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Sunday, January 15, 2006

DFL Feminist Caucus Debate

I stopped by the DFL Caucus Screening which had been advertised by Michael Brodkorb of Minnesota Democrats Exposed. Michael was sitting in the back along with Republican Party Communications Director, Mark Drake. I met Michael McIntee who works with Peter Idusogie on the Inside Minnesota Politics Podcast website. Inside Minnesota Politics was podcasting this event.

Mike Hatch was ill - and sent Lori Swanson - the state solicitor general to represent him on this panel. This seems a bit inappropriate to me - should Hatch be able to use a Attorney General employee in this way?

Michael Brodkorb has some "live-blogging" posts of the event.

Several people at this event told me that the "rumor going around today" is that Mike Hatch was planning to abide by the endorsement. Mike Hatch's word doesn't mean much on this issue. He has run against endorsed DFL candidates 3 times - and in the case of Perpich, Hatch had said he would abide by endorsement, but then went to the primary anyway. Mike Hatch will abide by endorsement should he get the endorsement.

Since I got to the forum a little late, I did not hear what Mike Hatch's current stand on abortion is. In 1990, Hatch ran as the pro-choice candidate. In 1994, Hatch ran with MCCL endorsement in the DFL primary.

On DFL Endorsement - Steve Kelley said he would abide by endorsement. Lori Swanson, Hatch's surrogate said she couldn't speak for him on this issue, but read what he said in the press - which is that he would abide by the endorsement. Actually what Hatch has told the press is that he would abide by the endorsement if there was a large enough caucus showing in the DFL. Kelly Doran and Becky Lourey both said they were planning on running in the primary.

It is going to be important to get Hatch to publicly explain his reasons for threatening to run in the DFL primary in 2002 if the party didn't endorse Roger Moe for Governor. The other two DFL candidates running for Governor at that time were Becky Lourey and Judi Dutcher.

UPDATE: MNObserver comments:

To be honest, the DFL Feminist Caucus forums I've attended had questions so screened that each and every one of them was a version of "Ok, so HOW much do you support abortion rights?" with little regard for bread-and-butter issues that hit women every single day. Not a good insight into their minds.

Mike Hatch has some problems with DFL women. We all know that four years ago, he insisted that he'd only abide by the endorsement if a woman wasn't nominated, but he's never ever been asked about that publicly. Today would have been a good time to do so, but he doesn't seem too interested in what women think this time around, either.

I agree - Hatch needs to be asked this question in a public forum. There's no point in asking him this question in private.

I have not been to a DFL Feminist Caucus forum for a long time. This forum was much more professionally run than anything I've seen by them. This forum did have questions on a variety of subjects - immigration, transportation, choice, domestic violence - and a number of other topics. I'm looking forward to listening to Michael McIntee's podcast of the forum.