Pawlenty appoints Neuville to Third District Judge seat; Cox to announce plans on Thursday


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    Thx, Curt. Her 1:54 pm comment says Cox plans a press conference on Thurs to officially announce it. I’ve modified my blog post title.

    November 27, 2007
  2. Curt Benson said:

    And the header above “Ray Cox” on Ray’s blog indicates Ray’s intentions as well:

    November 27, 2007
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Who would the DFL like to have run against Ray? And I wonder if the election will be held when the college students are around, as that was evidently a significant factor in the 2006 elections?

    November 27, 2007
  4. So I guess our beloved senator is moving on up from creating — umm — questionable laws to interpreting the existing ones.

    I’m also curious who the DFL will run. I sure would love to see Jessica Peterson in the seat, but I suppose that’s not really an option after how she fared last year.

    I wouldn’t mind Ray Cox, but it sure would be nice to have a Democrat in the seat.

    PS: Are the college students really a factor? Don’t they mostly vote absentee in their home districts?

    November 27, 2007
  5. Lance said:

    First, congrats to Tom Neuville. I believe he will be good judge with a decidedly different style than the departing Judge Wolf, who was one of the great characters on the bench.

    Second, I think you will see Greg Colby enter the fray on the Democrat side. Look for a lively campaign from both sides.

    November 28, 2007
  6. BruceWMorlan said:

    Sean asks “Are the college students really a factor? Don’t they mostly vote absentee in their home districts?”

    Unfortunately, we do not have a local version of the electoral college to enforce the one-person, one-vote principle (study stratified sampling to see why I say this, or start at to get a feel for the statistical fun and games associated with voting).

    Anyway, absent a local electoral college to act as an enforcer of “one-person, one-vote”, it is easy to show (and the actual numbers support this) that the two colleges voted at significantly higher rates than the rest of the districts, meaning that while a truly unbiased voting scheme would have had Ray Cox winning (e.g., if everyone voted), the bias introduced by differential voting rates tipped the results against him.

    This is why both parties focus on getting out the votes in their strong subsets of the overall population (you won’t see many Democrats at a hunting lodge urging hunters to get to the polls, and you won’t see many Republicans at a League of Women Voters event urging attendees to vote).

    November 28, 2007
  7. Holly Cairns said:

    Wow, the fun of it all!

    November 28, 2007
  8. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    There are a number of good DFL candidates, some of them mentioned on the LaHammer blog. I’d like to see Heather Robins run.

    November 28, 2007
  9. kiffi summa said:

    Heather Robins would be a great candidate to run for the DFL. IMNSHO (I stole that from Bruce Morlan, so you’ll have to ask him what it means; anyway Heather has the ability to detach from the emotional whirlwinds and look at an issue for its intrinsic worth …Not a bad quality for a good progressive candidate, who votes solid principles.

    November 28, 2007
  10. Griff Wigley said:

    Kudos to Pawlenty for scheduling the election when the college students will be back.

    Let’s keep speculating. If Cox wins, who might the Republicans nominate to run against David Bly?

    November 28, 2007
  11. Kudos to Pawlenty for scheduling the election when the college students will be back.

    Well let’s not throw him a parade. January 3rd is the exact day classes start — politically committed students will probably show up, but I think a reasonable chunk of them might not come on a busy day like that.

    Even if the colleges do provide a healthy crop of DFL voters, though, I’m sure we’ll still have to have a pretty impressive Democrat to beat out Ray Cox. He’s done well for 25B and his positions make him seem as much like a conservative Democrat as he is a liberal Republican.

    November 28, 2007
  12. Jerry Bilek said:

    Griff are you serious? kudos to Pawlenty. First of all I don’t see students participating heavily in special election for an open state senate seat. But if they are willing to vote, this is the perfect election day to keep them away. You can’t hold the election in Dec, it’s too soon. Most elections are on a Tues., this one is on a Thurs. The Carleton students are gone and have no idea this is happening. Can you educate them about the candidates, register them and get them to vote on their first day back? The first day of classes is chaos on campus. Not a chance they will participate.

    The St. Olaf students are still around and in theory you could mobilize them. 65-70% consider themselves democrats. Again, the first day of J-term is not the day to get them to the polls. If they figure out who to vote for before Christmas and they remember on their first day back from break to vote you might see 10 show up at the polls.

    Other than some students from Northfield originally, I don’t see them voting in this election.

    November 28, 2007
  13. I’d like to know why Pawlenty scheduled this for a Thursday, and that particular Thursday to boot. I think Jerry has sniffed out the rat in that decision. That’s about the earliest possible day to have this election, but even having said that; it’s pretty clear that elections are almost always on Tuesdays. So, why not on Tuesday, January 8, 2008? Is there sound reasoning for this?

    Can someone cite an obscure electoral law here? Something about the “first Thursday after the first Tuesday during which the other party’s most-likely-to-vote are out of town”?

    I can cite one: it’s called the Effective Selective Elective Perspective.

    Sounds pretty specious; I know Ray is big enough to request that the date be moved back.

    Though the Governor cites statute (in his press release) for when the special election will be called; it most definitely does not need to be held on January 3, 2008.

    I’m including the special election scheduling code below that the Governor’s press release cites.

    Some background: The 2007 session ended in May. The 2008 session starts on February 12, 2008. Neuville’s vacancy just occurred, meaning subdivisions 1 and 2 don’t seem to apply. Subd. 3 appears relevant here, meaning Pawlenty seems awfully concerned that the prospective Senator have those extra five days to prepare for the mid-February start date of the 2008 session.

    Not likely. This seems to be intended to help keep a large voting block for the other side from showing up.

    Here’s the relevant code:

    Subdivision 1. Vacancy filled at general election. When a vacancy occurs more than 150 days before the next state general election, and the Congress or the legislature will not be in session before the final canvass of the state general election returns, the vacancy shall be filled at the next state general election.
    Subd. 2. Special election when the Congress or legislature will be in session. Except for vacancies in the legislature which occur at any time between the last day of session in an odd-numbered year and the 33rd day prior to the opening day of session in the succeeding even-numbered year, when a vacancy occurs and the Congress or legislature will be in session so
    that the individual elected as provided by this section could take office and exercise the duties of the office immediately upon election, the governor shall issue within five days after the vacancy occurs a writ calling for a special election. The special election shall be held as soon as possible, consistent with the notice requirements of section 204D.22, subdivision 3, but in no event more than 28 days after the issuance of the writ.
    Subd. 3. Special election at other times. When a vacancy occurs at a time other than those described in subdivisions 1 and 2 the governor shall issue a writ, calling for a special election to be held so that the individual elected may take office at the opening of the next session of the Congress or of the legislature, or at the reconvening of a session of the Congress or of the

    November 28, 2007
  14. Griff Wigley said:

    It appears as if Pawlenty could have picked a day in late Dec. or even Wed. Jan 2, which would have been much worse.

    I’d argue that the 2006 election was an anti-Bush/anti-war/anti-Republican vote on our Northfield college campuses, and not much of an anti-Cox/pro-Bly vote.

    So why would Pawlenty want to maximize the greatest number of student voters, most of whom would likely vote anti-war again, esp. when the MN Senate has little to do with US war policy.

    By picking an in-between date, he’s made it relatively easy for students to vote. Organizers have 36 hours or so to get the word out. Piece o’ cake with email and texting.

    November 29, 2007
  15. Griff Wigley said:

    Hey, what about Jane McWilliams to run against Ray? She ran for the seat against Neuville once. Problem now, tho, is she’s too busy taking community photos. 😉

    November 29, 2007
  16. Paul Jesh said:

    I realize all of the voting issues that everybody is talking about but here is my issue from a Ethanol perspecitive. Nueville is taking over for the retiring judge Wolf. Wolf heard the arguments between Bridgewater and Advanced Bio Energy on October 5. The decision of the suit will be made in 90 days. Does anybody have any information on Wolf making the decision or will Nueville take over and make a decision? I wonder if the decision will be pushed out. Does Nueville stand shoulder to shoulder with Pawlenty on Ethanol???? Hmmm…..

    November 29, 2007
  17. Lance said:

    The Bridgewater/Advanced Bio Energy case remains Judge Wolf’s case. Wolf will make the decision on all matters he has heard where all the evidence and arguments have been submitted by the parties.

    November 29, 2007
  18. Griff,

    I agree with you (your comment #16) about the extremely quick mobilization that e-mail and texting affords. To the extent that there might be a plan on the part of the Governor to keep college students out of the loop in this special election, he “misunderestimates” the speed that communication can rally the troops, so to speak.

    However, I think a late December date would have seemed too conspicuous in that regard, and January 2nd is the day after a holiday, and I’m assuming that election officials and workers prefer to have a day or so to set up the apparati for the election, etc…

    I don’t think, even given e-mail and texting, that January 3rd is the date that would “maximize” student voter numbers, as you state. Most students at Carleton will return in the afternoon or evening of January 2, meaning January 3rd can be a rather hectic day to think about voting. I don’t know as much about St. Olaf schedules, but I believe they return on that date as well.

    I still say: make the election date January 8. It’s a Tuesday, and over a month ahead of the start of the 2008 legislative session.

    It’s worth nothing that the Northfield News’ reporting on the statute that I cited in my comment #15 is not the applicable subdivision. Subdivision 3 applies here, not subd. 2. The News got it wrong.

    In fact, what they reported would mean the Governor was not in compliance with that subdivision, since the writ calling for the special election has already been issued and the special election date is more than 28 days after the issuance of that writ.

    I should also state that Ray Cox is one of the only Republicans I have ever voted for. My objections to the timing of this election are not about Ray or his candidacy; it’s about legitimacy of the election.

    November 29, 2007
  19. kiffi summa said:

    The 28 day issue that Brendon brings up (second to last Paragraph, post # 20) is one I noticed immediately. It is out of compliance as stated, but I find it difficult to believe the Gov’s office making that kind of error. Are we possibly wrong in our assumption that it’s out of compliance; could it be that it is 28 POSSIBLE election days? In other words, would Christmas, New Year’s day,Saturdays and Sundays not be included in the day count?

    November 29, 2007
  20. Kiffi,

    The Governor would be out of compliance if Subd. 2 were in effect – as the News stated – but my read of the relevant clauses posted in comment #15 is that Subd. 3 applies in this case, not Subd. 2. If it is Subd. 3, as it seems to be, then the Governor is within the letter of the law, but my point has been that there is no statutory reason for the election to be scheduled for Thursday, January 3. It could just as easily be scheduled for a Tuesday… like Tuesday, January 8, 2008, for example. That date is also in compliance with Subd. 3.

    That’s the reason I brought up the actual statutes, to point out that it seems odd to schedule this election for that date when statute does not compel it. This date seems to be conveniently scheduled for when a large Democratic voting block will only just be getting back into town and likely will be distracted by starting classes, as Jerry stated.

    Seems like the Rice County Democrats should be saying something about this.

    November 29, 2007
  21. Bruce Morlan said:

    kiffi, IMNSHO == in my not so humble opinion, I think we can share that one!

    November 29, 2007
  22. kiffi summa said:

    Brendon: Thanks for all the investigation and analysis; I wish I would have asked for even more when I saw you at the NAG last night, but that was kind of a maelstrom … which was good for the NAG!

    Is there any possibility of getting a date more conducive to all the voters participating, do you think?
    Have you also researched what would be required to do that?

    November 30, 2007
  23. Enough about Ray! On the DFL side, Tim Lies is running, he’s on City Council in Belle Plaine and he translates well in the western part (difficult part!) of the Senate District. And Ross, FYI, he and his wife Kathy Farmer, used to stop by Seward Cafe regularly when I was cooking there!

    November 30, 2007
  24. Kiffi wrote: “Is there any possibility of getting a date more conducive to all the voters participating, do you think? Have you also researched what would be required to do that?”

    It seems to me to be the Governor’s call. He’s within the statute; so there’s probably not much to be done, except appeal directly to him.

    (Sorry, I’m chuckling to myself right now. Could you hear that in my typing?)

    November 30, 2007
  25. Yes, we have to laugh or else we’ll cry.

    Another election date? Don’t bank on it. The Gov wouldn’t alter it, they need it to happen quickly (and are trying to capitalize on Cox’s Sviggum and Jones fueled campaign machine). The GOP has Secretary of State Mark Ritchie under siege and have asked that he step down from his election duties for this Special Eleciton, and Ritchie says “no way.” The plot thickens.

    Here are links:

    November 30, 2007
  26. John George said:

    I don’t understand all this concern about the college students voting. Most of them only live here parts of three years, so is anyone really representing them? Also, aren’t there enough Democrats in the district to carry a Democratic candidate? And, if there are not, then whose fault is that? In my not so humble opinion (IMNSHO), it sounds like the old ballot box stuffing angle to me, but then no one really likes my perspective, anyway. I think I’ll retreat to my closet and pray about it (and, Griff, I don’t mean that to be sarcastic. Just wanted to throw some more wood on the fire!).

    November 30, 2007
  27. FYI, check out the college precincts voting record, and I think those with preconceived notions will be surprised! It’s not nearly as tipped as I had first thought. Also consider the impact of voter turnout — high voter turnout has not been good for DFL in this district, contrary to legend. Myths abound…

    Here’s the link to SOS records, you can check by looking at Precinct results.

    November 30, 2007
  28. Mike Bull said:

    The timing of the special session doesn’t seem like much to get excited about… could be worse from some perspectives, could be better from others.

    And, as someone who has the same “affliction”, I can commiserate with Mr. Lies — that’s a truly challenging last name for someone in public service….

    November 30, 2007
  29. Ahhhh, Mikey, that sounds like another Cox & Bull story… ahem… it’s special ELECTION, I think we’re over any hope of a special session.

    November 30, 2007
  30. Paul Zorn said:

    Today’s Strib offers a novel interpretation of the Gov’s choice of Jan 3 for the post-Neuville by-election. Far from trying to suppress turnout, Tim is trying to encourage it—Jan 3 is also the day of the Iowa caucuses and, supposedly, District 25 voters’ keen interest in Iowa will propel them to the local polls as well.

    Those who find this convincing might want to check out a specially-priced freeway bridge somewhere up in the Metro.

    December 3, 2007
  31. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks for that heads-up, Paul. Here’s the link to the editorial.

    DFLers howled that Pawlenty had once again chosen an odd date for the special election, and accused him of trying to suppress turnout. A Thursday election two days after a holiday would ordinarily merit such criticism. But making the election coincide with the Iowa caucuses might inspire an extra measure of election awareness in District 25 on that day.

    December 3, 2007
  32. This election is going to be awfully interesting! Ben Casper’s name was a day brightener, he’s got the genetic predisposition, lifetime influences, and socially-focused career to have politics the primary component of his blood. That there are so many candidates, and not an effort to try to convince someone to run, seems like a very healthy political scene. Imagine the next city council races!

    Will the DFL pick their favorite and arm twist the others out, or will we have tag team wrestling on the 18th?

    I see Griff posted the link… nevermind!!!

    December 3, 2007
  33. BruceWMorlan said:

    At Politics and a Pint last night we asked ourselves whether the fact that most students would be back but might feel too busy to vote would be offset by the missing snowbirds who may be blissfully unaware that they need to request absentee ballots.

    As for nefarious intent, it is pretty interesting that Northfield’s ward 3, precinct 1, votes at Buntrock Commons. Seems to me to be a pretty unfair advantage given the high percentage of students who must visit there daily for meals (ref: MN Sec. State web site:

    If history repeats itself, students will probably be represented way out of proportion to their numbers.

    December 3, 2007
  34. Let’s see… students are 1/3 of Northfield’s population, so far more than 1/3 of voters are students? I don’t think the numbers say that. And look at not just numbers, but how they vote.

    Once more with feeling – Here’s the “primary” source for general election numbers:

    December 3, 2007
  35. Paul Zorn said:


    Concerning “nefarious intent” (NI), you wrote:

    As for [NI], it is pretty interesting that Northfield’s ward 3, precinct 1, votes at Buntrock Commons. Seems to me to be a pretty unfair advantage given the high percentage of students who must visit there daily for meals … If history repeats itself, students will probably be represented way out of proportion to their numbers.

    Do you really see NI in a polling place being on campus? Have you also objected to the NI implicit in the common local practice of voting at Lutheran churches? Might not non-Lutherans feel uncomfortable in such sectarian surroundings? Heck, I’m a birthright Lutheran myself, of German extraction, and I’ve felt nervous around St John’s ever since the time I saw girls there with candles on their heads.

    And how would you propose to redress the “unfair advantage” St Olaf students now enjoy, both in convenience of access and in disproportionate representation? Might their votes be somehow weighted, perhaps in proportion to their duration of Northfield residency?

    December 3, 2007
  36. BruceWMorlan said:

    Paul Z. You nearly make my point for me, there is probably no more NI in the choice of polling place than there is in the date chosen, but conspiracy theorists are run amok in our midst, and their voracious appetite for NI leaves us all less rational just as random noise in a music hall makes us all slightly more deaf to the nuances in the notes. So I guess the complete answer to your question is no, I do not see NI in the choice of place nor do I see it in the date chosen for the election.

    As for proportional weighting by precinct, that would mimic stratified sampling, which would better serve the public but would be nearly impossible to implement. I mean, consider the inability of the voters to appreciate the key role the electoral college plays in keeping our system of voting for president closer to giving us a true one-person-one vote system (I have tried to figure out if the offset from the extra two votes per state can be characterized as a sort of James-Stein estimator or a Bayesian adjustment, but so far I am not convinced that these corrective concepts apply).

    December 3, 2007
  37. Felicity Enders said:

    OK, Bruce, I have to take issue with you on the electoral college getting things closer to one-person-one-vote. It’s true that the electoral college keeps each state’s percentage of the deciding vote to the proportion of citizens living in that state (except for differences in homelessness rates, etc). However, the winner-take-all concept in the vast majority of states completely overwhelms the proportionality. That being said, I am against the referendum in CA; I’d be for it at the federal level, but not for any individual state.

    Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.

    As the newbie, could I request a discussion of people’s views of the candidates for Senate? I’m not going to have much time to get up to speed before voting.

    December 3, 2007
  38. Curt Benson said:

    What is the process the DFL uses to narrow its candidates down to one? Is it any different because this is a special election? Thanks.

    December 3, 2007
  39. I’d guess around Northfield, the bottom line is whether the candidate will shave! Beyond that, I doubt anyone’s telling.

    December 3, 2007
  40. Griff Wigley said:

    Felicity, I’ll launch a new blog post on the race after this week’s endorsement/nomination meetings. According to the paper:

    Democratic special committee meeting (for endorsement)
    New Prague City Hall, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

    Republican nomination convention
    Northfield Community Resource Center, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m

    In the meantime, feel free to discuss the candidates here! And see the brief bios info on them on the Nfld News site here.

    December 3, 2007
  41. David Bly said:

    It is not a secret how the DFL will choose a candidate. Under normal circumstances a convention of DFL Senate District convention delegates would be called, however under current circumstances this is not possible. The reason I say that is that the District Constitution requires a ten day notice by mail. There is not enough time to schedule the convention send out the mailing allow for required time and still allow unendorsed candidates to remove their names from the list. The last date to withdraw and not have your name appear on a primary ballot is Dec. 7th.
    DFL rules allow for another option, which the District leadership have chosen to employ. An endorsing committee meeting has been called for Dec. 5th in New Prague. The committee members will be made up of the Senate District Central Committee, that is the precinct chairs and other party officers who reside in the Senate District. This meeting can be called by notifying committee members within 48 hours prior to the meeting. This has been done. The public will be notified by the following day, Thursday Dec. 6th of the result of the endorsement process.
    I believe all candidates have agreed to abide by the decision of the endorsing process and if that agreement holds there will not be a need for a primary.

    December 3, 2007
  42. Curt Benson said:

    Thanks, David, for your very clear explanation.

    December 3, 2007
  43. Bob Gilbertson said:

    I’m very happy to hear that Ben Casper has thrown his hat in the ring for this seat. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, Ben is someone who would make you proud as a voice of this area. He’s smart and honest and civic-minded. I don’t know the other DFLers who are running, so I’ve got nothing bad to say about them, but I know that Ben would be excellent.

    December 3, 2007
  44. Well, Bob, sorry to report that Ben Casper is out, or will be… sigh… I was looking for his website and he called right back. But the bad news (good for his family though) is that he said that after a lot of thought he just can’t inflict a campaign on his family right now, but declared, “I’ll be back!” I sure hope so, because we need people of his caliber in office. DRAT!!!!

    December 3, 2007
  45. kiffi summa said:

    Double, double, and Triple DRAT !!!

    December 3, 2007
  46. victor summa said:


    You ask for bios or more… a discussion of the candidates?

    Not too much is necessary by way of exposing different values, principles, etc.

    The rank and file will have little to do with who the candidates are – at least for the DFL. As you read in David Bly’s comment, that will be settled by the DFL party elite for District 25 on Tuesday this week.

    Unless some maverick DFL dreamer, files regardless of the party’s choice, thus forcing a primary (Dec 18, I believe) we’ll get the DFL candidate handed to us.

    And I’m assuming Ray Cox will be the Republican choice – that’s pretty much a shoe-in.

    Clearly on this blog at least, there’s been little perspective questioning that part of the process.

    Clearly, the DFLers (that would include me) are at least talking a lot about candidates and process .. illustrating that there’s a little confusion and uncertainty on the blue side of the room.

    My sources ( I know a guy) indicate the strongest candidate for the DFL may be Mick McGuire. He has as good credentials as an elected official as Cox’s – with numerous terms as Mayor of Montgomery and additional years on that city Council. Cox has years on the Nfld School board and 2 terms as a state Representative… but was beaten a year ago by David Bly.

    When Cox won .. and then when Bly beat him last year, neither of them had any more state office experience than McGuire has now … and clearly not near the years McGuire has in elected positions.

    McGuire is a strong DFL name in the rest of the District …. and will likely get all the DFL vote from Northfield, that any DFL candidate named would.

    Are there others? Heather Robins has excellent credentials, but I’ve not heard her name mentioned. Ben Fitzerald is a popular favorite due to his profession (attorney) his father, the late Mike Fitgerald, Carleton Prof, former Lt Gov. Candidate, a strong political alley of Paul Welstone’s… and an avid progressive. But Ben has withdrawn his name.

    The DFL District 25 Committee will pick its candidate… and then the voters will line up and vote blue or red. In that sense there’s not much choice – certainly not much campaign time for maneuvering for the party’s backing for nomination.

    I think the election will be won or lost in the west end of the district.

    As Republican’s go … Ray Cox is considered a moderate. McGuire is no doubt miles left of that. That’s what I know.

    One good thing may be the holidays and the short time period, keeping the potential for media bais to a minimum. For the media to have much “neferious” impact, it would have to be so obvious, that maybe we could expect really big public outcry and voter backlash

    So, get your pens out and write your “savior letters to the editor” … and be ready to plug in the blue name we get from the party.

    One thing I think you can count on is the GOP has maneuvered events to Cox’s advantage… knowing for some time of this appointment for Neuville and the vacancy it would create. I’ll bet the printing presses have been rolling for weeks pumping out Cox literature.

    So… have you any ideas for a short campaign? Bumper stickers anyone?

    Light a Fire… vote McGuire


    December 3, 2007
  47. Veektor – it’s CASPER, not Fitzgerald, and Mike Fitzgerald is St. Olaf (GASP!). You’re right about the elite selection for endorsement, but also, the rules are the formal process, and there’s lots of wrangling going on, siding, support, leaning, dissing, and some changes prior to the endorsement meeting. Just because there are “rules” expect other things are going on.

    There’s not enough time before the election for candidates to really develop positions and a campaign machine prior to the election, much less an endorsement Central Committee meeting, all they can do is focus on contacting Committee members and selling themselves. The Committee members are not representative of DFL voters and that’s a problem, because it becomes an insider’s game. In Minnesota, it also seems to be a process to select/grind/crush out individuality and spark, leaving bland whitebread options. Insiders often have different agendas, and are often out of touch. I have visions of Amy Klobuchar, a vanilla candidate and disappointing senator if I’ve ever seen one, as an example of one who survived the culling process. On the other hand, consider the contrast between Keith Ellison and Michelle Bachman! Keith survived a fight for endorsement and his seat. And then there’s a candidate like Bill Neuman, who beat incumbent Loren Jennings back in 1994 (?) and the party refused to help Neuman in any way — Loren’s now in the federal pen for using his office for personal gain. Party politics leaves a lot to be desired. We’re dealing with DFL now, but R is the same way, generating similar … yawn… candidates (with the exception of Bachman, who sure isn’t a yawn!).

    For those wanting to be heard on candidate selection, the best bet is to call the candidates and find out what they’re about, and then call party elite and give them an earful of what you think of candidates and what you think of the process and demand representational consideration, demand to be heard. Maybe show up at the meeting, even if you don’t have a vote. And bring a dish to pass, preferably jello, so you won’t be thrown out! It’s Minnesota politics after all.

    December 4, 2007
  48. victor summa said:

    Losing it .. by the minute. This is my third :gaff” in three tries.

    YES Casper … not Fitzgerald. Mike’s a good DFLer too.

    I grovel, corrected … the diminutive of “stand”

    In any event, Ben’s out – and, Carol you’re right his addition to the poli-scene was a bright light down the hall.

    Carol: your, far better explanation of the process perplexes me a bit. Given the time frame we’re working with, is there any other way to really select a candidate. That’s why I thought the GOP was using Denison Iowa tactics and rigging the deal … before the public announcement.

    But I know the DFL was aware – as they contacted others in the region seeking interests, in running for the vacancy



    December 4, 2007
  49. Sherry Coudret said:

    The only problem with Mick McGuire is that he didn’t even support his local school levy last fall which means that he has issues within his own base.

    You may not know them, but Kevin Dahle and Anne Miller are the two most competent and energetic. They don’t have experience as elected officials but they have the ability to work for the District as opposed to our former District 25B rep was in office and voted with the Caucus whenever his vote was needed.

    Make no mistake. The GOP candidate is a great guy but he is not a centrist. He talks education but doesn’t vote for education. He has a couple of good votes and co-authors for the environment, but he walks the party line when it really counts.

    December 5, 2007
  50. Sherry – Ben Casper would have had my vote, oh well… But there’s also Tim Lies, who does have experience as elected official and who also is long-time board member of enviro group, MN Valley something or other, and a long history of social service work, first hand experience with the impacts of draconian policies.

    Environmentally, Ray has good votes and co-authors? I don’t think so (or was that verboten sarcasm?) FYI, Ray was a co-author of the Mesaba Project bill, coal gasification on the range (FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve been fighting this project for 6 years now, 2 years sort-of paid). He voted to raise the animal unit threshold for feedlot environmental assessment worksheets (how would Miller vote on this, I believe she has marital ties to feedlots). He also voted FOR the 2005 transmission omnibus bill that paved the way for CapX2020 powerlines slated for northern Rice and southern Scott/Dakota counties in 25, part of a transmission project affecting over 73,000 landowners in Phase I alone! Talking the talk just doesn’t counter the realities of these votes, and others, I could go on, but I’ll leave that to the campaign committees!

    December 5, 2007
  51. victor summa said:

    Yo Sherry:

    McGuire’s short coming’s you point out, are interesting – I certainly was not aware – I wonder if the District 25 Senate meeting this evening will allow for questions to the candidates. McGuire’s response to your’s, would be interesting.

    Still, at this late date, and knowing the sketchy interest that most precinct captains bring to their office … I’m wondering if this won’t be more of an uninformed popularity poll. That, and the likely galvanizing of minds as to which of these candidates stands the best chance of winning w/o a long and informing campaign.

    You wrote:

    “You may not know them, but Kevin Dahle” …

    I do know a little about Kevin’s history and all that is very good, especially regarding his position on education.

    ” … and Anne Miller are the two most competent and energetic.”

    Of Ms. Miller (interestingly enough) I have heard she’s got family ties to Big Ag – and this has raised some concern w/her position on those issues .

    What all this last minute flurry points out, is there’s no central plan for bringing continuity to the DFL locally. And if you look at the Dem primary races for President – nationally too.

    Guess the best we can hope for out of tonight is the candidate who can hold the blue line and appeal to the pale red to cross over on Jan 3.

    Maybe Jessica Peterson, who ran a very strong campaign against a strong incumbent just a year ago, can come out in a big ad across the district in support of the blue candidate. That just might be the best campaign card to play.

    In fact, a combination full page ad with pictures and statements from all recent past Dist 25 candidates, with their support for the current banner carrier, might work well.


    December 5, 2007
  52. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    Unfortunately, both Casper and Lies have dropped out.. But we still have some good choices.

    I have spoken with three of the remaining candidates (Kevin Dahl, Anne Miller and Mick McGuire) about farm issues. Turns out that Anne Miller’s husband Darran is manager for 6 or 7 of the big hog farms here (Kent and Barry Holden). Question is, would she be able to support a bill that does NOT benefit the large, corporate-type farm. She said she will be talking with Kent and also taking input from people like me. Let’s hope.

    Tonight’s the big night when the endorsement is done.

    December 5, 2007
  53. Griff Wigley said:

    Ray survived (heh) and got the Republican endorsement. How about the Dems?

    December 5, 2007
  54. Curt Benson said:

    Griff, I heard Kevin Dahle got the DFL nod.

    December 6, 2007
  55. John Blau said:

    Greetings all. Just to set the record straight on Mr. McGuire’s support of the Montgomery-Lonsdale schools levy: Mick contributed to the cost of several newspaper ads, which had his name along with many other community leaders urging the passage of the local school levy.

    A couple of rumored and uninformed opinions generated by a very few folks may have negatively impacted and at the very least distracted a very progressive and very winnable McGuire campaign for State Senate. I do hope that sources of this misinformation do some fact checking in the future.

    And, at the minimum, I ask our opinion leaders and activists to look beyond the borders of Northfield for a progressive DFL candidate who could defeat a Republican candidate while representing the DFL party’s values and beliefs.

    Energetic and competent? McGuire has raised over $5,000 in $50 amounts in 5 days at the same time calling almost 70 potential delegates, producing 3 campaign lit pieces and a press announcement, which was picked up by blogs, radio and multiple newspapers across the district. He has signs, a volunteer base both West and in Northfield. He has contacts with education, environment, labor and party officials. He has elected officials who have committed to come down and turn out the voting base in Northfield and the entire district.

    Mr. McGuire listens and acts. He understands the complex issues that face both Nerstrand and New Auborn, which are nearly two hours and 80 miles apart.

    Take a second look at Mick McGuire. The more you know him, the more you like him!

    December 6, 2007
  56. John – This, coming out the day after “The Central Committee speaks,” sounds like a campaign ad, so I’m confused, particularly with the, “Take a second look?” Are you saying that McGuire is not going to abide by the endorsement and will force a primary? What are you asking people to do? Pester the party? Do a write in?

    December 6, 2007
  57. Griff Wigley said:

    There will be a primary on Tues, Dec. 18 according to today’s Nfld News:

    Five names will appear on the ballot in a special primary election that’s 10 days away. Eleven people had filed with the Secretary of State during the last week for the vacant Senate District 25 seat. Six of those individuals had withdrawn their names by the end of the business day Friday. The five names remaining are:

    • Ray Cox of Northfield, Republican
    • Kevin Dahle of Northfield, Democrat
    • Vance Norgaard of rural Northfield, Independence Party
    • Keith Swenson of Henderson, Republican
    • Rod Tietz of New Prague, Republican
    December 8, 2007
  58. Now this is VERY interesting… Vance Norgaard throws a whole ‘nother light on things. seems to be in progress. He’s someone who’s easy to deal with because he’s clear on stands, and of course he’s someone with whom I strongly agree and strongly disagree! He’s not afraid of doing a lot of homework, taking on difficult issues, and is a good strategist. He gets things done. Yes, this will be fun to watch!

    December 8, 2007
  59. Holly Cairns said:

    A DFL win would represent a possible 2/3rds override situation in the Senate? Is that true?

    Not near a 2/3rds situtation in the House, yet, but perhaps in the future…

    December 9, 2007
  60. Holly Cairns said:

    Oh, and to Blau:

    DFL should unite, not divide.

    McGuire wasn’t endorsed, although he did seem pretty good to me.

    As Carol said, what are you trying to do, anyway? There is only ONE MONTH until the election.

    December 9, 2007
  61. Ray Coudret said:

    Check out Kevin’s site after 4:00 today (Sunday). You’ll be amazed by the work that has been done after he reveals the new look.

    Thanks, Holly for the reminder. 25 days and counting.

    Is there going to be a site in Northfield for Absentee voting for those locals who need it? This has been the case in general elections.

    I would think there should be something at our city hall and in New Prague as well.

    December 9, 2007
  62. Holly Cairns said:

    Ok, how about that Dahle website.

    Is that you, Ray? Teacher fabuloso?

    I wasn’t warning about the 25 days, necessarily. More interested in unity.

    December 9, 2007
  63. Paul Zorn said:

    Regarding endorsement, importance of DFL unity, etc. …

    Under normal circumstances I’d strongly support the principle that DFLers should all unite, instantly, around the DFL-*endorsed* nominee. And Kevin Dahle seems a fine nominee, who deserves our thanks and congratulations.

    But the present circumstances seem a bit different given the absurdly abbreviated endorsement process. This indecent haste wasn’t necessarily anyone’s fault — least of all the nominees’ — but it’s a problem nonetheless. Given more time we might, for instance, have had the apparent misinformation about Mick McGuire corrected earlier. I’ve never met the gentleman, so have no opinion about him as a candidate. But it’s unfortunate that our discussion of the matter was cut so short.

    December 9, 2007
  64. Holly Cairns said:

    Hi, yes, thanks and congratulations to Kevin Dahle.

    And it is too bad that our discussion was short.

    Let’s have faith that the DFL had enough sense to investigate and then endorse, which is what happened, of course.

    December 9, 2007
  65. BruceWMorlan said:

    Carol, way back you pointed out “” as the definitive site for voting numbers. That was nice, very informative. I don’t know how long it takes to get the data up there, but I plan to reprise the analysis as written up at my blog and as presented at “Politics and a Pint” at the Contented Cow on 9 Dec 2007. People who were there know that as a mathematician I am more interested in the truth than I am in making a political point (though I am currently masquerading as a statistician, ask me the difference over a pint).

    In any case, I will repeat that analysis, shredding out the “Buntrock Commons” rates and the “Northfield” rates for all to see. If the students (defined as Northfield W-3, P-1) vote at a statistically significantly higher rate (p=.05), then I’ll expect at least one of the people complaining about the date to buy me a pint. Similarly, if those students vote at a lower rate (same p-value) then I’ll buy a pint for one of the loyal opposition. And if the outcome would change under the re-weighted system I described then I should get several pints.

    It would be fun to do this for a living, but Tim Russert seems to have that market cornered.

    December 10, 2007
  66. Bruce,

    Since I was one of the objectors (“conspiracy theorists” is what I believe you termed us) to the January 3rd date, I would have to take you up on that offer; except I don’t drink, so you’d have to buy me caramels or gum drops.

    I actually hope you win. I hope Griff’s and my speculation that e-mail and text messaging will account for very fast mobilization among the younger, technologically savvy voters, rules the day over the (deliberately) inconvenient timing of the election.

    Kevin Dahle’s wife works at Carleton; so I’m assuming she’s going to be activating the Carleton Democrats to get the vote out.

    Your analysis, however, only takes into account Olaf students. Seems to me, if you want some control for poll’s location, you’d include Carleton students as well. (Most of whom vote at the UCC.) I thought the original basis of this was the complaint about the election’s timing as it relates to students on both campuses, both of which, despite Carol’s surprise at the numbers, still overwhelmingly vote DFL. Now it seems to be about poll location?

    Maybe I’m missing something.

    December 10, 2007
  67. BruceWMorlan said:

    Brendon wrote:

    Seems to me, if you want some control for poll’s location, you’d include Carleton students as well.

    Actually, yes, if I had the time I would have certainly done better than Northfield, W-3, P-1 as a surrogate for StOlaf and, at a second level, Northfield as a block. Although the completed statistics would almost certainly (based on a quick review of the numbers) show that Northfield is not like the rest of the district (p-value=?).

    What you missed is that I am proposing how to really tell if class warfare is going on between Northfield and the rest of district 25. Now, if you want to pull together all the numbers I would need I’d be happy to “do the math” using a better model, but I would argue that the two models I used do represent a good first or second order approximation to what you propose.

    December 10, 2007

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