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A look at the Minnesota U.S. Senate race

As recently reported by IPR, Jesse Ventura is expected to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate “in the not-too-distant future.” However, it is not entirely clear if Ventura would do so as a candidate for the Independence Party — or as an unaffiliated, independent candidate.

Politics1 lists Ventura as a potential small-i independent. The articles speculating on Ventura’s entry into the race do not specifically say he would be running under the Independence Party banner. Although big-I Independent Dean Barkley has indicated he would not run if Ventura does, this does not mean they are necessarily vying for the same nomination. Two other candidates, however — James Broom Wellstone and Stephen Williams — are.

It’s also important to note that Al Franken is not guaranteed to the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s nomination. Four other candidates are challenging him in the September 9 primary. There has been speculation that the outsider Franken’s candidacy could split the anti-establishment vote and hand re-election to Republican Norm Coleman. But even Coleman’s nomination isn’t guaranteed, as he faces a potential primary challenge from ex-U.S. Senator Rod Grams, as well as Lost-namesake and fugitive felon Jack Shepard.

Rounding out the crowded field are two Greens — Michael Calvan and Thomas Harens — and Socialist Workers Party candidate Ernest Malihot.

The Independence Party is a “qualified party” in Minnesota, which means it nominates its candidates via a state-funded primary, held alongside the Republican and DFL primaries. The Green and Socialist Workers’ parties nominate by convention. The candidates from all non-“qualified” parties and candidates with no party affiliation must collect signatures (2,000 for U.S. Senate) to be on the ballot.

21 Comments

  1. Jack Shepard 4 Senate Jack Shepard 4 Senate June 7, 2008

    This is a perfect storm brewing. I guarantee that if Ventura enters the race, the Republican will win unless we giving the Republicans some of their own medicine using this Limbaugh Effect crap and having Jesse Ventura and Al Franken telling theie supporters to vote and crossover and get revenge on Rush Limbaugh and vote for Jack Shepard to eliminate Norm Coleman.

    So no way will we get 6 more years of Sen. Norm “Chicken-Hawk” Coleman to work for the big Corporation and forget about helping the average Minnesota worker or even care to help our struggling Minnesota Economy that would be the best medicine that the Minnesota Economy REALLY needs getting a Non- Norm Coleman U.S. Senator who cares about the Minnesota Workers.

    To learn more about Jack Shepard’s crossover Plan “ Called Dump Norm” visit http://www.jackshepardforsenate.com

    It is how and why to send Norm Coleman back to New York where he can be nearer the Wall Street Big Businesses that he works for and who supports him with millions of dollars of donation which he plans to use to confuse the Minnesota by attacking Al Franken or Jesse Ventura.

    I, Jack Shepard look at Sen. Norm Coleman’s voting record which has never been to help the Minnesota economy, which has never been to help the Minnesota worker and for sue it has never been to save our seniors money when they try to buy their medicine through Medicare just to stay alive.

    On Sept. 9, 2008 vote for Jack Shepard, so Minnesota can send Norm back to New york!!

    And have a Minnesotan to be our next U.S. Senator and Norm Coleman can get his dream job working for Big Oil, or Big Pharm, of Big Banks or any of the other Big Corporation whose bidding he has done the last 6 years in the U. S. Senate.

    He sure has not worked to help the average working class Minnesotan at all.

    VOTE FOR Jack Shepard; the only guy that can remove Sen. Norm Coleman in his own GOP Primary on Sept. 9, 2008 for the sake of giving Minnesota a U.S. Senator from Minnesota and who will work for Minnesotans.

    Not another 6 years of Sen. Norm Coleman doing the bidding of the BIG CORPORATIONS THAT SUPPORT AND DONATE MILLIONS TO HIM.

    HE EVEN SHARES HIS MINNESOTA OFFICE WITH A BIG LOBBYING FIRM TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE HIS MONEY IS COMING FROM MINNESOTA!!!

  2. G.E. G.E. Post author | June 6, 2008

    bsharitt – The qualified parties have no such option. But Ventura could run as a small-i independent.

    I don’t think he would necessarily pursue this strategy, but my suggestion that he should has opened an interesting debate.

    Mike – What do the Libertarian, Green, and Constitution parties do in almost every state? That should answer your question.

  3. Mike Theodore Mike Theodore June 6, 2008

    Wait, would the party’s fund their own primaries, or fund a convention?

  4. MattSwartz MattSwartz June 6, 2008

    State funded primaries < privately funded caucuses

  5. Mike Theodore Mike Theodore June 6, 2008

    “The sneakiest, craftiest thing the major parties ever did was convince the American people that state-funded primaries were in their interests”

    Now I wouldn’t have the guts to pull that off. I’m gonna go hide under my rock until ’09. I’ll take my pancakes, eggs, syrup, and tea with me.

  6. bsharitt bsharitt June 6, 2008

    If your prefered candidate is running as an independent, thus not in the state sponsored primary, I don’t see a problem with voting in that primary to your own best advantage(which mich include voting for a weaker opponent for your preffered candidate). If that’s how the system works, then have at it. The only hesitation to this I would have is if the Democrates are required to have a primary that would allow this type of hijacking, but if the party is voluntarily opening itself up to this, then I would consider it fair game. So do the “qualified” parties have the option of nominating by convention?

  7. G.E. G.E. Post author | June 6, 2008

    The sneakiest, craftiest thing the major parties ever did was convince the American people that state-funded primaries were in their interests.

  8. Mike Theodore Mike Theodore June 6, 2008

    Well, maybe I’m just too timid for the sneaky, craftiness required for third parties.

  9. G.E. G.E. Post author | June 6, 2008

    And the best way to get rid of the system is to undermine it at every opportunity.

    Why “respect” the coercive wings of government known as the Republican and Democratic parties?

    They don’t show us similar respect.

    I spit on them!

    🙂

  10. Mike Theodore Mike Theodore June 6, 2008

    I’m not saying you don’t have a right to vote in it. I’m just saying that I personally wouldn’t vote for a weaker candidate just to spoil the party’s chances. The state can’t do a damn thing about that, but it comes down to personal choice. I’m also saying that I don’t look to well upon a candidate that isn’t picked by a primary telling his supporters to go vote for the weaker candidate.
    Yes, I say that a candidate should be picked at conventions. That anyone for the party can go to it and pick there nominee. But whether you like the primary system or not, it still is there.

  11. G.E. G.E. Post author | June 6, 2008

    Taxpayer-funded primary = bad.

    Taxpayer-funded primary = I have a right to vote in it, and I can use my vote however I choose — including voting for a weak candidate. This is the system given to us by taxpayer-funded primaries.

    IF PARTY MEMBERS WANT TO PICK THEIR OWN NOMINEE, they need to do it PRIVATELY without taxpayer money. Don’t rob me at gunpoint and then ask me not to vote.

    Your ethics are illogical. You want to “honor” a system based on pillage. The system is already spoiled!

  12. Mike Theodore Mike Theodore June 6, 2008

    Wait, your losing me here. Are you saying that because tax dollars fund the primary election, there bad, or are you saying because you don’t like the Democratic Party, they are?

    Now the way I see it, folks should leave members of the party to pick their party’s nominee. None of this Limbaugh Effect crap. It just seems kind of sleazy to me to go and try to sabotage the other party to win, just because you don’t think you’ll be able to beat the strongest candidate.

  13. G.E. G.E. Post author | June 6, 2008

    M.T. – Correction: Not the “weakest” Dem; the strongest non-Franken Dem.

    A strong Democrat is no threat. An anti-establishment Democrat, or one who APPEARS to be anti-establishment, is the threat.

  14. G.E. G.E. Post author | June 6, 2008

    Fred – Because in instructing his supporters to vote in the DFL primary, as I’ve conspired, Ventura would run the minor risk of losing to an IP rival.

    He can easily get 2,000 signatures, anyway. That’s all that’s needed to be on the ballot for U.S. Senate in MN. He might be better off going that route.

  15. G.E. G.E. Post author | June 6, 2008

    Mike – Yes. If the Democratic Party were a REAL political party and not a wing of coercive government, then such gamesmanship would be impossible. You expect people to pay taxes to fund the primary and then STFU and let the state have its way? No thanks.

  16. Mike Theodore Mike Theodore June 6, 2008

    Wait, are you talking about Ventura instructing his followers to vote in the Democratic Primary for the weakest candidate to give Ventura a bigger chance of winning?

  17. Fred Church Ortiz Fred Church Ortiz June 6, 2008

    Why do you think the other IP candidates need to drop out? I think he’d take that nom easily without even acknowledging his opponents there, and still be set to move on without missing a beat.

  18. G.E. G.E. Post author | June 6, 2008

    Jerk move?

    No.

    The jerk move is having state-funded primaries. If the parties nominated with conventions and not welfare then this wouldn’t be possible.

    This is just using the state against itself.

    Nothing jerky at all about that.

  19. Mike Theodore Mike Theodore June 6, 2008

    I agree. Without Franken, the Dem ticket would be weak.

    “The electorally smart move would be for Ventura to run as an independent (not IP) and convince his followers to vote for the strongest non-Franken Dem in the primary.”

    I’ve always found this to be a jerk move. I think Ventura has a little more class then to pull that off.

  20. G.E. G.E. Post author | June 6, 2008

    Not if Franken is not the Dem nominee.

    The electorally smart move would be for Ventura to run as an independent (not IP) and convince his followers to vote for the strongest non-Franken Dem in the primary. Or he could run with the IP if he could get all of the other candidates to drop out.

  21. Mike Theodore Mike Theodore June 6, 2008

    This is a perfect storm brewing. I guarantee that if Ventura enters the race, the Republican will win. I doubt Barkley would have that kind of effect.

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