Word on the street is that Rep Urdahl has been saying "Democrats are scared to run against him" and that "no one is running against him because he does such a great job".
As a friend of mine put it, "no one in the minority does a good job".
Urdahl held a "forum" recently in Annandale. Because only 4 people showed up, Urdahl suggests that people are satisfied.
Only four constituents attended the informal gathering that he scheduled Saturday morning, June 14, at a downtown restaurant to discuss issues including the just-completed legislative session.
The small turnout was "probably indicative of the mood of the people," the Republican lawmaker from Grove City said.
"I think that they have been fairly satisfied with the session. I think this is indicative of that."
Or, could it be that it was a very nice weekend and no one wanted to spend time with an elected leader difficult to trust? I was in Fargo last weekend, but I hear that it was beautiful down here last weekend.
Let's be clear here.
A. Democrats are not scared of Dean Urdahl.
Urdahl, in Bachmann like fashion, loses his hometown of Grove City every election. They know him best. Meeker County has turned "blue" as well. They vote for Democrats and Urdahl has lost Meeker County as well. Wright County saves Dean Urdahl every election. If people in Wright County knew Urdahl like the people in Grove City, he'd be off to an early retirement, that's for sure.
As Yoda would say...Dean Urdahl, we fear not.
B. Rep Urdahl is not doing a good job.
One example, constituent outreach. Urdahl in the majority issued 69 press releases over the last 2 years of his term in the majority.
His first term in the minority? 16
While in the minority, Urdahl was known as a moderate Republican. I lobbied Dean on many occasions and I found him to be a fairly moderate guy. Once he moved into the minority though, something changed. Perhaps it was being in close proximity to the Emmers, Paulsens, Seiferts and such, but Urdahl in the minority has become less and less moderate.
Or maybe his moderate label wasn't earned, but merely bestowed upon him.
Some key Urdahl votes
Troubling to me are Urdahl's votes for stadiums for both the Twins and Gophers but against key issues like renewable energy standards, health care, and an Iron Range miner cancer study.
His transportation record is nothing to be proud of either.
Recall that during the 06 cycle, Urdahl stated at a Litchfield forum that he would support a gas tax increase. He voted for an increase, and only after his party reigned him in, he voted to sustain the Governor's veto, voting against the transportation interests in the area.
County Commissioners were not pleased at all with Representative Urdahl. He played politics again, put his own aspirations before the people of the district.
Word on the street was that Urdahl was told by the Meeker County Republicans that if he supported the gas tax increase, they would not endorse him this year.
So, instead of voting for his constituents, he chose the easy way out.
He continued his loyalty this session and after the "Override six" were dismissed from caucus leadership positions, Urdahl seized the reigns of one of his fallen comrades. While he stated he was disappointed in what had happened, real political courage would have been exemplified by standing up for/with the "Override six" BEFORE they were effectively fired by their party.
I'd love to take a shot at running against Rep Urdahl. I'm confident I'd beat him. If some personal family issues were not in play right now, Urdahl wouldn't be as arrogant as he is right now. It would be one helluva race!
Truth be told, Urdahl is a lot more vulnerable than he believes. A strong grass roots effort with a hard working candidate would put Urdahl on the defensive real quick. He survived a few good runs by David Detert, but the Urdahl brand has gone rancid in Meeker County and the odor is beginning to permeate into Wright County.
My suggestion to Rep Urdahl?
Keep your fingers out of the lions cage. The more you poke at the animals, the more apt you are to lose your whole hand...