends.

Marriage Equality for Minnesota Now!

♣ Senate DFLers have named their committee chairs, they are as follows:

  • Rules and Administration — Sen. Tom Bakk
  • Subcommittee on Elections — Sen. Katie Sieben
  • Capital Investment — Sen. LeRoy Stumpf
  • Taxes — Sen. Rod Skoe
  • Tax Reform Division — Sen. Ann Rest
  • Finance — Sen. Dick Cohen
    • E-12 Division — Sen. Chuck Wiger
    • Environment, Economic Development, & Ag Division — Sen. David Tomassoni
    • Health and Human Services Division — Sen. Tony Lourey
    • Higher Ed and Workforce Development Division — Sen. Terri Bonoff
    • State Departments and Veterans Division — Sen. Tom Saxhaug
    • Transportation and Public Safety Division — Sen. Scott Dibble
  • Commerce — Sen. Jim Metzen
  • Education — Sen. Patricia Torres Ray
  • Environment and Energy — Sen. John Marty
  • Health, Human Services & Housing — Sen. Kathy Sheran
  • Jobs, Agriculture, and Rural Development — Sen. Dan Sparks
  • Judiciary — Sen. Ron Latz
  • State and Local Government — Sen. Sandy Pappas

Also released, the committee schedule.

♣ House DFLers have named their committee chairs, they are as follows:

  • Ways and Means — Rep. Lyndon Carlson
  • Taxes — Rep.Ann Lenczewski
  • Property Tax Division — Rep. Jim Davnie
  • Higher Education Finance and Policy — Rep. Gene Pelowski
  • Education Finance — Rep. Paul Marquart
  • Education Policy — Rep. Carlos Mariani
  • Health and Human Services Finance — Rep. Tom Huntley
  • Health and Human Services Policy — Rep. Tina Liebling
  • Capital Investment — Rep. Alice Hausman
  • Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Finance — Rep.Jean Wagenius
  • Environment and Natural Resources Policy — Rep. David Dill
  • Agriculture Policy — Rep. Jeanne Poppe
  • Energy Policy — Rep. Melissa Hortman
  • Transportation Finance — State Rep. Frank Hornstein
  • Transportation Policy — Rep. Ron Erhardt
  • Judiciary Finance and Policy — Rep. Debra Hilstrom
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy — Rep. Joe Atkins
  • Jobs and Economic Development Finance and Policy — State Rep. Tim Mahoney
  • Labor, Workplace, and Regulated Industries — State Rep. Sheldon Johnson
  • State Government Finance and Veterans Affairs — Rep. Mary Murphy
  • Legacy — Rep. Phyllis Kahn
  • Housing Finance and Policy — Rep. Karen Clark
  • Government Operations — Rep. Michael Nelson
  • Elections — Rep. Steve Simon
  • Public Safety Finance and Policy — Rep. Michael Paymar
  • Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy — State Rep. Joe Mullery
  • Civil Law — Rep. John Lesch
  • Rules and Legislative Administration — Rep. Erin Murphy

Here’s the House committee schedule.

♣ Over at Politics in Minnesota, Paul Demko has a great article on the coalition of organizations that teamed up to defeat the Photo Voter ID amendment. And while the work of those many groups in mobilizing opposition was key, we hear yet again the thing that may have pushed it over the top:

On the phones, after those ads went up, lots of people talked about Gov. Arne Carlson. I think that pushed it the rest of the way.

♣ Politico is reporting that Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak is among the top contenders for the Democratic National Committee Chair job, if current chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz decides not to seek the position again.

MPR is reporting, at least it’s headline is, that Rybak is “swatting down DNC rumors.” Here’s the quote from RT:

Nobody’s talked to me about anything, and I haven’t talked to anybody about anything, too.

That doesn’t really sound like much of a denial to me and he certainly didn’t close any doors to the idea.

♣ Friend of the LeftMN Radio Hour, Chris Kluwe, was named by Salon the Sexiest Man of the Year. Here’s Kluwe on his approach to debating:

With the whole arguing on message boards, I found a very effective style was to present a carefully reasoned, thought-out argument and highlight it with really kind of bizarre swear words where you stop for a moment and go, “What does that even mean?” It’s the juxtaposition between the two. The swear word sticks in your head but you think on it and you realize there was a point too.

♣ In an op-ed for the StarTribune, Ben Golnik, most recently an advisor to Chip Cravaack (who, if I’m not mistaken, won an endorsement), decried the Republican endorsement process:

For Republicans, the endorsing convention is composed of about 2,000 delegates from around the state. To win endorsement, a candidate must receive 60 percent of the vote. Essentially, 1,200 delegates pick the Republican candidate for statewide office.

How were these 1,200 delegates selected? First, Republicans had to attend precinct caucuses on a Tuesday night in the dead of winter. These caucus meetings could last for a couple hours as attendees elect delegates to local conventions. The local conventions are held a few weeks after the precinct caucuses, typically on Saturdays, and last several hours. At these conventions, delegates to the state convention are elected. Finally, a state convention (with a $75 registration fee per delegate in 2012) is held on a Saturday in the late spring. Many delegates must travel hundreds of miles and pay for a couple of nights in a hotel. The actual endorsement process can last the entire day and late into the night until a candidate reaches the 60 percent threshold.

With the complicated process, a well-organized minority can defeat a poorly organized majority. At the Republican caucuses in February 2012, Ron Paul received about one-quarter of the votes cast. At the Republican state convention a few months later, Paul supporters represented more than half of the delegates. Bills, a teacher and first-term state representative, was selected by the ardent Paul supporters as the U.S. Senate candidate.

While all of the above is true and I have been advocating for doing away with the endorsement process for years, this just sounds like sour grapes.

Not only that, Michael Brodkorb already beat Golnik to the punch, when he did a post-mortum on the GOPs horrible Senate defeat a week before the election even happened.

From that post:

A Republican candidate for statewide office in Minnesota hasn’t received more than 50 percent of the vote in 18 years.  The last Republican to receive over 50 percent of the vote statewide was former Republican Governor Arne Carlson in 1994.

It should be noted, the last Republican to get over 50% statewide in Minnesota couldn’t win his parties endorsement as the sitting Governor running for re-election no less. And who did Republicans endorse to run for Governor instead of the incumbent Arne Carlson? Allen Quist.

So this isn’t anything new for Minnesota Republicans.

I agree with the sentiment though, the endorsement process is antiquated, inconvenient and impossible to comprehend for newcomers to the process. Beyond that, the skills needed to win an endorsement are not at all the skills needed to win an election.

There is not much overlap on the venn diagram things that help in an endorsement and things that help in a primary.

I would rather use a process to pick candidates that resembles the process the candidates will go through in the general election. An endorsement does not do that. A primary does.

But I’ve been saying this for years (as it concerns the DFL), these guys are late to the party.

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