I will not vote for Democrat Mike Hatch for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the record indicates that he’s a horrible person to work with/for. A friend of mine who works in the state government calls him a sociopath, and his uncivil lash-out at reporters last week further confirms that judgment. So he’s not a leader. And secondly, he’s flat-out wrong on some issues, and far too ambivalent on others.
I had planned to vote for Republican incumbent Tim Pawlenty, but I really found him utterly unimpressive during the debate. He’s too political. By that I mean, he rarely answered the questions that were asked him, instead using any opportunity possible to attack Hatch or talk about an award he’s been given. He’s wrong about casinos (he favors the expansion of gambling in Minnesota) and he’s pandering to farmers with his support of ethanol (which economists and scientists agree is not a viable long-term alternative fuel solution). He further panders to out-state voters by offering massive tax breaks to businesses rather than confronting the deeper issue that corporate farming is responsible for the weakening of small towns.
Hutchinson, I must say, made sense, and as an Emersonian pragmatist, I appreciate that. He thinks the state should get out of the business of gambling — he said it’s a bad way to fund any government. He doesn’t think the government should be in the business of helping out some businesses (like professional sports franchises or out-state businesses). He supports a sales tax on clothing, combined with a lowering of the overall sales tax rate, all in order to stabilize the state revenue. These are commonsense approaches to the challenges of governing in the 21st century. He also called on both of the other candidates to pull all of their negative ads. Of course, they avoided responding to his challenge.
Could he, as an Independence Party governor, broker legislation between the two parties? I don’t know, but he is obviously very bright and articulate and well-informed, so I believe he could.
Will he win? Surely not.
(This will mark the third gubernatorial election in a row in church I’ll cast my vote for the Independent candidate: Ventura, Penny, Hutchinson.)