Posted at 3:17 PM on December 1, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and current gubernatorial vote leader Mark Dayton are urging members of the Democratic National Committee to choose Minneapolis as the host city for the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
Minneapolis is vying with Charlotte, St. Louis and Cleveland to be the host city. If chosen, the convention would be held just four years after St. Paul hosted the 2008 Republican National Convention.
Here's the letter:
To the Members of the Democratic National Convention Committee,
We are writing to you on behalf of the State of Minnesota urging the Committee to select Minneapolis as the host city for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Each finalist city presents valid reasons politically, socially and economically as to why it should be chosen to host the Convention. As you know, Minneapolis is resourceful, reliable and ready to serve Democratic National Convention goers. With vibrant cultural attractions, efficient transportation and world-class dining and hotel accommodations, we would be thrilled to host delegates, nominees and attendees alike. But, you know this and we know this decision has as much to do with politics as it does with logistics.
To that end, please keep in mind that history shows the national political convention site doesn't necessarily influence the outcome of the election. In fact, only half the time has the state in which the DNC was hosted, went for the Democratic Party in the general election.
The objective now is to select a city that will establish the proper political setting for the 2012 election. With this in mind, we firmly believe Minneapolis is the best choice for the Democratic Party. Located in the country's heartland, Minnesota is often on the list of swing states and winning the heartland has proven to be a key region in many presidential elections. Key constituencies for the Democratic Party, including labor, have a strong presence in this region and are eager to serve as hosts of this convention.
Like many others, we have seen a significant shift in our political atmosphere following the mid-term elections. Our state legislature turned from Democratic to Republican control for the first time in 38 years. We lost a 35 year veteran of the U.S. House and our congressional delegation is now split evenly between Democrats and Republicans. The one positive coming out of the election is that we appear to have elected a Democratic governor - a significant victory and one that no other finalist host city can boast. Minnesota proved that despite a tough election year across the country, Democrats can still win here - in a place Democrats will need to win to be successful in re-electing President Obama.
Remember, not only is Minnesota the state in which President Obama decided to accept his nomination but it's also the state Republicans chose for their National Convention in 2008. Our state is in play and has political importance. It's time again for Democrats to lay claim to Minnesota and help regain control in 2012.
We respectfully urge you to select Minneapolis as the site for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Senator Amy Klobuchar
Senator Al Franken
Hosting the 2012 Democratic National Convention is the worst idea I have heard for a year. We still haven't recovered from the lies and intimidation of the RNC in St Paul two years ago. At all these National Security Events, the same scenario unfolds: cities under siege, fenced off so local businesses cannot operate, mass arrests, pepper-spray of the innocent, lines of cudgel-wielding storm troopers as far as the eye can see, illegal searches and illegal arrests. The only people to profit from this farce will be the local strip-clubs, visiting prostitutes, those testing new weapons for "less lethal" use against us, and a few hotels. The rest of us will suffer. And for what?
The last thing Minneapolis needs is another political convention. Does anyone who was here for the RNC really think things would be any different? We'd see the same illegal searches and pre-emptive raids, the same out of control police violence and suspension of civil liberties, and the same takeover of downtown. Hosting a monstrous spectacle like a national political convention benefits no one except a few rich hotel owners and catering companies - basically, Meet Minneapolis, the group that wrote the bid and the only people who think this is a good idea. Democrats or Republicans, they've failed to serve our interests; why should we throw them a party, not get invited, and foot the bill?
While the Republican National Convention was a failure, that does not mean that another political convention isn't in our best interests. Minneapolis - St. Paul would be a fantastic place for the 2012 Democratic National Convention because we could host the President of the United States, continue to introduce ourselves to people around the county and the world, and show that Minnesota is a progressive, successful and vibrant place. Plus, local law enforcement could show everyone they've learned from their mistakes.
Hosting the Democratic National Convention would be good for the short and long-term economic interests of our region, which is one reason why Minnesota companies helped raise money for the convention in 2008 and are committed to another convention in 2012. There are reasons to oppose the convention, but we shouldn't be reactionary. Sometimes it seems like we've lost the capacity to embrace change and move forward as a state – this can only inhibit future successes.