Nelson-Pallmeyer wins senate straw poll

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U.S. Senate candidate Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer beat out his two Democratic rivals in a straw poll conducted this afternoon at TakeAction Minnesota's annual meeting. The University of St. Thomas professor and anti-war activist received 140 votes from attendees, while Al Franken was the top choice of 107 particpants. Mike Ciresi received a paltry nine votes. All three DFL senate candidates, hoping to take on embattled Republican incumbent Norm Coleman, attended the progressive nonprofit group's gathering. Ciresi, however--perhaps sensing that this wasn't a particularly friendly crowd for the moderate attorney--left early.

Franken and Nelson-Pallmeyer stuck around to take questions. The latter drew frequent applause by calling for a single-payer health-care system, more stringent enforcement of the country's labor laws, and a rapid end to the Iraq War. He pointed out that the U.S. spends more on the Iraq War in seven minutes than it does annually on aid to Somalia.

Franken offered less red meat for the progressive activists, but did draw hearty cheers during his closing statement. "It isn't enough for Bush to go," he said. "His enablers have to go too--and Norm Coleman is number one on that list."

The informal poll has no binding significance, but it shows that Nelson-Pallmeyer will likely be more than just a liberal nuisance in the DFL-endorsement process. All three candidates have stated that they will abide by the party's endorsement.

TakeAction Minnesota was created in 2005 from the merger of Progressive Minnesota and the Minnesota Alliance for Progressive Action. The group has already proven to be a formidable grassroots force in city and state elections.

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