The first CD2 DFL meeting of election year 2010 was well attended. I counted about 35 people, with a few stragglers sneaking in later. The Central Committee Meeting on January 5th was the last meeting before the caucuses on February 2nd. Because it was the last meeting before the caucuses, I expected there to be a lot of caucus discussion, but a majority of the discussion centered on the CD2 convention.
The meeting started with self introductions from the entire group. I’ve been to CD2 meetings in the past that started that way, but it isn’t a regular practice. I’m guessing it started that way because there were a few unfamiliar faces in the crowd.
One of the unfamiliar faces was a representative from SD26. He spoke for Jason Engbrecht. Jason is running in a special election on January 26th to take over the seat held by Dick Day. Dick Day abruptly quit the State Senate to become a lobbyist. Jason will be busy, and needs all the help he can get to defeat Mike Parry. Parry is the Republican endorsed candidate who has shown over the last couple years of “tweeting” that he will not represent Minnesota values. Rather, Parry will promote the values held by the most extremist right-wingers in the district. To help Jason’s campaign, the members of the CD2 DFL voted to make a nice donation to Jason’s campaign. Good luck to Jason.
After the Engrecht representative spoke, several other candidates rose to speak about their campaign to defeat other extremist right-wing elected officials. The first to speak was Shelley Madore. Shelley will soon officially announce her candidacy to unseat John Kline in Washington. Shelley will be competing with Dan Powers for the endorsement at the CD2 Convention in April. Dan Powers spoke next. Dan has been officially running for the last few months, but spent a lot of time organizing DFL groups for parades during the summer before making it official.
Although we will have the opportunity to see the two candidates side-by-side over the next couple months, including the SD36 DFL Meeting at 6:30 on January 14th held at B&B Pizza in Farmington, it was the first time I had been able to compare the two candidates speaking at the same time.
Shelley has been away from the political scene for a year or so, but as she strode to the front of the room, you could sense the confidence she has. She then backed it up with a very assertive and strong introductory speech that would challenge, in terms of presentation, most of the gubernatorial candidates I have heard from. Dan on the other hand projects the nice guy image, and he really is a nice guy. Dan wants to be a representative for the district, something we have not had since John Kline became a member of congress. The two candidates have different styles, and it will be an interesting ninety-some day before we have an endorsed candidate.
Among the other candidates speaking about their campaigns were, Roberta Gibbons, Mike Germain, Derrick Lindstrom, a representative of Tom Bakk, and I apologize to the final speaker because I didn’t write down his name, but he is challenging Claire Robling in SD35.
After hearing form the candidates, the topic turned to the CD2 Convention. The committee began discussing the amount of the suggested donation to be requested of those attending the CD2 convention. This discussion lasted nearly a half hour. The entire context of the discussion revolved around whether to request $15 donations or $10 donations. The convention expenses will be slightly less this year thanks to some great work by a couple members. That combined with the adverse economic conditions many families are facing, spurred the idea to reduce the donation amount to $10, from $15, which had been the suggested donation amount during the last few conventions.
There was a lot of discussion about the importance of the donations to the district’s financial standing, contrasted by a genuine belief that maintaining an open and easy to access forum was more important. But what I think won the day was that the $15 donation is suggested, not required, and that the district needs as much cash as possible to support candidates running in the district.
I was happy the $15 amount won out. I have been thinking a lot about how important it is to do small dollar fundraising for our local organizations, and the $15 suggested donation really fits that model. It allows the organization to take away a “profit” from the convention that a $10 donation wouldn’t. Additionally, the amount of $15, make it easy for a person with a $20 bill to donate an extra $5 without much thought. Let’s hope attendance is high.
The next meeting will be held on a Wednesday. Meetings are generally held the second Tuesday of every month at Burnhaven Library, but on Wednesday February 10th, the Executive Committee Meeting will not only be on a different day, but it will be at a different location, Prior Lake City Hall. Check the CD2 website for more information.