Books I’ve read: 2-10-2022

Here are three books I’ve read in their entirety. None of them is listed on my “My Reading list” page. I would have read them in 2006 and if you go to my website you will see very few books listed from 2006. I was in the middle of massive research on a 1978 political scandal that bubbled up in Duluth and which involved DFL circles. 2006 was the year I made what I thought of as a clean break with the Republican Party and went to a DFL caucus to support the Obama Presidency. The book draught continued to 2010 during the time I undertook a new crusade……making sure a rogue Duluth School Board permitted a Democratic vote on a ruinously gigantic school building plan. But enough about that. Put “Red Plan” into the blogs search engine and you will find an astounding 1,875 posts on that subject.

Researching 1978 made me very curious about the political events that were taking place in Minnesota when I arrived here as a twelve-year old. They- consumed the state’s newspapers.

In the center you will see “Ingenious Deceit.” I barely consider this a book. It was written by a very close observer of the 1963 Governor’s race that was taking place while I was trying to secure my place in Mankato as a seventh grader. This is how I understand what took place. Senator Humbert Humphrey wanted to show he was as tough a politician as Vice Lyndon Johnson and JFK so he found an unlikely candidate Karl Rolvaag to run for Governor in Minnesota to show Humphrey ran the state’s government. To do it he waged a nasty lying campaign alleging that the very decent Republican governor Elmer L. Anderson was crooked with a phony scandal about the building of Highway 35 north to Duluth. HHH got his candidate elected by about 87 votes which required months of counting to verify so that Rolvaag could get elected.

The larger three ring binder book is by its author Tom Roeser who was so incensed with the Democrats he produced the small booklet which I saw all over Minnesota’s used bookstores through my year of college. Then convinced of the perfidy of Democrats he began writing episodic blogs pieces about his early political life in Minnesota from the Eisenhower years through Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. It is a treasure trove of anecdotes that I put together and have always thought should be made available to more people than the Chicagoans who listened to him on a conservative program where he told the stories of Minnesota’s history. Its only flaw was Tom Roeser’s belief that Rush Limbaugh was a very funny and insightful political commentator. I winced at every such expression but Roeser is remarkable fair and clear in talking about his view of Minnesota politics before our politics grew so cancerous.

The Red book on the left is one I borrowed from Professor Craig Grau back in 2006 and it has yellow marker on every page. It is about Minnesota’s Democratic party and an attempt to get rid of Governor Rolvaag two years later in 1965. Liberals challenged him and needed 21 ballots to take the DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor) party’s nomination from him. An angry Rolvaag won the won the primary and lost the general election. This would begin the first of several primary elections where unendorsed candidates would defeat the party’s endorsee in a primary. Others included the 1978 primary when Businessman Bob Short defeated the endorsed DFL Candidate for US Senator a n retired Lt. Governor Rudy Perpich’s defeat the party’s candidate Governor in 1982. Short lost. Perpich won.

But the book only covers the first of these primaries and hints that even DFLers were embarrassed by Hubert Humphrey’s ham-handed but successful attempt to mess around in home state politics.

Primary elections have not been moderate Republicans friend in my lifetime. I will be working to turn that history on its head this year.

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