NOW MN endorsement WTF just AP reporter's goof (UPDATED)

Updated: We heard back from Gordy Gustafson of NOW, who explained how the organization decides which candidates get a thumbs up--and which ones don't. Details after the jump.

Remember when it seemed like the Minnesota chapter of the National Organization for Women picked a man for governor over Margaret Anderson Kelliher? Here's what really happened.

Earlier this week, the state was abuzz with the news that Minnesota's chapter of NOW had endorsed DFL candidate Matt Entenza. The group's PAC board voted on Entenza over the weekend.

It seemed like a major snub--especially when NOW president Shannon Drury was quoted complimenting Entenza's running mate, political neophyte Robyne Robinson. The Associated Press reported that NOW had picked Entenza over Kelliher and the blogs lit up.

Everyone was scratching their heads -- until MN NOW jumped into the digital conversation to explain. Lyn Crosby, the organization's treasurer, wrote this comment on a blog by Joe Kimball of MinnPost.

The AP report that MN NOW endorsed Entenza is correct. The statement "over Kelliher" is incorrect. I am a long-time Board member of MN NOW and the PAC, which is still in the process of considering Kelliher's questionnaire and in the middle of an email vote on it. MN NOW, unlike many other groups, considers each candidate on her/his own merits, and can endorse (and has endorsed) more than one candidate in the race. It is unfortunate that so many media outlets are picking up the misleading and incorrect AP report. Hopefully you will all publish the correction and action on MAK when that info is also released to the media.

Ohhh... now we get it. On Monday night, MN NOW voted to endorse Kelliher, and by Tuesday morning, everyone was releasing the news. Phew.

Now there's a mix-up that could have been avoided.

Updated: Gordy Gustafson, Minnesota NOW PAC Chair, gave us a statement explaining exactly the criteria that NOW uses to give candidates the thumbs up or thumbs down. To get their nod of approval, candidates need to demonstrate a strong commitment to:

1. Reproductive rights 2. Equal rights 3. Lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender rights 4. Eliminating racism 5. Freedom from violence 6. Opposition to punitive welfare reform

(Which pretty much cuts Tom Emmer out of the deal.)

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