2014 Precinct Caucuses

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FISHMANPET
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2014 Precinct Caucuses

Postby FISHMANPET » February 3rd, 2014, 8:12 am

Tomorrow night are precinct caucuses. Is it even worth going?

My district has another Phyllis Khan nomination battle going on. I also saw some hub bub on Twitter from our own Matt Steele about trying to get a "No New Roads" plank in the DFL platform, but I lost the tweet, anyone have any thoughts on that one?

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby twincitizen » February 3rd, 2014, 8:26 am

RE: "No New Roads" It's a good idea, but it'd be impossible to get on the statewide platform. Roads are pretty popular in the abstract. The people that go to these things aren't all great urban thinkers, just usually DFLers passionate about one cause or another. Something like that would have to establish support through environmental groups before pushing for the masses to understand the idea. Big Union would no doubt be opposed.

Anyways, if there's nothing competitive in your area, there's no real reason to go. But since there is a potentially exciting race brewing, you should go. Plus, it's always interesting to hear the cuckoo resolutions people will propose at these things. If you weren't at the Mayoral Convention last June, someone actually proposed a resolution to the City platform to preserve C1 zoning in Dinkytown...and it PASSED! Of course, lots of people were out of the room, and those remaining probably had little idea of what they were voting on. Weird things like that do happen.

You have to be elected a delegate to go to the next level of endorsing convention (the next level would be your State Senate district, along with other things like City/School or County races which have separate endorsing conventions). Going to the State Senate district convention is how you endorse your state rep, state senator, etc. and get elected to attend the statewide DFL Convention.

Precinct caucus is usually a fairly brief event, only an hour or so. But in your case it could be a little more with the contentious Kahn/Noor thing. That could take a while to get delegates sorted out.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby mulad » February 3rd, 2014, 8:37 am

Also note that it's the gubernatorial election year, so it's important to get those campaigns sorted out. I haven't heard of any challengers to Dayton for the DFL side. Wikipedia currently lists 6 declared candidates for the Republicans: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota ... tion,_2014

I presume there will be some voting to filter them down, but it may just end up being a straw poll -- Anyone know the details on that? I'd like to encourage my Republican friends to go to try to ensure they have someone sane running on their side, but I'd feel really badly if they went and they couldn't do anything (though in that case, the correct response is to have them volunteer to attend the district conventions later in the year...)

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby FISHMANPET » February 3rd, 2014, 9:18 am

Yeah, I've been through this a couple of times. I'm not sure how it will be since redistricting, but my precinct had a bunch of old angry kooks that made things interesting/awful. I also have a feeling that if Noor's campaign is as good as Warsame's, that the place is gonna be packed with Somali delegates, making my chance of being elected as a Khan supporter almost zero. But I suppose its worth a try.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby mattaudio » February 3rd, 2014, 9:26 am

I'm in Hennepin District 4 (Peter McLaughlin) and legislature 63B -- probably a quick and boring Tuesday night.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby seanrichardryan » February 4th, 2014, 9:53 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:Yeah, I've been through this a couple of times. I'm not sure how it will be since redistricting, but my precinct had a bunch of old angry kooks that made things interesting/awful. I also have a feeling that if Noor's campaign is as good as Warsame's, that the place is gonna be packed with Somali delegates, making my chance of being elected as a Khan supporter almost zero. But I suppose its worth a try.
You weren't too far off-

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/243608951.html
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby FISHMANPET » February 4th, 2014, 10:05 pm

My caucus had fights for the same reason, but we managed to push past it. From what I could tell it was either because people had no idea what was going on, or there were perceptions of impropriety (though I have no idea where they came from).

It'll be interesting to find out why these fights broke out.

For what it's worth, mine is the only other 60b precinct in ward 6, so most other caucuses were hopefully a bit tamer.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby FISHMANPET » February 4th, 2014, 10:06 pm

Though for what it's worth, out of 37 delegates, we elected 34 for Noor, 2 for Khan (one of them me) and two uncommitted.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby twincitizen » February 4th, 2014, 10:07 pm

Can anyone tell me specifically why so few delegate seats are allocated to the County endorsing convention?

My precinct, 10-8, was allocated TWO delegate seats. Meanwhile, there were like a billion open delegate seats for the school board and SD62 (State) conventions? What the hell is that all about?

Even if I could wrap my head around why there are fewer for the County race, why would the disparity be as large as it is?

Anyways, I'm an alternate male delegate. 10-8's male delegate is sure to attend, because he's one of Betsy's policy aides and a big time Hatt supporter. If our reluctant female delegate doesn't attend, I'm in.

For the 10-7, 10-8, 10-9 cohort at Whittier Elementary tonight, every single person who wanted to be a delegate for SD62 (state) or City (school board) was able to do so. I signed up for both for some ungodly, free-time-hating reason. I don't care about the school board, even though I probably should. I might show up and possibly try to get involved with the City-level DFL workings.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby Nick » February 5th, 2014, 8:52 am

So does anyone feel like we should have primaries instead?

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby FISHMANPET » February 5th, 2014, 9:47 am

We do have primaries. This is merely to figure out who gets to put DFL after their name in the primary (if the candidates choose not to abide by the endorsement).

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby Nick » February 5th, 2014, 9:58 am

Yeah, I mean for the party nominating process. Some parties in some states use caucuses and some parties in some states use primaries.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby MNdible » February 5th, 2014, 10:16 am

IRV the whole thing. We've got at least four really good candidates who all deserve a shot at the voters (not just the few who are plugged into this insider baseball).

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby twincitizen » February 5th, 2014, 10:18 am

The thing about the Hennepin County race is that they don't get to put DFL after their name because it's a non-partisan race. They do get the support of the party, endorsements from party big-wigs, etc.

I can't stand this process either, but I'm not sure I understand the alternative, at least in the context of non-partisan races. The primary for Hennepin County Commissioner is a "Top 2" primary, where the top two finishers go on to the general election. How exactly would a party nomination process play out with that? What I don't want is to be like states that require party membership to be able to vote in a specific party's primary. I much prefer the concept of open primaries.

I agree that for the conventions (senate district, citywide, countywide, etc.) we should use ranked choice to decide the DFL nomination. If the 2017 Mayoral/Council races don't use ranked choice instead of multiple rounds of balloting, then we have failed. You either believe in Ranked Choice Voting or you don't. The current process is a joke and a waste of everyone's time, as evidenced by the 2013 Mayoral Convention. This is why I signed up to be a delegate for the City convention this year. I don't give a rip about the school board race, but we need new people running the City DFL apparatus. I hope others with similar views signed up to be delegates to the City convention as well.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby David Greene » February 5th, 2014, 10:56 am

Nick wrote:Yeah, I mean for the party nominating process. Some parties in some states use caucuses and some parties in some states use primaries.
Yes, I think we should have primaries to endorse. I've attended caucuses since I moved back here post-school. This was the first I could not attend because I'm the sole caregiver at night. The baby was not going to tolerate sitting in a caucus for a couple of hours and I'm not going to take a whole Saturday away from my family to attend the county convention.

The caucus system is heavily skewed toward single and retired people. There's a serious access issue.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby David Greene » February 5th, 2014, 10:56 am

MNdible wrote:IRV the whole thing. We've got at least four really good candidates who all deserve a shot at the voters (not just the few who are plugged into this insider baseball).
Totally agree with this.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby sad panda » February 5th, 2014, 11:04 am

David Greene wrote:The caucus system is heavily skewed toward single and retired people. There's a serious access issue.
I'll agree with this. At 34, I was easily the youngest person in my precincts room by at least 20 years. Sadly, only 12 people showed up for 33 delegate spots.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby NickP » February 5th, 2014, 11:11 am

I, unfortunately, couldn't go due to a prior commintment. I would definitely have voted if I had the chance.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby Nick » February 5th, 2014, 11:49 am

This was my first missed one in a while.

I get the sense that we have caucuses because, for the people in charge of the process, caucuses are like their thing.

On some level, it's sort of like Voter ID--of course, people shoooould be able to figure out how to get an ID, but we've all decided that you should probably just be able to participate and that not having an ID requirement is good for participation. People shoooooould be able to figure out caucuses if they care, but frankly it's confusing as hell and probably doesn't need to be. People shoooooould value participation in the process regardless of how long they have to sit through ladies in cat sweaters trying to propose resolutions about Palestine at a City Council ward convention. Many, many not dumb people have never and will never go to a caucus or convention.

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Re: Precinct Caucuses

Postby FISHMANPET » February 5th, 2014, 11:54 am

There was actually a woman with her newborn baby at my caucus, I felt bad for her. I'd say there were maybe 10 young white people, about 10 older white people, and a couple hundred Somali's of various ages at my caucus.

Most of you probably had the problem of not nearly enough attendance, but I had the problem of the process just being absolute chaos, because lots of people didn't understand the language, and fewer still understood the actual process. Add to that some serious cultural differences in what is considered acceptable behavior in a large group (most of the crowd just would not stop talking amongst themselves, no matter how many times they were asked) and it's a recipe for chaos, though I'm not sure what would fix other than something super discriminatory like a knowledge test to get into the caucus.


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