Tom Emmer’s Voter ID Amendment Lures 11 DFLers, Fails 73-58

Many of the 11 DFL defectors represent vulnerable House districts; Norm Coleman carried nine of these districts in 2008, including eight by double digits

Republican State Representative and gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer’s latest attempt to require Minnesotans residents to present a valid photo identification in order to vote in the Gopher State fell eight votes short on Thursday, as a proposed amendment to a bill (HF 2552) that would move the the state’s primary from the second Tuesday in September (the 14th this year) to the second Tuesday in August (the 10th this year).

While the bill had overwhelming support, passing on a 126-5 vote, Emmer’s amendment failed 73-58.

Emmer has attempted to introduce similar legislation several times in his three terms in St. Paul.

Thursday’s amendment offered several identification options for voters to present at the ballot box, so long as they included a photograph of the individual: a valid driver’s license or ID card issued by the Department of Public Safety, a United States passport, a Minnesota voter identification card, a tribal ID card, or any other ID card with a photograph issued by the state of Minnesota or the federal government.

Public opinion surveys in recent years have established that voter ID legislation has overwhelming support in the Gopher State, by a 3:1 margin over its detractors.

On Thursday’s House vote, All 47 Republican Representatives backed Emmer’s photo ID amendment, which also attracted the support of 11 DFLers: Dave Olin (01A-Thief River Falls), Mary Ellen Otremba (11B-Long Prairie), Kory Kath (26A-Owatonna), Robin Brown (27A-Moscow Township), Phillip Sterner (37B-Rosemount), Mike Obermueller (38B-Eagan), Ann Lenczewski (40B-Bloomington), Denise Dittrich (47A-Champlin), Bev Scalze (54B-Little Canada), Julie Bunn (56A-Lake Elmo), and Marsha Swails (56B-Woodbury).

There are several interesting, perhaps revealing, aspects to those DFLers who chose to break with their caucus and support Emmer’s amendment.

· Seven of the 11 DFLers are in their 1st (Obermueller, Sterner, Kath) or 2nd (Olin, Bunn, Swails, Brown) term in the House – voted into office during the Democratic tsumamis of 2006 or 2008.

· Six of these Representatives faced competitive races in 2008 – winning their election by 10 points or less: Bunn, Obermueller, Olin, Otremba, Sterner, and Swails.

· Most of these legislators also represent districts with a conservative tilt: Norm Coleman carried 9 of these 11 DFL House districts in the 2008 U.S. Senate contest – including 8 of them by double digit margins (Bunn, Dittrich, Kath, Obermueller, Olin, Otremba, Sterner, and Swails). John McCain also carried four of these districts (Dittrich, Kaith, Olin, and Otremba).

Overall, the margin of victory in 2008 for the 11 DFLers who joined the unified GOP caucus in supporting voter ID was just 12.3 points. The margin of victory for the other 76 dissenting (or non-voting) DFL members who opposed the amendment: 31.2 points.

Three DFLers did not vote Thursday: Thomas Huntley (07A-Duluth), Bobby Joe Champion (58B-Minneapolis), and Jim Davnie (62A-Minneapolis).

DFL Representatives Supporting Emmer Amendment for Voter ID

2008 MoV
Franken MoV
Obama MoV
Mike Obermueller
Mary Ellen Otremba
Dave Olin
Phillip Sterner
Julie Bunn
Marsha Swails
Kory Kath
Robin Brown
Denise Dittrich
Bev Scalze
Ann Lenczewski

Election data compiled by Smart Politics.

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3 Comments on "Tom Emmer’s Voter ID Amendment Lures 11 DFLers, Fails 73-58"

  1. Hann is right, Seifert can win and Emmer cannot.

    The reasons are many. Emmer’s anger, his arrogance, his multiple DWI’s and his lack of being a team player in his GOP caucus.

    One of the House Republicans told me he boycotted all but one of their caucus meeting in the 2009 session. I also heard Emmer stormed out of the room after losing the Minority Leader’s race to Seifert, blind-sided GOP members on the House floor by offering various amendments and not telling anyone first, abruptly quit as the Deputy Leader in July, 2008 and refused to vote for the Republican candidate for Speaker of the House (Seifert) on the opening day of the 2009 session. It is incredible that any Republican with a brain would back a guy like this. He wants to be the titular head of the party as Governor?!

    His tantrums at the capitol are well known.

    I would ask an Emmer supporter to justify a laundry list of reasons why this guy deserves any consideration. I can see one or two issues, but this seems chronic.

  2. Okay thanks for the insight on Emmer, what about one of the biggest issues facing Minnesota right now, GAMC? Maybe you have heard of it or maybe you havent? Siefert, although a wonderful candidate as well, waffled on support of that bill? I would rather have someone who sticks to his convictions and beliefs. And one more thing, I love how you call them tantrums, where you say “tantrums” I see “passion” there is one thing to be said about man and that is that no one, not even me or yourself are perfect.

  3. Kirk the Conservative Jerk | April 13, 2010 at 11:15 am | Reply

    “tantrums” Really?
    I would like to point out, when democrats act like this, it’s called being passionate about the things they believe in.
    Besides, either of these two candidates would be better for the future of Minnesota than Kelliher or Rybak.

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