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Tarryl Clark Moving to Duluth to Take on Cravaack

I had been wanting to see if we could have a somewhat level-headed informed and nuanced discussion on the challenger pool for Chip Cravaack in MN 8th Congressional District. I figured I’d wait until after the homegrown fog burned off to post anything, but this morning the Duluth News Tribune has a bombshell from John Lundy saying Tarryl Clark is running for the seat. Was that a bombshell for anyone else besides me?

Before I knew about Clark’s bid, I wanted to talk about other un-announced candidates. In addition to Daniel Fanning and Jeff Anderson who appear to be in Pawlenty mode, that is, campaigning-but-not-campaigning not officially in other words. Here are the people who are not campaigning but that I think might make the race interesting: Tom Rukavina, Tom Bakk and Don Ness (Donny says he doesn’t want the job and that is fine with me, I’d like to keep him as mayor for a term or 3 more). The DNT identifies a few other candidates in the article that I did not know were considering a run, including Yvonne Prettner Solon, but most of them I don’t know so I can’t comment (but you can).

So we’ve already got a half dozen “local” candidates mulling a run and then Clark rolls in from St. Cloud and changes the entire chemistry of the race. Or does she? Banter away PDDers but please save the frothy mouthed passion for the Troll Zone thread. I’m looking for thoughts and analysis here, not bile. Thanks.

Update: I discovered that MN Brown Iron Range writer/college instructor Aaron Brown, already wrote about this a couple of months ago, including the possible Clark bid.

Also, I forgot to add Karen Diver, Chairwoman and CEO of the Fond du Lac Band to my potential candidates list. She has a great deal to recommend herself for the position and to me, she’s actually the most interesting potential candidate, although I have no idea if she or anyone else besides Tarryl Clark is actually gonna run.

Update 6/14/11

“I filed today my paperwork to seek the office of the presidency of the United States today and I very soon will be making my formal announcement.”

Michele Bachmann last night on CNN one of her classic headline stealing moves that has to have Tim Pawlenty’s stomach all tied up in knots today. But this means that Bachmann can not run for her 6th District seat and president at the same time.

So Today MinnPost is asking the same thing I want to know: Does this mean Tarryl Clark will give up her bid for the 8th District so she can run for an open seat in the 6th? She recieved 38% of the vote there vs. Bachmann’s 52% in 2010 according to those geniuses at wikipedia

78 Comment(s)

  1. It was for me too WG. Not going to lie, as a DFLer I had mixed feelings on this when I read it. I think I’d rather see her take another shot at Bachmann (albiet a harder campaign, at least IMO) then move to the 8th. I like Clark, but I think I’d pull more for a northland native first.

    Max Caven | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  2. Wildgoose, I’d heard rumors for a while about Ms. Clark doing this and hoped she would not. She’s got a leg up on the others, in that she’ll raise a lot of money from people who supported her when she ran against Michelle Bachmann. She’s high-profile. And she knows how to run a campaign. But she’s also got a huge millstone around her neck: she’s a carpetbagger. I think we have enough very viable homegrown candidates we can put up against Cravaaack who can win. Cravaaack is going to be very vulnerable, as it’s become obvious that his true loyalties lie with the Tea Party, not with his constituents in the 8th District.We don’t need to import someone from outside the district to represent us. After all, one of the many criticisms about Cravaack is that he doesn’t understand the northern sections of his district, b/c he lives in a Twin Cities suburb. And that same criticism will no doubt be lobbed at Ms. Clark. It’s going to be an interesting race, no doubt about that.

    calk | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  3. What if St. Cloud becomes part of the 8th District in Re-districting? In fact, does this move encourage the gerry-manderers to draw districts like that? I went to school at St. John’s and I’ve visited there many many times. St. Cloud is nice but it is so so different from Duluth, let alone the Iron Range or places like Grand Marais and I-Falls, I don’t think it’s a fit for the 8th CD.

    wildgoose | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  4. I will be supporting her -- she’s from the burbs just like Chip. Of the mentioned locals, nobody has any real appeal except Jeff. Pretty sure he would be drowned in an ocean of Iron Range homophobia which could easily derail his campaign. Also -- he’s just not really a scrapper.

    Clark will get the support of the party regulars -- just like she did in the primary against Colleen Reed (who was honestly a much better candidate). Karen Diver is interesting -- but she has made too many people mad in her fight with the mayor.

    Politics is a profession. Hillary Clinton was a carpetbagger -- so was Bobby Kennedy. But remember the origin of the term. There was nobody in the South capable and willing to represent the federal govt.

    If we just accept the inevitable that she will take the primary and save up our energy for the real race, we will all be happier -- I think. Just my .02.

    Carla | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  5. Karen Diver is a interesting choice, I agree. There are many candidates coming soon, Tarryl is only the first.

    Scott | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  6. I can’t honestly say I know too much about Clark. I just remember Bachmann with her loads of corporate money advertising statewide with her “Taxin’ Tarryl” TV ads and infringing the copyright of the Minnesota State Fair. But I digress….

    I will admit that I have been highly critical of Cravaack for “representing” Northern Minnesota from the Twin Cities. So if St. Cloud doesn’t get into the 8th Congressional District through all the gerrymandering, that could definitely be a problem for her. I’d hope to get some other local people into the race though. I think being from Duluth or the Iron Range (somewhere kind of in the central, heavier populated areas of the district) is important.

    At this point, all I can say is that I absolutely will NOT be voting for Cravaack. Like calk said, he’s proven that all he cares about is the Tea Party agenda. I’m getting tired of seeing our “defense” budget grow exponentially every year, while Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and all of these other programs that support low-income people get devastated at the hands of the GOP. And Cravaack has proven himself to be nothing more than a pawn in this process.

    I honestly don’t even see Cravaack standing a change in the 2012 election. We have to remember that he got into office because he just happened to be running the year that the economy collapsed and people decided to vote Oberstar out of office. But this is still a heavily Democratic region and people are gonna want answers from Cravaack. What’s he going to say? “We significantly increase the amount of money we spent on defense while cutting all the programs you rely on”? So I’d love to see some more Duluth and Iron Range area people get into the race and hopefully secure the nomination. But if Tarryl Clark takes the nomination, she sure has my vote.

    Tom | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  7. If Cravaack was able to beat a permanent fixture and career politician like Oberstar in the 8th district, what makes everybody so sure an outsider like Clark will beat him? I have lived in the 8th district my entire life and all the voters that I encounter like what they see in Cravaack thus far. He has won over many Rangers that previously supported Oberstar with his stance on the mining industry and the new upcoming mining projects. Other than the far left crowds in Duluth, I see more support for Cravaack than he had last fall … just my opinion, so no need to beat me up.

    OGDuluthian | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  8. OGDuluthian is correct. I’m sure it is true that “all the voters” he encounters like Cravaack, but most of the people I mix with in real life and online do not like him at all. Many absolutely despise him so OG is not getting a representative sample, and I’m probably not either.

    However, his more important correct point is about mining. This is why I mention Rukavina and Bakk, they are both pro-mining (generally speaking). The sulfide/wild rice/fracking issue has the potential to, well, “frack” the NE MN DFL, too. This is a party that includes environmentalists and labor among other groups, and on the surface anyway those 2 groups may be diametrically (and passionately) opposed to each other on mining. Clark apparently is working for an environmental firm up here, so she is presumably not going to be getting many of the pro-mining votes for that issues alone, not to mention the “carpet bagging.”

    I agree with Carla on homophobia and racism and casino conflicts, those things will turn some voters off. Sad that when there is so much meaty policy affected by the election things are so surfacy, but then I raised the issue of residency and to some that is a surfacy non-issue, too. To me it’s a bread and butter issue where a person comes from and where they have put down roots and what they’ve done on their journey that lies in between, that’s important, too.

    wildgoose | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  9. I think you need to live in this area for quite a few years to really understand the people and to truly represent them. Moving here just to challenge Cravaack will not win my vote. I think we (8th District) can do better than importing a candidate.

    It will be interesting to see what transpires. My fear is we will bog down with nonsense topics vs the real issues (much like the state is doing right now -- still no budget but lets talk constitutional amendments).

    Lisa | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  10. Just to clear up a common misconception, Chisago City is in no way a suburb of the Twin Cities. Anyone that states that it is a suburb is either a)dumb, or b)very bitter that the 8CD is not represented by a Duluthian or Iron Ranger.

    As a Republican, I would love to see Clark get the nomination. Cravaack will always be vulnerable, so fundamentally flawed opponents like Clark (carpetbagger) are welcomed. Come on DFLers, I know you can screw this one up!

    P.S., keep treating Iron Rangers like a bunch of backward hillbillies too. Thanks!

    deuces | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  11. I would like to clear something up, it is not the DFL who is telling Tarryl to move. It is Tarryl moving for herself. Secondly, Chip is not a good rep for the area because he doesn’t care about the district. He said I will give you what you need not what you want. We need a Rep who will work on high speed rail and one who cares enough to be available for the voters.

    Scott | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  12. @ scott…

    correction: Chip will give you what HE *thinks* you need.

    zra | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  13. FWIW Dueces, Chisago City is considered a northern suburb of the Twin Cities by a lot more people then those talking about Chippers and the 8th district.

    edgeways | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  14. I think that a lot of Rangers who voted for the Crack are currently having buyer’s remorse over his stand on issues like collective bargaining, Social Security and Medicare. The DFL race, regardless of who takes the primary, will be competitive.

    Timk | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  15. Clark is a good fit for the eighth.

    Lojasmo | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  16. I kind of took Tony Sertich’s decision not to run for reelection as a de facto admission of his intent to run against Cravaack. I realize being commissioner of the IRRRB is a big deal, but I assume he’s not done with elected office. I’d heard his name being floated for years. At that time it was assumed to be when Oberstar retired, not running against someone who actually beat him.

    Chris | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  17. Cory Fechner | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  18. Deuces,

    I don’t want to have to point it out again, but I’m kind of offended, and Chisago City is most certainly in the metro area. It is in the metro area in a legal sense, in that it is part of the 7-county metro and is part of the Metropolitan Council taxing area -- which includes the state fiscal disparities act and a requirement to comply with metro-area regulations. Statistically it is considered by the US Census as part Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan area. It is also home to a not insignificant number of people who would not live in Chisago City but for their jobs in cities closer (or in) the core cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. So by those metrics, anyway, I would suggest that you’re wrong.

    So, as is typical, it is nice to be called dumb by an ignorant individual who just happens to be a republican. Not trying to be inflammatory here. Just sayin’.

    Sean | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  19. You beat me to it, Sean.

    Bret | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  20. Thank you, Sean. This is why Tea Party types like Deuces drive me nuts — they’re always blatantly lying about things that are easily proved or disproved. They never let the facts get in their way. I’d never paid attention before the election as to where Chisago City was. After the election, I was driving home from the Cities and was shocked when I realized it’s in the metro area.

    I know Tarryl Clark has good politics, is smart, and she knows how to run a campaign. But I’d have more respect for her campaign if she and her family actually sold their house in St. Cloud and bought a house here in this district and really moved here. After all, that’s what Hillary Clinton did in NY.

    Claire | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  21. Having lived in the Chisago Lakes area, I can tell you it’s oriented a lot more toward the Cities than toward up north. It’s certainly not a suburb the way Edina is a suburb, but it’s definitely an “exurb” that every year becomes more of a bedroom community for people working in the Cities.

    udarnik | May 8, 2011 | New Comment
  22. Claire: duces might not be lying. It may be garden variety ignorance, or willful ignorance.

    I hope republicans gerrymander the eighth to include St. Cloud.

    Lojasmo | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  23. Lojasmo, if the Republicans gerrymander the 8th to include St. Cloud, it’d also bring in more right-wing-leaning voters into the mix. And isn’t that part of the reason that Chippie won the election — b/c gerrymandering the 8th down to the conservative Twin Cities outer suburbs (or exurbs as udarnik calls that area)?

    Claire | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  24. I was disappointed to see Clark has decided to buy a condo in Duluth and run against Chip. If she wins the nomination, I’ll vote for her. But, I find it arrogant that she seems to think no one who really lives in the 8th is qualified to take on Chip. And, this isn’t like Hilary Clinton or RFK moving to New York. They actually moved to New York; she’s just buying an address in Duluth, but keeping her primary home in St. Cloud and her husband will continue to live and work in St. Cloud. With that kind of attitude going in, does anyone really think she’d represent the 8th district if she won? She strikes me as someone who just really wants to serve in elected office. And, she must think Chip is easier to beat than Michelle. If she’d stay in her home district and run against Michelle again, that would make more sense. But, this just feels like someone taking advantage of her ability to own a home in St. Cloud and buy a condo in Duluth so she can run against someone she thinks she can beat. I don’t get the sense that she cares about helping the 8th district, or even responding to our needs. Disappointing.

    Patty | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  25. I really really honestly do not want to offend anyone, but what goes on in Congress in Washington takes place on a national stage and what you can do for your district is directly related to how much clout you can muster. That’s why Oberstar was so effective for us.

    So OK -- someone really understands what people on the Iron Range want -- how is that significant if they are not able to act on it?

    I guess because I was not born in Duluth I just can’t agree with the idea that it is so important. So many politicos who run here have only one thing to say about themselves: “I was born here.” Think about it -- why is this so important?

    Also -- this is not a good time to sell a house in the metro. Why should we respect someone more because they make a bad financial decision?

    Carla | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  26. I wasn’t thrilled about somebody who’s only been in MN since 2003 representing the 8th, so I can’t say that I’m pleased about somebody who buys a condo just to run here.

    Nathaniel | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  27. Just got this new alert from the DNT:

    Under GOP redistricting plan, Cravaack would no longer represent Duluth
    UPDATE: The new 8th Congressional District would stretch from Moorhead to Cloquet, with the line dipping south to cut Mille Lacs Lake in half. It would encompass 23 counties, including Becker, where U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson lives.

    Claire | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  28. The question is… will Tarryl Clark now run against Chip Cravaack, as St. Cloud will now be part of the district in which he lives?

    Claire | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  29. Wow…. is that possible? We still have to see if they adopt the GOP plan, of course. But, I would assume this plan takes St. Cloud out of Bachmann’s district. So, maybe Terryl Clark should consider staying in St. Cloud and taking on Chip in her back yard!
    So, what becomes of Duluth and the northern part of the 8th? I suppose they drew the line straight across the state, so we’re now in the same district as Thief River Falls? Weird plan, but aren’t these things generally designed to meet the needs of the Party in charge, rather than the needs of the citizens?

    Patty | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  30. for sale: Condo, never lived in.

    B-man | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  31. Claire, we don’t know that St. Cloud WILL be part of the district where Cravaack lives. This is just a plan Republicans have released. Democrats will NEVER allow this to go to the governor. The state Supreme Court will end up deciding the new boundaries. St. Cloud could very well end up in the same district as Lindstrom, but it might also end up in the 8th district with Duluth. It’s way too early to know what the new districts will be.

    Tom | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  32. Tom, it’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out then. That’d be a trip if St. Cloud and Duluth ended up in the same district. Talk about two polar opposite kinds of places.

    Claire | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  33. Karen Diver would be a good choice, if you want to stay in touch with your liberal leanings. She’s the least political of the bunch, a strong advocate for the environment, a strong representative of the less represented, and a really good person. Bakk, Rookievena, Solong — they are lifers that aren’t any different than any other career politician.

    It’s just too bad that you won’t give Chip a chance. I chuckle everytime I read a no-substance editorial sponsored by the local AFSCME lackey. Chip is ethical, hard working and smart. We haven’t had that mix in the 8th in, oh, over 40 years! In the end, I’m not too worried, though. The middle-of-the-roaders like moi know what he is all about and won’t buy into the liberal rhetoric. He’ll get re-elected because generally the Rangers are viewed as crazies, the libs from Duluth are crazy, and the rest of the state knows it. Isn’t that how Chip won? Spare me the retort about him lying to get elected. That’s garbage and you know it.

    Jim | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  34. Jim, Chippie won b/c he was at the right place at the right time. And he lied to get elected, when he wasn’t committing the sin of omission, that is. Plus, Oberstar ran a terrible campaign.

    Claire | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  35. I agree with Claire on all of that. Chippy didn’t just come into a region that has been represented by a Democrat for over 60 years and win by being “ethical, hard working and smart.”

    Tom | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  36. Oberstar ran a campaign?

    Maroon Loon | May 9, 2011 | New Comment
  37. From the looks of things, St. Cloud stays in the sixth, Cravaack’s town is in the seventh, keeping chip’s seat safe, and Colin Peterson will rep the eighth, making him vulnerable for being a blue dog.

    Dayton will veto that crap.

    Funny: Cravaack was a union steward for the airline pilots, and was instrumental in the strikes.

    Lojasmo | May 10, 2011 | New Comment
  38. I am so glad you brought this up. It is sad to think that someone can just buy a condo in Duluth and then think they can run as a ‘Duluthian’ for this seat in congress. I would hope Duluthians would be smarter than to fall for that but I am afraid they won’t.

    Ruthie | May 10, 2011 | New Comment
  39. Mrs. Clark moving to Duluth with her ambition. Am I the only one concerned with just how disingenuous this is. Mrs. Clark quite frankly has nothing in common with people who go to work. I look forward to vague platform of class warfare and innuendo of how the people in the car will benefit from Mrs. Clark punishing those who pull it.

    Greg McQuay | May 14, 2011 | New Comment
  40. Tarryl Clark has purchased a condo in Duluth and is looking forward to becoming an Iron Ranger. Does she realize that Duluth is not on the Iron Range. Duluthians and Rangers alike can be offended by this comment. She clearly doesn’t get the area as she is just an opportunist trying to win an election. She wasn’t welcome in St Cloud as she lost handily there. I am interested in what the other 2 candidates have to say as they better represent the area.

    Union Worker | May 25, 2011 | New Comment
  41. Thanks for writing that update, wildgoose. You brought up something I hadn’t even thought about….she’s running for president, so she can’t run for her representative seat too.

    Of course, she will lose the presidential race by a mile and a half. After losing the first couple of state primaries, she’ll drop out of the race. So, I have a feeling she’ll then decide she’s seeking reelection in her congressional district. So the Taryl Clark plot thickens. Does she stay in St. Cloud and hope Bachmann doesn’t jump back into the race? Or does she stay in Duluth and take on Cravaack? And how are the congressional districts going to be redrawn? What districts will Duluth and St. Cloud end up in?

    I personally would still rather see Clark running in her home district. I’ve been highly critical of Cravaack for living in the Twin Cities and “representing” Northern Minnesota, so I’d be a hypocrite for thinking Clark could do an adequate job up here when she’s new to the area. I’d rather see someone like Jeff Anderson take on Cravaack.

    In short, this whole congressional redistricting and potential candidates storyline just got a whole lot messier with Bachmann’s announcement.

    Tom | Jun 14, 2011 | New Comment
  42. Tom: “I personally would still rather see Clark running in her home district. I’ve been highly critical of Cravaack for living in the Twin Cities and “representing” Northern Minnesota, so I’d be a hypocrite for thinking Clark could do an adequate job up here when she’s new to the area. I’d rather see someone like Jeff Anderson take on Cravaack.”

    THIS. That’s absolutely where I’m at on this too. I like Tarryl Clark, but I’m not at all comfortable with her potentially moving here simply to run for office. Hopefully everything shakes out with someone like Anderson with a decent shot.

    Chad | Jun 14, 2011 | New Comment
  43. Tom & Chad: I agree. I’d rather suppport someone who’s lived in the district, and isn’t moving here just to run for office.

    Claire | Jun 14, 2011 | New Comment
  44. “I am so glad you brought this up. It is sad to think that someone can just buy a condo in Duluth and then think they can run as a ‘Duluthian’ for this seat in congress”

    Hey! I’ve been here 19.5 years and have owned a home the whole time!!11¡¡!1! I could run! (Or it could give me the runs.)

    Or… m0Ar of you ‘authentic’ Dull-uthians could run! Or ‘give’ us the runs.

    Pros *weighs it all out* cons.

    They’d supportcha. Yayoubetcha!

    ruby2sd4y | Jun 14, 2011 | New Comment
  45. I don’t understand any of that.

    Admackbar | Jun 15, 2011 | New Comment
  46. But ruby, you hate it here.

    zra | Jun 15, 2011 | New Comment
  47. Michele announced that she was not going to run for her current position as well as run for president. I can’t wait until she gets her unemployment check in a few years.

    Bad Cat! | Jun 15, 2011 | New Comment
  48. As soon as the presidential race gets tough, she’ll be back running for Congress. The Onion put it best:

    Paul Lundgren | Jun 15, 2011 | New Comment
  49. Bad Cat, my understanding was that she has no plans to run for Congress as of now, but her staff left open the possibility of her plans changing. In other words, her plans WILL change in early 2012 after getting crushed in the first few primaries. Hopefully the people of her district will be smart enough to realize that she dumped them all for an entire year to chase a pipe dream.

    Tom | Jun 15, 2011 | New Comment
  50. Taryl Clark gave one of the worst political speeches I’ve ever seen at the Duluth DFL City convention a few weeks ago. It was uninspiring and unfocused.

    Right now there are three for sure candidates for the DFL nominations (Taryl Clark, Jeff Anderson, and Rick Nolan) and one possible (Daniel Fanning). Personally, I plan to hold back to give them all a chance to prove themselves. We need to make sure that whoever we nominate will: 1) be an excellent member of Congress, and 2) be able to win. For me, it is too early to decide who that right person is.

    Joel | Jun 15, 2011 | New Comment
  51. I meant to add that, based on her performance so far, I’ve ruled Taryl Clark out. She is a bad candidate and I’m afraid she might not be able to beat Cravaack. I want to give the other three (and whoever else may come forward) the chance to demonstrate their abilities as candidates before signing on with any particular candidate.

    Joel | Jun 15, 2011 | New Comment
  52. “2) be able to win”

    That’s one point that always makes me a little nervous, though, when I hear it brought up in the context of nomination processes and primary elections. Does that mean not voting for someone (be it in a convention or election) who you agree with most on policy issues, and instead voting for someone if they may appeal to a broader electorate?

    I understand the desire to replace Cravaack, but in this and other elections, we need to be careful not to replace a stooge with a stooge. I think your first criterion “be an excellent member of Congress” is dead-on accurate and what we should primarily be aiming for.

    Sure, I understand we don’t necessarily want an arm-waving lunatic to get nominated. But don’t be afraid to truly vote your conscience.

    Speaking of lunatics, as far as Bachmann goes, I hope her (soon to be) failure of a presidential run is the end of her political career…or at least in the electoral realm.

    Chad | Jun 15, 2011 | New Comment
  53. I think I read in the NY Times today that she’s toning it down, trying to appeal to people beyond the crazy Tea Baggers who are her natural constituents. Wonder how long she can keep that up. It’s going to be a wild ride through primary season with that cast of characters.

    Claire | Jun 15, 2011 | New Comment
  54. The Tea Party only existed to mobilize the extremist fringe of the right wing. If Bachmann truly identified as a Tea Partyist, she would be running under that name, but as it sits, there’s still a big “R” behind her name.

    zra | Jun 16, 2011 | New Comment
  55. Of all the things that I hate about the Tea Party, that’s one of the biggest. The “movement” formed to remove the Republicans that weren’t radical and extreme enough. Now they act like they’re their own party, going as far as to have a caucus and deliver a rebuttal to the State of the Nation speech. They literally try to distance themselves from the Republican Party politically, yet they’re too afraid to run as their own party. In order to keep themselves in office, they have no problem falling back on the Republican Party’s deep pockets for support, which kinda defeats the whole purpose of the Tea Party.

    Tom | Jun 16, 2011 | New Comment
  56. Chad-- I share your concern regarding electing “stooges” just because they are “electable.” That’s why I listed two criteria, the first of which is being an excellent representative. “Be able to win,” to me, isn’t about going for the mushy middle. “Be able to win” is, for me, about being able to connect effectively with voters. The candidates I devote my time and energy on are those that I truly believe in and who also have the skills to be politically effective. Life’s too short to waste on either candidates I don’t believe in or who lack the skills to be politically effective. We need candidates who are both.

    Joel | Jun 16, 2011 | New Comment
  57. Here’s my beef. You have a good Congressman. Cravaack will be re-elected because he is different than the ticks that’s been populating Washington for the past 30 years. We are broke. Period. Someone wrote on one of the other columns the ludicrous statement (I think it was Tom) that Pawlenty was responsible for the bridge in Mpls collapsing. THAT kind of statement/though/mentality is what is killing us! Point more blame on Oberstar and his affinity for spending than Pawlenty- he even had the gall to point his finger (Hmmm- when’s the last time a politician wagged a finger at me in front of a national audience? Was it Clinton saying he didn’t have sex with an intern? Or was it Weiner. Or was it Barney Frank? Oh, I can’t remember…) at Minnesotan’s saying it was our fault for not paying more taxes. Let’s face it. People like Jimmy have ZERO sense of reality. We can’t afford more taxes. We are on the brink of a depression! People are losing their houses. Real unemployment is close to 20%. The cost of gas is hovering around $4 with oil costing twice what it should. Our national debt is skyrocketing. Cravaack will be prove to be a fabulous voice in Washington, and an effective leader that will help steer our government towards a responsible operating level. You should be thankful and hopeful, not spiteful and destructive.

    Jim | Jun 17, 2011 | New Comment
  58. Thanks Jim for the uplifting, hopeful message. The “We Are Broke” lament is so tired and rote. Craavack would be a bit more tolerable if he was able to think on his own rather than adhere to the T-P script -- kinda like you do, Jimmy.

    Iron Oregon | Jun 17, 2011 | New Comment
  59. Oh Oregon, no matter how much truth you’re faced with, the liberal ether keeps a smile on your face while you bury your head in the sand. Did ya ever think that the Tea Party isn’t so much a party, but more of an idealogy that has brought people together? I’ve never been to a TP event or participated in any TP event. I couldn’t tell you what it is or who is in it, if “it” even exists. Even though you try to dilute the message through associating it to something that’s been created by the liberal media, the message remains the same. We are broke. I don’t expect someone like yourself to understand that- I can gather from your writings that you’re probably less than 30 years old and have never had to face economic issues like the greatest generation did. The value of saving. Limited Government. Ethical and moral truths. Yup, this is the foundation that most of our country stands on. I realize it’s not for your crowd. But people like you have to realize that no matter how much political bullying you do, it can’t reverse the fact that the well has run dry and that the era of tax and spend is over.

    Jim | Jun 17, 2011 | New Comment
  60. Jim -- I expect you to refute this as you so eloquently repeat:

    Iron Oregon | Jun 17, 2011 | New Comment
  61. Jim, you act as if it was “morning in America” until Obama won the election, and then that everything went downhill from there. We all know that Obama inherited from GW Bush a fragile economy, a banking crisis, wars on the other side of the world, and so on.

    If you want my honest opinion, I think the decline of the American empire really started with your hero, Ronald Reagan, and his “trickle-down” philosophy of cutting taxes for the rich. And you Republicans are still so caught up in a philosophy that *does not work,* that you want to put limits on the government, and even want to dismantle social programs that provide a safety net for the young, poor and the elderly — while protecting the interests of the wealthy by keeping their taxes low.

    It’s obvious that Chippie and his fellow right wing Tea Baggers don’t consider jobs and the economy as priorities — they’re too busy focusing on social issues, like trying to defund Planned Parenthood and NPR.

    I think people are starting to figure out that Chippie is beholden more to his Tea Bagger allies than he is to the people of the 8th District. And it’s total b.s. about him being so accessible to his constituents. It’s smoke and mirrors. Let’s see him come to Duluth and hold a town meeting, instead of these phony little meetings with select constituents that aren’t much more than photo ops.

    I sincerely hope Jeff Anderson or someone else runs a great campaign and rids us of a Congressman who is not much more than a shill for the Tea Bag Party.

    Claire | Jun 17, 2011 | New Comment
  62. Attention: Ronald Reagan raised taxes

    Now back to the issue of the potential challengers in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. People can debate the merits of Ronald Reagan, the Tea Party, Noam Chomsky, Malthusian economics and the Federal Deficit ad nauseum anywhere. Perfect Duluth Day is a perfect place to share “local” perspectives without getting mired in the circuitous arguments feeding the 24 hour, 60 minute an hour cable news cycle. Ideally, that is.

    wildgoose | Jun 17, 2011 | New Comment
  63. Jim, I have never made any attempt to place the blame on anybody, including Pawlenty, for the bridge collapse. I don’t remember ever even being part of a discussion about the bridge collapse on PDD. If you want to reject my arguments and provide a counterargument, go right ahead. That’s the whole point of debate. However, I’d appreciate it if you could stick to the facts and not make things up. That kind of argumentation you’re using is the same method the Tea Party has used to become a major force and continues to use to deceive Americans and falsely influence their political beliefs. My God, have you ever tried to listen to a speech by Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann? They’re full of lies! (For example, read “Sarah Palin struggles with the facts” and “Fact-checking Michele Bachmann“) and are two great websites that provide information of the truthfulness of politicians’ statements. Now we all know that politicians like to stretch the truth a bit to support their cause, but the Tea Party is just full of shit. They deliberately make up lies in every speech they give in order to deceive Americans and garner support for themselves.

    I could continue this rant for a long time, but Claire pretty much made the rest of my argument for me. Republicans (especially tea baggers) like to throw around numbers about how bad the economy and unemployment are, blaming it solely on Obama. Yet they fail to remember that George Bush is the mastermind behind the financial collapse. In 2008, Obama and McCain were neck and neck in the presidential race for a long time … then Bush’s economy collapsed and Obama pulled away by 10 points. Obama came into office and immediately inherited an economic and budget nightmare (as T-Paw did to Mark Dayton). When your car is barrel rolling end over end on fire down a steep hill, there’s not much you can do to stop it until it hits the bottom. Bush jumped out of the car at the top of the cliff and gave it to Obama.

    It just seems too disgusting to me how Republicans and tea baggers are running their campaigns for 2012. They take the failings of their leader and pass them off on his successor, simply because he’s the one who’s had to deal with the brunt of previous guy’s failings (again, just like T-Paw and Dayton). Why in the hell would Americans want to reelect the people that caused the biggest financial disaster in American history (yes, I know that’s now true, but Repubs lie and say it is) all over again, just as we start to get the economy back on track? Besides, by this point in time, as Claire pointed out, it’s clear that Republicans and tea baggers have no interest in fixing the economy and creating jobs. It’s all about pushing their agenda — giving billionaires more money and taxing the hell out of the poor, eliminating every useful social program that exists in this country, removing regulations from corporations, banning gay marriage, banning abortion, putting guns in the hands of every person possible, and so on and so forth. You get the picture.

    Tom | Jun 17, 2011 | New Comment
  64. Well, that’s an interesting story in today’s DNT about Chipster moving his family to New Hampshire, while he buys a home in North Branch. He claims he’s going to spend Saturdays in the 8th District and Sundays in New Hampshire. Of course, he’ll be in DC the rest of the week. Really? Really? Didn’t Cravaack run on a platform of claims that Jim Oberstar didn’t really live in the 8th because he moved his family to DC and visited the 8th? What a hypocrite Cravaack is — and what an owner of a lot of homes! Wow, I only have one home and it’s plenty enough for me.

    I think we can do better here in the 8th than to have someone representing us who really lives in New Hampshire! And people were complaining that Tarryl Clark really lives in St. Cloud b/c that’s where her husband works and they own a home? At least it’s in-state! Cravaack’s wife is working in Boston and the family will live in New Hampshire!

    I also found it interesting that Cravaack was claiming that his responsibilities as a father take precedence over everything. Well, I think his kids would be a lot happier if they saw him more than one day a week. It sounds to me like Cravaack wants it all — being a father, being a Congressman. Sometimes, you just can’t do it all, and in trying to do it all, you actually accomplish nothing.

    For his own sake, and for his children’s sake, I urge voters to vote for anyone but Cravaack next election. We can do better.

    Claire | Jul 16, 2011 | New Comment
  65. Thanks Claire, I have heard Cokie Roberts speak on NPR about what it was like in Washington when she was growing up. How having the families there in Washington with them, humanized the men (and yes they were nearly all men in those days). She talks about it beautifully in her eulogy at Betty Ford’s funeral. Here is the text and/or video whichever you prefer, it’s a good message.

    wildgoose | Jul 16, 2011 | New Comment
  66. Claire, that’s a good point you bring up about buying all these houses. I remember when Cravaack and Duffy held their joint press conference after being elected, and they were making complaints about how they needed to find a way to pay for expensive apartments in D.C.

    But apparently Chippy can afford to buy houses at will. I hope he can afford to feed his family — after all, he only gets a $79,000/year pension from Northwest Airlines, $174,000/year for serving in congress, plus his wife’s annual salary. While most families in the 8th district get along on a less than $50,000/year salary, Chippy and his family are living in poverty with their $200,000+ annual salary.

    Tom | Jul 16, 2011 | New Comment
  67. And who’s going to be paying for the airfare between MSP and Boston and then DC so he can see his family every weekend. That ain’t cheap. If I were him and I wanted to see my family and my spouse wanted to keep her high powered job, I’d move the family to DC so I could see them during the week. My spouse could take a shuttle to Boston when she needed to. Less travel, and I’d see my kids more than once a week. And the wife could keep her job, since no one in that family wants to make compromises for the sake of the kids.

    Claire | Jul 16, 2011 | New Comment
  68. afaik still no offices in Duluth

    edgeways | Jul 17, 2011 | New Comment
  69. I hate to give any credence to Chip at all, but he does have an office in Duluth in the Federal Building.

    tamara | Jul 17, 2011 | New Comment
  70. Amen on the criticisms of Cravaack for now moving his family to NH but claiming residence in Minnesota.

    David Beard | Jul 17, 2011 | New Comment
  71. (aka: the exact same thing Oberstar and a good many others had to do in their tenure…)

    zra | Jul 17, 2011 | New Comment
  72. Zra, it’s *not* the same thing Oberstar and others have had to do during their tenure. There’s a big difference between moving your family to DC so you can be a parent to them, as opposed to moving your family to another state in a different region of the country from DC or Minny, and then claiming you will still represent Minny — one day a week, with one other day reserved for your family.

    It’s karma: Chip and his people made a big deal of Oberstar moving his family to DC, and then Chip figures out after being elected that maybe Oberstar did the right thing by his family.

    Claire | Jul 17, 2011 | New Comment
  73. LMAO about the righty-tighties making an issue of Oberstar having a home in MD and then Cravaack goes even further and moves his goddamn family to New England! I suggest if people want a good laugh reading the righty-tighties falling all over themselves trying to defend Cravaack’s moving to New Hampshire, read the Area Voices blog. There’s only two people defending Cravaack over there, and they sound almost Clinton-esqe, with their b.s., “it depends on what is is.” Ha ha. And the brainiacs on the Duluth Lunatics Blog are silent on the matter, but no surprise there, those are some dim-witted people who can’t spell their way out of a paper bag.

    Bye bye Chippie, it wasn’t nice knowing you. Maybe you’ll have better luck finding Canadian cars in the hospital parking lots in NH, you scoundrel. I love when karma bites evildoers in the ass.

    Wisconsin Willie | Jul 18, 2011 | New Comment
  74. Just in case anyone reads the Area Voices blog like Willie suggests and thinks the “claire” posting a comment sympathetic to Cravaaaaack is me, it’s not me. I am glad for his sake, tough, that the incident with his son was a wake-up call to him and his wife that they’re letting their parenting responsibilities slide, by never being around for their kids, with him being in DC and her in Boston.

    But I feel that Cravaaaaack should have worried more about being a good parent to his kids before he ran for office than afterwards. He’s beginning to strike me as someone who doesn’t really think things through — sort of like his initial opposition to the DLH airport expansion.

    Claire | Jul 18, 2011 | New Comment
  75. Not to pile on, but NH is nowhere near DC; I would understand if they chose to live in, say, Baltimore (on the Acela line between DC and Boston). NH is nowhere near any commutable train to DC.

    How long before Cravaack runs to represent NH instead of Minnesota? It would seem to me that his ties here are becoming more tenuous.

    Oberstar may have forgot his connection to Minnesota by staying in DC, but that is a different slight than moving your family to a third location altogether.

    David Beard | Jul 19, 2011 | New Comment
  76. I feel kinda lonesome out here as the only Clark supporter. I agree with Joel that she can sometimes take a while to get to the point. But I have listened to her talk a coupla times and spoken to her personally a few times and here is what I think: she is a smart woman with a law degree and right positions on choice, on economics, on guns, on workers’ rights, on education and health. That is good enough for me. Because I am not from here somebody running for office has to have more to say to me than: “I’m from here.” I really don’t care if somebody does or does not get the subtleties of Iron Range culture. I care if they can take messages that I believe in to Washington (this is a national race -- not a local one) and put them in to law.

    carla | Jul 19, 2011 | New Comment
  77. PS: to the whole Cravaack NH thing:

    On AreaVoices, someone noted that Cravaack’s wife will be living in a state with no income tax. Do we have a right to expect that our rep and his spouse file taxes in Minnesota? | Jul 19, 2011 | New Comment
  78. I think Clark is an ok candidate, if she makes it through the primary I would most likely vote for her, with little reservation, I don’t think (at this point) she will be my first choice on the primary ballot though. The carpetbagging is an issue. Yes it is a national office, but it is a national office meant to represent a specific part of the country. And if you don’t really live there how are you going to represent that area? As they say, all politics are local. This is kind of what got Chippers in a spot of hot water earlier by opposing the airport expansion (and the rail project). Living in a TC suburb he had no notion of what those projects meant to his constituents.

    As an aside, it really is a joke that the 8th is such a large encompassing district. I-falls has little in common with Chippers home base, but that really is the fault of whomever drew the lines last time, and as noted it is possible that the lines will be redrawn this time to make Clark’s move superfluous.

    edgeways | Jul 19, 2011 | New Comment

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