Thursday, September 9, 2010

Big Time Republicans Turning Backs on Emmer

This year’s gubernatorial election here in Minnesota is going to be a question of crisis for me, a devoted and loyal Democrat! Who has the best chance of beating Emmer? That is the question.
by Charlie Leck

A letter arrived in last evening’s mail from a pot-load of big-time, traditional Minnesota Republicans. Normally, I would have put it in the circular file beneath my desk and forgotten it. This year I had to read it twice and thrice and I gave it some serious thought.

The letter was from a group of Republicans who are turning away from Tom Emmer. They are not, however, going over to my party, the Democrats. Instead, they are lining up behind the Independent Party candidate, Tom Horner. It’s a big deal for Horner and a significant slap in the face for Tom Emmer. Horner has needed a show of support from well-known Republicans and this fund raising effort does just that. It may propel Horner to victory.

I, frankly, don’t know what to do. I am a loyal and faithful member of the Democratic Farmer Labor Party; however, my great hope this summer was that the Party would not endorse Mark Dayton. They didn’t. Dayton knew he couldn’t win endorsement, so he didn’t try. Nevertheless, somehow Dayton carried the day in the August primary vote and won the top spot on the ballot. A number of leading Democrats rejoiced. Many more hung their heads and began wondering what they would now do. Dayton didn’t show well as a U.S. Senator and he appears exceedingly weak as a leader in the current campaign. He just doesn’t come off as “the captain” type. He certainly wasn’t one in the Senate.

The fact that Dayton didn’t “win” endorsement gives me some wiggle room as a Democrat.

My biggest concern about Mark Dayton is that he doesn’t seem to be totally stable. He’s got some significant weaknesses of mind and spirit. By no means is he frenzied, as the Republican candidate, Tom Emmer certainly is. Emmer needs to spend serious time with the counselors of the mind that Dayton has apparently visited. Emmer is a latent problem waiting to explode. I know this guy personally. I’ve watched him in action as a city councilperson in my own little town. He was awful and not at all the kind of example you would want your kids to follow. He was rude to people who rose to speak against his proposals. He would rant against people who opposed him. I sat in council sessions many times, listening to him. He never made sense. He possessed the incoherence of the confused. Like Dayton, he does not appear to have leadership ability. He would make a disastrous “captain” of the state.

The letter put it like this:

“Representative Emmer’s embrace of social intolerance is beyond debate. This is a reckless view of the richness and creativity that makes our state thrive. His view would drive some of the most valued members of our community away.”

Senator Dayton’s lack of understanding of the hostility toward the private sector and its wealth and job creating abilities will result in the departure of jobs and many of the most valuable and productive members of our community. We cannot afford this view of our future.”

I think the group’s statement about Dayton misses the mark. It is Dayton’s inability to lead that is most frightening. I don’t think he can win much cooperation from Republicans and moderates and state government will just flounder under him.

Horner may be too conservative for me, however, and that would leave me with no choice but to vote for Dayton. A name or two on the letter worries me (like Nate Garvis, for example) because they’ve shown themselves to be pretty far-out conservatives. Garvis formerly led the government affairs office at Target Corp and Horner worked with him as a public relations consultant. I had occasion to see them operating together and it made me uncomfortable.

Yet, Horner has been positive in the current campaign and he is making concrete and constructive proposals. Can he lead? With a cool head?

The letter gives me food for thought and in the end the question gets simple for me. Which candidate has the best chance of beating Tom Emmer? It would not be good to have Emmer governing this state. He is too divisive a person. He’s also way too far to the right. He is also unstable.

I wonder how really moderate Horner is. I wish I would hear more from him about working with both sides of the aisle in the legislature – about bringing the moderates in those two factions together.

Here are some of the names of the folks hosting the fundraiser for Horner. They are good, solid people of substantial wealth and they are generous contributors to charitable concerns…

Peggy and Ralph Burnet
Joan and Robert Dayton
Chris and Jack Morrison
Stephanie and Mike Ott
Cindy and Tad Piper
Mike and Pam Sime

What to do?


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