Betty McCollum campaign disputes lack of planned 4th District debates

Teresa Collett protests too much over the lack of debates in the race for the 4th Congressional District seat, according to the campaign of incumbent Betty McCollum.

In a Thursday MinnPost story, Collett, the Republican candidate, said that following a forum in White Bear Lake early in the campaign, McCollum, a Democrat who first won the seat in 2000,  has ducked overtures for more debates.

Not so, according to Will Blauvelt, political director for McCollum. Blauvelt said that McCollum has agreed to participate in a St. Paul League of Women Voters debate on Oct. 21 (site to be determined) as well as an Oct. 25 25-minute debate on Minnesota Public Radio.

Blauvelt did agree with Collett, a first-time candidate, in saying that there has been little media coverage of the race. “Earned media [news coverage] is difficult to get. In that regard, we feel her pain.’’

Collett has tried to raise the profile of the race by saying that a vote for McCollum is a vote for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Blauvelt notes that that tactic is not surprising because it is a strategy being used by Republicans in other races across the country.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/01/2010 - 12:29 pm.

    I’d neglected to look into Collett’s campaign materials until today, despite my antipathy for McCollum’s politics. While they’re miles apart on the issues, they’re but two sides of the coin when it comes to being on what I consider the fringes of the political spectrum. It would be hard to find a more reliably old school liberal than McCollum or a more dyed-in-the-wool “limited government” idealogue than Collett.

    What I find intriguing about Collett is the apparently unrecognized contradiction between her “limited government” mantra and her positions on a number of issues. While she does not come right out and ask for the constitutional authority for such things as the recent health care legislation, she makes frequent reference to constitutionally questionable acts of Congress. At the same time, however, she calls for government action in many areas, including what she refers to as “life issues”. Where, I wonder, is the express constitutional authority for the action she seeks?

    Most disturbing, in my mind, is her lack of a sense of history. Consider this statement: “Because some people failed to provide for their health care or retirement, Congress created massive government entitlement programs that extract vast portions of our wages to allow the government to dole out our money to us in our illness or old age.”

    Really! Congress acted in the 1930s and 1960s in response to real problems, caused not by what Collett apparently considers the irresponsibility of a segment of society, but by the social and economic reality of the times. While it can be argued that social security and medicare might better have been means-tested from the outset, it wasn’t and it’s not likely to be in the future, given the number of us in the middle class who have incorporated their existence into our end of life plans.

    Collett’s website is here:

    It’s sad to see that Collett apparently felt the need to grace her website with a picture of herself at a much younger age. Compare it to the image used in Minnpost’s September 30 piece, above.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/01/2010 - 12:37 pm.

    “McCollum has agreed to participate in a St. Paul League of Women Voters debate on Oct. 21 (site to be determined)..”

    Anyone want to bet it *won’t* be Macalister college?

    Anyone want to bet the advance notice e-mail won’t be sent to the DFL mailing list reminding them to get there at least an hour early in order to pack that small venue with leftists…as they’ve done every other time?

    Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to find “reserved for” signs on all the chairs.

    “ well as an Oct. 25 25-minute debate on Minnesota Public Radio.”

    Radio. Can anyone tell me what radio lacks? That’s right, a live audience.

    Anyone see a pattern here? Betty(!) doesn’t do well in front of people.

    McCollum’s care givers have always carefully orchestrated her public appearances, and for that I give them credit.

    Keeping a simpleton the likes of Betty(!) McCollum off the front page, even with the active assistance of the leftist media, is no easy task. And if you’ve ever heard Teresa Collett speak, you’ll understand that McCollum’s care givers have got to be sweating bullets, even if the candidate herself is completely clueless.

  3. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 10/01/2010 - 06:35 pm.

    Mr. Swift: Does it make you feel good to denigrate a highly intelligent and effective member of Congress by using such words as “simpleton” and “caregivers” and “clueless,” none of which is remotely true?

    Last August, I watched Betty McCollum politely and respectfully disarm angry Tea Party-types at a health care reform forum she hosted. All who wished to speak were give two minutes.

    At another such forum where she was one of several guest speakers, she so disarmed a burly, angry middle-aged guy with an “I’ll keep my gun, You keep the change” t-shirt, that he politely approached her after her presentation for some serious and non-belligerent discussion.

  4. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/01/2010 - 08:32 pm.

    Bernice, suffice it to say you and I have different standards for both intelligence and effectiveness.

    The more important point, though, is that it would be nice if Betty(!)’s handlers would allow the public a few honest opportunities to see her in action so that others might come to their own conclusions.

    Unfortunately, it appears that those closest to her do not share your enthusiasm for her oratorical skills.

  5. Submitted by Dallas Pierson on 10/07/2010 - 12:44 am.

    Social security was originally a much smaller program, with a much larger ratio of workers to retired. It has since grown dramatically into the behemoth we have today. It would seem that as we came to add more of our dependence on the program, the larger it became. Seems Collett’s analysis may on target to me.

    The question is have you looked into who is the best candidate to work to resolve the issues we now face. It is extremely difficult to find out much about McCollum, because she does not want to talk in unscripted situations, and then its mostly emotional appeals, not dealing with issues. If you go to and click on the Youtube link you can see a lot of public discussion situations with Collett. Including one of the very rare recorded forums that Betty has participated in. This should provide a great way to answer the question of who would represent CD4 better. Its pretty clear it is Teresa Collett.

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