Kind of a big deal: Steelworkers endorse Dayton

I’ve been staying out of the tit-for-tat political posting as much as possible, trying to focus on the real world. That’s my new thing, see. But there’s no ignoring the implications of today’s United States Steelworkers union endorsement of Mark Dayton in the Minnesota DFL gubernatorial primary over DFL endorsed candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

Two words: Iron Range.

As much as the Iron Range delegates, including several steelworkers, delivered for Margaret at the DFL convention last month the Iron Range primary voters (joining others around the state) are now going to be divided, no matter what. The Iron Range people do not reflexively vote with the Steelworkers, who organize in the region’s largest industry (iron mining), in elections, but the Range political structure is closely integrated with the steelworkers and if their people are knocking doors and putting up signs for Dayton, Margaret needs other hands working for her.

No, this does not secure victory for Dayton, ensure defeat for Kelliher or do anything to the other major candidate, former DFL House Leader Matt Entenza. But it takes a scenario that I recently believed favored Kelliher and makes it a long, tough slog. No matter what. I’m saying this past tense. It was a slog. We just don’t know who won yet.

PS: Just so you know, this Steelworkers endorsement seems to be related to genuine affection for Dayton, something related to his work years ago behind the scenes on some labor deals, not negatives on Margaret. It probably would have happened if the endorsee was Rybak, Thissen or anyone other than Tom Rukavina.

PPS: This post does not constitute an endorsement on my part; it’s merely an observation.


  1. It is no small deal in the Cities that AFSCME is backing Dayton also. He has real experience in public service postions like teaching and social work, and it may be harder than we are hoping for a DFL consensus to get MAK elected. Just a tidbit. Just a worry…just a schizophrenic “divided we fall” concern.

  2. Anonymous says


    Not to worry, as long as either one ties themselves closely to ObamaCare, increasing taxes, increasing the debt, bailing out poorly run companies, offering tax rebates on cars, appliances, caulk, etc. and taking a stand against enforcing immigration laws…they’ll do just fine. It’s what the people want.

  3. Yahtzee! Nice work.

    Taxes are down, brother. Lowest they’ve been since the ’50s. Except property taxes. Those are awful. As for the rest, I’d take even money you eat half of those words within five years. I could be wrong, but like I said, I’m betting you’re wrong. Just my opinion. Enjoy 2010 while you can. 🙂

  4. Holy troll attack, Batman! Why do Mr. and Mr. nonymous always have such hard, hard hearts…?

  5. I think Kelliher is best suited to be Governor by temperament and experience, although I wonder if she’s the strongest candidate. She’s going to have everybody – Pawlenty, Dayton, Entenza, Emmer, Horner, bitter Rybak supporters – everybody blaming her for the budget impasse, fair or not.

    At this point, Dayton is like an old shoe: Kind of scuffed up and not very fashionable, but you know him and he fits your foot. And if history is any guide, he’ll quit the governorship after one term, so if you supported someone else at the convention, they’d probably get a second shot at an open seat in 2014. (Dayton would then go on to be elected President in 2016 and quit that job after a single term.)

    If, by some outlandish circumstance, the general election is Entenza vs. Emmer vs. Horner, then I’m writing in Jon The Impaler Sharkey.

  6. Anonymous says

    Whoa…bluecollardaughter, they know our hearts are hard but help me stay the course. I’m on your side and we’re not done yet.

    Once we get the top half of the country to pay for 98-99% of the tax so us folks in the bottom 50% don’t have to pay nuttin, we’ll have ’em where we want ’em. Then watch ’em scream.

    If we can get this up to 51% or better…we’ve got ’em for good. No stoppin us then. Those “rich” guys will support us forever. See below:

    A summary of the latest IRS data, issued last July by the Tax Foundation:

    Top 10% of earners paid 71% of all income taxes.
    Top 50% of earners paid 97% of all income taxes.
    Bottom 50% of earners paid 3% of all income taxes.

    Minnesota’s 2008 state-level individual income tax collections were $1,493 per person, which ranked fifth-highest nationally.

    Minnesota’s state and local tax burden has consistently been among
    the nation’s highest during the past three decades. Minnesotans pay $4,688 per capita in state and local taxes.

    Link to more Minnesota tax info:

  7. Oh, come on. Higher income people are going to pay more raw dollars because they’re taxed on more raw income. What I’m talking about is rates. When you consider that as you increase your income you increasingly derive more income from capital gains the rate of taxation is higher for people in the middle than people at the top (or bottom, not that they have much to tax anyway). You’re feeding me information from the anti-tax lobby. I could go dig up numbers from a progressive think tank but the real issue is philosophical. Progressive taxation is the only fair taxation. You are free to disagree, but that’s not the point of this post.

  8. Anonymous says

    Aaron…to help me defend against those who are whinning tax rates are too high, that they don’t pay their fair share, please “dig up the numbers from our side” so we can have data to defend ourselves.

    Let’s leave the philosophical arguements to the Brits..for now, and deal in facts like the American right wing-nuts are doing..

  9. Sigh again. Yes, I know. The problem here is that I blog on the side. When I hear that the steelworkers endorse Dayton and I think that has ramifications for Iron Range votes I post that. It’s annoying to then have to stop what I’m doing to go look up public tax data on a tangentially related topic to counter some obvious anonymous logical fallacies that will only be repeated on every political post I do regardless. Maybe I shouldn’t respond to comments? Maybe I shouldn’t have comments? I don’t have time. No swing voter reads this far down. It’s tiring to look at, much less type.

    This is a fundamental argument about tax policy. A worthy discussion, indeed, but when I want to write about tax policy I’ll write about tax policy. I’m not going to look up data on a dare. I’m busy. Other readers, do you have data? Nonpartisan data? That’d be great.

  10. Anonymous says

    Please…anyone out there who can help with data we can use against these right wing guys, speak up.

    I/we need some hard data..

    Why? Here’s what we’re up against…

    Tax Foundation
    Tax Policy
    by Scott A. Hodge

    “Obama has been very successful in bolstering the conventional wisdom that the U.S. tax system does not place a significant enough burden on wealthier households and places too much of a burden on the “middle class.”

    But a new study on inequality by researchers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris reveals that when it comes to household taxes (income taxes and employee social security contributions) the U.S. “has the most progressive tax system and collects the largest share of taxes from the richest 10% of the population.”

    The U.S. tax system is far more progressive—meaning pro-poor—than similar systems in countries most Americans identify with high taxes, such as France and Sweden.

    Even after accounting for the fact that the top 10 percent of households in the U.S. have one of the highest shares of market income among OECD nations, our tax system is second only to Ireland in terms of its progressivity for households.

    The U.S. collects more household tax revenue from the top 10 percent of households than any other country and extracts the most from that income group relative to their share of the nation’s income.

    These measures do not include the litany of other taxes but they do give a good indication that our system places a heavier tax burden on high-income households than other industrialized countries.”

    Aaron doesn’t seem to think the upcoming elections, whether our candidate is MAK or Dayton, will be about taxes…but rest assured, these right wings guys are going to pound us on this issue…


  11. Anonymous,
    I know you will have more to say because you seem like the get-the-last-word type. That being said, I have one more comment: I am not exactly sure who in the sam hill you think is included in the “us” you mention. TRUST ME, you and I are in no way ever anywhere near being a political “us.”

    P.S. Aaron, great observations! I think all of us who are indeed an us see your astute points. thanks for taking the time, brother…

  12. Anonymous says

    bluecollardaughter…please don’t abandon us now! That’s exactly what the opposition, the Tea Partiers, etc. are hoping for..divide and conquer.

    Again, we desperately need the truth to come out. The particular case in point…we need to expose the truth as to why the top 50% of taxpayers MUST pay their fair share…more than the 97% they’re already paying. Stay with us! Help me make them understand this.

    However, if you decide to join them, just remember – “I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.”

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