Convention leaves a sense of disillusionment
On Saturday, I attended my first city of Minneapolis DFL convention and watched pizzas and games trump the endorsement process. Each of the three top contenders for the DFL nomination for mayor of Minneapolis — Mark Andrew, Betsy Hodges and Gary Schiff — had pledged to abide by the party’s endorsement. To make sure that the front-runner, Andrew, could not obtain the required 60 percent support, first, booted candidate Schiff threw his support behind Hodges, then, second-runner Hodges cleared supporters with a directive and rewarded them with pizza.
All of this was, of course, perfectly in accordance with the rules. But was it honest and respectful to the process and the delegates, or helpful in getting a DFL mayor elected? Now those who had the least votes will muddy the election. I went into the convention undecided about the candidate I would support. I left with my support wholly and enthusiastically behind Andrew, not only because of his accomplishment and his vision but for the kind of person he is.
SARAH GUILLET, Minneapolis
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Saturday was my last DFL convention. The inconclusive marathon was a complete misuse of volunteer time. The desire by the party to have delegates endorse only one of the many strong candidates divided loyalties, rather than cementing them with the best leaders.
With ranked-choice voting in Minneapolis, the DFL would be doing a service to tell citizens the party’s top three candidates, since it may be hard for less-involved voters to sort through a long list. But die-hards willing to submit themselves to a convention should not be the ones to determine the next mayor. Keeping a strong field of candidates makes the candidates better, gives voters more viable options and will make the eventual winner a better mayor. A convention with RCV could have been finished by noon; I might reconsider if they amend their rules to use it.
JENNIFER JEWELL THOMAS, Minneapolis
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What’s more important is manipulation of facts
So it is news that half the state’s population thinks the White House directed the IRS to scrutinize nonprofit status applications from political groups? (“State split on IRS scrutiny,” June 17.) Hardly, unless the point of the article is to illustrate just how clueless most people are about facts. Add this latest sample to the 80 percent who believed that Iraq possessed WMDs (a baldfaced lie told by none other than Colin Powell) or the faked moon landing theorists, 9/11 conspiracy theorists and the millions of people who think the Earth is flat.
We live in a world of myth fed by fear and peppered by shrill, agenda-toting announcers who depend on credulity and stupidity to turn nonsense into advertising revenue. Next time it would be more interesting to read about the misapplication of factual information in both intentional and unwitting forms by political operatives. We suffer from a collective lack of critical thinking skills. Duty calls. Are the editors listening?
GEORGE HUTCHINSON, Minneapolis
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The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.