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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Polytick in Minnesota Upset about Wetterling Entering 6th District Race


Conservative Dems Need Not Apply

Patty Wetterling's announcement today goes much deeper than simply a response to polling data. It is believed by many that it may be more of an intolerance from the progressive flank of the state DFL party to a conservative candidate.

You see, Elwin Tinklenberg is not your 'typical' DFL Central Committee poster child. He is pro-life, anti-gay marriage, and leans to the right side of the DFL spectrum on a number of issues. This immediately put him at odds with the party king makers.

Tinklenberg's politics fit the 6th Congressional District profile very well. He is a conservative Dem. He has elected experience as the mayor of Blaine. And, as Governor Ventura's former transportation commissioner, he can actually address transportation issues (a real biggy in this district)and appeal to the independence party voters domiciled in Anoka county.

However, Elwin's good 'fit' still felt too uncomfortable for many in the DFL party back room. This isn't the first time that conservative Dems have been asked to step aside. Looking at the current major statewide races, you see only liberal candidates populating the DFL candidate line-ups. Take a gander at the current House DFL leadership roster and you see 3 Twin City liberals and one 'non-offensive' socially liberal Iron Ranger. It would certainly appear to most that right-leaning democrats have not been given a real welcoming reception as of late. (Note: Sen. Dean Johnson may be the exception that proves this rule.)

Tinklenberg's had close to a year to get the party base energised. People are underwhelmed about his candidacy. He doesn't just oppose gay marriage, he supports the Federal Marriage Amendment - the only 6th District candidate aside from the notoriously anti-gay Michele Bachmann to take that stand. His fundraising reports show that he is PAC Man, in raising money from PACs rather than the grass roots.