Dan Powers is nice, but Shelley Madore can win CD2

At the DFL Senate District 36 convention Dan Powers said something that bothered me.  It wasn’t an issue related statement or a statement I disagreed with, it was the opening statement he made saying (paraphrased because I didn’t write down the quote):

Some people say I don’t have the experience to run against John Kline.

The implication was that Shelley Madore’s supporters or campaign was saying that about Dan Powers.  The problem I had was he started out his speech with a negative about himself.  He didn’t start with a positive about how great a candidate he is, or how much of a grasp he has on the issues that are important to CD2 voters.  He started out by telling everybody that others don’t think he is a good candidate.  

At the lunch break, I immediately went to a member of his staff and told her my opinion that Dan cannot start out with a negative.  It is perfectly fine to mention it during the speech if you want to counter it, but great marketing doesn’t start by telling everybody the rap against the product.

I don’t know if they listened to me and changed the message, but I’m guessing they did because Dan’s campaign is continually improving.  I sent him an email more than a year ago pointing out a wording problem I saw on a flyer I received.  His website and literature is now very good.  Last summer I suggested to a family member that a donation might be better served going to Mark Ritchie or Tim Walz than to a candidate I didn’t think had a chance.  Now I do think he has a chance. 

Dan’s campaign has come a long way.  In fact he had risen in my mind to the point that I decided to support him for the endorsement over Shelley Madore.  I felt like he was working hard and doing the right thing.  But I still had a nagging feeling that he was not a strong enough candidate to beat John Kline.

I’m not sure trying hard and getting better makes you the best candidate.  He has never won an election that I know of.  In fact I think he lost a couple races in the city of Burnsville.  A Powers supporter told me that “there was a reason” Shelley Madore lost two of her three races in Apple Valley.  Well that must mean there was a reason Dan Powers lost his races too.

Keep in mind, Shelley Madore ran as a DFLer in a Republican district and won.  Dan Powers ran as a candidate in a nonpartisan city election and lost.  When Shelley Madore lost her house seat to Tara Mack, the Apple Valley Republicans had spent the previous two years attacking her with everything they had from semantic arguments to dirty tricks.

Negative implications like the election loss talking points that are meant to hurt the other candidate are flying from each campaign’s supporters.

I don’t think Dan used union labor when he was a contractor…

I’m hearing Shelley won’t abide by the endorsement…

Dan has no political experience…

Shelley isn’t liked by people who used to support her…

Dan is just getting better because he is copying Shelley’s campaign…

The fact is that neither campaign is doing a great job here to win the endorsement.  Dan is working hard to get better, and Shelley hired a new campaign manager to get better. 

I’ve been struggling with the idea of do I choose the safe candidate that I know and like, or do I choose the candidate I don’t know, but who I know has the experience and toughness to win. 

I think a campaign staff change is exactly what the Madore campaign needed.  I feel like I need to choose the candidate I think is going to win.  I feel like I need to support Shelley Madore so the 2nd Congressional District finally has the representation it has been missing out on since January of 2003.

Reasons why I am supporting Shelley Madore:

  • Her involvement in the community of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Her commitment to doing “the right thing” for people even if it hurts her politically
  • Her knowledge of healthcare issues and her ability to challenge others on it
  • Her willingness to go toe-to-toe with John Kline and other Republicans to prove they are full of it
  • I think she can win, even though she is not the safe choice.  Read a blog post about that at mnpACT!
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6 thoughts on “Dan Powers is nice, but Shelley Madore can win CD2”

  1. Shelley Madore is not without her gaffes. I was a delegate for the Goodhue County convention and am now an alternate for the CD2 convention. At the Goodhue County Convention, both Shelley and Dan were given five minutes to speak. The first thing Shelley said was she had never been to Red Wing and “was surprised at how flat it was.” Awkward silence.

    Then, toward the end of her speech, she mentioned that she had heard we had no Democratic candidates for the legislature for our area. She said that she thought that was “sad”. No argument there. But, she didn’t stop there. She went on to say (I’m paraphrasing because I didn’t write down the quote):

    “I’m encouraging those of you who can make a difference to run for office. And, I’m especially encouraging the women out there, because who do we turn to when we really need to get something done? The wives and the mothers, the women.” Awkward silence and uncomfortable looks from the men–and some of the women–around the room.

    This isn’t a women’s club luncheon. This is the United State Congress. That kind of rhetoric will doom her if she ends up running against John Kline. And, in fact, that’s a no-brainer, and she should know that. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that.

    I think she could be a good candidate. She’s aggressive, has a good resume, and makes a good first impression. But, clearly, she needs some direction. Hopefully, her new campaign manager can provide the direction she needs.

    1. Thanks Charles. You are right, if she runs as a woman, she will lose. There are definitely small advantages when a woman runs, but it can’t be an issue. Look at the difference between Ann Wynia’s Senate run in 1994 when she ran to be the first woman Senator from Minnesota versus Amy Klobuchar’s Senate run in 2006, where she downplayed it. I don’t believe there is any doubt that Amy garnered votes from suburban moms who might not have voted for the DFL candidate running on the same issues if that DFLer were a man.

  2. This Madore-Powers contest has bigger implications and needs to be looked at from a larger vantage point.

    IMO, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has ignored the Second District for too long. Their failure to support Steve Sarvi while wasting money on Tink was a two-pronged mistake. 2008 was a perfect year to combat Kline, but that opportunity was yesterday and today the stakes are higher.

    This election will be a referendum on “a return to the Do-Nothing Congress” or a rejection of Obama-policies. This time the national party has something at stake as Kline would be in charge of the Education and Labor Committee.

    Now, I suppose it wasn’t a surprise to see that Madore got endorsed by winningwomen, but is DCCC’s Women’s LEAD program, headed up by Representative Allyson Schwartz, going to step up and endorse her with dollars ?

    What labor groups can the DCCC get to help Powers ?

    Since redistricting, Kline’s contests have not been close.

    The question should be posed to the candidates, “How have you, or will you, interact with the DCCC ?” If one of them tells you about that interaction that makes you feel that they will get DCCC support, that should influence your opinion on who to support at the convention.

    The follow-up question is one that Powers should relate to easily. If you want to build a house, your vision is at the finished product … all nicely landscaped and with a virtual bow on it … but we all know that is not how it happens … you have to plan to make that vision happen … you need an architect (campaign manager), you need a banker (DCCC), you need subcontractors (district local DFL groups), and you need friends (volunteers). YOU (candidate) put your time and your energy and your money into the project to make sure your vision stays on track.
    So, for the candidate, describe what you will do to motivate and attract others to your project ?
    What are the target communitities ?
    What are the target issues that you can work to your advantage that will appeal to those communitities ?
    At this stage, each candidate should have evaluated the past voting history and determined where their votes will come from … and if they cannot outline how they will win, they will not win (nor get the support of the banker.)

    It does not sound good that neither has a solid stump speech and may actually be turning off more supporters than attracting.

    The risk is that this is a Redistricting Year … as Karl Rove noted : the GOP gained between 25 and 30 seats in the U.S. House because of the redistricting that followed the 1990 census. Without those seats, Republicans could not have taken back control of the house in 1994….Republican strategists are focused on 107 seats in 16 states (in 2010). Winning these seats would give them control of drawing district lines for nearly 190 congressional seats.

    Whomever the Second District DFLers endorse had better be able to help the state legislator candidates … not hurt.

    1. I had the opportunity to meet Shelley at the Scott County Convention. I also talked with Dan Powers extensively.
      Speaking Frankly, I’m looking for a candidate, who, when in office, will get to work, stand up and stand out, make the right choices (and not shrink into the background and go with everyone else).
      I think Shelley can do that.

      When I talked with Dan Powers, I let him know what I wanted. I want a dynamic candidate. I admire Anthony Weiner and Alan Grayson for their candidness. Powers TOLD me that he would be the guy in the background, supporting those more dynamic candidates. His body language was somewhat stand-offish. I don’t want that, I want a strong candidate who will take a chance and fight for us.

      When I talked to Madore, she TOLD me that I would see a clear, on-target campaign. She would be a fighter, and she would work for us. She was assertive and strong. Personality wise, she is what I want. Furthermore she’s not off on the issues, she’s in line with what I believe, and I believe strongly – woman or not – that Madore is the right choice.

      I’m excited to vote for her as a delegate to the CD2 convention.

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