Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Reaching out 1500 feet

The Independence party and Peter Hutchinson campaign need to do one thing to ensure they have a shot in November. They need to reach out 1500 feet from Party and Hutchinson headquarters to the KSTP studio.

The stadium issue and Tim Pawlenty's impending signature to raise taxes has fiscal conservatives outraged. You can hear it this morning from the callers to the Bob Davis show on KSTP AM 1500. The callers are ready to reject Tim Pawlenty, some of them ready to go as far as voting Democrat to send the message, some will vote Sue Jeffers to send the message, and at least one caller will vote Peter Hutchinson to send that message.

Bob Davis seems to believe that Peter Hutchinson and the Independence Party don't have the organization to make it happen. 1200 people at the kickoff event suggest to those on the inside that we have something going. 900,000 votes in electing Jesse Ventura tend to suggest that we have something going. Tim Penny polling at around 30% up until the final two weeks in 2002 tend to suggest we have something going. Still I won't disagree with Bob Davis that the Independence Party is lacking and is nowhere near the Democrats and Republicans on the ground, but as this party has demonstrated in the past the ground game is not the #1 factor in converting votes, putting up candidates that the public wants to get behind is what matters.

The Independence continues to put forward the candidates the people are looking for, it will take a good ground game to demonstrate that to the voter, but it won't take a great ground game. Peter Hutchinson is doing the things he needs to do to win. A lot of other things out of his control will have to happen, the governor signing a direct tax increase for stadiums goes a long ways toward that, but in light of Jesse Ventura's victory in 1998 Bob Davis and those like him are simply labeling the Independence Party a typical non factor third party simply because they are such strong partisans that they don't want to acknowledge reality.

If Independence Party supporters start calling in to Bob Davis, and the rest of the shows on AM 1500 as well as KFAN, KTLK, WCCO, and all of Minnesota's political talk stations it will go a long ways toward victory. Likewise letters to the editor, E-mails to reporters and calls to TV news stations will go a long way towards getting the Independence party elevated to the status of the Democrats and Republicans. I've seen how quickly the media will change a story based on just a small handful of calls and letters, if you get in on that end of the fight you will help the Independence Party more then any fundraiser, more then any bumper sticker, more then any lawn sign, more then any lit drop, and more then any rally. The level of organization needed really isn't that huge if just 20 more people started calling and sending letters once a week Peter Hutchinson would do no worse then Tim Penny, and if the climate is right November 7th he will win.

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