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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Senate District 51 Republican Convention

I stopped by the Senate District 51 Republican convention today. I've got a report of my discussions with congressional district candidates and Michele Bachmann's speech over on Dump Bachmann.

Brad Biers, Michele Bachmann's former campaign manager easily won endorsement over Robyn West (85% first ballot). They were running for the seat to replace Anoka Stadium boondoggle supporter Republican Andy Westerberg. The duputy chair of SD 51 told me this was because the delegates in SD 51 are extraordinarily intelligent, and Brad had an edge over West because he knew more about the legislature (Brad works in the legislature). The deputy chair told me the republican index was high in this district and Brad is expected to win easily over the DFL opponent. Brad mentioned his long time support for "pro-life" (I assume that means criminalizing abortion) and "traditional marriage" (I assume that means support for Bachmann's amendment.

The Vikings Football stadium was an issue. Both candidates were opposed to public subsidies for stadiums. I asked Brad Biers where he stood on the Twins stadium plan, and he opposes that also. I contacted the DFL candidate for this seat, Scott Kranz. Kranz opposes both legislative stadium bills. I asked Kranz for his position on the Bachmann amendment, and he opposes the amendment.

I talked with Pam Wolf, the candidate running against Don Betzold. I asked Pam if the Bachmann amendment was the issue she was planning on using against Betzold. Pam does not like the term the "Bachmann amendment". She prefers to label her support for the amendment as being in support of traditional marriage than being in support of Senator Bachmann's amendment.

She said she wants Senator Betzold to keep his word to her and have a committee hearing for the amendment. I told her that he did have committee hearings on this bill in 2004. She said that his committee heard the bill too late for anything to be done about it on the floor. Michele Bachmann was saying something similar in her debate with Scott Dibble. I'm not familiar enough with the Minnesota Senate rules to know whether this is accurate or not, and it's generally not a good idea to rely on Michele Bachmann for accuracy.


P.J. Wiggin said...

Hi Lloyd,

As a past House and Senate staffer I can confirm that committee hearings on controversial bills that the majority does not want to take action on occur after the committee deadlines. By doing this they provide themselves cover when asked by their constituents why the bill didn't pass. Both Sviggum and Moe/Hottinger/Johnson have done this while and since I worked there.