Brian Melendez, chair of the Minnesota DFL, was at Drinking Liberally in Minneapolis last evening. A good crowd showed up to hear him; there were two themes to what he said.
First, go to your DFL precinct caucus on February 5th. Melendez said that the DFL was expecting an excellent—maybe record—turnout. He also said that if you're a first timer, don't worry, you'll be in good company: perhaps half the attendees will be new. Melendez also said that the DFL wants people to have a good time and enjoy the experience, since that's the first step in getting new people to participate more in party activities.
Are you new and want to be a delegate to the legislative district convention? Stand up and say so. [Spotty adds that as in many things in life, you don't ask, you don't get.] In most precincts, that alone will give you a pretty good shot at being a delegate to the district convention.
At the caucus, you will fill out a presidential preference ballot that will be used to allocate most of the delegates to the national convention among the candidates.
The balance of the caucus will be primarily concerned with picking district convention delegates and considering resolutions. [You may be asked who you support for the state house from your district, and your US Senate and Congressional favorites are. Perhaps you have gotten calls asking if you are going to "caucus" for a particular candidate; it's their campaigns counting noses.]
Offering resolutions is a way that you can have an effect on the DFL's platform. Each caucus will be adopting resolutions, and similar resolutions having the support from numerous caucuses will be considered by the district conventions, winnowed further, and then considered by the state DFL convention. [Spotty says don't be timid here, either. If you offer a resolution about the war, the economy, or whatever, chances are that other people will say they've been thinking about that, too, and support your resolution.]
Second, contribute your free $50 to the DFL for 2008, sooner rather than later. The first $50, $100 for a couple, is refundable by the State of Minnesota. Virtually painless.
Spot, how do we find out where to caucus?
Easy, grasshopper. Just go to the Minnesota Secretary of State.
Gosh, that's easy Spotty!
Yes, grasshopper, it is, in spite of what Michael Brodkorb may have told you.
What about this refund program?
Well, you can go right to the DFL homepage and click the "donate" button. There's a caucus finder on this page, too.
I don't know, Spotty, the refund business sounds like a gimmick to me.
Has Spot ever steered you wrong, grasshopper? Anyway, if you like, you can go and have the Minnesota Department of Revenue explain it to you.
Any more questions? Dismissed.