Some recommendations for voters (and donors?)
Anyway here is what I tried to post yesterday:
I have been supporting Peter Hutchinson and Maureen Reed for governor and Lt. Governor, but I want to make it clear that I am not supporting the concept of TeamMN, that voting for the whole slate of candidates offered by the Independence Party is wasteful. I wish Peter Hutchinson had his own campaign website, without the cute gimmicks of the Independence Party (AskIndie floating graphic, etc.). People voting for Hutchinson are going to be doing it because he is measurably better than the other two major party offerings.
Hutchinson is very clearly going to get the percentage required to maintain major party status, if not win outright. And he may win.
The Green Party's best chance for getting their minimum threshhold is Papa John Kolstad, and some IP Party people, and some Dems, should be brokering trades with their friends in other parties to ensure that Hutchinson gets elected, and Papa John Kolstad gets that minimum threshhold, and that the better Dem candidates get all of the support they can.
Greens and IP partisans should realize at this point that the Senate and Congressional races they are waging have been great for promoting issues, and have been a step forward in party building, but that continuing to encourage voters to vote for Jay Pond or Tammy Lee or Binkowski or Cavlan, etc. is irresponsible. We have to have a strong majority in Congress in opposition to this Bush Administration if anything resembling the America we once knew is to be restored. The value of running Tammy Lee or Ken Pentel has been the harvest of donor and volunteer contact info, of campaign experience. Much more campaign experience can be had by Greens/IPers by either focusing clearly on Papa John Kolstad's race and/or Hutchinson.
Keith Ellison is going to win. Nonetheless, more work can be done for him in these next few days, and people coming from non-partisan or other party backgrounds who realizing that Ellison is going to win, and wanting to be counted as supporters can find ways to signal their support, and be counted for it.
To be honest, I had a couple of reservations about Ellison's candidacy: his support of Hatch/Klobuchar during the caucus to convention endorsement process, the fact that I thought we still needed him in the MN State legislature, and I think that's it.
Last night I met the DFL endorsed candidate running to replace him in the MN State House: Willie Dominguez. I am now more comfortable with the idea that Ellison is leaving his previous job in the hands of someone with much of the same priorities and sense of social justice.
I have had trouble forgiving Brita Sailer for supporting Hatch in the spring endorsement battle. Clearly Brita's priorities were better matched with the policies proposed by Sen. Becky Lourey, but I think Brita's ability to see the possibilities of the likes of Ted Fiskevold and Michael Meuers, who continue to scuttle the DFL platform and appeal based on issues, by spreading the myth that Brita is "too liberal" for her district. Meuers and Fiskevold were ready to, and continue to say anything to maintain their aaparent authority about and utility for the party, when their strategy of triangulating, of trumpeting "electability" over integrity and experience was 100% dead wrong in terms of the public mood now, and I think it was easy to see that it would be what it is now, but we don't exactly have the kinds of candidates running statewide that the mood calls for, regarding Iraq, regarding integrity, etc.
In State House District 2B, I absolutely encorage everyone to vote for Brita Sailer, who is still fairly new and inexperienced, and can be forgiven once for allowing the narrow-minded opinions, approaches, and goals of self-important political thugs like Meuers, Fiskevold, even me from confusing her own moral compass and sense of the political zeitgeist in endorsements.
In SD2 I still don't know what to say. I wrote in my own name when I voted. I still hadn't met GOP candidate Steve Booth yet. Booth and Skoe appear to be pretty close, so I am a tiny bit skeptical about his ability to resist influence from Skoe on the wild rice issue, but I think that he is more honest than Skoe. I would really like to see him take Lindgren to task on his attacks on Red Lake's soveriegnty, the Red Lake Independent School District's funding, etc. but even absent that...
Skoe, Lori Swanson and Hatch are where I am encouraging voters to sanction Meuers, Fiskevold, and Lori Bergland Olson for their misdeeds leading up to the DFL State convention.
It is going to be a long and difficult month for me, unless I figure out how to make some decent money again, without compromising my values. I spent the bulk of my November income already on helping to send a very talented young professional to a regional conference, someone who helped make things possible in Aceh, but is in fact from a different part of Sumatra, a Christian who was able to deal with the American evangelical weirdness of Samaritan's Purse, Islam + Adat Aceh, and my liberal humanitarian passion and belief in science & engineering.
It would be a good thing for someone with real money to just realize that it migh be worth talking to me about funding the work we started there - it accomplishes a lot towards peace, binding atmospheric carbon and achieving sustainable forestry with real plant biodiversity assessment and conservation, and its also sexy and adventurous. Like being the crocodile hunter without having to freak out dangerous animals in front of a TV camera. There are more immediate asks and needs for money, though:
Dennis Kucinich was also asking for money in a early morning e-mail. Apparently the GOP has decided to spend some big money and say some outrageous things to try to get rid of the guy that keeps doing the right thing on everything that matters. So whip out that plastic for Dennis, and then think about how to help me find a few million for Aceh sometime after Nov. 7th.
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