Saturday, March 6, 2010

SD51 Convention, Lowry Central Bowlers and Trophy Supplies, and Lifetime Fitness

Brian Melendez and Donna Cassutt at SD51 Convention in Blaine

I stayed up too late last night and thus got up too late this morning. On the way out the door I stopped in the community room to say hello to the twenty or so seniors gathered there for their Saturday morning coffee and pastries. They were also celebrating the March birthdays. They asked me when the Meet and Greet for Mark Dayton was going to be. I replied that I hadn't heard yet and they'd have to be patient.

"Meanwhile," I told them, "I'm having a Meet and Greet here on the afternoon of Sunday March 28 for Dave Pinto, who is running for Ramsey County Attorney." They all appeared eager to come and hear what he would have to say.

I didn't get to the SD51 Convention in Blaine until almost noon. I missed all the gubernatorial candidates. I came just in time to hear Dan Sanders speak. He's running for State Representative in District 51. He was a wonderful speaker. He didn't use notes. He projected his voice loud and clear, but not overwhelmingly loud. He was enthusiastic in what he had to say. I had visions of him doing a lot of good as a Representative.

The voting audience had to decide between Dan Sanders and Zak Chlebeck. They endorsed Zak. It's not my district so I didn't vote, but if I had, I'm pretty sure I would have voted for Dan. I liked his presentation and liked what he had to say. Zak seemed like a nice guy but he had too many crutch words such as ah and um. Apparently Zak is in law enforcement. I could tell he's been listening to John Marty (which is a good thing). He said that when he gets called out on police work he doesn't ask the person if they paid their premium. Police protection is their right. He said that the same thing is true of health care. Zak was active in the DARE program. Unfortunately, funding has decreased for that program. The kids asked him why he wouldn't be back as a DARE facilitator this year. He sadly had to refer them to their legislators.

Here are pictures of Dan and Zak.

                                          Dan Sanders

                                          Zak Chlebeck

After the vote was taken and it was determined that Zak had more votes, Dan graciously made a motion that the delegates unanimously endorse Zak.

It was nice to see so many Tarryl Clark staffers at this convention. I will do all I can to make sure that Clark gets elected in Congressional District 6 and that Michelle Bachmann gets the boot.

Tarryl Clark

Tarryl Clark Staffers at SD51 Convention

I didn't get a chance to talk with any gubernatorial candidates today as they had all left for other conventions. I did talk with quite a few staffers, including those from the offices of Dave Pinto, R. T. Rybak, Paul Thissen, John Marty, Tom Rukavina and Matt Entenza. They can be proud of the work and the enthusiasm that their staff is engaging in on their behalf.

Here's some more pictures from today:

                                       Dave Pinto Staffer

Dave Pinto is running for Ramsey County Attorney. He is a domestic violence prosecutor in the Ramsey County Attorney's Office. He specializes in cases in which children are present during the abuse. As the only candidate for County Attorney with experience in the office itself, he fights in court every day to protect children and families. He aggressively holds offenders accountable. At the same time, he recognizes that too often violence occurs in a cycle. As a prosecutor, he fights for and deliver solutions that include prevention and intervention. As a leader with a world-class background in the law and management, he will work to make our community more livable and safer for all.

I always enjoy interacting with Thissen staffers. Thissen and Rybak are my reNEW MN candidates. I like Thissen because he listens and is ready to act on what he hears if he thinks it's a good idea. He was also the first gubernatorial candidate to carry the reNEW MN vision around in his pocket all the time. And last but certainly not least, Paul Thissen can win the election in November. He doesn't have any baggage that the GOPPERS can pounce on. He can get the votes of the Independents. I wouldn't be surprised if he could also get a portion of the Republican voters.

      Here's my favorite Thissen staffer, Matthew Bergeron.

And just to give credit where credit is due, here's Brian Klaas, my favorite Dayton staffer. Isn't he a nice looking young man? And a great policy director, too.

Here's a very enthusiastic Rukavina supporter.

Here is David Schultz, who is also running for Ramsey County Attorney.

I was standing behind a lot of SD51 delegates.

Supporters of Matt Bostrom for Ramsey County Sheriff

It was time for me to leave. Before I left I found out that John Marty had picked up at least two delegates. Good job John!

I headed south on Central Avenue all the way down to Lowry and Central. My destination: Lowry Central Bowlers and Trophy Supplies. It was time to order the trophies for my Eastern Division Spring Speech Contest. It's on March 19 at the Rose Vine Banquet Hall downstairs from Grumpy's on Snelling Avenue in Roseville. It's right next to Midway Ford. Everyone is welcome. The cost is $15, which includes a huge salad buffet and the contest. This time it's Tall Tales and International.

I've been getting my trophies from this shop for quite some time now. It's always interesting to talk to the proprieter. Today we got into a political discussion. He told me he's always leaned left. I said that was a good way to lean. Then we discussed gubernatorial candidates. He's also determined that we get a DFL governor. We agreed that Pawlenty and Bachmann have got to go.

I asked him which DFL candidate he liked best. He replied that he always liked Rybak and that he thinks Rybak can win because he's the candidate with the most charisma. He further stated that he has always liked Dayton, but he thinks that candidate became kind of wishy washy. I asked for further clarification. He said he didn't like the fact that he didn't run for reelection in the Senate and that he was sure he could have won the reeletion. I explained that he had no seniority and was in a minority party and was frustrated that he couldn't get very much accomplished. I also pointed out all the good things Dayton did for Minnesotans. He agreed, then remarked that now the Democrats are in the majority in Washington and they still can't get much accomplished. That led to a discussion of Blue Dog Democrats. We ended that part of our conversation by agreeing that Dayton and Rybak would be the major contenders at the Primary.

My business owner friend then said that MAK doesn't have very much name recognition. He stated the same for Matt Entenza. He said that he likes Matt but that he ought to be more vocal. I replied that I would like to see the Entenza campaign get in some early televison advertising so people will know who he is.

The only other candidate we had time to discuss was Tom Rukavina. We both agreed that he would be a good governor and that the Capitol would be an interesting place were Rukavina to win. 

Other customers were beginning to arrive so I left. Next stop: Lifetime Fitness.

I ran around the track 21 times today, which is a mile and a half. Some friends of mine ask how I refrain from getting bored when I'm running around in a circle for so long. I reply that it's an oval, not a circle, and that I use the time to daydream. I always think of a friend of mine who I know works out at home every morning. Maybe someday he'll join Lifetime Fitness and check out the White Bear Lake facility. Most of me would be very surprised indeed if he really did, but there's a small part of me that wouldn't be surprised very much at all.

After that I rode the stationary bike for ten miles. Then I hit the weight machines. From there I headed downstairs to the pool. After swimming laps for an hour, I headed to the jacuzzi. This is where the most conversation takes place. There's no use trying to talk to people in any other part of the fitness center except for the cafe. Everyone is relaxed in the jacuzzi, though, and willing to talk.

I wasn't even the one who started the conversation this time. I heard three gentleman and a lady engaging in speculation about who the next governor would be. One was a Rybak supporter, one was for Thissen and two were adamently for Dayton. Then another man spoke up and said we were all crazy to want a DFL governor. He was voting for Emmer or Seifert.

We shooed him out of the water and told him not to come back. The nerve of some people!

They asked me who I was voting for at the Primary. I was surprised they didn't know. Everyone else does. I then explained why I was voting for Dayton. They asked me who my second choice was. I have no idea why I would need a second choice, but I responded anyway. "Rybak, Thissen or Rukavina," I said. They all nodded approvingly.

I was getting waterlogged. It was time to go home and blog while so many good ideas were flowing through my head. So here we are.

That's all, folks!


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