Zimmerman makes it an area sweep for Santorum

by Nathan Warner
Contributing writer

If Zimmerman was a model for the rest of the nation, the presidential election in November would be between Rick Santorum and Barack Obama. Both the GOP and DFL precinct caucuses met in Zimmerman High School at 7 p.m. on Tuesday to cast their votes on the matter.

Precincts represented at the high school were Livonia 1 and 2, Zimmerman 1 and 2 and Baldwin 1 and 2.

Only 11 people showed up to the DFL caucus room, but that was what DFL Caucus Chair Frank Scouten expected. “We don’t have much to debate on,” he said, adding, “I’m sure the Republicans have far more to argue about.” So much so, that the DFL delegates joked about getting some entertainment in the room while they waited for the mandated hour to elapse before they could vote. Issues they talked about while passing the time included their approval of the recent court ruling against Proposition 8 in California and the importance of the Vikings stadium project to tax revenues. Once 8 p.m. rolled around, they voted unanimously for President Barack Obama and left for the night.

The GOP caucus met in six packed rooms representing the six precincts in the area and extra chairs had to be brought in for people standing.  After two hours of impassioned discussion, the ballots were finally cast with Rick Santorum receiving 84 votes. Ron Paul came in second at 62 votes and Newt Gingrich passed Mitt Romney by one vote (21 to 20 respectively).

Nearly 200 people voted in the 16B GOP caucus with dozens of student observers listening in on the debates as resolutions were read deep into the night.

Region 3 leader for the HD 16B BPOU, Dean McDevitt, said that with the emergence of the Tea Party, there have been consistently higher numbers of people at the GOP caucuses. “What’s going on in Washington is really hitting everyone hard at home,” he explained, “Things are changing fast and people realize they need to get involved in the process to have their voice heard.”

Various resolutions to prevent the United Nations from interfering with domestic U.S. issues were common, as were resolutions dealing with the Minnesota judiciary.

Baldwin Township delegate Paul Vollkommer came out strongly against statute 13.9, which exempts the judiciary from the data practices act in Minnesota. “The data practices act creates a presumption that state and local government records are available to the public,” he said. “This is not so with the judiciary and as a result, I have been denied my transcripts from court cases.” This prompted many of the delegates to discuss the need for better GOP focus on judiciary candidates.

State Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer stopped by the high school briefly to visit with the GOP delegates in each room, mentioning voter ID and voter fraud as issues needing attention.

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