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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Election 2006: November 7th


Below are profiles of the candidates in selected state and national races. The races and candidates appear in the order in which they will appear on Tuesday’s ballot. The information below is compiled from Minnesota Public Radio, WCCO TV, The Star Tribune, and the candidates’ web sites.

Democrat-Farmer-Labor (DFL) candidate Mike Hatch is the main challenger to incumbent Tim Pawlenty. Attorney General since 1998, Hatch has fought for consumer privacy and has gone up against two major HMOs over children’s mental health coverage and executive expense accounts. He has voiced his support for abortion rights and, while he supports the state statute defining marriage as between a man and a woman, says he is opposed to discrimination against gay and lesbian Minnesotans. Hatch has come out against a bill that would give in-state college tuition to children of illegal immigrants, though he supports enforcing labor laws that protect immigrant workers. He has said he supports reinstating the death penalty and opposes a state-wide smoking ban.

Peter Hutchinson is running on the Independence Party ticket in this race. Hutchinson is the founder and president of a consulting firm focused on finding new ways to manage government. He cites four primary issues: health-care reform, guaranteed access to state universities, funding transit improvements, and protecting the environment by funding the Clean Water Legacy Act and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Hutchinson supports abortion rights and a smoking ban, and opposes a ban on gay marriage.

Incumbent Republican Tim Pawlenty has renewed his pledge not to raise state taxes. In his first term, he cut government spending by $2 billion, mostly from social programs and aid to local governments. Under his tenure, Minnesota established a 24-hour waiting period for abortion and passed the Conceal and Carry Act. He supports a constitutional ban on gay marriage and opposes a state-wide smoking ban. Pawlenty also opposes the bill that would give in-state tuition to children of illegal immigrants, and he has said he supports reinstating the death penalty.

Ken Pentel, a long-time Green Party and Green Peace activist, is running on the Green Party ticket. His major issue is election reform, including publicly funded elections, instant runoff voting, and lobbying reform. He also advocates a single-payer, universal health care system. For more information, see The Mac Weekly’s interview with Pentel from Oct. 20, 2006 at

Recent polls show Hatch leading Pawlenty slightly, but within the margin of error. Hutchinson’s support is in the single digits.

Green Party Candidate Michael James Calvan, a registered nurse, advocates an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, universal single-payer health care, and eliminating vote-counting machines. He supports alternative energy sources and breaking up the corporate consolidation of media.
Robert Fitzgerald, running for the Independence Party, also advocates immediate withdrawal from Iraq. He opposes a constitutional ban on gay marriage, and advocates sex education and availability of contraception to reduce the number of abortions. He opposes the Central American Free Trade Act (CAFTA). On immigration, he opposes a guest-worker program and advocates securing the border and enforcing labor law protections for immigrants. He proposes an independent council to investigate congressional ethics violations.

Republican Mark Kennedy has served three terms in the U.S. House. As a congressman he has consistently aligned himself with the Bush Administration regarding the Iraq war, and does not support a troop withdrawal. On the whole, he has voted in line with Bush’s positions 90 percent of the time. He supports passing a law that strengthens enforcement against employers who hire illegal immigrants, and he supports CAFTA. He supports the Bush tax cuts and a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Kennedy is pro-life and supports offering uninsured Americans tax credits to purchase health insurance. He broke ranks with the Bush administration to vote no on the No Child Left Behind bill because he was concerned about overspending and lack of local control.
DFL candidate Amy Klobuchar has served as Hennepin County’s chief prosecutor since 1999, and has used fighting crime as a central tenet in her campaign. Her record there is mixed, with an increase in criminal prosecutions and convictions accompanying an increase in violent crime in the county. Klobuchar opposes the Iraq war and advocates a gradual troop withdrawal. She is against a constitutional ban on gay marriage, and she supports abortion rights. She opposes Bush’s tax cuts and advocates a Clintonesque strategy for balancing the federal budget. On health care, she says her goal is universal health care for all Americans, with a first step of providing coverage for all children. Klobuchar opposes CAFTA and supports increasing border security, implementing a guest worker program, and cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. She has called for a “Minnesota-style” ethics policy in Congress, banning lawmakers from accepting gifts, meals and travel from lobbyists.

Recent polls show Klobuchar leading by an average of 19 percent, with Kennedy coming in second and the other candidates bringing in single digit percentages.

Republican Kirstin Beach, Green Party candidate and Macalester alum Jesse Mortenson ’05, and DFL candidate Erin Murphy are running in a close race for the seat previously held by Matt Entenza. Beach, a small business owner, advocates for public safety and restrained government spending.
Mortenson, who founded a web design company after graduating from Macalester, supports universal single-payer health care, and establishing a tax on Big Box stores like Walmart. He supports immigrants’ rights, including allowing non-citizen permanent residents to vote in local elections. He opposes the Iraq war and says he will fight to bring Minnesota National Guard troops home. For more information on Mortenson, see The Mac Weekly’s profile of him from Oct. 13, 2006 at

Murphy, a registered nurse, also supports many progressive issues like universal health care, reproductive rights, a living wage and affordable child care. She opposes a constitutional ban on gay marriage and supports the rights of LGBT families to adopt. The St. Paul Pioneer Press endorsed Murphy, citing her life experience and progressive values.

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