Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Sue Jeffers campaign

Sue Jeffers announced she was running for governor about a week prior to Peter Hutchinson's big kickoff event at the Minneapolis Hilton in January. At the time not knowing how successful Hutchinson's event would be I felt a hint of fear that Peter and the Independence Party might not finish in the top three.

I share a lot of the values of Sue and the libertarian party, and felt her place in the smoking ban debate would give her a strong base of support that she could build off of. She does maintain a small base of support from fellow bar ownerson that issue and passionate people in the know, however she has done nothing to build this base of smoking related support, and in fact doesn't mention the issue on her web site at all other then an explanation of why she is n ot focusing on the issue.

While she would probably have to turn her focus to other issues if she became competitive, she has no hope of even rising to the level of a Ken Pental (2002 Grean Party candidate) if she does not promote the one thing that makes her different. If she ever was able to build that base of support to 3-5% she would start to get the media exposure to promote the rest of her platform

Looking around I see some of her supporters complain that she is not getting press coverage, but unfortanatly she is not doing anything to warrent much media attention. Worse yet it seems she is satisfied with even the most insignificant media exposure. In fact on her web site she links to a glowing review of the Hutchinson kickoff event simply because it contains one line that mentions the existence of her campaign.

As an Independence Party and Peter Hutchinson supporter I am grateful that it appears there will be no debate of who the "third" option will be, but it is kind of sad to see that Jeffers and her supporters are having such a difficult time playing to there strength and riding it for all that it's worth. Good candidates who run good campaigns are hard to find for parties with alternative points of view, Sue Jeffers is proving that point. Maybe someone should challenge her for the support of the passionate Libertarian Party supporters.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much press coverage is the IP/Hutchinson getting?

I almost never see anything on the news or in the newspapers

Blogger mike said...

Hutchinson has the medias attention, $200,000 raised in 2005 and 1100 people at his event in January have accomplished that. It's March the media does not do daily updates of the Governors race, but when they do Peter is always considered to be a significant factor because he has built the kind of support to earn coverage. I imagine when we have another crowd upwards of 1000 at the convention in June the media will really start to pick up heading into the period when the average Minnesotan starts to care about this race.

There is no doubt that if we want to see victorry in November there is work to be done, but the path to accomplish that goal has been set out by the campaign, and he is in position to be on the minds of the vast majority of voters when they decide who to vote for.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Anonymous Corey said...

There's no doubt the Independence Party has a lot of support. It mainly came when higher profile candidates like Tim Penny joined, and others. I believe Peter will probably get about 10% of the vote, depending on who the Democrats select. But to count out Sue is a huge mistake. She could match Peter at 10% or more. Libertarian Ed Thompson of Wisconsin ran for governor two years ago and got I think 17% of the vote. In some respects Sue may be better than Ed.

Blogger mike said...

Oh theres no doubt she still has time to make something happen, and if on top of the smoking ban and raised taxes Tim Pawlenty also signs stadium bills, and possibly runs into trouble resolving the bonding bill I think I will have to adjust my predictions for Jeffers, but she still has to go out there and let everyone know what she's all about.

Given the party hasn't been a major factor in Minnesota politics ever she will have to be the one to let people know what her campaign and the party is all about. If she passes up these oppurtunities on to get her voice heard on the smoking ban and limits herself to other issues where she will not be able to stand alone chances are her voice will be crowded out and won't be heard.

As of right now I'm left with low expectations.


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