Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Sticking with Doran

Posted by Craig Westover | 10:16 AM |  

The candidate I’d like to see win the DFL gubinatorial nomination, Kelly Doran, didn’t fare too well in the DFL caucuses yesterday, polling only 6 percent compared to 23 and 22 percent for Sen. Becky Lourey and Sen. Steve Kelley respectively and 38 percent for A.G. Mike Hatch. But don’t count the boy out just yet.

The reason I like Doran is that he’s the only Democrat candidate that can force Republicans back to their core principles. A campaign against Hatch or Kelley will be little more than a food fight of negative advertising. Becky Lourey is so far to the left that the temptation for Republicans will be to move to the left to capture some of the voters Lourey leaves behind. Doran sits right of all these candidates, thus forcing Republicans to his right, where they belong.

Consider -- Doran has the backing of Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, who not only happens to be on the right side of the eminent domain issue, co-sponsoring reform legislation with Rep. Jeff Johnson, R-Plymouth, he was also one of only six “no” votes in the Senate on the HSS spending bill that included the 75-cent “health impact fee” and doubled the taxes on tobacco products.

Doran, Bakk believes, is the electable DFL candidate. “I want to win in November and that really determines my decision,” Bakk told the “Ely Echo.” Doran is a ‘new face,’ has the money to wage an effective fight and may be able to lure business support.

Note the strategy. Doran is going after a non-traditional DFL constituency (Republicans take note on how to use the school choice issue.) Business people were probably not a big factor in the Astroturf DFL caucuses.

“I think one of the reasons Democrats don’t do well in statewide elections is that Democrats haven’t had a very good message to the business community,” said Bakk. “I would argue that businesses along Sheridan Street have a lot in common with Democrats. We just haven’t given them much reason to belong. I think a candidate that can identify with and understand the needs of the business community brings a lot of additional votes in November.”

Consider -- Just what did the GOP do for small bussiness last session? I repeat -- the GOP better watch out for this guy.