Jerry McCarter is challenging State Sen. John Pederson in SD-14. A substantial part of McCarter’s message is anchored in the state government shutdown. In fact, he’s told SC Times political reporter Mark Sommerhauser that it’s a major reason why he ran:
McCarter, who’s running against Sen. John Pederson, R-St. Cloud, says the shutdown was part of what spurred him to run for Senate.
Based on what I’ve seen of him in interviews and debates, McCarter appears to have ingested the entire ABM/DFL talking points playbook. Here’s an example:
“Like a lot of people, I found [it] unnecessary, politically motivated, and I think it damaged the state’s image long-term,” he said.
I wrote here that Gov. Dayton shut state government down. Included in the post is the link to the negotiation documentation showing Gov. Dayton and the GOP legislature had agreed to sign an agreement limiting the June 30 special session “to passing a ‘lights on’ extension of funding for all current operations and obligations of state government until 11:59 of July 11, 2011.”
The GOP legislature didn’t reject signing that agreement. Gov. Dayton did. Whatever DFL candidates say, the indisputable fact is that Gov. Dayton and the DFL rejected the GOP’s plan to keep the state government open.
Gov. Dayton’s arbitrary decision to shut state government down hangs on his head and on Rep. Thissen’s and Sen. Bakk’s heads.
On his campaign website, McCarter says that he’s experienced at bringing people together. FYI- That’s a standard feature on DFL candidate websites. That’s DFL happy talke, something that they’re attempting to exploit.
The problem with that in McCarter’s situation is that, as a conservative freshman GOP legislator, Sen. Pederson got Gov. Dayton, the most liberal DFL governor in Minnesota history, to sign 21 bills that Sen. Pederson authored.
For all of the DFL’s happy talk about bringing people together, the GOP have the history of accomplishments.
More important than bringing legislators together is the fact that GOP legislators have listened to their constituents and kept their promises.
The state government shutdown apparently isn’t resonating with people. It’s equally important to note that GOP legislators keeping their promises, creating jobs while balancing the budget without raising taxes is resonating with voters.
If Mr. McCarter sticks with this strategy, which is likely, he’ll have difficulty connecting with voters.