Tag Archives: DFL 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.

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.

Colleen Morse and the Three DFL Candidates For Governor

On Monday, June 28th, just two weeks ago, blogger Colleen Morse at http://aprilknight.blogspot.com/ posted on the three DFL candidates for governor.  Yesterday afternoon, she passed away. 

Just two months ago, Colleen was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a tumor in the brain.  On May 15th, she wrote “I have a feeling that I don’t have long to live.”  But it was a shock to get the news, and to realize her July 2nd post was her last entry.

I’d been a faithful reader of her blog for months when I met her at the CD2 DFL convention.  I was helping with registration.  She wanted a visitor pass, but when she said her name, I thought she deserved a media pass.  We struck up a long conversation on the importance of blogging and social media.  Then, just two weeks later my wife and I met her in a Duluth skyway.  We talked for a while then went our separate ways for the evening.  As we sat down for dinner, I told my wife I wished we had invited her with us to dinner.  But the next morning, I got to spend about an hour with her as we waited at the DFL State Convention for things to start.  It was one of the highlights of my convention weekend.

I wish I could have known Colleen longer, and continued to see her at political events.  As many of you know, she spent a lot of time working to get Mark Dayton elected.  But all the time she supported Mark Dayton, she still supported the other great candidates with positive words and energy.  That example of friendliness and helpfulness, regardless of the side is an example she set of how to maintain a strong DFL core.  It is something as a blogging community we need to concentrate on.  Blogger Holly Cairns has been stressing that fact since I first got to know her. 

Blogging can be used for serious and organized promotion, and Colleen did that, although to her it was just a fun thing for her to do.  Below is her last real blog post.  Colleen will not only be missed by her family and close friends, but will be greatly missed by the entire progressive blogging community and the political campaigns she came in contact with.

Thank you Colleen.

June 28, 2010, 7:02 AM

All DFLers will have to decide very soon who they are going to vote for to be our next governor. How will each Primary voter decide? Here are the usual ways, not in any particular order.

1.  Issues
2.  Name recognition
3.  Endorsed candidate
4.  Voter contact on the campaign trail
5.  Videos and websites
6.  Personal charisma (which includes how much the voter “loves” the candidate; you hear a lot of that on Facebook and on the campaign trail
7.  Past success in political experience
8.  Whether the voter even wants to vote in the Primary, or whether the voter is too fed up with politics to do so. What the percentage is of voters who actually show up at the Primary makes a big difference in who gets elected.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher – Kelliher obviously knows all the issues inside and out. She has no problems whatsoever there. She is gaining some name recognition but doesn’t have nearly as much as Dayton. Will her DFL cohorts and supporters donate enough money for her to win this campaign? If so, they’d better get hopping.

I’ll just meander down the list for each candidate. This is better than trying to walk slowly down the hallway while holding on to the wall.

Kelliher is obviously the endorsed candidate, which does give her an edge. Will it be enough? Keep tuned…

Kelliher’s voter contact on the campaign trail does not seem to be as good as Dayton’s. Dayton is all over the place. Not only that, but everyone already knows who he is.

Videos are excellent from the Dayton Campaign…websites not so good at all.

Personal charisma is something you never heard many people talk about with regard to Mark Dayton. He’s doing something right now, though, because everywhere I go I hear people (mostly women) say “I love him!” While Kelliher’s momentum is growing, she just doesn’t have that personal charisma that people look for. Like R. T. Rybak has, for example.

Past success in political experience was exceptionally good with Margaret Anderson Kelliher. She knows an incredible amount about Minnesota politics. As far as knowledge and experience, she can definitely get the job done.

It sure seems that there are a lot of people who are disillusioned with the world of politics. The best thing to do is to get out there and get your people to vote!

Matt Entenza – Matt is very good on clean, green energy. He has some great ideas in that area. He’s also excellent on GLBT and equality issues. He’s good on creating new jobs.

As far as name recognition, I don’t see Matt as having much of that. It just isn’t there. Oh, I’m sure it is in many circles, but a lot of people still don’t know who Matt Entenza is. I don’t know how he’s going to change that.

As we all know, Matt is not the endorsed candidate. That distinction belongs to Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

I’m pretty sure that Entenza has a lot of voter contact on the campaign trail. But where are his particular campaign trails? I don’t hear much about him at all from my non-political circle of acquaintances (yes, folks, I do have a lot of friends who are not political!) When I ask if they were going to vote for him, they didn’t even know who he was.

Matt Entenza probably has the best collection of campaign videos. I would rate his website as the best of all three of the candidates.

Personal charisma is not one of Entenza’s strong points. He’s very soft spoken, which means he’s a nice guy, but not exactly your top charismatic person. Of Minnesoa politicians, that honor would definitely have to go to R. T. Rybak.

Entenza has a lot of political experience. Unfortunately, some of it is considered distasteful by many people. I wish these people would learn the truth of the matter. I stuck up for Matt when someone was saying rotten things about him. The guy called me a liar. Go figure. Some people just don’t want to listen to truth.

Mark Dayton – Mark is very good on almost all the issues. After all, he was a U. S. Senator and had to know a lot about a lot of different things. He’s big on Senior issues, of course. Remember how he took busloads of seniors to Canada so they could get the prescription drugs at lower cost? He’s always been an advocate for seniors. He’s always been a friend of GLBT, as well. He stood up on the Senate floor in favor of the right of two people who love each other to get married, no matter what their gender. Another issue that he is very interested in is education.

Name recognition? Mark Dayton? That’s almost funny. There’s probably only a handful of people in Minnesota who don’t know who Mark Dayton is, and those are no doubt under the age of twelve. They’re just too young to know.

We all know that Mark is not the endorsed candidate. Margaret Anderson Kelliher is. Still, there are plenty of examples over the years where the endorsed candidate did not win.

Mark has been all over Minnesota on the campaign trail. He drove 9,000 miles across Minnesota. He stopped in towns all over and met people in coffee shops and other interesting places. He has successfully reintroduced himself to Minnesotans.

Mark is starting to get some pretty good videos. There’s one called “9,000” miles, which you can find on his website.

Personal charisma is not an area that Mark excels at. He’s an introvert; standing up in front of a lot of people is difficult for him, especially during the question/answer portion of a forum. I give him a lot of credit, though, for doing something that doesn’t come naturally to him. I’ve also noticed that he’s made many, many improvements as a public speaker. I was surprised, proud and happy to see that he made a huge effort to improve in this area.

Obviously Mark Dayton has the most political experience of any of the candidates. He ran three Minnesota State Commissioner offices. He was U. S. Senator. The list goes on.

So now it’s up to you, dear voters. The best thing you can do to ensure we get a DFL governor is to pick a candidate and then campaign for that candidate. You can door knock, do mailings and other clerical work, attend Meet and Greets, have a house party for your candidate, or have a fund raiser for the candidate. There’s a ton of ways to help out. Call your candidate’s office to volunteer. You can also volunteer on their websites. So let’s all rally round one of these three candidates and make sure out next governor is DFL.


CD2 Central Committee Meeting – June 8, 2010

What a DFL meeting in CD2 tonight!  About sixty people showed up for the DFL CD2 Central Committee Meeting at Burnhaven Library.  And the best part was that there were eight people from Senate District 36!!  Including two new members elected tonight to the CD2 Executive Committee, Jerry Klebs who was elected a CD2 Director, and Kevin Roberson who was elected to be the male Affirmative Action Delegate from CD2 to the state DFL commission.

Jerry has been involved in the party for a long time, and Kevin is a young man, not long out of college with a lot of great ideas just getting active.  Also at the meeting were all four male State Central Committee delegates and alternates, Charlie, Jerry, Rodd and myself.  As well as female State Central Committee delegate and great blogger, actually, multi-blog blogger  Holly Cairnes.  Candidate for House District 36A Colin Lee and CD2 Chair Jeanne Thomas rounded out the delegation from SD36.  It was very energizing to have so many SD36 people in attendance.

There were several candidates at the meeting.  Dan Powers, the DFL candidate for congress challenging John Kline.  Travis Burton and I were the only two candidates for Minnesota Senate, but Will Morgan (40A) gave a great campaign speech, Mick McGuire (25A), Colin Lee (36A) and Dave Page (57B) all spoke.  The best speech award goes to Travis Burton tonight.

Highlighting a couple of events discussed at the meeting:

The big CD2 golf fundraiser is August 1, only 233 people get in, and only 60 golfers, so make your reservations now.  It is a very affordable day of golf, great food and great discussions.  I’m going to talk to Charlie Thomas about putting together a memorabilia swap.

CD2 is now on Twitter @DFLCD2.

A couple of local events that we brought up:

Door knocking this Saturday in Lakeville.  This is a coordinated campaign door knocking event.  Meet Colin, myself and DFL staff and volunteers at the Dunn Bros. in Apple Valley on Galaxie by 11:00 am.  The more people the better.

The SD36 candidates will be hosting an outdoor event at Rambling River Park in Farmington on June 16th from 6:30-8:30 pm.  We are meeting at the picnic shelter.  Rain or shine come out and meet all three SD36 candidates.

The Dew Days Parade is June 19th at 1:00 in Farmington.  We need a big contingent of walkers for visibility.  If you are able to walk, carry signs, give out stickers or do something entertaining, we need you.  Contact Quist4Sen@hotmail.com.

Finally, Dan Powers in CD2, Colin Lee in 36A, Sigrid Iversen in 36B and myself, Steve Quist in SD36, need financial support to be viable candidates.  Even $5 makes all the difference.  Click on the name of the person you would like to make a donation to, better yet, make a $5 donation to all four candidates.

The next CD2 Central Committee Meeting is August 3, 2010 at the Burnhaven Library.  Join us.

I support Dan Powers! (and a note about my future)

I will not be blogging a whole lot over the next several months, (see the end of this post for the reason,) but I wanted to make sure to leave a post on my opinion of the blow-up in the DFL CD2 race for Congress. 

Dan Powers easily won the DFL endorsement at the CD2 convention.  I thought Shelley Madore might make a more formidable opponent for John Kline, but a large majority of the delegates did not agree with me, and there was good reason for them to disagree with me.  Dan’s team outhustled Shelley’s and he prepared himself excellently for the endorsement process and for a campaign.  I like Dan and have no qualms about supporting his candidacy. 

Come Primary Day, provided there is not a John Grunseth style melt-down before that on his part, I will vote for Dan and assume he will be the candidate on the ballot in November.  While I long for that unified front, in any election, Shelley Madore has every right to continue her campaign, right or wrong.  It will definitely hurt the chances of either DFLer in November, but it is what it is.  Good luck to Dan, and best wishes to Shelley.

I look forward to working with Dan over the summer, provided he and his staff hold no grudges against me for changing my support away from him during the endorsement campaign.  I hope to work with him because I threw my hat into the ring to run for State Senate in the 36th District.  I hope you will support me, click the “Like” button on my Facebook Fan Page Steve Quist for MN State Senate – 36th District, follow me on http://twitter.com/Steve_Quistand consider sending a few dollars my way to defeat my opponent, the former KSTP conservative talk-show host Dave Thompson.

I will be at the DFL convention this weekend, but a website will be up in the next week, www.SteveQuist.org.  Check that out, and let me know what you think.