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Our View: Independence Party: Gibson

In its struggle to find an identity for itself, the Minnesota Reform Party that helped elect Jesse Ventura governor in 1998 has changed its name to the Independence Party for the 2000 election. The party is hoping that lightning will strike again...

In its struggle to find an identity for itself, the Minnesota Reform Party that helped elect Jesse Ventura governor in 1998 has changed its name to the Independence Party for the 2000 election. The party is hoping that lightning will strike again, as it did with Ventura, and that its candidate for the U.S. Senate will be elected.
The odds are a lot longer this time around. The party has four candidates, none of whom are even close to being as well known as the governor was at this time two years ago. The party's endorsed candidate, Jim Gibson, is a computer software engineer who struck it big in the early 1980s by inventing a program that helps computers talk to one another. Gibson's emphases in this election are on using any budget surplus to pay down the national debt and reforming Social Security for long-term solvency. He says such issues must be addressed to restore "intergenerational justice."
The party's other candidates are Buford Johnson, a financial planner and former DFL candidate for Congress in southwestern Minnesota; Leslie Davis, an environmentalist from the Twin Cities and Fred Askew from the Twin Cities area. Askew is not thought to have much of a following. Johnson is putting his emphasis this time around on reforming health care. Davis is focusing mostly on environmental issues.
This divergence of emphasis is a major challenge for the party. None of the candidates seems ready to deal with all of the issues of importance to the electorate today. However, of the four, Gibson seems the most prepared, followed closely by Johnson. Gibson has the backing of Ventura, and if the governor gets behind him and cuts some TV ads on his behalf, Gibson could do better than expected. He remains a long shot, but less long than the other three.
Thus, we encourage those people voting in the Independence party primary to cast their vote for Gibson.

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