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Picture of Wellstone bus, taken by William Wesen on 09/25/2005 at Memorial Site
Hell to Pay bug
Ten years ago today, Sen. Paul Wellstone, along with his wife and daughter and a number of staff members, was killed in a plane crash. The best person for you to hear from about Sen. Wellstone is his old friend, Sen. Al Franken.

So I'm turning this over to him.

Sometimes politics can be pretty dehumanizing. But we’re lucky enough to have some people who can run for public office without losing their genuine selves, people who are remembered not only for what they do in public life but for who they are in private.

Paul Wellstone was one of those people. This week, 10 years after his death, people across the country are remembering his passion, his political courage and the way he worked with Republicans like former Congressman Jim Ramstad when there was a chance to get something done for folks who needed help. [...]

What I liked most was that if Paul had to deliver a 10-minute speech, the crescendo would always start seven minutes in. If it was a 20-minute speech, it would start 17 minutes in. If it was a four-minute speech, he’d start peaking a minute into the thing. It was always great to watch.

That was Paul: incredible compassion and relentless energy. [...]

And when I think about Paul, I don’t just miss his progressive voice or his bold leadership. I miss his compassion, his energy, his abundant and obvious love for his family. I miss the man.

This week, instead of a punitive Hell to Pay, instead of looking for the worst politician of the week, we're going to honor the best. Who most reflects those qualities that Sen. Paul Wellstone embodied.

And who gives the Republicans the most hell.

As a reminder, here are all of our Orange to Blue candidates.



For the sake of fairness, previous Hell to Pay winners (Tammy Baldwin, Patrick Murphy, Elizabeth Warren) are disqualified from the actual fundraising drive on Saturday night, but they are certainly eligible for honorable mention.

Make the case in the comments for which of these candidates is most like Sen. Wellstone, and we'll vote on the finalists tomorrow.

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