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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

More on the Minnesota Caucuses

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 03/10/06 15:36

by PDW58

Checks and balances has a nice breakdown of the straw poll results giving more info on the governor's race.

Hatch won every Congressional district except for District 8 (the Iron Range), where Becky Lourey won by a full 10 points. Kelley ran strongest in the 3rd and 5th districts, finishing a very close second to Hatch there. Doran's best area was the 1st (Kiscaden's area), but even there he only managed 16.6%.. a distant second place finish to Hatch's 46%. Doran actually won Olmsted County but that was thanks to his selection of Kiscaden as his running mate.

Although Lourey won District 8, she could only manage one second place finish -- District 4. In fact, District 8 was the only place that she finished better than 25%.

Steve Kelley lost to Hatch by only 1/2 point in District 3 and by only 1 1/2 points in District 5. Kelley had respectable numbers in the Metro but he disappeared outstate.... and not even a factor in the Iron Range.

Doran's outstate strategy is not working for the endorsement process. We will have to see if it reaches the primary electorate.

Although Hatch solidified his frontrunner status, this is still far from over.

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Rx: A Matter of Conscience???

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 03/09/06 16:15

by Dave Mindeman

I'm a pharmacist. I have my own values. I don't impose them on anyone else. Which makes it seem a little overzealous for the legislature to declare that my job now entails such a decision to fill a prescription.

Maybe I have a simplistic viewpoint, but to me any moral decision making to be done regarding a prescription has already occurred before it is presented to me. My job is simply to fulfill the directions written on that legal prescription document. "Moral dilemmas" are attended to by the patient and the doctor. Nowhere in a pharmacists job description does it say, "fill according to conscience".

I don't belong to the Minnesota Pharmacists Association and quite frankly, if I did, I would now be handing in my resignation. They are backing this bill that allows this stupidity. Oh, there are other parts of the bill that probably have some merit -- but to include a provision about judgments on "moral grounds" ...well, I have a moral objection to it.

I, personally, don't know of a pharmacist who has ever felt uncomfortable with this dilemma. The number of pharmacists who would favor such a provision are extremely small.

Pharmacists are a hard working group of individuals who are truly the last check in the proper utilization of medication. Our jobs are often overlooked... except by the Bush administration, which uses our profession for cost cutting purposes. Our reimbursement rates on federal programs goes down every cycle. We are not paid for our advice or recommendations and the HMO's are constantly tying our hands on product selection and quantities allowed.

We are the "squeezed" profession... an easy target for lopping off costs. Take a look around and see if you see any family own pharmacies anymore. There just aren't any. It is all corporate owned conglomerates that only look at the "moral dilemma" of not pleasing the stockholders.

A presciption is not a moral statement. It is given to promote the health of the individual for whom it is written.

So again, the GOP answer to every problem is to give someone else a say in our personal decisions. That answer, is simply, morally wrong.
comments (1) permalink

Minnesota Caucuses: What Have We Learned

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 03/08/06 17:29

by PDW58

The Minnesota Caucuses are always an interesting exercise. The attendance looks to be about 1/2 what it was in 2004, but still higher than the usual "off year" election cycle.

Has interest in making changes waned? Probably not. At my caucus, I saw a lot of new faces -- I even saw a person who has been a devout Republican caucus Democrat. My hope is that different people are starting to engage. We need to expand involvement... let's hope the party finds the right tools to take advantage of that.

As for the candidates, Amy Klobuchar is looking more and more like a consensus nominee. Ford Bell put a lot of money into attempts to persuade the attendees to take a look at his campaign. The straw poll seems to indicate that didn't happen.

Mike Hatch has to be happy with his strength. He hasn't invested very much in the delegate process yet and he even lowered the expectations quite a bit leading up to caucus time. To come out of it with 38% in a 4 way field puts him in a strong position. Becky Lourey can also feel good about her position. For entering the race so late, her organization showed some real strength. Steve Kelley probably should not have been talking so much about momentum prior to the caucuses. The expectations got a little high -- his showing was actually pretty good for a candidate still working on name recognition. But I think the perception was out there, that he needed to equal or at least be very close to Hatch, to consider it a victory.

The Secretary of State race still has a ways to go, but Mark Ritchie is now the clear front runner. There are plenty of undecideds to work on, but Ritchie is in good position. Christian Sande will need a direct delegate appeal to get back into it. Both candidates are really pretty good at persuading an individual -- but Sande can't afford to break even; he needs to get 3 out of 4 to turn his way.

So on to the next phase, the District and County conventions. Caucuses didn't change the conventional wisdom, so we are still looking at the same dynamic. The only thing different is that we have real people ready to make their own decisions.

Hopefully, they will end up with the right candidates that can win.
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