Category Archives: CD2

Angie Craig visits Lakeville, her campaign is building steam, and I am jumping onboard

Angie Craig visited with DFL58 on Tuesday night at the DFL58 monthly meeting.  I’d met Angie before in Eagan, when I was sometimes visiting the Eagan DFL group trying to learn from and transfer their successes to Farmington and Lakeville, but I didn’t know her.  What I’ve learned about her since her announcement to challenge John Kline has all been great, but the most distinctive thing that struck me immediately when actually hearing her Tuesday night was her southern accent.

There is something friendly sounding about a person with a certain southern accent.  Maybe it is a Mayberry thing, with that gosh darn sweet Andy Griffith and sweeter Aunt Bea, or maybe it is more chauvinistic, deep down affection for a charming cheerful lilt of a southern girl that I may be offending people with.

Angie has that pleasing accent, not the Texas good ol’ boy accent or the southern sheriff’s deputy accent, it’s the “I’m going to get you a sweet tea, you sit on the couch right there and I’ll be right back in a sec” accent.  Hers is specifically from Arkansas, but if you ask her, she’ll tell you she is from down south, in Eagan, south of the cities.  And while her accent is captivating, it is her story, the drive she seems to have, her integrity that she learned from her mom, and the intelligence and confidence she exudes that make her maybe the best candidates our district has had in the 19 years that I’ve lived in the district.  I don’t want to insult my friend Mike Obermueller, or discount former Congressman Bill Luther’s success, but Angie comes to the table with a different perspective, different political backing, a well thought out plan for success, and an opportunity for national financial backing and support that Mike had little chance of ever receiving.

It is a huge boost for those of us who had begun to feel like all we can do is wait for John Kline to retire.  While many of us felt like if everything fell into place Mike could win, it seems like a whole different race with Angie’s campaign starting to build steam.  Why wait until retirement, let’s make Kline retire!

Her story is a political storyteller’s dream, growing up in a trailer park with a single mom and two siblings.  Her mom worked her way through college to become a teacher and instilled a drive for success in her children.  Angie said despite her surroundings, she always felt like she was going to college and would have success no matter the obstacles.  She did, and rose through the corporate ranks to become an executive in a Fortune 500 company.

But being a Fortune 500 executive did not distort her perspective.  Her story is one of family success through education, college affordability, equality, and opportunity.  She is running for Congress to make sure all families have the same path to success and to preserve the American Dream for future generations.

I was very impressed, and am now very excited.  We still have 18 months until the election, and 11 months until the CD2 DFL endorsing convention, but in an election year with a woman likely leading the ticket for Democrats, what a great opportunity for a woman in CD2 to join her in Washington to change the country for the better.

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John Kline’s support of Obama and the raising the debt ceiling leaves him with only Obamacare as an issue he can run on.

On Facebook, John Kline, well, let me check that, John Kline’s staff keeps posting about Obamacare. It is tiring, mainly because it is an issue that cannot be at all resolved by Republicans for at least two years, if not four probably. And yet, Republicans are hoping for another 2010 to save their sinking party, and the only issues they have are the debt ceiling and Obamacare.

Funny that Michael is more contitutionally knowledgeable than John Roberts apparently/
Funny that Michael is more contitutionally knowledgeable than John Roberts apparently/

As I mentioned before, the debt ceiling is their own problem for not getting work done to improve the economy, while still spending tons of money on war. Congressman Kline voted to support President Obama a few weeks ago when the President basically said about raising the debt ceiling “Congress created this debt mess, Congress ran up the national credit card debt, so it is Congress’s responsibility to pay for what they agreed to spend.” And now that John Kline agrees with that by supporting President Obama with his vote to raise the debt ceiling, he knows he can no longer run on debt issues without looking like a giant hypocrite. On a side note, he never should have been able to run on that anyway, he has been in congress since 2002, when he supported every Bush budget, every Bush budget voodoo reporting gimmick, and Republican establishment spending. If you recall, he didn’t become against earmarks until it was obvious that Democrats were going to take control of the House in 2006.

Without that golden election ticket, he and other Republicans can only deride a program that will quickly become entrenched in society, and will quickly become a safety blanket for people who want to start small businesses, but who have preexisting conditions. Or middle-aged Americans who have health issues that prevent them from continuing to work, that before would have bankrupt them. And when we realize how many people truly just need a little consistent mental health help to become productive members of society, then what are the Republicans going to argue with when a majority of the country likes it?

Of course there will always be people who hate it, doctors who hate it, and politicians who hate it, but this is a democratic (small “d”) country, not a consensus country. Remember for years Republicans wanted to dismantle Social Security and Medicare, now many of them are “defenders” (and I use that word sarcastically even if they do not) of those programs. Since Republicans can’t do anything about Obamacare, it is about time they buckle down and get some real work done that truly improves the country, instead of complaining about something that you have no ability to change in the near future.

Choosing a candidate to endorse in MN-02 @Obermueller2012 or @Ganey4Congress #MN02

Tomorrow, in Rosemount, I will be one of the delegates selecting John Kline’s challenger.  At Rosemount High School, we will learn who the next Representative from the Second Congressional District will be, and for the first time in a decade, I think we will have a person representing us who is truly a Representative of the Second, not just a Congressman from the Second.

As a delegate to the DFL Second Congressional Convention, I have to make a choice between Patrick Ganey, Mike Obermueller, and Kathleen Gaylord.  I have yet to officially make my endorsement selection though.  I am leaning toward one candidate, but I am waiting to see them on stage at the convention.  Maybe I would have made my decision if I hadn’t been out of town last weekend when all three candidates debated in South St Paul.  And I might have been able to make my decision based on the MPR online forum Wednesday, if the questions asked hadn’t been so typical that I probably could have answered the questions for the candidates.

AS it is now, I’m up in the air.  I have already eliminated one candidate.  I will not be voting for Kathleen Gaylord.  I was disappointed that she never responded to my invitation to attend the last DFL58 meeting in Farmington.  Granted, it was short notice, but I think she should have responded anyway.  She didn’t participate in the MPR online forum.  It was a waste of time, but is she going to skip campaign opportunities if she gets the endorsement?  Her use of social media, at least Facebook and Twitter is practically nonexistent, and I think social media is extremely important.  Finally, I haven’t actually talked to her.  I’ve conversed with Patrick Ganey and Mike Obermueller on the phone, in person, via email, and even online in chat when one of my questions was posed to the candidates on the MPR online forum.  The extent of my interactions with Kathleen Gaylord was a message she left me that I didn’t even hear, it was told to me by a family member that she called.

Picking between Patrick Ganey and Mike Obermueller is difficult.  I was very impressed by Mike Obermueller from 2006-2010 as a candidate.  In addition, I learned things from him that would have been very useful in my own campaign, unfortunately it was too late.  I think he presents himself well, is well spoken, and I could see myself wearing an “I like Mike” pin or sticker on my jacket all summer and fall.  On the other hand, Patrick has really impressed me too for many of the same reasons.  He may not have the same experience, but his ability to learn and respond quickly has amazed me.  He comes across as a natural in front of people, and a very viable candidate.

So you ask, what are my concerns and why can’t I make a decision?  Honestly, I think either candidate can give John Kline a run for his money.  And although I am hopeful for a John Kline defeat in 2012, I wouldn’t wager any money on it.  I’m looking at how each of them respond based on the pressures of the endorsement race, because whether they are running for re-election, or more likely challenging John Kline again, the 2012 candidate needs to run again in 2014.

Do I have fears about either of them?  Absolutely.  I’m concerned that John Kline could use the fact that Patrick Ganey has only been a city councilor, never mind that John Kline had no political experience before running for Congress.  Mike Obermueller lost two of his three campaigns, even if it was a conservative district, and again, never mind that John Kline lost his first three elections.  Either of those could be used in a negative way by Kline, of course they could both be used in a positive way too.  Ganey isn’t a politician, and Obermueller has won in a conservative district — Tim Pawlenty’s district.

It will really come down to how they respond at the convention.  If I had to predict it right now, I think Mike Obermueller would win.  I have no idea what the delegate count is, but Patrick Ganey called me yesterday and asked me to support him again, but this time I got the feeling he was a little desperate.  My guess is that Mike is racking up the delegates and may win as early as the second ballot.  Of course keep in mind I thought Shelly Madore would eventually win the endorsement too, so my prediction means little.

Provided there is a wifi connection at Rosemount High School, I will tweet from the convention using #mn02 as the hashtag.  If there is no wifi, I’ll still tweet using my phone, but it won’t be as often, I’ll misspell words, be frustrated that the word complete deosn’t always work, and my battery will probably die early… (sigh) But follow me on twitter: @Quist_Galaxie

John Kline flip flops on student loan rates, but we know what he really thinks

Some Republicans can be so wimpy when it comes to their beliefs!  A couple weeks ago, Pat Garofalo and the Republicans in the Minnesota house tried to cover up their hatred for schools and education with a payback of the school funds they took to balance the last state budget.  In reality, the payback was a re-election scam to reduce the impact of negative ads this fall.  They don’t care about stealing money or paying back schools, they care about protecting their fragile majority.  The same thing happened yesterday with John Kline.

Yesterday John Kline flip flopped on his adamant belief that federal college loans should not be affordable.  He will now support a bill to extend the low loan rate that Democrats passed in 2006.  But we know the truth, we’ve always known the truth about John Kline.  Political success is more important than what he believes.  He has expressed the belief that the government has no right to keep loans low preventing banks from making the most money they can on the backs of students trying to better their lives.

If John Kline believes that, why isn’t he sticking to that belief?  He is supposed to have the courage of his convictions. He is supposed to be tough — he carried the nuclear football!  What’s wrong with John Kline, where is his political courage?

I don’t think John Kline really has any political courage.  He said you would be a budget hawk, but he went along with all of the deficit spending when the House and presidency were controlled by Republicans.  It wasn’t until the Democrats took over that he became that “hawk,” four years later and multiple votes to increase the deficit and pay for two wars that were not even being tracked in the budget.  John Kline doesn’t care about the budget or the deficit.  He doesn’t care about the district or the people in the district.  He doesn’t care about college students or k-12 students even though he heads the education committee in Congress.  He cares about himself, and he cares about re-election.

John Kline has shown us that a little sabre rattling about saving money is a bigger priority for him than building for the future, a bigger priority than allowing young men and women to go to college without a debt payment after graduation that exceeds a house payment.  This flip flop on loan rates is purely so that his opponent in 2012 can’t run a commercial expressing how little he cares about the future of our state and this country.

Follow CD2 DFL Candidates @Obermueller2012 and @Ganey4Congress. Kathleen Gaylord is not on Twitter yet.

Two of the three candidates asking for the DFL endorsement in the Second Congressional District are on Twitter.  Both have been on Twitter for less than a week, and both have less than 30 followers as I write this post.  I want to push more people to follow Mike Obermueller, Patrick Ganey and eventually Kathleen Gaylord.  I feel that Twitter is going to be a huge factor in 2012.

John Kline is on Twitter, and somebody regularly posts on his Twitter account.  I had to stop following him, or his aide, whoever it is, on Twitter because his posts were nothing more than political propaganda.  There was no real person or honesty, and he has just over 3000 propaganda readers.  Granted, many of his readers are right-wingers who need validation, and support him unconditionally, but I want the DFL candidates to have the same 3000 reader reach.

With just over 300 Twitter followers, I don’t have enough followers to make a real concerted Twitter push without retweets from major Twitter users.  However, I can circumvent the system a little because my posts are autotweeted by MN Progressive Project and Holly Cairns, who together have many more followers than I do.  My hope is to get that follower number quickly into the hundreds so that as we approach the April 28th endorsement, the feeds are all atwitter…

Follow Mike Obermueller on Twitter at @Obermueller2012
Follow Patrick Ganey on Twitter at @Ganey4Congress
Follow Kathleen Gaylord on Twitter at (Hopefully Coming Soon)
Follow me on Twitter at @Quist_Galaxie