Monday, July 17, 2006

The heat is on

Hopkins tents (Photo: North Star Liberty)
On Saturday afternoon under a blazing sun and gusty winds, a bank thermometer on Excelsior Boulevard read 103, but Republican spirits were as high as the temperature at the Hopkins Raspberry Festival.

Judy Johnson, challenger for the Minnesota Senate District 43 seat currently held by Terri Bonoff, was calm, cool, and collected, with friends and family handing out cold bottled water and Johnson for Senate stickers and tattoos. Johnson was clearly energized by meeting the voters, even as the rest of us sought relief from the oppressive heat index by plunging hands into the ice water bath for the bottled water, and slurping ice cream from the Stone Cold Creamery stand across the street. The campaign enjoyed a similar warm welcome from Raspberry Festival parade goers on Sunday.

David Johnson (no relation to Judy), candidate for the open House District 43B seat, introduced himself to voters.

During his visit to Republican Hopkins Raspberry HQ, Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) revealed part of why, when the Legislature convenes, he's one of the smartest guys in the room: he is constantly collecting knowledge, and his kids will be the same way. He asked his young son, "What do I say whenever you ask me what a word means?" "Look it up in the dictionary," came the rote reply. Hann also gave us a quick history of why there's a raspberry festival in Hopkins.

Campaigns for Republican candidates Bill Cullen, (42A Eden Prairie) and Jason Van Buren (44A, St. Louis Park-Hopkins) occupied the tent next to Judy Johnson's. We greeted former state Representative and SD 42 vice chair Peter Adolphson.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer stopped at the Republican tents to say hello.

Even a few non-Republicans dropped by. Minneapolis City Council Member Paul Ostrow, who will run in the DFL primary election for the Fifth U.S. Congressional District, asked for our votes(!) with two field staff. (Pleasant visit, but if we lived in the Fifth, Alan Fine would get our votes.) A Green Party volunteer hustled a petition to get Dave Berger on the ballot for state auditor.

Shar from Minneapolis is back. A volunteer from Shar's Citizens Campaigning Against Renegade Legislators (CCARL) told us that CCARL is tapping into the widespread lingering anger over the referendum-less Hennepin County sales tax. They are reminding citizens that the Legislature merely granted Hennepin County permission to levy the tax, and the tax still must be enacted by the county. The county still could hold a referendum, or decline to levy the tax! Check out their newsy web site and sign their petition.

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