74 thoughts on “Pawlenty appoints Neuville to Third District Judge seat; Cox to announce plans on Thursday”

  1. 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.

  2. 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



  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.


  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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?

  9. 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
  10. Now this is VERY interesting… Vance Norgaard throws a whole ‘nother light on things. vancenorgaard.com 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!

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Carol, way back you pointed out “http://www.sos.state.mn.us/home/index.asp?page=137” 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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