Tag Archives: DFL Convention

I am a DFLer to build a stronger state and stronger families

At the DFL convention in Rochester on Sunday, the DFL officially voted to reject the Republicans’ Marriage Amendment that would formally place a form of discrimination against law abiding citizens into our State Constitution.

It is now an official stance for sample ballots and for DFL elected officials. For many of us, it was our official stance anyway, and this was simply an organization formality.  What makes me a DFLer doesn’t have anything to do with big government and raising taxes, as my Republican friends and family think.  Being a DFLer is about caring about people and our community, and the success of both.  I am a DFLer to build a stronger state and stronger families.

Today, I received a link to a “vote no” video that I really liked.  It isn’t an attack video filled with rhetoric, and it isn’t filled with scary music or huge red text of propaganda being stamped on the screen.  It is a simple and thoughtful family, discussing how the amendment really affects families.

I hope you will spend the three minutes to watch it.

 

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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.

THREE DFL CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR
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.

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My Experience at the 2010 DFL Convention

I guess it is about time I leave a little note on my 2010 DFL convention experience.

My wife and I left for Duluth Thursday morning, sans kids, to spend a little time together exploring the North Shore, a place that rates among our favorite places on earth.  We got a late start, but enjoyed the time alone. 

We have been visiting the North Shore on a regular basis since we got married, sometimes, several times a year.  But this was the first time we have ever stayed in Duluth proper.  My sister works for the company that owns the Inn on Lake Superior, and she was able to get us a very reasonably priced room.  

I enjoyed the location, the convention, the atmosphere, and the people I was there with.  Outside of my district, I ran into a few people I know, like a couple of my favorite bloggers Dave Mindeman and Colleen Morse.  I reintroduced myself to several legislators, this time as a candidate, and got some good advice.  Especially from John Doll, Will Morgan, Kevin Dahle and Larry Pogemiller.

I went to the convention as a strong Paul Thissen supporter.  I tried to convince other people in my district (mostly unsuccessfully) to back him as their second choice, but I knew it was an uphill battle when most of the delegates in SD36 supported Rybak or Kelliher.  Thissen was strong on the first ballot, and continued to be strong on several of the ballots.  I voted to endorse him on the first five ballots.

Before the fifth ballot, the handwriting was on the wall.  Rukavina had just withdrawn and endorsed Kelliher, and I thought it might be over.  I was quickly approaching the moment when I would be forced to make a second choice, but I voted for Thissen on the fifth ballot. 

As we approached the sixth ballot, I realized the Thissen campaign workers were not on the floor.  Moments later, the Chair announced that Paul Thissen would like to address the crowd.  After listening to Thissen’s concession, I looked up at the first alternate, Bill, an IBEW member who had supported Kelliher since the caucuses.  He was up and ready to come down to the floor, we made a few gestures and head nods and he ran downstairs as they announced “1 minute until the floor is frozen.”

I was happy to let Bill take my credential for what would likely be the final vote.  I moved up with the alternates and watched from above.  I hope Bill had a good time, and I think it is worth sending out a little appreciation for the delegates who waited there all day, but didn’t get to go down on the floor.

I had a great time, and would love to do it again someday.  Maybe next convention as a super delegate, a senator representing the 36th district.

Highlights of the convention:

Tom Rukavina!

How great 99% of the campaign workers and supporters were in all camps.

Ross Dybvig, the Thissen floor captain I worked with.

Being one of the 20 or so people to nominate Paul Thissen during his five minute floor demonstration

Letting an alternate and a Kelliher supporter take my place on the floor for the final vote and the endorsement celebration with Kelliher.

Lowlights of the convention:

Ole Savior – I’m not sure people were laughing with him…

I lost my expensive mechanical pencil.

A pretty rude Rybak supporter who didn’t like my answers

The great speeches that so many delegates ignored.

And the pizza that LeAnn in our delegation ordered that looked and smelled good, but I couldn’t eat because of this gluten-free thing.  Gluten-free crackers, mmmm…

I will be posting a lot less as I work on my campaign to become a State Senator.  But, keep checking back, I’m sure things will come up that I will want to blog about.  In the meantime, visit my campaign page at www.SteveQuist.org, become a fan on my Facebook fan page and follow me on http://twitter.com/Steve_Quist.

It’s the 2010 DFL Candidate Endorsement Bracket Challenge!

Can you tell I am excited about the NCAA Basketball Tournament?  I am only part of two NCAA bracket competitions, neither of them for money thankfully because I usually lose to the person who watches no college basketball.  Anyway, in my excitement for bracket challenges, I made my own bracket challenge with the DFL candidates for governor.

(Click on it for a larger image)

This bracket is in a way how I expected the DFL Endorsement process to go, with the expectation that my own sleeper pick would win the big dance.

The DFL State Convention is only three weeks away.  In one sense, the games have already started.  The play-in game has eliminated one team, but the number one seeds are pretty safe, at least during the first round.

Over the last year, I’ve seen all the major DFL candidate for governor, and I’ve met most of them, even if a couple might have just been an introduction and handshake.  During that time, I decided to support Paul Thissen.  I feel like he is the freshest candidate.  He seems young despite his gray hair, is articulate, forward thinking and he communicates well.  He is very intelligent, but he doesn’t have the intelligence arrogance others can have.  He impresses people with his grasp of policy and his understanding of how it affects everybody.  He is dedicated and hard working.

Those who support other candidates might say that describes their candidate too.  That is the great thing about the number of decent candidates we have on the DFL side.  But I will support Paul at the convention in a few weeks.  That said, I am also pragmatic. 

I expected more delegates to feel the way I feel about Paul.  That hasn’t happened.  I recently read John Marty has passed Paul Thissen to move into fourth place in the delegate count behind R.T. Rybak, Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Uncommitted.  The total delegates for candidates below Paul on the delegate count wouldn’t give Paul enough to pass Rybak or Kelliher if they all supported Paul.  Granted, Uncommitted dwarves everybody else and anything can happen, but I know there are a lot of “committed” uncommitteds.  I saw it at my Senate District Convention.

So being the pragmatic individual I think I am, I feel like I need to make a decision about who to support if Paul doesn’t make it to the later rounds of the endorsement process.

I’m not somebody who is going to support a candidate come hell or high water when I know that candidate will not win.  I’m realistic.  That bracket above is pretty indicative of my final decision.  If you notice, I stopped at the final four.  I didn’t go down to a final two.  I’m having a really hard time deciding on the next best behind Paul.

Many of the candidates are good, and I could easily support any of them.  In fact at one point, I probably had decided to support each of them before finally deciding on supporting Paul.  The main factor that I think will influence my decision is electability.

Who is the next most electable of the final four after Paul? 

R.T. Rybak is the most charismatic.  Plus, he has the next most name recognition after Mark Dayton.  In recent Rasmussen Polls he beats Emmer and is tied with Seifert.  No other DFLer does.  Even Dayton’s name recognition has him losing to Seifert.  And worse, nobody else beats Emmer.  That will obviously change if Emmer starts campaigning, but still… The problem: 30 second commercials with artistic water fountains and police cuts that can stick negatively despite truly being non-issues.  Negative buzz words/phrases: Waste, the arts over safety, tax and spend liberal. 

Margaret Anderson Kelliher has an Amy Klobuchar factor about her campaign.  There is nothing flashy about her, but she is a good candidate and good communicator who will draw women, even ones that might normally vote Republican.  She stands her ground on issues.  She grew up a farm girl, but is an urban woman.  The problem: 30 second commercials centered around the voter access file flap.  Negative buzz words/phrases: Scandal, trust issues, manipulation, typical politician.

Matt Entenza… I like his personal story, I think he would do a great job, but there are a lot of negative vibes within his own party, let alone the barrage that would come from the right.  He is definitely forth on this list.

So who do I choose?  I probably won’t know until a few ballots into the endorsement process. 

Who would you choose?

Recap of the 2010 DFL SD36 Convention

The 2010 DFL Senate District 36 Convention ran very smoothly yesterday.

Every couple of years, we get together for the convention of people who chose to be delegates from the caucus.  This year, about two-thirds of the delegates showed up to Farmington High School to participate in the convention.  I think the number was 84 at the start of the convention.

That number floated around 80 all day.  That was a smaller group than recent conventions, but it was also very manageable.  The convention went very smoothly.  Of course it helped that CD2 Chair Jeanne Thomas was the Convention Chair. 

I arrived at 8:00 to help set up, and registration officially began at 9:00.  The convention planned start time was 9:45, but people we still registering so it was not officially called to order until 10:00 am.

The meeting started with a flag ceremony, a welcome announcement, the adoption of the rules and the agenda, and reports by the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.  After that we began setting up the district leadership for the next two years.

Toby Nichols was unanimously re-elected to be Senate District 36 Chair.  Our rules dictate that gender equity be considered, so the Associate Chair should be a woman.  However, no woman was interested in the position at election time, so the associate chair remains open to be filled by the Senate District 36 Central Committee at a later date. 

Clinton Kennedy was unanimously re-elected to be Secretary and Dorothy Benson was also unanimously re-elected to continue as Treasurer.  The Affirmative Action Officer position was filled by a young man named Kevin Roberson.

After those individual positions were filled, we elected six male and six female Directors to join the executives to take the lead in helping to turn SD36 blue.  I was happy to be elected to join that group.

Finally, the last, or the expected last elections were held to appoint two men and two women to be DFL State Central Committee Delegates.  Great DFLer Charlie Thomas was re-elected to be a State Central Committee Delegate, and I was excited to be elected to join him as the other delegate.  I’ve never been to a state meeting, but I am really looking forward to it.

Throughout the day, representatives of the candidates for governor and other state officers spoke, but the only candidate for state office to show up on his or her own was Mark Ritchie.  Secretary Ritchie gave a great two or three minute speech and received a nice hand, with many of the delegates giving him a standing ovation. 

I talked to one delegate who was disappointed that none of the gubernatorial candidates came, and disappointed that a couple didn’t even have a representative give a stump speech. 

Shelley Madore and Dan Powers both spoke.   One delegate was swayed by Dan Powers’ literature, then swayed again by Shelley Madore’s speech.  Shelley gave a very good speech, with the punch line of sending John Kline back to Texas.  Dan made a good speech about what issues really resonate with CD2 residents.

The fight for the CD2 endorsement is going to be a tough fight.  People genuinely like Dan Powers.  He is a nice guy who has been getting his name out there and has been participating in almost every DFL event over the last year.  He organized parade groups and has been interacting with other campaigns to make sure all the candidates move forward together.  Shelley Madore on the other hand joined the race later, but has plenty of support in the district already.  She is such confident speaker that people listening to her think she can legitimately challenge John Kline.

The delegate I was sitting next to said that he thinks Shelley has a better chance to win than Dan does, so he is going to probably support Shelley.  I talked to somebody else who thinks Shelley seems a little arrogant, and thinks that will rub people the wrong way.  It is really hard to know.  I thought I  knew who I was going to support, but now I consider myself undecided.

After a break for lunch, we began the tedious process of discussing resolutions to forward to the State DFL.  I saw the tweet “OMG, we’re going thru all resolutions 1 by 1. Naptime. SD36”.  That wasn’t exactly true, we didn’t  go through each of them, but it was still probably pretty dull to some on the floor.  Senate District 36 caucuses passed 60 resolutions, but the District is only allowed to forward 32 resolutions.  People were allowed to pull resolutions for discussion, amendment or clarification.  Delegates pulled 11 resolutions for discussion, one for amendment and two for clarification.  Up to six people were allowed to speak on each pulled amendment for one minute, however, the process was completed within the allotted 30 minute time frame.

After resolutions, we listened to the state house candidates that the nominations committee forwarded to the body for each house district.  Colin Lee in House District 36A was endorsed and teacher and excited new candidate Sigrid Iversen was endorsed to run against Rep. Pat Garofalo in House District 36B. 

Colin is very smart and an experienced candidate.  He will do a great job.  I am excited to work with Sigrid.  She is brand new to the process, but once she gets her campaign set-up and can start raising money and getting her name out, she will be a great candidate.

Finally, we began the process of electing delegates to the Congressional District and State conventions.  The body decided to directly elect delegates rather than do walking sub-caucuses.  We elected eight men and eight women to be delegates and eight men, and I think seven women to be alternates.  That group will go to the State DFL convention in Duluth and the CD2 Convention in Chanhassen.  I was elected to be a delegate, and look forward to my first convention as a delegate.

That was it.  It was a great day in SD36, and I have a feeling that the Convention in 2012 will be even better.