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Monday, January 07, 2008

Minnesota Presidential Forum Jan. 5

We had a successful candidate forum in Minnesota Jan. 5 with Kat Swift and Jesse Johnson. David Strand and I took them to the state meeting in St. Paul, where they visited with GPMN members. We ate lunch with Lydia Howell from community radio station KFAI. Lydia plans to interview each of the candidates soon by phone. In the afternoon we went back to the meeting and the candidates each spoke for about 7 minutes. There were about 100 members there, who received the candidates well.

There were about 30 in attendance at the forum over in Minneapolis. Danene Provencher said a few words about the Draft Nader campaign, Farheen Hakeem spoke on behalf of the Cynthia McKinney campaign, and David Strand updated us on the other candidates who were unable to attend.

For the forum, we just let the candidates talk and kept track of total accumulated time for each candidate. This tended to result in longer responses, which may have slowed the pace, but allowed the candidates to cover subjects in more depth. A couple things were not anticipated. One was whether to stop the timer if a candidate asks a question of an audience member. Another thing was what to do when one candidate has run out of time and an audience member addresses a question to both candidates. No one seemed to mind that we were a little flexible on time at the end. Jesse spoke for roughly 40 minutes and Kat for 30.

After the forum we stayed in the Midtown Global Market and had some food and drinks at A La Salsa, where interested Greens visited at length with the candidates.

I am currently in contact with the videographer and a photographer to see if we can get the videos up to the web. I cc'd Ian Wilder and Scotty of the GPUS.

Tom Cleland


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