Walter Hudson had a report last week on some of the latest circus antics happening over in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District, where Congressman John Kline faces a “challenge” from a man named David Gerson.
Today’s fight is about granting access to data about delegates and alternates who are elected at precinct caucuses in a few weeks. At least we’ve moved on from T-shirts.
Hudson’s piece outlines how CD2 Chair Bill Jungbauer helped create a policy at the State level about who gets access to the Party’s data, through a program called DataCenter.
At a November meeting of the state executive committee, Jungbauer moved the adoption of rules governing access to the MNGOP database. Those rules allowed the party’s incumbents to retain access throughout the duration of their term.
Flash forward to January, only two months later, and Jungbauer is trying to reverse the policy he voted for, and attempting to strip Congressman Kline’s access to DataCenter. He brought a motion to revoke Kline’s access as of caucus night. His efforts fell flat.
On Thursday, Jungbauer delivered that motion to the state executive committee. His was the only aye vote.
Hudson laughably frames this scene as the state party providing “back door” access to data to incumbents. (Remember, this “back door” was motioned by Jungbauer, and unanimously approved by the State Executive Committee only two months ago.)
In reality, CD2 is getting the leadership they deserve for electing a chair who votes on things he doesn’t understand.
After losing the vote at the State Executive Committee, Jungbauer is now calling BPOUs in CD2 and encouraging them not to share data with the State Party.
This action, which is being encouraged by Gerson campaign staffer Marianne Stebbins, is utterly ridiculous. It would deprive statewide candidates access to data, all in the name of helping a joke candidate who has no shot at winning an election.
This complete lack of perspective and common sense is unfortunately common amongst the type of people who are drawn to joke campaigns like Gerson’s.
Reality is this: John Kline is going to get the list of delegates, John Kline is going to win the primary, and with luck John Kline will be re-elected to Congress this November, helping the GOP keep the majority in the House.
I wish the children from the Gerson campaign would grow up and accept reality. Until then I’m just glad they aren’t in my district.
Update: CD2 Chair Bill Jungbauer sent the following email Monday afternoon where he again asked BPOUs to withhold data from the state party. He wants to use it as a “bargaining chip.”
Dear BPOU chairs and members of the CD2 full committee,
Ever since the State Fair last August, there has been much discussion about the meaning of endorsement and how long it lasts. Several months ago this issue was discussed and the majority of state exec members agreed that endorsement runs until caucus night when campaign season begins.
The issue of list use has also been discussed both at CD2 and the state. As chair of CD2 it has been my policy to provide all candidates with an even playing field. At one point I asked state party chairman, Kieth Downey, for his word that he would refer back to CD2 any congressional candidates seeking party lists. He gave me his word.
Several weeks ago Marianne Stebbins, campaign manager for David Gerson, asked me about access to Data Center which is the national voter database. This is in the possession of the state party. I read her the state party policy which states that incumbent Republicans and endorsed candidates have access to it. I admit to moving to adopt this policy at the November 2013 state exec meeting.
At our December CD2 meeting John Kline was asked if he would sign our list agreement, of which he said he absolutely would not sign such an agreement. He also said that he would get the lists he needs to be reelected and that anyone who runs for congress should get the lists too.
I brought this issue to the attention of CD2’s exec committee. Erik Radtke arranged a conference call so we could have a discussion. It was agreed by all 5 members, Jeff Lorsung, Tiana Wells, Erik Radtke, Bron Scherer and myself that based on our desire to provide a fair playing field to both candidates as well as the fact that the state exec committee agrees that campaign season begins caucus night, that Congressman Kline’s access to Data Center should be cut off as of caucus night and that no candidate would have access until one is endorsed or wins a primary.
I also called Tim Commers to ask if the Kline campaign would reconsider signing our list agreement. This was discussed and agreed upon during our conference call.
At the January state exec meeting I asked that reconsideration of the list use policy be placed on the agenda. Which it was. I informed the committee of our resolution and moved that Congressman Kline’s access be cut off on caucus night. This was discussed. A vote was taken on the motion and it failed. I then moved that David Gerson be given access to Data Center. This motion also failed.
Let me repeat the facts,
Chairman Downey gave me his word he would refer any candidate for congress wanting access to lists back to CD2.
Chairman Downey has presented the state committee with several policies that protect incumbents from challengers. Data Center use, State Fair booth policy as well as a discussion on punishing anyone who challenges an incumbent Republican. See Michael Brodkorb’s article on this one.
John Kline refuses to sign our list agreement. Why should he have access to caucus attendee data? Chairman Downey agreed that Kline would get such data via a back-door as all caucus attendee data would be entered into Data Center.
David Gerson signed our list agreement without hesitation.
The state exec committee agrees that campaign season begins on caucus night.
The state exec committee agrees that endorsement runs to caucus night.
It is the decision of CD2’s exec committee that Kline’s access to Data Center should end on caucus night.
CD2 payed the state party $1500.00 for voter ID to be entered into Data Center therefor we have a monetary stake in it.
Chairman Downey has said that Data Center belongs to the state party. It belongs to all of us. Every CD. Every BPOU.
This reeks of top-down rule rather than anything resembling a grassroots, bottom-up organization. I have received calls from all over asking how this could have happened.
Ever since January 16th, the evening of the state exec meeting, I have been debating on how to handle this. As you all know, I’ve always been transparent in everything I do concerning the operations of CD2. Therfore the only solution I can suggest is that all BPOU’s make copies of their data on caucus night and forward it to CD2. We will enter all data into the CD2 data base and retain it as a bargaining chip with the state party.
I am suggesting that all BPOU’s in CD2 refrain from giving the state party any data on caucus night. I cannot tell any BPOU to do this as I respect each and every BPOU to make decisions as they see fit. I only suggest this as the only option I can come up with. We do this, or we do nothing. It’s your decision to make.
During the month of January I’ve spent many hours entering data into a CD2 data base which now has over 400,000 voters from 291 precincts within CD2. It’s been tons of work. We can make it even bigger with your help. I can assure you that this data is ours and will be used for any and all races within CD2.
Please feel free to comment or make suggestions.