Monday, December 14, 2009


The seventh DFL gubernatorial candidate, alphebetically speaking, is John Marty. 

John Marty was born on November 1, 1956, in Evanston, Illinois. His father is theologian and author Martin Marty. He graduated from St. Olaf College in 1978 with a degree in Ethics. In 1979 and 1980 he worked in the DFL Party as a campaign aide and communications director. In 1980 he became an administrator and researcher for the Criminal Justice Committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Beginning in 1985, he worked as a grant administrator at the Lutheran Brotherhood Foundation for two years. After his election to the Minnesota Senate in 1986, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the National Youth Leadership Council. Additionally, from 1993 to 1996 he served on the board of Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota, a local non-profit organization.He has been a Minnesota Senator since January 1986 (District 54). Since his first election in 1986, he has been reelected each time by an incrementally larger majority. He chairs the Senate Health, Housing and Family Security Committee. He is the chief author of the Minnesota Health Plan. Senator Marty did a lot of work in ethics and campaign finance reform. In 1993, he successfully authored legislation to reduce the impact of special interest money on the political process. He also created  legislation that prohibited lobbyists and interest groups from giving gifts to public officials. Senator Marty is co-chair of the Legislative Commission to End Poverty and works for legislation to ensure that workers receive a living wage for their work. He is married to Connie Jaarsma Marty. They have two children. Here's his other website.

Here's how John Marty measures up on the questions that I think are so important in deciding who to vote for:

1. How much experience working in government does the candidate have?
John Marty has been a legislator for 23 years. He represents Roseville, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, Little Canada, St. Anthony, Lauderdale, and Gem Lake.  Marty is best known to Minnesota residents as an advocate on environmental issues, health care reform, and government ethics and campaign finance reform. Recently he has been known primarily for his authorship of the Minnesota Health Plan. As part of his position on campaign finance and ethics, he does not accept soft money contributions or contributions from lobbyists. He drastically limits the amount of contributions he will accept from any one person. Among Marty's ethics legislation was the Minnesota law banning lobbyists from giving gifts to public officials. Marty opposes the public funding of stadiums and professional sports teams. He is outspoken in his criticism of recent proposals for new stadiums for the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He also is a supporter for the use of medical marijuana.

2. Is the candidate electable? Does the candidate have state-wide name recognition? He ran for Governor of Minnesota on two previous occasions. He was the DFL Party's nominee in 1994, and, in 1998, lost in the DFL Primary. This is his third run for the governorship. Since he lost twice before, I'm not sure why he thinks he will win this time. He could most likely remain senator in his district until the day he retires. He's an excellent senator. The people in his district think he's doing a fantastic job. Why would he want to leave that? He doesn't have the same name recognition state wide as he does in his district. It's unlikely he'll win the governorship. It's too bad, because he'd probably make a great governor and do a lot of good things for Minnesota. I don't think he'll win the election because he doesn't have the name recognition of Dayton or the slick charisma of Rybak or the young freshness of Thissen.

3. Does the candidate have viable ideas about how to fix the crisis that Minnesota is in? Does the candidate have an actual plan for tackling most of the issues, or does he/she only talk about one or two issues? Does the candidate whine that the new governor can't do everything so has to concentrate on one or two things, or does he/she appear eager to get right to work on a plan to solve all the most pressing issues? Like most of the candidates, his website is full of ideas of what he is good at and which issues he supports, but lacking in a concrete plan for fixing Minnesota. All the ideas are good, but they all cost money. How will he pay for a new Minnesota? A lot of Minnesota voters are saying that Democrats want a lot of things but have no way to pay for it all. What's the answer? Dayton comes the closest with his "tax the rich." He's got figures to back it up. All Bakk will say is that we have to engage in an honest conversation. I'll bet if he starts, we'll listen. I'd like to know what Senator Marty's financial plan is. Where will we get the several billion dollars to eliminate the budget deficit? Raise taxes? For some or for everyone? How much of a percentage? How much revenue will that generate? Why is it that the voters never see the actual state budget with all its intricacies? John Marty appears to be eager to get right to work, but doing what? Don't we deserve to know more? Don't we deserve to know the foundation of his plan and when it will be implemented? As things stand right now, Minnesota can't afford diddly squat (note the acknowledgement to Susan Gaertner...). Come on, John, you can do better than that. The first one to come up with a plan might just get elected to the governorship. Tell the voters what the exact plan is, how it will work and how long it will take for it to work. John Marty does have an idea for a start, though. Watch this video.

4. Is the candidate popular with voters? John Marty is very popular with his constituents in his district. He doesn't appear to be popular state-wide. As indicated in quesiton #2 above, he lost two previous gubernatorial elections.

5. Is there anything in the candidate's past that the opposition can use to turn voters against him or her? They will try, but I highly doubt if they will get very far. I suppose they'll make a big deal about him supporting the legalization of medical marijuana. Or his support of marriage equality. Those are just basic differences between DFL and GOP. I think Marty will do just fine during an investigation of his past. He's very clean. The Republicans did once try to find him guilty of nondisclosure, but he was fully exonerated. See source. The Republicans, so fond of Minnesota Family Council, will also no doubt try to flaunt this agenda around. There was also the flag burning issue. This shows that Marty does not take the easy way out or the politically safe way. Sounds a lot like Dayton, doesn't it?

6. If the candidate has past legislative experience, what was his or her voting record like? See his voting record at Votetracker. Scroll down and click on the year you want to see.

7. Does the candidate have the type of personality that can get along with the legislators well enough to work with them and get things done? Does he or she have a history of getting along well with others? If John Marty didn't get along well with others, he wouldn't keep getting reelected to the legislature. Nor would he have been able to pass so much successful legislation. So yes, he does have a history of being able to work with others and get along with them. Our Sometimes Governor Pawlenty is the one who has trouble getting along with people.

8. What is the public image of the candidate? How do others see him or her? Sometimes what you see is what you get; other times how you perceive a person is not at all how they really are. John Marty is seen is a very good light by Progressivies. His opponents call him a Leftist and a Socialist. It's all politics, of course. The voters in his district must like him a lot. They keep reelecting him. I've met him several times and found him to be quite congenial. He's got a nice sense of humor, too. Yet he can be very passionate about the things he believes in. Let's call him Minnesota nice with a firm voice. He doesn't have to be totally Minnesota nice because he was born in Illinois.

9. How much budgeting experience does the candidate have? Is it enough to combat the current budget crisis? Does the candidate thoroughly understand money? Watch this video to find out what solutions John Marty has about the finances of Minnesota.

10. Does the candidate have a history of going out of his or her way to help others? Does the candidate truly care about the people of Minnesota, or is the candidate only out for himself or herself? The tobacco companies were hurting people, including children, so Senator Marty went after them and won. The large settlement has done a lot of good in Minnesota. Unfortunately, I can't find any information about Marty actually helping to build a Habitat for Humanity house, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, helping out in soup kitchens, personally delivering items to homeless shelters, bringing a homeless person into his home or taking them out for dinner, etc. This doesn't mean he hasn't done any of these things. It just means there's nothing about it on the internet and there are no pictures of it anywhere. If candidates do such things, there are usually pictures of it somewhere, especially if the candidate is a legislator.

11. What are the true inner motives as to why the candidate wants to be the next governor of Minnesota? To find out, watch the video immediately below.

12. Will the candidate be able to win a debate against the opposition? John Marty could most likely hold his own in a debate. He might have to work on giving definite answers regarding how an issue will be resolved rather than generalities as to what he will do, what he has done and what his stand on particular issues are. This is the same for most of the candidates. It'd be nice to hear specifics instead of vague generalities.

13. Does the candidate like children and animals? I just can't find any pictures at all of John Marty with kids or animals. Indeed, I found very few for any of the candidates except for Mark Dayton. What happened to the days when candidates were good at kissing babies? I guess that's politically incorrect these days. What about animals though? There's nothing that makes a candidate seem more human than a picture of him playing with a dog, hugging a cat or playing sports with the kids. Maybe Marty loves both kids and animals, but if he does, wouldn't he include some pictures of it on his website or his Facebook page?

14. Does the candidate often say what he or she thinks the audience wants to hear or does he/she tell the truth no matter how unpopular that truth might be? Is the candidate honest with the audience or are there half-truths and embellishments? John Marty always says what he really thinks. Even if it's unpopular. He sticks to his beliefs and values. This is one of the best things about him. You don't have to worry about him embellishing his answers just to get votes.

15. Does the candidate agree to be accountable to the people of Minnesota? John Marty has always accepted his accountability to the people of Minnesota. He excels at ethics.

16. Does the candidate have a team of advisors and commissioners in mind yet? I don't know. Perhaps he will tell us. I wonder if Minnesotans would vote differently if they knew who would be on a candidates advisory committee, commissioner list, etc.

17. In the final analysis, which candidate do you really connect with and why? I connect with John Marty more every day the more I learn about him and his values and ethics. I just don't connect with him the best of all the candidates and therefore can't support him. Maybe some other time.

18. And last but not least, what has the candidate done in his/her career to help various communities of people, such as Seniors, Veterans, Children, Disabled, GLBT, etc.? Read about it here:
Sick and Disabled

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