This Tuesday, February 6, Minnesotans will attend their precinct caucuses. There will be an essentially meaningless straw poll for Governor, and delegates will be selected to go on to the next level of conventioneering. I intend to vote for Auditor Rebecca Otto in the straw poll, and to join with others to represent my precinct in support of her candidacy for Governor.
There are a lot of reasons for this, but I’ll outline a few.
1) All the Democrats have roughly similar approaches to most issues, and none of them are Republicans, but of all of the Democratic candidates, only Rebecca Otto has detailed and well thought out plans for voters to examine. At a recent forum, one of the candidates said, “I don’t need to have plans, plans never work anyway” right after Rebecca noted that she had a plan for something, and briefly outlined it. That was not a good thing to say for that candidate, because makes it look like only Otto has a clue. And perhaps that is the case.
2) Otto’s energy plan is one of the best, if not the best, energy plans in the country. It involves a Carbon price, and tax incentives for cleaning up energy use. The idea is to attain full electrification as soon as possible in as painless a way as possible for all citizens. The plan is detailed, and yes, of course plans will evolve and change, but the key aspects of the plan are very well worked out. We need to elect candidates who can and will directly address climate change, and Otto is the candidate to do this, according to the experts and in my opinion.
3) Otto is in favor of single payer universal health care.
4) Otto is the education candidate, as a former teacher, and a champion of her local school district. She also has a higher education plan that I like, though it isn’t exactly what I was thinking. (No one has adopted my plan yet, but it is really a national level plan and not a state level plan anyway).
5) Otto is strongest on the environment. One of the main competitive other candidates has voted and acted against the environment again and again. Only one other candidate is unabashedly against piplelines. One of our main issues in Minnesota is copper mining in an environmentally very sensitive area. All of the other candidates have adopted the position that the environmental impact assessment process is based on science, and since science is good, the process is good. Otto knows that this is not enough. I know as someone who worked for years in the environment impact assessment field that the process is not based on science, but rather, on appeasement. Otto recognizes this and she demands a higher level of assurance before proceeding with copper mining, if at all. Not only are the other candidates’ position on this weak, but for at least some, ill informed.
6) Rebecca has an uncanny ability to sit down with two people from two very different perspectives and find places where they share values, and eventually, come to an agreement and move forward on important things. I have no idea how she does that, I would just yell at the other person. Don’t vote for me for Governor, vote for Rebecca Otto!
7) I’ve carefully analyzed all the data and I can assure you that of all the candidates, Rebecca Otto has the best chance, and an excellent chance, of winning against any Republican. She has been elected at the state level multiple times, and we can compare her performance with other candidates using data provided by the Minnesota Secretary of State. Otto beats Governor Dayton across the state, and even wins in places he lost (see graphic below). She beats Congressman Ellison in his own district! She beats everybody almost everywhere. One of Rebecca’s main opponents for the DFL nomination, Tim Walz, is liked by many because as an out state Congressman, he should do well in rural areas. But it is Otto, not Walz, who wins in rural areas. In his own district, Congressman Walz lost in almost all of the truly rural precincts, and ultimately, he won his last campaign because of the Rochester and Mankato university and medical communities that strongly supported him over his Republican opponent.
Rebecca Otto has the best policies, and the best chance of winning. There’s more (see her site for info on her other policies) but that’s enough for Tuesday.