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The Open Progressive Party of Minnesota fields its first candidate

The Open Progressive Party of Minnesota is running a city council candidate in Minneapolis – and he just happens to be Michael Cavlan, a frequent commenter at IPR.  According to Cavlan, he is qualified for the ballot and the party is in the first stages of associating with a national organization.

The Minnesota Independent writes:

Cavlan has a different perspective: He believes cops are a large part of the problem. The registered nurse says he was motivated to run for city council in part by the heavy-handed security tactics during last year’s Republican National Convention and civil rights abuses by Minneapolis police officers. He wants a beefed-up civilian-review board to oversee the conduct of cops and believes that chief Tim Dolan should be fired.

“Chief Dolan has set a tone with the Minneapolis police where there is no accountability,” he says “There are sections of Minneapolis where the people are either afraid of the police or getting very angry with the police. We’re headed towards a confrontation in this city if we don’t get these people under control.”

Cavlan is a former Green Party activist, but grew frustrated with the party’s inability to present a credible alternative to the Democrats and Republicans. He’s now running as an Open Progressive and will be the first candidate representing the fledgling party to appear on the ballot. Despite this lack of electoral history, Cavlan believes that Minneapolis’ new ranked-voting system gives him an opportunity to win.

“I really do believe that instant-runoff voting is going to change everything,” he says. “Those of us who have these views and opinions are no longer marginalized.”

A recent IPR story covered the Peace and Freedom Party’s efforts to form a new national progressive third party.  In the comments of the story, Cavlan wrote:

Onwards and upwards. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont and Washington State Progressive Parties had already been talking and co-ordinating on this.

Now we are connecting with these guys…

What we are talking about (in the early stages) is having all of us who have ballot access and will create a coalition of states parties who will agree to provide ballot access to the desired candidates…

Cavlan also confirmed that he is qualified for the ballot and running as an Open Progressive in the comments of this story about the Green Party in Pennsylvania (the comments are somewhat unrelated to the story).


  1. marnie marnie September 7, 2009

    Interesting news. Thanks for the post.

  2. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes September 7, 2009

    This has me concerned. The Progressive Party failed in 1912 & since in the presidential election. But it did succeed in lower ballots in several states including Minnesota. Mostly NE, N. Midwest & West coast states. The coalition of progressive parties proposed does not have national coverage but MIGHT by 2012. Much like Boston Tea Party. The Progressive party fails to get a majority or a winning plurality BECA– USE IT IS SPLIT between left and right. Precisely as we see happening. The PP split into GP & LP. Now Gp splits into PPcoalition, Lp splits into Boston Tea Party. Meanwhile they get on multiple ballots & think they are succeeding. When actually they are further splitting the inclusive progressive party vote. The winning strategy is VOTE COORDINATION between the GP & LP, not more leftist/progressive state parties and radical libertarian parties. The only way this could work out is if the PPcoalition and BTP were to get on most or all ballots & nominate the same ticket in 2012. This seems highly unlikely BUT POSSIBLE. I do not recommend this scenario. I recommen vote coordination by the GP & LP which already have nationwide ballot access & slates of candidates. The Progressive Libertarian Alliance Strategy does NOT require the cooperation of the 2 parties although that is obviously preferable. An Independent fusion ticket could get enough ballot access to win & conduct the vote coordination itself with the help of its campaign staff.

  3. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes September 7, 2009

    This relates to a previous thread which is playing out. I’d like to pursue it here. I asked Susan H. whether she thinks Prof. Phillies is a radical and/or anarchist. I believe he is both. Yet he has several divergences with the consensus radical libertarian positions. I believe this is because Prof. Phillies is comparable to Teddy Roosevelt regarding political beliefs/positions. When a present day radical libertarian -1912 progressive republican-gets as far as possible to the left, the positions converge with the leftist anarchist/progressive positions. Therefore I have concluded Prof. Phillies is a present day example of this phenomenon. Evidently there are very few such examples from the right. However there does seem to be several from the left. i.e. leftist anarchists that seem open to radical libertarian ideas & positions. I seem to be one & I have recognized others which I will not name here.

  4. Sean Scallon Sean Scallon September 8, 2009

    As opposed to say the, “Closed Progressive Party”.

    Explain to me the differences between the Greens and the “Open Progressive Party”, I mean the LEGITIMATE differences between the two parties, and then maybe I’ll believe this is not an ego trip.

    Because usually in most cases with non-major party politics that’s exactly what is is.

  5. Third Party Revolution Third Party Revolution September 8, 2009

    We here at Third Party Revolution endorse Michael Cavlin in his campaign for Minneapolis City Council, along with many other third party and independent candidates seeking public offices nation-wide, ranging from local to federal levels.

  6. libertariangirl libertariangirl September 8, 2009

    good luck to him

  7. Michael Cavlan Michael Cavlan September 8, 2009

    Third Party and LibGirl

    Thank you for the kind words.

    As for Mr Sean Scallon.

    Invariably, it is those who do no work that stand by and criticize those who are doing the work.

    Kind of like three City workers, standing there looking at the guy actually digging the hole. Complaining about how the guy holds his shovel, etc etc.

    If you catch my drift.

  8. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman September 8, 2009

    Michael Cavlan – your anecdote about three City workers standing around while one does the work – does that mean you will push for less government if elected to the City Council?

    Or are you just concerned with “featherbedding”?

  9. Michael Cavlan Michael Cavlan September 8, 2009


    More of a comical reference to those who stand around and complain about how those who are doing the actual work, are doing the work.

    Nothing deeper was intended. Now if you want to talk about government intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens, well that is another discussion.

  10. Linde KNIGHTON Linde KNIGHTON September 21, 2009

    The current move to a US Prgressive Party is one of growing the party state by state and making it possible for interested people in each state to know where they can connect with us. It is not large enough for a presidential bid.

  11. Yes, Linde Knighton, the US Progressive Party is still embryonic. To speculate beyond that is irresponsible! Thank you for your level headed in sight!

  12. “It is those who do no work that stand by and criticize those who are doing the work.”

    Non sequitor, a complete nonsense statement! Thanks for giving the Democans and the Republicrats a laugh at the expense of the Loyal Opposition!

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