Governor candidates gain support through endorsements

By Jessica Peterson

Dayton receives support from Education Minnesota

Mark Dayton has been endorsed by a variety of organizations. For instance, Education Minnesota endorsed Dayton on Aug. 12. According to the Education Minnesota endorsement press release, Education Minnesota supports Dayton because the issue of education is his top priority. Education Minnesota does not think it is fair that Minnesotans must rely on property tax levies to fund education. The press release also mentioned that Education Minnesota supports Dayton because his support for education goes beyond just the classroom. Dayton wants to make college more affordable as well.

    "He’s a longtime friend of education. He’s been a teacher. He knows the challenges educators face. And he understands the future prosperity of Minnesota depends on an unwavering commitment to quality public education.”

    - Education Minnesota Vice President Paul Mueller

Dayton's Endorsements

  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5
  • Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005
  • Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
  • Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 32
  • United Steelworkers District 11
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 65
  • Communications Workers of America Minnesota State Council
  • Education Minnesota
  • International Assocation of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 77
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers MN State Council
  • International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers
  • International Union of Operating Engineers – Local 49
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, AFL-CIO Council 82
  • Minnesota Association of Professional Employees
  • Minnesota AFL-CIO
  • Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council
  • International Association of Fire Fighters
  • Minnesota & North Dakota Laborers Union
  • Minnesota Nurses Association
  • Minnesota Pipe Trades Association
  • National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 9
  • North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Service Employees International Union Minnesota State Council
  • Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local 10
  • United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 1189
  • United Transportation Union
  • United Auto Workers Region 4

Small businesses consider Emmer a big deal

Both the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce believe that Emmer is the logical choice for governor. They both believe that Emmer’s budget plan will benefit the state of Minnesota. The NFIB campaign endorsement press release states that they support Emmer because he has the best interest of small businesses in mind. According to this same press release, the members of the NFIB believe that Mark Dayton’s budget plan is “destructive.”  They are strongly opposed to his plan to increase taxes during such a terrible recession. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Leadership Fund notes that Emmer’s budget plan will help eliminate the recession by distributing money properly, without raising income taxes. According to the endorsement press release, Minnesota Chamber Leadership Fund Political Action Committee member Steve McCulloch says, “Minnesota has about $33 billion to spend over the next two years. Rep. Emmer’s approach to budgeting ensures that those dollars will go where they will support the greatest economic growth in both the short and long run. This is not the time to increase state tax burdens.”

“When you compare the three candidates in the race, Tom Emmer is the clear choice for small business and in our view will be the candidate that will best foster an improved economy and badly needed job growth in Minnesota.”

-          Mike Hickey, Minnesota state director for NFIB

Tom Emmer's Endorsements:

Independence Party gains support

It has been 12 years since a candidate from the Independence Party has governed Minnesota. Former Governor Jesse Ventura was elected into office in 1999 and he held his position for one term. Ventura is the only candidate from the Independence Party to govern Minnesota thus far. Based on recent polls published in the Rasmussen Report on Oct. 22, Tom Horner may not be the next candidate from the Independence Party to govern Minnesota. According to this report Horner only has 10 percent of the voters' support. Although the voter’s support may be down, Horner has been endorsed by a wide variety of persons, newspapers and other organizations.

"He possesses not only the understanding and communication skills that governing requires, but, unlike either DFLer Mark Dayton or Republican Tom Emmer, he also has the temperament to bridge the partisan divide that has long stymied the search for lasting solutions to chronic problems, both in Minnesota and the nation. For us, this choice is not a close call."

- Minneapolis Star Tribune Endorsement

“I urge people, if they truly want change, it’s in their power, shock the world again. Vote Tom Horner in as governor. That will have a much bigger effect than electing a Democrat or a Republican. If you elect a Democrat or Republican, you’re just going along with the status quo, business as usual.”

- Jesse Ventura Endorsement

Tom Horner's Endorsements:

  • Star tribune
  • St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • Rochester Post-Bulletin
  • Fargo Forum
  • Duluth News Tribune
  • St. Cloud Times
  • Bemidji Pioneer
  • Grand Forks Herald
  • New Ulm Journal
  • West Central Tribune
  • Worthington Daily Globe
  • Mcleod County Chronicle
  • Red Wing Republican Eagle
  • Anoka County Union
  • Blaine-Spring Lake Park Life
  • Coon Rapids Herald
  • Ecm Post Review
  • Isanti County News
  • Morrison County Record
  • Star News
  • Caledonia Argus
  • Dakota County Tribune
  • Forest Lake Times
  • Mille Lacs County-Times
  • Princeton Union Eagle
  • This Week Live
  • Pope County Tribune
  • Herman-Hoffman Tribune
Former Minnesota Governors
  • Arne Carlson
  • Al Quie
  • Jesse Ventura
Former State Senators and Representatives
  • Former State Sen. George Pillsbury
  • Former State Sen. Bill Belanger
  • Former State Rep. Peggy Leppik
  • Former State Rep. Neil Peterson
  • Former State Rep. Dennis Ozment
  • Former State Rep. Roger Scherer
  • Former State Rep. David Jennings
  • Former State Sen. Ed Oliver
  • Former State Rep. Lynne Osterman
  • Former State Rep. Dave Bishop
  • Former State Rep. Bill Schreiber
  • Former State Rep. Art Seaberg
  • Former State Rep. Rod Searle
U.S. Senators and Representatives
  • U.S. Senator Dave Durenberger
  • U.S. Senator Dean Barkley
  • U.S. Representative Tim Penny
  • Minnesota Hospital Association PAC
  • Minnesota Association of Realtors PAC
  • Builders Association of Minnesota PAC
  • Mike Ciresi Prominent attorney and former U.S. Senate Candidate
  • Doug Kelley, prominent attorney and former Minnesota gubernatorial candidate
  • Former North Dakota Governor Al Olson
  • Former Lieutenant Governor Joanell Dyrstad
  • Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead
  • Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh
  • Brooklyn Park Mayor Steve Lampi
  • Roy Srp, Mayor of Waseca
  • Denny Jahnz, Mayor of Lewisville
  • Redwood Falls Mayor Gary Revier
  • Nevis Mayor Dave McCurnin
  • University of Minnesota-Crookston professor and rural policy expert Jack Geller
  • Joan Niemiec Former city councilwoman
  • Jean Taylor, former CEO, Taylor Corp
  • Jim Campbell, former CEO, Wells Fargo

Number of endorsements do not reflect voter support

As listed on the candidates' campaign websites, Mark Dayton has received 29 endorsements, Tom Emmer has been endorsed by four organizations and Tom Horner has received 67 endorsements from a wide variety of people and organizations. Although Horner is receiving a great amount of endorsements, he is lagging behind in the race for Governor. According to the Rasmussen Report on Oct. 22, Horner has only ten percent of the voter’s support. Tom Emmer has 41 percent of the support and republican candidate Mark Dayton is barely ahead with 44 percent of the support.

* Number of endorsements as per the candidates' campaign websites.

* Voter support data according to the Rasmussen Report published on Oct. 22.

Skepticism arises over the Duluth News Tribune's editorial independence

Uproar has occurred in a blog titled Independence of Duluth News Tribune Political Endorsements which was posted on the Perfect Duluth Day website on Oct. 24. Blogger, Sam, is concerned about who actually makes the authoritative decision regarding which political candidates should be endorsed by the Duluth News Tribune (DNT). Sam mentions that the DNT was sold to a company named Forum Communications in 2006. Sam has noticed that since their ownership began, the DNT and other newspapers owned by Forum Communications have repeatedly endorsed conservative, republican candidates. The DNT recently endorsed Republican candidate Chip Craavack over Democrat Jim Oberstar. In past elections the DNT endorsed Republican candidate for president, John McCain over Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Norm Coleman over Democrat Al Franken for senate. Sam questions the editorial independence at the DNT.

As of Oct. 28, Sam has received 59 comments in response to the post.

One blogger commented in response describing how she believed the endorsement process works at the DNT.

On Oct. 25 Claire wrote, "The editorial board is made up of Frederick, the Publisher, an employee representative and two “citizen” representatives — Beth Olson and Bob Hansen. Someone very knowledgeable about the process told me the publisher has five votes and everyone else has 1/2 vote. The publisher doesn’t need to tell Chuck Frederick what to do, because the publisher’s already got the advantage in the vote! Ridiculous."

Community member Paul Lundgren stated in his comment that he recently spoke to the DNT editorial page editor, Chuck Frederick regarding this issue.

"I spoke with Chuck Frederick, Duluth News Tribune editorial page editor, today. He stated clearly that all of the DNT endorsements this year were strictly made by the editorial board. There was a directive from Forum to endorse Tom Horner for governor, but it came after the DNT’s editorial board had already decided to endorse Horner. In the case of Cravaack/Oberstar, Frederick said Forum did not push an endorsement at all."

Considering the comments made by DNT readers, many of them continue to be skeptical about the level of independence the editorial staff have from the DNT owners, Forum Communications.

To read more about this discussion go to the Perfect Duluth Day website.

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