Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Enlightened Burnsville - NOT!

I was out of town this weekend and missed the big McCain rally in Lakeville, just down the road from my home. So I missed the sorry exchange between McCain volunteer Gayle Quinnell and McCain when she apparently tried to label Obama as a Muslim terrorist and McCain grabbed the microphone from her. Good for him for not putting up with this kind of bigotry.

I just read this followup between Quinnell and several correspondents:
Gayle Quinnell: I went to the library in Shakopee and I got lots of ... three pages of information about Obama.

Adam Aigner of NBC News: And what kind of information did you get?

Quinnell: I got to tell you, you call me. It's a long story. I'm afraid of what's going to happen to this country.

Aigner: What would you think would happen? Do you think it would become Muslim country and what would that mean?

Quinnell: It would be bad

Aigner: So even though Senator McCain told you that he didn't feel that was true and you ought to be more respectful, you still fear that?

Quinnell: I still do. Yeah. I'm not alone. I go to Burnsville, the main Republican headquarters and I do a lot of work over there. A lot of sending out mail and talking to people. And all the people agree with what I'm saying to you about Obama.

Aigner :Then do you feel there are a lot of volunteers for McCain who feel that way?

Quinnell: Yes. A lot of them. In fact I got a letter from another woman that goes over there to Burnsville and she sent me more things about Obama.

Aigner: What was on the letter?

Quinnell: Oh all kinds of bad things about him and how, I mean I have to tell you to call me. It's all bad.

Reporter: Are a lot of people getting this letter and are a lot of people believeing it and is that turning a lot of votes or support for McCain?

Quinnell: Yeah I sent out 400 letters. I went to Kinkos and I got them all printed out. And I sent about 400 letters. I went in the telephone book and sent them out to people. So they can decide if they would want Obama.
When I moved to Burnsville 16 years ago this was the kind of sentiment I encountered frequently. I can't tell you how shocked I was to be in what I thought was a very progressive state and discover in the south metro of the Twin Cities that it was overwhelmingly conservative and often very narrow minded. I attended a DFL (Democratic Farm Labor party - MN's version of Democrats) Senate District meeting shortly after I moved and there were 5 in attendance. Through an elementary school friendship of my daughter I became aquainted with our local state senator who is know a judge and he encouraged me to become involved with Republicans because he said it was really the only game in town. I resisted and am happy to report that the tide has turned here and we are now electing Democrats to state office from my area. But apparently Burnsville remains a center for the forces of darkness in MN.

1 comment:

ProgressiveChurchlady said...

I too am embarassed by the comments of an ignorant person in "my own backyard" at the McCain rally last Friday. The events of last Friday set Minnesota back from attempts to shake it's national image of "a beautiful state filled with a bunch of crazy folks".