Friday, June 06, 2008

To beat John Kline in MN-02, DFL needs to use GOP strategy

Plato once said, “The penalty that people pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by people worse than themselves.

The Greeks gave us the word – apatheia – or as it is known in English - APATHY.
By derivation, that would be “a” for “not” and “pathos” for suffering.
By definition: Indifference to ones interests; lacking in passion or excitement.

So, the question must be asked: Whose fault is this? It is yours and mine – the people of this state and nation. People are tired of this condition of government and like thousands of Americans in every place, they want change. Now is the time … NOW is the time. It is your job and, believe me, it will be a hard job. We have good Democrats – men and women – all over this state who will service you in the halls of government. But mere, wishing for that will not make it so. You must work at precinct levels like you have never worked before. There are door bells to be pushed and people to be talked to. The Republicans have not stayed in power through the excellence of their candidates, but through the excellence of their organization. Quit being ashamed of being a Democrat. Quit hiding behind the cloak of fear. This is your job and my job -- the victory will be yours and yours alone and with this victory will go the assurances of honor in politics and the start of a return all over this country to the American way of life. NOW IS THE TIME.

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After reading the above passage, are you inspired ?

Those words have been modified (essentially replacing Republican with Democrat) from Barry Goldwater who used this approach in November 1950 to start the Republican takeover of Arizona’s politics.

1950 or 2008, the message is the same, voters are tired of the existing situation but motivating them … turning Apathy into Engagement is the key.

By all accounts, Steve Sarvi is way behind in the always important money race. The national Democratic Party has a lot of Republican seats that they would like to challenge --- labeling some as “Red to Blue” seats. MN-02 is not one of them.

That is a shame if you believe that John Kline is not representing the District on your issues. Kline is rated in the top 20 of Conservatives and many times votes in the minority of the Republican Party.
How can anyone represent such a diverse District and yet not even vote with a majority of Republicans ... such as on HR 3221 Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 which 95 Republicans and 227 Democrats supported;
HR 4137 Extend the Higher Education Act of 1965 which 135 Republicans and 219 Democrats supported;
HR 1429 Improving Head Start Act which 142 Republicans and 223 Democrats supported;
HR 2272 21st Century Competitiveness Act which 143 Republicans and 224 Democrats supported;
HR 802 Maritime Pollution Prevention Act which 143 Republicans and 216 Democrats supported;
and there are pleny more.

He even votes against Sense of the House Resolutions such as HR Res. 112 Supporting the Goals and Ideas of a National Child Care Worthy Wage Day which 122 Republicans and 223 Democrats supported.

Besides these votes, much has been written about his votes on SCHIP, GI Educational Funding, Energy, etc.

Plain, and simple, John Kline is an ideologist.
Ideologists do not advance legislation (or society), just their own vision – and voting against any change that does not advance their ideology even if it serves the general public.

Kline is so far out of favor that his influence rating by Congress.Org is #396 down from #253 in 2006.

The appeal of familiarity has kept the incumbent Kline in office, but now a Goodwin Simon Victoria Research poll (taken 5/19-22 of likely voters) in Minnesota's 2nd District suggests that Sarvi has a chance.
From the polling report : “It has become very clear in this election cycle that many Congressional seats formerly considered "Republican" seats are now in play; very little is safe for the GOP at present. Our recent poll results indicate that Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District has officially reached the tipping point, as the generic ballot between any "Democrat" and a "Republican" for Congress starts out as tied, 40% to 40%, for the first time in this district's history. Add to this Sarvi's compelling personal narrative and moderate inclinations, and Democrats have a real chance to take this district in November.”
According to the poll, once voters are read a single positive statement about Sarvi, they back his candidacy 49 percent to 37 percent over Kline.

Although money (click to contribute) is always important, getting the Steve Sarvi story out is essential … and that is what will convert the apathetic voter to the engaged voter.

Heck, if it worked for Goldwater in Arizona, why can’t it work in MN-02?

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