Tag 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.

A tale of two emails part 2: Kline has no record to run on against Obermueller

Last week I wrote a piece about the difference between Mike Obermueller’s email and John Kline’s email to supporters, A tale of two emails: Kline vs. Obermueller.  I wrote about how John Kline is running against and raising money based on fear of an imaginary liberal boogeyman, while Mike Obermueller is running against John Kline and John Kline’s lack of leadership.

I got to thinking, why isn’t John Kline running on his record?

John Kline has been in Congress for a decade.  Apparently the only accomplishment he can run on is his opposition to Barack Obama, ObamaCare and The Stimulus?  What about the 6 years his President was in charge?  What about the years his party controlled the House, Senate and the Presidency?

Why is it that when the Democrats controlled all three chambers for a fraction of the time the Republicans did, they were able to pass a major social reform bill in the healthcare bill that had been a goal since Harry Truman was president, but nothing was done on the supposedly most important social issues to Republicans when they controlled all three.  Today they continue to take symbolic votes to oppose Democrats, but Kline couldn’t provide the leadership to take an actual vote.

It’s no wonder John Kline is terrified of Mike Obermueller.  Mike is raising money that nobody in recent elections has been able to raise, and that money will be used to attack John Kline’s record, or the lack-there-of.

A tale of two emails: Kline vs. Obermueller

I am going to compare two actual emails here.  The first is from Congressman John Kline emailed on Thursday to his supporters.  The second is from Mike Obermueller emailed to his supporters on Tuesday.  These are the most recent emails I know of.

The first is about fear.  The second is about leadership.

Here is John Kline’s email:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, The Democratic House Majority Fund and the Service Employees International Union are joining force to defeat me in their quest to retake majority control of Congress.

The radical special interests’ war chest of cash combined with the quarter-of-a-million dollars DFL Mike Obermueller raised last quarter will make this a tough race.

Very soon, we’re going to be hit hard by our opponents’ media, mailers and mud and their message is that my staunch opposition to ObamaCare, the Stimulus Plan and Tax Hikes mean that I’m out of touch with our Second District.  I disagree!   I’ve stayed in close touch with Minnesotans and the government takeover of health care, the failed stimulus package and tax increases are three things we don’t want.

I’m a target of the DCCC, George Soros, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Service Employees International Union and the Liberal Super PACs who have threatened to spend millions to defeat me.  But when you help me, I know I’ll win!

PLEASE MAKE YOUR SAFE AND SECURE ONLINE CONTRIBUTION TO KLINE FOR CONGRESS FOR $15, $35, $20 OR $45  for our signs, ads, letters, parade pieces and everything we need to win.

I need you now and thank you for your continued support,

John Kline

Paid for by Kline for Congress

Here is Mike Obermuller’s email:

Dear Stephen,

Just a few days ago Congresswoman Michele Bachmann made an unfounded and personal attack when she questioned the loyalty of a dedicated public servant, Huma Abedin. These sorts of McCarthy-like attacks should have no place in our political discourse and are the reason why a record number of Americans disapprove of the current Congress. I was heartened in this instance to see the condemnation of Bachmann’s comments came from both sides of the aisle. Speaker John Boehner, Sen. John McCain, Rep. Erik Paulsen, and even Bachmann’s former campaign manager Ed Rollins all said that she was out of line.

There was an exception, however: my opponent, Congressman John Kline.

Read: “John Kline Mum on Bachmann Remarks.” – Star Tribune

The 2nd Congressional District deserves better. Minnesota deserves better. But we won’t be able to retire Congressman Kline without your support.

Our pre-primary reporting deadline is midnight, July 25th. Help us show our grassroots strength by making a contribution today.

Thank you in advance for your support. Together, we will defeat John Kline and return responsible leadership to Washington.

Sincerely, Mike Obermueller

Paid for by Mike Obermueller for Congress, P.O. Box 211682, Eagan MN, 55121

Did you see the difference?  John Kline is running against that evil George Soros, the more evil Nancy Pelosi, Liberal Super PACs and the SEIU.  He is running against Mike Obermueller’s “radical special interests’ war chest of cash.”  Kline is scaring his supporters.  He isn’t running against Mike, he is running against an evil boogeyman.

Mike Obermueller on the other hand is running against John Kline.  Mike is running against a person who lacks the ability to be an honest leader.  He’s running against a “Representative” who can’t even stand up to his own colleague who is lying and putting an innocent person in danger.  What sort of leadership is that?  Yes, Mike mentions Bachmann, but he isn’t running against Michele Bachmann, he running against John Kline’s lack of response to her irresponsible lies.

It is no surprise though.  John Kline’s voting record is nearly identical to Michele Bachmann.  He probably agrees with her, he just doesn’t have the nerve to say it out loud.  It would be no surprise at all to me if John Kline agreed wholeheartedly with her.  I can still see his smirking face when a woman called Barack Obama “an Arab” at John McCain’s local town hall meeting.  Kline obviously enjoyed that, he likes that stuff.  That must be the best way for him to raise money, lies.

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.

The 2012 Race Is On! Three Candidates for DFL CD2 – Ganey, Obermueller and Gaylord

The race is on in the Second Congressional District.  With new boundaries that are rumored to give DFLers in the new district a little more hope, three viable candidates have emerged to challenge John Kline in 2012.

At one point a few months ago, it seemed all the Democrat’s hopes in the Second Congressional District (CD2) were pinned on the redistricting map being redrawn to include at least one of a couple of state Legislators who were ready to challenge John Kline if the lines were drawn to include them.  That didn’t happen. And when that didn’t happen, anxiety quickly grew in my mind about another inexperienced political novice challenging John Kline and his million dollar campaign cash balance.

But what ended up happening instead, was that a few people noticed the positive change in the District borders regarding favorability, and real known politician’s names were being mentioned.  Initially, Joe Atkins was in the news as a potential candidate.  I’m not sure how that rumor started, but about the time he announced he was not running I was contacted by a former legislator who asked if I would talk to a Northfield City Councilor about a potential run against Kline.


With Atkins decision, and with that conversation with a former legislator, it seemed my fears were being realized, John Kline’s political money-machine versus a first-term Northfield City Councilman, hopeless.  Then, I talked to Patrick Ganey on the phone and quickly realized he was leaps and bounds ahead of where 2010 DFL endorsed candidate Dan Powers was in his early days, and he wasn’t even sure he was running.  His communications skills were exceptional, and the fact that he raised money for a living didn’t hurt in my mind.  I invited him down to speak at our local DFL58 meeting a couple days later.

Patrick came to the meeting, had a message already, was able to respond to questions, and impressed the meeting attendees.  There was hope.  We invited him to our DFL58 convention, a couple days later, and did well there too.  He may be a political novice, but that certainly didn’t mean he didn’t have talent.  Since Patrick became a candidate, two others have announced. But, Patrick was the first to call me as a delegate to the CD2 convention and ask for my support.  He was the first to have a detailed website, and the first to have a Twitter feed @Ganey4Congress.  Being the first is a huge advantage.

So I am paying attention to Patrick.  The next Saturday after the DFL58 convention, I was sitting at Concordia University waiting for my son at a lacrosse goalie clinic.  While I waited I started scanning Twitter for a few updates on the Eagan endorsement races when I saw a tweet from The UpTake of a video of Patrick Ganey at that Eagan DFL convention.  I watched the video, and when the video was done, a video popped up from The UpTake titled “Obermueller considering a run for congress.”  I was shocked, and at the same time I made kind of a single chuckle as I smiled about the video.

See, I am a Mike Obermueller fan.  I have been impressed by Mike over the last few years, and was very disappointed when he lost his 2010 legislative race.  When I watched that UpTake video, I was really excited.  Just to be clear, I liked Dan Powers, and I thought Shelley Madore could have challenged John Kline with some money.  I volunteered for Theresa Daly, figured Colleen Rowley was a good choice, and thought maybe Steve Sarvi could pry away John Kline’s iron grip on military issues, but I was never excited about any of them.  That Saturday afternoon, I sat outside the Sea Foam Dome at Concordia College excited about a congressional candidate.


One of my favorite parade signs is Mike’s sign with the word puzzle images for his name.  Obviously it isn’t a great sign for getting his name out there, but it is fun and different.  There is little doubt that John Kline will have more money, so being fun and different is important.  Rudy Boschwitz had more money, but a hard working politician who had fun and had clever marketing beat him.

I’m not saying that sign is on par with Paul Wellstone’s green bus or his great ads, but at least it is outside the normal political box.  Mike is young and can win a tough race.  If he works hard and things go his way, he can do the same thing Paul Wellstone did and surprise a seemingly safe incumbent.

As we approached our April meeting for DFL58, I realized I should invite the new candidates to address our group too.  On very short notice, I invited Mike, and he quickly accepted.  Mike came to the meeting, showed up early, ate some pizza with us, talked with members and then spoke, answered some really great questions, and I think won over some delegates.

Mike talked about his family and about growing up. He cracked a few jokes. Mike talked about the stark contrast between his pro-labor and pro-education stances, and John Kline’s anti-labor and anti-education stances.  Mike presented himself as a very friendly candidate.  He smiled a lot, was quick with responses and funny.  He will be a very formidable candidate.  He still does not have a Twitter feed, and his old 2010 website is still up.

I like Mike a lot — I might have to steal some of Mike Huckabee’s “I like Mike” buttons for Mike Obermueller’s campaign if he becomes the endorsed candidate and doesn’t do his own “I Like Mike” buttons.  As I was saying, I like Mike a lot, but I am maintaining an open mind until the convention.  Patrick has really impressed me, and even though he doesn’t have the political record Mike has, I think he would be a great candidate.


There is a third candidate too, Kathleen Gaylord.  I don’t know Kathleen.  I’ve never met her or talked to her.  In fact the first interaction I had with her was my email invite to our DFL meeting last Thursday.  I invited her three hours before the meeting, but I never received a response.

I knew it was short notice, so I didn’t expect her to come, but I thought it was a little odd that I didn’t receive a response at all to my invitation, even after the fact, saying something to the effect that she wished she could have come, and maybe we could set up another meeting to get to know some of the delegates.  For the record, 8 of DFL58’s 13 convention delegates and 9 of the 13 alternates were at that meeting.

Of course, if it were me, I wouldn’t waste my time with a hit and miss meeting as much as I would be contacting the delegates one-by-one personally, so I’m not offended she didn’t come at all, I just thought it was weird not to respond.

Today I sent her another email.  Partially out of curiosity if she would respond, partially because I have no idea who she is.  I sent her an email with four questions about her campaign.  She responded in about an hour, so things are looking up.

Kathleen was the first candidate with a website.  It has very little content on it, but she has an extensive and impressive resume, and most importantly a donation page. She does not have a Twitter account that I could find.  Mike and Kathleen need to get Twitter accounts going!

I am a huge proponent of women running, and will count the fact that a candidate is a woman as an advantage over a male candidate.  I think it is a clear advantage.  I think it is doubly advantageous in the anti-women political climate the Right-wing has been forging this past year.  I think a female candidate might draw women who might usually consider themselves independent Republicans.

I’m sure I will get the chance to meet Kathleen in the next couple weeks.  With her impressive political resume, and the other two candidates, how can it not be a good year to be a Democrat in the 2nd Congressional District?

I have asked each of the candidates if they plan to abide by the CD2 convention endorsement providing there is an endorsement.  All three plan to abide by the endorsement.

I also asked each candidate if they plan to run in 2014, should they lose in 2012.  Obviously a candidate thinks they are going to win, they have to, but the only candidate to run against John Kline more than once is Representative Bill Luther, whom Kline beat on his 3rd attempt in 2002.  John Kline proved that you might need to run a few times to win, I just want somebody to try twice.  Patrick Ganey and Mike Obermueller both said they will run a second time, Mike said he would, but plans that it will be as an incumbent.  Kathleen Gaylord did not answer other than to respond that she “is in the race to win this year.”

I’m hoping for a win this year, and to support an incumbent in 2014 whoever he or she may be.