My city is hosting the Republican National Convention September 1-4. I am so excited about this. St. Paul really needs the convention. Downtown St. Paul is pretty much a ghost town at night. Unless you are going to the Ordway or a hockey game there isn’t much to do here. An ordinance was recently pass that allows bars to stay open until 4am for the week of the convention. Normally they close at 2am which is a fairly new thing as well. We can’t purchase liquor on Sundays and we can’t buy it in grocery stores. We were one of the first places that started the whole no smoking campaign years ago. Downtown is nothing but office buildings. Restaurants open and close quickly. It’s a beautiful city located on the riverfront but the river is hardly utilized. There are all sorts of plans put forth but sadly no one can agree on any of them and nothing ever happens. While the convention is in town we will have an infusion of people and media. The local government is doing wonderful things to spruce up the place but I suspect it will be short lived. Finding a parking spot in downtown St. Paul is never a problem. It will be nice to see not only traffic but foot traffic as well.
I just signed up to hopefully be invited to blog about the whole thing. As you know I am not particularly political though I have strong beliefs I don’t usually write about them. I was raised a republican in a very democratic state. Minnesota is not just Democrat we are the DFL or Democratic Farmer/Labor. Labor unions are very strong here and we still have a fair amount of farms though most of those are corporate run and there are fewer and fewer family farms. I do not vote down party lines, we don’t have to here but I tend to vote more conservatively. I do vote.
I was the campaign manager for a city council candidate last summer and fall. I campaigned for Bill Hosko who ran as an independent. The republican party tried to get behind him but he refused any endorsements and frankly wasn’t much of a candidate but the voters here wanted anyone but the incumbent to win yet again. Hosko won the primary and fired me the next morning. He lost the general election. He fired me because I took off Labor Day with advance notice and left a typo on his website. In addition to running his campaign and managing his gallery I was also in charge of his campaign website and his gallery website. I did indeed miss a typo. He refused to pay me and I had to have an attorney get involved. It was a messy affair. At the time I had fantasies about going public, I could have certainly caused a stir if I had gone to the press and mentioned that he had refused to pay me. We eventually settled but it cost me a great deal and left a bad taste in my mouth. While I did indeed make the typo and let it get onto the page that is not why I was fired. In his campaigning he met a man who wanted to help on the campaign, Hosko threw me under the bus to make room for the man who he liked very much. I did not go to the press because I didn’t want to be the reason that he was not elected. I struggled with this because the voters have a right to know if the person they are voting for is honorable but I didn’t go public because I figured he would sink his own ship. Which he did. he refused to disclose his campaign finances until right before the general election. This tardiness caused him not only fines but the trust of the people. He would also not disclose where he lived. I posted a comment on a blog discussing the two candidates the Sunday night before the election. Eventually telling my story in the comment section. Even if the press picked up on the blog it was too late to run it in the papers. The opponent’s people picked up on the blog and invited me to their victory party. I of course promised myself in the beginning that I would be celebrating a victory and I cautiously went to the party. Dave Thune, the incumbent and winner of the race was incredibly gracious to me. As was everyone who worked on his campaign.
If you have seen any of my other blogs you might wonder how it is that I identify more with the Republicans than the Democrats. My Kids of Queers blog hardly sounds Republican. A lot of my beliefs are liberal. I’m still working it all out and a lot of things need to change. I believe that the government should be small and stay out of most of our affairs. Both parties have strayed from their original core values becoming a caricature of themselves.
I had a taste of politics last summer and found I really enjoy it. Keep your fingers crossed that they let me attend.