Saturday, April 17, 2010


Rybak, Thissen and Marty Staffers at CD4 Convention

Team Rybak at CD4 Convention

CD4 Convention, Roseville Area High School

CD4 Convention

I attended the CD4 Convention today at Roseville Area High School. Immediately afterward was the Ramsey County Convention. A high percentage of delegates were a part of both groups, as most of CD4 is in Ramsey County.

As usual, I arrived very early. I got there at 7:30. I mingled with Thissen and Rybak staffers until more people showed up. J. P. Barone was there getting everything in order and giving orders, as a CD chair must do. He's very good at it, though, so that's okay. He always adds humor, too, which I thoroughly enjoy.

Soon more people arrived. I was glad to see my new Pinto staff friends, a few blogger friends and Matt Bostrom and his supporters. I had a couple of hours to mingle before the convention began. It was great to see Tom Rukavina and Orrie Salper, as it always is. They are always so cheerful. The same with R. T. Rybak. Always positive, motivated and incredibly energized. No deep dark depression from that quarter.

Speaking of which, guess who the cat dragged in? That's right. You guessed it. It was none other than Mark Dayton himself. Yes, folks, he actually had the nerve to drop by the CD4 Convention. I heard many people asking each other what he was doing there, since he refuses to participate in the endorsement process. No one seemed to know his reason for coming except that he wanted to steal votes from legitimate candidates. Most of the delegates are mad at him about it. Far be it from me to blame them.

Speaking of Dayton, all he had to do was walk right up to me and say, "Hi! How are you?" Maybe offer a nice hug, and all would have been forgiven. Mark Dayton is apparently deficient in the diplomacy department. Instead of offering up the olive branch, he took one look at me and cut and ran again.

As you may recall, Mark Dayton gave himself an F for his senate years because he felt he was ineffective. I thought he was being too hard on himself at the time. I now defer to his better judgement.

Mark Dayton in the same shirt he was wearing today.
For a rich guy, he doesn't seem to have a very extensive
wardrobe. I think he wants people to think that he's just
a regular guy. It's a political trick!!! What on earth is he
thinking? Something profoundly and fundamentally
wrong, no doubt!!!

After Dayton left in a hurry, I wandered around for awhile. Soon it was time for the convention to convene. We started out with the flag ceremony and the Pledge of Allegiance. Next, J. P. Barone gave a short welcome speech. The entire day was well worth it just to listen to J. P.

Franni Franken was the first speaker on the agenda. She said, "Oh! What a difference an election makes!" She also told us that Al was elected by only 312 votes. His message to us is unity, unity, unity. Franni's message is that the DFL needs to elect the endorsed candidate and only the endoresed candidate. (In other words, don't vote for Mark Dayton.)

Next, someone read a statement from Senator Amy Klobuchar, who recognized Congresswoman Betty McCollum for all her hard work and achievements. Klobuchar also stated that corporations are not people; people are people. She also gave a kudos to health care.

J. P. Barone was up again. He stated that we are now all party insiders because we walked in the door on caucus night.

After that we had reports from the Rules Committee and the Affirmative Action Committee. The Credentials Committee Chair, Fred Perez, gave that report.

At this point some of the alternates were upgraded to delegates. I was one of them. This was my very first experience as a delegate.

Diana Longrie then spoke. She's the former mayor of Maplewood. In 2009 she was defeated in that city's race for mayor. She decided to try to defeat Betty McCollum this year. Betty, of course, just got the DFL endorsement by a very wide margin today at the CD4 Convention. Go Betty!

Longrie was rather a boring speaker. She's an attorney in General Practice and Real Estate as well as in Family Law. She's apparently a legal jack of all trades. She told the delegates that she advocates for citizens and wants to put Americans back to work. (Don't we all!) She's a proponent of renewable energy and biofuels. (She's also a user of crutch words.)

Finally it was Betty McCollum's turn to speak. I could listen to her all day. What a great speaker! Wonderful personality, too! Two others spoke up for her first; then it was her turn. She will give us a transportation system that works for us. She wants to help President Obama move our country forward. Betty has a high energy level and lots of enthusiasm. I get energized listening to her.

Next, four questions were asked of Betty and Diana. Here they are:

1.  Will you abide by the endorsement?
     Betty McCollum: Yes
     Diana Longrie: No

2.  What will you do to ensure a win in November?
     Diana: Promote peace; get out of Afghanistan
     Betty:  Help reelect DFL legislators; help elect a DFL governor

3.  How would you balance the viewpoint of your constituents with doing what's right?
     Betty: Vote for families
     Diana: Responsibility is to constituents. Bring troops home from Afghanistan.

4.  Surprise Question for Diana: Get rid of Federal income tax
     Diana: Listen to what the questioner is actually asking; where are they coming from?
     Surprise Question for Betty: A group came into the office to dispute logging.
     Betty: Agrees with the group. She believes that logging criteria needs to change.

The vote was then taken. There were 274 delegates voting, including upgraded alternates. Betty McCollum won by a landslide. She got about 98% of the votes. That's because Betty rocks!!!

The next speaker was Mark Ritchie. He said that we made everyone remember why we're #1! He talked about his opponent and reiterated that he would be honoring his opponent's military service and his public service record. He would debate him on the issues. Ritchie emphasized that we need to stand up in praise of public servants. We need to make our voices heard.

Let's look at a few more pictures before we listen to what the gubernatorial candidates had to say.

Victoria Reinhardt, Ramsey County Board of Commissioners Chair

Senator Sandy Rummel, SD53

Representative Paul Gardner, SD53A

Okay, let's listen to the gubernatorial candidates who were in attendance this morning. It's always a pleasure to listen to them speak. 

R. T. Rybak - He doesn't want to wait even one more minute for a DFL Governor. It's also time to invest in schools and close the achievement gap. And it's time to invest in transportation. He wants to balance the budget and make Minnesota work. He'll win by creating a grassroots campaign from the bottom up. Rybak is a candidate who has an abundance of energy and a way with people. He's a very caring person. He's also enthusiastic and motivated. He's a natural people person and has a youthful exuberance. Almost everyone likes R. T. Rybak. He'd be a very popular governor.

John Marty - "Look deep in your heart and see why you first got involved in politics. Reread the DFL platform. You wrote it and we'll all make it happen. We will pass the Minnesota Health Plan. We will take the governor's office back." John is good on ethics and morals. He doesn't take PAC money or lobby money. He's the author of the best health care bill this state has ever seen. A vote for John Marty is a vote for everything that's good and everything that's right.

Peter Idusogie - He gave a tribute to John Marty. Peter is running so we can preserve all the good things that Minnesota has done. He is for righteousness and justice. He's also an excellent public speaker.

There were a couple of other candidates in attendance who I understand gave a speech. Unfortunately, I missed them because I was in line to upgrade my alternate status to delegate status. These candidates were:

Paul Thissen - I didn't get to hear him speak today, but I've heard him many other times. He's always excellent. He's got fresh new ideas for Minnesota. He's highly intelligent yet has a great deal of common sense. He cares about others, as I can personally vouch for because of all the times he asked me how I am. (He knows I'm fighting a devastating and potentially fatal chronic disease.) What a difference between all the candidates who inquire after my health and the few who don't seem to care at all. Paul is one of the candidates who always takes the time to ask. Also, it's clear that Paul can win. He has moved up very fast. We're very proud of him.

Tom Rukavina - I saw Rukavina earlier but unfortunately for me, I also missed his speech. Tom always adds humor to his speeches which livens up the day and makes everything appear brighter. He's of the old Farmer Labor Party, which later merged with the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party. He's blue collar. He's been a representative from the Iron Range for 24 years. He's got a large following of people who would love to see him as the next governor of Minnesota.

Ole Savior - He's the perennial candidate. He always runs in elections, although of course he never comes close to winning. Why does he run all the time? I forget. I heard it's to promote his art. Today he was seen outside the school. I was told that he didn't come in.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher - I saw her inside the school earlier in the day but I did not hear her speak. I believe she left before she spoke. Don't quote me on that though. 

A couple of candidates did not attend today. They include Susan Gaertner, who is no longer seeking the endorsement but will run in the Primary, and Matt Entenza, who has courted the endorsement, is not likely to win it, but will run in the Primary anyway. Of those three candidates who will run in the Primary regardless of the endorsement, Matt Entenza is the most viable. He can definitely win!!! 

Correction: Susan Gaertner did drop in at the CD4 Convention. I somehow missed her.

The CD4 Convention wound up with some business. We had a short break before the Ramsey County Convention convened. I'll blog that tomorrow. I'm going to bed now. My eyes are growing very very sleepy...

Meanwhile, here's some more pictures.

J. P. Barone

Matt Bostrom

Orrie Salper (in vest)



  1. Hey, great post.

    I don't think *I* was upgraded to delegate status. I asked my dude about that today but I think I just sat for a delegate.

  2. Hi, Colleen. Susan Gaertner was in attendance for a while but didn't speak (at least while I was in the room. Always a pleasure to see you!

  3. Hi Paul. It was great to see you again.

  4. I disagree with you about Matt Entenza..
    I feel for him what you feel for Mark..
    I'd vote for Tom Horner before Matt...


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