In the online comment section of an Owatonna People's Press article that includes a Mike Parry-esque internet "joke" comparing Democrats to rodents, SD24 Republican state senate candidate Vern Swedin wants readers to know that the "joke" was so not for them.
Instead, he blames the OPP for sensationalizing what he said and notes that he knows plenty of "jokes" about Republicans, too. He doesn't share them, however.
Instead, Swedin weighs in about the unfairness of it all:
VernSwedin posted at 10:11 am on Thu, Oct 18, 2012.
I’m not sure which is worse? Party politics or reporting used to sensationalize the division.
The joke was for the event attendees, I have equally as many Republican jokes that I share because humor is fun, apparently not for all… and let’s face it, political parties are the simply easy to joke about.
What our reporter failed to describe…
I started my speech with the failure of politics, “Whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent, a core problem with politics is that Politicians are measured by and large by what they spend rather than what they save.”
As for attack ads… I am ashamed of all independent, party and others that distort truth, create lies and batter any person that is offering to be a public servant, period.
If this "fun" seems familiar to Bluestem readers, we should remember this is the seat left open by the retirement of state senator Mike Parry, who lost a bid for congress to Allen Quist in the August primary. The loss came shortly after Parry gained statewide attention for calling Governor Mark Dayton a scary pill popper. Earlier, Parry had created controversy by tweeting sketchy remarks about Democrats.
Other commenters are not as nice to Swedin as he is to himself. His comments appear to respond to these readers:
Takesavillage posted at 3:27 am on Thu, Oct 18, 2012.
Really? Democrats are "rats" and "rodents?" So much for Mr. Swedin's claim of keeping the race "respectful." I guess this explains why he cries fowl when he is the subject of negative ads yet remained silent as his allies have submitted a sixth attack piece on Ms. Jensen. We do not need any more of this polarizing behavior in our legislature. I will be voting for the true respectful moderate in this race, Ms. Jensen.
robley posted at 6:55 am on Thu, Oct 18, 2012.
"We just have to change the course"--Great! You can start by campaigning with facts and valid policy discussions.
shark67 posted at 9:20 am on Thu, Oct 18, 2012.
I am really concerned about the humor the GOP uses, humor often refects the real think that is going on. So my concerns is when a person thinks of people that have differnet ideas as vermen, then how will that person really represent all of the people in the district?
Perhaps Mr. Swedin can find a way to remove material from the internet that is critical of him--or better yet: require OPP staffers to submit drafts of their articles to him prior to publication. That way, he'll know that anything only intended for Republican funnybones won't leak out to the general public, which just might be too sensitive for his well-honed sense of humor.
That's the ticket.
Here's the passage that Swedin doesn't want you to read, though fellow Republicans were allowed to hear his remarks. Owatonna People's Press staff writer Ashley Stewart reported in Republicans rally in Steele County to show support:
The message for changing the course of those representing the state and the country continued throughout the rest of the rally.
Swedin made those in attendance laugh with his “spelling lesson.”
“The last four letters American is ‘I can.’ The last four letters in Republican is ‘I can.’ The last four letters of Democrats are ‘rats,’ and remember November is Rodent Removal Month,” he said.
Steve Swiggum, Minnesota Senate communications director, said what is ahead of the country is a lot better than what is behind it if Republicans dominate this year’s elections.
“There’s something better coming for this state and this country, folks. There is,” Swiggum said. . . .
He'd rather have voters think this about him (text from his website):
This is Vern Swedin, your "first things first" candidate for the open District 24 Senate seat in Southern Minnesota. As your next State Senator, I want to help put truth back into politics, hold leaders accountable to hear and represent their people and to work across partisan lines to accomplish meaningful initiatives for our state.
. . .And the truth is that I will not engage in attacking my opponents or their party. I am committed to cooperation, understanding and working together across party lines to focus on human need, not political gain.
Since he loves a good joke, Bluestem is sure he'll see the humor in all of this.
Photo: The comedian, businessman and Republican senate candidate in SD24, Vern Swedin.