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Eric Ferguson in a History sweatshirt


This is the place for campaign news and announcements, and whatever seems worth posting.

Conservative protesters and the marshmallow children

Does anyone else look at the conservative protests of shelter-in-place orders and think of the studies of children with marshmallows?

Those are the studies that offer children one marshmallow now, or two if they can wait until the adult tester comes back. The hypothesis was that children’s ability to wait to get two marshmallows later tested their ability to delay gratification, and this would predict their ability to do so in adulthood. Someone had the insight to realize children might have something in their life experience telling them adults were untrustworthy and they should grab what they can now, and tested that by having the tester lie to the children before the marshmallow test, like promising crayons and not coming through. Turns out the children learned not to trust the adult, and took the immediate marshmallow under the reasonable assumption the adult who lied earlier might be lying now about the second marshmallow.


Next one candidate virtual forum

The next virtual forum on YouTube will be Wednesday April 22nd at 7PM. Click the link to join the chat at 7, or click it later to see the recording.

You can also see the prior videos on the YouTube channel. There’s some good stuff there, even if it’s just me saying that, and it is. … Not sure I phrased that right.

What to do when you can’t talk face to face

The newest video. Hopefully you find it mildly humorous.

Republicans are with us on vote by mail, maybe sort of

To be sure, it’s good news that a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed the even most Republicans think we should vote by mail if we’re still facing the COVID-19 pandemic in November. 65% of Republicans thought so, as did 79% of Democrats. So, done deal, right?

Not necessarily. What happens as Republicans keep being reminded that Republican politicians are afraid too many people will vote? As the linked article says, “President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election this year, has been trying with other Republicans to discourage efforts to expand voting by mail, saying it would increase the chance of voter fraud.”

Trump, of course, said the quiet part out loud: “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”


One-candidate virtual forum is up

Here’s the video of my virtual forum on YouTube. I’m including timestamps of the questions if you want to jump around, and they’re in the description on YouTube if you want to watch it there instead of the embed below.


Messaging matters even with COVID-19, or Trump’s Katrina

We can get angry that Trump treats COVID-19 as just a PR problem, but as much as he’s made the pandemic worse than it needed to be, this is the rare case where he’s not entirely wrong. His messaging is working. Are you helping to counter it?

I’m referring in particular to how his polling numbers have improved during this crisis. Yes, you read that right, improved. According to 538, while Trump is still underwater, his net disapproval is the lowest it’s been since he first took office, minus 5.8% at this moment. This is despite how badly he screwed up, like ignoring intelligence warning he received all the way back in January.


Free college, the movie

OK, “movie” might be a bit grandiose, but the newest campaign video is up, this one explaining “Commit to Minnesota”, a program to provide free post-secondary education to students who live in Minnesota at least five years after leaving school. If you’d rather watch it on Youtube, click here or click the Youtube logo in the video.

The goal is take money out of the equation when a young adult decides whether to continue education after high school. As much as more education is needed in the modern economy, the burden of student debt is intimidating enough to cause some of our young adults to just skip any sort of post-secondary education, or else they take on the debt and find it constrains every choice in life, reducing opportunity and increasing inequality.

We can do better.

Video highlights and candidate forum

These are highlights from the candidate forum hosted by the SD63 DFL.

Expand voting with automatic voter registration

Though we take voter registration for granted, it was actually intended as a means to prevent voting. Specifically, it was invented in the 19th century to restrict voting by the “wrong” people; specifically, to interfere with voting by immigrants and the newly freed slaves. It’s still used in other states to make voting unnecessarily difficult. Some states have deadlines that come so early that few people are thinking about elections, or they get finicky about the precise sort of paper new registrations are submitted on. Tennessee tried to make registering voters practically a crime.

This might be a peculiar thought if, like me, you’ve spent a lot of time asking prospective voters to register — but it doesn’t have to be that way.