Posted by Jeff Benson on Nov 05, 2019
Our guests today were: Charlie Longbella’s Brother Ted, and St Paul Rotarian, Valdi Stefanson.
While Ed James was in England he returned to the Harrow Rotary Club, which he had visited a year ago.
The Harrow Club is hosting our Global Scholar, Ellen Dunn.  This time Ed came prepared to present the Harrow club with a NBMV Rotary mug.
Our Club was well represented at the District’s Foundation Dinner last Saturday, with 17 Rotarians, 2 Exchange host parents and our exchange student Nanase in attendance.  The photos below show quite a few of the attendees.
President Dennis Connolly is shown below as he proudly accepts the EREY (Every Rotarian Every Year) award, signifying that every member of the club contributed at least $25 to the Rotary Foundation and the average annual contribution per member was over $100.
Geoff Hollimon thanked everyone who attended the CPY Game Night last Friday.  Final numbers aren’t available yet, but it looks like the event was a great success.
Cindy Carlson reported that our motivational sweatshirt sales at the Foundation Dinner raised over $600 for the Rotary Foundation.  Thanks go to Cindy and others who helped to transport and sell the sweatshirts, as well as to Mayor Val Johnson, who donated the sweatshirts.
Valdi Stefanson, District 5960 Matching Grants Mentor, presented Geoff Hollimon with a check for $4,923 which represented the District’s matching contribution for our 2 wheel tractor grant for E.C.H.O. which was recently approved by the district.  Geoff worked extremely hard to promote contributions to the grant from eight area Rotary clubs.  Great work Geoff!
Geoff followed up by presenting our club’s contribution of $500 toward St. Paul Rotary’s (Valdi’s home club) Matching Grant project which will provide an ultrasound machine for a Congolese refugee camp.
Jennifer Fink reported that Long Lake Regional Park will be the location for the Ice Castle this year.  Stay tuned for more details.
On Thursday, November 22nd from 7-9PM the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf will host a free Thanksgiving concert by Rubber Soul, a Beatles tribute band. The concert will be held at Peace Methodist Church, 5050 Hodgson Rd, Shoreview.  No admission fee or registration needed.  A free will offering will benefit The Ralph Reeder Food Shelf.
The November 19 noon meeting will feature new member John Johnson’s classification talk as well as a farewell to Dean Lotter, who is leaving to take the City Manager position in Eureka, CA.
Mike Neeley noted that he joined Rotary 48 years ago and has maintained perfect attendance for that entire period.  Amazing!!!
Nyle Zikmund introduced our speaker, David Schultz, Professor of Political Science at Hamline University.  David’s topic was the case for “swing state” status for Minnesota in the 2020 presidential election.  Starting in the early 70’s, and for the following 45 years, Minnesota had the most reliably Democratic Presidental voting record in the United States.  We were pretty much ignored by both the Republican and Democratic campaigns since the voting results seemed almost predetermined.  “Swing states” like Ohio and Florida, among others, have the potential to go either Republican or Democratic so they get all the campaign attention.  The Electoral College system accentuates the importance of these swing states.  David argues that the political climate in Minnesota began shifting in 1998 and culminated in Donald Trump’s stunning performance here in the 2016 election.  David notes that Minnesota party affiliation poll gaps narrowed from double digits in the 60’s to 4 or 5 points today.  Democrats and Republicans have become more divided by geography and age, resulting in flip-flops in legislative majorities in recent years.  Minnesota also has a high percentage of independent voters, which also increases its potential to become a swing state.  David thinks we are looking more like Florida and Ohio every day.  He believes that Minnesota’s 10 Electoral College votes are up for grabs in the 2020 Presidential election.  If our election ads are the only ads we see in the coming months and presidential candidates actually make campaign stops here, we’ll know that David was right and we have become a swing state.  We’ll soon know the truth. Dennis and David are shown below.