I have been getting quite a few calls from candidates (or prospective candidates) and their supporters asking the same frequently asked questions about the 2005 election cycle. I have put together this message as a standard response to many of those questions:

  1. E-mail list. The City Party has set up an e-mail list, open to any interested member. The first thing that a candidate should do is join this e-mail list. Every official announcement from the City Party will be posted here first. If you are interested in joining the list, please write to me at brian.melendez@usa.net. You can also find information about the City Party -- including the constitution, bylaws, and directory, agendas and minutes, and records from past conventions -- on Tim Bonhamís webpage at www.mpls.dfl.org.
  2. Delegate lists. The data entry for the lists involves a significant cost, so we recapture that expense by selling the lists in their electronic version. Here is the policy that the City Party has adopted for distributing the lists: "The City Party will furnish one copy of its roster of delegates and alternates to the City convention, with their addresses, in a .pdf copy in substantially the same form that will be used during the conventions, to any interested candidate or other member at no charge. The Party will furnish the roster in an electronic database, either Citywide or broken down by ward, to any interested candidate or other member at a price of 10 cents per name (rounded up to the nearest dollar for the list)."

    For the 2005 caucuses, the following table shows the names per ward and category. Thus, a list of the delegates only in Ward 1 costs $17, a list of delegates Citywide costs $290, and a list of delegates and alternates Citywide costs $318:
    + Alternates
    All Attendees
    1 167 169 188
    2 319 464 575
    3 152 173 189
    4 140 143 149
    5 162 163 170
    6 134 136 142
    7 251 261 283
    8 314 369 399
    9 156 165 206
    10 292 318 345
    11 229 230 246
    12 255 260 280
    13 324 325 387
    City 2895 3176 3559
    (The actual numbers will change slightly as corrections are made by the various Ward Credentials committees.)

    The lists are available at no charge to Party officers who are using them for Party business, and to candidates who currently hold the Party's endorsement or nomination. (An endorsement or nomination expires at the general election, so an incumbent whom the Party endorsed or nominated in a prior election cycle does not currently hold the Party's endorsement or nomination, unless he or she has also been endorsed or nominated for reelection at the next general election.)

    Tim Bonham has taken over as listmaster, and will be assembling the lists that the credentials committees will be using for the upcoming conventions. Tim will therefore keep the most up-to-date version of each list. If you are interested in buying an electronic list, then please make your check payable to the "Minneapolis DFL Party" and deliver or mail it to Tim at
         Timothy M. Bonham
         4309 30th Ave S
         Minneapolis, MN 55406-3710
         Phone 612-721-1007 Fax 612-721-4000
         E-mail t-bonham@scc.net
    Tim can send you an electronic copy once you tell him that you have mailed your payment.

    Old delegate lists. The delegate lists from the 2000, 2002, and 2004 caucuses are also available on the same terms. (Earlier lists are not available.) But please keep in mind that all precincts, wards, and park districts were redrawn in 2002 based on the 2000 Census, and that the pre-2004 lists used the old lines. If you are interested in a pre-2004 list that includes less than the whole City, then you must specify which pre-redistricting precincts you want.

  3. Schedule. The schedule of upcoming endorsing conventions, and the call, is available online at www.mpls.dfl.org. The City Convention will meet on Saturday 14 May at 10:00 a.m. (registration opens at 9:00 a.m.) at Melby Hall, Augsburg College, 715 23rd Avenue South, Minneapolis.
  4. Officers neutral. The Party leadership is responsible for maintaining a fair and open process and a level playing field for all the candidates -- challengers and incumbents, insiders and outsiders, longtime activists and newcomers alike -- until the Party has conferred its endorsement. It was not always so. For example, back in the bad old days, the endorsing conventions were typically run by the incumbent officeholders, and the Party officers routinely allied themselves with particular candidates going into each convention. Some Party officers viewed office as a means of advancing particular candidates, by selectively consulting and informing some candidates and not others about the Party's activities and plans. I regard those practices as unfair. When I became Chair, I therefore resolved that I would treat all candidates equally before the endorsement, and would not (a) endorse or support, (b) contribute money to, or (c) sponsor, attend, or otherwise participate in any event for the benefit of, a particular candidate seeking the endorsement. I have asked that the other officers follow the same policy (or, if they do get involved with a candidate seeking the endorsement, that they treat that involvement as a conflict of interest and recuse themselves from any decision affecting that campaign). Please respect the officers' neutrality and do not press us to play favorites before the endorsement.
  5. What do I need to do in order to run / get endorsed / win? Sorry, but we can't help you with those questions. The other officers and I will gladly furnish objective information and answer your questions about the Party's process and rules. But we can't give you legal advice or strategic advice -- finding out that information is your campaign's responsibility. A good source for basic information about the election is the Minneapolis Elections & Voter Registration Office (http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/elections/, ph. 612.673.2070).

    Brian Melendez, Chair, Minneapolis DFL Party

         Brian Melendez
         2200 Wells Fargo Center
         90 South Seventh Street
         Minneapolis, MN 55402-3901
         Ph. 612.766.7309
         Fax 612.766.1600