Ken Pentel Runs for Governor of Minnesota Again Under New Party

Ken Pentel, the former gubernatorial candidate of the Green Party of Minnesota in 1998, 2002, and 2006, is running for Governor again–but under a different label this time:

The bike-riding former Green Party leader is doing it again – this time with the brand-new “Ecology Democracy Party.” He said the Green Party has a “great platform and beautiful people in it,” but wasn’t focused enough. He said he made a “clean break” from the former major party two years ago.

The new party, he said, was just established this month.

“It’s going to be very bare bones grassroots,” Pentel said. “I’m going to be biking and staying with friends and supporters along the way.”

It’s a campaign of ideas, not money, he said.

He said he wants to: move the Minnesota House toward multi-party proportional representative system, establish a “Minnesota currency” that would work side by side with the federal currency that would place value in transactions that restore water, air, soil and habitats, create full public financing of campaigns, “if you acquire enough signatures or votes you are placed on the ballot. This simple change would include an increase in funding for political parties.”

The Ecology Democracy Party of Minnesota appears to have been founded by Pentel himself, who is also the founder of the Ecology Democracy Network, an activist organization he created in 2008.

27 thoughts on “Ken Pentel Runs for Governor of Minnesota Again Under New Party

  1. Trent Hill Post author

    So now there is the Ecology Democracy Party, Green Party, Progressive Party, Independence Party, Libertarian Party, Constitution Party, New Revolution Party, Socialist Party, and the county-level party–the Progressive Dane Party, one of the strongest local third parties there is.

  2. Jeremy Young

    Pentel’s naming of his new party the “Ecology Democracy Party” is in keeping with the general shift among European Greens toward the name “Ecology” in order to reflect — what? A more balanced outlook? A break with the past? I’m curious about this, but in any event, the new “Ecology” parties seem to be doing very well in Europe, better than the old Greens ever did. The one in France is seriously contending with the Socialists to become the most important party on the left.

  3. pete healey

    As a former Green (in New York), I’d like to wish Pentel well. I now focus on proportional representation since it’s not only good for Greens, but for all parties other than the two majors. The Greens in New York also suffered I think from the ‘lack of focus’ that Pentel complains about. There’s also the continuing problem of the Greens ‘socialist’ leanings or lack thereof.

  4. Dave Schwab

    Progressive Dane is in WI, not MN.

    If you’re thinking of the French party Europe-Ecologie, that IS the French Green Party.

    I agree that it’s time we start talking up proportional representation. A number of Greens (for example, Howie Hawkins in NY) are making PR an issue this year, which is encouraging.

  5. Michael Cavlan RN

    What fantastic Green Party news. With Green Party news about this Green Party news, the Green Party should have Green Party conservative should write more Green Party comments about how well the Green Party is doing with it’s Green Party drive.

    wanted to do that for a while. I proudly helped collect signatures for Ken.

    There is more to this story though. It just may not be covered by Green Party Conservative or by Green Party News. First Ken Pentel is the most well known and respected Green (former) in Minnesota.

    Second the Greens that are left are running only two candidates. One is a statewide campaign for some lowly, non threatening office. It is to get 1% annd keep the Greens in Minnesota a minor party. If they do not then the Greens in Minnesota will no longer be a political party.

    The canndidate is current Park Boards official Annie Young. She is popular with only about half of the dwindling remaining members of the MN Greens.

    But wait, there is more. They just turned in 2,000 signatures. Mostly thanks to one woman, a sweetheart named Amber Garland. However, half of the ballots signatures are for the Green Party and half are for the Green Party of Minnesota. It is not known if they will be accepted.

    Like I said, my team and I helped Ken get signatures after we felt comfortable with our signature numbers. We needed 1,000 in two weeks and Ken needed 2,000.

    There will be an announcement here very soon on this but I have to go to work. Nurses and all that, you know….

  6. Michael Cavlan RN

    sorry, one last piece.

    There is one more thing. There is another Green Party candidate.

    Farheen Hakeem gathered signatures to get herself on the Governors race as a Green Party candidate

    Farheen did not seek Green Party endorsement although she may ask for it. She knew that if she did before the signatures were gathered that some of the last remaining dwindling Greens left might say no. Including Annie Young and the other elected official Cam Gordon.

    After all, running for governor might affest the Democrats candidate.

    I also proudly helped collect signatures for Farheen. Unfortunately, her competition is the well known and well respected Ken Pentel.

    Annie Young, well I signed her petition but that was all. My campaign manager refused to sign it for Annie Young.

    Well that is all of the fantstic Green Party news about the Green Party news. With the last excuses to say Green Party on the Good Ship Green Party Lolly Pop.

    Captains Annie Young annd Cam (Scam?) Gordon. What is that large white thing that we are headed towards captains? What, the orders are full steam ahead? Like the Titanic you say?

    chuckle. over and out from Minnesota

  7. Trent Hill Post author

    Apparently I missed some news: The newest party is the Resource Party and an older party, the Grassroots Party, is making a comeback. I’ll post that in the coming hours.

  8. Ross

    Progressive Dane is actually in Wisconsin, unless you were just talking about third parties in general, in which case there are tons more.

  9. Brian

    You forgot Dan Craige, the most serious Green this year, who’s challenging Phillis Kahn in Minneapolis.

  10. Prop 14 Supporter

    Kavlan, I disagree with you on almost everything, but your parodies of Green Party Conservative and Don Lake are awesome.

  11. Michael Cavlan RN

    Oh oh

    pro-pot, anti-Pot, catholic trot, protestant stalin, prop 14 man is, well talking and muttering to himself again.

    As for Don lake.

    He da man.
    Sorry pro/anti/catholic/protestant/prop 14. Please try and stay current.


  12. Prop 14 Supporter

    Michael, what exactly made you realize that so many of us are the same person? Are our writing styles so similar to each other, and so different than, say, Robert Milnes?

    You’re wrong about Protestant Stalinist though, that was a different person. You may not believe me because of my record of pathalogical lying, but Paulie can confirm that Protestant Stalinist is not the same person as me (Catholic Trotskyist, The Last Conservative, ProPot AntiPot, Old Antifederalist, Middle School Dropout, High School Dropout, Concerned Citizen (accept for the comment posted today), Central Coast Sam, Prop 14 Supporter, Zero Party Revolution, and probably a couple others I forgot). But how did you know even though I’ve posted from several different towns, because I don’t always live in the same place, so even if you had accesss to IP addresses that wouldn’t help you? You are quite an observant man Kavlan. Maybe your political movement has a chance after all.

    And I still love your parodies of GPC.

  13. Prop 14 Supporter

    I’m also Constitution Party Socialist, Prohibition Party Alcoholic, Republican Party Democrat, Socialist Party Capitalist, and Milnes Supporter.

    As a prize for his intuitiveness, I think that Kavlan should receive an offer from Milnes to be his running mate if Carol Moore doesn’t accept.

  14. D Provencher

    Here is the press release we sent out last night to most of the media in MN. The Ken Pentel for Governor MN campaign is focusing on structural changes rather than specific issues, as in previous campaigns.

    ***** PRESS RELEASE ******

    For Immediate Release: June 6, 2010
    For Further Information: Ken Pentel, Governor candidate, 612-387-0601,

    Erin Wallace, Lt. Governor candidate, 612-385-1621,

    Ken Pentel for Governor Campaign – Ecology Democracy Party

    Ecology Democracy Party Endorses Ken Pentel for Governor

    The newly founded Ecology Democracy Party has endorsed Ken Pentel in his fourth run for the gubernatorial office in Minnesota. May 08, 2010 marked the formation of the Ecology Democracy Party through their inaugural statewide convention at Brookview Park in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Ken Pentel won the Ecology Democracy Party endorsement for Governor with Erin Wallace as his running mate for Lieutenant Governor. On June 1, 2010, Minnesota’s Secretary of State affirmed that Mr. Pentel had enough signatures to be placed on the November ballot for Governor with Ms. Erin Wallace as his running mate.

    The Ecology Democracy Party grew from the already flourishing Ecology Democracy Network, established by Ken Pentel over the last two years while bicycling over 6,000 miles, grass roots organizing around the State. The Ecology Democracy Party’s Mission Statement reads in part that it “is established to transition the thinking and action in our culture from a human- to an ecologically-centered approach in relation to how we manage or relationship with our home, planet Earth. The Ecology Democracy Party will restore a harmonious and sustainable relationship with our natural environment through a structural change of the fundamentals of Minnesota Government.” A source in the new political party indicates this change is to be brought about through the following three Ecology Democracy Party mandates: establishment of an ecology-based economy for Minnesota, implementation of proportional representation for the State House, and removal of private and corporate money in the people’s government of Minnesota.

    Ken Pentel is a Minnesota native and former Green Party gubernatorial candidate who worked for Greenpeace for 11 years and for the Minnesota Green Party for 12 years. Ken is known for campaigning and organizing around the state on bicycle.

    Erin Wallace, a graduate from the University of Minnesota, resides and works in Minneapolis as a funeral director. She will be speaking in the metro area while Ken campaigns across the State on bike and canoe.

    Ken Pentel quote: “The people who mobilize and vote for Erin and I should know that if we are elected, our three mandates will form the basis of how we will govern. These are; the establishment of an ecology-based economy for Minnesota, implementation of proportional representation for the State House and lastly, a game-changer in this great State, the removal of private and corporate money in the people’s government of Minnesota. In the course of this campaign and beyond, it will be the responsibility of the people in the field who mobilized, and all those who vote for us, to give us the backbone to see this through. We know Minnesotans are up to the challenge and we look forward to earning and maintaining their trust and confidence.”

    Paid and Prepared for by the

    Ken Pentel for Governor Campaign

    P.O. Box 3872

    Minneapolis, MN 55403

  15. Ellis

    re: Ken, good luck to him. He’s a nice guy and he’s right that PR is absolutely needed.

    As far Annie Young, not sure why writer felt need to insult…and frankly doesn’t much matter if she is liked by half the party or not, what is matters is if the voters of MN like her.

    She’s been elected the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board something like six times….and it’s an at-large seat if I remember correctly, so a whole bunch of Minneapolis voters seem to think she’s doing a good enough job to keep re-electing her.

    Hopefully she can get the votes needed for the Green Party to stay on the ballot in MN. And if Ken can do the same for his new party, all the better. If you believe in PR, there’s really no need to have a mean-spirited “us” vs “them” mentality in the same way as winner-take-all unfortunately fosters

  16. Trent Hill Post author

    “the writer” didn’t feel the need to insult Annie Young–Michael Cavlan, a frequent commenter, did.

  17. ........ Less Bovine Escrecia

    and yes, in a different life time, Donald R. Lake gave out Sacramento [California] Phil Sawyer as a ‘left of center’ moderator for both TPW (started by a Republican and owned by active, campaigning partisans, like Steven Gordon) and IPR.

    Inspite of ‘owning’ numerous reflectors and encyclopedic commentary, Sawyer claims that no one, including ‘paulie’ had contacted him.

    May be time to ‘try’ again ??????????

  18. Tim Davis

    I wish Ken well, more folks is always good, but as my friend Danene has said… The Ken Pentel for Governor MN campaign is focusing on structural changes rather than specific issues. So if you’re interested in issues, he’s not your person.

  19. paulie

    Lake, first of all, why the quotes? Second, I don’t have his email address. Third, I did ask him on BAN. Fourth, he can contact us if he is interested, and he hasn’t.

  20. '..... just look at the activists ' [Lake]

    …….Lake // Jun 18, 2010:

    ‘left of center’ what does that mean? We all know what right and left mean, but lots of us know that it is also basically steer manure.

    ‘owning’ whom owns blogs?

    ‘paulie’ we live in a two name society, three names and or Junior, Senior, II, III, IV are tolerated ——- but looked upon with suspicion.
    Folks with only one name [even celebrities] in our culture are ………

    ‘try’ you contacted Phil via the weak link of a site not of his own making and then was surprised when he did not respond? Richard Winger is a blogger not a social networker.

  21. paulie

    Folks with only one name [even celebrities] in our culture are ………

    Adored and admired by millions. Yes, I know.

    ‘try’ you contacted Phil via the weak link of a site not of his own making and then was surprised when he did not respond?

    I don’t have his contact info, as previously mentioned.

  22. annie

    So sad! Do those of you who support these splinter groups ever look at the election stats? 1. you don’t garner enough votes to have a real voice in the process as a splinter group and 2. you garner just enough votes to be spoilers which either allows the conservative anti-environment party to win or to undermine the strength of the liberals if they win.
    Too bad personal egos get in the way of your professed ‘ecology’ goals. Working within a system, especially with a relatively large group of focused individuals would have resulted in progress, instead ecology issues have stagnated or moved backward ever since you started your little ego trip. So sad!
    I support the ecology movement but there is no point in supporting losers. Rejoin the mainstream and use your considerable energies to get pro-environment people elected. Then we might see some progress.
    Example: a small, active pro-life movement has taken over the conservative party – you could have done the same thing with the liberal party and be effecting real change. So sad!

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