Seth and I

Last night I attended the Minnesota Gubernatorial Candidate Forum at Temple Israel in Minneapolis. All of the announced candidates in the race except Republican Party endorsed candidate Tom Emmer participated. Surprisingly, there was a large turn out.

I believe this was rather a waste of time. The candidates responded to several questions and issues that were set up in advance. The umbrella topic for the evening was money, poverty, affordable housing, and affordable health care. The problem; too many candidates and too little time for responses, one minute. It also failed in the area of follow-up. Some of the candidates would simply throw stuff out there and nobody followed up with them to make them accountable for his or her statement. Another negative was there was only fifteen minutes set aside for questions from the audience. These questions were submitted by the attendees on note cards, were screened by the staff, and then presented to the candidates by the moderator. There were only three audience questions put to the candidates, very disappointing!

I believe having open to all candidate forums prior to the conclusion of conventions and primaries is really dumb. There are always too many candidates and too little time to dig into the issues. I think these superficial “meet and greet” sessions really have no value. Right now, the candidates forums need to be within the party only. We do have three viable parties in Minnesota, Republican, Democratic, and Independent. The Green Party tries, but. Being a liberal, I would love to see a substantive debate with Dayton, Entenza, and Anderson-Kelliher. The format for this and all the party only forums should be such that follow-up questions to statements and candidates questioning each other. For three candidates for example, at least an hour and a half should be sufficient. We need to attack the issues and dig deep into the candidates’ thoughts on these issues.

I feel the “stars” of last night’s forum were Dayton, Entenza, Anderson-Kelliher, and Horner. The other four participants are minor players that basically seemed to serve the forum as the comedy relief corps, or out of touch wackos. In my opinion, Mark Dayton in this group is the most ready and prepared to be the next Governor. I think Tom Horner would be my close second choice. Entenza brings a lot to the table as well. I love his determination to establish an energy economy.

For the DFL, there are three very strong candidates. The convention is over and the primary is coming up in August. I hope there are many debates planned for these three. If there is anything I can do to help promote this, I hope somebody from the party would contact me. As I’ve said often, the last twelve years of slash and burn management coming from the Governor’s office should “tee it up” for the Democratic candidate. This should be an easy win for the Democratic candidate and the election should be theirs to lose. We have suffered under the drastic budget cutting the last twelve years and the overly drastic tax cuts that have sent the state right into the ditch. The state has a REVENUE SHORTFALL! We need to enhance revenue streams to get the government off it’s back. This was the “elephant” in the room last night. Only Dayton told the complete truth. Taxes need to be raised, bottom line. Minnesotans are now paying taxes at a level lower than the past thirty some years. Isn’t the correlation interesting. We were the state that stood out as an example of how to run a successful state government. Then the radical right started gaining a foothold, started cutting taxes, cutting budgets, and cutting services and now we are to be compared with the likes of Mississippi and Alabama. Those states are examples of what you get when you don’t tax the residents and businesses, They are about dead last in every quality of life measurement there is. This is where Minnesota is heading folks. We need somebody like a Wendell Anderson and the program known as the “Minnesota Miracle” again. So Democrats, it’s right in front of you, tell the truth, be instructive, and challenge the status quo of slashed budgets and reduced revenues.

Topic Two: Congressman Joe Sestak and the White House offer of administration employment to keep him from challenging Arlin Spector for the Senate seat in Pennsylvania. Some pundits are screaming about possible broken laws and the need for an independent counsel to investigate the situation. I’m not sure if any laws were broken, but if there were, then damn near every administration needs to be investigated for the rational of their hires. Hello, this is POLITICS 101 IN AMERICA. It’s a system of favor granting and deal making. This is what makes the system operate. As far as I’m concerned, this is a non-issue. I don’t recall any huge uproar over Dick Cheeney asking Tim Pawlenty to step aside and let Norm Coleman face Paul Wellstone for the Senate seat in Minnesota. Pawlenty was told to run for governor and he would get the full backing of the President and the White House in that run. So what! the sad thing is the fact that this story still has any traction at all is a result of the 24/7 news cycles and news outlets.

If I hear one more conservative rip the “liberal media” for not jumping on this story I’ll scream. They never made a big deal about the Cheeney-Coleman-Pawlentydeal. And how conveniently the conservatives have forgotten a media that ripped the Clintons apart for years, mercilessly! It was a many year-long bludgeoning that continues today! Remember how the media simply tore Hillary Clinton apart in 2008? The media was most responsible for the “ordination” of Barack Obama! The pure fact of the matter is right-wing media far dominates the market in the U.S.

That’s my “Two for Tuesday”. Thanks for today’s read and I look forward to hearing from you.
Cam Obert



  1. Colleen Morse Says:

    I totally agree with most of what you said. However, I was at the gubernatorial forum last night and blogged it early this morning. I did not think it was a waste of time at all. I would have liked the answers to be two minutes instead of one, but other than that I was glad to get a take on the various candidates. I’ve got the blog at MN Progressive Project.

  2. Tom Nyvold Says:

    You are out of your mind if you think the majority of the media is conservative. Guess what dude, if your getting blows jobs from an intern in the oval office, the media would and should be all over it.

  3. Toni Says:

    I’m not a Dayton fan for multiple reasons. He is not an interesting, or inspiring speaker. Tends to stutter and has difficulty getting his point across. I do not like folks that can buy elections and I don’t think he was a good Senator so cannot imagine him being a good Governor. Plus, his message of raise taxes on millionaire (albeit good) will not resonant with the majority of Minnesotans. I’m also not happy that Mark and Matt skipped the Democratic convention. If they want the party label they should be part of the party process. Obviously, they knew they weren’t going to win, so circumvented that route. I like MAK for multiple reasons. She is the party nominee, she has risen in the ranks to be the Speaker of the House (not a small feat), she is a good speaker and she has good values. I like Horner only because I hope he will take votes away from Evil Emmer.

  4. Toni Says:

    By the way…NICE PHOTO!!

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