-Voter’s Guide to endorsed candidates 2013

Voter’s Guide to endorsed candidates 2013

November 3, 2013

Here are candidates which have been nominated or endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Minnesota in this year’s municipal elections. We hope this voter’s guide will assist our membership and supporters in choosing the most pro-liberty candidates in the November 5 general election.

Candidates may seek nomination or endorsement at the annual LPMN State Convention, by a regional affiliate if applicable, or from the LPMN Executive Committee. All candidates chose the latter method. Included are a brief summary of the Executive Committee’s deliberations and other background, the endorsement vote result, and websites or other useful links. An endorsement indicates that the Executive Committee has interviewed a candidate firsthand and found them to be substantially pro-liberty, enough to deserve special attention from our members and supporters. Our vetting of candidates is intended to serve as a guide, and we advise voters to do their own due diligence before making their decisions. In addition to nominated candidates running under our Libertarian banner, the LPMN welcomes candidates from any party or political affiliation to seek our endorsement.

 

METRO-AREA CITY RACES:

BLOOMINGTON – CITY COUNCIL, AT-LARGE
Zavier Bicott (R)endorsement granted
Deliberation: Mr. Bicott is emphasizing the need to find less coercive and more voluntary methods of handling city services. He is committed to addressing rising property taxes which already exceed those of neighboring Edina and Eden Prairie by a wide margin. He is drawing attention to residential tax dollars used to fund the Mall of America’s parking ramps, which should have been financed privately by the company that owns the Mall. He’s also focusing on another top issue in Bloomington, the Old Cedar Bridge, a deteriorating span closed for several years, but which city leaders have signed on to spending $14 million to renovate, when a new bridge could have cost just $7 million. Although Mr. Bicott has been involved with the Republicans, we find his general views and principles to be more compatible with libertarianism.
Decision: Endorsed 10-0.
Resources: [Facebook] [Website] [Video Interview]

BROOKLYN CENTER – SCHOOL BOARD
Mary O’Connor (L)nominated by LPMN, endorsement granted
Deliberation: Ms. O’Connor’s main goal will be to eliminate the Board’s operating debt. To give city residents more control over their own funds, she would cut non-essential curricula like sports programs, returning them to voluntary nonprofit organizations such as Little League. She would also phase out of preschool, saving taxpayer funds and allowing parents to be the primary teachers of children at this very young age. She is one of seven candidates running to fill four seats.
Decision: Endorsed 7-0.

MINNEAPOLIS – CITY COUNCIL, WARD 3
Michael Katch (L), 1st Choicenominated by LPMN, endorsement granted
Deliberation: Mr. Katch has been involved in Minneapolis city politics for many years, testifying before the city council and state legislature on numerous issues. He is an advocate for seniors living in his ward and will stand against steadily rising property taxes. As such, he opposes the proposed taxpayer-funded $200 million Nicollet Avenue streetcar line. He supports the freedom of peaceful people to retain their 2nd Amendment right to self-defense without infringement by the city. He has voiced opposition to development projects in city neighborhoods, but has since clarified that position to not be opposed to privately-funded development, just current projects which are heavily subsidized by local, state, and federal governments.
Decision: Endorsed 6-0.
Resources: [Facebook] [Website]

Note: We did not consider or endorse a 2nd Choice candidate in this race. However, it should be known that during a recent attempt by the two DFL candidates to exclude Mr. Katch from the final of three public debates, candidate Kristina Gronquist (G) exerted pressure on the host organization and the DFL candidates to continue to include Mr. Katch, including possible withdrawal from the debate herself, resulting in Mr. Katch’s inclusion. Libertarians and Greens agree on some issues, and disagree on others including some key positions. That said, her action on behalf of our candidate indicates that Ms. Gronquist is of honest character and possesses strong integrity. These are traits often lacking in politics, and which may be even more important than any issue or position. Voters may wish to consider this if selecting a 2nd Choice in this race.

MINNEAPOLIS – CITY COUNCIL, WARD 13
Note: We are aware that David Regan is listed on the ballot as “Libertarian” for City Council. He is not a current member of the LPMN, and he did not respond to an offer to seek our endorsement. Thus we did not interview him and cannot verify his qualifications and stances. State law allows candidates to be listed on the ballot under a party’s name even when they are not a member of that party nor support its principles. Voters are advised to perform their own diligence before making a decision.

MINNEAPOLIS – MAYOR
Christopher Clark (L), 1st Choicenominated by LPMN, endorsement granted
Deliberation: Mr. Clark opposes taxpayer subsidies of the new Vikings stadium and points out that a public vote had been required per the city charter. He also stands against the proposed $200 million Nicollet Avenue streetcar line and criticizes taxpayer waste on the city’s WiFi internet system. He proposes a 15% cut to what he believes are excessive salaries for the Mayor and City Council members. Mr. Clark has run previously under a Libertarian banner for Minneapolis Mayor, although this is his first time doing so in coordination with the LPMN. He acknowledges that he is still learning about the libertarian philosophy, and as such, is committed to becoming more actively involved with us.
Decision: Endorsed 9-0.
Resources: [Facebook] [Radio Interview] [Video]

Kurtis Hanna (P), 2nd Choiceendorsement granted
Deliberation: Mr. Hanna advocates that the city follow the “rule of law”, particularly in regards to the Vikings stadium which was approved without a public vote as required by city charter. He would focus on allegations of police misconduct, decentralize the police into neighborhood watches, and is critical of rival Cam Winton’s proposal to add over 100 new police officers to the MPD. He has been an activist in challenging police surveillance of political protests held in downtown Minneapolis and elsewhere. He supports the individual right of peaceful people to bear arms. As a former Executive Director of MN-NORML, he is solidly opposed to the drug war. His top three issues are support for individual privacy, government transparency, and rule of law. Running under the Pirate Party banner, an endorsement was initially withheld due to dissent over what this party stands for and the “liquid democracy” system it advocates. However, Mr. Hanna fought hard for a Libertarian endorsement, approaching us a second time. He clarified and emphasized his positions on a number of important pro-liberty issues, including those reviewed above, whereupon he successfully gained the endorsement.
Decision: First vote: Withheld 4-4. Second vote: Endorsed 6-1.
Resources: [Facebook] [Radio Interview]

Cameron Winton (R), 3rd Choiceendorsement granted
Deliberation: Mr. Winton introduced himself to us by speaking on behalf of his candidacy at the 2013 LPMN State Convention. He discussed the need to focus on basic city services, stop frivolous spending on “bells and whistles”, and supported keeping the city’s only industrial river port open from being closed by city officials to make way for more residential and commercial development. He is outspoken in opposition to a taxpayer-funded $200 million Nicollet Avenue streetcar line in place of existing bus service. He would sharply reduce the types of small businesses which require city permits. He has not sought endorsement by any party, but the LPMN chose to support him in an attempt to sway the outcome of what’s increasingly seen as a contest between the “top eight” highest-funded mayoral candidates. Mr. Winton could bring a refreshing change to the ever-increasing taxes and spending proposed by the leading DFL candidates. However, we note that he advocates a generally Republican position of “streamlining” city bureaucracy rather than eliminating it. He also supports some non-libertarian positions, including expanding the city’s already large police force by 100 additional officers and new spending on deluxe heated bus stops throughout the city.
Decision: Endorsed 5-2.
Resources: [Facebook] [Website]

Note: After three candidates had been endorsed, the ranking was approved by a separate vote.

Note: We are aware that Christopher Zimmerman is listed on the ballot as “Libertarian” for Mayor. He is not, nor ever has been, a member of the LPMN, and he declined an offer to seek our endorsement. Thus we did not interview him and cannot verify his qualifications and stances. State law allows candidates to be listed on the ballot under a party’s name even when they are not a member of that party nor support its principles. Voters are advised to perform their own diligence before making a decision.

MINNEAPOLIS – CITY QUESTIONS
Proposal 1 – Amend the Minneapolis City Charter
Proposal 2 – Amend the Minneapolis City Charter/Liquor Licensing
Note: Due to the late-breaking news of these proposals, we did not consider or make a recommendation on them. However, these proposals were informally discussed on our Facebook page. You may view that discussion here.

SAVAGE – CITY COUNCIL
Shaun Alexander (L)nominated by LPMN, endorsement granted
Deliberation: Mr. Alexander would focus on basic city services, and as such, is opposed to the city’s recent endeavors to become landlord of several buildings around the city, would get city government out of the real estate business, and realizes that making the city open and attractive to citizens and entrepreneurs is the key to genuine prosperity. He opposed the taxpayer-funded sports dome when neighboring Burnsville already has a dome. He would also address the city’s large debt load. Mr. Alexander is a strong advocate of both personal and economic freedom, supporting “free minds and free markets”. He is running for one of two open positions on the City Council.
Decision: Endorsed 8-0.
Resources: [Facebook] [Questionnaire]

Jeremy Seykora (L)nominated by LPMN, endorsement granted
Deliberation: Mr. Seykora’s top concern is the city’s $80 million debt load, and he highlights the $2 million in interest which residents are paying on this debt each year. He would take on rising property taxes and eliminate unnecessary spending by the City Council. He seeks to keep city government out of the way so that residents and local businesses can make their own decisions. He is running for one of two open positions on the City Council.
Decision: Endorsed 8-0.
Resources: [Questionnaire]

 

SOUTHERN MINNESOTA CITY RACES:

ST. PETER – CITY COUNCIL
Roger Parras (L)nominated by LPMN, endorsement granted
Deliberation: Mr. Parras opposes the recent local tax hike, questions why taxes have steadily increased over several years, and is drawing attention to city expenditures which have been done at higher than market value. He would seek to phase out of the state-funded bus system and return to local or entrepreneurial control. He pledges to have an open door to residents and local businesses and would seek to hear their concerns first before any action by the city.
Decision: Endorsed 6-0.
Resources: [Facebook] [Questionnaire]

ST. PETER – MAYOR
Joel Brinker (L)nominated by LPMN, endorsement granted
Deliberation: Mr. Brinker’s top issues are addressing the city’s rising tax rate and high utility rates. He seeks to get government out of the way of local businesses, and he challenges how tax dollars have been used by the city. He would stand up to MnDOT on their Highway 169 project and be an advocate for those residents and businesses being affected. In general, he advocates less government and more freedom, and he highlights his support and assistance in the presidential campaign of Ron Paul.
Decision: Endorsed 6-0.
Resources: [Facebook] [Questionnaire]

 

NORTHERN MINNESOTA CITY RACES:

DULUTH – CITY COUNCIL
Note: We did not consider or endorse other candidates after our nominee Ray Whitledge (L) was eliminated in the primary. However, Mr. Whitledge is personally endorsing Ryan Stauber and Skip Sandman. Voters may wish to consider this when making their decision.

 

Party affiliations are (L) Libertarian Party, (P) Pirate Party, (R) Republican Party, (G) Green Party. Some decisions included abstentions, and candidates who were denied an endorsement are not listed. Several races are officially nonpartisan, however, nominated candidates with (L) will be considered an elected Libertarian if successful.

To find your voting location, you may use the Secretary of State’s Polling Place Finder. For residents of Minneapolis, this explanation of Ranked-Choice Voting is useful, and there is also a video tutorial. Voters who are not pre-registered can vote on Election Day by bringing proof of residency. Polls will be open Tuesday from 7am to 8pm.

Do you wish there had been a Libertarian running in your area? We understand that becoming a candidate is a personal decision which must be weighed against family and career obligations. However, spreading the libertarian message requires supporters of liberty to stand up and take action. Could that person be you? If you’re interested in running as a Libertarian, please contact David Arvidson (dave@lpmn.org). We’re already aware of several folks intending to run in 2014. The earliest opportunity to seek our support will be at the 2014 LPMN State Convention in the spring. Running as a Libertarian is the single best way to promote the ideals of both personal and economic freedom directly to the public.

We hope this voter’s guide will assist our membership and supporters in making their decisions on November 5. We wish the best of luck to all of our endorsed candidates and congratulate them on taking a personal stand for liberty!

Concerned about the expansion of government control and the erosion of individual liberty? Please consider joining and becoming active with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. Libertarians support liberty on all issues, all the time! Libertarianism is a philosophical and political movement to promote personal freedom, strong civil liberties, a genuinely free marketplace, and peace.

 

2013-11-03T20:17:27+00:00 November 3rd, 2013|0 Comments