It's not as if the Albert Lea Tribune or the Associated Press didn't report or Blois Olson's Morning Take didn't say anything about Governor Dayton coming to Owatonna to celebrate the 88th birthday of Jean and Edith Zamboni and rally with DFL state senate and house candidates.
Or the six-foot digital sign in front of the restaurant welcoming the governor.
Nonetheless, Vern Swedin didn't get the news, and so showed up at the event, supposedly with his church group. Owatonna People's Press staff writer Derek Sullivan reports in Gov. Dayton rallys DFL in Owatonna:
Attending the rally were Craig Brenden, DFL-Waseca; Vicki Jensen, DFL-Owatonna; state House incumbent Patti Fritz, DFL-Faribault; and even Vern Swedin, R-Owatonna.
Swedin is running against Jensen for the open Senate seat in newly-created District 24. Unlike Jensen, Swedin wasn’t offered a chance to speak. Swedin left before the event ended and said in an email to the People’s Press that he was there by accident with members of his church, and he did not know the event was going on. He did thank the governor for coming to Owatonna.
“It was great to see the governor and all those in support of the district,” he said. “With only two weeks to go, it's important to have the teams rally and support their candidates. I encourage all of us to get out there and support this important election.”
A Bluestem reader who was at the event writes in an email:
And check out the newspaper article that cites Vern was not "even" invited to speak, after he said it was "rodent removal month" last week. He showed up and sat in the corner and when the Governor came in, he tried to approach him but never got close enough to say anything to him. He did not even stay to listen to the governor so one wonders what his agenda truly was....
Perhaps Swedin was going to grab the Governor's debit card and lecture him.
UPDATE: The comments section for the OPP article is scoffing at both Swedin and the paper's angle on this story. "Farmer Boy" comments:
Wow, Derrick, How pathetic of reporting. First you do not include all of each candidates speech in the video and then you give an opponent more press than the candidates of the DFL. It was a DFL rally, why would a GOP candidate even get mentioned or asked to speak. You would think that maybe Mr Swedin could have noticed the 6 foot digital sign out front welcoming Gov Dayton and the projected image on the wall and all the DFL signs in the entry, they could have chose a different restaurant. You cannot tell me he was there by accident.
Tom Servo asks:
Why in the woooorld would Swedin be given a chance to speak at a DFL rally?!? That's absurd! Was Jensen invited to the Republican rally last week? Of course not. AND THEN Swedin's story of why he was there doesn't add up. If he just "happened to be there" then why would he have ever been scheduled to speak?!?
Good point. Takesavillage rakes the angle that the paper takes:
As I already commented upon the video itself from the event, I will try not to be redundant in this post. However, I, too, am shocked at the "angle" used by OPP. Specifically, I agree it is of note that Ms. Jensen's opponent chose to attend or "crash" a campaign event. Yet it appears this is the most important focus of the story. If that is the case, did you interview the invited candidates or other attendees about their perspective of an opponent attending? If not, it appears the OPP is a partner (willing or not) in Mr. Swedin's attempt to make himself appear non-partisan after only last week he referred to democrats as "rats and rodents." I understand why he would want to place himself at this event to try to look less partisan after making those decisive comments. I guess only time will tell if SD24 voters will see through this "strategic" coincidence.
Here's the OPP's video of the speakers at the Dayton rally:
Photo: SD24 DFL state senate candidate Vicki Jensen,who was so invited to campaign with Governor Dayton. Not so opponent Vern Swedin.