Thursday, November 27, 2008

Reverend Billy's Ten Commandments on Buy Nothing Day


1) Forgive people, yourself and everybody else. We all shop too much.

2) Know your Devil. Shoppers are only dancing in the land of ten thousand ads. Consumerism is the system. Corporations are the agents of the system.

3) Respect the micro-gesture. Magicalize the foreground. Fore-go the plastic bag and grab that bare banana– Amen!

4) Practice asking for Sweat-free, Fairly-traded products. That's the rude that's cool.

5) Buy less and give more. Giving is forceful, the beginning of fantastic new economies.

6) Buy local and think global. Love Your Neighbor (buy at independent shops) and Love The Earth (walk to, bike to, mass transit to – the things you need.)

7) Citizens can buy or not buy, produce or not produce. We can change to a sustainable personal economy. Then corporations and governments will change.

8) Envision the history of a product on a shelf. Workers and the earth made that thing. Resisting Consumerism is an act of imagination.

9) Complexify. Don't be so easy to figure out. Consumers tend to regularize. Shopping at big boxes and chains makes us all the same. Viva la difference!

10) Respect the heroes of the resistance. A small band of neighborhood-defenders who staved off a super mall with years of protests? Beautiful.

It's our turn now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Senate race shows need for runoff system

By: Nick Hannula , Duluth News Tribune

As I write this, the 2008 election for U.S. Senate in Minnesota is, as of yet, undecided. Incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman and challenger Al Franken each won about 42 percent of the vote. Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley scored 15 percent. Coleman and Franken are separated by hundreds of votes, with Coleman holding a slim advantage. Per Minnesota law, ballots are being recounted to decide the race’s winner.

Whichever candidate prevails will have barely won a narrow victory to the dissatisfaction of the majority of Minnesota voters; 58 percent will have not voted for the winner.

This race and other recent elections underscore a need in Minnesota to reform election law.

Coleman also failed to meet the 50 percent threshold in his 2002 election. The last three gubernatorial elections — in 1998, 2002 and 2006 — were won with 37 percent, 44 percent and 46 percent of the vote, respectively. And this year, two Minnesota congressional seats were won without a majority of the vote.

The fact that most voters did not choose former Gov. Jesse Ventura, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Coleman, Rep.-elect Erik Paulsen and Rep. Michele Bachmann in their respective races is problematic. Voters’ choices are not accurately being portrayed through the election results.

Third-party candidates have skewed results from whichever candidate is actually preferred by the voters.

The Independence Party and other third parties hold a strong place in Minnesota, and, as such, should not be disenfranchised in our system. Rather, they should exist within a system that allows a candidate, no matter the party, to win with a majority of the vote.

To solve the problem of the non-majority electoral victory, Minnesota should adopt either a two-round runoff system or an instant runoff system.

A two-round runoff system would mean that, if no candidate attains an absolute majority on Election Day, the top two candidates would proceed to a second round soon afterward. The winner at the second round wins the office. Similar systems are in place in states and localities nationwide, including Louisiana and Georgia.

The other choice is instant runoff voting, or IRV. In IRV, voters mark their choices for any given office in order of preference. If their first choice is not among the top two vote-getters, their vote is redistributed to their second choice. For example, in this year’s Senate race, a voter could have marked Barkley as their first choice and Franken as their second choice. As Barkley ended up in third place, his votes would have moved to Franken and Coleman, depending on how individual voters marked their ballots. The end result would have been a majority victory for either Franken or Coleman. This would result in a faster victory for one candidate or the other, but tends to be more confusing than the two-round system.

Whichever choice is made, electoral reform is needed in Minnesota. We cannot have our elected officials take office without the election results being anything but the best representation of the voters’ choice.

Nick Hannula grew up in Duluth, graduating from Denfeld High School in 2006. He’s a senior at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., double-majoring in political science and economics. He interned this summer in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar

forwarded to me by Michael Schaefer

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ordering Plaques Online

I just wanted to state that one of the best sites I have found to purchase plaques is at Accolade Designs. They even work with whatever logo you have created to customize awards of various nature. - KC

Saturday, November 08, 2008

10 Surprising Stories About Election 08 from FairVote

1. Electoral Reform on the Ballot – New Victories and Implementations for Instant Runoff Voting:

This November’s ballot measures showed that Americans are ready to transform our politics. Landslide majorities voted for spoiler-free, majority elections through instant runoff voting (IRV) in Memphis, Tennessee (71% - see and Telluride, Colorado (67%), which extends a nearly unbroken string of wins for IRV in ballot measures since 2002. Meanwhile, an opportunity to win the ranked choice form of proportional representation lost in Cincinnati (see after a late infusion of opposition money and deceptive advertising dropped the majority support won among early voters down to 47%. Other FairVote-endorsed reforms won with more than 70% of the vote in Maryland (for early voting) and Connecticut (for 17-year-old primary voting), while redistricting reform won in California.

Instant runoff voting had a terrific first election in Pierce County, Washington, accommodating a full range of voter choice in a high-turnout general election. If early returns hold up, the system will elect the first women county executive in the state’s history, with her victory dependent on the preferences of the third and fourth place candidates that vaulted her from second into first. San Francisco also held its fifth set of IRV elections; local press lauded the impact it had in reducing the degree of negative attacks that too often dominate our politics.

Stay tuned for major reforms in the coming year that we expect can be won in legislatures and on the ballot. The nation had learned a lot about why we need to care about electoral rules and mechanics. Now is the time for action.

2. The 2008 Spoiler Effect – Key Non-Majority Winners (and non-winners):

Speaking of instant runoff voting, despite the decisive and incontestable victory of, the spoiler problem again showed the need for IRV. Minor party candidacies had a major impact on several races:
  • Even with Barack Obama’s strong national numbers and the low vote totals for minor party and independent presidential candidates, electoral votes in three states and one congressional district were won over the opposition of most voters in that jurisdiction. Obama’s 49.9% of the vote in Indiana defeated John McCain by a margin less than Libertarian Bob Barr’s 1.1%. Obama won North Carolina with 49.7% of the vote (Barr won 0.59%), while McCain carried Missouri with only 49.4% of the votes (where Obama won 49.2 % and Ralph Nader 0.6%). Obama also looks likely to pick up an electoral vote by taking Nebraska’s second congressional district with less than 50%.

  • Nine U.S. House seats were elected with less (and sometimes far less) than a majority of the vote, including Ohio’s Second district that was won with only 45%.

  • The Senate had several non-majority results. In Oregon, Democrat Jeff Merkley will win narrowly with less than 49% of the vote, while Republican Ted Stevens looks likely to be re-elected in Alaska with a similar vote-share. In Minnesota, where fully 14 of the last 20 statewide races have been won with less than 50%, Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley won 437,377 votes (15%) and two other candidates won more than 20,000 votes in an election in which incumbent Republican Norm Coleman leads his Democratic challenger Al Franken by merely 326 votes – they are now going to a recount. IRV would have given the backers of Barkley and the other third party candidates a way in choosing between the frontrunners, both of whom won less than 42% of the vote.

    Meanwhile, Georgia requires its Members of Congress to win a majority of the vote, and incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss leads with 49.8% in a race where Libertarian Allen Buckley won 3.1%. Chambliss will face Democrat Jim Martin in a December 2nd runoff. Turnout is sure to plunge from Georgia’s record participation this week, and the candidates and their backers will spend millions. IRV would have given us a clean winner on election night.

3. Closer Than You Think – How McCain Could Have Won While Losing by Seven Million Votes:

Barack Obama apparently has won 365 electoral votes (if he picks up Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district), which is 95 votes more than needed to win. He also has won a comfortable majority of the national popular vote, defeating John McCain by more than seven million votes. But remarkably a shift of less one-third of a percent of all votes cast would have elected McCain.

Thanks to the current Electoral College system, our President is elected through 56 separate contests (50 states, five congressional districts and the District of Columbia), rather than a single nationwide contest. A shift of fewer than 398,615 votes in seven states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina, Colorado, and New Hampshire) would have given Sen. McCain a majority of 273 electoral votes.

Indeed, in five of the last 12 elections, relatively small shifts of votes would have elected the second-place winner. In 1976, for example, shifts of 3,687 votes in Hawaii and 5,559 votes in Ohio would have resulted in a win for Gerald Ford despite Jimmy Carter’s 1.7 million national lead. Similarly, in 2004, a shift of 59,393 votes in Ohio would have nullified President Bush’s 3.5 million-vote lead nationwide and elected John Kerry.

4. The Electoral College Swing State Map Grew Smaller, Not Larger – The Real Presidential Partisan Geography:

Despite many pundits’ claims that the Electoral College map has been redrawn, this election in fact reduced the number of swing states in a nationally even year. A state is only a true swing state when it has a real chance to decide the election. This year, Barack Obama won by 6% nationally, allowing him to win states like North Carolina and Indiana that he didn’t need to win – and that he would not have won in a nationally even contest this year.

The biggest changes in the underyling partisanship of states have been states moving further into the non-competitive realm, with the number of competitive states (partisanship between 47% and 53%) dwindling. By our partisan measures that are remarkably accurate predictors of likely swing states four years before an election, only 11 states are now likely to be competitive in a 50-50 year in 2012, down from 13 after 2004,16 after 2000 and 33 after 1976. Of the 13 states with the most competitive partisanship, 11 are repeats from 2004, with Indiana and North Carolina moving into competitive range and Michigan and New Mexico shifting to a pronounced Democratic tilt. The great majority of states did not shift their partisanship definition by more than 3%; the biggest movers were two non-swing states, Hawaii (moving decidedly toward Democrats and their home state candidate Obama) and Arkansas (moving sharply toward Republicans)

Look for FairVote’s updated Presidential Election Inequality report to come out by early next year. We will also use information from our Presidential Candidate Tracker ( that showed that the candidates held 99% of their campaign events in 17 states.

5. Making History (or not) - Stagnant Representation of Women and People of Color:

In this year’s presidential election, the candidacies of African American Barack Obama, Latino Bill Richardson and women Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin captured the imagination of millions of Americans. Sen. Obama of course became the first person of color ever elected president. But that excitement did not translate into notable gains for diversity in congressional and gubernatorial races:
  • African Americans if the Illinois governor does not select an African American to replace Obama. Two women won (Kay Hagan in North Carolina and Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire), but there is only a net gain for women of only one seat, making the Senate 83% male.
  • In the House, there was a net gain of only two women – notching women up 0.5% to 16.5%. There were no gains for African Americans and an increase of one Latino, with Ben Lujan’s victory in New Mexico.
  • Women defeated men in the two close gubernatorial elections, but there was no net gain for women in governor’s mansions.
  • Women did win a remarkable seven statewide offices in North Carolina, while, according to the invaluable analysts at the National Conference of State Legislatures ( the New Hampshire state senate became the first woman-majority state legislative chamber in our nation’s history. On the other hand, the South Carolina state senate became the first legislative chamber to not have a single woman representative since 1991, and the share of women in state legislatures stayed flat at 23.7% -- less than 3% higher than it was in 1993.

6. Dubious Democracy – The Power of Incumbency Lives On in No-Choice House Races

FairVote’s Dubious Democracy and Monopoly Politics series of reports on congressional elections have played a key role in generating public awareness of the appalling lack of meaningful voter choice in U.S. House races and how partisan imbalance in districts is the key role in determining most winners. This year again showed the overwhelming power of incumbency, with only a handful of incumbent defeats despite “change” being this year’s campaign mantra. Most incumbents won overwhelming victories, with the average victory margin again sure to top 30% and be far beyond the impact of potential changes in redistricting practices or campaign finance laws. Indeed only one reform would give every voter a meaningful choice in House races in every election: replacing winner-take-all elections with a form of proportional representation, as has become the international norm.

As one measure of the frozen nature of U.S. House races, our Monopoly Politics model allows us to project winners in the great majority of upcoming U.S. House races as soon as we know the presidential and congressional results in each district in the previous election--- with our projections only modified by whether a seat becomes open and by what is projected to be the national two-party partisan division. This year our model projected 157 Members who were not expected to face serious challenges in either a strongly Republican year (55% Republican) or strongly Democratic year (55% Democratic). All of these Members indeed were re-elected, and only 11 did not win by landslides of at least 20%.

7. Voter Turnout and the Swing State Effect – Why Turnout Dropped in Many States:

For years, pundits have argued that young people don't make a difference in elections, but sure wasn’t true in 2008. The organization CIRCLE ( estimates that young people made up a sixth of voters on Tuesday, with somewhere between 22 and 24 million voting – at least a 2.2 million increase from 2004.

This election had the highest overall voter turnout in an American election since at least 1964 -- with a lowball estimate of 62.6%, with ballots still being counted. But our turnout will still be lower than most other well-established democracies, and even that overall rise can be misleading. According to preliminary data, nearly a third of our states (16) experienced a decline in turnout this year. Fourteen of these states were ignored in the presidential race as non-battlegrounds; the only battlegrounds with lower turnout are Pennsylvania and New Mexico. These results are consistent with CIRCLE’s findings in 2004, when eligible voters under 30 were a third more likely to vote in the ten closest states than in the rest of the nation.

This fall, FairVote conducted field research throughout Maryland to determine the most effective tactics to increase youth participating. Results will be released this winter, but in the meantime you can find more information about FairVote's student voting curriculum at
. To find complete turnout information for 2008, visit George Mason University Professor Michael McDonald's website (

8. Winner-Take-All in the Northeast – A New Era of Democratic Domination:

In the last dozen years, Democrats have won sweeping victories in the Northeast, with the region’s Republican Party now on life-support. After the1992 elections, Republicans in New England and New York collectively held 20 of 54 U.S. House seats and held at least one House or Senate seat in every state. The intervening years for Republicans in the region have been devastating, especially in 2006 and 2008. New England’s last Republican House member, Chris Shays of Connecticut, was defeated this week, and Republicans now hold only 3 of 29 seats in New York and no Senate or House seats in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.

The shift has affected down ballot races as well, in both New England and broader swathes of the Northeast. In 2006 Democrats took control of both chambers of the New Hampshire legislature, and this year took control of the New York Senate for the first time in four decades, gained monopoly control in Delaware and greatly expanded their margins in state legislatures throughout the region.

9. Cleansing Republicans from Democratic House Districts – The Roots of Polarization in Congress Lie in Voters and Winner-Take-All Rules:

Each federal election cycle, FairVote projects U.S. House results ( based on the impact of incumbency and which party holds a partisan advantage in each Congressional district as determined by the relative performance of the major party candidates in that district compared to their national average. First developed in 1997, our measure of partisanship was adapted by Charlie Cook for his partisan index. Our initial report that year showed just how powerful the role of district partisanship held. After the 1996 election, of the 82 districts that were at least 59% Republican, Democrats held four. Of the 98 districts that were at least 59% Democratic, Republicans held only one.

Since that time we have seen just how powerful the role of partisanship is in determining which party wins open seats. This year, for example, out of 33 open seats with decisive results, there were 29 went to a candidate with the party that would be expected to win in a 54% Democratic year, including eight of the ten Democratic gains. We also have seen partisanship as the most reliable predictor of where incumbents will lose.

Today, after two consecutive strong elections for Democrats, the impact of partisanship can perhaps be most clearly shown by the steep decline in Democratic districts. After the 1996 elections, Republicans held 37 of the 189 districts with a Democratic partisanship, including more than a third of the 91 districts with a Democratic partisanship between 50% and 58%. Today, however, Republicans hold only ten of the 199 districts that now lean Democratic. Democrats indeed hold all of the 146 most Democratic districts, including every single district that is more than 55% Democratic, and hold all but four of the 177 districts that are more than 51.6% Democratic (with one of those seats still possibly shifting Democratic this year if Dave Reichert loses in Washington State). Of the 44 districts that Republicans held in 2005 in districts that were at least 47.4% Democratic, they now hold just 18.

Democrats today are doing somewhat better in Republican terrain, but watch out – if there is any comparable national toward Republicans in 2010, expect a wipeout of dozens of Democrats in such “red” districts. Republicans have the advantage over Democrats of being able to win a majority of the U.S. House without winning a singe district that is less than 52% Republican.

These numbers tell an important story for those seeking less partisan voting patterns in our legislatures. Many of the Republicans who have lost in Democratic districts were particularly respected by moderates, such ahs Maryland’s Connie Morella, Iowa’s Jim Leach and Connecticut’s Chris Shays. What overpowered them was the combination of winner-take-all elections and voters growing more consistent in their voting patterns. The fact is that the crosscutting representatives that some pundits like to extol are less likely to come from competitive districts as from the other party’s districts. And it is those representatives who are not surviving in today’s highly charged partisan climate.

The only remedy for electing people from the minority party in a majority party’s terrain is a form of proportional representation. One modest example had a highly positive impact in Illinois, where in three seat state legislative districts it took just over a quarter of the vote to win a seat in elections from 1870 to 1980. That system opened the door regularly to the kind of crosscutting representatives who are increasingly unlikely to win today.

10. Democrats Winning Control of the Process – A Near-Sweep of Secretary of State Races:

Throughout the 2008 cycle, FairVote has tracked Secretary of State races because of that office’s critical role in most states in proposing and administering election policy. This year, six states' chief election officials were up for election, and it’s likely that Democratic women candidates will win five of them. The results are as follows:
  • West Virginia -- Natalie Tennant (D)
  • Oregon -- Kate Brown (D)
  • Montana -- Linda McCulloch (D) leads incumbent Brad Johnson (R) 49%-48% in a raced still too close to call
  • Missouri -- Robin Carnahan (D)
  • Vermont -- Incumbent Deb Markowitz (D)
  • Washington -- Incumbent Sam Reed (R)
FairVote hopes to work with these (and other) officials throughout their term to debate and implement electoral reforms and improve election administration throughout the country. For more on Secretaries of State and our surveys this year of county election officials that were published in five reports on local preparedness and uniformity in election administration, visit

Monday, November 03, 2008

Cam Gordon on Minneapolis School Board Accountability

I am encouraging folks to vote for the ABC/Establishment of School Board Election Districts Referendum
The ballot question reads "SCHOOL DISTRICT BALLOT QUESTION 2 – ESTABLISHMENT OF ELECTION DISTRICTS FOR SPECIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 1. Shall the Board of Special School District No. 1, Minneapolis Public Schools consist of six members elected by district and three members elected at-large for a total of nine members? Board of education members elected on or prior to November 4, 2008 shall complete their terms. The six districts shall be of equal population and shall initially coincide with the six park board districts for the Minneapolis Park Board. Three districts shall be given even numbers and three districts shall be given odd numbers."

This would create a board with some members elected at large and some from districts assuring that more families and all areas of the City are represented on the Board. Currently, 48% of school districts nationally elect some or all of the Members from districts. Over the last three years the majority of school boards that received awards for their quality of governance, relations with their communities, and progress on closing the achievement gap from the Council of Urban Boards of Education where boards that were elected by districts. Eleven School Boards in Minnesota currently elect their schools board by some sort of District including the state's largest- Anoka-Hennepin.

As a parent, I have had children in the Minneapolis Schools for over 20 years and it has been a persistent problem connecting with and getting effective and responsive representation from the School Board members, however talented and wonderful they may be. The at-large structure appears to make it most likely the board members will listen to staff and listen to each other and less likely that they will spend time attending and listening to residents at PTO, neighborhood association or other community meetings. Additionally, given the large number of schools throughout the City, it has never felt like anyone on the school board had the kind of in depth knowledge about the particular community, neighborhood and schools near where I live that would lead to me to believe that the particular concerns of those schools and neighborhoods were being reflected and represented well on the School Board.

As a City Council Member I know how valuable it is to have Colleagues on the City Council who do understand, and are accountable to, the residents in their particular part of the City. It helps me understand problems better and find solutions to them that serve the interests of the entire City. I also see how having a Park Board member, state legislators and a County Commission from particular parts of the City also helps me be part of a team or teams, who can work together to serve the neighborhoods we represent. There is no one from the School Board, however good they maybe, who I can turn to and work with in the same way. This was particularly clear earlier this year when schools in and near my ward were fighting for survival. Geographic representation has advantages. Don't get me wrong. I also believe that at-large representation can be valuable too and have often wondered how City Council decisions might be improved if we had one, two or three people, besides the mayor, representing the City as a Whole.
They are both valuable and with its blend of geographic and at-large representation I think that the re-structuring offered by this referendum provides the balance we need to make our school system work better for everyone.

At-large plurality elections are known for being the very hardest for minor party, independent and grassroots candidates to win. Running city-wide forces candidates to depend on doing well in the areas of our City where voter turn out is the highest and not to be as concerned with those areas where there are fewer voters. It also means that candidates typically need more money and/or the endorsements of major parties or well funded groups in order to campaign city-wide.

I believe that this amendment (that is endorsed by both the Green and DFL parties) will improve the School Board's responsiveness and accountability to the people of Minneapolis. It will ensure that every part of the city has a representative, which the current at-large election cannot do, and that there would be at least one board member able to develop a deeper understanding about each area of the City that they will be able to bring to the table during important school board policy decisions. Equality of geographic representation will help the public trust that tough decisions that can sometimes pit neighborhoods against each other are being made with equal concern about the fate of all Minneapolis neighborhoods. This new election method will provide more opportunities for diverse cultural and political voices to gain a seat at the table.

Cam Gordon

Seward neighbor and
Minneapolis City Council Member, Ward 2

Cynthia McKinney on Energy Policy

Dear Kevin Chavis:

This is in response to your letter a subject line:
Give us an energy policy for the future, not the past!.

I appreciate your message as I value your views on issues facing all Americans. As a Green Party Candidate for President, I also request your sincere consideration as you make your way to the polls Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

After receiving the Presidential nomination from my Party in July, and having named Rosa Clemente, a phenomenal Black Puerto Rican, Hip-Hop Historian / Activist, and esteemed Journalist as my running mate, we have campaigned across this nation for the support of the American people. We will appear on the ballot in 32 states and as Write-in Candidates in 16 other states.

According to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News, 70.5% of the voters will see our name on ballots. We stand a real chance of securing 5% of the votes in this election, thus making the Green Party US a 'third' political party in the nation. A 3rd seat at the table of public policy making can only enhance the chance of real issues facing the majority of Americans being brought to the forefront of those important conversations held on Capitol Hill.

Rosa and I believe that we offer American voters an option which reflects our nation's very best values. We believe that when American voters have the opportunity, they will go to the polls Tuesday and vote THEIR values rather than being forced to vote for the 'lesser of two evils.'

My opponents ask for your vote promising only to continue the Bush Administration's policy of spending a billion dollars a day on illegal and immoral wars of occupation abroad. They threaten to expand those wars into Iran and Pakistan. In their eloquent speeches, written by highly-paid speech writing professionals, your emotions are targeted creating visions of acts of evil from people who 'hate' us. That's not even fair because I know that you know better than that.

The Iraq war is a clear example of an unnecessary war based on inaccurate intelligence. And we have seen upwards of 4000 body bags and countless wounded Americans being brought home. Nobody even talks about the untold numbers of dead and injured foreign human beings; causalities of this unnecessary war.

Besides the illegal nature of our nation's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are other important issues ignored by my opponents; my campaign has addressed those issues, some of which includes my commitment to universal access to healthcare -- a kind of Medicare-for-all plan; for the restoration of Constitutional Government and for urgent action on global warming. For full details, please visit us online at and

Decent Americans deserve a Government as good as its People. As good as you! I invite you to come home to the Green Party today. Come home to the Party of Peace.

Vote Tuesday for Cynthia McKinney for President. Thank you for your vote and support.

Cynthia McKinney

Paid for by the
Power to the People Committee
Cynthia McKinney for President

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Republican running against Karen Clark in 61A


Thank you for contacting me. I believe that we as a society must break
free from our addiction to oil as soon as possible. But as you
inferred, I do not have much faith in government to accomplish this
objective. For example (in my opinion), the promotion of ethanol in
Minnesota through subsidies and mandates seems to be more of a favor to
the corn lobby than a viable energy solution. I am convinced that in
the long term, sustainable energy is inherently profitable. For this
reason I think the market will ultimately come up with a solution, but
only if it is left free from government intervention. The entrepreneur
who solves the energy problem will probably become the next billionaire.

Certainly, there are things that government can do to encourage this
process. We must end policies and subsidies that favor "Big Oil" in the
name of lower gas prices, and stop trying to preserve the existing
automobile industry. We must be more creative in designing cities and
communities that don't require everyone to have an automobile to get
around. We must end the moratorium on nuclear power in Minnesota. We
can also work to increase public awareness of the growing energy
problem, and to promote development of alternative energy sources, as
long as no specific strategy is mandated due to lobbyist pressure. And
as gas prices skyrocket while oil supplies run out, we must avoid the
temptation to put political (or other) pressure on other oil-producing
countries to favor the U.S. If we do these things, I believe that the
move to alternative energy sources will be a natural result of the laws
of supply and demand.

I hope this answers your question. I have added positions on a few
other issues to my website.

Thanks again -

- S. Andrew Sheppard

[ Note from Kevin: Andrew lives carfree, as I do. But he does not believe we should end our fossil fuel addiction at all. If we are to have a green and sustainable future, we will need government intervention to make that happen, and can do so without destroying the economy. A carbon tax could be enacted, allowing lower income and corporate taxes by the same amount would make the tax increase neutral. A carbon tax would end our addiction, saving Minnesotans from future oil shocks, and steer the economy to a greener path. Sheppard does not have my support in November. ]
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