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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Resolutions of Support

Last night I attended a meeting of the Central Committee of the Senate District 55 DFL. The SD55 DFL was considering whether or not to give resolutions of support in the city council and mayoral races.

A resolution of support is not an endorsement, and there are important differences. For example, endorsements are limited in number (up to two council candidates could be endorsed, since that's the number of seats up for election, and only one mayoral candidate); they require a convention (inviting all delegates who were elected to the 2008 SD55 convention by their precinct caucuses); candidates must receive 60% of the delegate votes to be endorsed; and they allow a candidate to advertise the endorsement in campaign literature. In contrast, the resolutions of support were decided by the Central Committee (which includes precinct chairs, Senate District party officers, etc.). They can be given to any number of candidates. A simple majority is all that is necessary to receive a resolution.

So if it isn't an endorsement, what is a resolution of support, and what does it get you? In essence, it's a statement that you are regarded as a "good Democrat" -- the party recognizes you as one of its number, and supports giving you limited access to certain party resources.

Written questions and questions from the floor understandably focused on the party activities of the candidates. What DFL-endorsed candidates have you actively campaigned for (or against)? What party activities have you participated in? After brief speeches and audience Q&A, the nine credentialed Central Committee members cast their votes, yes or no, for each candidate under consideration.

Ten of eleven city council candidates came to ask for resolutions of support: Julie Binko, Mark Bradley, Rebecca Cave, Dave Hafner, Kathy Juenemann, Jim Llanas, Robert Martin, Delray Rokke, Dick Seppala, and Elizabeth Sletten. The only candidate who did not come was Mary Mackey.

Five of seven mayoral candidates appeared: Marv Koppen, Diana Longrie, Will Rossbach, Ken Smart and John Wykoff. Not appearing were Fran Grant and Bob Cardinal.

The candidates who were given resolutions of support were Marv Koppen and Will Rossbach for mayor; Jim Llanas and Dick Seppala for city council.

The candidates I am supporting are Jim Llanas, Kathy Juenemann, and Will Rossbach. Of course I was disappointed not to see Kathy get a resolution, but I was pleased to see the party's recognition of Jim and Will, both of whom have put in a lot of work for DFL candidates in the past. Both Seppala and Koppen have long records of DFL involvement, so I have to agree that it was appropriate for them to get resolutions.

One interesting twist of events was that Robert Martin did not receive a resolution of support. Robert has done a lot of hard work as a DFL volunteer, and was even one of the Central Committee members casting a vote. However, he has become more and more associated with Diana Longrie and her efforts to recast herself as some kind of Democrat -- something that does not sit well with DFL activists. The vote on Martin probably would have been different a few months ago, when he would not have been perceived as part of a team with Mayor Longrie and her allies.

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