Monday, June 12, 2006

DFL State Convention - Part I - Thursday night

As I remember it in order:

Thursday evening/night:
First bit of business, for me, was to make sure that the challenge I filed about the election of the delegation from Beltrami Co. was settled, and I was willing to negotiate, but I believed there had to be some sanction against Meuers, et al, or we will not see an end to this kind of abuse of the party process... so I sought out David Weinlich and others, who told me to talk to Lori Berglund Olson (Chair of CD 7 and a prominent Hatch supporter, like Meuers and TedF). I couldn't find her, and no one told me that a Credentials committee meeting was to be held that night, or where, until after the fact it had happened, when they excepted some sort of "minority report" from the Constitution & By-Laws commission and decided to seat the delegation inspite of the findings of the commission, which twice upheld the challenges, and directed the credentials committee not to seat these delegates without a reconvention and proper election of delegates. This was the CD 7 Hatch machine in force.

After failing to find information about the credentials challenge process, I helped the Becky Lourey campaign in preparing signs for "sign wars" which was hideous. The Hatch folks had prepared better, far in advance for this, but that is the power of union support... all of the volunteers and money you need to carpet the landscape in signage. Nonetheless, we managed to get a sign up the steps to the balcony on the side I ran up, though I think the placement was wrong. Better than nothing though. I will keep this experience in the back of my memory to help me be more useful to my candidates at the next convention, like everything else.

I got hassled a little bit, because I was not officially supporting Becky Lourey in the endorsement process, as I thought she needed to disavow her endorsement of Klobuchar (advertised on the Klobuchar for Senate website, but possibly this was an endorsement made when Klobuchar was still running for MN Attorney General). I absolutely support Becky Lourey as a person, as a voice for peace and progressive values, and I support her choice to seek the party's endorsement for Governor through a primary bid. Quite obviously, the party process can be abused, on many scales, and there is little impulse to make the process open or fair from the State Party leadership. Primaries are more democratic, but with the right kind of investment and training, the caucusing system could be rehabilitated and endorsements through the caucus and convention system could be more meaningful.

After sign wars there was a party in the Becky Lourey suites at the Kahler, where I got a few more people Peace First! t-shirts to wear on Friday and maybe a few new people behind the Peace First! strategy. Obviously we should have had our own reception that night, to better explain the strategy to a larger number of people, but there weren't that many delegates there yet. Maybe a Peace First! breakfast would have made sense... i dunno.

At some point I learned that the Credentials committee had met and made their decision. I also learned that I had been elected a delegate to the State Party's Affirmative Action Commission out of my Congressional District, but no one had bothered to tell me (I had left after the credentials challenge there had failed). I suppose that is the only thing that keeps me from quitting the DFL at this point.

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