Archive for July 15, 2012
Here in Flyover Country, we’re used to being ignored by the élite media on the coasts. That could change, for a few weeks anyway. This November, Minnesota will join the list of states that have had votes on whether to enact a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Minnesota may become the first state to defeat such an amendment, and this may be partially due to the actions of the Minnesota Secretary of State, an unassuming politician in what is often considered — by the rest of the country — as a boring state.
I live in Minnesota. It’s a place of stunning contrasts. It may be the only state where you can regularly see people walking around in shorts and a parka. Minnesota has a long progressive history. It also has an active social conservative movement, including dedicated opponents of abortion in both major political parties. It’s a state where hunting is a favorite leisure activity, and so has strong opinions on both sides of gun control / gun rights issues. It’s a state with one of the nation’s most liberal U.S. Representatives [Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis), a co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus], whose district is literally adjacent to a district with one of the nation’s most conservative Representatives [Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater), founder of the House Tea Party Caucus].
So, in 2010, we elected conservative Republican Tea-Party types to majorities in both the state Senate and the state House, but a liberal Democrat — Mark Dayton — as Governor. We also elected a Democratic Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie. He’s gotten involved in the process related to the upcoming vote on an anti-same-sex-marriage amendment, and his actions could affect the success or failure of that amendment. (more…)