Tag Archives: Sharon Sund

Hope For Climate Change As A Key 2014 Issue

First, a word to my fellow Minnesotans. Go the the damn caucus tonight! For the rest of you, please become aware of the political process where you live and get involved. Science-oriented people, people who understand that climate change is real and important and that we need to develop a green energy economy (with our without nuclear, that’s a separate issue not an alternative) need to become more involved in the political process. Support candidates who understand these things and who will work towards saving us from driving of the cliff we are heading rapidly towards. Also, keep gender in mind; support excellent women candidates. Also, keep diversity in mind. Support diverse candidates. OK, you really can’t be a “diverse” person, but you know what I mean.

Climate change did play a measurable, observable role in some of the elections last year. I don’t think we can say that it was the deciding issue in any campaign, but there is almost never a single deciding issue. Rather, there is a short list of issues that matter in many campaigns, and quite possibly, for the first time ever climate change was on that short list for some contests. It is YOUR job (and mine) to make sure that climate change is on the short list for all campaigns ever from now on. We have to start by getting involved in the electoral process. In the 17 or so US states with a caucus system, this means becoming a delegate. Being a delegate means candidates go out of their way to find you, talk to you, find out what is important to you. Why the heck would you NOT want to do that? Eventually, you will be a member of what is effectively a small Electoral College who will decide who runs from your district. Your vote may end up being one of only dozens that determine candidates for your party at various levels.

For me, I’ll be working to retire the Republican representative from my district, Minnesota CD3. Erik Paulsen is probably more pro-environment than he votes, but he is a cookie-cutter Tea Bag Republican and votes the party line along with Michele Bachmann (I can see her district from my living room) and the rest of the over-the-top conservatives who run the Republican party, and thus, the House, at the moment. He needs to go.

I’ll be working to recruit a woman of color who has a background as a scientists (chemistry degree, worked in green technology early in her career) and for whom climate change and green energy are top issues, along with the usual social justice and economic issues. This is why I’l be supporting Sharon Sund if she runs. (If you want to help me help her to decide to run, even if you don’t live in Minnesota or, for that matter, the US, pleas go SIGN THIS PETITION!)

I’ll also be working with Shawn Otto and others to advance the Science Debate Project. I don’t know what we’d be doing this particular election cycle but we need to have the candidates for president in two years debate science in the public forum. In the mean time, everybody should be debating science in the public forum. And no, I don’t mean science vs. science denialism. I mean demonstrating an understanding of the science on one hand and making claims about policy that is actually based on the science on the other.

Sitting around and complaining about how science does not enter politics and when it does, it does so as a lifeless Tea-Drinking Zombie, is uninteresting and unproductive. It isn’t that hard for individuals to do something, and if enough pro-science individuals get involved, change can happen.

Go make change happen. Please.


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I'd Like Sharon Sund To Run For Congress

This is an open letter to potential CD3 congressional candidate Sharon Sund. There is no declared candidate in this district at this time, but there is an increasing interest in recruiting Sharon to run against Erik Paulsen.
 
 

Sandra_SundDear Sharon,
 
Three years ago I decided to get involved in the Minnesota Third Congressional District election. I had been involved in previous races, supporting various DFL candidates through the caucus, primary, and election process. But this time I decided to explicitly seek out a candidate who was science oriented, who would make issues like climate change a campaign priority and not just an add-on, and volunteer my time. I was pleasantly shocked and amazed to quickly discover that you were seeking the DFL nomination and that you were explicitly pro science, and that you had a degree in an area of science and had worked as a scientist yourself.
 
You may remember that I contacted you to find out more, to verify what it said on your web site, and that we chatted. Not only did it become clear that you really were a science oriented candidate, but that you were also a progressive with experience organizing progressive campaigns (such as support of the Affordable Care Act) and an experienced fund raiser. In short order I volunteered for your campaign, and eventually became staff on that campaign, and at the same time, we became friends.
 
Working on that campaign was a great pleasure for me. One of the things I remember most is the internal policy of that campaign to always be honest, always play fair, always respect other members of the DFL. The idea was to win the nomination, but if not, to remember — and these words were often said by staffers, volunteers, and by you — that we are all Democrats. We did not gain the nomination at the convention, but the very first thing (after a bit of crying and hugging and such) after that was to concede gracefully, to shake the hands of the winner and his team, and to wish them well.
 
Now it is time to consider the next Congressional election. I am asking you to run again, to declare candidacy for Congress of the United States for Minnesota’s Third District. Here are some of the reasons I think you should do this.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST AND COMMENT!

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.

We Must Wrestle Congress from the Republicans!

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:

Minnesota Third District Congressperson Erik Paulsen, after he takes off the mask.

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

A DFL Walking Caucus

This is what a Democratic Party Walking Caucus looks like. It is a thing we do in Minnesota. It is so arcane and complicated that the press never covers it, so no one has any idea that we are doing this to select our nominees for political office. We have a fake “primary” at the beginning of the process, and that is what the press reports, but the “primary” result has nothing to do with the outcome of the process.

In this particular caucus, in my State Senate District, one of the main issues was selecting delegates for US Congress. In this race, Sharon Sund‘s team more or less wiped the floor with her opponent, Brian Barnes, even though the politics and demographics here would have suggested a more even outcome.

Prior to that event, there was a very interesting race between a member of the infamous Anoka-Hennepin School Board and a local teacher for State Senate. The former was well connected politically and had a well organized campaign, the latter an impassioned argument and a homey family-run campaign. The former wiped the floor with the latter.

And that is more evidence of the press’s failings. Anoka-Hennepin School district politics was interesting enough this year to get a write-up in Rolling Stone, but one of the outcomes, that particular political contest, was inaccessible to the press because, again, the press can’t really handle the complexity of Minnesota DFL party politics. (Nor can most Minnesotans, actually.)

DFL LGBT Stonewall Caucus Gives Sharon Sund an “A”

Sharon Sund and a few supporters at a recent Fundraiser in Minneapolis.

Sharon Sund, who is running for United States Congress in the Third District in Minnesota, has received an “A” level rating from the Stonewall DFL Caucus. Here is my endorsement of her.

Sharon has been working tirelessly for all sorts of progressive causes for years, including LGBT issues, health care insurance reform, and so on. She’s also signed the Science Pledge.

For context:

Stonewall DFL is the LGBT caucus of the Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party of Minnesota. Our goal is to encourage participation of LGBT persons within the DFL. We screen and endorse candidates from local school board races to United States Senate. We strive to inform the greater DFL, elected officials and citizens about the issues facing the GLBT community. Being an active member of Stonewall DFL provides greater access to the political process through establishing relationships with elected officials past, present and future.

This is a big weekend coming up; the DFL caucuses for many districts happen on Saturday. You may not be hearing a lot from me the next couple of days because I’ll be a bit busy with that.

In the meantime, it would be helpful if you could go to Facebook and “like” Sharon’s page! If enough people like it, we win!!! (The facebook liking contest, not the election.)

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