Humphrey Web site clinched my vote

This week, anyone who happens to turn on the TV, radio or peek at a billboard as they drive down the freeway is going to be bombarded by one thing: politics. With the gubernatorial election just a week away, and the race in a dead heat according to pollsters, Jesse, Norm and Skip are breaking out with last ditch efforts to grab wavering voters.
It’s an unfortunate fact that most college students don’t vote, hence our issues are rarely the subject of discussion. So here’s my plug for voting: Next Tuesday, we have a chance to speak out, if only a little, on our views about who should be in power. By choosing to silence that voice, we opt out of any input we might have in the system. It’s five minutes of your life in exchange for a chance to participate in democracy.
Being an educated voter is crucial. Knowing exactly where a candidate stands on the issues, past and present, is the only way to make a decision that you feel comfortable with. The three candidates each have their own Web site and most news sources have an elections page with information about the issues on it.
My own Web surfing yielded a solidified decision on who to vote for in the elections. Like many Democrats, I had a hard time stomaching Humphrey because of my leftover pain from the Clinton situation. It’s the need to veer clear of wheeling-and-dealing politicians. Especially after Clinton’s backpedaling on social issues like welfare, gays in the military and immigration laws, I’m just plain scared of moderate Democrats. I don’t want to be upset with who I vote for. And I don’t think anyone does. So this column is devoted to telling you what’s on the sites and why I changed my mind about Humphrey.
First stop: Coleman’s page at Coleman reinforces a slimy image on his page because, instead of discussing issues, he throws in a few cutesy photos and a bio. The only issue he “discusses” is taxes. He says taxes are too high. That’s it.
No outline of the solution, no agenda of which taxes he feels should be cut, no nothing. Of course people don’t like paying taxes! We don’t do it for fun; we do it so we can have a functional society. Coleman doesn’t tell us which programs will suffer or if he’ll do anything in office except lower taxes.
Digging up Coleman’s view on any issue proved to be difficult. The one place I found any of his views was on, the St. Paul Pioneer Press’s Web site. One of his promises is to repeal the Human Rights Act. All this act does is enforce that people don’t have the right to mistreat people on the basis of sexual orientation, repealing it would be something akin to barbaric in a state with as large a gay population as Minnesota has. Coleman also believes in ‘choice in education,’ whatever that means. Again, he doesn’t have anywhere to outline and mark his thoughts, thus he refuses to educate the voting public.
Next stop: Ventura’s campaign at Even before commenting on his issues, what Ventura has done for this campaign is wonderful. He’s stressed out the two major parties and made the election interesting. He’s shown that people can get together outside of the two party system and have a gigantic voice. On his page, he lays out his issues and tells you what he thinks. He’s clear about his ideology, and that’s his advantage. His everyman demeanor and straight talk ring true with a Minnesota audience.
As good as Ventura is at shaking up the system with the election, he’d fizzle as governor. He doesn’t have the experience or knowledge to truly perform as he should.
Last stop: Humphrey’s page at While looking like just another page at the outset, Humphrey did something with his page that awed me. The ‘position papers’ part of his site was just that — detailed accounts of his history, agenda and goals on each issue. They’re broken down point by point, and he covers everything from crime to civil rights, taxes to the environment. With such extensive coverage of his ideas and actions, he fixes himself in one place. He can’t backpedal. Situating himself as a social liberal, with a record to back that up, Humphrey is the ideal candidate. He knows his politics, having grown up with them ingrained in him. He has firm views on social issues, having one of the most credible liberals as his father. He also knows how to maneuver the system, having served for most of his life.
Humphrey’s page is a must-see. After Coleman’s avoidance of the issues and Ventura’s undeveloped ideology, it’s more than informative, it’s relieving. Humphrey’s risk — actually telling the people what his agenda is on the issues — is something more politicians would benefit from doing. Remember, November 3rd is election day. Whoever you vote for, make your voice heard!

Sara Hurley’s column appears every Monday. Send comments to [email protected]