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!