Sunday, October 16, 2005

DNC Dean is dreamin'

From the Star Tribune:

Howard Dean targets 2 state seats Democrats target two Minnesota seats
Rochelle Olson

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Saturday that the party intends to target the seats now held by U.S. Reps. Mark Kennedy and John Kline.

Both Kennedy, who represents the Sixth District, and Kline, in the Second District, are closely aligned with President Bush, whose administration is marked by "incompetence and corruption," Dean said in an interview before he spoke at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake to the inaugural meeting of the Indigenous Democratic Network List, a new 527 political group trying to elect American Indian candidates.

Dean said recent Republican woes have pushed his prediction of tilting both the House and Senate back to the Democrats from 30 to 45 percent.

He pointed to the problems of White House adviser Karl Rove, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas. DeLay has been indicted on campaign finance law violations.

Rove and Frist are under investigation in unrelated matters.

"The Republican Party is bankrupt of ideas and bankrupt of morality," Dean said, tying in Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty because of the resignation of his campaign treasurer, Ron Esau, whose mortgage company was found to have "misled and deceived" homeowners.

The GOP response

Minnesota Republican Chair Ron Carey said of Dean, "We like having him out there as the face of the Democratic Party" because he makes Minnesotans pause and wonder whether he represents their views.

Dean's criticisms are "the pot calling the kettle black," Carey said. "The Democratic Party is bankrupt of ideas because they can't talk about the issues." Instead, Democrats throw mud, Carey said.

Dean, however, said the Democrats will campaign on the issues of a "real national defense policy" based on truth, job creation tied to renewable energy, health insurance for every American, and strong public education.

He rejected the notion of Minnesota as a state going "red" and into the Republican column. "I don't think there is such a thing," he said.

Later, he told a couple hundred American Indian activists that the Democratic Party needs to do a better job of asking everyone for their vote. "We need to compete in Oklahoma and Mississippi, not just Pennsylvania and Ohio," the former Vermont governor said.

The DNC plans to pay for outreach organizers in every state to reach into minority communities, Dean said. "This is about empowerment," he said. "We are trying to form new partnerships that make the Democratic Party go."

He expressed support for the organization's fledgling effort. "This is no longer about a seat at the table for Indians or anybody else. This is about a seat on the ticket," he said.

Dean also praised former FBI agent Coleen Rowley, who is challenging Kline. "She needs young people. She needs young Native Americans to work on her campaign," he said.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux, which run the casino, are based in Prior Lake, in Kline's Second District. Responding to Dean, Republican Carey asked sarcastically, "Has Coleen Rowley actually found out where the Second District is? She's been globe-trotting all around the country."

Rowley welcomed the boost from Dean in her bid against Kline, the veteran of four congressional campaigns, two of which he lost before winning the seat in 2002.

"I am a complete novice. I will take all the help I can get," she said.

She knows what she faces: a well-funded, savvy and polished incumbent. She has raised $80,000 since entering the contest in July and said she will need $2 million.

The Sixth District's Kennedy is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Mark Dayton who is not to seeking reelection.

Franken weighs in

Rowley picked up one campaign volunteer: comedian and radio host Al Franken, who also spoke to the group. "Coleen is a hero of mine," Franken said.

He said that he remains undecided about whether to challenge U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman in 2008, but that he is likely to move home to Minnesota in January and work for Rowley.

Franken launched into a litany of what he views as Republican sins.

"They're in trouble, the Republicans. They're in trouble for so many reasons, one of which is just corruption," he said.
(Source: Star Tribune, Oct. 16, 2005)

I’d like to ask Dean just how he plans to beat Rep. Kline with Coleen Rowley, seeing that Ms. Daly couldn’t accomplish the feat last year, and she was/is a credible candidate.


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