Dumb, Dumberer, and Unelectable: My Gubernatorial Choices

So, I’ve pretty much figured out for whom I’m going to vote on Election Day:

City Council

State House of Representatives

State Senate

U.S. House of Representatives

But when it comes to governor, I’m not pleased with my choices.

I’ve long been independent, even doing what I can to keep Minnesota as one of the few states with a viable third party, the Independence Party, put on the map by Jesse Ventura (for whom I proudly voted).  I’ve also voted for independents Dean Barkley (for Senate) and Tim Penny (for governor).  But since Jesse, no third party candidate has made much of a run here in the northland.

Mark Dayton, Tom Horner, and Tom Emmer - Photos by Terry Gydesen, MinnPost

This year, the IP candidate is Tom Horner, a long-time businessman and political insider.  He’s a moderate Republican, which means in these Tea Party days, that he’s not electable as a Republican.  In this sense, I don’t really consider him a true independent, like Ventura and Barkley.  But I’m with Horner on the issues, for the most part.  For instance, Horner is for GLBT equality in Minnesota, and he proposes revising the outdated sales tax to raise much-needed revenue in our state.  He’s also racking up newspaper endorsements across the state and a spate of endorsements from other disaffected Republicans (and one or two Democrats).

The Republicans offer me Tom Emmer who, as far as I can tell, is an angry right-winger who has been cleaned up by the Republicans to look presentable.  He would, I think, get stymied at every turn by the DFL-run legislature.  Plus, I’ve grown increasingly pissed off at our current governor, Tim Pawlenty, for going from a thoughtful, pragmatic, moderate Republican to a conservative who’s pandering for votes in a presidential run that’s going nowhere.

And the Democrats offer me Mark Dayton, who I really, really want to like.  But I just can’t get there.  Born with silver spoons sticking out of many orifices, Dayton can’t complete a sentence.  He really cannot.  His speech is haltering and he inspires no confidence, not to mention that he was one of the worst U.S. Senators in the history of that body.  The DFL party nominated someone else, for whom I likely would have voted, but then also held a primary in which Dayton won — primarily due to name recognition and personally financing the campaign.

It seems to me that governing a state is, ultimately, less about politicking and more about managing the equivalent of a huge corporation.  I don’t think Emmer would ultimately get much done, and I fear that Dayton would be a trainwreck of a manager, like Ventura.  So that leaves me with me Horner.  I think I just talked myself into voting for him.  But can he win?  It doesn’t look like it.  He’s no Jesse Ventura.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Emmy Kegler

    You just summed up -everything- that I’ve been thinking. Thank you.

  • This is one of those “hold your nose and vote” election cycles, especially down here in North Carolina. One of our Senate seats is up for grabs and the alternatives are Richard Burr, who may be more conservative than Jesse Helms, and Elaine Marshall, Democratic Party hack and cog in the state machine. The rest of the offices on the ballot are being contended for by more of the same, with a healthy representation of Tea Party-backed candidates. Choices are remarkably sucky this year.

  • Sean LeRoy

    Here in Washington state we’re hoping for a reversal of the repressive policies that have held sway for years now. The general populace has long been showing the signs of the ill-effects of punative laws and mis-guided regulation, but those in power continue to dole it out, again and again.
    We will have our “Exodus”…

  • Kenton

    Good call, Tony. When your convictions don’t mesh with a candidate you can pull the lever for in good conscience, you should either vote for another candidate, or submit a blank ballot. (Going down to the poll and submitting a blank ballot is STILL voting. You’re still on record as having voted and if enough people did that, the politicians would get a message that politics as usual is not good enough.)

    It sounds like in this case a vote for Horner is better than a blank ballot and better than either of the two “electable” candidates.

  • Tim

    Why aren’t you voting for Doug Pagitt for state representative??

  • carla jo

    I’m totally with you on the governor’s race. What a sad situation. I’m pretty sure I’m heading to Horner’s corner as I think he has the best chance of governing well and doing the least amount of damage. I don’t think I can bring myself to vote for Dayton.