Patch had an article about the absence of Republican candidates at the I-35 Solutions forum. It deals with transportation issues.
The article headlined ... Is the Local GOP MIA? Burnsville-Eagan Conservatives Absent from Forum
All Democratic candidates were there. The missing GOP candidates involved were from Burnsville, Eagan and Apple Valley-Rosemount. Local candidates on local issues.
Some of the candidates had conflicts...nothing specific, just conflicts. And that would be OK if it wasn't part of a larger pattern. South Metro GOP candidates pick and choose the forums they wish to participate. If they feel they may face an unfriendly venue, they just do not participate.
You will always find them eager to attend Chamber of Commerce forums and they occasionally break their pattern on Education sponsored events (although Pat Hall of District 57 missed that one as well), but they are invisible at I-35 and other transportation events and seem to have "conflicts" in regards to some of the church sponsored forums on issues for the poor.
And this "flu" bug isn't limited to local legislative candidates. Congressman John Kline makes few public appearances. He will not participate in any debates with Mike Obermueller. He's available for empty Metrodome commercials, but gone when it comes to speaking to real voters who are physically present.
Republicans take this area for granted. It is like the South Metro is a legislative GOP copy machine.....they just keep running the same talking point robots. Conservative cookie cutters who just expect you to vote for them without giving you the courtesy of side by side comparisons with their opponents.
If you are happy with education IOU's....tobacco bond borrowing with interest... transportation dollars that go anywhere but locally.....and a priority that stresses social issues over sound budget policy....then maybe everything is OK. Maybe that is what this area wants for its representation.
It's not my preference. I'm tired of it. But it would seem I have a minority view.