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The Highs and Lows of Campaigning
Published On: 12th September 2012 | Published By: Kevin Dahle For Senate

Door knocking is an integral part of any campaign season.  Candidates head out after their regular jobs during the week and on weekends to the towns and cities that make up their legislative district.  I prefer door knocking to phone calling, enjoying the chance to introduce myself, shake a few hands, and state my case for election in November.

People ask me if I run into any constituents who are “less than friendly?”  I’ve certainly experienced a few people who were less than excited to see me at the door with a clipboard and a handful of campaign literature.  I certainly am guilty of interrupting a family’s supper, Gopher football game, tomato canning, or even Junior’s bath time. However, most people are very friendly.  Most people appreciate the fact that I am interested in their vote and that I show up on their door step.  On a few extremely hot days, several have graciously offered me a glass of water.

A few weeks ago in one of the nearby towns in Senate District 20, I knocked on a door and a middle aged man greeted me with, “Republican or Democrat?”  When I kindly responded, “Yes!” he inquired further, “Which one?”  When I said I was endorsed by the DFL party, he said no thanks and closed the door.   At the next house, a gentleman was outside watering some plants.  Before I could say hello, he told me to get the hell off his yard.  He didn’t have time for “any politicians.”  I said, “You seem a little frustrated,” looking for an opening for some civil discourse.  Looking me over apprehensively, he decided to share his concerns.  We talked for the next 15 minutes and at the end of our conversation he asked for a piece of my literature.  He said he would look it over. We shook hands and I proceeded down the street to the next house.

The next day, I received an email from the man who told me to “get off his yard.”  He thanked me for letting him “blow off some steam.”  He commented that anyone willing to take an earful from an angry constituent couldn’t be half bad.  After looking at my literature and my website, he was satisfied that I had the best interests of constituents in mind.  He said he would probably vote for me November 6.

Of course, I would rather receive a pleasant smile at the door than an angry “earful” but this particular meeting turned out to be one of my most rewarding door knocking encounters of this long campaign season.

Running a Positive Campaign
Published On: 28th August 2012 | Published By: Kevin Dahle For Senate

What if political campaigns were driven by the important issues of the day?  What if the public held accountable those candidates who ran a negative campaign? What if voters could weigh the pros and cons of a candidate based on information that was truthful and verifiable? What if…?

With two months remaining from a long political season, campaigns by local candidates will be much more visible.  Candidates have been working for months door knocking and phone calling, courting potential voters in hopes of securing elected office on November 6.  Unfortunately, it’s this time of year also when the worst aspect of campaigning will begin to rear its ugly head: negative campaigning.  Often times, these tactics are beyond the control of the candidate’s campaign plan.  Interest groups, constituents, political parties, and political action committees will unleash their own brand of politics with absolutely no input from the candidates themselves.  Within the past two weeks alone – in two different newspapers – I have been accused of creating Minnesota’s six billion dollar deficit, ignoring constituents west of I-35, for my reelection, I relied exclusively on “liberal Northfield,” college students and unions outside our district, doing nothing for public school funding, and worst of all, that I, as a teacher, fought against the interests of students in the legislature.  These attacks did not come from my opponent but by someone I never met and one who knows absolutely nothing about my campaign and little of my congressional record.

I was visiting with a woman from my church last week.  She told me she had been subjected to a push poll over the phone.  “Will you be supporting Kevin Dahle for the Minnesota Senate in the upcoming election?”  When she answered yes, the unidentified caller asked, “Will you be supporting Kevin Dahle even though he… (insert lies, half-truths, positions out of context, etc. here)?    A push poll, by definition, is not a poll at all.  It is a telemarketing technique to influence or alter the view of respondents based on propaganda, innuendo, and/or rumors.  In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data.  Other constituents have contacted me with tales of phone calls that denigrate my campaign rather than tout their own endorsed candidate.  Fortunately, it did not change their mind.  But what of those who are seeking information on candidates and are influenced by such base tactics?  Is this really the best way to treat our electorate?  Do we really deem an informed citizenry as a threat to the political process?

I am determined to continue to run a positive campaign.  My volunteers will talk only about the Dahle campaign and the assets that I can bring to the legislature.  We have not and will not talk about my opponent in a negative way.  We actually prefer not to talk about my opponent at all.  I pursue this ideal because I believe this is the type of campaign people across Minnesota would like to see.  The negative ads and the negative campaigning we see at the Federal level leave them frustrated.  There are some groups who have the legal right to support me in a manner that I do not believe is constructive.  I do not become aware of such methods until the “horse has already left the barn.”  However, I assure you that any attack on my opponent will not come from nor ever be sanctioned by me.  When in doubt, I encourage any person from any party to contact me with the opportunity to set the record straight.

Because of negative campaigning, many voters have told me they may not even vote this year.  This sense of futility undermines our democratic process.  I tell them they cannot give up on their right to vote.  Voting has been and will be the supreme act that buoys the citizen above the negative flotsam and jetsam of an ill-conceived campaign.  Even if you vote for my opponent, I want you to vote.  It’s too important a decision to be left to the few.  Of that I am positive!

DFL Office Open House/fundraiser
Published On: 30th July 2012 | Published By: Kevin Dahle For Senate

Join us on Tuesday August 7, 2012 at the new DFL Office in downtown Northfield for a chance to see our new digs. This event will also be fundraiser for Senate candidate Kevin Dahle. The new office is located at 504 Division Street S. join us between 7 and 9 pm!

Remembering Andy Griffith
Published On: 4th July 2012 | Published By: Kevin Dahle For Senate

Andy G 150x150 Remembering Andy GriffithToday Andy Griffith died.  He was 86 years old. To many, he was the television icon best known for his starring role in the 1960’s classic, The Andy Griffith Show, which first aired in 1960, the year I was born.  The Andy Griffith Show captured a feeling of a time when people left their doors unlocked and walked down the street with a hello to everybody.  The Andy Griffith Show, with its warm setting, familiar characters, small town values, and timelessness has worked its way into American culture like no other show in history.

People know me as a huge fan of the show and a true Mayberry junkie.  Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of books, memorabilia, DVDs, Mayberry trading cards and cookbooks, autographs, TV scripts, Andy and Barney bobble heads, and of course the Mayberry Christmas village.  I even have a Mayberry Union High letter jacket.  But I’ve got more than a few collectibles.  I’ve got an appreciation for the values that defined my second hometown, Mayberry, North Carolina.  The striving, the pressure, the disenchantment that marks the search for today’s American dream was nowhere to be found in Mayberry.  Of course, there were goals to be met and dreams to fulfill, but their achievement was accomplished with integrity, dignity, and above all, fairness and respect.  From our weekly visits to this small town we learned tolerance for Otis Campbell’s weakness and we learned compassion from Opie’s misused slingshot.  The Goobers among us learned that we may still be smarter than anyone when it comes to fixin’ cars.  Aunt Bea taught us kindness and patience while Floyd the Barber instilled a humorous curiosity.  Barney Fife, taking himself so seriously, was a mirror reflection of most of us.  And Sheriff Andy Taylor always understood.

Over the past several years I have conducted a series of “life lessons from Mayberry” during our adult forums at the Northfield United Methodist Church.  We watch a few clips from an episode or two and talk about the values and lessons that draw us to the reruns we still find with a turn of the television dial.  I still watch the Andy Griffith Show every chance I get.  Tonight… I will sit down with my two daughters and my 7 year old son, Griffith….pop in episode number 77, “Man in a Hurry” or another classic from the show and share with my son how his mom and I came up with a name like Griffith.

We will miss you Andy.

Parades this Saturday!
Published On: 14th June 2012 | Published By: Kevin Dahle For Senate

dahles dolls in purple shirts 150x150 Parades this Saturday!On June 16.  See the calendar for details regarding Parades in Cleveland, MN at 11am and Faribault, MN at 6:30pm.  We will have a Dahle for Senate T-shirt waiting for you.

Vote Kevin Dahle 2012