Several of us had a great opportunity to sit down and chat with CD 3 DFL endorsed candidate Ashwin Madia this morning in Maple Grove.
For about an hour several bloggers posed questions to Madia and listened intently to his responses. Topics ranged from his position on Iran, media outreach, FISA, the economy, education, campaign strategy, fiscal responsibility, and other fun topics.
Stu Rosenberg, Madia's campaign manager, was also in attendance. The session was very informal with bloggers posing questions over OJ, coffee and omelets.
A question on Iran kicked things off this morning. Madia has a common sense position in Iran, supporting "aggressive diplomacy" and "leaving no options off the table, including diplomacy". Unlike Erik Paulsen, Madia does not avoid the political landmines of Iraq and Iran.
The rhetoric on Iran matches the pre-Iraq war build up. Ron Carey, right wing blogger, and Minnesota Republican Party attacks on Madia's service to this nation are absurd. One such chickenhawk on the right attacked Madia for his service in Iraq. Despite this individuals constant touting of military history, this Admiral appears to have no concept of what Marines are.
Attacking Madia's honorable service to this nation is a serious misstep by the GOP and their cronies. Carey's attack on Madia's Iran position, when Paulsen has no position, shows desperation. Madia's service is a great strength and Republicans will do everything they can to "swift boat" Madia.
Madia spoke passionately about FISA. He shares the disappointment with most Democrats and points out two significant reasons he would not have supported the legislation.
1. It diminishes the standard of probable cause, which has been the standard in the United States for 200 years.
2. Providing "telecom immunity" without actually knowing what really happened equates to having a verdict without a trial. Under what circumstances did telecoms violate our civil liberties? We'll probably never know...
A lot more was covered at the brunch, we'll try to post more in it later.
It was good seeing the crew from Mn Blue (Eric, Two Putt and Grace), Joe from Campaign Report, Chris Truscott, and Gavin Sullivan again.
Thanks go out to Ashwin, Stu and the rest of the Madia crew! Thanks for being so open and accessible!
We're not used to that up here in the 6th with Congresswoman Bachmann!