Republican GOP Pawlenty Stunt makes veto-proof DFL Senate

The WallNovember 27, 2007 – Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) appointed State Senator Tom Neuville (R-Northfield) to serve as a judge in the 3rd District (in Rice County). In exchange for a replacement, he declared a special election (Jan 3rd 2008) to fill the vacant seat. All expectations were that a Republican would win in a landslide. It was a logical expectation. The area is, afterall, in the heart of the Congressional 1st District.

In 2006, Republicans were convinced that some obscure high school wrestling football coach named Tim Walz being elected to Congress was freakishly weird and they were positive it would be impossible to ever happen again.

Put simply: This area is GOP property and they insist the DFL keep their dirty hands off.

Last July, Pawlenty appointed Representative Steve Sviggum (R-HD 28B) as Commissioner of Labor and Industry. Sviggum, from the same geographical, was his first pick and it was a gamble. But it was a gamble he was willing to play because it was in the heart of the Republican party: south and east of the Twin Cities. Needless to say, it was a safe (political) bet. And the bet paid off: Republican Steve Drazkowski defeated DFL candidate Linda Pfeilsticker 52.9 to 46.9.

Ron Carey, Minnesota’s GOP Chair, threaded his thumbs under the lapels of his suit coat after that win, belched twice and proudly:

…characterized Drazkowski’s win as signaling “growing Republican momentum as we head into 2008,” the GOP should be cautious to read too much into this race. District 28B has voted overwhelmingly for Republican candidates in recent years.

But Pawlenty’s second gambled proved Carey wrong.

Pawlenty didn’t expect anybody would want to go out and vote in the dead of winter, especially with the distractions of the Iowa Caucuses going on. So the Governor arbitrarily decided January 3rd as a special election day just for those in the 3rd District. The stakes of second gamble was bigger than the first, and nobody, including Ron Carey, paid any attention.

Ray CoxOn November 27th, word was official that Ray Cox would run in the race to replace Neuville. Mary Lahammer of the MN Public Television’s Almanac excitedly explained that Cox was the favored son to win. On November 27th, Lahammer gushed over Cox like a cheerleader over the quarterback:

I think you’re hearing it here first, former State Representative Ray Cox just told me, “yes, I do plan to run” for the seat Sen. Tom Neuville is expected to vacate today. Cox told me he had coffee this morning with Sen. Neuville and he encouraged Cox to attend Gov. Pawlenty’s announcement at 1:00 in Faribault where the governor will appoint a new judge to the Rice County bench.

The only group that worried about a special election in the dead of winter was the League of Women Voters who sent a letter to all of the newspapers in the district saying:

To the Editor:

To fill the District 25 state senate seat vacated by Sen. Tom Neuville, whom Governor Pawlenty appointed to a judgeship, the governor has called a special election on January 3rd and a primary election on December 18th.

The League of Women Voters believes that eligible voters have the right to be informed about candidates’ positions, the right to vote, and the right to have their vote counted. Scheduling an election immediately after a major holiday season protects none of these rights for many voters.

There is a real possibility that it may be difficult if not impossible for significant numbers of absentee voters to obtain and return absentee ballots by mail in time for them to be counted.

Still, nobody’s paying any attention. It’s a perfect set-up. Pawlenty, Ron Carey…They’re all very… very comfortable with the “Electoral hood-wink of 2008.”

Exactly one month later, December 27, Mpls Star Tribune endorsed Cox and complained that while Dahle was a good man, he simply lacked any experience as a politician. Ray Cox, the Trib claimed, although a Republican, was a moderate in his politics. They cited his stand on environmental issues among other things. (Thanks to Northfield blogger site Locally Grown.)

The entire GOP was happy. No need to call the Minneapolis Star-Tribune a “liberal media outlet” this time. True to the demands of the Star-Trib’s corporate heads of boards and cheating editorial chief; the Strib did it’s job in supporting the GOP. And so the party went back to their Holiday Spirits and roasted their nuts by warm fire light.MomMorph

Pretty arrogant of the GOP, don’t you think? They have an election going on, called by their own party, and they don’t do jack-squat about it. They’d even get the state’s largest newspaper to endorse their guy and they don’t give a whit! They’d rather stay home and count how many knuckles they can stuff up their nose on one finger.

Yesterday..:January 3rd: The good citizens of the 25th district went out, stomped through the cold and voted en mass for DFL candidate Kevin Dahle, sans GOP electoral efforts.

Minnesota Secretary of State’s reports that Kevin Dahle won in an easy landslide:

  • Independant Vance Norgaard 296 votes 2.40%
  • Republican Ray Cox 5225 votes 42.37%
  • DFL Kevin Dahle 6802 votes 55.15%
  • Write-In 10 votes 0.08%

The Minnesota GOP has since, become unglued:Brodkorb with Al Franken

Michael B. Brodcorb of Minnesota Democrats Exposed, went stumping for votes by going door to door on Wednesday (1/2/8). But the following day, the day of the election, he decided to sit at home and bitch in his blog that Minnesota’s Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (DFL) buried the news that there was a special election.

(Yes Mr. Brodcorb… Since the GOP didn’t do their job in notifying their constituents that there was such an election, it’s time to once again bitch at the DFL Secretary of State for not doing a good enough job to you satisfaction. …Because everybody knows that each and every GOP voter checks the S.O.S.’s website daily for updated information on issues such as elections, and …”licensing fees”. We all agree: “You’ve been horribly wronged, and we sympathize.”)

What an embarrassing Bawl Baby.

Meanwhile, Drew Emmer of Wright County Republican, complained bitterly about the loss. For Emmer, it wasn’t DFL Mark Ritchie’s fault at all. No, it was the fault of Al Franken and Rep Tim Walz (DFL MN CD-1) who stumped hard through the cold and the snow for voters to turn out for Kevin Dahle. Blame that damned Al Franken and that freaky football coach for the GOP’s woes. In fact, Emmer’s entire blog entry reaks of a third grader who’s just had his juice-box stolen:

Local politics is finite math. The DFL found victory in coy manipulation of same-day registration and what is reported as a higher than expected student turnout in Northfield proper. There was no credible rallying alarm for the conservative base to respond to. That was largely because many in the conservative base felt somewhat excluded by the process whereby Neuville anointed Cox without the benefit of a grassroots vetting of the GOP endorsement.

To be honest, Emmer’s gripe is valid. The GOP arrogantly assumed it was an easy win for Cox from the beginning. (Considering the district is historically “moderately” conservative.) Pawlenty made the appointment because everybody was on the hay-wagon for this sleazy deal from the beginning, right?!

No. Brodkorb was pissed off. Fingers still frostbitten from Tuesdays doorbell smashing, he unleashed a butt-load of whoop-ass on his GOP com padres:

Drew, I consider you a friend and I tip my hat to you. You did nothing to help out with the SD 25 special election, yet by quickly pointing out this morning how everyone else stumbled, you win the first-ever Minnesota Democrats Exposed Man Not In The Arena Award.

Drew’s prize is the opportunity to come on tomorrow’s radio show and tell the listeners of NARN “The Final Word” how we all could have done a better job. The number is (651) 289-4488 and I look forward to Drew’s collecting his prize anytime after 3:45 p.m. Congrats Drew!

It’s more fun than watching midget-wrestling, don’t you think?!

Bush Evil The knee-jerk is to lash out and throw fiery barbs at your friends by giving them “Dunce Awards” hoping that, when Der Fuher shows up at the Xcel Energy Center this fall, he’ll decide who’s to blame for this disaster. (Hopefully he’ll blame Emmer!! Oh please! Oh please! Let it be Emmer!!)

Brokorb isn’t finished either. Mitch Berg, of “Shot in the Dark” also was pissed off at the loss, and blogged about it. Brodkorb offered a stupid “Runner-Up Dunce Cap” award:

My NARN colleague (and friend) Mitch Berg wins “honorable mention” by regurgitating Drew’s post and adding his own “analysis” on why the Republican effort came up short in SD 25. I’ll will be asking Mitch to stay in the studio tomorrow (NARN II ends right before NARN III begins) to claim his “honorable mention” award. Congrats Mitch!

The Minnesota DFL has check-mated the Republican governor.

Pawlenty’s lost the Minnesota Senate to the DFL with a veto-proof majority and in 2006, he lost all of the State’s elected Officers to the DFL. We’re down to 1 Republican US Senator in Norm Coleman (Lame Flip-Flopper), Michele (Jesus) Bachmann in the 6th (Wack-Job), John Kline in the 2nd CD (Iraqi War whore) and the GOP’s only respected elected official, Jim Ramstad (R-Stepping Down Maybe) in the third.

The biggest applause belongs to Kevin Dahle and his wife Beth. “Welcome to the DFL and to political ground-swell movement of Change Senator Dahle! We’re weird, we’re nutty, and occasionally we’re bitFruitFly 6 kookie. But we’re always pleased that you’re there to represent us.”

My humble thanks to Zack over at MNPublius, who deserves all of the credit for all of the information on this subject. If I didn’t have my “Zack” over at MN Publius, nothing in this blog entry would make any sense at all.

3 Responses

  1. Walz coached football at Mankato West, not wrestling.

    Only two small precincts in SD25 are in Tim Walz’s district: Elysian and Elysian Twp. P.-1 are in the First. The rest of LeSueur County, and portion of the district in Rice and Scott Counties are in the Second. The Sibley County part of SD25 in in the Seventh Congressional District.

  2. Thank you Ollie Ox. As you suggested, I made the appropriate corrections. And I made a ton of grammatical corrections, after which I immediately fired my personal editor. (Hard to find good help these days, ya know?!)

    FF

  3. […] a “No-Brainer”. And Pawlenty couldn’t get votes out to elect one of his own State Senator in Northfield either! • Couldn’t Pawlenty just say, “Minnesota is a great state and I’m the guy who […]

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