Bakk to the Future?

What’s this? Another post? Why, it’s a full on blogging relapse.

State Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury)

Late last week we learned State Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) would challenge State Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) for the Senate DFL caucus leadership post. The meeting was supposed to be held today but Bakk pushed it back until later in the week.

Bakk, of course, is the last in a line of powerful Iron Range legislators who used seniority and old school political guile to give the region elevated influence in state politics.

You may have noticed that I’ve been drawn back into the political chat fray recently.

I made a rare Twin Cities media appearance on the Almanac political panel last Friday, Dec. 6. There I talked about the challenge to Bakk, changing demographics in the DFL coalition, rural issues, and Pete Stauber’s re-election prospects.

This week I was on KBJR and CBS-3 in Duluth talking about the Bakk story.

I’ll obviously have more to say when the Senate DFL caucus meeting happens later this week. The outcome itself is less important than the changes the challenge represents.

Then maybe I’ll retreat back to the shadows next week. We can hope.


  1. Anne Uehling says

    Thank you Aaron Brown for making this public. Why weren’t people informed of this (place, time)? Typical antics to change things so no one except the chosen are there.

    • Caucus leadership votes are always private. Typically the parties select their leaders at the beginning of the session and try to present a unified front after that. But as in anything involving political power there is jostling behind the scenes over matters of agenda, priorities and tactics.

      • The challenge was made public in the middle of last week, when it happened. The problem is poor coverage by news media in this area. It was in the STrib, the MNPost,, and, locally, KDLH and WDIO last week. Even the Red Lake Nation News covered it.

        The collapse of print media with the associated loss in number of stories, depth of coverage, and number of reporters and the lowness of their salaries is doing a lot of damage. Local papers that were proud carriers of the journalistic tradition of our democracy are now reduced to minified papers the size of My Weekly Reader dedicating most of their space to promoting their own political agenda, lurid crimes from well out of the area, and the Kardashians. Inexperienced young journalists willing to accept pay near minimum wage levels and who lack the contacts and experience needed to get stories like this and editors who slot multiple newsless stories promoting politicians of their choice round out the problem.

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