Rules mtg at AFSCME

I signed myself up at the precinct caucus to sit on 7th Senate District DFL Rules Committee for their – our – Convention. For those of you not from Minnesota DFL stands for Democratic Farmer Labor. It’s the same thing as the Democratic party (or the Democrat Party as the Republicans like to call it). The Farmer Labor half came from a potent third party which excercised real power in the state from the 1920’s until Hubert Humphrey and others organized a merger with the Democrats. Today the state is roughly 50/50 DFL and Republican but even though the GOP has a slight electoral edge I’d still give the state to the DFL on sentimental grounds. I didn’t think Bush would beat Kerry here last year and he didn’t.

Holding the door for me as I rushed in from the rain was Marsh Stenerson. Marsh and I have tangled a little in the past. As a new Democrat I will excercise some restraint in criticising my new allies publicly but if my website’s Search Page is still working anyone could find evidence of it. Marsh smiled and told me he was waiting especially to greet me at the door. I’m sure he was genuinely delighted to have me aboard.

Bill Cortez, a teacher at East High, organized us our committee. Craig Grau, a poly sci prof at UMD and a shrewd commentator on state politics was also at our meeting. I asked him if his son was still a big fan of Rush Limbaugh. Greg wasn’t sure. I’m not.

AFSCME was going to close its office early so we all agreed to meet again this Tuesday. That would give us a chance to read the rules. The only thing that is radically different from our Republican rules is the sub caucus system which was set up to insure that various minorities would be represented at Democratic conventions. These were instituted just before or after George McGovern got the Democratic presidential nomination. I’m not sure whether they’ve played a big part in recent conventions but I think they’ve been divisive at times. I’ll be eager to see them in action. The Convention is six weeks off on April 19th. I can’t wait.