I don’t “endorse” candidates on this blog or on my show.
Partly because I’m not under the illusion that anyone cares what I think.
And partly because on the off-chance someone does care what I think, I’d much prefer they make up their own mind for themselves, rather than piggyback on anything I, or anyone, says.
But if you live in Minneapolis, I’m going to urge you to vote for Cam Winton for Mayor.
If you’re a Republican in Minneapolis?: Here’s the deal; 25-30% of Minneapolis is Republican. The DFL vote is split six ways – or, perhaps most realistically, two ways (the DFL-endorsed Hodges and the well-funded Warner). If every GOP voter in Minneapoliscomes to the polls and closes ranks and puts Winton as their #1 choice, he’s got a decent shot.
If you’re a conservative voter: Winton’s no paleo. He admits it up front. He’s a former DFLer and it shows. But Buckley’s dictum holds true; if you’re a good conservative, you vote for the most conservative candidate who can win. There is no way around it – if there’s a more conservative candidate on the ballot, they are not in a position to win. Seriously – who’s raised any money? Who’s knocked a single door? Who’s gotten any media? Nobody. Winton is not a movement conservative – but in the context of Minneapolis in 2013, it’s a miracle that someone even this close to conservative is on the ballot at all. Winning would be a great step forward.
If you’re a “Liberty” voter: one of the biggest problems too many “liberty” voters have is that they have nothing analogous to the Buckley commandment; for too many of them, anything less than 100% agreement is disagreement. Because Winton is imperfect on a couple of Libertarian issues, he’s not perfect “Liberty” candidate:
- He favors hiring more police. The current fad among big-L libertarians is to distrust, even hate, the police. I get that. But Winton is running for office in a city that’s 60+% DFL and a fraction of 1% “Liberty” purists – and many of those DFL voters live in North Minneapolis, a place where abstruse Libertarian principle comes in way, way, way behing “stopping gangbangers from terrorizing the neighborhood”. Public safety is one of very few legitimate jobs of government. Follow-up question: Who do you think is more likely to reform Minneapolis’ police department – a mayor from the establishment that made them what they are today, and is utterly beholden to the union that makes any reform via the DFL impossible?
- He supports background checks at gun shows – provided they can not be turned into a confiscation list. Which is both a palliative for DFL moderates who might be thinking about coming over and voting for him, and a statement with no teeth whatsoever; it’s impossible to make a background check anything but a confiscation list, ergo he has no plan. And – more importantly – Minneapolis’ pre-emption statute prevents the City of Minneapolis, or any city, from imposing gun controls more strict than state law. And let’s not forget – while Winton may favor background checks under conditions that can never occur in nature, every DFL candidate in the race favors outright bans; they will throw your guns into a smelter if they get a chance. But either way, anything Winton or any of the other Mayor candidates say about gun control is completely irrelevant. Tell you what – we elect him Mayor, I’ll undertake the job of convincing him he’s wrong on gun control. Deal?
- He supports modifying, rather than scrapping, the Southwest Light Rail: The problem is, the mayor of Minneapolis has little influence over the project. It’s the Met Council. The SWLR is going to happen, barring a major change in state government – as in, a GOP (or, sure, “Liberty”, whatever) Governor and Legislature to completely gut the Met Council. So – at election time, you want the mayor to piddle away potentially thousands of “moderate” DFL votes over an issue he has no meaningful control over, to win Minneapolis’ literally dozens of hard-line 100%-er Liberty voters?
- His company is in the wind power business: Lots of misinformation here; I’ve seen “liberty” people claim his company builds wind turbines and collects the big government subsidies. It does not; it maintains existing turbines. Someone has to – why not his company? If you’re a Libertarian who opposes bike paths but rides ’em anyway because you already paid for ’em, sound off here.
For some “Liberty” voters, it’s like talking to the wall – and that’s leaving out the ones who aren’t voting because they just want the whole system to collapse anyway. For those that are left? Incrementalism may be a dirty word, but incrementalism in the right direction is better than the wrong direction. If that makes any sense to you at all, please vote Winton. Or vote your principle and put the “liberty” candidate, whoever it may be, as first choice but put Winton second.
For DFLers who care about Minneapolis: Minneapolis’ current system is unsustainable. There is no way for the current system to keep running the way it is. Minneapolis is going to bankrupt itself – maybe later than sooner. Not only can you not tax yourselves to prosperity, but in Minneapolis under the DFL machine you can’t even tax yourselves to competence. The streets are terrible. The schools have among the worst achievement gaps in the United States – worse than Philly or Detroit, for crying out loud. The North Side is a shooting gallery. And yet Minneapolis is laying off cops but proposing building a trolley from where people aren’t to where they don’t want to be, at exquisite city expense ($53 million a mile!), and socializing the city’s power system.
If you’re a DFLer with some common sense – and I know there are a few of you out there – isn’t it time to say “enough?” To stop the crazy train? To run a city like a city, and not an excellent frat party for government hangers-on?
I can’t vote in Minneapolis. I wish I could.