Eighth District DFL Convention delegates voted overwhelmingly today to make former Minnesota Congressman Rick Nolan of Crosby their standard bearer in the fall race against Rep. Chip Cravaack.
Official convention vote totals were as follows: Rick Nolan 133 (76%), Jeff Anderson 17.5 (10%), Tarryl Clark 0 (0%), Undecided 3 (0.1%), and No Endorsement 21.5 (12%). Total Ballots 175.
Nolan, who entered the race last summer declaring that unsustainable wars, debt and unemployment have put America at a perilous tipping point, received the endorsement on the first ballot with 76 percent of the vote following a speech focusing on a renewed vision for Congress, reinvestment in America’s infrastructure and an end to the “right wing wars on workers, women, seniors, students, and the middle class.”
In prepared remarks to the convention, Nolan called for reform of the nation’s political system. “We need to change the way we do our politics, reversing Citizens United and Super PACs, ending corporate personhood and providing public funding for federal elections. Once and for all we need to put an end to the stranglehold big money and special interests have on our politics.”
In his convention speech, Nolan also called for:
“Stabilizing and protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; ending the wars of choice, reducing our military footprint in the world and withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan now; fair taxation that ends the Bush tax cuts and closes tax loop holes for the super rich; and establishing single payer, universal health care.”
Nolan said that those few things combined could “save trillions for deficit reduction and human development priorities.”
Attacking Congressman Chip Cravaack for advancing an environment of partisan gridlock and for his consistent support of the Paul Ryan budget that would privatize Medicare and slash funding for Pell Grants for students, Nolan said it is time to refocus the nation’s priorities:
“Now is the time to start showing real respect for our troops and veterans.
“Now is the time to start showing respect and appreciation for teachers and public employees who devote themselves to public service and improve our lives
“Now is the time to start showing respect and appreciation for organized labor and the working men and women of America. Support workers rights, collective bargaining, good wages and benefits.
“Now is the time to stand up for women’s rights and turn back the GOP assault on women. It is time to guarantee equal pay for an equal days work so our daughters and granddaughters have the same opportunity as our sons and grandsons.
“Now is the time to get serious about putting Minnesotans back to work. As my great friend Rudy Perpich used to say, it’s all about JOBS-JOBS-JOBS. We need to start creating good paying jobs and improve our lives by ending nation building abroad where we are not welcome and by rebuilding America’s own infrastructure where it is desperately needed;
“We need to reinvest in and support the job-generating industries that are the heart and soul of northeastern Minnesota – mining, timber, tourism and trade.
“We need to start creating good paying jobs by rebuilding the middle class and in so doing, create demand and markets that stimulate American business’ to grow and invest;
“Perhaps most importantly, now is the time to change the way we do our politics – reversing Citizens United, ending corporate personhood and providing public funding for Federal elections. Once and for all we need to put an end to the stranglehold big money and special interests have on our political system.
Citing the urgency of the 2012 election for the future, Nolan added:
“Yes, NOW! is the time to protect and strengthen the accomplishments of the past and to move forward with a bold and exciting new vision for the future – the next important phase of expanding the American dream. A future where:
“Every child, every person is assured an education that provides all the tools and resources required to realize their full potential;
“Where every American has the kind of wages, health care benefits and resources needed to live in modest comfort and dignity;
“Where America’s footprint in the world is not measured solely by our military might, but by providing food aid and developmental assistance for starving children. And by sending educational and economic development assistance to desperate people around the globe;
“A future where fundamental fairness & cooperation are the guiding principles in all public policies.