A sample ballot for November 4

SampleBallot1BY ED FELIEN

United States Senator—Al Franken
I wish there was someone running to the left of Al.  He’s a good man and generally progressive, but he’s voted to drop bombs on anyone Obama says is our enemy of the week.
United States Representa-tive—Keith Ellison
Keith was one of six votes against increased military aid to Israel, but then he turned around and voted for military attacks on Syria.
Governor and Lt. Governor —Chris Wright and David Daniels, Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party
Mark Dayton is a great guy, principled and scrupulously honest, but he’s easily pushed around by racketeers and mean cops.  He let Zygi Wilf sell him a boondoggle of a stadium that will end up costing the City of Minneapolis about a billion dollars by the time we pay off the bonds, and he let the Minneapolis Police Federation bully him into not going for legalization of marijuana when he had the chance and not allowing the more controversial actions of the MPD to be reviewed by the State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.  Dayton will win by more than 10 points, so don’t waste your vote.  Send him a message.  Vote Grassroots.
Secretary of State—Steve Simon
I already miss Mark Ritchie.
Auditor—Rebecca Otto
Otto beat Matt Entenza handily in the DFL Primary.  She’s probably a cinch to win.
Attorney General—Andy Dawkins, Green Party
Andy Dawkins is the real deal, a genuine progressive.  He’s also the best hope for the Green Party to get more than 5% of the vote and become a major party in the state again.  This is the best person on the ballot.  Vote your hopes and dreams.
County Commissioner—Captain Jack Sparrow
Peter McLaughlin, the incumbent, is responsible for building the Hiawatha Line on the wrong side of the street and increasing the danger of deaths, that now average one a year, and for building the St. Paul line down the middle of University Avenue when there was railroad right-of-way just two blocks to the north.  The new line is slower than any other form of transportation from downtown Minneapo-lis to downtown St. Paul, and there’s already been one pedestrian casualty.  He gets tons of money from developers, and he doesn’t think it’s a conflict of interest for his wife’s law firm to lobby the county for business.
Sheriff—Eddie Frizell
Rich Stanek has been the bully boy for breaking up demonstrations and ending occupied homes.  Also, while he was a state representative, he carried and passed the legislation to eliminate city residency for city employees—which might have made the Minneapolis police a little more sympathetic to Minneapolis residents.  He is so unpopular that the Hennepin County Deputies Association endorsed Frizell 8 to 1.
Minneapolis School Board Director—Ira Jourdain
You can vote for two, but you don’t have to.  Jourdain came in fourth in the primary.  Only two will be elected.  He wants more tutors for minority kids.  At a public forum, I asked him how he was going to pay for that.  He said the area superintendents (who are superfluous bureaucrats) just got assistant area superintendents.  That would be a good place to cut, he said.
Supreme Court Justice—Michelle MacDonald, Republican.
There is no way on this good earth that she will win.  She got 6% support in a poll of 783 Minnesota State Bar Association attorneys, and that was before her conviction for obstructing justice by refusing to take a sobriety test when she was stopped for a possible DWI.  But David Lilliehaug, while he was a federal prosecutor, was part of the scheme to set up the daughter of Malcolm X in a fraudulent attempt to murder Louis Farrakhan.  Send Lillihaug a message: It’s more ethical to vote for a dangerous drunk, bible-thumping Republican than for someone who terrorizes vulnerable women.
Two Amendments to the Minneapolis Charter:
To raise the filing fees for running for office.  I vote no.  Let’s make running for office as easy and accessible as possible.
To eliminate the food ratio to drinks in restaurants serving wine and beer. I vote yes.  If this turns a nice restaurant into a noisy bad neighbor, there are better ways for the community to deal with it than through some Puritanical rationing formula.


  1. All this proves is that there isn’t a single person worthy of our vote. Just more of the same, and the system will never change. Too bad that liberals put all their “democracy” eggs in one basket: the vote. It’s really just the most efficient way the rich have to control the masses, while making them think that they are exercising a “right.” It’s a sucker’s game.

    • Not a single person worthy? Then take the trouble to file yourself and offer leadership. Those who scoff at voting must be ignorant of how hard the power structure works to deny the right to vote—historically, to non-propertied white men; and to African-Americans; and to women; and to ex-felons (read: African-Americans); and to Indigenous persons; and to immigrants [the 1850’s Know-Nothing party]; and in recent efforts to students, to low-income, elderly and non-state-ID’ed persons. If the vote was worthless, they wouldn’t have deprived me of it when I was convicted of a felony. There’s nothing in this article or in the long record of Southside Pride’s advocacy which ever has suggested that those who fight for social and economic justice should “put all their eggs in one basket.” You make that assumption, but the record contradicts it. Grassroots radicals support direct action, up to and including civil disobedience; we support and participate in collective actions like strikes and boycotts and demonstrations; we advocate the importance of personal testimony and witnessing against tyranny–we do all these things and VOTE too! Those who still have the right to vote and refuse to use that right are the real suckers. Yours is not an act of rebellion or resistance—it’s an act of surrender. Yes, use your vote—even if it’s only for the sake of protest against the corporate domination of our lives. That protest will be counted and every single protest vote can testify to those who are incarcerated, those who are voiceless and oppressed, that they are not forgotten, that Minnesota isn’t really just a place where people dress up like zombies and make drunken fools of themselves. So Donna, your glib generalizations about how the rich control the masses are misdirected when you despise and discard the right to vote. Consider that you may have been mistaken. Certainly, if the power structure feels threatened by the outcome of elections, they will act to nullify that result by repressive means. But I shall never lose faith in the people, who ultimately do have the power to control our social and planetary destiny. Elections can serve that cause but cynicism can’t.

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