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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Longrie to Challenge Rep. McCollum

Former Maplewood mayor Diana Longrie has announced that she will be running as a Democrat against Congresswoman Betty McCollum. Apparently she and her friends, who have a long history of DFL-bashing, are taking their "MN OPERATION CHAOS" to a new level.

Two years ago they targeted Minnesota Rep. Leon Lillie. Longrie filed to be on the DFL primary ballot (even though she was still listed as an officer on the website of the local Republican party unit), while her long-time ally Bob Zick ran as an Independence Party candidate. As the only IP candidate on the ballot, Zick (who had previously run as a Republican) was able to receive a major party public subsidy payment, to the tune of $3,458.87 (as you can see on his 2008 campaign finance report). He used these public subsidy funds to produce and mail an oversize postcard for the September primary, even though he had no primary challenger of his own. The postcards attacked Lillie and encouraged people to vote against him in the DFL primary -- i.e., for Longrie.

Longrie was obliterated in her primary against Lillie, and there's no reason to suppose she'll do any better in a primary against a popular, competent incumbent congresswoman. It seems equally difficult to imagine she can hijack the 4th Congressional District DFL convention the way she did the local Independence Party last year. But it will be interesting to see what schemes she and her merry band of political misfits hatch in an effort to sow chaos and, if nothing else, attract viewers to their cable access TV shows.


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