Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Minneapolis 4th District Ballot Endorsements

It's that time of year again. Time to listen to me and vote just like me for a better Minnesota. Think of the children, people.

Need a sample ballot for your district? Here you go. Statewide races today, county, ballot initiatives and judges tomorrow.

Governor: Tom Emmer

Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for nominating Mark Dayton. Dayton's Senate tenure was erratic, marred by ideological excess, and most memorable for bizarre retreat from an apocryphal terrorist attack. Just as you would expect from a trust fund baby.

Tom Horner's campaign was arrogant and aloof, studded by nebulous promises to reform the way government works. His creepy banner ads were among the most annoying of this campaign cycle. His appeal to moderation for its own sake, dubious in any political climate, is particularly tin-eared in this case.

Emmer is unspectacular, but so what? With Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Dakotas soon to be represented by Republican governors, we don't need spectacular. We need an ideology that will keep businesses competitive. Unless moving to Des Moines or La Crosse strikes your fancy...

Secretary of State: Dan Severson

Mark Ritchie presided over one of the more corrupt election recounts your going to find. I don't care what party you are, if someone claims to find 200 ballots in the trunk of a car, you investigate.

But the best reason to vote for Dan Severson is that he supports photo ID for voting. This issue isn't on most people's radar screens because they simply assume you need a photo ID in order to vote. You don't. Severson is running on a comprehensive package of solutions, which will go a long way toward preventing future recount fiascoes. He has my strong support.

State Auditor: Pat Anderson

Patty Anderson was a fine state auditor until Rebecca Otto ran a disingenuous campaign highlighting accounting errors that had occurred under Anderson's watch. Those same errors have occurred during Otto's tenure. In addition, from what I can gather, Otto's office has lost or misplaced data on many of the investigations Anderson was engaging.

If being error-prone disqualifies one from holding the office of State Auditor, then Otto needs to go.

Attorney General: Lori Swanson

By all accounts, Lori Swanson is working to deal with problems unique to Minnesota. She has cracked down on sexual predators, shady debt companies, and ID theft, while largely ignoring liberal hobbyhorses (she matches her opponent's NRA rating, for example). She also impressed on the issue of Illinois sending toll-road violation tickets to innocent MN drivers (years after the violation occurred), essentially telling the Illinois thugocracy to clean up their own mess before citing MN drivers.

Her opponent, Chris Barden, is no slouch. He is a prominent psychologist and lawyer, who has done pioneering work debunking cases based on "repressed memories". I have no doubt that his criminal law expertise would be useful in the role of AG. Swanson didn't do herself any favors by failing to address corruption within the Hatch administration. I can scarcely blame Republican voters for selecting Barden.

Unfortunately, Barden has hitched his wagon to the multi-state lawsuit against Obamacare. The premise of the lawsuit might be sound, and Obamacare is obviously a disaster. But the suit doesn't speak to the primary problem with the legislation, nor is this the right vehicle to properly challenge it. I fear it will become a distraction.

District 5 Representative: Joel Demos

For a sacrificial lamb, Demos has run a pretty effective campaign. Environmentally moderate but fiscally conservative, Demos certainly represents the best interests of this district. But Ellison is an anti-Semitic Muslim in a district with a lot of Muslims in a city with a notoriously anti-Semitic past. His leadership is bad for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Lynne Torgerson is a non-entity, failing to reject a Tea Party Nation endorsement that cited Ellison's faith as a reason to oppose him.

Ellison may be a lifer, but this is his ceiling. Demos has shown he has a future ahead of him.

State Senator - District 58A: Hayley Astrup

Hayley to be the first Republican candidate for public office whose Twitter account doubles as her campaign website. The conservative law student is well versed on a variety of issues, likes to debate them, and reads The Onion. It's like voting for me... So naturally she earns my endorsement.

Linda Higgins is experienced, for all the good that's done us. Someone in her party spent a whole mess of money in support of her opponent (Troy Parker's roadsigns still litter our roadways), which means she has made some enemies. As it is, her participation in the Senate is limited to things like the Voter Registration Card Re-design Task Force. Pretty sure Ms. Astrup could step in and keep the ball rolling there.

State Representative - District 58A: Chris Hiatt

For crying out loud, if you're going to run for office, at least take the time to submit your biographical information to pertinent websites. Maybe a headshot too, eh? This is purely a vote against Joe Mullery, largely regarded as one of the least effective members of the house.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, when poorer districts in big cities elect lifers, they get nothing in return for their vote. I would like something in return for mine. Mullery's dad may have taught in our district, but Joe himself forgot us long ago.

Tomorrow: County races and Judges... Stay tuned.


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