Minnesota police association endorses Wetterling
Patty Wetterling has won endorsement from the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. Here are the organization's stated goals:
Created to fulfill the promise of making law enforcement a recognized profession, the MPPOA’s mission statement is simple, direct and effective.
• To organize into one body all Police and Peace Officers in the State of Minnesota.
• To correlate the activities of several regional Police and Peace Officers Associations around the state.
• To promote efficiency in police work statewide.
• To promote sound development and administration of laws.
• To maintain the highest standards of ethics, integrity, honor and courtesy in the police profession.
• To encourage the sound, practical and thorough training of police officers.
• To promote a spirit of brotherhood among its members and to perpetuate the memory and history of their calling.
Here is what the organization states about their endorsement process for House candidates:
In terms of the United States House and Senate races, endorsements are granted based on the same line of reasoning as the endorsements for the state races. Performance on and voting records for law enforcement issues, accessibility to and willingness to listen are what we consider and discuss when deciding who to endorse and who not to. Candidates for the federal races tend to have a history that we can look at so we know where they stand, and that does help in aiding our decisions.
Though Patty Wetterling has not held elected office, she has been a strong advocate for law enforcement, especially on children's safety issues. Probably the endorsing committee also looked at Michele Bachmann's record; her support of conceal-and-carry was probably a factor in her not winning the endorsement. The MPPOA opposed that legislation, as NPR reported February 11, 2003:
Opponents say the bill would make the state more dangerous because virtually anyone would be able to receive a permit. Bill Gillespie, with the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, says Boudreau's bill would let permit holders carry guns into the Metrodome, stores and other public places. It would also allow people to carry a gun into a school if they were dropping off their child. There are fines for others who carry a gun in a school.
Gillespie says sheriffs and police chiefs currently spend thousands of dollars doing backgound checks on permit applicants. The proposed bill would require local law enforcement to process an application in 15 days. Applicants would pay forty dollars to cover the cost of processing. Gillespie says applicants would automatically have their permit approved if officials don't deny it in the 15-day period.
"Every year there are millions of contacts between citizens and police officers. It only takes an instant, I can tell you from 25 years as a police officer, that it only takes an instant for those things to go to pieces and for that situations to be heightened by a handgun lawfully issued by the state of Minnesota is an awesome responsibility," Gillespie said.
A quick look at the list of endorsees around the state (very balanced between Republican and Democrat) shows that this is a very non-partisan organization. Their endorsement document even states this:
Just so it is clear to everyone, the MPPOA does not endorse based just on political party affiliation. There are MPPOA members out there that just cannot understand how the Board could endorse a member of this party or that party. Folks, it is not about party affiliation for us. As a matter of fact, it might even be a fair statement to say that party affiliation is about the least considered factor of anything when it comes to who we endorse and do not endorse. Endorsements are given based on performance and attitude as pertains to law enforcement issues and not on party affiliation. It would simply be stupid for the MPPOA to endorse anyone based only on the party they belong to. Legislators from all three major parties in Minnesota are champions of and for the membership of the MPPOA, and to turn our backs on them come endorsement time simply because of the party they belong to, would just plain be wrong.
Here are the issues ranked as "most important" to the endorsing committee:
• Wage & benefit reductions to law enforcement • Changes to our PERA Police & Fire plan benefits • POST Board funding formulas • The Public Safety Officers Benefit Act • Primary seatbelt enforcement • Proposals to increase tractor / trailer weight & load limits • Gasoline taxes as pertains to State Patrol funding • Gang Strike Force / Drug Task Force organization & funding • Legislation regarding making false complaints against cops • Legislation regarding lying to cops • Part-time Police Officer licensing • 800mHz / trunked radio system funding • CrimNet • Legislation regarding non-licensed DNR staff writing citations • Meth related legislation • Local Government Aid (LGA) • Sex offenders
No time right now to do the research-- but what was Michele Bachmann's role in passing/not passing this legislation during her time in the state Senate? Please post any research in the comments.