And that is exactly what it is, two options for a candidate to choose to get the nomination of their party for statewide office. There is the caucus/nominating convention method or there is the open primary method.

The first option, caucus/convention, seems to be favored by the party faithful. I’m really not sure why this is other than to keep “party insiders” and “party power brokers” intimately involved in the “king making” process. When I asked one of the DFL candidates why they chose to go the caucus/convention route, I was told it’s traditional and the process does a better job of vetting the candidates than the open primaries do. I do not favor this method of candidate choosing for a number of reasons. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the efforts made by party workers to pull this off every election year. It’s a lot of work and dedication to the process and to their candidates. The main problem I see with this system is it’s closed. It’s elected delegates from caucuses around the state that make the decision of who is going to be the anointed candidate. The base of this system is made up of the some old party hacks that have been at it for many years. The system keeps them in place and therefore the party has great difficulty moving forward. The DFL party has a great losing record going for itself now. The last Democratic Governor, Rudy Perpich, and a damn good Governor at that, was denied endorsement by the party and went to the people and won anyway. That resulted in two plus terms of great visionary leadership in the Governor’s seat. One shudders to think what might have happened had Rudy bowed out after not getting the party nod. Arnie Carlson, another great Governor and leader of moderate causes bucked his party’s endorsement twice and went to the people and prevailed. Again, one can only wonder what might have been without Carlson’s great leadership as Governor. In 1998, both the party’s endorsed candidates, Skip Humphrey and Norm Coleman got crushed by an Independent party candidate, Jesse Ventura. Follow that up for the Democrats with crushing defeats of their weak party endorsed candidates in 2002 and 2006. So that has left the state with a legacy of 12 straight years of weak and worthless leadership out of Saint Paul. I believe the past twenty-eight years in the Governors office, of which eight were manned by their party’s endorsed candidate, Pawlenty, should be indicative of the need for a change. The party insiders is not where the solutions are going to come from.

The primary system is probably better because it allows more public input to the process. Every candidate has their own campaign staff and they work toward getting their candidate to the primary win. There is no need for the massive amount of people, time, and money needed for the other method. This has to be a very expensive process that doesn’t really put a dime toward the election itself. It’s almost like the private sector where in business some people in the company are revenue generators and some people in the company are expenses. The caucus/convention process is a huge expense!

Not every person has the time to devote to the caucus/convention system. But guess what, they have opinions and may very well be well-read on the issues of the day. In the c/c method, they have no voice. In the primary method they have the most important voice, a vote!

The DFL convention is past, and the intraparty rancor has begun. How dare the party insiders gush all over Susan Gaertner for pulling out of the race. “We showed her!” What’s even more ballsy of them is to call on Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza to end their campaigns. These two candidates are career success stories, adults, and to be treated by the party insiders in such a rude and condescending manner is atrocious! Primary races toughen a candidate to prepare them for the general. It also gives them the early opportunity to sell themselves to independents and Republicans who may consider crossing over. In the caucus/convention set up, the candidates spend all their time cajoling the delegates. How does the public in general get a feeling for the candidate in this setting?

The fact that Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza are personally well-off financially is their business, nobody elses. Mark Dayton has a well documented record of charity and philanthropy spends countless hours involved in charitable causes. His voting record in the U.S. Senate was the exact same as our hero, Paul Wellstone. People in Dayton’s position can be very caring and giving. Ted Kennedy, probably the most liberal of politicians of our generation was a fighter to the end for liberal causes. He was a multi-billionaire that financed his own campaigns. See any problems with that? Dayton did not accept a pay check for his work in the Senate, it was donated to charity instead. See any problems with that?

I have not chosen a candidate to support yet. My chosen guys, Steve Kelly and Paul Thissen went to the wayside already. Anderson-Kelliher, Dayton, and Entenza are all qualified to be an excellent Governor. My only wish is RT Rybak is not running in the primary. He brings so much to a campaign for thought and I’ll miss that. I see the current system is broken and things have to change.

This should be an easy win for the DFL this time out. After 12 straight years of poor leadership, misguided budgets, tax cuts that have damn near broken the state, and absenteeism in the office, looks like the Republicans have teed it up for an easy win for the Dems in the fall. The two candidates for the Republicans are essentially empty suits. Neither has a resume even close to any of the DFL candidates. In fact, one could almost believe Seiffert and Emmers were thrown in as “sacrificial lambs” by the party. Even the Republicans know they have a horrendous record to run on. That’s my take on this mess, thanks for today’s read.
Cam Obert



  1. youandmedoweagree Says:

    The convention is a “big ass” party and and a forum for lowly assholes to meet the heavies.

    Lovingly submitted by Bob Annen, leading conservative voice in Douglas County

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