Presidential Survivor Series

National Report

With the current list of 2020 Democratic candidates being sixteen long, with at least one more (former Vice-President Joe Biden) waiting in the wings, the activities for winnowing the field will be quite strenuous. The ability for any candidate to stretch the field and separate themselves from the pack will be a series of maneuvers and missteps.

With his announcement, followed by the one-day fundraising figures of $6.1 million, former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) leads in the Money Primary, supplanting US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) figure of $5.8 million. As each candidate struggles to gain any traction and climb out with better than double digits for gauged support and increases in Name Id, it’s clear, the coffers need to continue to fill.

Both O’Rourke and Sanders have a significant amount of breathing space.

In case you are unclear who is on the list here, it is in alphabetical order.

US Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend, IN)

Former Transportation Secretary Julian Castro (D)

Former Congressman John Delaney (D-MD)

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI02)

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

US Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)

Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO)

Governor Jay Inslee (D-WA)

US Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN)

Mayor Wayne Messam (D-Miramar, FL)

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)

US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Marianne Williamson (D-CA)

Andrew Yang (D-NY)

No Country for Old Men

National Report

One theme we would like to see discussed is the end of septuagenarians as Presidential candidates. The United States should respect it’s elderly, but we have all seen the costs born by people who hold the office, and how they age before our eyes.

The United States is “No Country for Old Men, and we mean Donald J Trump (R), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Joe Biden (D). They have exceeded their shelf life and now should assume their venerable role as elder statesmen.

Beto can still run for US Senate in Texas

National Report

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) entered the Presidential field with quite a splash, but he also has a backdrop. Because we are nearly 11 months before the start of the 2020 Presidential cycle we will see if his candidacy gains traction or if it is merely a well-financed beauty contest. He is well-positioned as a Vice-Presidential pick, but it would be assumed he would need to be selected by someone other than another white male.

In this current time, we doubt a Biden/O’Rourke ticket will have much appreciation in the #MetToo era.

We would not be surprised if O’Rourke pullback in the midst of the Presidential campaign and threw his hat back in the ring for US Senate against US Senator John Cornyn (R).

Lesser Impact of Wedge Issues During the Legislative Session

Minnesota Report

It is true elections have consequences, and that no election is like another, but the value of holding an election certificate empowers one to make every decision in light of a series of factors when casting a vote. One fact, the one-person in control of their vote is that specific member.

As we watched the gather of Mos Demand Action and heard the words of First Lady Gwen Walz (DFL) we were not surprised when they fell on fairly deaf ears. As she said, “If they do not put it up for a vote, there are seven senators sitting in seats where Tim Walz won…and we are coming,” actually the list is ten long and we have provided it below. When the response from State Sen Warren Limmer (R-34, Maple Grove) was, “Bring it on,” it is clear he holds the gavel in the Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee.

The push on any issue for gun control, marijuana, or any other issue will play a pivotal role in the suburban seats like Limmer’s, though not until November 2020. Sure, pressure can be applied and hands can be wrung, but it will mean little to the Senate incumbents because they believe the formula that got them elected in 2016, being on the same ballot as Donald J Trump (R) will be what they face in 2020.

Rallys, protests and other political maneuvers will not likely sway incumbents to a different position.

As we have said before, Sens Paul Anderson (R-44, Minnetonka) and Dan Hall (R-56, Burnsville) are in the most vulnerable positions, because of both House Districts changing parties in the last election, but Sen Jeremy Miller (R-28, Winona) should also keep a sharp eye.

District Republican Candidate Vote % DFL Candidate Vote % House Member Party
11A Johnson 7390 40.56% Walz 10110 58.30% Sundin DFL
11B Johnson 8542 55.30% Walz 61.92 40.90% Rarick Republican
14A Johnson 8594 48.98% Walz 8323 47.44% Theis Republican
14B Johnson 5860 42.18% Walz 7258 58.07% Wolgamott DFL
25A Johnson 9772 49.85% Walz 9215 47.01% Quam Republican
25B Johnson 7351 38.46% Walz 11206 58.63 Sauke DFL
26A Johnson 5734 34.33% Walz 10411 62.33% Liebling DFL
26B Johnson 11139 50.23% Walz 10515 47.41% Pierson Republican
28A Johnson 6192 38.31% Walz 9327 57.71% Pelowski DFL
28B Johnson 9066 48.59% Walz 9023 48.35% Davids Republican
34A Johnson 11664 51.80% Walz 10177 45.19% Robbins Republican
34B Johnson 10373 44.34% Walz 12265 52.43% Bahner DFL
38A Johnson 10402 49.62% Walz 9810 46.80% Runbeck Republican
38B Johnson 10555 45.87% Walz 11691 50.80% Wazlawik DFL
39A Johnson 11254 50.08% Walz 10399 46.28% Dettmer Republican
39B Johnson 10465 46.03% Walz 11505 50.60% Christensen DFL
44A Johnson 10245 42.27% Walz 13431 55.41% Klevorn DFL
44B Johnson 9070 37.20% Walz 14697 60.28% Acomb DFL
56A Johnson 9148 44.16% Walz 10751 51.90% Cantrell DFL
56B Johnson 8317 43.27% Walz 10168 52.90% Mann DFL

Need to Change Minnesota Crop Production

Minnesota Report

Because of the tariffs imposed on China by Donald J Trump (R), Minnesota needs to change is Agricultural mix. The mono-cultural growing of corn and beans (soybeans) will not be as productive since China was the largest consumer of soybeans and because Minnesota is the number three producer, and now other nations are growing beans. Russian and Brazil have stepped into fill the void and now the world market is not as dependent on United States crops.

Minnesota needs to more dynamic and start producing alternative crops that have both a domestic interest as well as a global one. Crops like hemp are consumable and will enhance the dietary market, although the implement dealer will need to refit or produce machinery to handle the task.

Republicans in Senate are a Hard No on Marijuana Legalization

Minnesota Report

Yesterday, in the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance Committee Chair Warren Limmer (R-34, Maple Grove) allotted a half hour per side for the proponents and the opponents to voice their respective positions on the legalization of recreational Marijuana. This occurred after a 30-minute presentation by Dale Quigley-Deputy Coordinator of the National Marijuana Initiative for the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program in the United States. Most of the information Quigley presented provided negative consequences to public health and drug use by minors.

After all was said and done, every supportive measure advanced by the DFL through Sen Ron Latz (DFL-46, St Louis Park) failed on a party-line vote of 6 Republicans to 3 DFLers, including measures to advance the bill without recommendation, table the bill, a call for a task force to study the issue further, and final passage. During the proceedings, Latz inquired if it was Limmer’s intent to kill the legislation in his committee.

This means this issue is effectively dead for 2019 unless it becomes a portion of global negotiations at the end of the session. The Republican message during the debate was clear, they support Medical Marijuana, but not the ability for people to consume it at their leisure. The principal point raised by the opponents stemmed from opposition to Driving Under the Influence and the increases expected to follow legalizations. During the debate, there was a constant reflection of measurement of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) to which is totally unrelated. Vice Chair Dan Hall (R-56, Burnsville) tried to learn what the point of impairment was for Marijuana in a person and the information never became quite clear. Medical Marijuana providers recommend their clients do not drive until four hours after usage.

Those voting in opposition Sens Limmer,  Hall, Bruce Anderson (R-29, Buffalo), Bill Ingebrigsten (R-08, Alexandria), Mark Johnson (R-01, East Grand Forks) and Jerry Relph (R-14, St Cloud). Many of the Republicans are older white men who have a viewpoint shaped by experiences in the 1960s.

It seems reasonable for there to be some type of science to be used to make determinations on the impact of marijuana for both the medicinal side and also the recreation side. Since both sides involve users. The task force concept has merit and we believe the need for a comprehensive study should also occur. In October, Colorado released a report on a five-year study and since Minnesota is closely in line with the Rocky Mountain state in population it might prove to be a worthy measure.

Two Sides Have Formed Regarding Omar’s Comments

Minnesota Report

There are staunch defenders and just as staunch opponents to the anti-Semitic tropes advanced by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN05). Throughout the week and last weekend all of the political programs discussed whether or not the original resolution condemning Omar for her words was watered down to apply a broad brush to all forms of racism and culturally insensitive language.

The matter seems to be a challenge to the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA12). The freshman triumvirate of Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY14) (AOC), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI13) and Omar are proving to be a significant challenge to the Speaker and are marking a structural tension between the establishment and more virulent strain of Progressivity. The younger more aggressive group is not happy with the status quo and voices their opinions regularly on social media, but they also carry some star power because of the attention they have received

When, AOC toppled a Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY14) in the Primary as a self-declared Democratic Socialist she reignited to smoldering embers of the US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) faction. When Omar won her Primary and was assured her seat in Congress and on Election Night Tlaib said regarding Donald J Trump (R) “We’re going to impeach the Motherf—er,” she significantly increased her profile.

The question people will need to reconcile regarding Omar is does she harbor anti-Semitic feelings at her core or is she just against the Jewish state. So far, she doesn’t seem to be backing down and softening her words. The problem is this is not the first time her comments have been seen as anti-Semitic and often past performance is a good indicator of future action.

We will now just wait and see if she changes her rhetoric or continues on course. In total, she seems to be critical of the entire establishment and the broad role of Special Interests, but now that she is immersed in the culture of Washington DC, she not just popular, but also wide-open to critics across the nation not just in the 5th Congressional District.

University of MN Regents Selection Still Pending

Minnesota Report

The meeting of the joint DFL House and Senate caucuses last week did not resolve the conflicts for the selection of the four seats up for consideration. This year the Student seat, the 5th Congressional District seat and two At-Large seats are being selected.

We understand the Assistant Majority Leaders in both bodies are now having discussions with their colleagues to find some form of resolution, but no agreement has occurred at this point in time. Because the DFL holds the majority of the combined legislative strength 107 DFL votes out of 201. So if they all agree on a candidate they can decide on all of the positions, but unless unanimous support comes from the DFL Republicans could have some sway in the outcome.

DNC Picks Milwaukee for 2020 Convention

Minnesota Report

Democrats from across the nation will descend upon Milwaukee July 13-16th to nominate their candidate for President. This will be an opportunity to highlight the importance of midwestern values and will heighten the impact of the region outside of Iowa. Since it is only one state over it will be easy for the Minnesota Democratic party faithful to flock to the Badger State. This will be the first Democratic national convention in the Midwest outside of Chicago, IL. Republicans held their 2008, convention in St Paul.

Donald J Trump (R) carried Wisconsin in 2016, but since the state has shifted to Democratic gubernatorial control with the election of Tony Evers (D-WI) and it also reelected US Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

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