In November 1990, 18-year old Jordi, a freshman at Carleton College, registered to vote at the polling place and voted for Paul Wellstone. “It’s been all worse choices since then,” he quips.
We look back fondly and mournfully on Senator Paul Wellstone’s legacy, fifteen years to the day he, his wife Sheila, daughter Marcia, and three campaign staffers – Tom Lapic, Will McLaughlin, and Mary McEvoy, expired in a plane crash.
Taylor reached out to Sate Representative David Bly from Wellstone’s home base of Northfield, MN. We spoke about his memories of Paul’s first senate campaign (Representative Bly was then the chair of the Rice county DFL!) before addressing his legacy. We conclude with two clips of Sen Wellstone speaking at Carleton College at convocation in 1992, available to us thanks to the expeditious work of digital archivist Nat Wilson. Representative Bly is one of many who are following Wellstone’s example of a positive, issue-oriented politics. You can purchase his book We All Do Better: Economic Priorities for a Land of Opportunity.
Among the legacies of Wellstone and the people he inspired is Wellstone Action, a vital training center for grassroots politics and progressive change. Taylor is himself an alumnus of a training.