Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gubernatorial Debate at the University of Minnesota

I attended the MN-Gov Debate at the Ted Mann Concert Hall.

Hatch seemed to be trying to sell himself to Dems, especially former Lourey supporters (e.g., mentioning 20% renewables by 2020 - a Lourey item - instead of directly answering a question about global warming), and also highlighting issues of rural DFLers, who begrudge the attention paid to the Twin Cities and other larger Minnesota cities. Pawlenty only mentioned 9/11 once, and admitted climate change was real. Both Hatch and Pawlenty refused to agree to debates during three weeks in October when no debates were scheduled. Pawlenty's only lasting barb was that he refered to Hatch and Hutchinson, to his campaign staff, as the Hatchinson brothers "Mike and Peter Hatchinson". Hatch's biggest, weirdest problem was his refusal to adress raising revenues, saying something about a need to engender trust first. Pawlenty defended the status quo, of bonding, and told the crowd of mostly students that tuition increases were returning to a more normal rate of tuition increases, which few took as any comfort.

I think Hutchinson clearly won the debate, but there will be a broadcast of the debate on MPR tomorrow, and they archive it. You can make up your own mind. Links are further down the page...

I also sensed stronger interest and effective organizing (e.g. getting volunteers signed up) at the conclusion of the event on the part of the Hutchinson campaign. The Hatch table was staffed, if lonely, and the Pawlenty people had packed up and gone home. It is a shame there won't be more debates featuring Independence Party candidates (I really do think Klobuchar and Kennedy should insist that Fitzgerald join them on the scheduled October 15th Meet the Press show with Tim Russert). Otherwise, the points scored against Hatch and Pawlenty by Hutchinson's charges of ducking debates may start sticking to them, as well.

I took some pictures:




These folks obviously got straight to work at the end of the debate as a report and a schedule for tomorrow's public radio broadcast is already published here: Gubernatorial candidates play it safe in debate.

While the journos went straight to work, I went straight to Stub & Herbs. I'll write something more substantial about the debate tomorrow.

If you missed the debate, but you would like to meet Peter Hutchinson and the rest of TEAM MINNESOTA, they'll be at a downtown Minneapolis event dubbed "Speed Candidating" from 6 to 8 PM at Gluek's Bar & Restaurant tomorrow (map). The bar's own website promises there will also be "Hookers & Blow", starting at 9PM, for just $5. That sounds like my kind of political event! (unless that is just a clever band name...)

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Blogger BJHokanson said...

Heh, I saw some of those flyers posted around and figured you must've been here... They'll have been covered up by this morning, though.

What was the deal with the people kicked out by the police? The Daily and MPR mentioned it but didn't' bother to give any details, of course. (While on the subject, it has to be known that the UMPD is easily the most incompetent police force in the Twin Cities, which is why I want to know...)

8:05 AM  
Blogger ImpeccableLiberalCredentials said...

There was one guy who interrupted the debate from the front who addressed everyone on stage about the minor party candidates being excluded. I don't know if he meant Leslie Davis or someone else, but he said something about someone outside.

He also challenged the U of MN police to 'taze' him. He struggled a bitagainst police to stay on his feet and slow them down in removing him from the room, but he wasn't violent or too scary. He said something about being a former member or president of the NAACP, and I am not sure that he is not one of the multitude of independents or minor, minor party candidates for governor.

If you are interested, it might be worth trying to get a police report from the U of MN PD.

I fumbled trying to get my camera out of my pocket to take a picture, but I didn't do it in time...

Another guy hollered out, much later, from the back right of the auditorium, something about Minneapolis being a ghetto. I don't know whether or not he was removed, couldn't see that area from my seat.

2:46 PM  

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