Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kinky Friedman

The race for governor in Texas is by far the most interesting in the country with Kinky Friedman running a Jesse Ventura style campaign polling at around 20%, along with a second independent candidate polling in double digits. It is conceivable that the winner of this election will have as little as 32% or 33% of the vote.

Check out some of Kinkys ads on you tube. If for no other reason because you don't need to see another ad where a candidate for Senate with no charisma uses the word gonna.

5 Comments:

Blogger Prendergast said...

Guys--I have no comment on Kinky down in TX, but I do have a good one about the role the IP should play in the Bachmann-Binkowski-Wetterling race.

Do you mind if I post it here, in this comment thread?

23:02  
Blogger mike said...

sure go ahead

23:14  
Blogger Prendergast said...

Okay, here it is. I'm interested in reading your thoughts/response:(from the web page "The Bachmann Record")

Voters who want to protect the future of Minnesota’s Independence Party should do everything they can to make sure that Michele Bachmann is not elected to Congress.

Here’s why: if Michele Bachmann is elected to Congress this fall, she can keep that seat as long as she wants to, and the Independence Party is through as a political force in the 6th District—and possibly in other districts as well.

If Patty Wetterling wins this year and performs poorly in Congress during the next two years, she will not be re-elected. The support she would enjoy in Republican-trending 6th District would be inherently weaker than the support that Bachmann would enjoy. Wetterling would be vulnerable in the next election two years from now, because the number of people in the 6th District that would constitute her “liberal base” is comparatively small. If Wetterling wins, the Independence Party stays alive in the 6th District and gets another chance to influence policy there over the next two years and to play “kingmaker” at the next election.

Not so, if Bachmann wins. Christian fundamentalist voters in the 6th District are devoted to Bachmann and will vote with her lock-step during the next election cycle, no matter how she performs for the district. Bear in mind that Bachmann was re-elected to the State Senate DESPITE her poor legislative performance for her home district of Stillwater. The support of her conservative Christian base would be there for her regardless of her performance in Congress.

And unlike Wetterling, Bachmann’s core support comes from outside the district. Bachmann is being promoted by national lobbies pushing a Christian fundamentalist agenda. In Congress, Bachmann would continue to enjoy that support—which would translate into a significant fundraising advantage and hours of free air time donated by evangelical broadcast outlets over the next two years to support her agenda and re-election. Wetterling, if elected, would enjoy no such advantages.

Bachmann’s fundraising advantage as an incumbent congresswoman also spells doom for the Independence Party in the 6th District. Nationally, there is a 5.2 to 1 fundraising advantage for incumbents over challengers.1 For example, Heather Wilson, an incumbent Republican representative from New Mexico, has taken in $33,000 a week in the 2006 election cycle – $2.8 million between January 1, 2005 through September 15, 2006. 2

Bachmann has already taken in $1.2 million (as of August 23). That comes out to about $16,000 a week since she declared her candidacy in February 2005. 3

Based on that, it's reasonable to expect Bachmann will take in at least $20,000 a week --and that doesn't factor in the outside spending, free media and the flood of post-Labor Day election year cash. This would constitute a formidable re-election war chest that would make Bachmann virtually unbeatable during the next election cycle.

If Bachmann is elected and performs poorly for the district, voters will resent the IP. The IP will gain an unenviable reputation as a political irrelevancy and liability—“spoilers and splitters” who helped special interests outside the district by putting a right-wing theocrat in office—“virtually forever.”

If an IP candidate inadvertently helps Bachmann get into office (by shaving Wetterling vote totals) they are actually diminishing their own influence in the district—since Bachmann is a special-interest politician who will pay them no heed and since her political position, once elected, will be virtually unassailable.

19:34  
Blogger mike said...

I see what your saying, however I just don't see how Wetterling wins the race regardless of the IP influence. The district will have to turn against Bachmann for there to be any hope.

If the voters of the 6th are ready for Patty then I would assume they are ready for her for 5 terms. Much as there will be with Bachmann or Keith Ellison in the 5th should either win the opportunity will exist in 2 years to evaluate their job. We all know that it would be a long shot to reverse the outcome of this election, but that will be the case no matter who occupies the seat.

The last thing there are always new opportunities that come up. We will have other retirements in the other districts and well we can't expect the quality candidates will match up with the open seats as well as they have this year, the Independence Party has a duty to do whatever it can to capitalize on an opportunity.

John Binkowski needs to continue to run hard in an effort to win, it's the only option for moving this party forward. If anyone blames him for the result it will be because of their preexisting partisan slant.

00:01  
Blogger Prendergast said...

Thanks for the thoughtful response.

We disagree about a fact. I wouldn't assume that if 6th district voters are ready for Wetterling, they're ready for her for five terms. If Wetterling manages to get in, she's in dogfight for re-election to a follwing term, from day one. It's a Republican trending district and the GOP knows that; if Wetterling gets in, they'll fight and spend like hell to take that seat back--and that spells opportunity for the IP in the 6th. No such opportunity for the IP if Bachmann wins; it's a lock for the GOP as long as she wants to stay there, for reasons I already outlined-fundraising, her "religion in politics" national backers, etc. That's too strong for the IP to counter; a Wetterling re-election bid isn't.

And don't get me wrong--I'm not a DFL Wetterling supporter; I'm just anti-Bachmann. I don't have a partisan slant; if Binkowski showed he had the best chance of defeating Bachmann, I'd be trying to persuade folks to support him. I'd support nearly anyone over Bachmann because she's an extremist nut.

But I know that once she gets in it will be impossible to get her out until she wants to go--forget about replacing her in two years, if she doesn't want to go. A Bachmann win makdes the IP irrelevant in the 6th district.

I know you guys are true believers in the IP, and I admire that sincerity. I don't expect you to throw up your hands and say "Wow, he's right, we've got to give up on Binkowski!"

But I do expect the IP to realize that a successful Bachmann candidacy is the kiss of death for the IP in future races in this particular district. Given Binkowski's numbers, a Wetterling win is the best thing that could happen to an IP that wants a serious chance in the next 6th congressional race.

And Bachmann really is an extremist nut:
“We’re in a state of crisis where our nation is literally ripping apart at the seams right now, and lawlessness is occurring from one ocean to the other. And we’re seeing the fulfillment of the Book of Judges here in our own time, where every man doing that which is right in his own eyes—in other words, anarchy.”
--Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 6, 2004.

00:34  

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