To the editor:
I write in response to David Anderson of Lonsdale from June 4. The situation needs a few more facts than his letter supplies.
First off, Marty Seifert won the February 4 MN GOP Caucus Straw Ballot for governor. He did it with caucus attendee support in all 87 counties in Minnesota. He was truly the only GOP candidate that can say that, representing all of Minnesota. All of the other candidates probably live within a radius of 20 miles of each other in the Metro area of the State.
Now go to the GOP Convention in Rochester. The agenda said that Saturday morning would start the endorsing process for the governor position. The Friday session of the convention adjourned at 2:25 a.m. Saturday morning, having not finished the Senate endorsement process. As a sitting delegate from Lyon Co. I paid $160 for a room that I used for 4 hours of sleep that night. We are back at the convention at 9 a.m. to finish that endorsement at 2 p.m. The governor's balloting started at 4 p.m. and finished after 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evening.
Our Lyon Co. delegation was in and among the delegations from Lake of the Woods, Kittson, Marshall and Roseau counties. I drove four hours to get to the convention, those people drove at least eight hours to get there, have four hours of sleep, and have another eight hours to get home after whatever ballot they felt they could safely do so. Mind you, this is now Saturday afternoon after a 4 p.m. start of balloting for the governor endorsement. These delegates did the only prudent and safe thing they could, and that was to be safe and head for home while they were still awake. I notice that your bedroom, Mr. Anderson, was probably an hour-and-a-half away from the convention. You take a cheap shot at supporters for Marty Seifert. They did not waste the convention's time. Marty saw his state-wide support gone in absentia for good reason, and felt that with all the rest of you one-and-a-half hours from your beds, had no other choice but to give his statewide support the opportunity to vote for him in their own precincts.
I have been going to these conventions since 1972, and totally support the endorsement process. But when the process goes entirely out of control, there needs to be a remedy or room for all to participate equally. This was not the case in Rochester. Truth be told, the two candidates that did not even participate in the convention wasted the process, as our "endorsed" candidate will also have to also now participate in that primary. You took a cheap shot by making your letter very political. I'm talking about human issues here and common sense. That is what Marty Seifert is about.
One lingering thought I have is that if the convention would have been held in Thief River Falls or Baudette, and you had gotten only four hours of sleep Friday evening after driving right hours to get there, when would you have left the convention for your additional eight-hour trip back home to Lonsdale on Saturday?
By the way, the Lyon Co. delegation had its 11 seats full at the end to support Marty Seifert (the truly statewide candidate), with one alternate still in the bleachers.
Robert Meffert, delegate