Primary Election

Tuesday is the Minnesota Primary Election.  Lots of interesting information, including candidates, here.

You will note that the DFL (Democrat) ballot includes 15 names; the Republican only one, even though at the time of filing there were at least two other national Republican who expressed an interest in challenging the incumbent.

Today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune, on the front page, announced that the local Catholic Archbishop had sent a letter to diocesan Priests which basically (my opinion) prohibits Priests from voting in the primary as they will have to declare whether they are Republican or Democrat.  I am lifelong Catholic, and I’ll be at Mass on Sunday, as usual, so I know the drill.  The topic won’t come up, I’d guess.  We have one Priest who I respect a lot.  I don’t know where he lives or how he votes.  So be it.

(We tend to know where the current Catholic hierarchy in the United States stands, and while there won’t be partisan signs on their residence or office lawns, we basically know how they collectively lean, and its not in the “D” direction.)

We used to know that, too, during the good old days when Priests and Nuns, while not encouraged to participate were not prohibited from doing so, either, in things like anti-war demonstrations and declarations, or civil rights marches and on and on.  But that was in days of old.

I’ll vote on Tuesday.  This is the first time in a long while that there has been a presidential primary in Minnesota.  I suppose the legislature decided they wanted to be included in Super Tuesday for some reason or other.  (Before, we would do a presidential preference poll at the caucuses.  It wasn’t sexy, but it worked as well as having a special election.)

But, what am I to say?

See you at the polls, I hope.


Some additional words on Tuesdays Precinct caucuses.    I wrote very briefly on the caucuses on Wednesday: “Last night was precinct caucus night in Minnesota.  I attended as I always do”, giving the floor, then to my first wife, Barbara’s, excellent high school essay in 1960 on “I Speak for Democracy”.

Personally, I was very favorably impressed with the Tuesday caucus. I always attend these community meetings, and what most impressed me with this meeting, and I told the others such, was that new people were  facilitating and participating this year, including high school students.  Our conveyor said she was originally from India; in other ways we accurately reflected how I perceive our Precinct in our suburb.  There were only 17 of us in the room, which was somewhat lower than last time, but this was the first time that there was no presidential preference poll (see primary election above).

Precinct caucuses are not academy award gatherings: they are town meetings, albeit set up separately for Republicans and Democrats and others.  (The Republican caucus was at another high school in our town, and there were other caucuses held in other areas for what I consider minor parties, like Legalization of Pot, or such.).  Nobody is required to come; and there is no mandated outcome, at least at ours.  We’re at a time of transition in our country, and it is time for the young and under-represented to take over (and, likely, to make their own mistakes, as we did and have).

Of course, there was some grousing – I read a negative letter in the Wednesday Star Tribune from someone who  felt negatively about what I viewed as positive.

The same day, my friend Norm, who is a Democrat like me, and who occasionally “crosses swords” with me (or me with him), wrote his own opinion, which I share below, and with which I generally agree, though if I didn’t agree, that wouldn’t make any differences.  We need more conversations about who and how we elect the people who represent us.

Thanks Norm.

from Norm Hanson:  I [attended] as well, Dick, although I also feel that precinct caucuses may well soon go the way of the dinosaur without the need for the crash of a meteor to speed their demise.

The non-presidential election year caucus in 2022 may well be better attended if there are some state office races in serious contention.
If not, there will no doubt be fewer folks in attendance than there were last night.
Fewer and fewer states are retaining their caucus systems so maybe they have lost their usefulness in the eyes of many and ae becoming a thing of the past.
Clearly, Minnesota’s participation in the Super Tuesday voting next week has taken most of any remaining luster from the precinct caucuses.
To be fair, precinct caucus attendance had dropped off considerably for many years until presidential straw voting opportunities were offered and later given some weight in the national delegate determination process.
I mean, how long has it been since any precinct caucus attendee had to walk to Iowa in support of a cause or candidate?
For that matter, how long has it been since most precincts elected their full allotment of delegates to their senate district or county unit conventions? 
I do know that some have had contests for the delegate slots that have often been resolved without having to walk to Iowa, “I will agree to be an alternate.” or something like that.
On the other hand, I did enjoy my time at the my precinct caucus last night in spite of the small attendance  especially when thinking about the crowded caucus nights of many past years.
I saw and visited with a few old friends, met some new folks, heard some resolutions presented and defended including a couple of Kooky ones at least from my perhaps limited view of the world but not from the viewpoint of the presenters, of course.
We were only able to fill about half of the allotted 42 senate district convention slots for our precinct as not all of the 26 or so folks present wanted that status.
I am concerned that lack of interest let alone attendance occurred at several precincts in our senate district at least that will result in a poorly attended and fairly meaningless senate district convention.




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