Letter to the editor: Many candidates no shows at meeting
To the editor:
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! We will be electing a new governor next November. How
will you decide who to vote for? Does your favored candidate even know what
you want in a new governor?
By golly, a few candidates do! They heard loud and clear what rural
Minnesotans want during a big, spectacular, non-partisan meeting at Willmar
High School last Sunday afternoon on April 29.
Trouble is, of the eight candidates from various parties invited, only three,
(ONLY three!) showed up. These were DFLers Rebecca Otto, Tim Walz, and Erin
Murphy. There was not one Republican candidate on stage, even though they
had received formal invitations and personal, follow-up phone calls.
What's going on here? Do these Republican candidates think they don't
need to listen to rural voters? Are they so beholden to Twin Cities-based
corporate interests that they don't care about rural Minnesota?
What made this town hall meeting spectacular, so unusual, was that the three
candidates present did not make speeches. They did not talk "at" the
audience. They listened. For nearly two hours. The meeting format had nine
citizen-panelists addressing the candidates, laying out their heart-felt
issues. And then each candidate was challenged to state briefly, and
publicly, how she or he would resolve the issue, if elected.
A big thanks to the three organizations that organized this event: ISAIAH (a
faith-based organization), CURE (dedicated to water protection) and the Land
Stewardship Project (dedicated to preserving and enhancing our farm lands.)