Hutchinson's folly

November 08, 2006 by susan

by susan lenfestey

It looks like Peter Hutchinson got enough votes to take the election from Mike Hatch. And Hatch, says, Pol. Scientist Steve Schier, shot himself in the foot in the last week. Well, yes. He's a loose cannon.

But, says Schier, "We would have a bluer map in MN tonight if it weren't for (Peter) and the Independence Party. This definitely raises Pawlenty's national profile, and will get him a look as VP in 2008." Like I was saying, thanks Peter. Looks like we have four more years of Pawlenty of nothing.

On the other hand, Amy K. won big, the down-ballot candidates did too -- Mark Ritchie, Rebecca Otto and Lori Swanson. Patty Wetterling, sadly, went down to wacko Michelle Bachman. We'll be sending the most conservative evangelical Christian to the House, along with Keith Ellison, the first Muslim. We're an oddly divided group here in Minnesota.

And, one of the most deserving new Dems, Tim Walz, won a congressional seat in the First district, defeating Gil Gutknecht! This is huge and thrilling. Thanks for the splendid campaign, Tim. Note to Peter: Tim started as an unknown, worked hard for party endorsement, got it, and won. Going it alone is a sort of George Bush thing to do.

Nationally, we have won the House of Representatives, still waiting for a few last races to see if we get the Senate. Whoa, Missouri was just called for Claire McCaskill. This is good. Montana and Tennessee, still waiting.

The race was just callled for Tim Pawlenty, but Mike Hatch is unwilling to concede until all votes are counted.

Pundit's quote: "Hutchinson helped Pawlenty win four years ago with Tim Penney, and just helped him win again tonight." Also, "to survive this Democratic sweep makes Pawlenty a real player on the national scene." Just like I said.

Good night and good luck.

Posted in

Comments

Anonymous (not verified) | November 8, 2006 - 5:19am

please, it's so easy to crucify those who don't simply want to vote for the "lesser of two evils." Firstly, polls show that Hutchinson draws votes from liberals and conservatives in almost equal number.

When a 3rd party candidate begins to show percentages high enough to gain additional funding and support in future elections it makes sense to plan for the future and do what is necessary to break out of the 2 party hell that is US politics.

I personally am a libertarian, but I voted for Pawlenty. I did so because my preferred party is not even on the ballet, much less getting any real percentage of the vote. I'm not a fan of the republican party in any sense, they increase the size of government with all the alacrity of the best "progressives"

When I backed into a corner however, I will vote for the candidate least likely to increase taxes and the intrusiveness of government into the lives of individuals. Traditionally that has been the republicans, yet under Bush this is less and less true, yet I'm still slightly more comfrotable with a republican in office than a democrat, even if only very slightly.

You can believe I would be voting libertarian if it looked as though they could garner over 5% of the vote. We need to break the republicrats stranglehold on american politics.

Finally, don't kid yourself, the dinstinction between the democrats and republicans is largely superficial. Both parties fight for only one true cause, self-perpetuation at any cost.

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Anonymous (not verified) | November 8, 2006 - 3:30pm

IRV

Both legislatures are Blue as Blue gets. Bring IRV to the state level, bring it fast and hard. Oh, what, you got another stadium to build so MKA will be too busy in the House getting THAT done?

While probably not the total solution - campaign finance reform is the holy grail for true representation - it's a step in the right direction. Just take all the non-Hutch votes and see where the Leslie Davis - Ken Pentel votes would go in the 2nd round and Hatch would have been pretty close.

Another strategy would be to endorse someone worthy of non-lessor of two evils votes.

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Kevin Chavis (not verified) | November 11, 2006 - 4:45am

When you ask those who vote for third parties that they were "supposed" to vote for them - you attack democracy at its core. You essentially tell them that their vote doesn't count, they might as well not vote like millions already do. I thank you for your attack on those who vote their hearts, and asking them to vote for the lesser evil. Keep it negative, just like your TV ads.

I voted for Peter Hutchinson, and will remain unrepentant. While I agree with Hatch on more issues, he was a pathetic candidate. ( yet the DFL considered him the most electable - just like John Kerry was, huh?)

Judie "E85" Dutcher's lacks the depth a true candidate, and appeared just the token female running-mate.

The perception of Tim Pawlenty across Minnesota is one of a savvy, smart, intelligent person who can work in a bipartisan manner. Living in Minneapolis, even new citzens from Ethiopia and Somalia voted for both Amy Klobuchar and other Democrats, but voted Tim for governor.

You simply cannot explain away Pawlenty's election by blaming Hutchinson, Pentel, or anyone else. You should start by blaming Hatch for being a sad candidate to gain independent voters.

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