Today and each day until the state convention comes to order on May 18, we shall consider a variety of reasons for endorsing Dan Severson to challenge Senator Amy Klobuchar in November. Follow the series at Fightin Words and check in on the day of the convention for a compilation including the most compelling reason to support Dan Severson.
Everywhere I went, he was there. That was a big reason why I decided to throw my meager support behind Dan Severson for U.S. Senate.
After years of heckling from the political sidelines, the advent of the Tea Party inspired me to activism in 2009. I fired up a blog and podcast under the name Fightin Words, and began attending every conservative community event I could physically get to. That quickly resulted in a network of new relationships with people of like mind. Whether Tea Partiers, libertarians, or established conservative grassroots activists, all were united in their abhorrence at the “fundamental transformation” imposed by President Obama and radical Democrats like Senator Amy Klobuchar.
One thing I observed over time was that some politicians are more in tune with we among the grassroots than others. An immediate standout was Dan Severson, then a state representative from Saux Rapids. In a time when many Republicans weren’t sure what to make of the Tea Party, and just as many were not naturally inclined toward the new movement’s positions on the issues, Dan Severson sat comfortably among us as a rogue advocate of causes like judicial reform.
Judicial reform is not a sexy issue. It can be rather esoteric to anyone unfamiliar with the system, and matters most to the slim minority of the electorate who have faced alleged judicial misconduct. In other words, it’s a political currency sink. As a politician, there is nothing to be gained by pursuing judicial reform, and indeed much to lose. The judicial establishment is a powerful institution with leverage over a legislature composed of a disproportionate number of lawyers.
In spite of this, Dan Severson championed the cause. He didn’t do it because it was a good political investment. He did it because it was the right thing to do, because he believed people’s essential rights were being violated, and because he was convicted in his heart that serving that minority was his duty as an elected official.
The same moral calculation informed Severson’s leadership on election integrity. It was the central issue of his 2010 bid for the office of secretary of state. As with judicial reform, the question of election integrity is an matter of essential justice. If our courts do not apply the law equally to all comers, and if our vote is vulnerable to cancellation by fraud, we lack the framework necessary to tackle other issues. Severson has been consistently in touch with the grassroots on matters such as these.
Dan and I have crossed paths regularly during the course of my activism. More than any other current or former legislator, I have seen and heard Dan declare principles and engage on issues important to me and those I break bread with. His heart is with the grassroots. He will stand with us at home, and for us in Washington D.C.