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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Crashing the DFL convention

Had a great time crashing the DFL convention in Rochester yesterday. Our group of five unfurled a banner, chanted, passed out lit, visited with DFLers, and attended their debate for Secretary of State. The DFL tolerated us for the most part, kind of like when the federation first boarded the Borg cube. The collective did not see the intruders as a threat. We had a chance to introduce our message, which is that unlike Amy Klobuchar, Michael Cavlan wants immediate withdrawal, single payer, nuke plant phaseout, and impeachment. Also, unlike Mike Hatch, Ken Pentel would not have signed the Twins stadium bill.


At Mon Jun 12, 01:21:00 AM CDT, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

The convention is having less meaning all the time.

I heard the convention on NPR.

Mark Dayton endorsed Hillary.

At Tue Jun 13, 09:59:00 PM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Yeah, he also didn't support Feingold censure measure. On an elevator I pointed out the censure gap to a guy who was wearing buttons for both Feingold and Klobuchar, and he got a little snippy.

At Thu Jun 15, 09:12:00 AM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Larissa Carlson did a great writeup that appeared on the Green Party discussion list...


This was sent to me by one of the folks in our core campaign for US Senate, Larrissa.

She asked me to forward it to the GP Listserve.

So, here it is. Enjoy.

Michael Cavlan

-----Forwarded Message-----
>From: Larissa Carlson
>Sent: Jun 14, 2006 12:48 PM
>To: Larissa Carlson
>Subject: Being the annoying flies on the wall at the MN Democratic convention
>The trip to the state Democratic convention was more
>productive than I would have imagined. Originally I
>was just thinking that it would be nice to be a fly on
>the wall and know what they were up to and how they
>organize things at a convention. Other people felt
>very certain that it was a good opportunity to protest
>so we spent Friday night making banners. I found an
>enormous bedsheet size piece of green fabric amonst my
>quilting bins and this was transformed into a generic
>reusable banner that will do for future parades and
>protests as well. We also took some cardboard boxes
>and made a few signs.
>There were 2 cars of us, being that it was a fairly
>last minute idea. Mike Cavlan, the green party
>endorsed state senate candidate and Tom arrived first
>and scoped out the place and gave us running updates
>as we in the second car got stuck in construction
>traffic. By the time we got there we discovered that
>Tom's previous work for DFL candidates made him privy
>to lots and lots of good contacts. Mike also knew
>many folks from his activism.
>We went into the main arena at the Rochester civic
>center and during a quiet moment unfurled the great
>green banner that said simply: Vote For Peace,
>Withdraw Now, Vote Green. I was the official
>cameraperson and took lots of shots. They chanted
>until they got busy on stage again. It just so
>happened to be the veterans part of the program. They
>asked everybody with a family member on active duty to
>stand and then they had all the veterans go up front
>and they filled the stage. Mary's son is in Korea
>waiting to be shipped to Iraq so she stood up too. We
>kept waiting to get kicked out but so far, so good.
>At the end of their program they put on the star
>spangled banner. I was in the tier below to take the
>photos and suddenly I heard this loud operatic voice
>belting out the star spangled banner. It was Mary and
>Tom along side her. So I sang too and others joined
>in and it was really a hair raising moment. Later I
>heard from the President of Carver County's Veterans
>for peace that even some of the delegates were happy
>to see our sign.
>Finally someone who organized the convention said we
>were free to hold up our banner as long as we didnt
>block anyone else's sign. It was like political
>wallpaper so we went down to the front lobby where I
>got a chance to take out a sign that Dan had made,
>Healthcare not Warfare, and to which I had added in
>smaller letters, Liberate our tax dollars from war in
>the middle east. I held this up and I can tell you
>that a steady stream of attendees thanked me for the
>sentiment and one commented, "If the democrats started
>acting like that and not just talking, we might win
>some elections." Very few people were negative about
>our presence and a large number of people wearing
>peace pins stopped and accepted literature. No doubt
>they were disheartened by endorsement of Amy Klobuchar
>who has no plans for withdrawal.
>Afterwards we went to a debate between the secretary
>of state candidates, Christian Sande and Mike Ritchie.
> The green party didnt nominate anyone for this
>position this year. Possibly a lack of nominees but
>also in consideration of the fact that Ritchie is a
>strong supporter of Instant Runoff Voting, the cure
>for the so called "spoiler" effect. Most people dont
>know what the secretary of state does but one very
>important part is ensuring fair and legal elections
>with equal access for all.
>The SofS is supposed to be neutral even though
>belonging to a party and therefore cant be involved in
>anything that will be a conflict of interest like
>Ohio's was in 2004. With IRV, you can vote for up to
>3 candidates for the same office, with your top choice
>first. They eliminate the least popular and then add
>up the votes for the other two to determine the
>winner. It allows a chance for third parties to win
>votes without stealing from other parties or throwing
>the election. Ritchie won the nomination and was
>probably the only good endorsement I saw come out of
>the Dem Conv.
>Later we got to meet John Marty who is in our MN
>legislature and I was told is the most progressive
>legislator we have, a strong statement to make after
>the death of Wellstone and the void that created. Tom
>worked on his campaign. He was remarkably open to
>talking with us. For everyone who has ever thought
>that there is no point in being involved in a third
>party, I will tell you what he told us. In certain MN
>districts in which a republican hasnt got a snowball's
>chance in hell of winning, a green opponent is enough
>to not only scare the democratic candidate, but also
>keep them honest because they know they cant get away
>with everything. In other states this might be an odd
>thing to say but in some districts, like Minneapolis,
>the city council has people who are DFLers and Greens,
>but no Republicans at all. So I asked him if he
>really felt the Greens were making a difference in
>policy, and he said yes, without a doubt.

At Mon Jun 19, 12:26:00 AM CDT, Blogger Sheryl said...

I thought Dayton wasn't seeking re-election.

At Mon Jun 19, 06:56:00 PM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

He isn't. We're running against Klobuchar. Renegade was just commenting on DFL-related news. Sounds like you had a good trip!

At Sun Jun 25, 10:57:00 PM CDT, Blogger Sheryl said...

Yeah, but it wasn't nearly long enough.


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