So, I’ve pretty much figured out for whom I’m going to vote on Election Day:
State House of Representatives
- Paul Rosenthal (Democrat)
- Geoff Michel (Republican)
U.S. House of Representatives
- Jim Meffert (Democrat)
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.
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 For instance, Horner is for GLBT equality in Minnesota, and he proposes revising the outdated sales tax to raise much-needed revenue in our state.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.