Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Elections - City Councils and Commissions - Policies
David Greene
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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby David Greene » August 3rd, 2017, 10:54 am

acs wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 10:24 am
amiller92 wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 10:19 am
I don't think anyone has a good idea about how to compromise between "I'd like a job that's inherently polluting" and "we don't want you to pollute."
If this is the majority view of the DFL, and I increasingly think it is, then the DFL will continue lose the Iron Range and quite possibly the state.
We're stuck in a conversation predicated on the idea that the Iron Range needs to continue to be the Iron Range. I know these are hard conversations to have on the campaign trail, but the Iron Range economy as currently constructed is not sustainable. Tourism isn't going to magically make things work. Let's be honest about that.

So what can DFLers talk about when people ask, "what about my kid's job?" From what I have read, people viscerally feel their towns dying, with young people moving away. It hurts. Rather than, "tough luck, your town doesn't have a right to exist for all time," DFLers need to be much more compassionate and pragmatic.

Duluth is slowly building up a tech and medical base. That's good but doesn't really address other parts of the region. How can the region participate in the green economy? Wind power on the Sawtooth Mountains? Solar panel manufacturing?

If you had complete control of the economy, what would you put on the Iron Range (and in other parts of rural MN)? That's the question DFLers should answer. Not in a way that says, "we think this is best for you," but rather, "here are some ideas, what do you think?"

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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby mplsjaromir » August 3rd, 2017, 10:58 am

There are approximately 4,000 mining jobs in the state. A new copper mine would provide around 400 new, good paying jobs and a temporary boom in construction. The tourist industry will be irreparably impacted. A politician can be willing to push for mining communities to succeed without capitulating to all demands from mining companies. The GOP will continue to frame that supporting big business is always in the best interest of everyone and lots of democrats will never dispute them.

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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby Didier » August 3rd, 2017, 11:35 am

Chef wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 8:25 am
If the last presidential election should have taught us anything it is that people have lost faith in the political "center", meaning the bland corporate careerists in both parties who ran the country into the ground.
It's worth pointing out that two or three bland, corporate, careerest senators are the only thing separating our country from dramatic, regressive, couldn't-be-further-away-from-single-payer health care reform right now.

amiller92
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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby amiller92 » August 3rd, 2017, 12:10 pm

David Greene wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 10:39 am
I don't give a crap if Greater MN gets more state money in proportion to the metro, as long as it's going to things that advance the wellfare of the state.
I don't think many do. The annoyance is with the belief that the opposite is happening.
Slowing urban freeway expansion... and directing some of that money to Greater MN does that in a significant way.
We should be stopping urban freeway expansion for it's own sake. Whether that money is well-used elsewhere depends a lot on what's being proposed. This, for example, does not seem like a good use of money (no idea where the funding came from): https://www.google.com/maps/@43.6201077 ... 312!8i6656

David Greene
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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby David Greene » August 3rd, 2017, 12:59 pm

amiller92 wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 12:10 pm
David Greene wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 10:39 am
Slowing urban freeway expansion... and directing some of that money to Greater MN does that in a significant way.
We should be stopping urban freeway expansion for it's own sake. Whether that money is well-used elsewhere depends a lot on what's being proposed. This, for example, does not seem like a good use of money (no idea where the funding came from): https://www.google.com/maps/@43.6201077 ... 312!8i6656
Again, we're talking about political messaging, not policy. You can't go out as a statewide or even county-wide candidate and say, "Stop all urban freeway expansion!" You'll lose. Badly.

The DFL needs to spend time shifting the conversation and they haven't done that. They either concentrate too much on policy details that they lose the forest for the trees or are so vanilla-generic that it ends up reinforcing the Republican worldview rather than shifting people's thoughts to a different worldview and/or the possibility of something different and better.

Talking about concrete proposals is important and must be tailored to the audience. Saying that this-or-that rural road project is terrible is not correctly addressing one's audience, whether urban or rural.

This is the problem with many OurRevolution folks. They have good ideas but aren't necessarily advocating for them in the most effective ways. Take some pages from the marriage amendment and voter ID fights. Talk to people in rural areas, meeting them where they are and leading them to consider alternative viewpoints and ideas, framed within their lived experiences.

This is stuff individual candidates can help with, but can't do by themselves. It needs organized grassroots efforts. People are out there doing it, but not enough on certain issues and transportation is one of those.

If I was helping to lead a transportation campaign and/or helping a candidate message on transportation (and unfortunately I don't have the bandwidth to do any of that right now), I'd message something like this:

Common: We care about responsible budgeting and responsible infrastructure development. Everyone needs to be able to get around, no matter their situation. Transportation is about connecting people and communities. Connections nourish our souls and strengthen our economies. We should always keep in mind that our goal is to connect people, not just move vehicles around. Transportation is also about environmental stewardship. Climate Change is a fact and we have to contend with it. About 1/3 of our climate-changing emissions comes from transportation so we need to reconsider what we're doing. Transportation is intimately tied to land use and so as we develop new transportation strategies we should also consider new ways of living. That doesn't mean forcing people to live a certain way, but rather providing choices. That's true freedom.

Urban: No one wants to sit in traffic and no one wants to breathe smog. We're spending an awful lot of money building freeways through expensive land with questionable benefits (cite and explain things like the Stillwater bridge, 610, etc. depending on the audience, talk about environmental impacts vs. transportation benefits, disconnection of people by giant road corridors, etc.). We do need to do some strategic expansion (cite things like Crosstown Commons + Access + Orange Line, MN-36 grade separation) but we should be focused on maintaining what we have because we can't even afford that right now. We simply cannot do major metro freeway expansion given the financial and environmental realities. In addition to spot freeway expansion, let's use our expanded sales tax to improve the mobility and accessibility of transit. Explain aBRT and BRT depending on the audience, even LRT if friendly enough. Emphasize that transit is a way to *avoid* congestion and that it's not realistic to expect transit to reduce congestion. Be honest and realistic. Point out that we can direct some highway funding to help boost transit. We can provide more options for people to live near transit and/or work. We can provide more options (e.g. park & rides) to shorten the distances people need to drive in the suburbs. We can do suburban infill to provide more amenities closer to where people are at.

Rural: We're spending a lot of money building freeways on expensive metro land. We don't think we need to spend so much because is disproportionately costly in terms of money and environmental harm. We can shift some of that money around. We think putting some of that money into urban transit is a better investment in urban mobility and better for the urban environment. That will free up some road and transit dollars for Greater MN. We know project XYZ (cite road AND transit improvements) is important in your area and we want to help it happen (obviously only talk about projects you think are worthwhile). Here's one way to budget things so that XYZ happens within ABC timeframe. We're committed to this. Help us make it happen!

This is all necessarily somewhat generic but it starts opening people to new ideas. I probably don't have all the right messaging in all the right places but hopefully this gives a general idea of (subtly?) different ways of talking about transportation in a way that is approachable to people. This is just a start. No one has all the answers. In my experience, the best messaging comes out of a focused group of people.

In all cases, be ready to answer challenging questions. If someone asks about a project, as best you can be realistic about its costs, benefits and political reality. If you think a project is worthwhile, state why and declare your support. If not, state why and provide *realistic* alternatives. Explain why you think it's better and why it's realistic.

phop
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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby phop » August 3rd, 2017, 1:24 pm

The cynical approach would be to join the unrealistic promises game that Republicans are sure to engage in, somehow manage to lock down the MN House/Senate/Governor by 2020, then attempt an aggressive redistricting process that better optimizes the expanding Dem base in the metro relative to the largely stagnant/declining rural population.

xandrex
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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby xandrex » August 3rd, 2017, 1:25 pm

David Greene wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 10:54 am
So what can DFLers talk about when people ask, "what about my kid's job?" From what I have read, people viscerally feel their towns dying, with young people moving away. It hurts. Rather than, "tough luck, your town doesn't have a right to exist for all time," DFLers need to be much more compassionate and pragmatic.
This right here is key. Growing up in northern Minnesota with a lot of connections to the Iron Range, it was really just watching the very slow death of a region (which, of course, has been going on for some time). A lot of the attitude from metro DFL is, "Suck it up, buttercup, you're destroying the environment." And these Iron Range folks are DFLer lifers whose parents were DFLer lifers.

The party doesn't need to back down from protection of the environment as a value it holds. It needs to offer a solution to these folks that isn't just letting the region slowly die. There are any awful lot of people whose general line of thinking is, “You want to prevent the one good-paying job in this area so that you can come and camp up here once a year." Tourism isn't going to cut it. The miner who had a union job with union benefits isn't all that keen on a minimum wage hospitality role (but they'll take it anyway to put food on the table), and they shouldn't be. And DFLers that want to keep the state blue shouldn't ignore that.

kirby96
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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby kirby96 » August 3rd, 2017, 1:32 pm

acs wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 10:24 am
amiller92 wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 10:19 am
I don't think anyone has a good idea about how to compromise between "I'd like a job that's inherently polluting" and "we don't want you to pollute."
If this is the majority view of the DFL, and I increasingly think it is, then the DFL will continue lose the Iron Range and quite possibly the state.
Exactly. The flip side to that false choice is "I'd like you to remain unemployed so I have a pristine playground to visit on weekends", and "We just want decent jobs"

(EDIT: whoops, basically same reference as directly above)

acs
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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby acs » August 3rd, 2017, 1:47 pm

phop wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 1:24 pm
The cynical approach would be to join the unrealistic promises game that Republicans are sure to engage in, somehow manage to lock down the MN House/Senate/Governor by 2020, then attempt an aggressive redistricting process that better optimizes the expanding Dem base in the metro relative to the largely stagnant/declining rural population.
Yeah, that works too. Realistically that's what they should do.

David Greene
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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby David Greene » August 3rd, 2017, 2:23 pm

acs wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 1:47 pm
phop wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 1:24 pm
The cynical approach would be to join the unrealistic promises game that Republicans are sure to engage in, somehow manage to lock down the MN House/Senate/Governor by 2020, then attempt an aggressive redistricting process that better optimizes the expanding Dem base in the metro relative to the largely stagnant/declining rural population.
Yeah, that works too. Realistically that's what they should do.
No. If by some miracle the DFL gets the trifecta, the first thing it should do is take redistricting out of the hands of the legislature and governor.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby RailBaronYarr » August 3rd, 2017, 3:22 pm

xandrex wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 1:25 pm
This right here is key. Growing up in northern Minnesota with a lot of connections to the Iron Range, it was really just watching the very slow death of a region (which, of course, has been going on for some time). A lot of the attitude from metro DFL is, "Suck it up, buttercup, you're destroying the environment." And these Iron Range folks are DFLer lifers whose parents were DFLer lifers.

The party doesn't need to back down from protection of the environment as a value it holds. It needs to offer a solution to these folks that isn't just letting the region slowly die. There are any awful lot of people whose general line of thinking is, “You want to prevent the one good-paying job in this area so that you can come and camp up here once a year." Tourism isn't going to cut it. The miner who had a union job with union benefits isn't all that keen on a minimum wage hospitality role (but they'll take it anyway to put food on the table), and they shouldn't be. And DFLers that want to keep the state blue shouldn't ignore that.
This is a confusing post to me as someone who works in state government, among mostly liberal co-workers, and working with employees of other state agencies - all headed by commissioners appointed by a DFL governor working with policies that were passed by DFL legislatures (and yes, through a GOP governor at one point) over the past decade+.

There are... a LOT of programs, policies, funding etc that are in place and continually proposed by the DFL that target the wellbeing of outstate residents and companies. I understand the mindset of a former miner that better health coverage or heating cost assistance doesn't put food on your family's table, but that still ignores the many economic development programs the state funds, programs that help local governments run better/cheaper, exemptions to large industrial users from certain utility programs, bonding bill proposals, >>$ per capital for roads and bridges vs the metro, and so many other things. I'm not going to say the DFL has had every answer to every problem, but they are trying. And the proposals from the GOP have often played to core, ingrained (but misguided) beliefs that 1) the metro is sucking money from outstate, and 2) that reducing taxes and regulations will spur economic development (instead of, at best, slightly slowing the decline). I see messaging and engagement with elected officials of small communities that is about improving the economy with durable, good-paying jobs while respecting the (local and global) environment (here's an example!). I dunno, that's just my experience as an elitist suburban kid-turned-city dweller working for big gummint :)

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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby David Greene » August 3rd, 2017, 4:37 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 3:22 pm
I see messaging and engagement with elected officials of small communities that is about improving the economy with durable, good-paying jobs while respecting the (local and global) environment (here's an example!).
Forgive me, but that report has a lot of text so I just scanned it. I saw nothing in there about specific job proposals for any part of MN, including the Iron Range. It seems to have several good general ideas but those don't sell on the campaign trail. What *specifically* can candidates say in places like Tower, Ely, Virginia, etc.?

That report is not messaging and engagement of communities. How was it constructed? Who had input? Were there public meetings about it? Was feedback taken? It seems like a typical ivory tower examination of strategies for climate change. Necessary, but far from sufficient.

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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby Didier » August 3rd, 2017, 5:14 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 3:22 pm
There are... a LOT of programs, policies, funding etc that are in place and continually proposed by the DFL that target the wellbeing of outstate residents and companies.
I think this sentence inadvertently sums up the messaging problem for Democrats. The Republicans are talking about jobs, and the Democrats are offering "programs."

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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby Didier » August 3rd, 2017, 5:17 pm

And to be sure, I'm not knocking "programs" per se, but saying that government programs aren't appealing like factories and mines and middle class wages are.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby RailBaronYarr » August 4th, 2017, 9:31 am

David Greene wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 4:37 pm
RailBaronYarr wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 3:22 pm
I see messaging and engagement with elected officials of small communities that is about improving the economy with durable, good-paying jobs while respecting the (local and global) environment (here's an example!).
Forgive me, but that report has a lot of text so I just scanned it. I saw nothing in there about specific job proposals for any part of MN, including the Iron Range. It seems to have several good general ideas but those don't sell on the campaign trail. What *specifically* can candidates say in places like Tower, Ely, Virginia, etc.?

That report is not messaging and engagement of communities. How was it constructed? Who had input? Were there public meetings about it? Was feedback taken? It seems like a typical ivory tower examination of strategies for climate change. Necessary, but far from sufficient.
I mean, it's not my job to read it for you. But. There aren't specific proposals yet. The nice image on page 5 shows where this fits in the process of designing policies (which, answering Didier's point, is a broad term for job programs, funding, education, investment, etc) that not only solve climate challenges but also help drive the economy. And where that fits on engaging with communities and stakeholders. I highlighted this *one* report because it's something I'm more familiar with. But one can go to DEED or any number of other agencies and see how the work they do contains a focus on job creation (among their other core missions). I manage a program aimed at helping local governments do energy efficiency projects for their public buildings, at lower cost than they'd get on the open market and with better protections, and with a focus on using local labor - all helping communities reduce their cost of government to keep property taxes low. There are dozens of these "programs" that hit on rural values.

I think I'm going to creep into xandrex's comment that the DFL's message is "suck it up, buttercup" (which I don't even 100% believe is true) here, but what exactly is the problem with a little of that messaging when the GOP's mantra is constantly "just pick yourself up by your bootstraps, son" (just, apparently not for outstate)? The GOP talks jobs and investment, but they oversell on what their policies (tax reductions, regulatory issues, etc) can even do for the economies of rural areas in the face of macro, global factors. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I prefer an honest DFL that won't sell rural folks on the idea that their mining or factory or any other job is going to come back (here's a good take on why that is). Maybe David's messaging can be packed around the same policies, but even good messaging around DFL policies (which will inherently care more about the environment, equity, immigrants, public investment in anything other than roads/bridges) will not sound as appealing to outstate people who want their old job back as GOP messaging.

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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby VacantLuxuries » August 4th, 2017, 10:09 am

what exactly is the problem with a little of that messaging when the GOP's mantra is constantly "just pick yourself up by your bootstraps, son"
They can dish it out but they can't take it. And now we have to build our political messaging around the feelings of people who are the first to throw stones but will cry if hit with a pebble.

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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby kirby96 » August 4th, 2017, 12:29 pm

what exactly is the problem with a little of that messaging when the GOP's mantra is constantly "just pick yourself up by your bootstraps, son"
Well, the problem is it doesn't work. How many urban blacks have Republicans convinced to vote for them with that message? Plus it's disingenuous for a party that generally perceives itself as standing up for the little guy: "We'll march in the streets for these disenfranchised folks, we'll have our politicians issue proclamations and pass laws for semantic issues which bother those people, and we'll boycott states that pass laws that impact that other group, but working class white people (which happen to outnumber the other ones by a large margin) can suck it".

As someone sort of alluded to above, Democrats may never 'win' rural working class white voters. But that doesn't mean they can afford to lose 70% of them, as results in state elections show across the country. There was a lot of narrative about blue collar Obama voters that went for Trump. They need to win some of them (more than they currently do) in order to avoid the situation where they lose legislatures and hope to win state and national elections by a few percentage points. This is a situation with low reward (split legislatures counterbalanced by Democrat Governors and Presidents), and huge risk (see current state of nation).

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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby mplsjaromir » August 4th, 2017, 12:58 pm

It there systematic oppression of rural working (non capital owning) people? I would be surprised if there was any proclamation to decree, other than admonishing the current economic system does not favor their preferred way of life.

I think allowing cannabis to be legal would be the best way to win out state voters. Give people something to deal with long winding economic malaise.

David Greene
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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby David Greene » August 4th, 2017, 1:49 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:
August 4th, 2017, 9:31 am
I mean, it's not my job to read it for you.
Ok, there's lots of unpack here, starting with the fact that on the campaign trail, handing out a glossy volume with lots of text isn't gonna cut it.

But more importantly, most people don't give a hoot about "programs." Take your energy-effiicient government example. Great idea! But it doesn't sell to voters. They couldn't care less about how government actually operates. Those local jobs are temporary. They want to know what's in it for *them.* They also *do not* want to be given a handout. These are proud people. They want to work. What do you tell them? Sure, you can say their current jobs aren't going to be around much longer but what do you have to offer as a replacement?

Where in that glossy is loans and/or tax breaks for bringing green economy manufacturing to the area? Democrats can't be talking about running government more efficiently and keeping taxes low. No one will buy it. They need to talk about *direct* action. Republicans love to try to manipulate taxes to get outcomes. Why aren't Democrats going around saying, "Well, that's one way to do it but doesn't it make more sense to just invest in the things we want rather than trying to construct a Rube Goldberg financial machine?"

xandrex
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Re: Minnesota Governor Election 2018

Postby xandrex » August 4th, 2017, 7:00 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:
August 3rd, 2017, 3:22 pm
This is a confusing post to me as someone who works in state government, among mostly liberal co-workers, and working with employees of other state agencies - all headed by commissioners appointed by a DFL governor working with policies that were passed by DFL legislatures (and yes, through a GOP governor at one point) over the past decade+.

There are... a LOT of programs, policies, funding etc that are in place and continually proposed by the DFL that target the wellbeing of outstate residents and companies. I understand the mindset of a former miner that better health coverage or heating cost assistance doesn't put food on your family's table, but that still ignores the many economic development programs the state funds, programs that help local governments run better/cheaper, exemptions to large industrial users from certain utility programs, bonding bill proposals, >>$ per capital for roads and bridges vs the metro, and so many other things. I'm not going to say the DFL has had every answer to every problem, but they are trying. And the proposals from the GOP have often played to core, ingrained (but misguided) beliefs that 1) the metro is sucking money from outstate, and 2) that reducing taxes and regulations will spur economic development (instead of, at best, slightly slowing the decline). I see messaging and engagement with elected officials of small communities that is about improving the economy with durable, good-paying jobs while respecting the (local and global) environment (here's an example!). I dunno, that's just my experience as an elitist suburban kid-turned-city dweller working for big gummint :)
I do not disagree that Minnesota's government generally wants to improve the lives of Minnesotans across the state.

There are a million programs from the state, regions governments, counties, cities, and even neighborhoods. Some are crucial to keeping people in our state safe, others are a waste. But no doubt there's a lot of money going to projects of good will.

My point isn't to say the GOP is better for these folks. Nor is it that government is giving these people short shrift for state money and programs. It's that an urbanizing DFL has a message that doesn't appear to offer any big solutions to some very big problems facing rural Minnesota.

For the 45-year-old guy who's worked a great-paying mining job his whole life and suddenly finds himself laid off, he currently sees two options, fair or not: There's a party that is promising to allow more jobs that he can work, and there's another party that is increasingly hostile to his line of work, but they can promise programs, I suppose? Even if it's only 20 years of viable mining at these sites, that's enough to get him to retirement and keep food on the table (and maybe pay for his kids' college so they don't end up stuck on the Iron Range without work). And even if that guy doesn't work in mining, his job probably relies on it: No equipment or tools to fix from those mines, no refining, no shipping, fewer people buying food and shopping and going to movies.

What big idea can DFL candidates offer these folks? As I said, it doesn't need to something that sacrifices the party's value on environmentalism. But if you're opposed to allowing the mine, how do you explain that to a laid off worker there? And by that I mean: What big idea can you offer them that's more enticing than voting for the GOP, which is essentially promising them their job back?

None of this has to detract from a strong message to urban communities, nor does it mean the party needs to abandon its social plank. Environmental stewardship, LGBTQ+ rights, pro-choice, pro-urban, and support for rural communities can co-exist in one big tent if everyone feels like they've been heard.


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