Tag Archives: Primary

Don’t Be Confused With A Trumpo-Russian Troll: Chances Are You Already Have Been…

… if you are doing what a lot of people are doing on the Internet. Being wrong!!!!

The Russian organized and operated trolls that will attempt to ruin the 2020 election will sow divisions among Democrats so that the process of selecting the best candidate to go up against Trump will be so badly damaged that they can’t win.

How will they do this? By declaring particular candidates as not electable. By declaring that this or that candidate’s positions are entirely different than they actually are, in a way that makes potential supporters turn away. By causing friction among those who are otherwise allies or friends so that social networking communities are ripped asunder, and so on.

The thing is, most apparent Trumpo-Russian trolls are not actually Trumpo-Russian trolls. Rather, they are you, or others like you, who have fallen into this pattern. Time will tell if this pattern has been promulgated in small or large part as an arm of the Russian attack on our democracy, or if people are just acting this way because it is human nature. But it does not matter. Employing these and similar tactics in our public conversation about our candidates looks and works the same, and has the same effect, whether the act is bought and paid for by the Republican-Trump-Putin axis, or whether it happens all by itself.

Don’t be confused for a Putin Troll. Being like a Putin Troll is the same exact thing as actually being a Russian troll.

All the bad things people say

You can’t fairly judge a candidate based on what people on Facebook or Twitter tell you. Such comments are more often than not inaccurate, often purposefully so.


Claim: Candidate X thinks America is not ready for healthcare for all! Next!

Truth: Candidate X makes a clear statement that we need universal single payer healthcare. The same candidate then lists several possible steps to get there.


Claim: Candidate X is the only candidate that can beat Trump.

Truth: Most people can’t even name most of the candidates, and there has not been a single debate. There are candidates that haven’t even declared yet. There is simply no way to say who can beat whom. As a matter of fact, there is a pretty darn good chance Trump isn’t going to be the guy to beat anyway. He’ll be pushed out or removed or in some other way unavailable.

Please consider this strategy:

The election is so early that not all the candidates have even declared,and most are in fact unknown with respect to position or abilities, regardless of what you may think. So:

1) Wait to declare a candidate you prefer the best. If you like one candidate above the others, do go ahead and say nice things about that individual, but please do not write off the other candidates or attack people who have a different opinion.

2) Wait to write off individual candidates that you really don’t like. There is nothing wrong with having such an opinion, but for now, please do what your mother tried to teach you: If you have nothing good to say about someone, keep your stupid mouth shut for now (I’m sure she was thinking it that way, though she may have used other words).

3) Don’t repeat the trollish comments you hear. They are not hard to identify. A very smart and thoughtful friend of mine did this recently, the first example above is based on that. A candidate was attacked by a troll on twitter. The attack was very inaccruate. My friend simply repeated the attack. Don’t do that, makes you look like an idiot, and it amplifies the trollish message.

4) Don’t BELIEVE the trollish comments you hear. In the case mentioned above in Number 3, virtually no one seems to have responded to the recycled attack by questioning it. Make up your own damn mind with facts you have obtained from good sources and verified. It isn’t that hard. It is your responsibility, your job, to do this.

5) Remember where we are. We are at present BEFORE the beginning. This is not the time to weed out candidates. Take your time. Remember, there is a Democratic debate (probably two) in June. Wait until at least the debate to start weeding out candidates, and even then, be fucking civilized about it, not trollish. Please.

6) Please make the distinction between the process of selecting a nominee and running for president. There are important differences at many levels. A full third, in my estimation, of the embarrassingly stupid things people said during the 2018 race came out of ignorance of the difference.

7) Part of your message, your public opinion, should always be how you will support the nominee no matter what. Note that you can’t really say that now if you also say “I will never vote for Candidate X no matter what.” So stop saying the latter, always include the former. As part of this, please do not let the perfect stand in the way of the pretty darn good.

8) Do not complain about the system of selecting a nominee unless you are willing to spend at least a little time helping to select the nominee other than just showing up like a drone on Primary day. Stand up and do something. You are needed.

Hypothesis: Trump does not hurt his fellow Republicans in elections, and most Democrats don’t care.

Everybody is all upset about Trump and his Republicans, but in truth, that seems to matter little. Here in Minnesota we had a local house district open, there was a special election, and the Democrats didn’t even try to win it, apparently. So they lost it. It was probably winnable.

Same with GA-06. This is one of four seats opening up because of Trump appointments. Will the Democrats try to win these seats?

Of course not. The Democratic Party does not seem to care that the Republicans are in charge, and will not fight them vigorously. The official word from the DCCC is “… we have to acknowledge that those seats are all held by Republicans…” No effort will be put into a fight. (I quickly note, the DCCC has not had my support since they gave Ted Kennedy’s seat to the Republicans.)

I’m reminded of a moment in the TV series “The West Wing,” where the white house, staffed, sadly, by Democrats who think they should never fight if they can’t win, are told by a Democratic Party leader “Look, we know we can’t win this one, but why do you want to make it easy for them?”

Below is Maddow on this madness. I personally will not be helping any version of the Democratic Party that won’t fight. Get up off your damn asses and fight, Democrats!

Meanwhile, let’s kick out the Democrats that won’t fight.

I would love to see my hypothesis proved wrong, but so far it is not happening.

Whom Should I Vote For: Clinton or Sanders?

You may be asking yourself the same question, especially if, like me, you vote on Tuesday, March 1st.

For some of us, a related question is which of the two is likely to win the nomination.

If one of the two is highly likely to win the nomination, then it may be smart to vote for that candidate in order to add to the momentum effect and, frankly, to end the internecine fighting and eating of young within the party sooner. If, however, one of the two is only somewhat likely to win the nomination, and your preference is for the one slightly more likely to lose, then you better vote for the projected loser so they become the winner!

National polls of who is ahead have been unreliable, and also, relying on those polls obviates the democratic process, so they should be considered but not used to drive one’s choice. However, a number of primaries have already happened, so there is some information from those contests to help estimate what might happen in the future. On the other hand, there have been only a few primaries so far. Making a choice based wholly or in part on who is likely to win is better left until after Super Tuesday, when there will be more data. But, circling back to the original question, that does not help those of us voting in two days, does it?

Let’s look at the primaries so far.

Overall, Sanders has done better than polls might have suggested weeks before the primaries started. This tell us that his insurgency is valid and should be paid attention to.

There has been a lot of talk about which candidate is electable vs. not, and about theoretical match-ups with Trump or other GOP candidates. If you look at ALL the match-ups, instead one cherry picked match-up the supporter of one or the other candidate might pick, both candidates do OK against the GOP. Also, such early theoretical match-ups are probably very unreliable. So, best to ignore them.

Iowa told us that the two candidates are roughly matched.

New Hampshire confirmed that the two candidates are roughly matched, given that Sanders has a partial “favorite son” effect going in the Granite State.

Nevada confirmed, again, that the two candidates are roughly matched, because the difference wasn’t great between the two.

So far, given those three races, in combination with exit polls, we can surmise that among White voters, the two candidates are roughly matched, but with Sanders doing better with younger voters, and Clinton doing better with older voters.

The good news for Sanders about younger voters is that he is bringing people into the process, which means more voters, and that is good. The bad news is two part: 1) Younger voters are unreliable. They were supposed to elect Kerry, but never showed up, for example; and 2) Some (a small number, I hope) of Sanders’ younger voters claim that they will abandon the race, or the Democrats, if their candidate does not win, write in Sanders, vote for Trump, or some other idiotic thing. So, if Clinton ends up being the nominee, thanks Bernie, but really, no thanks.

Then came South Carolina. Before South Carolina, we knew that there were two likely outcomes down the road starting with this first southern state. One is that expectations surrounding Clinton’s campaign would be confirmed, and she would do about 70-30 among African American voters, which in the end would give her a likely win in the primary. The other possibility is that Sanders would close this ethnic gap, which, given his support among men and white voters, could allow him to win the primary.

What happened in South Carolina is that Clinton did way better than even those optimistic predictions suggested. This is not good for Sanders.

Some have claimed that South Carolina was an aberration. But, that claim is being made only by Sanders supporters, and only after the fact. Also, the claim is largely bogus because it suggests that somehow Democratic and especially African American Democratic voters are somehow conservative southern yahoos, and that is why they voted so heavily in favor of Clinton. But really, there is no reason to suggest that Democratic African American voters aren’t reasonably well represented by South Carolina.

In addition to that, polling for other southern states conforms pretty closely to expectations based on the actual results for South Carolina.

I developed an ethnic-based model for the Democratic primary (see this for an earlier version). The idea of the model is simple. Most of the variation we will ultimately observe among the states in voting patterns for the two candidates will be explained by the ethnic mix in each state. This is certainly an oversimplification, but has a good chance of working given that before breaking out voters by ethnicity, we are subsetting them by party affiliation. So this is not how White, Black and Hispanic people will vote across the states, but rather, how White, Black and Hispanic Democrats will vote across the state. I’m pretty confident that this is a useful model.

My model has two versions (chosen by me, there could be many other versions), one giving Sanders’ strategy a nod by having him do 10% better among white voters, but only 60-40 among non-white voters. The Clinton-favored strategy gives Clinton 50-50 among white voters, and a strong advantage among African American voters, based on South Carolina’s results and polling, of 86-14%. Clinton also has a small advantage among Hispanic voters (based mainly on polls) with a 57:43% mix.

These are the numbers I’ve settled on today, after South Carolina. But, I will adjust these numbers after Super Tuesday, and at that point, I’ll have some real confidence in the model. But, at the moment, the model seems to be potentially useful, and I’ll be happy to tell you why.

First, let us dispose of some of the circular logic. Given both polls and South Carolina’s results, the model, based partly on South Carolina, predicts South Carolina pretty well using the Clinton-favored version (not the Sanders-favored version), with a predicted cf. actual outcome of 34:19% cf 39:14% This is obviously not an independent prediction, but rather a calibration. The Sanders-favored model predicts an even outcome of 27:26%.

The following table shows the likely results for the Clinton-favored and Sanders-favored model in each state having a primary on Tuesday.
Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 12.50.21 PM
The two columns on the right are estimates from polling where available. This is highly variable in quality and should be used cautiously. I highlighted the Clinton- or Sanders-favored model that most closely matches the polling. The matches are generally very close. This strongly suggests that the Clinton-favored version of the model essentially works, even given the limited information, and simplicity of the model.

Please note that in both the Clinton- and Sanders-favored model, Clinton wins the day on Tuesday, but only barely for the Sanders-favored model (note that territories are not considered here).

I applied the same model over the entire primary season (states only) to produce two graphs, shown below.

The Clinton-favored model has Clinton pulling ahead in committed delegate (I ignore Super Delegates, who are not committed) on Tuesday, then widens her lead over time, winning handily. The Sanders-favored model projects a horserace, where the two candidates are ridiculously close for the entire election.


So, who am I going to voter for?

I like both candidates. The current model suggests I should vote for Clinton because she is going to pull ahead, and it is better to vote for the likely winner, since I like them both, so that person gets more momentum (a tiny fraction of momentum, given one vote, but still…). On the other hand, a Sanders insurgency would be revolutionary and change the world in interesting ways, and for that to happen, Sanders needs as many votes on Tuesday as possible.

It is quite possible, then, that I’ll vote for Sanders, then work hard for Hillary if Super Tuesday confirms the Clinton favored model. That is how I am leaning now, having made that decision while typing the first few words of this very paragraph.

Or I could change my mind.

Either way, I want to see people stop being so mean to the candidate they are not supporting. That is only going to hurt, and be a regretful decision, if your candidate is not the chosen one. Also, you are annoying the heck out of everyone else. So just stop, OK?

The Clinton-Sanders Race in Historical Context UPDATED

I’m going to make this simple. The primary season has not started yet. It starts in a few weeks. Everything we are doing now is pre-Primary. Not one person has put pen to checkmark in a voting booth.

Once that process starts, everything changes. Suddenly there is more polling in downstream states. Starting before the first primaries, but then ramping up as we head towards states that matter (and no, Iowa and New Hampshire don’t matter despite what you may have been told). Same with campaigning. We’ve seen a few debates, there’s been a lot of speeches, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. And other things (fund raising, more endorsements, etc.)

I thought I’d start out a discussion on the historic context by producing the simple graphic above. This is the course of polling (from Real Clear Politics) for the Clinton-Obama race in 2008 up to about now in the process, along side the Clinton-Sanders race this year. The graphic is rough, I just threw it together, but it kind of speaks for itself.

But in case the meaning is not clear, it means this: The primary season has not started yet. It starts in a few weeks.

I made a new graphic to underscore the meaning of the graphic above. Here, I took the 2008 primary season and the 2016 primary season RCP polling data for the two main candidates and ROUGHLY scaled them together. That moment when everything changes for 2008 is about now, or about the beginning of the actual primaries. Will that be what happens this year?

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 2.28.11 PM

Who Won The First Democratic Party Primary Debate?

Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Jim Webb faced off in the Facebook-CNN sponsored debate. Who won?

The individual who “won” is the individual whose poll numbers went up the most, and we don’t know that yet. But there are other ways to win, and other ways to talk about winning.


Barack Obama I am pleased to note that the candidates running for the Democratic nomination were not running away from the President. That proved to be a bad strategy for House and Senate Democrats during the last election, and we are not seeing it today. One of the questions asked during the debate was, “How would your presidency not be a third Obama term?” The ideal answer might have been, “Oh, it will be a third Obama term in many ways,” or even “My first term will be a second version of Obama’s second term.” No one said that, but some implied it, and it was clear that no candidate was trying to distance themselves from Obama. Within Democratic party politics, that is meaningful, and it was an endorsement of President Obama.

The Democratic Party I believe that there are people out there who were either Republicans or who were Independents who watched the GOP debates and then watched the Democratic debate and became Democrats. If you need to know why, you didn’t watch the debates.

Climate Change I am also please to note that climate change was a key issue in the debate, even if CNN did not try very hard to make it so. Many of the candidates mentioned climate change without prompting, and when climate change was brought up it was addressed. Most of the candidates had the “right” answer — that climate change is real, and important.

Martin O’Malley O’Malley is a climate hawk, and also, has a strong position on gun regulation. But, he is relatively unkown. Most democrats and progressives seemed to think he did well in the debate and he made a good impression. He is not likely to move out of the single digit zone, but he has become a factor. Many commenters are suggesting that he advanced into the possible VP slot because of this debate.

Bernie Sanders and Millions of Americans Sanders articulated his central position and did not falter or screw up in any way. Sanders supporters are able to say he won hands down, Sanders opponents can not say he did poorly. But something else happened here. Sanders made a point to a national audience that he has been making all along, which is very important. Like many idealist candidates before him, he has positions that can’t turn into reality because of strong opposition by the Republicans and because of Citizens United. Sanders’ answer to that is to agree, these positions will go nowhere. Unless… Unless millions of people show up outside the windows of the elected officials in Washington to scream at them. He’s right. Having that sociopolitical tactic acknowledged and part of his campaign would make Sanders the best candidate and an effective president if a) he wins and b) the millions of people actually show up. That prospect is now on the table.

Hillary Clinton Many commenters have noted that Hillary Clinton won the debate because she was the best debater. An example of her skill came when her ability to make good decisions was questioned vis-a-vis her vote on Iraq. Her answer was, essentially, that President Obama trusted her with the Secretary of State job, so what the heck? That and several other comebacks served her well. Clinton is a traditional fire and brimstone Democrat. Given a podium for ten minutes she can capture the crowd and bring everyone to a teary-eyed state of Progressive Frenzy with great skill. In the debating context, this is hard to do because the train just starts to leave the station when you get cut off. But on those few occasions when Clinton had the time, she got the train out of the station. Did you notice that? (In contrast, Sanders is a chunker. He has these great, fiery, hard as brick chunks of rhetoric he can slam into any conversation in less than 19 seconds. He showed that ability many times last night.)


International trade deals Sanders made the point that there have been no good international trade deals. Clinton, who was in on the early negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership threw the TPP under the bus. No one came to the rescue of international trade deals. It will be interesting to see if the Gops make this a point in the election. Their knee-jerk reaction will be to do so, but it will hurt them because nobody likes sending jobs and money overseas, and Romney has inoculated the voting populous in this area already.

Lincoln Chaffee Chaffee just did not come off well. Also, he was the only candidate repeatedly questioning everyone else’s ethics with the passive aggressive comment that HE was the one with ethics. Then he fell into the tiger trap by admitting that his 1999 Senate vote to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, which he now sees as having been a bad vote, was made because he had no idea what he was voting for and had some personal problems and stuff. In all fairness, that was a conference vote, which is routinely near 100% even if more were opposed to the original bill, and he never had a chance to debate or vote against the bill earlier on. This is the Senator Problem, where the rules of the Senate are such that most experienced Senators can be singled out as having voted against something they are for, or for something they are against, unfairly. So, it may be unfair to write off Chaffee because of that one gaff. But it was more than just a gaff. It was more like digging a tiger pit for the other candidates then flinging oneself into the hole.

Guns Not every candidate was saying the same things about guns, but here’s the thing. The biggest differences between candidates were exposed in the light of very few issues, and gun regulation was one of those issues. But, it seems that at least within the context of the Democratic Party, the candidates are being judged on how anti-gun they are. Guns lose.

Benghazi and Email Scandals Benghazi was already hanging from the end of a taut rope, but still got beat up during the debate, along with Sanders’ remark that the Republicans need to take Hillary Clinton’s emails and shove them where the sun don’t shine. OK, he didn’t say that exactly, but that is what he, and everyone else, was thinking.

Wall Street Obviously.

So, who really won the debate?

Sanders or Clinton won the debate. The commenters I’ve read seem about evenly divided between the two candidates. However, on line polls are wildly supportive of Sanders over Clinton. Perhaps this means we have to say Sanders won the debate. I personally felt better about both of them after the debate, but it is hard to say if I felt more better about one or another.

Regarding the online polls, I’ve placed a bunch of screen grabs HERE so you can see how that looks. And, this brings up another interesting point.

Notice that I’ve avoided mentioning Jim web in the winners vs. losers sections. Personally, I thought he came off as a whinging wonk, not a potential president. Also, he’s wrong on several issues. Most commenters seem to feel the same. But if you look at those on line polls, oddly, Webb has surprisingly high marks in some of them. Overall, if we look only at the on line polls, Webb came in a solid third, even though most commenters are writing him off. Why?

Why I Will Vote For Rebecca Otto, and Not Matt Entenza

How do you say “Surprise” in Norwegian? The word is “Entenza.” I am not making that up.*

DFL activists and party leaders were both surprised and annoyed when perennial candidate Matt Entenza filed at the very last moment to run for Minnesota State Auditor against sitting Auditor Rebecca Otto in this year’s primary. He claimed he would fight corporate giveaways at the local level and scrutinize spending on education, addressing the state’s achievement gap. Also, he would be nice to out-state local governments and not favor the Metro, because he was born out-state. Entenza has a habit of running, flush with vast family resources, in DFL primaries and against the party endorsement process, and DFLers have a habit of not responding well. Nearly six million dollars of mainly family money got Entenza third place in a three way race for governor in the 2010 DFL primary.

DFL primary voters have to ask themselves three questions on August 12th. First, is Entenza bringing something to the auditor’s office that is valuable? Second, do we need to replace Otto; is she doing a poor job in her position? Third, is Entenza auditor material?

Entenza wishes to improve education in Minnesota. This is not actually the Auditor’s job. Also, Auditor Rebecca Otto has an advanced degree in education and a science B.A. and served as a teacher for five years. Otto chaired a successful $55 million levy campaign in a conservative district, and served on the Forest Lake School Board before serving in the State Legislature. She is not only pro education but a highly qualified contributor to that discussion. Entenza wants to make the Auditor more friendly to out-state Minnesota. Otto, however, has a reputation for fair dealing and respectful interaction with all of the municipalities with which she works state wide. Many, from folks on the street with whom I’ve spoken to the Governor, have questioned Entenza’s motive in running for Auditor in the way he has chosen, and a frequent conclusion often said with a wink and a nod is this: He wants to be governor, and sees the Auditor position as a stepping stone to that. The stepping stone hypothesis certainly explains his candidacy better than any of the things he’s said about why he is running.

His claim to address government handouts must be a reference to the system of Tax Increment Financing. But TIF is not a government handout. It is a development tool that has positively affected the lives of many Minnesotans. More importantly, TIF, as well as education reform, are policy matters for the legislature and Governor. It seems that Entenza wants to have the job as Auditor so he can be that … the legislature and the Governor. But that is not actually how it works, and it makes me wonder if he really understands what the State Auditor does.

We should not be replacing Rebecca Otto. When she came on board, the Auditor’s office had been used as a political tool by the GOP and State-Local Government relations were poor. Otto has been studiously non-partisan and professional in her role, and this has been recognized at a national level. She has the National Excellence in Accountability Award, was elected President of the national State Auditors Association, and was named one of the 15 most influential auditors of all auditors at all levels of government across the entire country (and that is a lot of auditors). She is also the first DFL woman in this position and only one of 7 elected female state auditors in the country. We should be proud of that, not trying to undo it. DFLers know that when they have a top person in a position like this, who chooses to run for re-election, you don’t damage their position by staging an attempt at turnover. That’s not only bad party politics but it is also a negative contribution to governance. Entenza running against a woman who is arguably the top in her field is very difficult to account for.

Aside from the questions already raised about Entenza’s qualifications for the job, one also wonders if a person with a track record of seemingly inappropriate, or at least less than competent, fiscal behavior is the right person to take on the role of making sure everyone else behaves appropriately.

Entenza has been admonished, even fined, a number of times for campaign finance problems. “Neighbors for Matt Entenza Committee accepted excessive contributions from special sources resulting in an inadvertent violation of Minn. Stat. 10A. 27, subd. 11, in calendar year 2002” – Auditors are supposed to identify and address things like that, not do them. Money from lobbyists was inappropriately taken in 2005 as well. A prohibited contribution was also addressed by the state Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board in 2009. I’m not sure how serious these three transgressions are, and I imagine things like this happen in campaigns now and then despite people’s best intentions, but he’s running for State Auditor. He should not have such a record of being, essentially, in need of audit!

A fourth complaint dealt with by the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board related to Attorney General candidate Entenza’s hiring of an investigator to dig up dirt on the DFL-endorsed candidate for governor, Mike Hatch. Perhaps he already had his eye on the Governor’s office and was willing to step beyond the usual boundaries en route. That problem went away when the funding of this apparent opposition research was properly accounted for, though the ensuing scandal seems to have forced Entenza to withdraw from the race. Properly accounted for after the fact. Auditor. I think you get the point.

Entenza’s use of negative campaigning is not restricted to that event in 2006. He is doing this now. Rebecca Otto is an intelligent, thoughtful, progressive Democrat. Many years ago, prior to the co-opting of questions about election fraud were picked up by the GOP and used as a blunt object across the country in a state-by-state attempt to limit the franchise of progressive voters, the Minnesota Legislature addressed voting regulations. Not much came of that, and the only thing that was really being discussed was shoring up the power of election judges when they had questions about voters. As I understand it, Entenza and Otto shared the same position on proposed legislation, and this legislation was entirely different from the more recent Voter ID Amendment shoved into the election cycle two years ago by our largely dysfunctional Republican leadership. Entenza is now claiming that Rebecca Otto is, or was, or would be, or could be, supportive of a Voter ID bill or amendment, yet this is not even close to the truth. It is a dirty trick. A similar claim is being made about Otto and same sex marriage. In truth, Rebecca Otto campaigned vigorously on both issues when they emerged in 2012.

One might think that both of these ploys are weak and that DFL voters will see right though them, but that is not necessarily the case. A few days ago a young, newly minted DFL activist, a political science major at the University of Minnesota, asked me what campaigns would be good to work for to gain experience and to start to make connections. I suggested three different campaigns and specified the potential benefits of volunteering for each of them. One of the campaigns I suggested was Rebecca Otto for Auditor. Later that day she contacted me with a question. She had heard the Entenza campaign apparent fabrications of Otto’s position on Voter ID and was concerned. She had spent quite a few hours interning for campaigns against both the Marriage Amendment and the Voter ID Amendment – her first real experience in political activism. Entenza’s inappropriate and inaccurate characterization of his opponent, a fellow DFLer, tainted, as it was seemingly meant to, the reputation of one of our best elected officials. I found this disgraceful. This is, in fact, the reason I decided to write this commentary.

I agree with many of Entenza’s policy positions, and I wish he was in elected office somewhere in Minnesota. But I also wish he was not running in this primary because I think Rebecca Otto is an outstanding auditor and we don’t need this fighting inside the party. In particular, I don’t appreciate the implications that Otto is not doing her job well, which includes a certain amount of apparent fear-mongering on issues like social security, and I don’t like the use of the auditor’s position as a platform for implementing policies, even if those are good policies.

I’d like to give Matt Entenza some advice, spoken originally by a DFL progressive about his own campaign for office, on the day he withdrew knowing his candidacy could hurt the party and the state. He said, “Fighting for important issues is one thing. Fighting in politics is quite another. While I’m confident that I could win the race … staying in the race could hurt the Democratic Party and the progressive issues I care about so deeply.”

Take your own advice, Matt.

*Actually, I am making that up. Matt Entenza’s Wikipedia page claims this to be so, but Google Translate begs to differ. I don’t speak Norwegian. But it may be the case that Matt’s Wiki page needs … auditing.