Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Soil and Water Endorsements: Hennepin County

We are happy to report that the Fraters Libertas expert soil and water conservation supervision analyst, Sisyphus, has completed his arduous investigation. His little miner's helmet and scuba suit have been returned to us (thus getting back his complete deposit - less charges for some excessive scuffing). His calculations and formulas have been checked and double checked (thanks to the Atomizer for removing his shoes and socks for the occasion). His manuscript has been fact checked and edited. At least to normal Star Tribune standards (as such we cannot actually confirm or deny any of the facts therein).

As we did four years ago, we will concentrate only on the contested Hennepin and Ramsey County races. These counties contain most of the dirt and water in the metro area anyway, and all of the good stuff, if you know what I'm saying. (I don't, email me with clarification if you do).

Hennepin County endorsements appear today, Ramsey tomorrow. 

Without further ado, here is our man Sisyphus:


It is now endorsement season -- that time of year when newspapers and former Governors let us know who they think we should vote for.  However, they tend to endorse only in races like President, Senate, Congress, and the State Legislature, races for which we already have plenty of information, while leaving us without their guidance in the Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor races.  Unlike the Main Stream Drive By Media, Fraters Libertas believes that Soil and Water are important, nay indispensable, to our children's future.   That is why we take the time to research those vying to supervise their conservation.

Hennepin County District 3 Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor

Running for the hotly contested Hennepin County District 3 seat are Ben Torell, James Wisker, Rahn V. Workcuff, and Richard A. Klatte.

In the Star Tribune's voter guide, Richard A. Klatte lists one of his most important issues as:

"Making big oil companies pay for cleaning the air, water, and soil they've destroyed."

Unfortunately for Mr. Klatte, but fortunately for good sense, the Hennepin County Soil and Water Conservation District doesn't have the power to take down big oil.  We recommend a run for Governor on the Green Party ticket. 

Wait a minute .... he did run in the 2002 Green party primary for Governor!  And was trounced by Ken Petel 86% to 14%.  Just think about that.  He lost an election to Ken Petel -- and it was a landslide.  We don't endorse Green Party rejects here.

Rahn V. Workcuff doesn't list taking on big oil as his most important issue. Instead, his big issue is opposition to gay marriage: 

"I strongly agree that a marriage should be only between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of same sex marriages."  

Mr. Workcuff's candidacy is no doubt an attempt to prevent another possible run by gay marriage/gay divorce attorney Jonathan Burris in the fifth district.  Mr. Burris ran four years ago (he is not running this year) and did not receive our endorsement because we did not see how his "gay divorce" credentials had anything to do with soil and water.  While Mr. Workcuff comes off as a curmudgeon who would liven up the meetings, we still believe that soil and water conservation districts should stay out of the gay marriage debate.  Mr. Workcuff should consider running for state legislature. 

Wait a minute .... he did run for the state legislature!   Against Margaret Anderson Kelliher on the Independence Party ticket in 2000, alas, getting only 6% of the vote.  We don't endorse people who can't get at least 7% of the vote against DFL machine party hacks.    

James Wisker is the only candidate in district 3 with extensive soil and water experience; he is Program Manager for the Regulatory Department at Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. However, in his MASWCD questionnaire he uses words like, "stakeholder driven," "public/private partnerships," and "proactive."  We cannot in good conscience endorse such a buzzword machine.

We are encouraged that Ben Torell is a Firearm Safety Instructor and a Snowmobile/ATV Safety Instructor.  While Mr. Torell does not have a lot of direct Soil and Water conservation experience, we are confident that he will grow into an effective soil and water conservation supervisor.  

Fraters Libertas endorses Ben Torell for Hennepin County District 3 Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor.

Hennepin County District 5 Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor

Running in Hennepin County District 5 are Jeffrey A. Beck and Karl Hanson.

We hope that Hennepin County voters are bright enough to realize that Jeffrey A. Beck is not the legendary guitarist (whose name is actually Geoffrey).  The Jeff Beck running for district 5 soil and water conservation supervisor is the kind of guy who doesn't use capital letters in his Star Tribune voter's guide essay and refers to himself in the third person in his MASWCD questionnaire.  Needless to say, we cannot endorse him.

Karl Hanson may well have written the perfect answer to the "most important issue" question:

"Preserving the public waterways and soil for future generations while allowing private property owners to use their lands with absolutely minimal government interference. Conservation of taxpayer resources must also be a priority."  

But warning sirens go off when we take a look at his political contributions, $2,300 to Ron Paul and *gasp* $300 to Dennis Kucinich.  Do we really want a soil and water conservation supervisor who donated money to Dennis Kucinich? 

No, but we really can't endorse that other guy.

So, we reluctantly endorse Karl Hanson for Hennepin County District 5 Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor and hope he lives up to his essay, not his Kucinich contribution.


If only Barack Obama had been vetted as well by the media as Sisphysus did with Rahn V. Workcuff, this country wouldn't be in such a predicament.

Tune in tomorrow for the dirt (and water) on Ramsey County.

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