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Thursday, September 22, 2005 

Kelly Doran for Governor

An anonymous comment just left here brought a thought. Mike Hatch and Steve Kelly have obvious natural constituencies. What is Kelly Doran's? His apparent lack of one plagued him during his brief Senate campaign and I can't see how things will change in the gubernatorial race. The only real difference is that there is no well-established candidate for him to beat this time. Even so, however, he has a long, uphill battle. His name recognition is still minimal, he's not familiar with the political process or scene, and his self-financed campaign may arouse fears that he's trying to buy the election.

Mr. Doran, how do you plan to win the Governor's Mansion?

He may not have it yet but we are 14 months from the election. More than enough time, as long as DFLers have the courage to not just look at the establishment for their candidates. For too long we've operated on a "now it's ___'s turn." People "wait in line." That's what gets us candidates like Roger Moe--who I love and thought was absolutely the best Majority Leader ever probably--but was not a good candidate for governor. But it was his turn so we put him out there and he got creamed. Putting a business executive out there attracts the interest of people who normally vote Republican. Why do you think the Repbulican blogs--MDE, Republican MN, KVM, etc--have recently had posts saying good things about Doran? Because they think we'll never nominate him and it makes them look like they don't just hate all DFLers because they're DFLers. And because they're scared of him but if they make it look like they like him they know all of you "progressives" will flip out and take him down without their help.

Bottom line, Doran's got plenty of time and resources to build name recognition. As for your, and others thoughts about his wealth. When it comes to the money thing no one can really win. Either you raise a lot of money and you're a tool of special interests, or you don't raise much money, self finance (so you're not actually beholden to anyone but the voters) and now you're buying the election. So that critism is pretty much a non-starter--unless like I've said before, there is evidence of outright corruption. All signs point to Doran being a good guy who wants to try his hand. Why not give him a shot before you start firing missiles at fellow DFLers (that's more for DFL Governor, who actually goes out of his/her way to dig up things to critisize Doran for)?

For those of us that are not so well informed, having to raise money does not necessarily make a canidate a tool of special interests contrary to nk2134's beliefs. Most fundraising money comes from individual DFLers and others who believe in a canidate, especially when the state of Minnesota has a reinbursement program for individuals donating one hundred dollars or less. Furthermore by winning the DFL endorsement the party helps canidates by providing them with a portion of their funding. Dorran (who has not declared that he will abide by the endorsement) is essentially saying that he will not abide by the will of members of the DFL voters and caucus attendees because he can outspend whoever the party believes is the best canidate.

I simply fail to understand how average voters, who believe in a good canidate, are now labeled "special interests." Moreover, when self financing you don't need to really have any support because you don't have to spend time fundraising and contacting voters, and instead Dorran is relying on paying volunteers because he lacks any real grassroots support.

Finally why did Dorran decide to switch to the Governor's race? Did he just realize that if he won the Senate seat he'd have to move to D.C. or is he planning on just jumping from race to race until he is a clear front runner.

My point about "special interests" was not a statement of my beliefs but rather a statement about what people are labeled as if they do raise a lot of money, because undoubtedly they end up getting pac money or they get a lot of money from teachers or union workers or business execs or lobbyists, etc. So then someone who doesn't like them comes along picks out two or three donors and makes some hay. Even if they are individuals, someone like DFL Governor who finds a candidate they don't like will research the individuals and find unsavory ties the individual has and hold that against the candidate. If you read my whole post you saw the sentence after I talk about "special interests": "So that critism is pretty much a non-starter--unless like I've said before, there is evidence of outright corruption." I just think going after someone because of where their money comes from isn't helpful to knowing truly about the person. Unless you have some solid evidence that there is actual corruption occurring.

As for the endorsement. You are echoing my point--I want rank and file DFLers to decide who the candidate is. But rank and filers are not at caucuses. They vote in primaries. I say this with all sincerity do you (anonymous) realize that the DFL caucus is non-binding? And that there is a primary in September to actually select the candidate? Hardly anyone comes to caucuses. There is no "vote" at a caucus. You declare who you support and whoever gets above that magic number is "endorsed." Many more people vote in the primary--which actually is binding and actually selects the DFL candidate. Therefore, Doran is saying he wants to "abide by the will of members of the DFL [and] voters" to decide this thing not just the party bigwigs and liberal activists at the caucuses.

"...when self financing you don't need to really have any support because you don't have to spend time fundraising and contacting voters." That just makes absolutely no sense. If he doesn't contact voters and doesn't have support he can't get votes. (And by the way, he is actively seeking the endorsement and raising money. He simply said he's willing to put his own money in if need be.) But back to the point, if he's not contacting voters he doesn't get support and he has no reason to run. What do you think he's doing to "campaign" if not contacting voters? Where do you think the money he's spending is going? What are "paid volunteers" doing? Think out your above quoted statement a little...

He's a much better fit for the Gov race anyway. He's an executive. Who knows why he actually switched races. He hasn't been a politician before so maybe once he was out campaigning the real reality of being away actually sunk in. It's pretty human to not fully understand something until you actually experience it.

nk2134 writes:
Who knows why (Doran) actually switched races. He hasn't been a politician before so maybe once he was out campaigning the real reality of being away actually sunk in. It's pretty human to not fully understand something until you actually experience it.

I kind of prefer the candidate who's got some political/living experience without being a career candidate (ala Mike Hatch). (Mike's been running for Governor so long that we're on his second round of "I want to be Governor" Christmas card list.)

I'll accept Doran's claim that he switched from the Senate race to the Governor race when he realized that his family life would be sacrificed if he became Senator. Not sure he fully appreciates how it's still going to be affected as Governor but in his mind it's apparently "all good now." But any casual reader of American Politics would have known that if (s)he moved to Washington DC as Senator it might be hard to make Junior's baseball games.

We had a political naif as Governor (that wrassler guy) ... I sure don't want another.

nk2134 why can't you just admit that Dorran is just running because he's rich and has nothing better to do? Just because someone can try to buy the election doesn't mean that he's experienced or qualified to run an executive branch

If you're going to make a snide comment, at least sign in and then spell the person's name right, OK?

Anyway, I don't think it's right to give Doran flack for being wealthy, he is self made, isn't he? What's so bad about that, he worked hard to get where he is and now he is using his OWN money to try to help the state, instead of some special interest groups, who will then demand loyalty.

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