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Nothing Personal Against Erdmann -But It Needs To Be Angie Craig

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 09/14/17 13:42, Edited: 09/14/17 13:50

by Dave Mindeman

This cycle I am going to be a lot more blunt about what I think. Some people are going to push back on that, and frankly, that is fine. Do it. The discussion is necessary.

In the 2nd Congressional District I have been a little tough on Jeff Erdmann. And it is not because I think he is wrong on the main issues. It is because I think it is too important that we win this seat and that will take the right candidate.

Let me explain.

Jeff Erdmann has no experience in politics. He understands the mechanics of government, but when it comes to politics, he is a neophyte. I asked him once about why he hadn't participated in the district party before and he told me it was because he was a teacher and a football coach, and he had to stay neutral. Which is his perogative, but I have seen so many teachers do the hard work of volunteering for the Democrats on so many levels, that it is hard to accept that explanation. He shouldn't be partisan in how he teaches, but when he is on his own time, he can do what he wants. So many teachers do just that.

Jeff has made campaign finance one of the issues he focuses on. Yes, we need to change Citizens United, but in order to be able to do something about it, you have to get elected. Democrats agree on the need to fix this but they need the clout to do something about it. Whether it is intentional or not, Erdmann seems to be trying to make running a financial shoestring of a campaign as a point to be made.

Erdmann announced early that he was running on May 24th. Since then he as raised just $29,000 and has about $10,000 on hand. Angie Craig, who has been through this before will announce her official run on October 1st. She put together a long listening tour prior to this and has been lining up donors and support....before the announcement - which is how it is done.

I admire Erdmann's point. Money in politics is rampant and a cancer on democracy. But another prominent Democrat tried to make the same point and he had enough advantages that he could have pulled it off. I am talking about Russ Feingold in Wisconsin....a person I admire greatly and whose name is on the gutted McCain/Feingold bill. Russ tried to run for re-election on that very principle - he lost. He tried to run again with a modified version of the same thing....and he lost again.

It is not that Erdmann is wrong. It is that this is a system that cannot be fought against without participating in it - at least initially.

Bernie Sanders found the way to run without big money. But his campaign has not been duplicated since. And there is no evidence that Erdmann is able to put that kind of machinery in place.

I do not say these things to take anything away from Erdmann's campaign. I would support him if he was the nominee - without question. But he is NOT our best candidate going into a must win 2018.

Angie Craig invested a lot in herself in 2016 and the DFL Party invested a lot in her in 2016. She is battle tested and ready to run a better campaign this time around.

I cannot ignore the differences. Angie Craig will be our best standard bearer for a crucial election year.
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