Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Albert Lea Tribune tees off on governor’s candidates

Memo to Mark Dayton: make time for the Albert Lea Tribune editorial board.

In one of the more lacerating and entertaining editorials this year, the Tribune opined: “No one deserves endorsing for gov.”

The Tribune built Dayton up only to cut him down:

In rural Minnesota, cities, counties and schools struggle with cuts to state aid. It would seem that if people favor keeping Albert Lea with a staffed fire department (not a volunteer one), then Dayton is your candidate.

However, Dayton after the primary election has stayed in much of the metropolitan areas of Minnesota. We even had a difficult time getting him to come to Albert Lea to meet this Editorial Board. This isn’t the kind of candidate who understands Greater Minnesota and issues about attracting companies to disadvantaged places. If a campaign is an example of an administration, we wonder about his leadership skills.


Tom Horner and Tom Emmer don’t fare much better.

The Tribune becomes only the second state paper (besides the Mesabi Daily News), to jump off the Independence Party bandwagon: “Minnesota these next four years doesn’t need another third-party candidate as its chief executive battling against a Legislature without any Independence Party legislators. Frankly, the Independence Party needs more grass-roots candidates winning to gain voter trust at higher levels.”

Emmer, well, he’d let your house burn down: “Minnesota has had eight years with a Republican in the governor’s mansion and the no-new-taxes mantra has resulted in increased property taxes and cuts to roads, law enforcement, courts, schools and many essential services. There must be smarter ways to reduce government waste. Cut fat, maybe even some muscle, but not bone. If you want a volunteer fire department in Albert Lea, vote for Emmer.”

In 2008, the Tribune endorsed Norm Coleman.

[Hat tip: Dave Aeikens]

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/26/2010 - 09:08 am.

    I like it!

    “None of the above” is often what people REALLY feel like marking on their ballot.

    Albert Lea’s pithy comments are to the point, as well. Even if most of the state’s population IS in the Twin Cities metro, you have to govern the whole state, not just the big cities. An IP Governer won’t accomplish much without similarly-minded IP legislators. Volunteer fire departments do an admirable job with limited resources, but they’re definitely a second choice.

    At this late date, it may be too late for the candidates to do much of anything about the criticisms from Albert Lea, but they’re points well-taken, nonetheless.

  2. Submitted by Dick Novack on 10/26/2010 - 09:15 am.

    More than anytime in my memory, most of the non-politically-involved people I speak with wish ballots offered a person named “None Of The Above.”

    When average voters have to choose between the “lesser of evils” and not “for” someone, I think we have a leadership crisis.

  3. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 10/26/2010 - 11:20 am.

    This seems a bit unfair: “We even had a difficult time getting him to come to Albert Lea to meet this Editorial Board.” That means he did get there, right? He has to campaign all over the state, so from EVERYBODY’s perspective it’s hard to get him. Besides, his strength was outside the metro, and he had a lot of metro outreach to do. I take that as the Albert Lea editorial board wanted precedence over every other editorial board in a state that’s not exactly Rhode Island in size.

  4. Submitted by John Olson on 10/26/2010 - 12:41 pm.

    Seems to me if one is going to run for statewide office, it’s on the campaign staff and the candidate to budget adequate time and resources to make the rounds of the editorial boards as needed.

    One can certainly debate the value of an editorial board endorsement in terms of persuading voters in today’s political environment. However, it would seem to be foolish to leave them with the impression that they are being blown off.

  5. Submitted by John Hakes on 10/26/2010 - 02:51 pm.

    I don’t see the Albert Lea Tribune teeing off on the Horner candidacy at all.

    Instead, it laments the lack of a stronger third-party organization that would provide a better chance for an IP governor to succeed.

    Even the declining to endorse Tom Horner is a rebuke of the two-party stronghold in place.

  6. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 10/26/2010 - 03:38 pm.

    EVERY election is the lesser of two evils. That’s just a negative way of saying choosing the best candidate. No one ever said the best had to meet your expectations.

    Speaking of expectations, my guess is the Dayton campaing knew from day one that, despite his complete lack of government experience, everyone was going to choose Horner. I predicted it in June. Having sat on editorial boards in the past, there is no more pompous group on earth than an editorial board.

  7. Submitted by Stan Daniels on 10/26/2010 - 09:31 pm.

    I’m sure all of the campaigns will have a hard time recovering now that they didn’t get the Albert Lea Tribune endorsement.

    On a more serious note, I am attending an event Wednesday where Horner and Dayton are appearing but Emmer is not. Should be interesting.

Leave a Reply