On the day of yet another school shooting (in Maryland), we have some serious issues to think about.
Every four years in Minnesota, we elected a new gubernor. We’re doing that right now.
This is an especially important race, for four reasons.
1) We have to have Democratic rule in Minnesota for the next eight years in order to ensure rapid change towards fossil-fuel-free energy systems, rapid change to universal single payer health care, and other issues.
2) We currently have a Republican legislature (both houses) and a Democratic Governor, who has been doing as good a job as possible to keep the Republicans from totally ruining everything. But, while Governor Dayton can stop the Republicans most of the time, he can’t make them move forward in the above mentioned directions.
3) Our state legislature is VERY likely to go totally blue in November. The Senate is so close, it could happen by simple political Brownian Motion all by itself. The house is less close but we will prevail there.
4) However, never before in the history of this state, owing to the self destructive voting habits of Minnesotans, has a DFL candidate (DFL=Democratic) taken the Governorship in an open race following a DFL incumbant. Dayton is retiring this year, it is an open seat, and if the DFL candidate wins, that will be the first time for that happening ever.
Even though history says no, history, especially this kind of history, history of patterns in electoral politics, is often wrong. For years the tallest candidate won the presidency. Until that stopped happening. That sort of thing. (By the way, if Clinton had beaten Trump, that would also have been highly unusual, as the same pattern pertains nationally.)
There is one candidate, Rebecca Otto, who has the best chance of winning sate wide in this politically bifurcated state. I know this because I’ve carefully analyzed the data. See: Rebecca Otto: by far the strongest and most progressive candidate for Minnesota Governor in 2018. To quote myself,
All the available data strongly indicates that Otto will beat all the other contenders across state in the upcoming Governor’s race…
Otto vastly outperformed both Governor Mark Dayton and Congressman Rick Nolan in every county on the Iron Range and across the entire 8th Congressional District in 2014, improving her margins after [a highly risky vote in favor of the environment and against a big mining company that wants to mine there] …
Otto grew her margin in every Iron Range county in 2014 by an impressive average gain of 9.51 points, for a 72% bigger margin across the Iron Range as a whole.
…Otto outperformed Nolan by 12.15 points on the very Iron Range that was supposed to cost her re-election. And Otto’s margins were even better on the Iron Range than they were in the 8th CD as a whole, where she outperformed the Congressman’s margin by a stunning 10 points.
Otto’s strong popularity is why Nolan asked her to headline or speak at events…
Otto is also an exceptionally strong performer in urban/suburban areas, outperforming Congressman Ellison’s margins in 14 of 20 house districts, and across the 5th CD as a whole….
And so on.
Otto is the environmental candidate. Her main competitor in this race, Congressman Tim Walz, has a very mixed environmental voting record. Meanwhile, the state’s Democratic Party (DFL) Environmental Caucus endorsed Otto. Famous climate change scientist Michael Mann endorsed Otto. Much of this has to do with Otto’s clean energy plan, which is probably the most advanced and clearly worked out state level energy transition plan out there. (There is no federal plan.)
For these policy reasons, as well as others (too many to mention here) I have been supporting Rebecca Otto for some time now. I also know her as a person, and trust me, she will make the best governor.
Guns and gun violence
The other main candidate in this race for party endorsement, Tim Walz, has been an NRA funded pro-gun representative in Congress for 12 years. He consistently supported NRA backed legislation, and has constantly taken NRA donations, and donations from other groups. I’ve carefully documented Walz’s waltz with the gun lobby, and the fact that regardless of what was happening in our schools and with other mass shootings (hundreds dead over Walz’s time in Congress).
But then he got Vinicked. Parkland happened. Suddenly, it was better to be anti gun as a person running for governor across the state. Suddenly Tim Walz favored policies he had worked 12 years to oppose. I regard this as nothing other than a craven attempt to garner votes he does not deserve.
During the 4,700 days (12 years and 10 months) since the Red Lake Massacre, which occurred just as Tim Walz was starting his political carer, over 500 people have been killed and over 1,300 wounded in mass killings. During the same period, over 300,000 Americans have died of gunshot wounds, mostly from suicide, with criminal homicide next in line as a cause. A large number of those suicides and plenty of the homicides (which are often domestic abuse related) were made possible or made deadly because of the prevelance of more than 300 million guns in America and the dearth of regulations requiring guns to be safer, better secured, and accounted for….
When the news of Parkland shocked this nation, hundreds, possibly thousands, of activist Minnesotans with the DFL (Democratic Party), Indivisible, and other groups, raised their voices against the politicians in Washington who supported guns. Then, over the subsequent few days, those same concerned activist started to realize that their own guy, Tim Walz, was one of the people that had caused this problem, as a full-on NRA and gun lobby supporter.
It was only then, as Walz started to see his position in the top tier of candidates for Governor of Minnesota slip away, that he turned on his NRA keepers….
One could congratulate Congressman Walz for changing his stance on an issue in deference to his constituents. But in my view, a dozen years of strict adherence to a particular position that is so closely associated with danger to our society is not something a politician is allowed to suddenly walk away from.
And now, I’ve just learned this, from Rebecca Otto:
I’m pleased to announce that I have received the Gun Sense Candidate distinction from Moms Demand Action.
Our kids are counting on us to be the grownups in this discussion-and when they’re practicing active shooter lockdown drills in kindergarten we have to stop and ask ourselves what we are doing to them.
It’s time for some evidence-based, commonsense public safety measures to reduce gun violence. That is why I have been pushing to resume studying it as a public health issue for years. We need evidence to pass appropriate legislation, and for that legislation to withstand a court challenge by the NRA. It’s also why I support a ban on assault-style weapons, bump stocks and high-capacity magazine clips, as well as universal background checks.
For too long, politicians have paid lip service to ending gun violence while taking NRA money and eagerly cosponsoring and voting for NRA bills. My opponent Tim Walz did that for over a decade before recently changing his stance when it became expedient. By working together, I’m confident that we can move past the big money politics of the gun lobby and arrive at a solution that serves the common good, but it takes someone who will lead. That’s what we do best in Minnesota – we lead.
In her press release, Rebecca asks people to consider finding the nearest March for our Lives March here.
I will ask you to CLICK HERE and give Rebecca $17. The most widely used “Glock” is the Glock 17. Send a message.