Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More fallout from the CD 6 debate: Vetting works

Leadership was so scared, scared to let candidates talk. Scared to hold forums and debates. Stifling debate and discussion across the board.

Forums and debates are just another step in the candidate vetting process, and were lacking in the 6th CD.

Sunday's debate showed that they work. Olson is all but out of the Congressional race based on the debate. Many say he cracked under the pressure. Better to find out now than in October.

But according to many sources, Elwyn was not as polished as we thought he was.

We've been vetting the candidates on where they stand for months. Exposing the past of Tinklenberg's time as MnDOT commish, his lobbying ties via the Tinklenberg Group, and his dealings in taconite.

Across the board, Tinklenberg has failed to fully answer the questions of delegates. He has not been fully vetted.

Two Putt Tommy has some insight on Tinklenberg's lobbying.
And let’s be frank – for all his waffling, Tinklenberg is a lobbyist. As I understand it, lobbying is the essence of his firm. There are plenty of documents from various cities discussing hiring Tink to lobby for them. When asked by Olson about this, Tinklenberg stated there’s the general meaning of words, and there’s the legal meaning of words, and legally, he’s not a lobbyist.

So, I guess Tinklenberg is not a lobbyist, depending upon what the meaning of “lobbyist” is.

Developers are Crabgrass had a similar observation.
On the direct question of how much of your time, Elwyn, has been spent lobbying, Tinklenberg ducked that issue yet again by saying that there's a federal statute and under the statute he does not have to register.

That was unresponsive to the question Olson asked. It responded to a letter inquiry I cosigned with Jerry Hiniker, but Olson did not ask that.

He gave an inconsistent answer on the DFL endorsement.
Tink waffled on the issue of a primary, too. In closing claimed he’d abide by the endorsement only if the process was honorable and fair. “Honorable”??!? By whose standards? His? (MnBlue)


Tinklenberg's false claim that Bob Olson and his campaign were behind the lobbying letter.
Tinklenberg falsely claimed the Olson campaign had issued the letter seeking official inquiry into his federal lobbying status. I cowrote it. Jerry Hiniker, to my knowledge, is not involved with Olson's campaign. I am not connected to that campaign. I had never met Bob Olson until yesterday, at the debate.

We could go on and on about this...

I stand behind my statement that Olson ought to step down from the race as soon as possible. It's painfully obvious that labor and a few select individuals want Elwyn Tinklenberg to run against Michele Bachmann in the fall. It's not really even about Olson's message.

Early on in the race, I heard a potential delegate say that they would support Elwyn simply because he lost to Wetterling in 06 and that "it was his turn".

Check out TPT and DAC's work, they provide some great context to the debate.

Liberal in the Land of Conservative has a wonderful post up, with Muse Tubes, of Jim Ramstad speaking at an Education Minnesota event.
Unfortunately, they are being driven from the party and punished for voting their conscience. There is a significant lesson here for Democrats. We cannot be a party that kicks out its moderates. We must embrace them and encourage them as they show that we are a party of inclusion and not a party of exclusion. They show that we are a party that encourages dissent and independent thought in its membership. If we do that, the larger population will see our message of inclusion and the Republican Party will be increasingly relegated to the fringe of society.

I can support moderate Democrats. I'd prefer a strong progressive, but I can support a moderate. The case of Elwyn Tinklenberg is different for many of us. He's moderate. But...he's terribly inconsistent. To be honest with you, I don't have a feeling for where he truly stands on the issues. Someone who will not just "go along to get along".
Tinklenberg waffled, saying we should do what leadership says, and press the new executive administration for direction on its exit strategy.

What an independent thinker!

Haven't we had enough of this?

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