Notes from the Convention Floor III

Continuing along the same lines as my previous posts, these are simply notes I was taking, they are raw with very little polish. Last post ended in the middle of a string of speeches and we’re going to continue from there.

Glen Menze, 7th congressional district candidate

-I like Menze, he did sign the FreedomWorks no-earmarks pledge (unlike Rep. Bachmann and Rep. Kline), but he’s going against Colin Peterson, who has won this district like 2343 times.
-A campaign against Peterson from an anti-war Republican (someone like a Ron Paul) would be an interesting race, as I don’t think Peterson has the best anti-war credentials. Menze didn’t talk about the war in Iraq at all in his speech so it’s possible his views on Iraq are different than the prevailing Republican attitude, I just don’t know (but I doubt it).
-The Ron Paul people probably should have also pushed their own candidates to run against longtime Democratic incumbents in districts like the 7th, but they didn’t. Having Congressional candidates (anti-war Republicans) running across the nation would have given them a lot of weight and momentum and allowed them to keep the conversation on Iraq moving until election day.
-As for Menze himself, he’s got more charisma than most accountants…
-He discussed why we need to run candidates against entrenched incumbents (it uses up opposition resources which could be used elsewhere) and he made a case as to why he thinks this is a winnable race (literally “hey, miracles can happen”).
-His focus was on the fiscal side of things (As Rep. Peterson is socially conservative)

Barb Davis White, Running against Keith Ellison (after the Jump)

-I like Barb Davis White, she’s exactly the sort of Republicans we need to start making inroads against Democrats in Urban areas.
-She had the line of the day “I’m black and I’m Jewish, I like to talk” She poked fun at herself and was quite charismatic.
-She’s a Ron Paul person, which I think is a positive for her (though I’m not sure of her views on the war in Iraq as she didn’t talk about it at all).
-Not a lot of substance, but it’s a state convention, who needs it?

(I don’t want to be mean, but these speeches all reminded me of something the Brits used to do before their executions, it was called the speaking from the bench, it was done after a person had been convicted of a capitol crime and it was the last opportunity for the condemned to speak about whatever was on their minds. The Irish made an art form out of ‘em)

There were some procedural matters mixed in here somewhere, we had a discussion and a vote on some elements of the platform, and after a quick debate we added an anti-UN resolution to the platform (and not a mushy one, this one said the US should get out of the UN outright).

I don’t know who said it or when, but I have in my notes a quote “running on the platform is important for out success” and right next to it is a notation from me “Whatever.”

I also made some notes regarding Blacks and Republicanism while Barb Davis White was speaking. There are a lot of Black Republicans. Millions of them in fact. But they’re in, on the whole, very liberal districts. Unfortunately, liberal districts get allocated fewer delegates to the convention process which makes it harder for people like Barb Davis White to move up in the party. Losing carries a very real and persistent stigma in the GOP. Even though there are plenty of good, Black Republicans like Barb Davis White out there, because they lose in tough districts they’re still branded as losers.

Unfortunately, I can already see it, Barb Davis White loses in the general against Keith Ellison (by a lot) and slowly fades away from active involvement in the Party.

(Wow, even I, a colorblind and slightly insensitive Republican, think Blacks don’t get a fair chance in the Party. That’s saying something.)

At least Barb Davis White is going to be the best candidate in that district in a long time. The MNGOP has done a better job of candidate recruitment than in the past.

Okay, Ron Carey is giving his speech.

-I like the guy and supported him to be chair, but this convention and the last couple of years have been as big of a disaster as Ron Eibensteiner’s.
-And Carey is a lukewarm speaker at best. Nothing exciting going on here at all.
-He’s pushing a new “common sense” agenda, which is basically selected parts of the MNGOP platform with the words “Common Sense” sprinkled in.
-“Common Sense” isn’t going to win us any elections, sorry.
-He’s also giving out some activists awards. Which is nice.
(I left as soon as he started giving out the awards to get some grub)

Back in, there’s a presentation from the “New and Earned Media Committee”

-New media is generally free, but can be time consuming, especially social networking sites. Be wary
-Get a website, they pay for themselves by making online donations possible
-Get and read blog[s]. Okay, it’s funny, they say to all these GOP activists they should start reading blogs but don’t give them a place to start, like, oh, I don’t know, Michael Brodkorb, Mitch Berg, King Banaian, etc etc. You can’t just tell some out of state activist who’s not tech savvy and probably got a cell phone back in 2006 when they were giving the things away and still doesn’t know what a “text message” is or how they’re used to go out onto the web and find a “blog” when that activist probably doesn’t know what the verb “google” means. (Ha, he’d have to google google). Give them one blog with a web address at least.
-They’re going to produce a packet to help BPOU chairs with the new media and how to get earned media.

Another speaker, this one on the EDOs or Election Day Operations (I think the speaker was Dorothy Fleming but don’t quote me on that)

-We need poll observers
-Need election judges (“don’t mail your application, hand deliver it” that’s good advice, always hand deliver charged political material by hand to intended recipient, that’s politics 101)
-Take election day off (this allows you to poll watch or GOTV or whatever)
-Nonchalantly wave your ID card while waiting in line to vote, this often scares people out of the line (presumably because they’re fraudulent voters) even though ID cards are not required in Minnesota. (Okay, that’s nice, I can’t say I disagree, but that just sounds bad, this should probably have been sent along to the BPOU chairs instead of being verbalized at the convention.

Just about done with all the notes, expect another post soon. After all the notes are posted I’m going to go back and give some reflections on the convention