"Minnesota Nice" is a very real, unwritten rule.
Folks in the North Star State actually do expect each other -- and their visitors -- to be agreeable, even when they disagree.
This will surely be put to the test come June 17 at the Hilton in Minneapolis.
The hotel will have guests from polar opposite ends of the political spectrum. Activists from Netroots Nation and Right Online will both be gathering and staying there.
"It's flattering," says Mary Rickles, Communications and Media Director for Netroots Nation.
Rickles points out every year the progressive internet activist group selects a city to hold its annual gathering, and shortly thereafter Right Online settles on the very same city.
In 2008, it was Austin. Then, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and this year, Minneapolis. And it does almost guarantee news media coverage when both groups are in one town at the same time.
This year for the first time, it's same city and the same hotel.
"We did inform the hotel of the dynamic, says Erik Telford of Americans for Prosperity, which is the parent group for Right Online.
Telford says the conservative group -- as it does every year -- was looking for a non-union hotel, but given the number of people expected to attend Right Online (between 1,100 and 1,500) and because of the demands for rooms and meeting space, Hilton Minneapolis was the deemed best venue.
Netroots Nation expects 2,000 to 2,500 people to attend and is spread out of several hotels including the Hilton.
So, it may possible to see scheduled speakers Andrew Breitbart pass Markos Moulitsas in the hall. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., might both be standing in line at the hotel coffee shop. And imagine, if Michele Malkin were seated for lunch just a table away from Howard Dean.
Are there rules for engagement on this shared turf? Have attendees been given a list of ‘dos and don'ts'?
Not specifically, but civility is being stressed.
"[Netroots Nation's] people are chatty," says Rickles, "and love to debate policy, so they might chat with [Right Online attendees], politely."
To help identify which conference someone is attending, both groups require registration and payment to attend their various events and each will have unique badges indentifying the Netroots people from the Right Onliners.
And in the spirit of "Minnesota Nice", folks from each camp are welcome to sample the views of the other.
"Absolutely, if they register," says Telford.
"If they buy a ticket, absolutely," confirms Rickles.
Steve Brown is an author, radio broadcaster and seminary professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.