The loneliness of running as a Minneapolis Republican

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Jennifer Carnahan: “If I’m going to do this, I’m going to treat it as if it were a winnable race.”

Jennifer Carnahan thought things were going pretty well with the voter she had engaged on a North Minneapolis doorstep while she was campaigning for the District 59 seat in the Minnesota Senate.

They’d been talking for five minutes or so about issues, including education. Carnahan said she thought the ZIP code of the student shouldn’t determine whether they get a good education or not. The voter agreed.

But then, Carnahan recalled, the voter asked her what party she represented, since the campaign material Carnahan was using didn’t say. When Carnahan told her she was the endorsed Republican candidate in the district, the voter’s tone changed. Significantly.

“Her face started turning red,” Carnahan recalled. “She started tearing up and her body was physically shaking. She threw my postcard on the ground and said, ‘I can’t believe I’ve been talking to you. I hate Republicans. Get the hell out of my yard.’ ”

Carnahan said she apologized and left, a bit shaken. “It just shows that people look more at party than the person,” Carnahan said. “And that’s what’s broken with our political system.”

How she got here

Carnahan, 39, grew up in Maple Grove after she was adopted from South Korea when she was 6 months old. She graduated from Osseo High School before attending Syracuse University, where she received a broadcast journalism degree. She later earned an MBA from the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota.

After working in professional sports and corporate marketing outside of the state, she returned to Minnesota in 2005 and worked in marketing at McDonald’s, Ecolab and General Mills before quitting to start a women’s clothing boutique, first in Northeast Minneapolis, then in Woodbury and now in Nisswa.

Her transition from small business owner to political candidate was inadvertent. She said she wanted to be a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. After attending her first GOP precinct caucus in March (she was a Marco Rubio supporter), the North Loop resident stuck around, getting selected to represent her Minneapolis precinct at the next level of caucuses. In response to her questions about moving up beyond that, the person who ran the caucus offered to meet for coffee to offer advice.

When Carnahan showed up for coffee, however, she was greeted not by one Republican activist, but three. And they didn’t want to talk about her becoming a delegate. They wanted to talk about her becoming a candidate for state Senate in Minneapolis’ District 59. She wouldn’t have to do much, Carnahan was told. File, raise enough money to get state matching funds, create a website, make a few public appearances. That’s all. It wouldn’t even take much time away from her business.

“‘We need to be clear,’” Carnahan recalls being told. “‘You have no chance of winning unless the entire district dies of the plague and you’re the only one left and you vote for yourself.’”

Not exactly a promising sales pitch. But also mostly accurate. In 2012, Carnahan’s DFL opponent in District 59, Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, won his first term with 82 percent of the vote. And nobody expected his Republican opponent — any Republican opponent — to do much better in 2016. Such is the lot of political parties in districts that are heavily tilted toward the opposition.

After sleeping on it, Carnahan decided to say yes — on one condition. “If I’m going to do this,” she said. “I’m going to treat it as if it were a winnable race.” 

District 59 covers a wide swath of Minneapolis — from Mill District condos to North Minneapolis single-family neighborhoods. It is a majority-minority district, with 38 percent of residents identifying as white. The median age is just over 30 years and the median income is $42,500. In the last three state Senate elections, DFL candidates won by an average margin by nearly 60 percentage points, making it the state’s fourth strongest DFL district.

The only real political competition comes in DFL primaries — as 20-year incumbent Joe Mullery learned this year when he lost an intraparty challenge from Fue Lee.

The 59th covers a wide swath of Minneapolis
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
The 59th covers a wide swath of Minneapolis — from Mill District condos to North Minneapolis single-family neighborhoods.

That made Carnahan’s search for precincts where a Republican has done even reasonably well a brief one. The district’s most-Republican precinct, thanks to the presence of Assemblies of God-owned North Central University, had a 38 percent GOP vote over the last three senate elections. Another precinct in North Loop came in at 31 percent, one in Mill District at 30 percent and one in downtown Minneapolis at 25 percent.

There are also three precincts in the northwest corner of the district with GOP numbers between 22.5 percent and 26 percent. Those neighborhoods have a sizeable Asian population, mostly Hmong, where Carnahan thought she would have some appeal.

And that’s about it.

So those precincts are where Carnahan is concentrating her efforts. The former marketing professional wrote a strategic plan similar to what she might have done for the companies she once worked for. She set about raising enough money to cover printing and a handful of mailings to her targeted voters and precincts. And she hit the streets. By election day she expects to have been in every building downtown, in the Mill District and in the Warehouse District/North Loop, where she has invoked a state law requiring secure buildings to allow candidates in to campaign. Once inside, Carnahan said she is often told she is the first candidate to ever knock on their doors.

She said she has been greeted warmly by some of those voters. Last week, in Elliot Park, she met a union bus driver who, after learning her party affiliation, said he couldn’t vote for her. Carnahan launched into her standard speech about not judging candidates by the letter after their name, reminding him of the good conversation they’d just had about issues and saying how people don’t like being typecast.

When she finished, he smiled and said: “Wow, you’re right” and promised to vote for her.

A different kind of Republican?

Carnahan’s policy positions aren’t very far from the standard Republican platform — lower taxes, less regulation, focusing on core state spending needs, school choice, concerns over crime. She keeps position statements vague, however, and on many of her campaign pieces, the word “Republican” and the letters “R” or “GOP” do not appear.

“If they look at the letter after my name and only go on that, I’m sunk,” she said.

But she says the difference between her and some other Republicans comes from what she calls her desire to be “socially inclusive.” When pressed, Carnahan said that means issues such as gay rights and gay marriage.

“Some of my best friends are gay and they deserve the right to be happy just like everyone else,” she said. And then there’s what she cautiously refers to as the “top of the ticket” — Donald Trump. Carnahan won’t say who she will vote for other than that it won’t be Hillary Clinton. Using a term from her sports marketing days — she says her presidential vote will be a “game-time decision.”

“The top of the ticket doesn’t have anything to do with my race,” she said. “Honestly, I just try to stay away from it because it’s a conversation you’re just not going to win.”

What does winning look like?

So, if she’s a long shot at winning a Senate seat, how will she measure success? She reported raising $21,822 for her campaign (in contrast, Champion has raised $14,225 this year but had $24,959 left from previous years), and wants to surpass the GOP vote in 2012 when Champion won his first Senate term. The Republican candidate that year did what was suggested she do this year — file and forget it — and took 17.5 percent. “If I could go from 17.5 percent to 25 percent, I would consider that a great victory,” Carnahan said. “But I don’t even know if that’s possible.”

In the end, her message for the GOP is that it shouldn’t write off city districts like hers. They probably won’t win, but if they can close the gap between the Democratic and Republican vote in the Twin Cities, it could help the party in statewide elections. “How can you expect to win in Minneapolis if you put no resources into Minneapolis?” she said.

Despite being told by party activists that she’s already passed the point of diminishing returns, that any more effort won’t bring more votes, Carnahan said she is going to keep running to election day.

“Why would I stop?” she said.

Comments (48)

  1. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 11/01/2016 - 11:22 am.

    Why look at parties along with the candidate themself ?

    Perhaps she should examine the platform which she is supposed to support ?

    Or perhaps she should listen to what the leaders of her state and national party are saying ?

    Or perhaps she should just just look at what the policies that the party leaders promote ?

    And then find out what happens to the “RINO” Republicans.

  2. Submitted by Roy Everson on 11/01/2016 - 11:45 am.

    Free advice

    “If I’m going to do this,” she said. “I’m going to treat it as if it were a winnable race.”

    Then drop out of the Republican party, shun their endorsement. The party offers nothing to urban districts, even coddles members who detest large groups of urbanites. Be wary of a party that recruits candidates with the promise that they won’t have to do much.

    The idea of “vote for the person not the party” won’t cut it if you don’t have a record of presence in the community beyond going to local GOP events. When the party is toxic don’t be surprised by the response.

    Get started now in the community. Run next time as an independent. For rep, not senate. Those neighborhoods where they never had anyone ring doorbells before — they need second and third visits.

  3. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 11/01/2016 - 12:34 pm.

    Run Run Run Run Away

    I’m sure Ms. Carnahan is a very nice person, but the party who endorsed her is certainly not. From regulating women’s bodies to who can pee where to endless wars, her party has a slate of objectives that don’t mesh well with a lot of liberals.

    Just looking at the items Ms. Carnahan cites is enough to give a thinking person pause. “Less taxes, smaller government, and less regulation” are all code words for big businesses who want to fire the policeman so they can pollute more and rig the system to enrich them and theirs.

    Did we learn nothing from the recent financial meltdown? I know it’s been seven years, but that’s still within the lifetime of most voting-aged people.

    Like Frank Drake, Ms. Carnahan needs a stronger message than simply “vote for me because I’m a nice person.”

  4. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 11/01/2016 - 01:21 pm.

    Carnahan won’t say who she

    Carnahan won’t say who she will vote for other than that it won’t be Hillary Clinton. Using a term from her sports marketing days — she says her presidential vote will be a “game-time decision.”

    What I am not above suggesting is that someone as suggestible and as indecisive as Ms. Carnahan portrays herself to be, might not be suited for the legislature. She has had 39 years to think about these things. And with regard her reluctance to identify herself with her party, if she isn’t willing to stand up for herself, how much sense does it make to ask other people to stand up with her?

  5. Submitted by Chelle Stoner on 11/01/2016 - 01:45 pm.

    Hooray!

    I give you a lot of credit Jennifer. I thought about running for something in my district and local leaders told me that I would have to move to Minnetonka to win anything because I am a Republican. You know, like the old school ones (civil) except with modern social views. I don’t have the courage you do. Go, go, go Jennifer!

  6. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/01/2016 - 01:51 pm.

    Bigger picture

    I live in Ms. Carnahan’s (and Mr. Champion’s) district, and have gotten Carnahan’s election literature in my mailbox. While I’m willing to grant that – for a modern-day Republican – she’s an attractive candidate (educated, female, socially-tolerant, articulate), the comments made by Neal Rovick and Roy Everson simply cannot be ignored. I used to be what was called, back in the day, a “moderate Republican,” but the current Republican Party is light-years removed from the Republican Party I grew up with, and while it would be super if down-ballot candidates could somehow escape the shadow cast by the national and state party platforms and public positions, it’s not possible, and that’s equally true for down-ballot candidates of both parties.

    Indeed, while much of a candidate’s appeal to voters is likely to be, perhaps HAS to be, based on the person and not the party, there’s simply no way, at least in our current political culture, for a candidate to disassociate her/himself from the relevant state and national organizations. As Todd Adler points out, “lower taxes, smaller government and less regulation” are all dog-whistle phrases for a Republican base that’s hostile to government and, at least at the moment, friendly to the most obnoxious demagogue the country has seen on the national stage in nearly a century. Ms. Carnahan may prefer to be judged strictly on her own merits, but I’m afraid that’s not going to happen, and by associating herself with the party of big business and, in recent years, Ayn Rand, she does herself, and perhaps the rest of us, a disservice.

  7. Submitted by Pat Terry on 11/01/2016 - 03:59 pm.

    Be nice

    When you are tempted to tell urban Republicans to get the hell out of your yard, think of rural Democrats knocking doors in similarly hostile territory. If you don’t want to hear the spiel (and I wouldn’t want to hear Carnahan’s) a smile and a “no thanks” should be enough to send them on their way.

  8. Submitted by John Appelen on 11/01/2016 - 05:03 pm.

    Thank you

    Ms. Carnahan, Thank you for trying.

    I feel terrible for your potential constituents who have been convinced by the big gov’t folks that they need to be reliant on government for their success. Even as that system fails their children and themselves generation after generation.

    Maybe your discussions will plant a seed of self determination in their sub-conscious. One can only hope so for the sake of their children. 🙂

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/02/2016 - 09:23 am.

      Reliance on Big Government?

      “I feel terrible for your potential constituents who have been convinced by the big gov’t folks that they need to be reliant on government for their success.” Or is it that Republicans have been marginalized in Minneapolis due to their “laser-like focus” on cultural and moral issues? Perhaps their indifference to people who are self-reliant but too far down the ladder to merit attention is also a negative.

      How about having a candidate for President who has been endorsed officially by the KKK?

  9. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 11/01/2016 - 05:33 pm.

    The Future of the Republican Party

    If you work in marketing, you realize that you have to sell the product you have on the shelf, but if your customers are buying it, you need to sell something different to be successful.

    Take the Minnesota Twins. For years, they sold the underdog – terrible stadium, variable. Then two times, lightening struck and they won the World Series. More tickets and able to get more talent, includng a local hero. Played very promising baseball and managed to build a beautiful stadium.

    Unfortunately, things well apart and we have our current version. Simply dreadful. Selling tickets very difficult. Home town hero always a very good player, but not what people hoped for.

    The Republican Party is a lot like the Twins. In their current form, don’t have strong sale appeal. Trump could pull out a miracle, but don’t count on it. The Party has no identity, other than being the party of no and we cannot do that. A young fresh candidate like this is wasted on such a party. What she and other young Republicans may not understand is that for the party to have a future, younger voices must win out.

    Young people are generally not bigots – they judge people for who they are. They as a group will not tolerate racism, sexism, or really any basis for judging people for who they are. However, as long as Republican candidates appear to be turned out of a cookie cutter, strong on moralizing, weak on empathy and listening, they are not gong to break through. The people are evolving and people who don’t believe in evolution won’t keep up.

  10. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 11/01/2016 - 07:56 pm.

    Sorry Jennifer!

    Present politics is scorched earth, no room for common sense. If you got an “R” we think obstruction, whining, blaming, no new revenue, even if it would save the world, etc. etc. no middle ground. Last common sense “R” was Arne C. and D. Durenberger, both have been exorcised from the party, evidently too much common sense or common ground thinking. Good luck.

  11. Submitted by Jim Million on 11/01/2016 - 09:25 pm.

    So much helpful advice here…

    without portfolio, of course. I’m really surprised some didn’t mention her shoes.
    (oh, that would have been “sexist,” right?)
    Thanks for encouraging words for political novices…NOT
    You guys need not jump on everything, you know.
    Good Grief!

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 11/02/2016 - 11:39 am.

      Laughable

      Her own Republican handlers told her that she didn’t have a chance. So much for “encouraging words.” Now that they know she supports gay rights, they will throw her out of the party.

      • Submitted by Steve Rose on 11/03/2016 - 08:21 am.

        Honesty

        I know that it is rare in politics, so honesty can be difficult for some to recognize. Carnahan was recruited to be a candidate by activists that were candid and honest regarding her chances for winning office. It is not uncommon is politics to lose before you win.

  12. Submitted by Steve Rose on 11/02/2016 - 01:02 am.

    Were she endorsed by the other party …

    Were Carnahan running with a D after her name, those not supporting her candidacy would be labeled xenophobic, racist, misogynist, and homophobic (she supports gay rights/marriage).

    But, vote for the other guy; after all, he is a guy and a lawyer and an incumbent. We need to keep the capitol well stocked with lots of that.

  13. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 11/02/2016 - 06:25 am.

    “When you are tempted to tell urban Republicans to get the hell out of your yard, think of rural Democrats knocking doors in similarly hostile territory.”

    Yes, there is no excuse to be rude to a candidate or a door knocker. But while rudeness happens most people are quite nice. Where Ms. Carnahan is concerned, I would advise her to focus on the positive. I wouldn’t tell stories to Minnpost to the effect of how awful the people she seeks to represent in the legislature, are to her. She is the one who is asking for something, namely, their votes.

    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 11/02/2016 - 08:50 am.

      When you are asked a question …

      Carnahan didn’t write the column.

      She was asked a question in the course of an interview by Peter Callaghan (he covers local politics for MinnPost). Callaghan thought that the interchange with a constituent was sufficiently interesting that he decided to lead with it. That is a device that journalists use to engage readers and get them to continue reading. It seems to work

  14. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 11/02/2016 - 07:41 am.

    How is it possible

    Where is liberal tolerance and openness to others? How come are they filled with hate towards Republicans? Are Republicans worse than anything in the world?

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 11/02/2016 - 11:19 am.

      While a party should not necessarily be judged by the words or actions of some of its followers, the party should certainly be judged by the words and actions of its leaders.

      • Submitted by Steve Rose on 11/02/2016 - 05:42 pm.

        Indeed

        So it would appear that both parties ran off the rails some time ago.

        • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 11/03/2016 - 05:38 am.

          Emotion

          On rare occasions emotions to become involved. On some Christian TV stations, people often talk about going to war, that people who differ with them are servants of Satan. I have never really been surprised that people who are steeped in those views or traditions tend to be a little more hostile at the door than is the norm, and it’s somewhat understandable. Striving for moral equivalence as I always do, I suppose there are certain triggers for Democrats as well. Ms. Carnahan may be very sweet, but she is presenting herself as someone her party, if she is elected, will not allow her to be, something I don’t thing she realizes herself. That sort of thing can set people off too, although it shouldn’t.

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 11/03/2016 - 07:20 pm.

        Do you suggest that all Democrats should be judged on the basis of Clinton? I am sure many Democrats would not like that idea, especially Sanders’ supporters…

  15. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 11/02/2016 - 08:46 am.

    Where is liberal tolerance and openness to others?

    Having, on rare occasions, encountered rudeness at the door, I also find this difficult to understand, as a general matter. One person I talked with the other who was pretty rude, informed me that I was in league with Satan. Perhaps if one believes that, rudeness is justified.

    But I should also say, that I have encountered many, many Republicans who are quite gracious, who in the summer months offered me a bottle of water, who have told me that despite their disagreement with my politics they appreciate my activism.

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 11/02/2016 - 10:39 am.

      Grace and Beauty

      “Where is liberal tolerance and openness to others?”
      I believe they may now be pulling a ragpicker’s cart somewhere…not sure.

      If you spend a pleasant day in Wayzata, you should encounter streets filled with gracious Republicans.

  16. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/03/2016 - 09:20 am.

    Whatever…

    The party she’s chosen to join and it’s toxic history of divisiveness, magical thinking, and intolerance is responsible for her reception. It would be nice if someone asked her whether or not she actually realizes that… that would have been a story. The only serious question here isn’t whether or not people can be rude, any adult already knows the answer to THAT question. The only serious question is whether or not republicans like Ms. Carnahan understand the nature of the self inflicted damage her party leaders have inflicted upon her party, and what if anything she plans to do to reverse that damage?

    Does Ms. Carnahan understand the extent to which her chosen parties behavior and policies have shaped the attitudes of the constituents she’s appealing to? Or does she just think she’s facing some kind of prejudice? THAT would have been an interesting question. Does Ms. Carnahan understand that her personal appeal is of little value when people know that once elected she’ll expected to vote lockstep with whatever toxic or bizarre initiatives her leadership imagines? Does she understand that her party has zero tolerance for dissent and punishes anyone who fails to support the party line? Does she understand the fact that her party has zero ideas beyond magic tax cuts? Does she understand that her parties obsession with it’s own bizarre and economically irrational “zero” net spending increase fiscal “policy” is a fiasco?

    If Ms. Carnahan understands these features of her chosen party and supports them, then the prejudice she’s encountering has been well earned. If understands these features of her party need to be changed then it would be nice to know how she would like to change them, and what kinds new or different policies she’d like to propose. THAT would have been an interesting story.

    So she wants a good education for all children… great. But how? Who knows… apparently no one asked.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/03/2016 - 10:32 am.

      I figure she realizes that many of the people she is meeting are highly prejudiced and have been indoctrinated through decades of government handouts, low expectations, fear mongering and patronization.

      However it seems she believes they can be saved from the “collective” to become successful confident hopeful individuals in the future. Thank heavens for her optimism !!!

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/03/2016 - 10:54 am.

        Or…

        The people she’s been running into have been watching republicans for decades, and reading comments here on Minnpost.

  17. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/03/2016 - 11:04 am.

    Seriously?

    Not to belabor the point but does this person realize that Donald Trump is her party’s presidential candidate? Does she support that? Does she think that’s irrelevant? Does she realize that the last time her party ran the table in MN they rung up one budget crises after another for 8 years in a row?

    Want to talk about education? Let’s talk about the fact that we’re still trying to repair the fiscal damage republicans did to the education budget when they grabbed money out of it to “balance” their failed budgets.

    Let me guess, Ms. Carnahan’s “solution” to freeing children from their oppressive zip codes is vouchers. The way we “fix” education is by dismantling public education as we know in favor of publicly financed private schools and charters? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 11/03/2016 - 12:59 pm.

      Minneapolis Public Schools

      The schools of District 59 are MPS. I found it enlightening to examine what they spend per pupil. I would argue that they don’t have a money problem; I am not seeing the “fiscal damage” in this picture.

      $23,700 per pupil per year. I calculated it using numbers from the district (linked below). $846,500,000/35,717=$23,700
      http://www.mpls.k12.mn.us/by_the_numbers

      Another interesting metric is the student to staff ratio, which is 35,717/6957=5

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/04/2016 - 08:36 am.

        Remember

        And remember the tired old statement of the last 50 years…

        “If you only give us more money and stay out of our business, we will make sure every child learns…”

        Thankfully the initial NCLB program quantified exactly how many kids were being knowingly Left Behind and the spotlight was turned up to help them. Now the question is how do we change that entrenched change resistant system?

      • Submitted by Steve Rose on 11/04/2016 - 10:40 am.

        MPS Graduation

        “Minneapolis had the lowest graduation rates compared to 50 other major cities, according to a study released by a Washington-based education group.

        The city’s four-year graduation rate was below 50 percent, while the national average is approximately 75 percent.”

        Strib link:

        http://www.startribune.com/study-less-than-50-percent-of-minneapolis-students-graduate-high-school/331138181/

        If we spent twice as much per pupil, we could some day move into position #49.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/04/2016 - 12:22 pm.

          So What’s the Answer?

          Cut funding, to teach them a lesson?

          Have children taught by poorly trained dilettantes?

          Eviscerate public schools, and turn it all over to the tender mercies of private enterprise?

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 11/04/2016 - 03:43 pm.

            D. None of the above

            Complex problems rarely have simple solutions, and so it is with this one.

            MPS should give up on the notion that a high school’s mission is to get every student college ready; that was a popular motto in recent years. High schools should prepare students for life, which looks different for different students. Because they all are not going to college, they don’t all need to be ready for it. There are a lot of good life alternatives, and the institution of high school should stop looking down their collective nose at those alternatives.

            The term ”private enterprise” gets used like it is inferior to “government enterprise”. There are some things that government schools can learn from private schools regarding efficiency. Partnerships and cooperation between private and government schools can be positive and productive.

            In government schools, move disruptive students out of the mainstream into programs equipped to deal with such students. Provide a clearly defined path for earning re-entry into the mainstream.

            Likewise, what are some of your ideas to address the problem?

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/04/2016 - 05:00 pm.

              My Ideas?

              You say that “[c]omplex problems rarely have simple solutions.” I agree, except that I would change “rarely” to “seldom, if ever.”

              I think you raise some excellent points, and have some good ideas. I agree with you that getting every student “college ready” was a poor choice of mission. Preparation for life is a much better way of putting it.

              I am not especially crazy about public-private partnerships. The public sector and private sector have such diametrically opposed purposes that a partnership seldom works to everyone’s advantage. Private schools have an entirely different mission, as well as entirely different rules to work by. TO use your example of disruptive students, a private school has the option of kicking him or her out. Public schools can’t go quite that far.

              The quality and state of public education reflects the society that it works in. American attitudes towards schools range from regarding them as something that should do nothing more than mold compliant workers, to looking on them as amenities. I think it is important to remember why public education was established in the first place–as providing something essential for citizenship (not employability or self-fulfillment, but citizenship).

              There is also the even bigger problem of what happens at home. Poverty and school achievement are inextricably linked. Parent attitudes are also important.

              Education is about the kids, as they say. It is also about society benefiting from an educated citizenry.

  18. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/03/2016 - 11:09 am.

    Or maybe…

    Busting the teacher’s unions… yeah that’ll fix education.

    Next.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/03/2016 - 11:26 am.

      Alleluia

      Let’s demand more from our education system and the Parents of children who are failing academically and socially. They deserve it and are the future. Let’s put the children first, not the adults !!!

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/03/2016 - 12:16 pm.

        No….

        Let’s put anti-union free-market fantasies ahead of EVERYTHING and let the children fend for themselves.

  19. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 11/03/2016 - 02:09 pm.

    Le sigh

    I’m sorry that Ms. Carnahan is lonely. But, if she’s really running on the idea that she can be someone that goes beyond politics, then she should have the courage to say who she is voting for for president. Quite frankly, it will probably say everything her potential constituents need to know about her. If she’s voting Trump, the liberals won’t vote for her because of what he stands for and they know that she’s ok with what he stands for. If she’s voting for Clinton, the Republicans won’t vote for her because Hillary (she’s an old school Republican, so it’s not what she stands for that’s distasteful). Personally, I couldn’t vote for Ms. Carnahan because I believe that anyone who hasn’t made up their mind on the presidential race has some significant problems.

    By the way, Mr. Million….shoes? Until you mentioned it, I couldn’t have told you if I’d seen her wearing shoes because that’s not important to me. But, now that you mention it, those shoes are not super practical for door knocking and/or crossing the aisle. So, now I’ve criticized her shoes. Or not. Is it ok if I politely recommend that she wear flats? It’ll save her a lot of discomfort and future medical issues.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/04/2016 - 12:17 am.

      Really

      Do you really believe this?
      “she’s an old school Republican, so it’s not what she stands for that’s distasteful”

      Have you looked at her Web site’s issues page? She was Left of center initially and went only further Left to placate Bernie’s supporters. I can’t think of any Republican who supported higher taxes, tax payer funded college, tax payer funded healthcare for working age adults, nominating Liberal Justices, etc, etc, etc. Not to mention her questionable character.

      And yes Trump’s character is also questionable… That I do not deny.

      • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 11/04/2016 - 01:37 pm.

        Yes, Republican

        Remember Reagan? If she ran on the same platform as Reagan (and she’s not that far off already, honestly), the GOP would still hate her because Hillary. Put another way, the GOP would hate Reagan if his name was Hillary Clinton, because quite frankly, the policies, including the “liberal justices” are not terribly different. Let’s face it, though, Ronald Reagan is the GOP Jesus–more of a legend than a role model.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/04/2016 - 03:00 pm.

          Facts and Data

          I think they are pretty far apart. At least based on this policy document.
          http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=25844

          • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 11/04/2016 - 04:45 pm.

            Really?

            I must be reading the wrong document. Got a different link?

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/04/2016 - 05:51 pm.

              Funny

              In that document they promote:
              – Lower taxes
              – Reducing government spending
              – Supply side economics
              – Reduction of welfare
              – etc

              All the normal GOP stuff that looks nothing like Hillary’s platform which promotes:
              – Higher taxes
              – Public investment in technology / companies
              – Increase in free college, free healthcare, etc
              – etc

              Yep. They are pretty different, or do have a source to help me understand your view?

              • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/07/2016 - 08:40 am.

                Document shmocument

                Yeah, magical thinking: i.e trickle down economics, small govment, welfare stereotypes, whining about taxes. Republicans haven’t had a decent idea since Nixon went to China. They’ve been solving imaginary problems with magical thinking for decades and Americans are finally beginning to catch on.

                The only real question here is whether or not our republican in MPLS is running on the same bankrupt platform or if she’s got some different ideas, or better yet, some good ideas?

  20. Submitted by DENNIS SCHMINKE on 11/07/2016 - 06:41 pm.

    Who I feel sorry for…

    …is all the people in Minneapolis who think it is GOVERNMENT that is going to make their life better and help them get ahead.

    Yes, I know…education…yada, yada. And government has done such a good job of that in Mpls and St Paul.

    Wait for government to magically deal you a better hand, and you are going to wait a long time…probably a wasted lifetime. Look inside yourself, get busy, get on with it!

    • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 11/08/2016 - 05:39 am.

      I feel sorry

      For the people outside the cities who think they can make their lives better by sticking it to Minneapolis and St. Paul.

  21. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/08/2016 - 08:36 am.

    I’m not sure I feel sorry…

    When I see people who have apparently reached adulthood in the United States without comprehending the nature of their own government (democracy); and have surrounded themselves with an impermeable shield of stereotypical beliefs… I’m disappointed but not sympathetic.

    I’ve never met anyone who expected government to solve their personal problems. Everyone I know expects the government to function as a government even if they don’t know or agree on what a functioning government looks like.

    The problem with contemporary republicans and their supporters is that they’ve decided that gridlock and disfunction ARE forms of governance. They’re trapped in a living oxymoron that dictates that no governance is the best governance.

    My experience is that republicans who have reached adulthood with such entrenched stereotypes are simply beyond reason and impervious to reliable information or facts. Willful ignorance is impervious to reason. We can wish them well but as a nation and a community we have to move forward and just hope they pull their heads out of the backsides someday.

    Of course when republicans like Carnahan run into an informed and rational community of constituents it’s not prejudice that costs her votes, it’s her own parties earned reputation.

    • Submitted by DENNIS SCHMINKE on 11/08/2016 - 07:22 pm.

      That’s ‘dysfunction’.Other

      That’s ‘dysfunction’.

      Other comments:

      “Everyone I know expects the government to function as a government”. You would get a lot of Republicans (you could be courteous and capitalize it) to agree with that. It’s just that a lot of us would like to draw the line there. Government-‘yes’; Nanny-state/welfare-state/tax-spend-regulate-our-way-to-prosperity-‘no’.

      “I’ve never met anyone who expected government to solve their personal problems.” You are ABSOLUTELY wrong on that point. I have run for MN House, and I can tell you for a FACT that there a WHOLE LOTTA people who expect the government to solve their problems and deal them a better hand.

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