While the last DFL Convention in 2013 was a mess, the scene at the Democratic Farmer-Labor (DFL) Convention this Saturday is ebeyond what happened four years ago when the convention was held until midnight and no endorsement for Mayor were made.
From a late start that was about an hour passed the starting time to a DFL Chair using the term “lynch”, the entire process has shown an unprepared and unorganized DFL that’s been the powerhouse political party in Minnesota for decades.
The delegate crowd has been hard to control throughout the entire evening. The DFL Convention Chair and Co-Chairs refused to recognize multiple delegates saying their motions were out of order. Delegates have often tried to amend or speak on issues that had already been voted on.
One delegate, who was not called on when she was at a microphone, asked a co-chair if he “would like to borrow her glasses” after he said he did not see her.
The motion the delegate wanted to speak on, which she was against, already had three delegates against the motion. Convention rules state only three delegates may speak for and against any motion.
Speakers have routinely tried to hush the crowd throughout the day and multiple delegates have complained that they could not hear, with one citing the Hodges delegates for being excessively loud and another citing an issue with the speaker system.
During the first balloting, which took over five hours to start, confusion over the rules regarding freezing of the floor, which means no one is let into the room and voting commences, led to the Chair opening the doors back up to let delegates in to vote on their endorsements for the Park Board, even through three separate DFL Chairs said the doors would be closed.
“We choosing openness instead of being right,” said the Chair.
DFL Chair says you can “lynch” us
After unfreezing the convention, the Chair, perhaps frustrated with the delegates becoming unruly, said that anyone can come to the DFL Party Chairs if they had an issue and specifically mentioned that if delegates wanted to “lynch” them, they could. Almost immediately groans from the crowd emerged.
A delegate then motioned that the Chair should apologize for using the offensive term. To which, the Chair blamed his age saying he often heard it on the TV show Gun Smoke. The Chair said he was sorry for using the term and he would “personally apologize” to anyone that wanted him to.
Nekima Levy-Pounds, a lawyer and civil rights activist who is running for Mayor but opted out of seeking DFL endorsement said
“That’s an outrageous comment. The ignorance and insensitivity being displayed merely reinforces my decision to opt out of the DFL endorsement process.”
Nominations for Mayoral race started at around 4:30 PM with speeches by the Mayoral candidates starting around 5:30 PM.
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Editors note – A comment from Levy-Pounds was absent in an earlier version of this article.