Some DFLers buck party rule

When DFL leaders stripped the party endorsement from state Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley, they highlighted an obscure rule prohibiting the support of non-endorsed candidates.

But some other legislators are doing the same thing with no apparent repercussions. For example, State Rep. Tim Mahoney, DFL-St. Paul and Rep. Gene Pelowski, DFL-Winona, are both publicly supporting Matt Entenza for governor.

Chaudhary’s problems mainly stemmed from his end-of-session efforts to pass new fishing rules for the northern Minnesota lake where he owns a cabin. But in making their case against Chaudhary, officials in Senate District 50 also used his public support of Mark Dayton for governor, rather than DFL-endorsed Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

They cited this party bylaw:

If a candidate who has been endorsed by a unit of the DFL

Party gives personal endorsement, financial assistance, or other

public support or public assistance to any candidate running against a

DFL-endorsed candidate for any public office, or engages in any

other act of malfeasance or nonfeasance, the central committee of the

unit that endorsed that candidate may revoke the endorsement by a

two-thirds majority vote of the members eligible to vote, following

the procedures in the Bylaw under Article III, Section 17.

Several DFL elected officials who were supporting other candidates fell in line behind Kelliher once she had won the party endorsement. Mahoney and Pelowski were among those who did not.

“I had been an early supporter of Matt Entenza for governor,” Mahoney said. “It would have been uncharacteristic of me to switch or to quiet down or to switch allegiances just because someone else got the endorsement.”

Mahoney, who recently sent out a letter on behalf of Entenza’s campaign, said he’s received very little criticism for his position.

“I’ve only had one person say I’ll vote for anyone but you,” Mahoney said.

It’s been a rougher road for Pelowski, who had to fight off a labor-backed endorsement challenge for his House District 31A seat. But Pelwoski hasn’t backed off his support of Enetnza.

“I think Matt’s got the type of leadership skills that we need now in Minnesota,” Pelowski said. “I think it’s been clear to folks for the last two years that I’ve been working with Matt.”

Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Brian Melendez downplayed the rule breaking.

“I know that all those legislators are going to be supporting our endorsed candidate by Wednesday, if not sooner, Melendez said. “So we’ll wait until Wednesday.”

  • http://facebook.com/lakepark Aaron L. Wittnebel

    As long as you aren’t missrepresenting your view as the view of the party’s, I believe it would be disingenuous and look poorly upon a DFL leader (elected official or party official) to retract his/her endorsement of a candidate before he/she has completed his/her involvement in candidate selection process (Endorsing Convention & Primary Election). The DFL has supported keeping both the endorsing convention and the primary election, and until that changes… this rule is open for interpretation. (My interpretation is that this rule only applies, post-primary. Chaundary was stripped of his endorsement for actions he took on a legislative measure, not for his support of Dayton.)

    It would be contradictory for the party or party units to invoke this rule pre-primary, while all the while supporting the Primary Election system.

  • http://facebook.com/lakepark Aaron L. Wittnebel

    As long as you aren’t missrepresenting your view as the view of the party’s, I believe it would be disingenuous and look poorly upon a DFL leader (elected official or party official) to retract his/her endorsement of a candidate before they have completed their involvement in candidate selection process (Endorsing Convention & Primary Election). The DFL has supported time and again, keeping both the endorsing convention and the primary election, and until that changes… this rule is open for interpretation. (My interpretation is that this rule only applies, post-primary. Chaundary was stripped of his endorsement for actions he took on a legislative measure, not for his support of Dayton.)

    It would be a contradiction (or hypocritical) of the party or a party unit to invoke this rule, pre-primary, while at the same time supporting the Primary Election system.

  • Edward Reynoso

    Not true. Chaudrey’s endorsement was more so revoked due to his endorsement of Dayton. Even during a television interview one of the three panelist stated that the endorsement was revoked due to his endorsement of Dayton.

    I have several problems with this action taken. First what happened to the so called respect for the endorsed candidate? The delegates at the convention had spoken on the recommended endorsement., why wasn’t that respected? If the party endorsement is so sacred, it should have never been revoked.

    Secondly, party activist actively sought a candidate and persuaded Barb to run against Satveer. Again circumventing the so called sacred DFL process. Nothing against Barb, she is a fantastic person and candidate. But if she really wanted to run she should have gone through the process as all of the other DFL candidates are required to do.

    Third, one of the biggest problems I have with the revoking of the endorsement is that while what Satveer did wasn’t exactly the wisest thing to do with regards to the lake issue, but it wasn’t that huge of a big deal to make such a fuss about it. Look, we all make mistakes in life, we are all human. Satveer admitted his error, apologized and that should have been the end of it.

    Bottom line, Satveer is a good Senator. He has done good for his district and his past performance in elections proves that.. I am going to continue my and our support of Satveer. He is a friend of Labor and his constituents in his district.