Category Archives: Amy Klobuchar

DFL Leadership Candidates at the CD2 DFL Meeting – January 11, 2011

It is getting late and I want to go to bed, but I am going to make a quick post about the DFL leadership elections coming up on February 5th.

Tonight at the Second Congressional District DFL Executive Committee meeting, we were pleased to host many of the candidates running for leadership positions.  Each candidate was given ten minutes to speak and respond to questions, with the exception of Ken Martin and Marge Hoffa who were allowed an extra five minutes after a motion was approved to extend their time.

The first candidates to speak were the candidates for DFL Secretary, Vanessa Blomgren and Jacob Grippen.  Both candidates would do a great job.  Vanessa has a fair amount of DFL Secretary experience as a MYDFL and CD5 Secretary, but more importantly, she enjoys being the secretary.  I am confident Jacob would do great, and I think he would be great as a part of the leadership, but I am going to support Vanessa Blomgren.  I liked her sample notes that were submitted to the State Central Committee and I like the fact that she likes and wants to be Secretary.

The next candidates to speak were two of the three candidates for Affirmative Action Officer.  The great thing about there being three candidates is that we will get to do ranked choice voting for this office.  I love ranked choice voting.  Frank Brown and Eric Margolis were in attendance and spoke, while Sharon Smith Akinsanya was not.  I can only comment on the two candidates who spoke tonight.  Frank Brown is the current Affirmative Action Officer.  He was elected this summer to fill the open spot.  He seemed a little defensive about what has been accomplished this past year.  I don’t think he needs to be defensive, but I really like Eric Margolis, who spoke second.  I think the DFL experience Eric has and the cool manner he has, at least based on what I saw in his speech, will help him to accomplish more within the party.  I plan to support Eric Margolis on February 5th.

Lil Ortendahl is running for State Treasurer against Tom Hamilton.  Lil drove down from Osakis, while Tom was unable to attend and asked CD2 DFL Chair Jeanne Thomas to read a statement.  I really like Lil.  Longtime DFL activist and one of my favorite DFLers, Charlie Thomas, introduced me to Lil.  She is a great lady.  I’m somebody who believes a Treasurer should have some financial background, however, I might make an exception for Lil.  Lil is a retired nurse, which goes a long way in my mind.  She is certainly active, very smart, and has the DFL experience to do just fine.  I’ll wait to make anything official in terms of an endorsement until I hear form Tom on February 5th, but I am leaning toward Lil.  I talked to Tom on the phone the other night, but I am more curious to see how he interacts with the group than any particular question.  It will be hard to top Lil’s personality though.

Finally, Ken Martin, candidate for DFL Chair and Marge Hoffa, candidate for DFL Associate Chair, spoke together as a team.  I was very impressed by Ken Martin.  He and Marge mentioned a few interesting points:

  • An 87 country strategy and a full slate of candidates in every district
  • Not just getting our message out, but juxtapose it with the Republican message
  • Quit raising money for the DFL on the backs of DFL endorsed candidates
  • Inspire people to vote for DFL
  • Talked about a true coordinated campaign
  • Pull frustrated activist who are working outside the party back in
  • The intricacy of precinct operation in the success of the DFL
  • Sick and tired of being defined by the Republicans

There were obviously more details, but it is getting late.  I got to spend a couple minutes talking to Ken after the meeting, and I liked him.  I still wish there were other candidates running, but I am supporting Ken and Marge to lead the DFL to reelect Sen. Klobuchar and take back the House and Senate.  I’m excited to work with them over the next couple years.

It was odd to me, although maybe it is more common than I realize, but CD2 voted to endorse Ken and Marge.  The minute will show the vote was unanimous, although about a fourth of the attendees did not vote to endorse, but nobody voted no.

If the election were today, MNDem would vote for, and thus endorses:

Ken Martin, Chair
Marge Hoffa, Associate Chair
Vanessa Blomgren, Secretary
Lil Ortendahl, Treasurer
Eric Margolis, Affirmative Action Officer

Although, I can’t guarantee that something won’t change before February 5th’s State Central Committee meeting in Dassel-Cokato, I am comfortable with this group to lead the DFL and move our party forward.


2012 State Senate Campaign Message – I will not be running‏

The following email was sent out to the my 2010 Steve Quist for Senate campaign email list today:

It won’t be long and we will begin to hear a more consistent drone from Republican candidates who plan to challenge Barack Obama and Amy Klobuchar in 2012.  While few of us are looking forward to the upcoming federal cycle that will likely be brought to you by X, Y and Z corporations, it isn’t too early to begin thinking about the local races.

Many people forget that the Minnesota Senate which is generally a four year term is only a two year term in years that end with zero.  That means in 2012, the DFL will not only be challenging Pat Garofalo and Mary Liz Holberg, if they both choose to run again, but we also must challenge newly elected State Senator Dave Thompson for his senate seat. 

Despite an abundance of stickers and donation envelopes in my basement, I will not be running against Mr. Thompson again in 2012.  That means we need to find DFL challengers for Dave Thompson so they can begin raising the cash needed to fight in a competitive race.  If you are interested, or know of somebody who might be interested, I’ve learned a lot in the last year, and would be willing to share my plans, a (too late) developed strategy and a big list of do’s and do not’s.

My decision not to run was difficult.  When I first decided to seek the 2010 endorsement, I had planned for it to be a one-time thing to ensure the DFL had a name on the ballot.  Once I started to campaign, I kind of liked it and decided maybe to consider a second attempt in 2012.  But, despite having a great time meeting people and talking to people, I never felt really comfortable being a candidate.  I think I am more suited to be a behind the scenes participant, than a front and center candidate.  Even as I became more comfortable and I considered the idea of running again in 2012, I still thought there is a better candidate somewhere in Senate District 36.

My original plan for 2012 was to announce I would not seek the DFL endorsement allowing the district to find another candidate to take my spot.  At the same time, my intention was to continue to raise a little cash until a new candidate stepped forward.  My thought was if another candidate stepped forward I could pass the cash on to the other candidate, or in case a new candidate didn’t step forward, I would have a little bundle to start the 2012 campaign with.  But on the advice of several local DFLers and fundraising people, I have been advised not to continue to raise cash or to keep the door open to a possible 2012 run, so I will end my fundraising and campaigning immediately.

I thank you for your donation of money, we ended 2012 in the black, with a little surplus thanks to recent donations, as well as your donation of time, prayers and well wishes.  I look forward to helping the 2012 candidates and continuing to be involved with Senate District 36, Congressional District 2 and working to move the DFL forward as a member of the DFL State Central Committee.  Aside from the state Senate seat, we are working on messaging in our district and will work to get that message out on a consistent basis throughout the election cycle.  I encourage you to think about how you can help.  We need letters to the editor, donations to Senate District 36, participation at DFL events and candidates to support for City Councils, School Boards, Township Councils, as well as State House and State Senate seats.  Please get in touch with me if you want to be involved, feel free to “friend” me on Facebook, follow me (MNDem) on Twitter or contact me through my personal email.

I look forward to seeing and talking to you in this exciting new year.

Thank you,
Steve Quist

Prepared and paid for by Steve Quist for Senate, 18208 Empire Trail, Farmington, MN 55024

Sen. Amy Klobuchar – Nanny or Advocate? Advocate!!!

It is interesting to me that the knock I seem to hear coming from the Right about Senator Amy Klobuchar is that she cares about the well-being and safety of people.  I guess that actually sounds good to me, especially in this period where corporations seem to be becoming increasingly more important than individuals.  The Right likes to throw the word “nanny” out a lot.  They use it to describe Sen. Klobuchar.  They use it to describe the government when politicians try to protect us from the greed of corporations.  They use it when advocates try to make our society safer.  I think I want more advocacy, not less, and using a pejorative like the word “nanny” to create a political wedge when it comes to public safety and security is a complete red herring.

We are lucky to have a Senator like Amy Klobuchar.  Amy has always been watching out for the average person.  Going back to the 1990s, before she was an elected official she was responsible for ensuring insurance companies could not dictate how long a new born baby and new mom should stay in the hospital.  She worked to ensure a minimum stay to ensure the well-being of both the new mother and the new baby.

Since being elected to the Senate, Amy has been a leader in working to keep greedy corporations from taking shortcuts by importing toxic toys and other products into to the U.S. from foreign countries like China that regard safety as less important than the bottom line.  She worked to make swimming pools safer, despite the concerns over “the costs” after the horrific injury, and eventual death of the little girl in Edina who was disemboweled by a pool filter.  She has worked to reduce the multitude of ways cell phone companies take advantage of consumers.  She has worked to keep children safe from sex offenders.  And she is working to make food safety a priority to protect the people that are most susceptible to food caused diseases like children.

In my opinion, Sen. Klobuchar is working for the safety and well-being of the lower and middle classes in everything she does.   That doesn’t seem so bad to me.  I think a lot more than half of the population could use a little more protection.  If right-wing bloggers and talkers want to turn “nanny” into a pejorative, fine, but Amy Klobuchar and her work and accomplishments should never be tied to their demeaning language because she is working for us all the time.  I have faith that she will do the right thing, regardless of the right’s attacks.