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Jeff Erdmann Is A True Progressive - But Tilts To The Divisive

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 07/30/17 17:23, Edited: 07/30/17 17:28

by Dave Mindeman

Jeff Erdmann is running for Congress in CD2. He is a strong, progressive candidate.

My first issue, though, is that Mr. Erdmann has not been engaged in the party up till now. I asked him directly about his absence and he explained to me that his job as a civics teacher and football coach required him to remain neutral so that he could relate to the diverse young people that he educates. OK. That is plausible. But I have to point out that I know a lot of teachers who do their job and then are incredibly active with helping in elections on their own time. If you are careful about an image - it seems a little drastic to suddenly pop in class one day and say you are running for Congress as a Democrat.

But there is another issue. Jeff came to an SD57 meeting last week and made his pitch for endorsment in Congressional District 2 to oppose Jason Lewis. Great. We need to win.

However, during questions and answers, Jeff struck a tone that flashed red flags over and over. He talked about his main issues, but used the phrase "Wall Street Democrats". As if Dems taking Wall Street money was somehow equivalent to a Goldman Sachs Treasury department that we have now.

Erdmann wants to overturn Citizens United and supports a public financing of elections. That is fine and frankly, I don't see any Democrats opposing that in any context. Erdmann doesn't like corporate money in politics and points to Bernie's successful appeals to the electorate as his prime example. And yes, Bernie did an amazing job. He stayed competitive all through the primary - but he lost. And we also do not know if that money would have continued strong enough to last through a Presidential campaign.

Is the Bernie method preferred? Absolutely. Will that work for every Democratic candidate? Absolutely not.

Erdmann also talked as though his number 1 issue is to get money out of politics. For a Democrat, that is not a hard position to take. Our party supports public financing of elections in our platform. He gets no argument from any of us on that. But Erdmann seems to take it a bit further by internalizing it into the Democrats; as if they are simply a lesser evil.

He also mentioned the lawsuit against the DNC and seems convinced that they rigged the 2016 election. Whether or not that happened (and I do not believe it did for reasons I have explained in previous posts) is a marginal point at present....especially if you are going to seek the endorsement from the very party you are criticizing.

We have a much bigger problem in the Oval Office. And as these investigations continue we may find that we have an illegitimate President who cheated the system to an advantage we are only beginning to understand. Stolen DNC e-mails made public should not make the DNC the enemy. They have their faults (many of them) but more important is what what we need to do for success in 2018.

Yes, Citizens United should be overturned, but a Congressional campaign in 2018 is going to have little effect on a drive to a constitutional amendment that may take a decade to achieve. Why not focus more on outside money and the need for transparency? We need to know where these spigots of money are coming from - at least for now.

Erdmann seems good on the environment. Then, please, talk more about it. Educate the electorate and make that a centerpiece.

He wants to take on corporate issues. Great - but we are stuck with them in the short term. Their money, their greed, their lobbyists. We rail against them all the time - nobody disagrees with that. But our job right now is to get a seat at the table in Washington. We need to elect Democrats - not publicly criticize and internally oppose Democrats.

Erdmann is running against Jason Lewis - not the foibles of the Democratic Party. Democrats have plenty of issues to change and address, but they are NOT Republicans. They are NOT undermining health care, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Erdmann also has a good focus on Medicare for all. Great. Focus more on that. Make that argument...fine. But leave out the divisive rhetoric and keep your eyes on the goal. Football coaches should be good at that.

My advice to Mr. Erdmann is do not get distracted - and know the true end game.

In closing, if Mr. Erdmann wishes to talk me about my assertions here, I would be more than willing to talk and post his opinions. I reached out to his campaign through their campaign website contact page but only received an automated response.
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