Amy’s Path to the Presidency…

Ya, I’ve heard the pundits… Amy’s barely polling in single digits, is about as well known on the national scale as her home state’s pro sports teams, and has about as much chance of becoming president as said teams have of winning the Series or Superbowl. Those pundit’s don’t know Minnesota, Iowa, or New Hampshire political dynamics and they don’t know Amy.

Minnesota democrats have developed some of the best campaign strategies in the world, as we drag out every last democratic voter with doorknocks, social media, and just plain science. Amy’s one of the best at this, routinely winning by the largest margins even in places democrats usually don’t. Iowa is like Minnesota except even more so- 36% rural with only 7% of the population living in the largest city, Des Moines. Iowa is split between no less than 9 media markets and has about the same number of airports that can handle a business jet- sizeable parts of the state are over an hours drive from a major airport. So you can’t win Iowa with even saturation level TV in just the Des Moines market, and neither can you win chartering a big jet that can only land in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. That was Hillary’s 2016 strategy, and explains how  underfunded Bernie with a bus damn near beat her.

So Amy goes to Iowa, plugs in her proven Minnesota campaign strategy, and it works like a charm. But that’s just the beginning of the “Amy advantage”… Living barely 100 miles down a 70 MPH freeway from Iowa, while the other candidates are trying to find a flight to Des Moines Amy can take advantage of any unscheduled time to campaign in Iowa. Same with her thousands of Minnesota volunteers that are closer to those northern Iowa small towns than they are to the beaten campaign trail through Des Moines.

It gets better- While the polls tell us that Joe Biden is leading in Iowa with around 30%, followed by Bernie with Kamala and maybe Liz barely in double digits. But the same polls tell us than Iowa democrats prefer a candidate under 70, we love you “grandpa Joe”, but sorry. By an even bigger margin Iowa democrats say elect ability is their top concern in picking a candidate, and in the scant head to head with Trump polling available Bernie, Kamala, and Liz lose to Trump. Amy is the candidate Iowa democrats want, some of them just don’t know that yet. And did I mention that Iowa for the first time ever will have absentee balloting, giving more mainstream democrats who more closely align with Amy a chance to vote for her?

So Amy will defy the pundits and come out of Iowa well into double digits if not an outright win, The same qualities that will propel Amy to a top finish in Iowa will make her a top finisher in New Hampshire and that momentum will push her through Nevada, South Carolina, and Super Tuesday. California is doing Super Tuesday this time, and that’s Kamala’s strategy… Problem is, that’s Liz and Bernie’s and a couple other progressives strategy, too

So by DNC time Amy has the delegate lead, and hopefully everyone else’s delegates note Amy’s ability to win in the swing states that really decide the election as well as California and they put Amy on the top of the 2020 general election ballot. And unlike the “progressives”, Amy evicts Trump from the White House and appoints the Attorney General that will send him to prison.


Amy’s In! (Or else she really likes Iowa)

From the candidate schedules tracker at the Des Moines Register:

“Amy Klobuchar Feb 21, 2019, 6 p.m.

United Auto Workers of America Local 450, 4589 NW 6th Dr, Des Moines, IA

Ankeny Area Democrats Winter Banquet and Fundraiser. Sponsored by Ankeny Area Democrats.”

Here’s the link to the DM Register’s candidate tracker so you can follow the candidates to your little heart’s content.


Democrats loose rural northeast Minnesota special election…

Minnesota’s 11th Senate District is a mix of political world views- The north end dominated by Carlton county buts up against Duluth and shares that areas traditional progressive values, especially in regard to labor. The south end is dominated by Kanabec and Pine counties and is an economic no mans land, with marginal farmland and a too long commute to the higher paying jobs in the cities, leaving much of the populace with the sort of inferiority complex that Trump has so well cultivated into votes. For a better backgrounder, check out the range’s best political blogger’s take at his Minnesota Brown blog.

As can be expected in a February special election, turnout was miserable, as was the weather on election day. The usual solution for that electoral dysfunction, mail ballots, was hampered by the Postal Service’s increasing slowness and more winter weather that had Minnesota’s Attorney General asking for more time for special elections. But while only about half of the democratic base voters turned out district wide, in republican leaning Pine county about two thirds of the republican base turned out, pretty much supplying the republican’s thousand or so vote margin of victory.

So while our 2018 “blue wave” made us competitive in this rural district, the white stuff favored the republicans in this special election. We democrats may have been dumped on too by the single issue environmentalists whose candidate lost the primary, perhaps they stayed home in spite. There’s lessons for future elections here- We democrats have to vote regardless of weather and whether or not our preferred democratic candidate made it onto the ballot.



Minnesota 7th Congressional District Outreach Officers Report for February 2019

CD7 Outreach Officer’s report for February 2019:

Elections are over, but the issues remain… Here’s an update on some of them.

Pipelines: We are about to see big investors making billion dollar bets on obsolete technology literally try to lay their pipelines over the bodies of thousands of citizens who realize that a passageway for oil to export is in no way the highest and best use of Minnesota’s northern lakes country. I’m a railfan and often see whole trains of still shiny coal cars parked in sidings for months and years as renewable energy has cut the demand for coal. The same overcapacity is happening with oil, again attested to by entire trains of near new short covered hopper cars built to haul frac sand and tank cars built to haul oil inhabiting the sidings. The oil and pipeline companies are hoping the whole world buys gas guzzlers to drive up the price of their too plentiful oil, but those emerging markets are going for transit, small cars, and electric cars. So it’s near impossible to build a business case for additional pipeline capacity.

That’s just the beginning of the arguments against the pipelines… Native Americans wisely retained hunting, fishing, and gathering rights in treaties just in case crops failed or the government didn’t fulfill it’s obligations to provide sustainence, both of which happened. Clean water is essential to agriculture and tourism, and it takes just a few parts per million of the high proportion of benzine and other toxins in Bakken crude to kill agriculture and tourism for years and decades after a major pipeline failure. Minnesota produces no oil and to the pipeline companies were just another state to conquer between the oil in North Dakota and western Canada and markets on the coasts and abroad. Our struggling farmers and biofuel plants can quite well make our own renewable fuels right here in Minnesota, so big oil has little to offer us and should be told to take their unneeded pipelines elsewhere.

Housing: In cities like Marshall a near monopoly of rental property owners have driven rents well above what working class citizens can afford to pay. That forces many folks to seek affordable housing in trailer parks, and what seems like a good deal turns sour as the trailer park owners increase rents while the tenants find the trailers they own become a liability as they rapidly deteriorate and are too expensive to move. It gets worse- The landlords are consolidating so competition between trailer parks is disappearing. And while working folks often end up in trailer parks because they’ve been denied home loans, I found a national chain of trailer parks with a 34 million dollar 20 year loan from Bank of America secured by a 200 site trailer park in Florida swampland!

Immigration: We are already seeing businesses cutting hours due to lack of workers and even closing entirely, yet the MAGA cult still believes a border wall is the answer to all the nation’s problems. Unfortunately this bigotry seems to be strongest here in CD7 and other rural areas where we are most dependent on immigrants to tend our livestock, process our foods, and care for our vulnerable citizens… We need to confront this MAGA hypocrisy head on!

Farm crisis: Our DFL led house had a very educational hearing on the farm crisis today, and though I learned a lot, I am still left wondering how this crisis will play out. There are mixed signals- While farm income continues to drop, many farmers still have a good equity position and are in no immediate danger of default. Throw in farmers planting/no planting? decisions and the weather and we know the farm crisis is about to truly become a crisis, but we don’t know how or where.

Respectfully submitted, Dyna Sluyter


Elizabeth Warren is too popular for Storm Lake… In Trump Country!

The line… It got twice as long, but that’s about all the lens could fit.dscf2180Elizabeth, speaking to the overflow crowd outside…dscf2220Now that we’ve had desert (What lefty can’t love the hip granny you’d love to adopt like Elizabeth), on to the background and a back story or three…

This is my seventh Iowa caucus, I remember 2000 when the top candidates of either party would have trouble filling a 20 seat cafe in a county of 20,000. Then Doctor Dean came along and upped our game in 2004, bringing in thousands of volunteers but not so many Iowa democrats to his side of the room on caucus night. But the high water mark was set by Obama campaigning for the 2008 caucus, when he would frequently draw 5% of a county’s population to a campaign event on a weekday. Locals tell me Obama drew 300-400 in Storm Lake which is only 2% of surrounding Buena Vista county’s twenty or so thousand population, but this is in northwestern Iowa where Trump won by double digits.

That’s a good problem to have, if the campaign can figure out that they need to rent bigger rooms. They can well afford small town Iowa’s biggest rooms, given that they had a least two $1000+ a day stage crews leapfrogging to stay ahead of  Elizabeth’s schedule. The Obama campaign figured that out quick, renting out the biggest rooms and even chartering not one but two buses for the media scrum. And the media was there in force, as well as the expected IPR there was at least one TV crew from the cities and even WGBH.

The other question is whether Liz is drawing Bernie’s progressive crowd or the mainstream dems and indies more common in rural Iowa? Iowa is nice enough to list your county on your license plate, and most I saw were from Buena Vista or neighboring counties, but I wasn’t the only Minnesotan that’s trekked near a hundred miles into Iowa to catch Elizabeth. That said, you have to give Elizabeth credit for kicking off her (exploratory) campaign in more conservative western Iowa instead of the well worn democratic campaign trail through eastern Iowa.

And finally, what dem Iowa caucus event would be complete without a Trump thug loosing it… Thanks for the Secret Service and local police for promptly taking him into custody when he got violent before he could assault anything more than our eardrums…dscf2249



Elizabeth Warren Overflows in Trump Country…

I finally  became about the 200th person in line and I’m amazed they got darn near that many in the room. Add in the folks waiting outside and Liz drew 300-400 people in a county of 20,000 where Trump got over 60% of the vote… Locals told me that at least matches Obama’s turnout in 2007.

So Elizabeth is a seriously popular candidate… Problem is her campaign seriously mismanaged crowd expectations. Good thing temps were in the 40s, it was obvious for some time that half the crowd wouldn’t fit in the room but they were left standing outside for a good half hour before Elizabeth came out and addressed the overflow crowd outside. The media were tipped off, why wasn’t the crowd of loyal supporters? In 2007 the Obama campaign quickly figured out they were drawing big crowds and rented big rooms, will the Warren campaign figure it out? They got the money for multiple staging crews, they can afford bigger halls!

I’ll post some photos when I get home, hopefully I got some good ones of the Trump Thug who “cooked off” next to me…