My Weekend In Duluth, Watching The Weekend In Rochester

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This past weekend was all about political conventions; for the first time in a long, long time,

The Gales Of November Came…In Spring: When I left Saint Paul on Friday morning, it was up around 80 degrees. When I got to Duluth two hours later, it was 47 with a wind howling off the lake.

But the cold on the first day of June was just about the only surprise. Every one of the front runners – Jeff Johnson for Governor, Karin Housley and Jim Newberger for Senate – got the endorsement.

It wasn’t completely uneventful, of course. All weekend, there were rumors that the Pawlenty campaign had voting shenanigans afoot – getting his delegates to vote No Endorsement, and then flip to Parrish. There were signs early – the first ballot showed 7% “No Endorsement”. That faded to 2% by the second ballot.

More surprising was Mary Giuliani Stevens’ showing. The Woodbury mayor had a large, enthusiastic showing on the floor. Scuttlebutt had it that if Johnson didn’t win on the first ballot, there’d be a huge Giuliani Stevens surge. It didn’t pan out – Johnson won the first ballot 45/26 (with 20 going to Parrish), and extended his lead to 50/25/16 on the second ballot. Dock a point from the rumor mill.

So given that the whole thing is going to a primary with Pawlenty, it’s probably just as well we didn’t waste a lot of effort on convention dramatics.

Especially since the other convention was providing plenty of that.

Crazy In Clinic Town: We knew it was going to be a doozie when we read Rep. Jamie Becker Finn’s endorsement statement for Tim Walz:

With a sendoff like that, what could go wrong?

The first signs that the crazy train had pulled into the station came early in the afternoon Saturday, when the first ballot came in in the DFL Attorney General race. Lori Swanson won the ballot – by four points, 52/48, over left-wing extremist Matt Pelikan. Then, reportedly, Pelikan spoke to the delegates, telling them that Swanson had an “A” rating from the NRA (for all of Swanson’s liberal interventionism, she has always been solid on 2nd Amendment rights). She reportedly dropped out of the endorsement race, leaving Pelikan to get endorsed by acclamation.

Rebecca Otto – one of the most disagreeable people in Minnesota politics – went out early, after one ballot, with 18 paltry percent. The conversation in the press pit turned to What IT All Meant for the DFL Governor endorsement. The conventional wisdom had been calling for a Tim Walz win, early and fast.

But after six ballots, extremist Saint Paul prog legislator Erin Murphy was pulling ahead. After six ballots, not wanting to fight against the endorsement, Otto and Walz came out on the floor, urging a “No Endorsement” vote. But Murphy was not to be denied. She took the endorsement after, I forget, six or seven ballots.

And so two vital DFL seats were decided, in large part, because of current or former stances on the Second Amendment. Let’s put a pin in that.

But we’re not done yet.

Upshot; The DFL convention continued until Sunday – when Murphy made her big announcement; her running mate was…

…Erin Maye Quade. A left wing extremist, whose wife is a paid organizer for Michael Bloomberg.

So the message from the DFL convention: “Don’t be silly, nobody’s coming for your guns. But we’re coming for your guns”.

DFL endorsed gubernatorial candidate Erin Murphy has never minced words about her antipathy toward civilian gun owners; her platform is a dog’s breakfast of every terrible, ineffective bit of security theater that *can not* affect crime rates *or* mass shootings. And Erin Maye Quade’s wife is a paid “Everytown” employee. Long on snark, short on reasoning, Maye Quade never saw any pointless theatrics she didn’t like.

And long-time DFL Attorney General Lori Swanson lost the DFL’s endorsement, almost like flipping a light switch, when challenger (and extreme gun grabber) Matthew Pelikan mentioned that, as liberal as Swanson is on every other issue, she’s a solid defender of the law-abiding citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. And Tim Walz lost what had been considered a sure-fire endorsement in large part because he *used to be* a strong 2nd Amendment supporter (before throwing Minnesota’s law-abiding gun owners under the bus to unsuccessfully woo the increasingly extremist DFL delegate base; even that wasn’t enough to save the endorsement.

The DFL reflects a base that is more afraid of law-abiding citizens than they are of society’s actual problems. Don’t take my word for it; look at their endorsements.

Every last one of them.

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