The elephant in the DFL screening room

I had a jolly good time at the screening committee. I knew several of the screeners some of whom may have been surprised to see me turn up. It was that way at my first DFL Precinct caucus which I think was 2006.

At that first caucus I joined about 30 folks in a classroom at Woodland Middle School. Eyebrows were raised there as well as DFLers know their Republicans. It was odd but comforting as well as for the first time in twenty years I actually voted in a majority on a great many issues which had become verboten for Republicans. I attended about four election cycles of DFL caucuses and the 2008 caucus was probably the highlight of my political life with its huge Barack Obama turnout. It was a heady experience being in a majority at the following District convention when Obama won handily.

Readers of my Blog know that while I rant and rave about Republicans I have fond recollections of the party of my youth. I liked Ike, a fellow Kansan. I loved National Parks so, of course, I liked Teddy, and agnostic old Abe is my all time hero. Long after Lincoln Dinners were abandoned by Dixie-saturated Republicans I was charmed to hear a DFL gathering speak of Abraham with something approaching reverence.

But it was Harry Welty, not Abraham Lincoln, who crashed the screening committee. I joked with the folks I knew and with the people I didn’t. I blamed the Republicans for electing Donald Trump. I told them I would be honored to be an endorsed Democrat on the Duluth School Board even while adding I still didn’t think endorsements for non-partisan races was necessarily the best idea.

I told the screeners that I wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but that I didn’t believe in conducting myself by (and here I licked my finger and stuck it up in the air) testing the wind. I told those new to me that I hid nothing and that everything I stood for I had put into this blog.

I also was asked to explain my ambiguous sounding answer to Question #12: Will you abide by the endorsement of the convention and cease your campaign if someone else is endorsed?

My answer: “I will follow the honorable example of DFL Governors Rolvaag, Perpich and Dayton.”

The explanation I gave to the screener was this: All three of these DFL Governors ran for the state’s highest office without the endorsement of the DFL state convention.

Of course, none of these candidates had ever been affiliated with the Republican Party. Elephants are no more useful to the DFL than they are to Ringling Brother’s, Barnum and Bailey Circus these days.

Of course, Ronald Reagan didn’t mind adding lots of jackasses to the GOP when he was President and they proved pretty useful: From Wikipedia:

From Democrat to Republican

1970s[edit]
1970 – Jesse Helms, later U.S. Senator from North Carolina (1973–2003)
1970 – A. C. Clemons, Louisiana State Senator
1970 – William Oswald Mills, later U.S. Representative from Maryland (1971–1973)
1970 – Bob Barr, later U.S. Representative from Georgia (1995–2003)
1971 – Tillie K. Fowler, later U.S. Representative from Florida (1993–2001)
1972 – Ed Karst, Mayor of Alexandria
1972 – Robert R. Neall
1972 – Trent Lott, later U.S. Representative from Mississippi (1973–1989) and U.S. Senator from Mississippi (1989–2007)
1973 – Mills E. Godwin Jr., former Governor of Virginia (1966–1970) and Lieutenant Governor of Virginia (1962–1966). Later Governor of Virginia (1974–1978)
1973 – Samuel I. Hayakawa, later U.S. Senator from California (1977–1983)
1973 – John Connally, former United States Secretary of the Treasury (1971–1972) and former Governor of Texas (1963–1969)
1975 – Elizabeth Dole, later United States Secretary of Transportation (1983–1987), United States Secretary of Labor (1989–1990) and U.S. Senator from North Carolina (2003–2009)
1975 – John Jarman, while U.S. Representative from Oklahoma (1951–1977)
1976 – Rob Couhig
1977 – A. J. McNamara, Louisiana State Representative
1977 – Lane Carson, Louisiana State Representative
1978 – Robert G. Jones, Louisiana State Senator
1978 – Chris Smith, later U.S. Representative from New Jersey (1981–present).[6]
1978 – Thomas Bliley, Mayor of Richmond, Virginia, and later U.S. Representative from Virginia (1981–2001)
1978 – Michael F. “Mike” Thompson, Louisiana State Representative
1979 – Charles Grisbaum, Jr., Louisiana State Representative
1979 – Ed Scogin, Louisiana State Representative
1979 – Armistead I. Selden, Jr., former U.S. Representative from Alabama (1953–1969) and United States Ambassador to New Zealand (1974–1979)
1980s[edit]
1980s – S. S. DeWitt, Louisiana State Representative
1980 – Sam Yorty, former U.S Representative for California (1951–1955) and Mayor of Los Angeles (1961–1973)
1980 – Mac Collins, later U.S Representative from Georgia (1993–2005)
1980 – Jim Donelon, later Louisiana Insurance Commissioner (2006–present)
1980 – Jesse Monroe Knowles, Louisiana State Senator
1980 – Frank D. White, later Governor of Arkansas (1981–1983)
1980s – J.C. “Sonny” Gilbert, Louisiana State Representative
1981 – Bob Stump, while U.S. Representative from Arizona (1977–1003)
1981 – Eugene Atkinson, while U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania (1979–1983)
1982 – Condoleezza Rice, later United States National Security Advisor (2001–2005) and United States Secretary of State (2005–2009)
1983 – Phil Gramm, while U.S. Representative from Texas (1979–1985) and later U.S. Senator from Texas (1985–2002)
1983 – Bob Martinez, while Mayor of Tampa. Later Governor of Florida (1987–1991) and Director of the National Drug Control Policy (1991–1993)
1984 – V.J. Bella, Louisiana State Representative
1984 – Andy Ireland, while U.S. Representative from Florida (1977–1993)
1984 – H. Edward Knox, Mayor of the City of Charlotte
1984 – Sonny Callahan, Alabama State Senator. Later U.S Representative from Alabama (1985-2003)
1985 – Jeane Kirkpatrick, while U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1981–1985) [7]
1985 – Edward J. King, former Governor of Massachusetts (1979–1983)
1985 – Dexter Lehtinen, Florida State Representative. Later U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida (1988–1992)
1985 – Kent Hance, former U.S. Representative from Texas (1979–1985)
1985 – Jock Scott, Louisiana State Representative
1985 – Carole Keeton Strayhorn, later Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (1999–2007)
1986 – William Bennett, while U.S. Secretary of Education (1985–1988)
1986 – Richard Baker, Louisiana State Representative. Later U.S. Representative from Louisiana (1987–2008)
1986 – Charles T. Canady, Florida State Representative. Later U.S. Representative from Florida (1993–2001), Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida (2008–present) and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida (2010–2012)
1986 – Frank Rizzo, former Mayor of Philadelphia (1972–1980)
1986 – James David Santini, former U.S. Representative from Nevada (1975–1983)
1987 – Paul Hardy, former Secretary of State of Louisiana (1976–1980), later Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana (1988–1992)
1987 – Roy Moore, later Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court (2001–2003)
1987 – Edward Vrdolyak
1987 – James C. Smith, Attorney General of Florida (1979–1987), later Florida Secretary of State (1987–1995)
1988 – Jim McCrery, later U.S. Representative from Louisiana (1988–2009)
1988 – David Duke, Louisiana State Representative
1988 – Mike Johanns, later Governor of Nebraska (1999–2005), United States Secretary of Agriculture (2005–2007) and U.S. Senator from Nebraska (2009–2015)
1988 – John Rice, Alabama State Senator[8]
1989 – John Amari, Alabama State Senator
1989 – Pete Johnson, while State Auditor of Mississippi (1988–1992)
1989 – Bill Grant, while U.S. Representative from Florida (1987–1991)
1989 – Tommy F. Robinson, while U.S. Representative from Arkansas (1985–1991)
1989 – Rick Perry, Agriculture Commissioner of Texas. Later Governor of Texas (2000–2015)
1989 – W. Fox McKeithen, Secretary of State of Louisiana (1988-2005)
1990s[edit]
1990 – Eli Bebout, Wyoming State Representative
1990 – Tom Vandergriff, former U.S. Representative from Texas (1983–1985). Later elected as a County Judge (1991–2007)
1990 – Joseph F. Toomy, Louisiana State Representative
1990 – Vito Fossella, later U.S. Representative from New York (1997–2009)
1990 – Lauch Faircloth, later U.S. Senator from North Carolina (1993–1999)[9]
1991 – Bret Schundler, Mayor of Jersey City
1991 – David Beasley, later Governor of South Carolina (1995–1999)
1991 – Buddy Roemer, while Governor of Louisiana (1988–1992)[10]
1992 – Byron Looper, Tennessee State Representative
1993 – Edward H. Krebs, Pennsylvania State Representative
1993 – Don W. Williamson, Louisiana State Senator
1994 – Ron Gomez, Louisiana State Representative
1994 – Woody Jenkins, Louisiana State Representative
1994 – Dan Richey, former Louisiana State Senator
1994 – Ed Austin, while Mayor of Jacksonville
1994 – Walter B. Jones, while running as a Democrat for U.S. Representative from North Carolina. U.S. Representative from North Carolina (1995–present)
1994 – Ed Whitfield, the day before filing as a candidate for the U.S. House in Kentucky. U.S. Representative from Kentucky (1995–present)
1994 – Ron Gomez, Louisiana State Representative
1994 – Stan Spears, South Carolina Adjutant General
1994 – Mike Bowers, while Attorney General of Georgia (1981–1997)
1994 – Fob James, former Governor of Alabama (1979–1983). Later Governor of Alabama (1995–1999)
1994 – Richard Shelby, while U.S. Senator from Alabama (1994–present)
1995 – Jimmy Hayes, while U.S. Representative from Louisiana (1987–1997)
1995 – Greg Laughlin, while U.S. Representative from Texas (1989–1997)
1995 – Ben Nighthorse Campbell, while U.S. Senator from Colorado (1993–2005)
1995 – Billy Tauzin, while U.S. Representative from Louisiana (1980–2005)
1995 – Nathan Deal, while U.S. Representative from Georgia (1993–2011). Later became the 82nd Governor of Georgia (2011–present)
1995 – Mike Parker, while U.S. Representative from Mississippi (1989–1999)
1995 – Susana Martinez, later Governor of New Mexico (2011–present)
1995 – Mike Foster, later Governor of Louisiana (1996–2004)
1995 – Donald Ray Kennard, Louisiana State Representative
1995 – Rusty Crowe, Tennessee State Senator
1995 – Milton H. Hamilton, Jr, Tennessee State Senator
1996 – Ronnie Culbreth, Georgia State Representative.[11]
1996 – Norm Coleman, while Mayor of St Paul. Later U.S. Senator from Minnesota (2003–2009)
1996 – Jay Blossman, later Louisiana Public Service Commissioner (1997–2008)
1996 – John Hoeven, later Governor of North Dakota (2000-2010), later U.S. Senator from North Dakota (2011–present)
1997 – Steve Windom, Alabama State Senator, later Lieutenant Governor of Alabama (1999–2003)
1997 – Kevin Mannix, Oregon State Representative
1997 – Michael J. Michot, Louisiana House of Representatives
1997 – Chip Bailey, Alabama State Senator[12]
1997 – H. Mac Gipson and Ronald “Ron” Johnson, Alabama State Representatives
1998 – Harry C. Goode, Jr., Florida State Representative
1998 – George Wallace, Jr., former Alabama State Treasurer (1987-1995)
1998 – Gerald Allen, Steve Flowers, and Tim Parker, Jr., Alabama State Representatives
1998 – Herman Badillo, former U.S. Representative from New York (1971–1977)
1998 – David G. Boschert, Maryland State Delegate
1998 – Sonny Perdue, Georgia State Senator. Later Governor of Georgia (2003–2011)
1999 – Nancy Larraine Hoffmann, New York State Senator
1999 – Joel Giambra, City Comptroller of Buffalo