TPWK Ballot Requirements
Okay, let's get to this.
Governor - Jeff Johnson
Johnson has two signature accomplishments under his belt. The first is his immediate response to the egregious Kelo v. New London decision, which allowed the city of New London, CT to bulldoze neighborhoods so that it could build (literally) nothing. Contemporaneously, the brain trust (if you can call it that) of Brooklyn Center decided to commit commercial Seppuku by seizing and razing strip malls, which now sit as empty lots. Credit to Johnson for defending property rights against that idiocy.
Less credit to Johnson for spearheading the campaign to quasi-criminalize the purchase of Sudafed because Drug War. Long after that tactic has outlived its usefulness, grown adults are being carded for cold meds.
At any rate, Gov. Dayton has accomplished very little, on account of his, erm, limitations. His principle objective being to expand union representation at all costs, he will likely succeed with a Democratic legislature behind him. To this end, he has pushed to unionize day cares, which will thusly turn a popular, functional system into something resembling Minneapolis Public Schools. Minnesota thrives on educated, white collar jobs. Expanding union power does little to help the average worker.
Senator - Heather Johnson
The two major parties did us the favor of nominating two utterly vacuous candidates, so I will take this opportunity to make a third party endorsement. Heather Johnson avoids the missteps of many Libertarian office seekers by emphasizing liberty and autonomy from an ideological perspective as opposed to the official party platform of: Abortion! Third Parties! Drugs! Gay! ...... (maybe taxes could be lower.... but, THIRD PARTIES FTW!)
When considering a third party candidate, I hold to the belief that we should consider whether said candidate would actually make a good leader. To that end, Johnson is clearly the brightest of this lot, and the most knowledgeable. This is a no-brainer.
Representative - Congressional District 5 - Doug Daggett
If you don't think Keith Ellison blows, why are you even reading this post? Keith Ellison is a Jew-hating lifer who gets a pass because diversity.
Judges (ALL OF THEM) - Thomas Sonnenberg
On your ballot, you will see about 30 or so judges, that vast majority of whom will be running unopposed. The rest are unbeatable and/or have opponents running from the ideologically progressive side.
Thomas Sonnenberg was a good samaritan executed by a convicted felon who was inexplicably released so he could get his affairs in order in advance of his prison term. This callous disregard for competent jurisprudence cost Sonnenberg his life. We cannot unseat any sitting judge with our votes, but we can send a message that we are not going to tolerate the subversion of justice on the part of lazy public servants.
State Representative - 59A - Fred Statema
My favorite Joe Mullery anecdote from this cycle is that he weirdly attributed a privately funded pool on the north side to FDR's Works Progress Administration. My least favorite Joe Mullery anecdote is that he has accomplished exactly nothing for his district. A vote for Statema is a protest against absurdity, more than anything. On his part, Statema hasn't run much of a campaign.
Secretary of State - Dan Severson
After Al Franken managed to secure the trunk vote in 2008, I'm disinclined to support the candidacy of any Democrat for this position ever. Steve Simon thinks it should be as easy as possible to vote. I can see how his party benefits from that, but I do not see how that necessarily results in good ideas for the majority. I don't support artificial impediments to voting, but if you can't bother to show up and cast a ballot, eh...
Auditor - Keegan Iverson
If ever there was a position made for a Libertarian, it is that of auditor. Otto, for all her folksy ads, seems oddly concerned with making her role a national one, which is a waste of taxpayer time and money.
Attorney General - Lori Swanson
The AG's office remains the most receptive, accountable office in the state. Swanson, therefore, remains an easy endorsement.
Hennepin County Sheriff - Rich Stanek
Wash, rinse repeat. Minneapolis elected a stupid mayor who is not serious about crime, and we need someone who is serious about crime to guard the hen house. To his credit, Stanek has made some credible (if nominal) gains on the north side, and that benefits everyone.
County Commissioner - Linda Higgins
She's running unopposed, and she chimes in on community issues sometimes. Not a huge fan, but whatever.
County Attorney - Donald Duck
Or Superman, or Lena Dunham, or what have you. No endorsement here.
City Question 1 - Should we increase filing fees?
I am torn. Granted, last year's debacle of a city election saddled us a spectacularly awful mayor in Betsy Hodges. On the other hand, that's really a product of the goofy ranked balloting system, and I really don't see any compelling reason why it should cost money to run for office. It costs money to win anyway, if that's what is important to you.
City Question 2 - Should we repeal mandatory food/liquor ratios at restaurants?
Yes, of course we should. Even if I cede the premise it's a great idea to require restaurants to sell a certain amount of food for every parcel of alcohol they sell, the 70/30 split is antiquated. Craft beers and cocktails, decent wine, and food costs have changed the profitability model for restaurants. Oh, and I totally don't cede the above premise. That premise is stupid. Restaurants should be able to sell whatever they want. This isn't North Korea.
School Board 1st Choice - Don Samuels
Don Samuels' campaign has received lots of money from out of state groups keen to reform education by way of charters et al... Perfect. Minneapolis Public Schools currently spend $21k per year per pupil (more than any school, public or private, in the state) to deliver third world results. Happy to see the out of state support for reform coming in.
As for Rebecca Gagnon, who I endorsed the last time around, she served as treasurer on the school board is it passed along $375k to nonprofit organization run by notorious poverty pimp Jerry McAfee, who failed to deliver on any of the promise his coalition made. I have seen no honest accounting by her avid supporters of how and why she has improved the district. She will not receive my endorsement this year.
2nd Choice - Ira Jourdain
Iris Altamirano has also racked up a lot of outside cash, but I have less confidence in her ability to instigate real change. Simply put, she is endorsed by literally everyone who has a vested stake in the status quo. That alone is not disqualifying, but I'll balance my big money vote with the small money Ira Jourdain in the hopes he doesn't wind up being a total douchebag.