1. On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most
agreement, what is your view on whether Minnesota is losing its
reputation as a state that demonstrates the best in representative
2. On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most
agreement, what is your view on whether the Civic Caucus process of
enabling citizen involvement electronically without requiring
face-to-face meetings should be further encouraged?
3. On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most
agreement, what is your view on whether the Civic Caucus approach
should be absorbed into a much expanded communications strategy that
includes vastly more issues and participants?
Frenzel (8) (10) (5)
Question 1: MN is
pretty much like other states now - politically polarized with a
Question 3: Easy
to dream; hard to accomplish with current resources.
Bartholomew (3) (7) (6)
Lichty (10) (6) (5)
Anton (10) (8) (6)
White (9) (9) (4)
Question 1: The loss is puzzling. MN has a notably articulate
governor, though in my view his obduracy has done the state a
disservice. Speaker Kelliher strikes me as one of the best in a long
time -- crisp, informed, engaging, shrewd, non-dogmatic. Perhaps the
old-style combativeness of the Senate majority leader contributes to
the stasis, but I don't know Pogemiller well enough to make that
Question 3: The caucus has done such good service, while reasonably
expanding its audience, that I would be wary of taking on "vastly more
issues and participants."
Donald H. Anderson (10) (10) (10)
Based on the
extreme statements, primarily by the right, the average person gets
turned off on government in general and would rather watch and listen
to some other activity and wish that government would go away. They
don't realize they are the government controllers.
Press (7) (10) (10)
Miller (8) (8) (9)
Hively (4) (10) (3)
is that people from other states perceive the visible conflict between
our governor and the legislature and the court battle over the votes
for Senator as reflective of energetic representative democracy --
although not efficient nor effective governance.
Question 2: As
described in the summary, the key elements include: 1) dissemination
via e-mail of well-written summaries of group interviews by informed
citizens of decision makers and opinion leaders on key topics; and
2) the process for readers to respond quickly via e-mail to a few
well-written questions. What needs to be addressed is the "Then
what?" issue.... On a few key issues, the Civic Caucus has integrated
information from interviewees with opinions from readers to create a
report with recommendations. How can this material be disseminated to
maximize follow through on the recommendations?
Question 3: I
don't think that the approach should be expanded or replicated until
the "Then what?" question is answered. Once the process is honed, my
preference would probably be to replicate use of the process in other
locales rather than to "include vastly more issues."
Charles Lutz(8) (9) (5)
Hamm (7) (5) (5)
Question 1. Yes,
but not because of partisan bickering, rather due to our continued
slide toward a central planning model and away from local decision
making and control.
Question 2. While
it does appear to involve more people in reality what it does is
create a second class tier of involvement. Those of us in that second
class tier are really not involved in the decision making process but
merely responding to the leading way in which many of these questions
are put to us. While I agree with the concept of increased
involvement, I am not sure by any reasonable assessment that it is
clear whether it has made you a more representative body or still a
metro dominated think tank trying to justify its conclusions. In my
eyes you still fail to reach a level of credibility that would make me
give you any more than passing consideration as a legislator or
Governor. It is very common for groups of over educated individuals to
form groups such as yours to give added credence to their public power
and importance with varying success.
Question 3. For
what purpose? How would you suggest such an effort be used or misused?
Are you a public education group or a public activist group or
something else entirely? Is your goal to look good by bringing up more
issues or is it to educate and represent the public you seem to claim
to serve by pushing for solutions? Do you seek to serve the public, or
a much narrower band of special interests and how does the public
perceive you on this issue? There are a lot of questions here I sadly
see you as an organization dodging. Having been a second class member
for a year plus now, I keep hoping for some wider growth across all
spectrums and some stronger inclusion and recognition of rural issues
and concerns. The majority of such think tanks are biased one way or
the other most intentionally, the civic caucus is no different,
recognizing and correcting those biases will go a long way to
increasing relevance, credibility, and clarity on a state wide level.
Just what is it you want to be when you grow up?
Bishop (7) (10) (10)
Dorfman (5) (7) (5)
Question 1: We
are just becoming more like everyone else. That should be appealing to
Question 2: I
continue to strongly agree with Bob Dylan’s The times they are
a’changin sentiment that older people tend to hold on to power too
long rather than turning the reins of power over to younger people
earlier. Given the increased velocity of political, economic, and
social change, we must allow those with the largest stake to make the
decisions that will affect their lives for the longest period of time.
While there is a place for us old duffers (as advisors), life is not
a labor union, where seniority equals power. Politics would be
significantly revitalized if “mothers and fathers throughout the land”
would get out of the way to problems they no longer understand.
Deborah Anderson (8) (5) (8)
(5) (9) (5)
tend to favor doing a few things very well. I would like to spend some
time with you after July 1 to see if I can be more involved.
Sue St. Germain (8) (5) (6)
Peter Hennessey (10) (0) (0)
Question 2: In
the spirit of reviving the economy by all constitutional means we can
imagine, you must insist people be present in person to participate in
your meetings. (Oops, you did do that; what are "internal" meetings?
who is qualified to be part of the politburo?)
Question 3: I
propose a semiannual or quarterly week-long convention of the DFL
rotated throughout MN at any venue capable of handling the crowds. The
advantages are innumerable -- serious benefit to the local economy,
fairly spread around the State; entertaining demonstration of how much
the conventioneers care for the little people; collaboration only
between people who are appropriately motivated and interested in a
topic; limitation to topics that are of interest wide-spread enough to
attract participants; etc.
L. Weaver (10) (7) (7)
Political endorsing conventions have evolved so they kill
representative democracy more than anything else in politics. Also,
herds of citizens wearing t-shirts, crowding the capital, during
session is not conducive to congenial disputation.
Question 2: There
is no substitute for face to face meetings but citizens need to engage
electronically if they are going to learn and express themselves these
Question 3: Be
cautious about diluting your work with too many issues but you could
do more with the private sector issues.
Broden (10) (10) (6)
We in Mn
seem to struggling to move ahead and spend a lot of time looking for
status quo solutions even with some new innovation on the table--the
education legislation is an exception. We seem to be going elsewhere
to copy others rather than others coming here to observe our
leadership. Even in business we seek support outside the state rather
than using our own resources effectively. Too often we are apologetic
vs. seeking to get the leadership into the forefront. Part of this is
clearly that we have shifted solution central from industry/business
and citizens to the government or we have softened the partnership
that was so present for years. We also have become much more metro
focused rather than a state focused approach --this may be part of the
problem. We are concerned about some simple fixes to how the process
should work rather than getting more depth into the process at all
levels. Bottom line is Mn continues to be among the best states but
not at the level we were in the prior years.
Question 2: The
media and communication process for all people has shifted and will
continue to evolve. The Civic Caucus approach offers a very content
rich and relevant approach to civic activity. Expanding the approach
to a broader group--reaching statewide--and adding some way to use the
Civic Caucus approach to enable face to face meetings or a video
approach should be a priority.
Question 3: I will
address this as two levels. First the level and focus of the group as
currently operating is very effective and to try to expand to a
massive size would result in dilution of the focus and effect. The
core group focus should remain. I would add a second level that would
take what the core does and reach out to a much larger group. A two
level approach maintains the same focus but begins to communicate the
needs and actions etc.
Fraser (10) (10) (_)
Sanner (7) (10) (0)
Clarence Shallbetter (6) (7) (3)
The challenge is
not simply in Minnesota. It appears in most other states and in the
It's difficult to
imagine what larger communications strategy will develop in this era
of fragmented public affairs communications. We're having a difficult
time trying to imagine what will effectively replace the role of
informed journalists looking for stories , especially at the state,
regional and local levels that help inform part of the citizenry when
they go to vote.
Schwarzkopf (10) (10) (7)
Ayotte (5) (10) (7)
Clements (7) (10) (0 or 10)
However, the points of despair and the points of triumph ebb and flow
over time. This, too, shall pass.
However, it occurs to me that there is some truth in the old adage
that the world is run by those who show up, and you don’t have to show
up to participate electronically. It gives folks opportunity to digest
wonderful information, and shoot back some thoughts, even as I’m doing
now, but it doesn’t require any specific further action.
The wording here is problematic for me because I wouldn’t want to see
the Civic Caucus “absorbed” into any other group or entity, so 0.
However, I do think that growing the number of participants is
important, if we value an educated and thoughtful larger citizenry.
The number of issues should be contained, as it has been, to identify
and focus one by one on those things most currently in front of us as
Mansky (10) (10) (10)
Carolyn Ring (7) (10) (5)
Question 1: That
may be temporary as we and everyone else struggle through these
economic times. Right now the only thing most people around the
country know about MN is we still do not have a Senator.
Question 2: As a
participant I really think it is great.
Depends on the plan.
Scott Halstead (10) (10) (7)
Dennis Johnson (5) (5) (5)
Question 1: It
seems that in order to answer that question, there must be some
consensus on just what constitutes a "State that demonstrates the best
in representative democracy". For example, you have the ultimate
"nanny state" such as California that is first in everything from
saving the planet to welfare for illegal immigrants, high taxes, gay
rights, heavy regulation, big social programs, etc. etc. Of course,
they are massively in debt and only a big Federal bailout can save
them from bankruptcy. On the other hand you have a state such as
Texas, which values freedom, low taxes, minimal regulation,
opportunity, independence, and jobs. California is shrinking, Texas
has produced more jobs in the last few years than all other states
combined. Every "nanny state" has massive debts, unemployment,
corruption, losses of industry, etc. Opportunity states (few in
number) have the opposite. Which is the better example of the best in
representative democracy? Minnesota is leaning heavily toward being a
"nanny state" but is still in a position to alter course. Isn't the
best example of the best in representative democracy that which
creates the highest incomes and standards of living for its citizens?
The private sector does an infinitely better job of this if left
unfettered to grow and succeed.
Detert (10) (8) (7)
Jennings (6) (7) (6)
Eklund (6) (10) (5)
Rep. Andrew Falk (7) (6) (5)
Robert J. Brown (10) (9) (8)
The election of
Jesse Ventura “shocked the nation”, but not in the way he meant.
Friends of mine in D.C. made comments to the effect that they would
expect something like that in Mississippi or Louisiana, but not in
Minnesota. The current disputed senate election makes people think we
are like Florida in our inability to conduct an election. The extreme
divisions between the major parties raises serious questions about our
ability to govern ourselves, much less be in leader in resolving
public policy issues.
I think this
should be encouraged, but I would hope this is not seen as a
replacement for face-to-face meetings. We do need some personal
meetings to build constructive relationships which are so lacking in
the Minnesota policy area today.
I think you are
serving a very useful purpose. While it might be good to coordinate
with other efforts, I would hate to see what you are doing being be
subverted by becoming a part of someone else’s grand design.
Senn (5) (10) (10)
Question 1: I have no evidence of this.
Question 2 and 3: I don't know about issues, but the concept of using
new social media to broaden engaging policy discussions is wonderful -
and should be explored further.
Shirley Heaton (0) (10) (0)
A lot of
information to digest this time, so- o -o with my current hectic
schedule I'll concentrate only on one suggestion in part 7: Remaining
Agenda Items: namely inviting a foundation to finance and write a
manual on the Civic Caucus' process. I strongly urge this be explored
by a certified grant writer to determine the feasibility of this
proposal. About 35 years ago after the Goldwater/Johnson election a
couple of my friends, concerned that the country was headed towards a
one-party system, was able to successfully tap the 20th Century
Fund to bankroll a study which resulted in the publishing of the book
Parties, by Alfred
Knopf in 1972 (and which, by the way I am re-reading since I sense we
are treading the same waters socially and economically which we did
back then and I'm curious to reconsider what they discovered during
Note I cited the
grant writer be certified since foundations tend to prefer dealing
with those who have the credentials to know the ins and outs of 'the
game' of applying for funds. (Yes, I'm certified by the Rollins
College Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Center, here, in
Florida but No, I am not available for the task. Sorry about that cuz
the prospect presents a real challenge.)
forward to viewing the final strategic plan
Stone (8) (10) (5)
Question 1: Were
it not for California providing protective cover, Minnesota could well
be known as the loose canon of the north (løsn kanon av nord). Ya,
sure, you betcha.
The Metro area seems to be the source of a lot of fanciful ideas about
governance. It is instructive that states without metro areas, e.g.,
South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming seem to have straightforward
government. Makes you wonder.
Question 3: The dispositive question is whether the Civic Caucus work
product is scalable. The product may be like bratwurst; wonderful in
the two-ounce size, but a bit much in the 100-pound size. Everything,
from Cheerios to shovels, has an ideal size. The present scale of
Civic Caucus gives me what feels like a personal and meaningful
Currently, we seem
to propagate more actionable excellent ideas than could be implemented
in a lifetime--- on every issue. The supply side is solid. There is
always a need for growth on the demand side. To help us wade through
this issue, we might ask ourselves whether a Vikings game might be
improved with twice as many players on the field. The affect of twice
the number of fans is more clearly desirable.
Dornblaser (10) (10) (5)
Neutral response because I do not know what the idea means and the
effect on the current CC functioning.
Brazelton (6) (9) (6)
The League of Women
Voters does a great deal of research on various issues, but is losing
membership as many younger women have less time for their traditional
process of unit meetings to learn and discuss issues. Perhaps there
is room for a partnership of your email meeting methods with their in
Question 1: This is in flux. We have been the butt of jokes, (during
the Ventura administration) and based on public comments by people
like Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, but there are many leaders in
our state who are well respected on a
Question 2: This
process is effective for getting more people involved. My only hope
is that background information and non partisan research can be
included or attached to the summaries so that opinions are based on
more than the summaries of the interviews.
Question 3: Perhaps not absorbed, but partnerships are helpful, and my
response to question number 2 bears repeating here.
(8) (10) (7)