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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Gail Dorfman on Stonewall DFL Endorsement

Gail's campaign made a point of sending me her press release.

Gail Dorfman wins Stonewall DFL Endorsement

For Immediate Release, For Further Information, Contact: Gail Dorfman 612-388-3949,
or Jack Harris 952-212-7287

St. Louis Park, Minn. April, 10th 2006, MN-5 Gail Dorfman wins Stonewall DFL Endorsement

Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman received the Stonewall DFL endorsement to replace Martin Sabo in the Fifth Congressional District yesterday afternoon. "After considering as many candidates as were willing to screen, it was the sense of our membership that Gail Dorfman most possessed the qualities required for endorsement" said newly elected chair Matt Klaber. State Senator Scott Dibble added "Gail has a long track record of using her voice and the power of her office to create significant policy changes on GLBT issues. She has worked to expand domestic partner benefits and housing for homeless youth, improve foster care practices, and support programs that reduce violence and intimidation in our schools. Gail supports full marriage equality. She will be a courageous and effective advocate in Washington, D.C."

"I'm delighted to receive this endorsement from Stonewall DFL” Dorfman said. “This endorsement means a lot to me. I have worked to move GLBT issues forward in Hennepin County and the community at large. I am deeply honored that the members of Stonewall have chosen to endorse me and I look forward to taking the fight for equality for all our citizens to Washington."

Stonewall DFL is the lesbian-gay-bisexual-trans-and friends caucus of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. This is the first endorsement by a DFL caucus in the Fifth Congressional District race. Dorfman had previously been endorsed by Stonewall DFL for her Hennepin County Commissioner seat.

Gail Dorfman has a track record of progressive leadership that brings people together to create real change. She led the fight to enact the county-wide smoking ban and is a recognized national leader on homelessness and housing. A strong advocate for healthcare and mental health parity, Gail plans to combine her ten years of Capitol Hill experience with her record of results as Mayor of St. Louis Park and on the Hennepin County Board to achieve real results for the Fifth Congressional District.

Dorfman has represented southwest Minneapolis and St. Louis Park on the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners since 1999 and previously served as Mayor of St. Louis Park and on the St. Louis Park City Council. She also has 10 years of Capitol Hill experience as a legislative aide to Congressman James Burke (D-MA) and as Director of Governor Michael Dukakis’ Washington D.C. State Office. She lives in St. Louis Park with Alan Ackerberg and their five children.

For more information about Gail Dorfman please visit

I asked Gail what her stand was on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Gail opposes this policy and thinks gays should be able to serve openly.


Pete Calhoun said...

An endorsement is only as strong as the tangible support it brings. The reason the Stonewall and other DFL caucus endorsements are flawed is because the caucuses rarely back up the endorsement with significant financial or volunteer resources. As far as I can tell the Stonewall exists only to give out endorsements. They love to have candidates pander to them, but come October they are not seen in an organized fashion at phone banks, door knocks or fundraisers. These are the things that win elections, not endorsements. Outfront and other technically more “non-political” entities run circles around the Stonewall in terms of measurable support to the DFL cause. Endorsements essentially serve as a false accomplishment for organizations such as the Stonewall DFL.

The Stonewall endorsement process is a lose-lose proposition for candidates. The candidates are forced to waste their precious time and energy filling out a questionnaire and attending a screening (or working to get folks there, as has been suggested). The Stonewall insiders then make a decision based on many outside factors that have nothing to do with GLBT issues. Even the candidate granted the endorsement does not gain in any measurable way from the endorsement. For example, how many of the delegates at the CD 5 DFL convention will point to the Stonewall DFL endorsement as a major factor in their decision? I’m not saying it won’t have any impact, but it will not be significant. When you contrast the impact of the Stonewall endorsement with that of almost any labor union, the results are laughable.

I have a few questions. Normally within the DFL decisions such as this are made by the organization’s members that reside in a particularly jurisdiction. Why was Paul Skrbec from Inver Grove Heights on the CD 5 screening committee? More over, the individual listed as the Stonewall “Political Support Committee Chair,” Matt Klaber, shows a contact number with a 507 area code. Does the Stonewall DFL have any real grassroots strength in Minneapolis? Is this a statewide organization with effective local entities or a just clique looking to exercise influence in a community with a concentration of GLBT voters and sympathizers?

The bottom line is that the Stonewall DFL endorsment is worthless as far as I’m concerned.