The Weekly Wrap 4-5
♣ Mike Obermueller is getting company in his effort to unseat Minnesota second congressional district Representative John Kline:
Sona Mehring, a political newcomer who founded the CaringBridge website, which connects the ailing with their loved ones, said Monday that she plans to run in Kline’s Second District. So does Mike Obermueller, a former state lawmaker who ran against Kline last year.
♣ Related, Blois reports that Rep. Kline is likely to face a primary challenge as well:
Rep. John Kline to have a major challenge for the GOP endorsement and potentially a primary from someone in the Tea Party. The most common name heard to challenge Kline within the GOP is David Gerson.
♣ This was expected, and to be honest I’m a little surprised it took this long to come up:
Legislation introduced Wednesday by a group of moderate and Libertarian-leaning Republicans and one DFLer would enshrine civil unions — “a civil contract between two parties” — in state law next to marriage — “a civil contract between a man and a woman.”
Civil union supporters say their bill would ensure comparable legal and civil rights for gay couples while sidestepping the bitter debate over redefining the concept of marriage.
The one DFLer they are referring to is Kim Norton from Rochester, who is actually not one of the DFLers who represents a district that voted for the amendment. In fact, 52% of her constituents voted against the amendment, while 47% voted for it.
Of the four Republicans who are co-authors, two of them, Andrea Kieffer and Denny McNamara represent districts that voted against the amendment, while Pat Garofalo and Tim Kelly do not.
♣ In possibly the least surprising announcement all year, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has confirmed that he will seek re-election to a third term.
♣ There was a second debate between the candidates running for Mayor of Minneapolis. This debate featured two candidates who hadn’t participated in the previous debate; Republican Cam Winton and DFLer Jim Thomas.
Since this is a topic I’m going to be covering more, I’ll include the candidates thoughts on Ranked Choice Voting:
In the final round of questions, candidates were asked to give one-sentence responses, which proved difficult for most. The first short-answer question dealt with whether ranked-choice voting will affect candidates’ campaigns.
“I’m hoping so,” said Thomas.
“Yes I do, for the better,” said Hodges.
“Yes. I think what we’ve seen tonight is an example, an end to negative campaigning and personal attacks and a focus on the issues,” said Schiff.
“It will increase participation,” said Andrew. “It will take the fangs out of some of the political discourse.”
“I went through it once and I won,” said Samuels. “I’m going through it now and I’ll win.”
“I’m not seeking the endorsement of any party,” said Winton. “Ranked-choice voting enables me to build a coalition across party lines, people from all walks of life and all parts of our city.”
“Yes, it gives every part of our city much more of a voice in this election and it make is much more fun as a candidate because I don’t have to stop the conversation with everybody,” said Cherryhomes. “I can say, ‘But I could be your second choice.’ ”
♣ The NRCC is out early with an ad buy against Minnesota’s seventh congressional district Representative Collin Peterson:
The ad running against Peterson charges that he’s “been in Washington for too long, and we’re paying the price.”
It says that “instead of voting to balance the budget, he voted to spend $1.8 trillion on ObamaCare.”
They’re still beating the ObamaCare horse apparently, because you know, that has worked so well for them.
♣ Senator Branden Petersen has a sad:
No thanks, it was their decision to cut payroll by 20+M @1500espnHere’s the pitch:Twins are going to need fans to be patient in 2013 #Twins
— Branden Petersen (@Sen_B_Petersen) April 1, 2013
Not to pick on Senator Petersen specifically, his viewpoint is shared by many, but it’s kind of a ridiculous point of view and reveals just how little the people who hold the view know about modern baseball.
I’ll go about it like this: in what way could the Twins have spent that $20 million that would have improved their near term chances in any meaningful way without also harming their long term competitiveness?
$20 million would not have been enough to sign Zack Greinke, for example, the top free agent pitcher on the market. And pitching is clearly where the Twins need the most help.
And while $20 million would have been enough to sign a lower tier free agent pitcher like Anabel Sanchez or Edwin Jackson, that doesn’t mean that either would want actually want to play for Minnesota. Or that either signing would even be a good idea. I mean how many free agent contracts for pitchers work out in the end?
The Minnesota Twins teams that were so successful the past decade were not built through free agency, they were built through trades and player development. And that’s how sustainable teams get built.
The Minnesota Twins were consistently among baseballs best teams for a decade, which in itself is fairly impressive. To expect them to turn things around on a dime is unreasonable. they are going to stink this year and they are more then likely going to stink next year too and there are no players the Twins could have signed for $20 million that would have changed any of that.
So my advice to Senator Petersen and the countless others who hold his view of the the Minnesota Twins off-season: be thankful you’re not a Royals fan.
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