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Franken, Klobuchar, Dayton push for Democratic convention in Minneapolis

Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, as well as DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton, are pressing the Democratic National Convention Committee to host the DNC in Minneapolis in 2012. The state’s most populous city is on the short list along with Charlotte, N.C., St. Louis and Cleveland. Also shortlisted in 2008, Minneapolis lost out to Denver, but partnered with St. Paul in hosting the same year’s Republican National Convention. Protest groups are opposing any efforts to bring the DNC to Minneapolis.

Anti-war groups filed for a permit to march on opening day of the DNC should it come to town, but were denied by the City of Minneapolis. The RNC in 2008 resulted in more than 300 arrests; of those, 15 people were charged with wrongdoing and only five were convicted.

Here’s the letter from Franken, Klobuchar and Dayton:

To the Members of the Democratic National Convention Committee,

We are writing to you on behalf of the State of Minnesota urging the Committee to select Minneapolis as the host city for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Each finalist city presents valid reasons politically, socially and economically as to why it should be chosen to host the Convention. As you know, Minneapolis is resourceful, reliable and ready to serve Democratic National Convention goers. With vibrant cultural attractions, efficient transportation and world-class dining and hotel accommodations, we would be thrilled to host delegates, nominees and attendees alike. But, you know this and we know this decision has as much to do with politics as it does with logistics.

To that end, please keep in mind that history shows the national political convention site doesn’t necessarily influence the outcome of the election. In fact, only half the time has the state in which the DNC was hosted, went for the Democratic Party in the general election.

The objective now is to select a city that will establish the proper political setting for the 2012 election. With this in mind, we firmly believe Minneapolis is the best choice for the Democratic Party. Located in the country’s heartland, Minnesota is often on the list of swing states and winning the heartland has proven to be a key region in many presidential elections. Key constituencies for the Democratic Party, including labor, have a strong presence in this region and are eager to serve as hosts of this convention.

Like many others, we have seen a significant shift in our political atmosphere following the mid-term elections. Our state legislature turned from Democratic to Republican control for the first time in 38 years. We lost a 35 year veteran of the U.S. House and our congressional delegation is now split evenly between Democrats and Republicans. The one positive coming out of the election is that we appear to have elected a Democratic governor – a significant victory and one that no other finalist host city can boast. Minnesota proved that despite a tough election year across the country, Democrats can still win here – in a place Democrats will need to win to be successful in re-electing President Obama.

Remember, not only is Minnesota the state in which President Obama decided to accept his nomination but it’s also the state Republicans chose for their National Convention in 2008. Our state is in play and has political importance. It’s time again for Democrats to lay claim to Minnesota and help regain control in 2012.

We respectfully urge you to select Minneapolis as the site for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Sincerely,

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Senator Al Franken

Mark Dayton

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