Election reaction roundup, Part 2

In the wake of the defeat of the marriage amendment and the majority status of those legislators who pushed it, how soon before we will be moving to full gay marriage? Patrick Condon’s AP story says: “Dayton and Democratic legislative leaders played down that possibility Wednesday, at least in the immediate future. The likely new Senate leader, Sen. Tom Bakk of Cook, said policy changes would have to take a back seat to the state budget when the Legislature convenes in January. … Rep. Phyllis Kahn of Minneapolis, who has co-sponsored [Sen. John] Marty’s past bills to legalize gay marriage, said it runs the risk of alienating moderate and swing voters who think politicians are too fixated on social issues. ‘One of the arguments we continually used against the Republicans is they were focusing on social issues and not economic ones,’ Kahn said. Still, she said, ‘It’s something we have to do eventually.’ “

At CBS Sports, Joe Oberle tells us that Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is pleased with the election outcome: “Kluwe had been a vocal supporter of the effort to vote no on the amendment. ‘It’s great,’ said Kluwe on Wednesday about the fact that the marriage amendment was voted down by a margin of 52-48 percent. ‘Minnesota was the first state to defeat this amendment process and to say that we’re not going to have discrimination in the state constitution. I think it is great.’ … ‘More, it is a testament to the people of Minnesota that this was the right thing to do,’ he said. ‘But if I did help out then I was glad I was able to make a difference. I think it ultimately comes down to everyone that worked really hard to try to defeat this thing and we were successful.’ ”

Bill Salisbury’s election wrap-up piece for the PiPress says: “Gov. Mark Dayton and the leaders of the new Democratic-Farmer-Labor majorities in the House and Senate struck a moderate tone Wednesday, Nov. 7, after sweeping the Republicans out of power in a surprising landslide election the previous day. They did not promise to tax the rich, shower more money on schools or legalize same-sex marriage, as Republicans had warned. … Some 2.9 million Minnesotans voted Tuesday, which was about 76 percent of the state’s eligible voters, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said.”

The GleanMother Strib is already on record admonishing the DFL not to overreach. In an editorial, the paper says: “A sweep such as Tuesday’s tempts politicians to claim a broad mandate for their positions. Sen. Tom Bakk, the odds-on favorite to become the next Senate majority leader, bordered on such a claim when, in the wee hours Wednesday, he said that Republicans ‘lost because they’re wrong.’ Our analysis is slightly different: Republicans lost their twin majorities because of a series of missteps. Their budget-setting efforts in 2011 resulted in a 20-day government shutdown and gimmicky borrowing to pay the state’s bills. In the Senate, GOP leaders became embroiled in a costly sex scandal. The Republican majorities also overreached on issues. They gambled on two divisive constitutional amendments, and lost. … DFLers would do well to learn from the GOP’s missteps. Like the Republicans two years ago, they too will experience pressure from their supporters to advance an agenda that only one party backs. Higher-income taxes on the rich would be on such an agenda. So would a move toward a single-payer approach to health care.” So … both should be avoided?

At MPR, Tom Scheck writes: “Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson said he was not sure why Republicans fared so poorly. Johnson, who is a Republican National Committeeman, said party leaders need to spend the next few weeks determining what went wrong. ‘Maybe we’ll be able to figure that out,’ he said, ‘but there are so many potential factors that I think it’s hard to narrow it down to one or two things that we have to fix.’ Johnson said a few possibilities were the party’s voter turnout operations, lack of money and a high DFL turnout in presidential elections. He also said the backlash against the two proposed constitutional amendments probably doomed legislative candidates in the suburbs.” I’m thinking maybe they won’t be able to figure it out.

If not gay marriage, what about pot? At KMSP-TV, Bill Keller writes: “The 2012 election brought a big victory for marijuana advocates. Massachusetts passed a law allowing medical use for cancer patients, but Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational use. ‘It’s really an historical point for marijuana reform’, said Randy Quast, executive director of Minnesota NORML. So, could Minnesota be next? Quast’s group is lobbying to legalize marijuana in the state, but they know there will be some road blocks. ‘The first people who ought to get marijuana are those with a medical need, but NORML believes the best way to accomplish that is to legalize it outright,’ Quast said. In 2009, Minnesota lawmakers passed a bill to allow medical marijuana use, but then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed the measure.”

The joke about Chicago is that the dead return to vote. But in Rochester, the dead win elections. Edie Grossfield of the Rochester Post-Bulletin says: “The campaign for the late Rochester City Council president Dennis Hanson prevailed Tuesday, which means residents have yet another election, or two, in the near future. Hanson got 51.4 percent of the votes, with challenger Jan Throndson pulling in 43 percent and write-in candidate Jeff Thompson getting 5.6 percent. … Hanson, who had been council president since 2008, filed for re-election in May but died of a brain aneurysm June 27. State law prohibited his name from being taken off the ballot, and his supporters campaigned on his behalf in order to give voters a new election with a choice of candidates, they said.”

The AP looks at Our Favorite Congresswoman’s narrow victory in the 6xth District, saying: “U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is headed back to Washington, but the tea-party favorite’s toughest race yet suggests a new vulnerability in the wake of her failed presidential run. Bachmann barely won a fourth term despite vastly outspending an upstart Democrat running his first race. She turned out to be less popular with her constituents than GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney or even a gay marriage ban she championed. Bachmann seemed to acknowledge as much Wednesday, promising a ‘laser-like’ focus on her job. ‘In my next term, I’ll continue to work every day to create jobs for the people in my district and for the people in our nation, while doing everything I can to be an unwavering voice in Washington for our constitutional conservative values,’ Bachmann said in a statement. She didn’t respond to interview requests.”

Bob Dylan played the X last night. Stribber Chris Riemenschneider writes: “He came. He saw. He wheezed. Actually, Bob Dylan’s notoriously phlegm-infected, Scotch Brite-abrasive, wounded-Wookiee voice sounded better Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul than it did his last time in town. The news of the day and the style of performance, however, were largely the same. … His boldest vocal performance of the night — downright elegant by modern Dylan standards — also fed off the piano’s warm tones during the more recent ‘Spirit on the Water.’ The newest song of the set was ‘Early Roman Kings,’ one of the only times on tour he has played a song off his new album ‘Tempest.’ ” No one confuses Bob with Katy Perry.

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Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Tim Walker on 11/08/2012 - 06:00 am.

    Chris Kluwe is too modest (which is quite a refreshing, and rare, trait in a professional athlete).

    I think his opposition to the anti-marriage amendment was the tipping point. He brought the issue to the attention of the crowd that reads only the sports section of the newspaper or that only watches ESPN.

    And he made a common-sense, sincere appeal to fairness … that worked!

    Thank you, Mr. Kluwe.

  2. Submitted by Sandra Gibbons on 11/08/2012 - 07:55 am.

    The demographic tide has changed…

    so SUCK IT Karl Rove, Grover Nordquist, Koch Brothers, Limbaugh and The “what a travesty” Donald. The day of the wealthy white male running this country is over. One hopes the GOP has learned they can’t buy an election and that the voters in this country are on to them. I am SO proud our voters went to the polls in droves and stopped the assault against our democracy and the common good.

    My hope for the future is more young people, esp. women, saw the strength behind this election and will act to serve our country in Congress and state legislatures across this great nation–the likes of Eva Longoria, who despite living the Hollywood life returned to earn her master’s degree in Hispanic studies and is politically active.

    And GOP, I guess we “learned ya” two things: women won’t stand for being put in binders and you’ll keep your grubby paws off our lady parts won’tcha…

    Hillary Clinton in 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/08/2012 - 09:23 am.

    Bachmann’s problem

    The problem is Bachmann doesn’t seem to know what a laser actually is. If only the Bible talked about lasers.

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 11/08/2012 - 09:26 am.

    Waiting on marriage equality

    could be a problem. If memory serves, the next session is a full budget session and 2014 is a shortened session. We can count on the Republican party using the fear of gay marriage in 2014 campaigns for both the legislature and the governor’s office. I’d rather have them complaining about an accomplished fact.

    • Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 11/08/2012 - 12:27 pm.

      Waiting on equality

      I agree. But I think we can do both. What I’d like to see is for the MN Lege to pass the bulk of it’s economic package before the end of the session, and be advancing a marriage bill through committees so that it can pass shortly before session-end. That would be the way to work this, IMO.

      GOP lobbyist and former Pawlenty admin senior official Tom Hanson said at a Wednesday debrief that Democrats should go for it this coming year. He seemed very sincere in saying “you’ve earned this opportunity. Use it. Use it well, don’t go nuts, but if you read the amendment vote and legislate win this way, pass marriage.” I’m paraphrasing from memory, but that seems the gist.

      I hope we don’t wait. It could be years before things align again.

  5. Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 11/08/2012 - 09:49 am.

    Will the GOP look at themselves?

    When Jeff Johnson says “I think it’s hard to narrow it down to one or two things that we have to fix” what I hear is “I think it’s hard to narrow it down to one or two things that we are willing to fix.”

    We’re seeing this on the national stage, too. The GOP lost ground in the US Senate, failed to take the White House, and lost big on marriage across the country. Will they revise their views as a result?

    I did see that Lindsey Graham has at least noticed that their immigration stance is problematic. That’s a start. But if Jeff Johnson is on the national RNC, and his attitude is reflective of his peers, they may have to wander in the wilderness a while longer before seeing that their policy prescriptions are stale, and that their “our way or no way” tactics are alienating.

    I don’t know that they have the will yet to figure that out. We’ll see.

  6. Submitted by Jim Camery on 11/08/2012 - 09:58 am.

    Back to basics

    More Hecker and Petters coverage, please.

  7. Submitted by Ann Richards on 11/08/2012 - 10:03 am.

    The GOP must go further back then just the past few years. In the 1980s that tent started getting much smaller- that is when I started to see professional women leave……to be replaced by even more angry, scared white males……and they get old and die. How could they not see the demographics changing? This has been coming for a long time. And as others have stated, they squandered their majority status. Great egos, treating citizens like the plague. I visited my new Senator 2 years ago and suggested a minimum tax for everyone to help the MN budget (my ss income isn’t taxed- my working neighbor has the same income as me- she pays taxes), he reminded me he signed the Norquist pledge and refused to discuss anything with me. At committee meetings people were treated with disdain. The budget was left to the last, the social agenda was front and center……..enough for them to chew on.

  8. Submitted by Jim Greg on 11/08/2012 - 11:29 am.

    Two things at once…it’s easy.

    What this election showed is that supporting civil marriage is not a liability and will be even less so in the future. On the contrary, marriage equality will bring economic activity to this state, tourism and jobs. Further, all our kids protected by civil marriage is a plus that can’t be discounted.

    They need to work quickly to make this simple change, a change we proved is ok with the majority of voters (53% in this election—even more next time), a change that takes this issue of the table and will allow “laser-like” focus on getting the fiscal house in order.

    Governor Dayton, you can do two things at once. I’m sure of it. Minnesota needs it.

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