2014 MN House Election

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twincitizen
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby twincitizen » August 13th, 2014, 9:18 am

State House:
The house race will still be really close. It is really critical that the DFL maintain a margin of at least 2 or 4 seats, because there is no guarantee that all DFL'ers will vote for a transit funding bill. There is absolutely zero chance of any Republicans voting for a transit funding bill.

Statewide:
It was noted in many media outlets that more DFL'ers showed up to vote than Republicans. Franken got more votes than all his challengers combined, and Dayton nearly did as well (he had two frivolous challengers that stole some votes, but the DFL total was higher). While I don't think partisan primary turnout is indicative of turnout in November (and I hear it is not), it does show that the DFL base is completely united behind Dayton and the rest of the statewide officeholders. The party organization is strong and there really are no major divisions among Democrats (aside from some environmental policy issues like mining, fracking, etc). Republicans obviously have the huge tea party vs. establishment/corporate vs. young libertarian divide to deal with, and it definitely weakens them as a party. Additionally, I'm not sure any of their candidates for statewide office are going to pose a credible threat (Sec of State, Auditor, AG) outside of Jeff Johnson. I think Jeff Johnson is a very solid candidate that will ensure lively debates & campaign ads over the next 3 months, but Dayton has the advantage of incumbency, his record, and a strong economy to run on. Even though it's a midterm year in which Republicans typically fare better, I really can't see an incumbent governor losing with the current economy & budget surplus. Even the Vikings Stadium debate is far enough in the past it's unlikely to lose him many votes (and DFL'ers are pretty willing to forgive, given his other major policy victories).

Nationally:
The bad news of course is that Republicans are almost assured control of the US Senate at this point, until 2016 anyways (when 6-year terms expire from the 2010 "shellacking"). The best case is probably a 50-50 split with Democrats retaining control by way of Biden's tiebreaking vote. It's going to be an ugly 2 years at the national level (yes, even uglier than currently). How the Obama administration handles itself and controls PR messaging will definitely have an impact in 2016 - a year that Democrats (should) stand a solid chance to retain the White House and also likely retake the Senate (again, by way of "undoing 2010" in a presidential election year). I'm getting way ahead of myself, but electing a Democratic president and Senate in 2016 is going to set the tone for this country for a long time. It will have major ramifications on the Supreme Court (obviously), but also the 2020 election. Those elected to office in 2020 at the statewide level (across the country) will be responsible for redistricting. The re-election of a strong Democratic president in 2020 will influence elections nationwide, which is why it is so critical that we pick the right person in 2016. If you can't read between the lines, I'm kinda saying maybe not Hillary Clinton. I feel like it's taboo too say, but man, I really feel like she should not run for president to open up the field now.

mullen
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby mullen » August 14th, 2014, 6:57 am

this is why it's very disappointing a long term transit funding bill wasn't approved during the last session when the DFL had large majorities. now we are left to the whims of this election. i will not listen to the whines of transit advocates at the capitol next year knowing they blew this chance.

twincitizen
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby twincitizen » August 14th, 2014, 7:20 am

Excuse you?

"Transit advocates" didn't blow it. The Senate actually passed a .5% sales tax increase in the closing days of the 2013 session. The House wouldn't take up the bill. End of story.

mattaudio
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby mattaudio » August 14th, 2014, 9:03 am

They almost blew it, since they aligned with the roadbuilding cartel.

twincitizen
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby twincitizen » August 14th, 2014, 9:12 am

Matt, that was 2014. The 2013 push was much less road-centric and more transit focused. I don't recall if there was a gas tax increase (at the pump or wholesale) included or not. The 2014 MoveMN push was done in response to the failure in 2013. Like it or not, the political reality is that it will be very difficult (read: impossible) to get enough votes for transit funding without doing something for roads. Was MoveMN's proposal too generous to road funding? Yeah, absolutely. Hopefully the 2015 push will be more modest. I'm not sure the .5% sales tax increase will get through unscathed. It could very well get watered down to .25% in order to get everyone on board.

mattaudio
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby mattaudio » August 14th, 2014, 9:21 am

I won't rehash my starve-the-infrastructure-beast undo-the-"MN-Miracle" plan again, but I'll just say I think we can do much better -- even in our current/future political climate -- than spending billions on new roads just to get funding for transit.

mullen
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby mullen » August 15th, 2014, 6:14 am

twincitizen wrote:Excuse you?

"Transit advocates" didn't blow it. The Senate actually passed a .5% sales tax increase in the closing days of the 2013 session. The House wouldn't take up the bill. End of story.
i'm referring to the DLF controlled House, calm down.

twincitizen
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby twincitizen » August 18th, 2014, 7:36 am

In case anyone needs a reminder of what happens to mass transit when Republicans are in charge: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/projec ... php?id=145

Metro Transit funding would have been slaughtered in 2011 if not for Governor Dayton's veto.

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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby EOst » August 18th, 2014, 7:40 am

That's an impressively party-line vote.

mattaudio
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby mattaudio » August 18th, 2014, 8:20 am

We need to somehow convince Republicans and their constituency that roads-at-all-costs, especially suburban stroads, urban/suburban freeway lanes, and regional corridor upgrades for capacity rather than safety -- are NOT fiscally responsible and ARE social engineering.

MNdible
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby MNdible » August 18th, 2014, 8:35 am

Yes, if only you could convince the suburbanites that your plan is in their best interest -- if only they took the long term view, I'm sure they'd come to appreciate the value of the "wither on the vine" master plan for suburbs.

Hey, nobody said building the big tent was going to be easy.

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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby David Greene » August 18th, 2014, 11:47 am

mattaudio wrote:We need to somehow convince Republicans and their constituency that roads-at-all-costs, especially suburban stroads, urban/suburban freeway lanes, and regional corridor upgrades for capacity rather than safety -- are NOT fiscally responsible and ARE social engineering.
This is *exactly* the wrong way to do it.

You don't make systemic political change by reinforcing your opponent's messaging. You change the conversation to fit a set of shared values. Rather than talking about a "comprehensive" transit system to support "urban development forms" (who the hell cares about that?!?), we should talk about allowing people to connect with each other and get to where they need to go, regardless of age, physical capability and financial means. Talk about inclusion (not exclusion), health and fairness. Those are values everyone can agree on.

mattaudio
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby mattaudio » August 18th, 2014, 11:59 am

David Greene wrote:You change the conversation to fit a set of shared values. ... we should talk about allowing people to connect with each other and get to where they need to go, regardless of ... financial means.
I don't necessarily agree with that value. I'm not sure it's "shared." That value means that people living in low-value land uses such as the exurbs deserve the same level of roadway and transit investment as people who live in high-value land uses. This means that people should have access to quality roads and transit regardless of the cost. Which means that, on the whole, we get less quality roads and transit. I can't agree with that.

ECtransplant
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby ECtransplant » August 18th, 2014, 12:06 pm

Let's also not pretend the party of "no" wants to be inclusive

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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby mplsjaromir » August 18th, 2014, 12:19 pm

The GOP has relied too heavily on dangerous brown urban boogieman scare tactics to change now. It would be naïve to think that the GOP has any priorities other than making life easy for those who are well served by the status quo.

twincitizen
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby twincitizen » August 18th, 2014, 2:12 pm

I think the biggest irony (given mattaudio's comments) is that what we truly need is for young urbanist progressives to infiltrate the 2nd-ring suburbs and ensure that they stay blue. Dems currently have the entire 1st & 2nd ring on lockdown. The aging inner ring has been solidly Democratic for decades (but not really super "progressive", outside of more affluent areas like St. Louis Park or Golden Valley), but the 2nd ring suburbs have truly become Minnesota's "swing state" territory. Keeping Eagan, Woodbury, and Minnetonka blue is absolutely critical in this upcoming election.

mattaudio
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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby mattaudio » August 18th, 2014, 2:30 pm

True. But how does transportation play into that? It seems that the Republicans and Democrats are roughly identical when it comes to their transportation planning as it impacts 2nd/3rd ring suburbs... more and larger roads, with the only question being how we could pay for them.

It doesn't seem like the massive structural reforms needed regarding our land use as a society, especially reforms that would benefit urban/rural/non-suburban land uses in the long run (be it Minneapolis or a small town) are on the radar for either party. Republicans are becoming the wrong kind of "starve the beast" party, but maybe the DFL - and progressives in general - can be the right kind of progressive "starve the beast" message.

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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby Elliot Altbaum » August 18th, 2014, 9:47 pm

The thought I keep going back to is the political base of exurban farmers. Those on the edge who are getting pushed out by sprawling suburbs. They are losing decades or generations of history. Some of them are going to be centrist or conservative on some issues. Keeping the family farm and making it profitable should be a high priority for them and something that progressives could work on. Can we make the transportation bill about land use and keeping MN farmers farming? What if urbanites and farmers agreed that there will be no new greenfield development beyond the 696/494 belt (some allowance made for bloomington to the south)? What if urbanites said we value family farms and we are going to support your land use and in return the farmers support denser urban areas?

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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby David Greene » August 18th, 2014, 9:51 pm

ECtransplant wrote:Let's also not pretend the party of "no" wants to be inclusive
You talk to voters, not party establishment...of either party.

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Re: 2014 MN House Election

Postby David Greene » August 18th, 2014, 9:53 pm

mattaudio wrote:
David Greene wrote:You change the conversation to fit a set of shared values. ... we should talk about allowing people to connect with each other and get to where they need to go, regardless of ... financial means.
I don't necessarily agree with that value. I'm not sure it's "shared."
You're way overthinking this. How do you get people to vote for transit? Talk about it in terms of broadly shared values. The values I listed say nothing about, "at any cost."

But we part ways on your ridiculous notion that people who live where you don't want them to live don't deserve transportation investment. Good luck getting anywhere with that message. There doesn't seem to be any room for nuance.


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