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DFL Gov Candidate Series: Cong. Rep. 1st District Tim Walz

Category: MN 2016 Governor
Posted: 08/06/17 22:40

(This is the 1st in a series on DFL Gov candidates for 2016)

by Dave Mindeman

A couple days ago I got an out of the blue reply on a tweet regarding Tim Walz from Ben Golnik (Kurt Daudt's shadow) which stated that progressives shouldn't be happy with Walz because he has been endorsed by the NRA. While grateful to Golnik for his concern about the progressive viewpoint, it seemed more like Golnik has concerns about Walz's potential against his boss in the governor's race.

Although, the source is questionable, the question remains about how progressive is Tim Walz? Yes, he was endorsed by the NRA and yes, he is an avid hunter and sportsman. I had the opportunity to explore that question as Tim Walz came to Farmington yesterday for the DFL State Central Committee gathering.

He graciously gave me some of his time and we discussed this topic. The first thing he pointed out is that although he was endorsed by the NRA and welcomed the endorsement, he is NOT a card carrying member. And, although he is in total agreement in regards to 2nd amendment rights, he differentiates the rights of hunters and sportspersons from the gun rights issues promoted today.

He expressed his views on current topics. YES - he most definitely supports background checks. NO - he is against extending reciprocity from other states. Minnesota laws are for Minnesota. NO - he does not support the silencer provisions. And, most importantly, NO - he does not support Stand Your Ground.

It seems that Walz is not looking to push for any NRA agenda in the legislature and he seems confident that large issue gun law changes via the NRA lobby are not in the works. He is open to gun safety regulations but will probably look at them on a case by case basis.

He seemed to be fairly clear that although he supports 2nd Amendment rights, he seems to be saying that gun safety regulatory advocates will get a fair hearing if he is governor.

I wanted to get to several other issues with Rep. Walz but I didn't want to take up too much of his time. I saw him give a speech at the Hogroast fundraiser a little later and was impressed with the passion he portrays about a variety of issues. His trademark baseball hat and casual dress make you feel that he is approachable and a good listener. He was off to the side playing with some little kids in that practiced grandfather mode prior to his speech.

Tim Walz looks ready for the challenge.
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