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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Support or Sabotage?

On Monday, my wife and I received a mailer from Bob Zick, who filed to run as the Independence Party candidate for House District 55A (Leon Lillie's seat). But the mailer was not telling us to vote for Zick or for anyone in the Independence Party's primary -- it was telling us to vote against Lillie:

At first glance, this seems written to support Diana Longrie, who was campaigning against Lillie in the DFL primary, by encouraging Republicans and independents to vote for her. You'd expect it to be carefully targeted at non-Democrats, to encourage them to cross over and vote on the DFL part of the ballot. However, I and other DFLers received it.

Was this a result of sloppy mailing list creation? Or was it intentional? If you send this postcard to a bunch of Democrats, with its implication that Longrie is only on the ballot to create chaos in the Democratic primary, aren't you effectively rallying the DFL base to turn out in favor of Lillie?

So Zick could have been intentionally trying to torpedo Longrie's chances of winning without actually endorsing Leon. Or there may have been a simple list-generating mistake. (Maybe someone meant to exclude DFLers, but instead did the opposite.) Or a third option: maybe it was cleverly intended to sabotage Longrie, but with plausible deniability, since it could be easily explained as a mistake.

I've heard it suggested before that Maplewood politics would make for a great Spinal Tap-style mockumentary. Indeed, this mailer calls to mind the immortal words of David St. Hubbins, "It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever." I can't figure out which this is, but it makes for entertaining political theater.


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