Minnesota DFLers will endorse Bell despite outside interference
It is about time the mainstream media took up this issue: 'to what extent are candidates picked or blessed by interests outside our state?' The logical follow on question is 'who in the DFL party is aiding and abetting New Yorkers and D.C. money in securing the race for their chosen candidate?'
Bell hinted that a primary race was possible. However, I have been too willing to see a primary actually happen, because I see that Klobuchar is weak outstate, and that the party process outstate, at least, or especially, in Beltrami and Cass counties are not what they should be (in Cass, Don Bye is supposedly picking up the charge to get the Beltrami Co. delegation seated at CD 8 and State - also they did the direct election thing like Beltrami Co. and had some difficulties setting somethings up fairly for the SD 4 convention (e.g. the State DFL website calender had the wrong time and date for the convention, the wrong conatct for chair, etc. and I had to do a lot of work to draw attention to that and get it fixed. Note that was my preference, not a challenge after the fact). I also have strong suspicions that nothing Ted Fiskevold touches is less than fair, and I guess his failure to win his desired position in the race for an internal party position at the 7th Congressional District level is a sign that the majority of CD 7 delegates feel somewhat similarly. Unfortunately, he won the chair position within SD2, virtually guaranteeing that Rod Skoe will be able to fight off challenges within the DFL system in the future, in the same way he defended vs. Winona LaDuke, by having Fiskevold make the system unfair to the challenger.
So who and where are the roadblocks to a fair race in the U.S. Senate contest? Some fear that the rules for the endorsement might disadvantage Bell, especially drop rules and the gaining momentum for the Peace First! initiative. I have asked Phil Steger to think about this and get representatives of the two campaigns together to discuss the convention rules in light of the likelihood of a majority of delegates balloting 'Uncommitted/Peace First!' on at least the first ballot. The timing of the Senate endorsement is another potential snafu. Delegates make sure that you are planning on being there in Rochester for the whole convention.
While it is certainly to the advantage of the Bell campaign and the people of Minnesota that Bell win the endorsement, I am not going to stop championing the Peace First! initiative, and Bell isn't going to let trickery by a minority beholden to the candidate pickers in Washington be the final say in this race (at least that's what I am hearing on the radio today).
Again, I think Bell is in a good position to win in a primary. I think the Peace First! initiative is going to be a stunning success. I think that if Klobuchar cannot deal with this reality, she should look at my advice to Erlandson, about bowing out more gracefully and sequestering campaign resources for the next opportunity. It is only two years away.
And to the State DFL: if the endorsement of the senate candidate is unfair, forget about any legitimacy for any endorsements further down the ticket. If you can't withstand pressure from larger Democratic organizations, if you can't see to the integrity of the process from caucus to state endorsing convention, you have become irrelevent, and I will take my energies elsewhere. I know a lot of good people that already have. It would obviously be a mistake to seat the unfairly elected Beltrami Co. delegation at the State Convention, but a greater one would be to screw up, or allow a small minority to monkeywrench the convention just to service the DSCC and panicky Klobuchar loyalists. She might have other chances, but this is the only chance the DFL has to set the stage for a fair presidential race in 2008.