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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

"Winners Make Policy, Losers Go Home"

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 04/16/18 11:35

by Dave Mindeman

Mitch McConnell is noted for a political axiom...."Winners make policy, losers go home."

Ignoring the arrogance of the statement, it unfortunately is true. And the Democratic Party always takes up that loser mantle for some reason.

It has been on display again this year. It is like we didn't punish ourselves enough in 2016, we seem to need to do it again.

What do I mean? I mean this constant internal attack on Democrats that makes unity nearly impossible.

Somehow the money in politics (which is disgusting) has been hung around the neck of any Democratic candidate who has money, raises money, or extolls the necessity of having money in order to win. This needs to be addressed in the context of reality.

We are stuck with money being a criteria to win an elected office. I don't like it, you don't like it, and I think a majority of the American people don't like it. But it is here and as long as Republicans control legislative bodies, nothing will ever be done about it.

Hillary needed to raise a lot of money and she was villified for it - even though a fair amount of that money was used to help other campaigns. Yes, Bernie raised money the right way and it made him a nomination contender. But that was as far as he could take it. It is extremely doubtful that without the Democratic fundraising machine he would have been able to sustain his campaign through the general election. His donors were getting tapped out and campaign violations for exceeding limits were numerous.

We cannot change the need for money in politics without being able to legislate it out. That is truth. It is the simple, unvarnished truth.

In the 2nd District, Jeff Erdmann raised little money. Something he pointed to with pride and his supporters were pointed to it with pride as well. But no matter how much you agreed with Erdmann's platform, (and it was a good one), the reality was that he could not even garner 30% of the delegates at the convention. He is not going to be on the ballot. He is not going to be anyone's standard bearer heading to November. He didn't raise enough money to get his message out to enough people and now he will go home.

Winners make policy, losers go home.

I do not like having to point this out. But if we are EVER going to change money in politics or Citizens United - WE HAVE TO WIN ELECTIONS!

I shouldn't have to even point that out. It is obvious. It was obvious in 2016 and it should be blatantly obvious in 2018.

Denigrating DFL candidates over the money they raise is a fool's errand. It just is. Making an example of Democrats over money in politics, while Republicans are the beneficiaries of an open spigot of cash is self-defeating and frankly, stupid.

If the Democrats would happen to take control of Congress, then the process of getting Citizens United overturned and a new campaign finance law in place can begin. And I say begin, because even then it will be a long laborious process to make that change. And we will need to win - win in several election cycles. Only then do we have a chance.

In 2016, progressives made an issue of Clinton's ties to corporate money. Her positions maintained full support for overturning Citizen's United. She railed against unlimited corporate spending. And yet, too many Democrats indignantly would not support the "corporate Democrat". They voted 3rd Party or did not vote at all. And we got Donald Trump.

Winners make policy, losers go home.

And so we all went home. Trump and the Republicans were free to legislate anything they wanted. All we could do is protest to take government back, when we gave it to them in the first place.

We are united on the idea that Republican policies are bad. We are united on the framework of getting money out of politics. We are united on policy issues from the environment to budgets. But for some reason, Democrats will not tolerate Democrats who know we cannot unilaterally disarm on money in politics. That we have to play the game that controls the battlefield until we can reach the point where we win.

Winners make policy, losers go home.

Let's support our candidates. We do not plan to go home this time.
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DFL Congressional Campaigns Minnesota

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 04/15/18 13:24

by Dave Mindeman

Three of the Congressional endorsing conventions happened yesterday. In the snowstorm. And let me just commend the dedicated DFLers who managed to get there under difficult circumstances. There is definitely a strong motivation with Democrats this year. We are woke...as they say.

CD2 endorsed Angie Craig on the first ballot yesterday. Jeff Erdmann ran strong for a first time candidate, but Angie Craig upped her game as well and has built a pretty formidable organization. I believe she will do well against Jason Lewis with a great chance to flip this district.

CD3 endorsed Dean Phillips. He has been building a strong campaign as well and it showed at the convention with a quick endorsement. Phillips lacks campaign experience, but he has been a quick study. And CD3 Democrats have shown extraordinary motivation to oust Paulsen this time around. This will be a tough race because Paulsen is a bit slippery in how he presents his views. He can be a moderate one minute and a Trumper the next. A political eel. Phillips has an opportunity - we shall see how he approaches it.

The 8th District had 10 ballots and no candidate came close to the 60% threshold. Leah Phifer led on every ballot but could barely break 50% at her highest point. As candidates were forced out, most of the freed delegates gravitated to Joe Radinovich. There was also a dramatic moment when the Latino caucus got a suspension of the rules to speak along with the candidates; and they denounced endorsement of Phifer because of her former career as an ICE agent. She tried to give an explanation of what she did as an agent, but in the end, the needle did not move.

Phifer wanted and needed the convention endorsement more than Radinovich did. His late entry, along with Jason Metsa, stalled any momentum that Phifer had been building pre-convention. Now it looks like all the candidates will regroup for a primary contest. Phifer will enter that with a disadvantage.... with weak fundraising to this point and now no access to DFL lists and support.

Although a primary free for all may look divisive, the late retirement of Rick Nolan made choosing a successor a little more complicated. It will be expensive to win, but I believe the candidate that wins will be on stronger footing heading into the general election. A healthy debate will be needed to sort out a number of conflicting issues that the 8th District presents.

The last district with a contest (District 1) will convene next Saturday and hopefully a strong candidate will emerge from there as well.

Minnesota plays a big role in taking back the US House. I think that Democrats are moving into position - now we need some strong campaigns to finish the job.
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We Need To Win CD2 - We Need Angie Craig

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 03/27/18 11:15

by Dave Mindeman

In CD2 in Minnesota, these are the numbers that I cannot ignore....
......................................... Raised........... On Hand
Jason Lewis (incumbent)....$1,048,000.......$717,591
Angie Craig ....................... $550,968.........$432,509
Jeff Erdmann ......................$104,792.........$11,431

I think all Democrats agree that we need to get big money and corporations out of politics. But in order to do that we must elect people who will follow that through. Jeff Erdmann cannot compete here. He simply cannot. Even if he believes that his message is a winner, he has no means to get that out to the public on a large enough scale. Maybe, just maybe, he could make it work in a legislative campaign - but a Congressional one? Not possible.

We have had good Democratic candidates in the past. They just had no means to compete because they did not have the resources. Even Angie Craig will have a tougher time keeping up with the GOP protections that will work to keep Jason Lewis in office.

This 2018 election is important and winnable. We have to have our best in the competition. We can't have pie in the sky naievete. There is just too much at stake.

We need Angie Craig. We need her experience. We need her abilities. And yes, we need the money she can raise.

Angie Craig MUST be the endorsed candidate in CD2.

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