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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Coronations of candidates

--posted by Tony Garcia on 2/21/2006

One thing that is really turning me off from voting in the 2006 Senate race is the attitude of both parties while putting on an assault against grass roots delagate input (which in turn is a slap in the face of any hint of democracy).

In the one party, the DFL, the powers that be have done what they can to keep any real competition out of the race. The powers want Amy Klobuchar and they have been doing what they can to marginalize the existance of any other candidate (specifically Ford Bell). Yes, I believe the term "kingmaker" applies.

In the other party, the GOP, the powers that be have explicitly acted to deny any challenger from having any opportunity to reach any voter. Mark Kennedy supporters have been very active in chasing away (or at least the perception is that people are being chased away) and denigrating those who potentially would support anyone else (i.e. Rod Grams).

I find the whole practice comical and despicable. However if any candidate falls because of that pressure I think they may not have been a strong enough candidate. So as long as the parties or the state does not treat the challengers differently I would not say anything.

Then I happened upon a posting by The First Ring that boiled my blood.
With Kennedy holding $2,660,518 cash on hand compared to Shudlick’s whopping $125 and the GOP deciding not to hold any straw poll during the March caucuses, it’s unlikely Shudlick’s effort to be the race’s insurgent is going to gain any traction.
Please correct the record if this is not true. This is, in my view, 100% unethical and a great way to slap the delegates in the face. Who determined that the GOP would not hold a straw poll? THAT person I want to have on the radio show for intense scrutiny...if they dare.

I was a solid Kennedy supporter BEFORE he announced for Senate. I was planning on volunteering a lot of time and energy. But then the supporters really turned me away as rumors boiled that Grams was considering a run. Hmm, I thought, maybe I'll just volunteer a little bit, bumper sticker on my car and a lawn sign in the yard. Then came the Kennedy (and Pawlenty) supporters and their empty pulp regarding the GOP Chair race. At that point I decided that my party loyalty in that race was lost because of the actions of the party regarding that race. No volunteering from me outside of the radio show and the blog.

Now comes the straw poll news. I find this so disgusting that my support for Kennedy is deeply shaken. (Hence my adjusting the scoreboard down 5 points.)

The Kennedy supporters (some of whom I consider friends) have done nothing but engage in personal attacks on Harold Shudlick. (Sound familiar?) I have yet to hear any credible reason to 100% shut out any challengers from the GOP endorsement. The ugliness that the GOP is engaged in about this, and Kennedy's silence (-2) makes me wonder what they are truly afraid of. Yep, I penalize Kennedy for being silent throughout this whole ordeal. Does he benefit by being silent? Yep. Is it right to remain silent? No.

I have one quote for you, Congressman Kennedy. If you or your staff understand the whole context of it then I do not doubt you will speak up AGAINST what the GOP is doing to Shudlick.

"I paid for this microphone."

The quote came from someone who would have benefited from silencing others but the speaker stood up for what was right, not what was self-beneficial.

********** UPDATE **********
I have been trying to find out how exactly the decision within the MN GOP was made to not have a straw poll. Doug McGregor at the GOP office said he would track down someone to answer some questions on this topic and possible come on the March 5th show to defend this as well.

********** UPDATE **********
Welcome to the readers of DFLers.org. However, I hope you re-read my post and realize that the quote on DFLers.org was abbreviated in a way that altered the meaning. What Kennedy supporters did to Grams supporters I do find "comical and despicable"...this is not my view on Kennedy. The end of the misquote ("I find this so disgusting that my support for Kennedy is deeply shaken") has to do with the GOP shutting out Harold Shudlick and Kennedy's silence in the whole thing is what has shaken my support for Kennedy.

Being mean to opponents (like Rowley to Kline or Kennedy supporters to Grams) is the way politics goes. I find it deplorable in some instances (when the heat is blatantly false like in Rowley's case). In the end, if candidates run from a race where they are being attacked like that I say, "Guess they weren't strong enough" no matter how despicable I think the attacks were.

What I find immoral and unethical and counter-democratic is to actually alter the system to prevent other opponents fair access. That is what the GOP is doing by not requiring precincts to hold a straw poll. I'm telling you right now that I will ask for one (in my wonderfully persuasive yet dramatic way) in my caucuses and rhetorically pressure the other precincts to do the same. Yes, the results may be unanimous but the point is not the results but the access.

To the authors of DFLers.org: This posting had so much "blistering" in it that you honestly did not have to misrepresent the text.


Blogger triplea said...



Sorry to burst your bubble

February 24, 2006  

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