Independence Party candidates visit UMD
BY STEVE KUCHERA NEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER During six months of campaigning across Minnesota for the governor's office, Independence Party candidate Peter Hutchinson said he's heard the same plea from many citizens -- "Don't forget us." "Think ab...
BY STEVE KUCHERA
NEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
During six months of campaigning across Minnesota for the governor's office, Independence Party candidate Peter Hutchinson said he's heard the same plea from many citizens -- "Don't forget us."
"Think about what that means, when someone needs to say to a candidate, 'Don't forget us,' " Hutchinson said during a 12:30 p.m. news conference at the University of Minnesota Duluth today. "The people in Minnesota think they have been forgotten by their politicians. That needs to come to an end. It's time to elect people who won't forget who brought them there, who won't forget who they work for and won't forget what they were asked to do.
"We wanted to be back in Duluth today as the campaign winds up to tell you that we are not going to forget -- ever," he said.
Accompanying Hutchinson on his visit to UMD's Kirby Student Center were three of the IP's other four candidates for state office: Lieutenant governor candidate Maureen Reed, attorney general candidate John James and secretary of state candidate Joel Spoonheim. Only state auditor candidate Lucy Gerold, who recently had a death in the family, was absent.
The Independence Party did something outrageous earlier this year, Hutchinson said before introducing his party's candidates.
"We recruited five public servants -- not professional politicians -- to begin a campaign to try to take our politics back in Minnesota back," he said. "Our fundamental belief was that politics was broken, that the Democrats and Republicans and the special-interest groups and the big money have in many ways corrupted our politics and brought it to a standstill."
Before the news conference, the candidates circulated through the center's lounge, talking to students.
After talking with Hutchinson, UMD student Jared Dyrdahl is leaning toward voting for him.
"He has more realistic plans," Dyrdahl said. "I like his health-care plan. I like his education plan. Mr. Hatch has a good plan for education, but I don't think it's realistic. Mr. Pawlenty favors the wealthy too much."
Before talking to Hutchinson today, UMD student Eric Mislivec was considering voting for Hatch. Now Hutchinson "has my vote," he said, adding that the Independence Partyis more committed to running government well than are Democrats and Republicans.
"They are not taking money from special interests," Mislivec said of the Independence Party. "They are not owned by big business."
"Minnesota is a great state," he said. "We do have our problems. If we want to resolved anything, we have to pay attention. And the IP seems to be paying attention."