Because you can't spell Integrity without a crucifix (
by Tony Petrangelo
Oct 5, 2013, 11:00 AM

The Weekly Wrap 10-5

Not much happened this week as far as The Wrap™ is concerned (being the persnickety beast that it is, The Wrap™ deals only with, or mostly with, elections news and not process and policy, or lack of process and policy, news) as all of the oxygen in the world of politics is being sucked up by this thing called the shutdown.

Third quarter FEC reports are due in less than two weeks, but if the shutdown hasn’t concluded, who knows if they’ll show up on the FEC’s website or not.

Nobody with campaign news to make is interested in making it right now, because no one is paying attention, because everyone is paying attention to the shutdown. So there’s not much to this weeks Wrap.

The Wrap™ doesn’t take breaks for such silly reasons as Government shutdowns though, The Wrap™ takes breaks for much more serious reasons like the laziness of the Wraps author, which is momentarily at bay.

♣ Everyone knew it wouldn’t be long. It could’t be long. It was bound to happen. I mean, he just can’t help himself.

That right there is none other than Republican candidate for Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional district Tom Emmer, doing his pitchman thing for a remodeling company.

Some of the many questions raised by this ad:

The innovative product placement commercial raises several questions that are hard to answer on a Sunday. Who is paying for the ad? The producer creates ads for Channel 45, as we will explain below; and the Youtube description notes “As seen on the CW Twin Cities channel 23.”

Can a candidate appear in a commercial for a private business? If so, does the ad count as a per diem expense? Does the opportunity for paid air time count as an ad for Emmer? Should he have uttered the magic words, “I’m Tom Emmer and I approve this message”?

The deadline for third quarter FEC reports to be filed is in less than two weeks. So we should have some answers fairly shortly.

This is of course, unless the Government is still shutdown and the FEC isn’t updating it’s website.

Wait a minute? Did Tom Emmer shutdown the Government? Hmmm?

♣ Another Democrat who had announced for the Secretary of State race to replace Mark Ritchie has changed course and decided against a run.

Jeremy Kalin (KAY’-lin) of Minneapolis made that announcement on his Facebook page Friday.

Kalin cites his growing consulting business and his concern about spending so much time away from his wife and 2-year-old twins.

Kalin follows the lead of Rachel Larson Bohman who was the first person to announce for this race, only to than be the first one to unannounce.

That leaves State Rep. Steve Simon and State Rep. Debra Hilstrom as the two remaining DFLers seeking the nomination.

♣ Green Party candidate for Mayor Doug Mann was at the Drinking Liberally on Thursday. I missed the presentation (too busy being delayed at O’Hare) but I did manage to get into a bit of an interesting debate with a fellow DLer afterwards.

This person was conveying how they would maybe consider ranking Mann their third choice, but probably no higher. I then went on to try and explain why this would be a waste of a third place vote. Before you laugh too hard about the very idea of someone wasting their third (!) place vote, let me explain.

The reason it would be a waste of a third place vote has nothing to do with my opinion of Doug Mann. It has everything to do with how Ranked Choice Voting works when the votes get counted.

Doug Mann is a third party candidate, he doesn’t have a lot of money or a large organization behind him. He isn’t one of the front runners. A candidate like this, someone who is not one of the front runners, will need first place votes more than anything else.

It’s only through the accumulation of first place votes that a candidate can hang around long enough in the vote counting for the votes of people who ranked them second and third to start counting.

If everyone who wants to vote for Doug Mann, votes for him second or third, and no one votes for him first, he will be the first candidate to drop off and none of those second or third place votes will matter anyway. That would clearly be an extreme case if such a thing were to happen, but it is simply meant to underline my point.

Now, if your first choice is someone even more fringey than Doug Mann, then everything I said above can be ignored. If, however, you’re voting for one of the front runners first or second and Doug Mann third, Doug Mann won’t get that third place vote because he will drop out of the counting well before one of the front runners that you ranked ahead of him does.

Third party candidates don’t need your third place votes, they need your first place votes to have any sort of relevance.

A few notes on the above;

  • Isn’t RCV swell!
  • Yes, I just advocated that people not waste their third place votes. Again, yea RCV!
  • Seriously though; Ranked Choice Voting, it’s a weird thing.

♣ The Government Shutdown didn’t shutdown my weekly appearance on Ian Levitt’s The Daily Report, on AM950. Embedded below, as artfully as ever, are hours one and two of the show. In the first hour we mostly talk about the Shutdown (of course). In the second hour we touch on the Vikings Stadium (why not) and redistricting (because I can talk for hours and hours about redistricting).

And because funnyman Robert Baril was not in the studio with us, I am also supplying the hilarious jokes, natch.

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