Category Archives: Sharon Sund

You need to give Sharon some money, right now

As many of you know, because you’ve not seen me around as much as usual, I’ve been devoting a considerable amount of my time to volunteering for a political campaign in my district. I’m trying to help Sharon Sund replace Erik Paulsen in the Third Congressional District of Minnesota. Erik is the Republican who took over the seat held by Jim Ramstad, who was a moderate Republican.

I wrote a blog post during the last congressional race addressing the question: Who is Erik Paulsen, anyway? Go read it if you have a chance, but I can summarize it for you: Have you seen the old Mission Impossible TV show, where the guy reaches down to his neck and pulls off a mask and it’s somebody else? If Erik Paulsen did that, he’d look like this when the mask came off:

i-b67708282f3b8c7065054dd61dc432a0-Erik_Palusen_After_He_Pullls_Of_The_Mask.jpg

Scary, huh?

There are three reasons that I’m supporting Sharon, and this has evolved over time so pay attention:

1) She is an Unabashed Liberal Progressive. I feel that we need more people like her in Congress, and I feel that running a “moderate” against a “Bachmann Clone” is a doomed strategy.

2) Although I tend to agree with Sharon on issues across the board, I’m particularly interested in her work in Health Care (that thing we used to have until the SCOTUS gutted it, I kid nervously?) and Green Energy and the related Green Economy. She was trained as a scientist and worked in Green Energy, as well as information technology and has experience in the medical device industry.

3) I’ve been watching her, as well as other candidates for various positions in various settings (the latter, over many years) speaking to audiences and small groups, and there is something Sharon does not ever do: She does not adjust her story on the issues depending on whom she is speaking with. She won’t tell environmentalists that she’s for saving the forests, spotted owl collectors that she’s against saving the forests, and Union representatives that she wants to turn the forests into jobs at any cost. (She is generally pro environment and pro jobs, I quickly add. Not sure how she stands on the Spotted Owl specifically, but I’m not worried.)

4) Some issues are hard, difficult, tricky, and approaches to them have to be nuanced and correspondingly complex. Sharon is reluctant to simplify her position on these issues into a sound bite, and prefers to discuss the complexities and hear what people have to say about them. (See the part above about having a background in science.)

5) After watching her campaign for a while, I’ve realized that Sharon has the campaign organization in place to win in November. She is running for the nomination against another DFLer, Brian Barnes (Brian is a really nice guy and is good on the issues too) so there is a campaign going on now for us to observe how she does. And, Sharon Sund is ahead in delegates (we are almost done with the nomination campaign … the last “convention” is Saturday) and had a great showing last Saturday when nine conventions happened on the same day, even winning in her worthy opponent’s home district.

Here is the list of people I’ve had the pleasure to meet working as a volunteer on this campaign; note that the campaign staff has grown as Sharon’s campaign gains momentum, and various experts have flocked to join. Here is the growing list of endorsements Sharon has received. This is a long list considering that endorsements don’t really start happening until after the nomination, or even the primaries, in Minnesota (we have a complicated system).

And now, the moment you have been waiting for. Here is the web page you can go to in order to donate to Sharon’s campaign.

When Sharon or any other person running for office asks for money, they have to be all nice and stuff. I don’t. IF YOU DON’T GIVE SHARON MONEY I WILL BE REALLY MAD AT YOU. I will, of course, be relying on the honor system to see if you’ve donated or not. But I know when you are telling me the truth and when you are not, so don’t even bother resisting. Just click there now and send Sharon 10 bucks. Or 25, if you can.

ORDER BY MIDNIGHT! … It turns out that if you give some money to Sharon’s campaign right now, by the end of the day Friday, there is a person who will match your donation.

That is all, thank you very much.

Running a Well Organized Political Campaign in Minnesota

I have participated in Minnesota Democratic Party (officially known as the DFL1) activities in the past, but never as intimately as this year. In doing so, I’ve observed a number of very interesting things about how a political campaign works, and I’d like to share those observations with you. In particular, I’ll contrast the campaign I’m volunteering for whenever I have a chance (Sharon Sund for US Congress) with the opposing campaign (Brian Barnes for US Congress).
Continue reading Running a Well Organized Political Campaign in Minnesota

Controlling the Message in the Upcoming Campaigns

By “Controlling the Message” I mean setting the agenda, usually by putting something out there that causes other people to shift their own message to be more like yours. I can think of a few spectacular yet small scale examples that are safe to talk about. I’ll give you one, although if certain people hear this they may not be happy.
Continue reading Controlling the Message in the Upcoming Campaigns

Sharon Sund and International Women's DAy

Tonight, in Minneapolis; bring your ideas and some money and we’ll make things happen! I’ve already put my One Good Shirt in the laundry and hope to have it dry in time. See you there?

Key women leaders celebrate Sharon Sund on International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day, a large group of prominent women leaders in government, business and the community are co-hosting a fundraising event for Sharon Sund, candidate for congress in Minnesota’s Third District.

“I am honored that so many respected, talented, courageous women are standing up for me on a day when we need to stand up for all women,” said Sund. “International Women’s Day is a time for us to celebrate the achievements women have made–and are making–worldwide.”

The celebration taking place today in conjunction with International Women’s Day is being held at the home of former State Representative Betty Folliard. It is co-hosted by a large group of prominent and influential women who are supporting Sund. They include: State Senators Chris Eaton and Ann Rest, along with State Representatives Denise Dittrich, Rena Moran, Sandra Peterson and Linda Slocum.

Other prominent women activists co-hosting the event include: former State Representative Luanne Koskinen and long-time community activists: Dottie Gilkeson, Laurie Pryor, Rosemary Rocco, Ruth Usem and Deborah Watts.

Edina City Council Member Joni Bennett, one of the co-hosts of the event, talked about the need for women to be engaged in the political process. “It’s important for women to be involved at all levels of government,” said Bennett. “At a time when much of our discussion is about finding solutions to environmental problems, Sharon Sund’s training and work in science make her a strong candidate for congress.”

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We Need Sharon Sund in Minnesota's Third District

I support and endorse Sharon Sund for US Congress. Sharon will represent the Third District in Minnesota.

For years, the Third District, in which I live, was represented by a moderate Republican, Jim Ramstad. Though I never voted for him, it was not all that annoying that he was in Congress because, as I say, he was moderate. Ramstad was pro choice, suppored stem cell research, he was not anti science and he was pro gay rights (but did not support gay marriage). I mention all this because it should reflect the electorate of the 3rd District which he represented.

Around the time of his retirement, of course, Republicans were busy jettisoning their moderates. When the seat became open two elections back, the Democrats put up a person who could be thought of as a moderate Democrat, and in particular, as a veteran Marine with experience in Iraq, and a lawyer, a candidate who could appeal to the sorts of republicans that must have been electing Ramstad since 1990. That was Ashwin Madia, and I worked for his campaign as much as I had time for, canvassing, phone banking, and blogging. Madia was a great guy but for reasons which I will lay out in a moment, he lost that election despite the coattails of Barach Obama and Al Franken, also running that year.

Madia was defeated by Eric Paulsen, coming from the Minnesota House. Paulsen is a Bush-Bachmann Republican. He opposes a good health care system, voted agains tthe American Clean Energy and Security Act, against all of the economic emergency bills that were proposed a couple of years back, he is uniformly against all gay rights and is in favor of discrimination against women. How did such a person win against Madia in this moderate district?

There are probably two or three reasons. First, Madia was a great guy and his positions were in line with what one would think the district would support, but he was not a dynamic presence on the stage, and therefore no matter what he said during debates and public performances, he did not pick up support during those events. Second, Paulsen matches the district more than one might have thought. Even though Ramstat was re-elected again and again, he also ran against virtually no opposition again and again. When I first moved to the district, and asked around, I discovered that most people didn’t even know if he was a Republican or a Democrat, or what his positions were or, in some cases, if he was a state or federal Representative. Putting it another way, there hadn’t been an election for office of the Third Congressional District since 1990. Third, the above mentioned coat tails were not as long as one might have thought. Remember, Franken only barely beat Coleman, having run what Franken himself calls “The most efficient election to the Senate ever.”

Once Paulsen was in place, he showed himself to be a follower. Mainly, a follower of Michele Bachmann. When his first re-election campaign came up, and he was opposed by Jim Meffert, I did an analysis of Paulsen’s voting record and found that it was almost exactly identical to Michele Bachmann’s (see: Who is Erik Paulsen, anyway?). I think that situation has not changed since the, though it became difficult to compare any one’s voting record to Bachmann because she stopped casting votes to go run for President.

Meffert, running against Paulsen two years ago, was also a moderate candidate, and I think he may have been put forward by the party for similar reasons as Madia; Ramstat was moderate, thus the district is moderate, thus put up a moderate. However, now that this strategy has failed twice in a row, it is clearly time to consider a different option.

And that option is clearly Sharon Sund.

Sund is not a moderate. She is not wishy washy or equivocating on any of the key issues.

She supports investment in education, opposes the unfunded federal mandate, and would never support the teaching of anti-science or bad science in the science classroom. Sund wants to increase Pell Grant funding, expand loan forgiveness, and supports maximizing STEM funding. Her energy and environment policy is pro-environmental and pro-jobs, supporting investment in green energy, and tax incentives for green technology development. At the same time she wants to redirect fossil fuel subsidies to develop green economies, invest in infrastructure, and repatriate jobs via tax incentives.

i-97322e0e0f16b9f8dfdbbec660aa7e87-Sandra_Sund-thumb-300x337-72388.jpgSharon is unabashedly pro LGBTQ. She has made a campaign promise to co-sponsor the repeal of DOMA, supports marriage equality, social fairness and equality, and extends this to partner immigration rights.

Unlike Paulsen, Sharon Sund supported the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, she supports federal funding for Planned Parenthood, is Pro Choice and supports funding of Medicare for parents, children, and others, and supports reinvestment in Head Start and increasing tax credits and deductions for Child Care expenses.

One of the things that attracts me most to Sharon Sund’s candidacy is her position on science. Sharon is actually a scientist, holding degrees in science related fields. She did research and development work on a battery used in windmill-based electricity generation. She supports STEM funding and excellence in science education. You can check out her positions on science and other issues on her web site, but I’ve heard from her directly on these issues and I’m very positively impressed with her enthusiasm regarding the importance of science in policy. Some time in the near future I want to ask her about the Science Pledge and see if she’ll sign on to it. I’m guessing yes. I’ll let you know.

Here’s the thing: Sharon Sund is a clearly progressive candidate who overtly foregrounds science and related economic, educational, health, and social policy informed by science. I really could not have asked for a better candidate running in my district. I hope that you feel the same way. Running moderates in the Third District has not been an effective strategy against a Michele Bachmann clone. The choice has not been clear enough. Name recognition and machine politics have given an advantage to the Republican candidate, and this advantage is only getting stronger. Sund is a progressive who represents the views of many people in this district. She is a pro-science person, and many people who live in this district are in science related jobs (as is the case with all of the Minnesota suburubs). She is a pro-education candidate, and her district is probably the most pro-education district in the state. Sharon Sund can gain support a moderate could have never gained here. And with that support she can actually win this race and allow Minnesota to shift its delegation to a more progressive stance.

If you are not a resident of the Third District of Minnesota, I still need you to do something. I need you to Click Here and donate $10 to Sharon’s campaign. Having her in Congress will benefit you even if you live in Peoria. For that matter, it will benefit you even if you live in Tokyo. So send Yen!

If you ARE a resident of the Third District of Minnesota, then you MUST CLICK HERE and donate $100 to Sharon’s campaign, AND you must volunteer for her.

If Sharon Sund is elected to Congress, the number of scientists in the House of Representatives of the United States will increase by about 15%. You can help make this happen!