By now, most political observers are aware that northern Minnesota’s two big U.S. congressional races have attracted big national attention/money from outside groups. On election day (less than two months from now) Peterson/Westrom and Nolan/Mills will be anxiously eyed-over in Washington. It fills me with a mix of pride and dread that places like Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, and Bemidji may be on the lips of hardcore political operatives deep within the bowels of the Beltway over the next few weeks.
If go down one rung in the political scale, you can see a similar effect: low-profile legislators whose races have been abruptly thrust onto a grander political stage. Except in this case, it’s local members of the state Legislature who have been illuminated with a large, well-funded spotlight in the overarching battle for control in St. Paul.
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Jobs Coalition Legislative Fund released a list of “vulnerable” DFLers in greater Minnesota that the statewide conservative group is going to target.
On that list is Rep. Roger Erickson, who unseated incumbent Dave Hancock in 2012. Hancock is running to take back the seat in 2014, and he’s done a good job of connecting his name with that of Republicans higher up on the ballot. For example, he did several events with Stewart Mills in June, including touring northland businesses. Hancock’s also one of the confirmed speakers at a Beltrami GOP banquet coming up on the 18th, along with Jeff Johnson and Torrey Westrom.
Another thing I’ve been watching this week is the Twitter accounts of the 7th Congressional District GOP and the 7th CD DFL. Based on their activity over the past few days, it appears those two handles mostly exist just to argue with each other rather than promoting their own party/engaging voters. If any of my fellow politicos find themselves dateless on a Saturday night, I encourage them to bust out a bag of popcorn, fire up the Interwebs, and watch the zingers fly.
However, the GOP account may have made a misstep just today by mixing it up with Bluestem Prairie, a liberal blog run by Sally Jo Sorenson. Sorenson called out a CD7 fundraising video that featured snapshots of GOP supporters, because the slideshow didn’t have any women standing by themselves, just as part of families. It’s kind of a petty complaint, but the GOP’s response to it was just baffling:
— MNCD7GOP (@MNCD7GOP) September 6, 2014
What the heck is that supposed to imply? That women who speak for themselves don’t love their husbands? That you can’t be liberal and love a man at the same time? I can’t wait to see how Sorenson responds.