Thursday, May 08, 2014

Election News From Minnesota


Over the weekend Minnesota Democrats had their congressional district nominating conventions. There were two we were watching. One ended badly and one ended well. The one that ended badly was for the open red district (PVI is R+10) that Michele Bachmann is leaving. Joe Perske, a hopeless conservative won the right to challenge whomever wins the GOP primary, in all likelihood, far right sociopath Tom Emmer. Perske narrowly beat the mainstream Democrat, Avon college professor Jim Read, after four rounds of balloting. To point out that Perske, who calls himself a Blue Dog, is from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, is not controversial. He's an anti-Choice fanatic and a shill for the NRA. Progressives won't even bother coming to the polls in November.

There was much better news in the southeastern part of the state, where radical right extremist John Kline finds himself in a swing district (MN-02) with a PVI of R+2. Obama beat McCain there in 2008 and Romney in 2012, albeit narrowly both years. The DCCC didn't support Kline's opponent last year while Obama was winning the district and Kline won 193,586 (54%) to 164,335 (46%). Obama won each of the district's 6 counties but Kline only lost one, tiny Rice County. Saturday's nominating convention went with Mike Obermueller again, who won the nomination on the first ballot against two challengers.

Blue America endorsed Obermueller and you can contribute to his campaign here. After his victory Saturday, he told the media that he would go after Kline on three main issues.
"I think the big issue between us is the difference in how he treats the middle class," Obermueller said. "He's been giving huge tax cuts away to millionaires and pushing that burden back onto seniors and the middle class. I think we ought to grow the middle class because that's the only way to get our economy up and running again."

The second issue, he said, is Social Security and Medicare for seniors. "He wants to privatize it. I want to make sure we're shoring it up," Obermueller said.

Finally, he criticized Kline for failing to support pay equity for women and allowing women to make their own health decisions. "That's a big contrast between us."
That contrast was highlighted Wednesday in a letter Obermueller sent out to voters in the district. The letter shows exactly how progressives should message the affordable Care Act. "John Kline hates Obamacare," Obermueller began. "He’s voted again and again and again to repeal the entire law. Kline voted to repeal protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. He voted to repeal provisions holding the insurance industry accountable. And he voted to repeal laws that stopped insurance companies from charging women more than men. Some Democrats are running away from Obamacare, but I’m not afraid to fight back. In Congress, I’ll make sure we keep Obamacare’s smart reforms like allowing kids to stay on their parents’ health plans, new tax credits for the middle class, and barring insurance companies from dropping patients just because they’re sick... Kline wants to put the insurance industry back in charge. That’s unacceptable. It’s time to fight back."

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