Tag Archives: Joan Growe

Progressive Picnic in the Park SD36

There are 96,000 people in what is right now Senate District 36.  And despite its recent record of being solidly Republican, more than 40% of the voters are generally reliable Democrats.  With that base, and the real political fight moving to the outer metro suburbs, it is no wonder that first Senate District 36 fundraiser in years is garnering a lot of attention. 

Senate District 36 is having a fundraising picnic on Friday, August 19, 2011 from 5:30 to 8:00 with a very low suggested donation of $5.  We will be grilling hot dogs and having a good time at Antlers Park Picnic Shelter A on the east bank of Lake Marion in Lakeville.  Besides food, the district is hosting a silent auction with items ranging from signed books by Thom Hartmann and Al Franken, to sports memorabilia and golf balls.

Today I received word that Franni Franken will be at the picnic.  Add to that Attorney General Lori Swanson who is tentatively planning on coming, and we have a couple great DFL leaders joining us.  And with hits on our website (just updated with the latest on the picnic) way up since a few great volunteers started delivering invitations, this is looking live a really positive event for the district.

We can always use more volunteers for food or to help grill, even though we have had a great response for volunteers, if you would like to volunteer.  We are planning for between 50 and 100 people attending at some point during the evening, and with the silent auction items really coming in, most recently golf balls from Tom Bakk, a Sec. of State Joan Growe mug from former Sec. of State Joan Growe, and a Mark Ritchie donation in the mail, we are looking at some really great items. 

I’m both excited about hosting this picnic, and a little nervous because I really want to have a good showing in terms of attendance.  We are planning to make this an annual event, and an event like this that campaigns can plan for with big crowds during an election summer can really bring in a lot of people.  With increased attendance comes the annual financial boost that is much needed for DFLers in the South Metro. 

If you are free on August 19th, please stop by and have a hot dog, bid on a silent auction item and say hi to me and our other guests.  If you can help monitor the auction, bring some food or grill hot dogs that would be a bonus.

We’ve got one week to go, and the weather outlook for picnic day is Sunny and 80.  It will be great!  If you are coming, shoot me an email or text in case the numbers are higher than I expect.  Thanks.

Steve Quist
Chair, Senate District 36 DFL

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Political Pin Collecting and Don Fraser

I began collecting pins when I was a little kid.  At some point during my teen years I decided to dispose of most of the collection, but I kept all the political buttons.  Many of the political buttons where my mother’s pins that she gave me from her teens and early 20s, Kennedy, Humphrey, McCarthy, McGovern, Nixon and Carter.  From my teens through  today, I continue collecting political pins, amassing a collection that includes every president and most major candidates from Hoover to Obama. 

But just like my interest in politics, my favorite pins are pins for local state and city candidates. Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale senate pins, various governor pins, Joan Growe, Paul Wellstone, George Latimer, Mark Dayton, Tony Bouza, I could go on.

And it is not just because they are local that I like them, it is because I have a personal story that goes along with a lot of those pins.  I have more Barry Goldwater and George McGovern pins than any other candidate except for Hubert Humphrey, but none of them are mine.  It is a pin like the Mark Dayton pin handed to me by Mark Dayton at the 1982 Sherburne County Fair Parade that is special.  As he was walking by I told him my mom was going to vote for him, and he stopped and shook my hand.  The pins of candidates that I have a connection with are what I like.

My earliest political memory is a vague recollection of the attempted assassination of President Ford, but more detailed early memories are of Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Don Fraser, and Ted Kennedy.  Don Fraser is in the middle of a pretty important group.  I began thinking about the former politician again when he endorsed Paul Thissen for Governor a couple weeks ago.  I thought for a moment and realized I didn’t think I had any political buttons of Don Fraser’s.  I brought the large box full of buttons upstairs and verified that there was nothing.

Not only do I have nothing when it comes to pins, I had a hard time finding very much information about Don Fraser on the web.  There are a few recent news stories, and a recent youtube video interview with him, but he retired just before the internet boom.  The Minnesota Historical Society has a few things, as does the Hennepin County Historical Society, but there does not seem to be a ton of documents out there. 

Yesterday I did two things.  First I contacted a political memorabilia collector who specializes in local Minnesota pieces asking if he had anything affordable regarding Fraser’s runs for Congress, his run for Senate or his runs for mayor.  Second, I began reading Arvonne Fraser’s book She’s No Lady, the memoir of her life.  Don Fraser is Arvonne Fraser’s husband.

Maybe I can glean a few things from her book and maybe do a little research on my own to publish a little something here on MNDem that reflects the memories that place him among the early important political figures in my life. If nothing else, when another person is looking for a little interesting information about Don Fraser on the web, maybe there will be something there.  Check back.

The Most Important Election in 2010

2010 is a big election year.  True, there is not a presidential vote, and without a senatorial election, turnout will be lower and the big media will likely ignore most of the state’s campaigns.  But for the DFL, 2010 is huge.  And I mean HUGE in the way Darrell Hammond playing Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live says “huge.”

Obviously, the headline grabbing election will be the governor’s office.  I expect a DFL governor to be elected.  Of course I am a Vikings fan, so I always maintain a sense of impending doom in these situations.  But also, the 2010 elected legislature will deal with redistricting while trying the wrangle in the billions of dollars needed to keep the state running.

As important as those votes are, we can’t forget about the other three constitutional officers.  2010 is an election year for Secretary of State, Attorney General and State Auditor.  The GOP has already begun general campaigns against Lori Swanson and Mark Ritchie.  I’m not sure there are any declared candidates running against Lori Swanson, but so far Mark Ritchie looks to have a challenger.  Dan Severson, State Representative from Sauk Rapids. 

Severson filed his campaign registration earlier this month.  I admit I don’t know much about Dan Severson.  There is a disturbing post I read about his previous website on a progressive blog, but all I know about him is he is for No Child Left Behind and against Stem Cell Research.  That is enough for me to see he lacks common sense. 

I’m not sure what qualifies him to be Secretary of State, but I do know I do not want Mark Ritchie to lose.  I believe Mark Ritchie has returned the honesty and integrity to the Secretary of State’s office that Minnesota has lacked since Joan Growe stepped down.

As important as the Governor’s race seems to be, the most important race is to protect the voting integrity of our state, and Mark Ritchie will do that.