Walz to Mower DFL: stay active

Published 12:25 pm Monday, March 26, 2012

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz spoke with area Democrats before the Mower County DFL Convention started on Sunday afternoon at El Parral Ballroom. — Kevin Coss/kevin.coss@austindailyherald.com

County holds Democratic Convention Sunday

Speaking before area Democrats Sunday, Rep. Tim Walz had one message for those who had become cynical over politics: Stay active.

“If you don’t come here, it doesn’t change,” Walz said. “Come to more of these meetings. Get new people in office.”

The 2012 Mower County DFL Convention was held Sunday afternoon at El Parral Ballroom in Austin. Walz called on Democrats to stay active in canvassing and attending caucuses, highlighting economic woes as an incentive.

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“There are parents out there deciding whether to buy food, gasoline or take their child to the doctor,” he said. Situations like this will only change if people stay active in caucuses, he added.

Walz said his responsibility was to advocate for everybody in his district, not just those who vote for him. His strongest support toward going to Congress comes from the Austin area.

In addition to Walz, County Democrats welcomed guest speakers Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin, and Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin.

Poppe said the GOP’s extreme views have turned out Democrats all over the state. She commended canvassers for their contributions.

“We need to be out there working as hard as we can to get Democrats elected to the House and Senate,” she said. “I appreciate that you are here and willing to do that.”

Mower DFL Chair Dale Chidester said it was important not to scrutinize only the GOP. “We need to hold our own Democrats accountable, too.”

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., was at a DFL convention north of Austin, said Joseph Orren, a campaign intern for Klobuchar.

Economic recovery, unions and the voter ID law were among the convention’s leading topics. Mower DLF Co-chair Wanda Lunning said unions are important to prevent the poor working conditions found in countries like China.

“When you get the workers involved, the company does better too,” she said.

The Mower DFL party re-elected Dale Chidester to chair and Wanda Lunning to co-chair, and elected delegates to the state and congressional district conventions. Organizers said approximately 57 people attended.