At the DFL (Democratic) Convention for Minnesota
Jessica and I took a short trip to Rochester, Minnesota (home of the Mayo Clinic (major hospital)), for the DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) Party convention. Jess was a delegate for our local district, and I came along. We weren't too excessively involved -- mostly we were around for Saturday, when the US Senate candidate Al Franken was chosen over a liberal professor, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, who had run a better grassroots campaign than Franken.
Jess and I supported Nelson-Pallmeyer because he called our house twice, the first time leaving a message, and the second time speaking with Jess. Franken gave us form letters. "That's a bad sign," I told Jess, "there were only a few hundred delegates -- why couldn't Franken spend some time every night just calling the delegates." Well, his winning was a foregone conclusion, because the professor could not raise any money, while Franken has traveled to New York and Los Angeles to find donors.
As bad as the Republican incumbent Norm Coleman has been, Franken may not beat him, although his speech was rousing and inspiring, and showed his tenacity: "Norm Coleman has been accepting campaign funds from the military contractors like Halliburton and turning around and stabbing our soldiers in the back by voting against pay increases, voting against shortening tours from fifteen to twelve months, and refusing to increase education assistance for veterans." I'm paraphrasing, but Franken did use the "stab in the back" phrase.
Indeed, Coleman has sat, since Spring of 2003, on the Senate Committee in charge of tracking where US tax dollars are going to in Iraq. And a trillion dollars later, with perhaps $100 billion lost to corruption, Coleman is saying he's served well.
Unfortunately, Franken has been getting hammered lately, first with news that he hadn't been paying his taxes (because he didn't pay state income taxes on his speaking fees in the eighteen states, I think, he earned income in). Also, his satirical writings and work for Saturday Night Live have had racy sexual references, which of course are easily taken out of context. He may win, but Franken must run a better grassroots campaign. He's only in the local news when something negative comes up.
The pictures above are from when Jess and I went out to eat a la carte at an Italian restaurant. (Worst service I've seen in a long time!)
It was a lazy weekend mostly; the Marriott had a nice pool and workout area. Appropriately, over the weekend I've been reading Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father autobiography. Look for a review of it.
No profanes - sacred