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 Response Page - David Dillon Interview - Political Party Endorsement Process    

These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
David Dillon Interview of 04-23-09.

The questions:

_7.5 average_____ 1. On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is your view on whether a political party should be open to the possibility of endorsing a candidate of another party for a given office?

_4.0 average_____ 2. On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is your view on whether--in the event a political party has chosen to endorse a candidate of another political party for a specific office--state law should allow that party to close its own ballot to candidate filings for that office?

Mark Ritchie
Great summary -- he makes very good points!

David Broden (7) (0)
Question 1: This can work as was shown for many years in NY (ie Javits etc.). There needs to be some criteria established which can be controlled by the state as well as discipline within the parties. By allowing the cross endorsement it offer candidates the opportunity to broaden appeal and bring in voters who have issues with a particular party but not necessarily with the candidate etc.

Question 2: Endorsement should not limit the ability of those not endorsed by a party to be shown on the ballot a candidate for the party they wish to represent. This is no different than the endorsement process we have today. Any party can endorse for a primary but anyone else can also run--seems to me to clearly what "free expression" is about.

Bill Hamm (0) (0)
Question 1. This is the most politically ignorant issue facing the IP in recent years and Dillon has been one of it's supporters. Any political party that cross endorses undermines its own brand as we did last year with the Tinklenberg endorsement. This issue has split and undermined the party for absolutely no benefit. It appears at this time that the present leadership is moving to end this ridiculous practice and stop the naive idiots supporting it.

Question 2. More political naivety from a political newcomer. Absolute absurdity.

The IP is back to square one again because of political stupidity from within such as the issues presented here. Some of us are in the process of creating a challenge movement from within to put this party on a forward track again.

Sheila Kiscaden (8) (0)
Question 1: The other two parties do not do this because it does have the effect of diluting the power and impact of the party. The Independence Party is in a difficult position of trying to attract people and get visibility in a system whose rules protect the two major parties. For that reason it is more appealing to the Independence Party...but may still be self-defeating.

Question 2: This would result in having only the most zealously partisan candidates. Since party activists choose who to endorse, the trend would be to have a series of litmus tests about party ideology or platform be the basis for endorsement.

The open filings option which allows someone to challenge the endorsed candidate is a much needed safety valve. It gives the electorate the power to challenge and remedy the decisions of party activists who tend to be much more partisan than the general population.

Vance Norgaard (0) (0)
Thank you for the good work that you are doing and this opportunity to respond.

After participating in the MNIP cross endorsement of a couple of candidates this past year I will never do it again. I do not ever see any reciprocation on the horizon from the two major parties. In fact I am going to support the dropping of cross endorsement in the MNIP. I have come to think of cross endorsement as nonsensical. Can you ever imagine the Democratic Party endorsing a candidate from the Republican Party?

I further wish to say the Mr. Dillion’s idea of a law limiting or closing out candidates is undemocratic, would discourage new candidates, would only help the major parties and is simply not well thought out.

Stephen Williams (0) (0)
Mr. Dillon seems more interested in cross endorsing candidates from other parties than in finding and supporting candidates in the Independence Party. His position is indefensible. How can he justify closing the primary when a party has cross endorsed a candidate from another party when he does not even support a candidate who is a member of the Independence Party that has the party's endorsement? For example, last year the Independence Party endorsed Stephen Williams for U. S. Senate. Mr. Dillon chose to support Dean Barkley’s primary challenge. Am I to believe that if Stephen Williams had been a cross endorsed Democrat instead of an Independence Party member he would not have supported Mr. Barkley but instead supported the cross endorsed candidate? His position is hypocritical and self serving, and unfortunately this is not uncommon in politics or in the leadership of the Independence Party. That said I still believe that the Independence Party is our best hope for reforming the political process, but the party of reform needs reforming itself.

David Pierson (8) (0)

Bill Frenzel (10) (8)

Question 1: Political parties should be able to make their own mistakes (short of murder or mayhem).

Question 2: That’s a tougher question, but rationale above applies.

Rick Bishop (8) (4)

Robert A. Freeman (8) (5)

Question 1: I think this is fine but it signals that your party is too weak to produce its own candidate and you are instead backing the least worst option.

Question 2: I am ambivalent on this - I see the value in preventing someone not associated with the party from pretending to bear its standard in the election but at the same time I am loath to give the IP (or any party) that right if they are not strong enough to field their own candidate.

Aside, I think that it is unfortunate that people and their families come under increased scrutiny when they choose to run for office, but it is also important that the public consider their elected officials beyond reproach if they are going to put their faith in them to run the country. So I consider this a necessary evil.

Ray Schmitz (10) (10)
Question 1: Remember that the DFL is a merger of the D and the FL parties relatively recently.

Question 2: The law recognizes that the parties are private operations rather than public. They should be able to control who their candidate is; if voters don't like it they will go elsewhere.

Alan Miller (9) (0)

Timothy Utz (10) (0)

From my personal experience in running for state office last year, party label is inferior to the candidate message. I follow constitutional rule of law as my platform, the vote results with a 3.5-month campaign for first time candidate is the Democrat lost 3% support and I gained 1%. We stopped the Obama love fest and the Republican bleed. The larger issue is creatively seeking voters not in a candidate's party support structure but outside the base support. We are currently running a campaign for 2010 and seeking constitution, independent endorsements for our district. Neither party has the support structure in this district, but has a candidate in me they can support.

Robert J. Brown (8) (2)
Question 1: I would prefer something like the old systems in New York or California had that allowed candidates to appear on more than one party’s ballot in open primaries (how Earl Warren won both party’s primaries in 1946) and in general elections where you would total all the votes that candidate got in the election.

Question 2: As long as we have the caucus system I would be skeptical of giving “party leaders” the right to deny access to the ballot. For example, while technically a major party the Independence Party is small enough that it would be fairly easy to arrange a coup so that a small group could blitz enough caucuses, pass resolutions backing another party’s candidate and shut out those who legitimately support the principles of the IP.

Kent Eklund (9) (9)

Bert Press (10) (10)

Rick Krueger (10) (0)

Question 1: (Although this really is not the key issue. The real issue is that state law prohibits candidates from being listed on a ballot with more than one party endorsement. So this is not a matter of whether or not a party can endorse a candidate from a different party. It is rather an issue of whether or not designation can appear on the ballot; which currently it cannot.

Question 2: This would totally negate Primary Elections as we know them today and for the wrong reason. The very purpose of our primaries is to allow a process for citizens beyond those who are caucus attendees to have a voice in who is the party designate in the General Election. If Parties were allowed to do this, neither Rudy Perpich (Round 2) or Arne Carlson would have been Governor.

What might be more appropriate is to have the top two vote getters in the primary run-off in the General Election. Keep in mind, there are losing candidates in the Primary Elections who receive more votes than someone in the “third” position in a three candidate race receives. For the sake of argument, those candidates only have half the votes to draw from in a Primary. So to have an instant run-off does not guarantee that even the third highest vote-getter becomes an alternative. Instant run-offs in partisan races are frankly a scam that puts in place a mechanism to favor a candidate from the third choice party.

Charles Lutz (8) (5)

Peter Hennessey (0) (10)

Question 1. What does it mean to be a party (a voluntary organization formed for the purpose of promoting candidates with a particular point of view) to be endorsing the candidates of another party? If they are so much in agreement, then the two parties should join, or if there are differences but they need to temporarily unite against another party's seemingly popular candidate who advocates onerous positions, then let the individual members make that choice in the voting booth. Oops, they already have that choice.

Question 2. What does it mean to endorse somebody, your own candidate or some other party's? If you already made a choice (endorsement) then you have indicated that you don't want any other candidates running with your blessings. All the filings should be done before the endorsement is official.

Comments on the guest's points:

1. We don't want "Pragmatic, centrist, and independent" candidates. They stand for nothing, they have no standards by which to judge right or wrong, they have no standards by which to judge if something "works." Good people are not running for office because of vicious campaign tactics -- if you can't make an argument based on ideas and reason, they you try to destroy your opponent with personal attacks -- or, as we see in the news today, by criminalizing policy disagreements. Who'd want to seek public office, elected or appointed, if you risk jail for having served?

2. You don't get better candidates by tinkering with the vote counting process. You get better candidates if you foster an atmosphere of clean campaigns devoid of dirty tactics, and a non-partisan press corps interested in reporting, not creating news.

3. More pay? No. If these people are to be public "servants," then they should realize that they are NOT in it for the money, they are NOT in it as a life-long career. It is a public "service" precisely because it is a temporary personal sacrifice -- or maybe not, because serving in any office brings the beneficial perk of meeting all the right people who can help you professionally.

4. If a third party cannot control its brand, then it is not a party. If the two major parties co-opt its positions, then it has the choice to follow the example of the two major parties: the Democrats were taken over by the socialists ("progressives," "populists," whatever) at least since the 1920's, and the Republicans have been in a state of vacillation between East-Coast Rockefeller RINO's and mostly western and southern Conservatives, Libertarians and Reagan Democrats since about Goldwater and Reagan.

5. What does it mean, you are a Republican but you are for gay marriage? That's one definition of a RINO; that is, too chicken to switch to Democrat. Likewise, how can you be a Democrat yet still be for the secret ballot, strong defense, limited government, etc.? That's a Blue Dog; that is, too chicken to switch to Republican. What does it mean to be a Republican or a Democrat if people treat policy positions like the salad bar at the Hometown Buffet? How do we tell if a candidate is "most able for the job" -- "most able" by what standard?

6. Term limits are critical for a healthy republic. Candidates must have significant real life experience to qualify them for office. Then they serve for a while and get back to their own lives, and let someone else serve. The Republic does not need career politicians, it needs people who know how to manage the bureaucracy effectively and efficiently. That experience must come from real life, not from life-long public or civil service. The Republic does not need charismatic leaders who see every crisis as an opportunity not to be wasted, it needs public servants who do NOT crave using and misusing power for its own sake.

Donald H. Anderson (0) (0)

Maybe they ought to get another name. A true independent voter, votes for who he or she feels is the best candidate, regardless of party.

Pat Sweeney
What's the difference between a party endorsing a candidate from another party and endorsing one of its own? No one would say a party should be able to exclude non-endorsees from the primary ballot.

Lyall Schwarzkopf (10) (0)

Government and courts have, generally, not gotten into the operation of political parties and I believe it should be that way. If a political party wants to endorse someone that is their business. If they do not want to endorse someone that is their business. Government should make sure that elections are run on a fair, impartial bases and that every one eligible to vote has the opportunity to vote. Government has already taken to many things away from political parties under the guise of "reform" such as the financing of candidates and that has weakened the political parties which are a broader base of citizens than most interest groups. To fill that vacuum, special interest groups are providing money, TV ads, and workers in place of the political party and are beginning to control candidates for the special interest group. That must stop or we will actually have small, issued centered special interest groups controlling the governing process.

Bright Dornblaser (10) (10)

Shari Prest (10) (5)

Jim Olson (10) (10)

Carolyn Ring (8) (8)

Question 2: That still would not negate the possibility of someone filing as an Independent (no Party).

Vici Oshiro (9) (8)
Question 2: An alternative would be to put "[party] endorsed" on the ballot. Others could run with party ID as at present, but not use the "endorsed"

I think the discussion about "gate keepers" reflects the experience of those who live in strongly partisan precincts. Here in Burnsville where we are closer to 50/50, that tendency is not as strong.

Ellen Brown (10) (0)
Question 2: Why would they do that? The DFL and Republicans let as many people file as want to, don't they?

Al Quie (10) (0)

Jeanne Massey

Fusion voting, which is currently not allowed in Minnesota, would be an additional help in promoting third party participation. Legislation has been introduced to allow for fusion voting (HF 654). See article by Dave Morris that advocates for fusion and IRV voting.

Gene Franchett (10) (10)

Ray Ayotte (5) (5)

Jim Keller (10) (0)



The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political
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