Friday, August 11, 2006

To endorse, or not to endorse?

That is the question. Let Spot be perhaps the last local blogger to weigh in on the issue of an endorsement by the DFL Central Committee for Attorney General. By all accounts, three good candidates (in alphabetical order): Steve Kelley, Bill Luther, and Lori Swanson.

Steve Kelley was a candidate for the DFL endorsement for governor; he was Spot’s early choice. Several unions have backed Kelley, including Education Minnesota. Kelley has certainly earned the latter organization’s support for his leadership in K-12 education matters at the statehouse for many years. Bill Luther, a long-time DFL stalwart, has been a Congressman and before that a leader in the Legislature.

But still.

The dark horse in the race is Lori Swanson. Spot has never met Lori Swanson. She has certainly not had the same opportunity to be known by the DFL insiders as Kelley and Luther have (Spot is not a DFL insider, and he is certainly not a member of the Central Committee, heaven forefend!). But Spotty just has this sneaking suspicion that she is the best applicant for the job.

Swanson has been the Solicitor General of Minnesota for seven and a half years. Like politics, that ain’t beans. The office requires directing all of the litigation on behalf of the State of Minnesota: defending it when it gets sued and bringing suit to enforce Minnesota’s law, including its insurance, banking, securities, health care, and consumer protection laws. You don’t get that job without having both administrative savvy and being a great courtroom lawyer. Virtually every law firm in the state, big and small, tangles with the Solicitor General’s office.

Spot says it is unfair for a candidate to have to labor against an endorsement when that endorsement is made by the DFL Central Committee so close to the primary, especially when any endorsement cannot be well-considered. Spot wants a chance to look more closely at Swanson’s candidacy, and for her – and Bill Luther, too - to have a fair shot at the nomination.

This is not simply a do-over for the party establishment. Spot doesn’t think the party establishment is entitled to a do-over, now, in any event.

No comments: