I don’t live in SD33, but I like going there. Living in Saint Paul – a one-party city where the miasma of stagnation and failure has been welling up from every storm-sewer grate since Randy Kelly left office – it’s always kind of fun to go to a place where you can smell prudence, frugality and just-plain success in the air.
Last spring it was my pleasure to drive out to Wayzata to give a nominating speech for Dave Osmek, conservative Mound city council budget hawk and long-time friend of the Northern Alliance. I don’t live in 33, naturally, but support is support.
And it’s good to see I’m not alone: Rep. Erik Paulsen is apparently sure-footed enough in the districts newer, redder nature that he came out and endorsed Osmek.
It’s likely little surprise that Osmek’s primary opponent, Connie Doepke, has been endorsed by fellow Jamestown ND native but so-moderate-he-could-be-mistaken-for-a-sensible-Democrat former representative Jim Ramstad, as well as long-time Carlsonite GOPer Barb Sykora.
A little less intuitively, perhaps? One of Osmek’s old opponents on the Mound City Council, Peter Meyer, is sounding off:
Many of you might be surprised by this letter. After battling with Dave Osmek for over three years on the Mound City Council, I’m probably the last person you might think would endorse him for state senate. But I’m here to tell you, Dave is exactly the kind of senator we need in Saint Paul.
Our nation and our state need leaders. While Dave and I disagreed over many issues, I have come to respect the work and effort he has made to keep Mound on a solid, fiscally conservative track. He actually has tracked every dollar spent since 2000, in every department, and holds staff accountable each year. And Mound has one of the highest bond ratings, a reflection of the success that saves us money every year.
Mound is one of those cities that, with the help of years of difficult fiscal discipline, have managed to wean themselves off of “Local Government Aid”, and do it fairly gracefully.
Why Dave now? Because we need a state senator that will fight to protect our freedoms, our liberties and our wallets. Dave’s opponent has experience, but isn’t the kind of strong advocate we need to make Minnesota great.
Dave won the SD33 endorsement over Doepke, who is a current Representative from the district. I’ve had Doepke supporters in the area ask “What do you have against her?” The answer is “Nothing – and I wish she’d stuck with keeping her endorsement in the House, and waltzing to an easy victory”. I’m going with William F. Buckley philosophy – I support the most conservative candidate that can win.
And whatever Doepke’s merits as a conservative – and she has some merits as a conservative, and a few demerits, and we can debate the substance of each at another time – the fact is that Osmek has a more-solid conservative track record in the Mound City Council, and is running in an R+20 district that isn’t quite a mirror image of my own district in St. Paul (where the DFL could nominate Jerry Sandusky and win 60-40); Osmek’s more conserative, and he can and will win. And after this last session, the proof is right in front of you; the Senate needs more honest-to-pete conservatives to backstop the likes of Dave Thompson, Dave Hann and Roger Chamberlain.
So while I have never intended any specific disrespect to Connie Doepke, I am doing what Buckley would do; supporting that most conservative candidate who can bring home the seat in November.
Because when the gavel rings down on the next session, the more of them that are in that chamber, the better.