Wednesday, March 07, 2007

SD 45 Chili & Chat

SD 45 Chili & Chat (photo: North Star Liberty)
In order to win again, Republican BPOU organizations (Senate Districts in the metro areas, counties in the rural areas) are going to have to figure out a way to rebuild. Like a forest fire that devastates, then permits the regeneration of a forest into something new, the electoral losses of 2006 provide the party's BPOUs with an opportunity to start fresh with new activists and new candidates joining the old timers.

Every BPOU is different, but for some BPOUs, it may all begin with a bowl of chili. The idea started in SD 63 with Rob Hewitt and his crew, who have done fifteen of these events. Last fall, SD 45 decided that a revitalization of their BPOU needed a similar event. They brought the SD 63 chili concept to Robbinsdale Middle School last night. With icy patches in the parking lot and gusty winds outside, approximately 75 Republicans agreed that it was a perfect night for a chili supper.

BPOUs across the state could benefit from a few informal gatherings like this throughout the year, with a mix of old and new activists, some high-profile speakers to spark attendance, good food, and fellowship. At my table, SD 43, SD 33, and SD 42 were represented, and we were all paying attention. The inter-district networking is another good thing about these informal events.

SD 42 was represented at Chili & Chat by former state Representative Peter Adolphson, who is also a vice chair of his Senate District. Peter provided a running commentary of the event at our table, and finished a few of Minnesota Department of Employee Relations Commissioner Pat Anderson's sentences during her remarks (he worked closely on her campaign last year).

Of course, SD 45 Senate candidate Derek Brigham was prominent at the event, welcoming guests and performing well as master of ceremonies.

The MOB was represented by Andy Aplikowski, a.k.a. Triple A, of Residual Forces, and Kevin Ecker of Ekernet, and me. I was going to sit at the round table "bloggers' row," until Peter collared me on the way to the buffet table. There was no WiFi for liveblogging, but that's OK, I don't own a laptop! (If you were one of the other two bloggers mentioned but unnamed by Derek, please let me know in the comments.)

After receiving a warm welcome of applause, Anderson encouraged the audience with her optimism about winning back seats in the Legislature. An audience member asked whether she would consider running for the Legislature or Congress, but somehow didn't ask about the office that delegates whisper about for Anderson after every one of her kick-ass convention speeches: governor. Anderson gracefully responded that she is 40 years old, and the election of 2006 was the only one of five that she's lost (she won her bids for Eagan City Council twice, mayor once, and state auditor the first time), so she's not necessarily finished running for elective office. Adolphson remarked that Anderson's inflatable bulldog mascot is still in her garage, so the brand is not dead, just on hiatus.

Next up was House Minority Leader Rep. Marty Seifert (R-Marshall), the voice of the conservative movement at the Capitol. Seifert shared a long list of the scariest, most sickening legislative proposals from the DFL, many listed on the SD 42 web site. Seifert assured the audience that the House Republican Caucus does have the votes and the will to sustain a Pawlenty veto on the worst of the bills.

An audience member asked whether Governor Tim Pawlenty can be counted on to stand on Republican principles in the face of overwhelming pressure from lobbyists and the media. Seifert responded that he meets with the governor on a regular basis, speaks frankly, and encourages him to "dance with who brung you," as the saying goes.

Conservatives are certainly relieved that after the 2006 election dust settled, Marty Seifert was one of the Republicans left standing, and standing tall.

Taxpayers League Foundation President David Strom had some good news and some bad news to share. According to a poll cited by Strom, 60% of Minnesota DFLers would oppose a statewide tax increase, but only 40% of the state's Republicans would oppose it!

Remarking that liberals ironically stand for the reduction of individual liberty, Strom also cited a Council for Affordable Health Insurance study that found that Minnesota has the most health care mandates in the country, 62 (the U.S. average is 32.5). He said that these mandates are helping to keep health care costs high in the state.

(By the way, be sure to read Strom's latest column, "The Growth of a 21st Century Fascism." It's a cogent overview of how fascism, socialism, and communism — and by extension today's liberal/progressives — are simply variations on the same tune: "they are all dedicated to the proposition that the rights and desires of individuals are properly subsumed by the needs of the whole." Sound familiar?)

Chili buffet (photo: North Star Liberty

Reflecting the conservative slant of those in attendance, the straw 2008 presidential poll chose as yet unannounced candidate Newt Gingrich, with 28%. Mitt Romney and, surprise, Condoleeza Rice, tied for second, each with 14%. John McCain polled 4.8%, behind Duncan Hunter's 7%. Rudy Giuliani scored a middling 9.5%, tied with Tom Trancredo.

1 comment:

the zoom said...

I have opened my blog to communicate with my fallow conservatives, I hope you don’t mind if I don't writhe on your subject

I listened to a speech from a former congressman where he preached how bad the Republicans are in communicating there message to their base and to the public, and how the public does not know anything about what the republicans got done in the 109th congress. And while he was going on about the issues that the Republicans got done, he was also talking about the "earmarks". He explained to the conservative crowd, that "earmarks are les than one tenth of a percent of the federal budget" witch is a stunning fact that makes me wonder why this is the concern of our time in the conservative community.

As he finished his speech, I walked up to him and told him "Mr. Congressman, I might be wrong but I recall reading an article in the Wall St. Journal, about an official in CO criticizing an earmark that Sen. Allard (R-CO) inserted in a spending bill, saying that it takes away the money the State gets from the federal government." So I asked the Hon. Congressman "Is it true that when a congressman or senator inserts an earmark in a spending bill, he does not raise spending? That he just takes away the liberty from one bureaucrat to decide how to spend the money and decides himself where the money should go?"

The answer was yes.

So if earmarks do not raise spending and it's not more then one tenth of one percent of the budget, why is there so much noise about it?

Because we do not communicate, and nobody amongst us is aware of the facts. We have to start communicating, and shouldn't be afraid that someone will slam us, because if you fight back, you have a chance of winning, and if you don’t fight you don’t even have a chance of winning.