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Smart Politics to Live Blog Minnesota Elections Conference Featuring Mondale, Ritchie, Ramstad

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Smart Politics will live blog a conference on Minnesota elections administration this morning sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. The conference includes panelists such as Vice President Walter Mondale, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, and Congressman Jim Ramstad. From the CSPG website:

The Minnesota Tradition of Fair Elections
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
9:30 - 11:45am
Cowles Auditorium
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

The close contest for U.S. Senate has given rise to challenges and questions by the campaigns of Senator Norm Coleman and Al Franken. The war of words between the campaigns has raised concerns about the fairness and credibility of Minnesota's election process. The truth, however, is that Minnesota's administrative and judicial process for elections is among the most respected in the country. Vice President Walter Mondale, Congressman Jim Ramstad, and former Elmer Andersen aide Tom Swain are joined by national and regional experts to examine the Minnesota tradition of fair elections.

Schedule:

9:30-10:30am: The Minnesota Gold Standard
· Edward B. Foley, Professor, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University and Director, Election Law @ Moritz
· Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State, Minnesota
· Joe Mansky, Ramsey County Elections Manager, Ramsey County
· Moderator: Lawrence R. Jacobs, Professor, Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota

10:30-10:45am: Break

10:45-11:30am: The Minnesota Tradition of Fair Elections
· Vice President Walter Mondale
· Congressman Jim Ramstad
· Tom Swain, former Chief of Staff to Elmer Andersen
· Moderator: Lori Sturdevant, Editorial Writer/Columnist, Star Tribune

11:30-11:45am: Strengthening Minnesota's Tradition of Excellence in Elections Administration
· Rachel Smith, Anoka County Elections Manager and lead on the Elections Administration Project at the Humphrey Institute

Previous post: Live Blog: Governor Pawlenty and Health Care Reform
Next post: Live Blog: Fair Elections in Minnesota

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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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