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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Farheen on Almanac

In tonight’s debate on Almanac, Cathy Wurzer asked the candidates where they are on the political spectrum, and Farheen Hakeem seemed to be the only one who didn’t dodge the question: She’s on the Left. For example, she was the only candidate who was at the protest of the FBI raids. Like Chris Wright, she supports legalization of marijuana, but she’s also speaking out on social, racial, and economic justice. I would add that the Green Party has four pillars: Two are Ecology and Democracy, the name of Ken Pentel’s party, but the other two are Peace and Justice, which is what Farheen is all about. Ken’s economic vision is not human-driven. Farheen’s is human-driven, with the expectation that humans want to live in harmony with nature. I was pleased that Ken mentioned earth homes and a Minnesota currency.

If they won’t place themselves on the political spectrum, I will. From left to right, they are: Farheen Hakeem, Ken Pentel, Chris Wright, Mark Dayton, Linda Eno, Tom Horner, and Tom Emmer. The first three are liberal, the last four are conservative. Wright is mostly on the left, but he did mention Libertarianism in conjunction with legalization, his repeated primary focus and emphasis.

Wurzer said the candidates’ web sites don’t address the budget crisis. Farheen said hers does, and here’s an excerpt:

“Fiscal Responsibility…Significantly raising taxes on individuals that are making more than $250,000 is one of the many solutions that I will bring as Governor of Minnesota. Others are creating a Minnesota State Bank so your money is working to benefit you and your community, creating a wind energy company to bring jobs and clean energy revenue to our community, and reducing salaries of state employees that are making over $100,000.”


Eric Eskola asked Linda Eno about how her web site talked about aquaculture, and she said she wasn’t sure. This I just pasted from the Resource Party web site:

“Aquaculture – Fish Farming…The states or federal government should invest more money in the infrastructure needed in water treatment facilities for the expansion of the aquaculture industry. The industry could create new sustainable jobs, new markets for food crops, stop the over harvest of our lakes that is destroying our sportfishing tourism economies and be win, win, win for everyone.”


She also got their Attorney General candidate mixed up with her Lieutenant Governor candidate. At the Lt. Gov. debate Wednesday, when asked about transportation, Howard Hanson talked about a river of crippled babies. I think his point was that kids on drugs lead to deficits and less money for transportation. He was critical of corporations at least, which is why I put them left of Horner. But they don’t recognize tribal sovereignty, they’re in denial of broken treaties, and they’re outspoken critics of the American Indian Movement. If there are problems on the reservations, we can create more economic opportunities on the outside by means of a state-owned bank, rather than a state-owned casino.

This is from the MPR debate, but I still think Chris Wright had the best response to the spoiler argument: “You can’t change the status quo by voting for the status quo.” I was pleased the “wasted vote” question did not come up in this debate. Thank you TPT!

Farheen was not asked about how Dayton helped pass the Bush tax cuts, but she would have been ready to explore that in depth. Basically, Dayton voted both for and against them. He wanted to plug a loophole in the tax on corporate jet flights, but that would have only been a drop in the bucket compared to the revenue lost in capital gains and other tax cuts that they retained. If the Republicans had kept Dayton’s amendment along with the Bush tax cuts, we can’t be sure he wouldn’t have voted for the final conference version.

Farheen did have a chance to say that she would be at least as progressive as Dayton on taxes, which may have prompted the question about where they all are on the political spectrum. Farheen answered last, and I’d say she knocked it out of the park.


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