Thursday, October 16, 2008

MN-01 : Davis Endorsements Highlight Debate

The Debate Minnesota event held in Mankato on Monday, October 13 between Congressman Tim Walz (D MN-01) and Republican challenger Dr. Brian Davis revealed a difference between the two candidates that projected who each would work for next session.

This debate followed a typical format --- opening remarks by each participant, questions from the moderators and audience, and closing comments. Obviously, the opening and closing comments were scripted such that each candidate could shape their messages for the audience.

Dr. Davis introduced himself and explained that he was running because of a concern that Congress was becoming a liberal branch of the government. He then recounted a story that concluded with his daughter stating that she would not vote for him … my spouse reaction was that it was a “cute” story … I thought she displayed remarkable insight for such a young age.

The questions were unscripted but Davis answers were enlightening for their lack of having a vision … especially regarding education but that is for another post.

It was Davis closing comments that were most insightful.
He talked about his endorsements.
Naturally, he cited his endorsement by the Republican Party (interesting that he does not have that printed on his yard signs, etc.), but also FREEDOM CLUB FEDERAL PAC , Associated Builders and Contractors of Minnesota (ABC), Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Federal PAC , and Minnesota Medical Association MEDPAC .

It was a stark contrast to Congressman Walz closing comments. He repeated that he never thought he would be a member of Congress and that he was working for everybody.

Davis seemed to be cueing that these special interest groups would get his special interest.
So, who are they ?
Freedom of America would seem to be an impressive sounding group, but it is an “organization of conservative Republican contributors” which is based in New Hope Minnesota and has contributed most of its money to Davis, Congressman John Kline (R-MN-02) and candidate Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03) and John McCain.
The Associated Builders and Contractors of Minnesota (ABC) was the first business group to endorse Presidential candidate John McCain and has access to President Bush --- most recently on August 12, 2008 when the President hosted members from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Executive Committee.
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) is a well-known advocacy group regarding pro-life and same-sex marriage issues. The MCCL commonly advertises on television based on “issues” and not “candidates”, so their ads are not authorized by the candidate.
Minnesota Medical Association, as previously
stated, would be advocating for doctors (protecting tax rates and objecting to medical malpractice rates).

Wow !
The special interests have their guy and Davis is proud to have their support.

Surprisingly, Davis fails to mention other endorsements.

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund endorsed Walz for 2008 after being a supporter of Gil Gutknecht in 2006.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Committee endorsed Walz for re-election. Apparently, Veterans realize their Congressman can make a difference as Disabled American Veterans rated Gutknecht a “F” in 2006.

While the National Farmers Union PAC endorsed for the second time Walz, Kevin Paap said that the Minnesota Farm Bureau's PAC would not be endorsing in this year’s congressional race although they had endorsed Gutknecht in 2006.

One slightly humorous line from the debate that should be noted. In May of 2007, Dr. Davis went to Washington to lobby on behalf of a bill stating "Excuse me Congressman. I would really like your support on this project. By the way, I would also like your job."
Interesting because the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, whose mission is to advance the practice of radiation oncology by promoting excellence in patient care, providing opportunities for educational and professional development, promoting research and disseminating research results and representing radiation oncology in a rapidly evolving healthcare environment, have rated Congressman Walz at 100 % meeting their goals.

The message is obvious. Walz is willing to work for everyone … regardless if they support him (or supported his opponent in the past … or even are represented by his opponent).

FYI : If you care about Walz’ endorsements they range from Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association to the Human Rights Campaign. No doubt, Walz’s list will grow.

The question for the voters is : Who will you endorse on November 4 with your vote… someone who will represent “special interests” or everybody ?

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