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Appendix G: Report on McGaughey Campaign by Don Davis of Forum Communications

 

09/03/2002

Campaign not just for Norm, Paul -
Darkhorse candidates populate ballot, but have little history of success in Minnesota

By Don Davis

ST. PAUL -

Bill McGaughey wants Minnesotans' votes. He admits, however, that he is not exactly winning voters to his side by calling white men "disadvantaged." McGaughey upsets labor and business leaders by calling for a shorter workweek, something that in the short term, at least, could lead to lower pay for American workers.

The 61-year-old U.S. Senate candidate admits to not being politically correct and holds no real hope that he will represent Minnesota in Washington next year. "No party in its right mind would endorse what I'm doing," the Minneapolis landlord said.

In fact, the Independence Party didn't endorse him when members met in St. Cloud in July. Instead, banker Jim Moore won the party's nod. McGaughey is in one of 13 races for statewide office in the Sept. 10 primary election.

Most challengers were spurred into a campaign by pet issues, such as McGaughey's long-time support of a shorter workweek. That means the primary is full of colorful candidates, but ones with little or no chance of winning. Take, for instance, the DFL governor candidate who has lost five statewide elections and threatens to sue someone because he has not been included in debates among party-endorsed candidates. Or the Senate hopeful who is a long-time environmentalist, now running as a Republican. Then there is the attorney general candidate who was jailed after refusing to tell a judge the whereabouts of a woman he was representing, and who is accused of threatening lawyers, judges and others. And another attorney general candidate is not an attorney - or, she says, a liar. A Republican whose name is on the ballot for U.S. senator says he will return to Minnesota from Rome, Italy, if he is elected.

Most of the colorful candidates were not endorsed by their parties, but they feel compelled to carry their messages to the voters against great odds. McGaughey knows he has little chance against Sen. Paul Wellstone and challenger Norm Coleman, who are locked in what will be Minnesota's most expensive campaign and one drawing millions of dollars from national sources. He may not even have much of a chance against the Independence Party's Moore, a banker who so far has shown a low profile. "I'm an underdog," McGaughey said. "My issues are somewhat controversial." He is willing to endure criticism of those ideas to get his point across.

McGaughey has walked in a half-dozen parades and shown up around the state carrying a sign that says: "I believe in the full citizenship, dignity and equality of white males (and of everyone else, too)." The back of the sign promotes a 32-hour workweek by the year 2010. He has worked the workweek idea for years, including writing two books on the
subject. But, he said, "it is not something people are talking about these days."

In fact, labor opposes the concept because many workers enjoy - or need - overtime-fattened checks. Businesses dislike the idea even more. As for saying white males are disadvantaged - despite holding leadership in business and government - McGaughey said people are embarrassed to talk about it. McGaughey stands as an example of candidates with little chance, but what they consider an important message.

Minneapolis artist ole savior greets everyone with a smile, but he is not a happy campaigner. The five-time loser in statewide races doesn't like being left out of candidate debates and forums.

savior, whose prime interest is a nuclear weapon-free world, became upset when a DFL letter said Sen. Roger Moe had no opposition in the party's primary election. savior filed for the office a few days later, after promising to do so at the May DFL state convention.

He became even more upset when sponsors of governor debates left him out of forums, including only party-endorsed candidates. savior said he can beat Moe, but that opinion has been heard from few others.

Dick Franson tops savior's record of running. He was elected to the Minneapolis City Council in the 1960s, but has failed in 18 elections since then.

Leslie Davis is another frequently unsuccessful candidate. A long-time environmental activist, he has run for governor, U.S. senator and Minneapolis mayor, losing big-time each time.

Not even his book, "Always Cheat: The Philosophy of Jesse Ventura," won him enough publicity to get noticed by the public.
Davis ran as a third-party candidate and independent in the past, and Republican officials say he does not fit into their party's philosophy.

Sharon Anderson's Internet site shouts in all capital letters: "SHARON IS NOT A LIAR OR A LAWYER." "Despite her less than impressive courtroom winning percentage - she has never won - Sharon Anderson is convinced she can represent herself as well as any lawyer can," the site proclaims.

Anderson is challenging Tom Kelly in the Republican primary, with the winner getting a chance to unseat incumbent DFL Attorney General Mike Hatch. Kelly campaigns as if he has no party opponent, like the rest of the endorsed candidates.

Anderson says a candidate should not have to be a lawyer to be the attorney general or a judge. Over in the Independence Party, Dale Nathan is trying to convince voters that party delegates to their convention were wrong when they rejected his candidacy.
The state Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility says Nathan should be suspended as a lawyer. The office claims he has shown a pattern of frivolous litigation and harassing people involved in court cases, including lawyers and judges.

Nathan was jailed for two months for refusing to let a judge know where to find a woman he represented. That issue was the one that appeared to turn Independence convention delegates away from him. Minnesotans haven't heard much from Jack Shepard - he is running against Coleman from Rome.

Shepard is a long-time Democrat who switched to the GOP after a 2000 party convention in Paris. "I was not happy that the Democratic Party should always take the black voters for granted," he wrote in an electronic mail message. Shepard says he is a "Middle East specialist with over 30 years of experience in Europe and the Middle East." But, he emphasizes, he is a Minnesota native.

Actually, Minnesotans haven't heard much from most of the challengers. For the most part, they are waging what their endorsed brethren could call an amateur effort, with campaign literature - if they have any - that they made themselves. They generally have no staff, and maybe even no volunteers, and campaign out of their homes.

McGaughey is typical of primary election challengers when he says he's footing the campaign bill himself, and may spend $2,000 by Sept. 10. But, like most challengers, McGaughey is not deterred by lack of money and attention. "When you are in the beginning stage," he said, "it's got to be this way.”

See next item in Appendix.

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