I rarely if ever endorse candidates, per se. I figure it’s not my job – who am I, after all? I inform; you decide.
But I live in Saint Paul. The Fourth Congressional District; Senate District 65; House 65A. I’m “represented” by Betty McCollum, Sandy Pappas and Rena Moran. And while I do my best to get involved in politics in my own neighborhood, let’s be honest; I probably have a greater impact elsewhere.
Of course, Andy Aplikowski is a longtime friend of this blog. And of mine, for that matter. One of the co-founders of True North, one of the smartest political numbers guys I know, half of one of the genuinely nicest couples I know. Andy’s running to replace Brandon Petersen in the Senate. And I hope he wins.
Andy’s got the endorsement of the SD35 party apparatus. But he’s gotta get through a primary against long-time former rep. Jim Abeler.
Now, I’ve interviewed Abeler a few times. He’s a great guy; there are those who choose to demonize those they disagree with, and neither Abeler nor I are them. And in his interviews, Abeler makes a solid case for some of the votes he’s taken. Not solid enough to convince me, but nothing to brush aside, either.
But one vote that concerned me, as someone who’s gone around and around with the public school system, is a vote he took that ended up denying vouchers to students in Minneapolis and Saint Paul schools. Did Abeler have his reasons? I’m sure he did – but they pale against the opportunity that arises when you allow the free market, personified by giving the parents the fiscal clout to say “no” to the district system, to have its effect.
So while I’m not sure what Abeler’s policy reasons are, I know that the vote did earn him some powerful friends. No, I mean some very powerful friends, friends with deep pockets and heavy-duty outsized clout in Minnesota politics.
Anyway – if you’re in SD35, or have friends there, by all means let ’em know where the School Choice vote goes.