"So I am ready. The troops are ready. This is the big shebang. The Bird will be reporting from up in Duluth. Stay tuned - this story is far from over."
For those who follow the political landscape in Minnesota, know that once Memorial Day is over, the races juice up to hyper drive. The DFL is going to be down in Rochester next weekend, and MNGOP is going to be up in Duluth. The platform of the two parties could not be more different (again), and the stakes are high for the future of our state. Both sides believe their platform will save us from doom.
It is an odd year for sure. First off, due to the the misbehavior of one of our Senators, we are going to be electing both Senator positions in the same year. The pundits are saying the GOP does not have a prayer for either, but the GOP is saying "hold on!". Jim Newberger is (in my opinion) one of the smartest people in Minnesota on energy issues. Why? He is from the Becker area, and he has studied the SHERCO Plant for years. He is also an EMT in his day trade, and knows the ins and outs of Minneapolis like the back of his hand. He would be a welcome addition to the United States Senate, and Amy can retire and go write casserole cookbooks.
The other Senate position is a tough one. This is the one being filled by a placeholder. Only this placeholder is a champion of abortions. Yes, Tina Smith of Planned Parenthood fame is not deserving of this position at all - not even as a placeholder. She is a one trick pony, a child of the system. Either Bob Anderson or Karin Housley would be light years better than Smith in the Senate. Once she is defeated, Tina Smith can just go.
I am very excited about our candidates for Auditor and Attorney General. I know both Pam Myhra and Doug Wardlow. Capable, knowledgeable, and dedicated. After way too many years of having DFL stooges fill these two statewide constitutional spots, we are way overdue for a change.
That leaves the Secretary of State position. I just found out recently that John Howe is running for this position for the GOP. I have nothing to say, as I know nothing about John, and so far his campaign has been, well, stealthy. In any event, this position is highly important in Minnesota, and to beat Steve Simon, we need more than a stealthy campaign.
I am not bullish on us getting this seat - not a bit.
Then we come to Governor. Jeff Johnson is probably the most well trained, qualified, and capable person we have had run for Governor for decades. He really is. If you don't believe it, glance at his resume some time. On top of his qualifications, he is a person of high principal and faith. The difference in how Jeff and Dayton would govern this state is greater than night and day. Jeff will be the king of change agents. He won't tinker with the transmission, he will rip it out and replace it with one much better. He is a fixer, not a talker. With Governor Johnson, we will proudly display the sign at our border, "Welcome to Minnesota - open for business and senior friendly!"
My only regret in the Governor's race is Mary Giuliani Stephens is not running for Secretary of State instead. I really, really like her. She has the background, backbone, and spunk to take that SOS position, turn it upside down, and make it viable once again.
The Jeff team will be eyes wide open looking for possible shenanigans pulled by the Pawlenty team. As we all know, Pawlenty pulled out of the endorsing system as he knew he could not win. In fact, we are finding out not only would he have not only finished behind Jeff, but also Mary, and maybe even Phil. So Pawlenty's "Hail Mary" is to go to primary and try to win the nomination. Let's just hope after he loses the primary he does not consider a run in November as an independent. If he does, it will be "Hello, Governor Walz".
So I am ready. The troops are ready. This is the big shebang. The Bird will be reporting from up in Duluth. Stay tuned - this story is far from over.