Why follow Kahn in the dorms? The Daily explains.

by Karlee Weinmann

As of this moment, two comments have been posted on today’s story about Rep. Phyllis Kahn’s on-campus campaigning in residence halls. To clear up any confusion, I’ll explain why I, my editor and the Daily thought it appropriate to shadow this particular candidate and not her opponent.

First, to put it simply, Kahn is an institution. She’s served the University of Minnesota area since 1972, and this fact alone signifies her importance and influence to this community.

Second, according to the numbers and general political climate in the area, she doesn’t necessarily need to be out doing the whole grassroots-campaigning thing. But she is. She does it because she believes in it, and she has demonstrated her commitment to the University and its student-voters in each of her 19 campaigns. That’s virtually unheard of.

Third, it’s logical that Kahn’s opponent, University student Ole Hovde, would hit the dorms. His likely voter support will come largely from students. This isn’t necessarily true of Kahn, who is well-known in the off-campus parts of her district and around the state. Still, she has spent significant time campaigning on-campus, with students.

The story’s focus is clearly on Kahn and her longstanding place in our community. The story is not built around political issues. It’s about what she’s doing, how she does it and how long she’s been at it. Of course, when dealing with a story about any legislator, political views come into play. But in this story, that was merely a peripheral — but necessarily included — piece.

And as for allegations that the story was skewed and that Kahn steered clear of knocking on doors adorned with Hovde’s campaign literature — that’s simply not true. She knocked on doors of students apparently supporting her opponent. Whether or not they answered, she placed her party’s mailers at every dorm.

In the interest of getting the real story across, and clearing up any confusion about why the Daily followed our district’s representative, I thought I’d set the record straight.

Karlee Weinmann, Projects Reporter