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Monday, July 13, 2009

Gordon-Rybak 2008 agreement

Click here to listen to audio excerpts.

Greens who endorsed Cam Gordon May 9 may be surprised to learn that he had already agreed to endorse R.T. Rybak by then.

In Bicking v. Rybak July 7, the mayor was asked when he first had discussions with the council member about mutually supporting each other.

“I believe it was some time in 2008,” Rybak replied. He went on to say that he approached Gordon and expressed a desire to support him in the next race. “I believe he said that he had similar feelings and supported me,” Rybak said.

When asked if it was his understanding that Council Member Gordon intended to endorse him for Mayor, Rybak replied, “Absolutely.”

Later, Peter Wagenius, Senior Policy Aide to Mayor Rybak, took the stand. He said he spoke with Gordon and with Gordon’s Aide Robin Garwood “as early as mid-2008.”

According to Wagenius: “Just like the mayor was going to discourage the DFL party in Ward 2 from endorsing somebody against Cam, Cam was going to discourage the Green Party from running somebody against R.T.”

This may explain why Cam personally lobbied me against the idea of endorsing Al Flowers as a Green candidate for Mayor.

How can we as a party provide an objective critique of R.T. Rybak as mayor, and perhaps an alternative vision, as is our purpose?


At Tue Jul 14, 12:12:00 AM CDT, Blogger Kevin C said...

As much as I support Cam, he would not be able to sway me or the party from endorsing a mayoral candidate. Just as Gary Schiff can lie to people all over Ward 9 and say the Greens are not united behind Dave Bicking, even though we are.

Al Flowers chose to run with the DFLers. Greens have continually asked him to seek our endorsement to no avail. This is a losing strategy for Flowers as the media would cover a partisan candidate, but not someone who couldn't receive a sliver of his party's support.

The fact no one else has run for Green endorsement does not prove Cam could block any potential endorsement.

RT did not stop the former DFL Ward 2 candidate from running. Cam's opponent was receiving a lot of media attention up until his political demise. And if it weren't for the Minnesota Daily discovering the candidate's background, would have likely received DFL endorsement and would still be in the race today.

Mayoral candidates did not go to Cam to seek our party's endorsement. Just as DFLers would not ask RT for support in Ward 2, unless that is how the DFL operates. Regardless, it is clear to me that Greens are not that controllable.

At Tue Jul 14, 04:08:00 PM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Cam and I have agreed to stay in communication, but I do have a problem with the principle of it. If we had an interested, serious candidate, how would this have played out? A whisper campaign can destroy a candidate's chances even before they can get started. And it's not like this was overt. People look up to our few elected officials as opinion leaders, and they expect honest assessments based on the issues and what's best for the people. They don't expect secret reciprocal arrangements behind the scenes.

At Sun Jul 19, 10:33:00 AM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

At our 5CD meeting yesterday, I asked Cam directly, and he again denied endorsing Rybak before May 13. He suggested that Rybak and Wagenius may have misunderstood what he had told them before then. Dave Bicking was also at the meeting, and agreed with Cam. Cam also denied agreeing to discourage us from running a candidate for mayor, and maintained he had opposed Al Flowers for the reasons he had stated at the time. As I recall, one reason Cam gave was that he felt Al had said something inflammatory, I believe on his cable TV show.


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