On Wednesday, Jan. 18, I’ll interview each of the DFL candidates for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm. At 1 p.m. I meet with Rick Nolan. At 2, Jeff Anderson. At 3, Tarryl Clark.
You might recall the series of interviews I did with DFL gubernatorial candidates in 2010. This will be dramatically different. Those interviews were packaged as traditional print stories with some analysis tagged on the end. I considered doing the same this year but had this thought:
The Minnesota blogsophere is among the nation’s best. Plenty of political analysts turn over every move by our state’s leaders, from the left, right and in between. The problem, especially here in the north, is that few media organizations are producing the sort of original content that gives the pundits things to talk about.
Am I still a pundit? Yes, I suppose so. Will I “analyze” this race at some point? Sure. But MN-8 DFLers are going to precinct caucuses on Feb. 7 and many of them have only vague notions of the candidates running. Local media seems to be a step behind and lack resources to devote political reporters to the race. So I’m hoping these interviews give such caucus attendees and future primary voters some objective information to work with to make up their own minds.
These interviews will be presented by KAXE-Northern Community Radio. Excerpts from the interviews will be packaged into audio segments that air on that station’s morning show next week. The complete interviews will be produced into video segments that air on local cable access and here on the blog, also next week. I’m working with local videographer Richie Johnson, who will put a professional sheen on my normal antics.
And yes, I will also be interviewing the man these candidates seek to unseat, incumbent U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN8) sometime after the precinct caucuses. He’ll have a chance to respond to the comments of the DFLers and address the issues. This interview will be produced and distributed in a similar manner, again most likely from the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm.
Please consider submitting questions for the DFLers or Cravaack. You can leave a comment below, e-mail me, or comment on Twitter or Facebook. I’m looking for open questions that do not lead into your particular opinion. I’ll accept questions for specific candidates, but I’m most interested in the issues you think would most influence your vote in the upcoming election. I’ll use the best or most relevant questions in the interview, ones relating to federal policies or northern Minnesota issues. It is my goal to conduct friendly, focused, fair interviews for all of the candidates.