Election Guide omitted Legal Marijuana Now Party’s congressional candidates

by Oliver Steinberg

The Minnesota Daily’s 2016 Election Guide left out necessary information, leaving the false impression that University-area voters can only choose a Republican or a DFL candidate for Congress.

You completely failed to mention the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidates, namely Susan Pendergast Sindt in the 4th congressional district and Dennis Schuller in the 5th congressional district. Their names are on the ballot and votes for them will be counted.

Minnesota has the strongest third party history of any state, going back to the Greenback, the Prohibition, and the People’s parties in the 1800s.

Progressive (“Bull Moose”) Party nominee Theodore Roosevelt carried Minnesota in 1912. Ninety years ago, Minneapolis had a Socialist mayor. In the 1930s, numerous Farmer-Labor Party candidates were elected to Congress, Senate, and governor’s office. (The Farmer-Labor merger with the Democrats in 1944 formed what is still known as the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party).

In 1992, Reform Party candidate Ross Perot polled well over 20 percent of the Minnesota vote for president, and in 1998 the Reform Party’s Jesse Ventura was elected governor.

Minnesota defines major parties as those receiving 5 percent or more of the statewide vote, and the Green Party and Independence Party both had major party status in recent years along with the Republicans and DFL.

Third parties don’t typically succeed in electing candidates, but they serve to introduce new or controversial political issues and may help dissolve political stagnation or dislodge political gridlock.

You owe it to your readers, as well as to candidates Schuller and Sindt, to correct the oversight in your Election Guide.

Oliver Steinberg

UMN Class of ‘78

Editor’s Note: This letter has been edited for style conventions.