2006 governor's race
jonathon "the impaler" sharkey is running for minnesota governor on the vampyres, witches and pagans ticket. that does it. i'm definitely floating some trial balloons this year.
i'm certain that the democrats will find another truly outstanding candidate to challenge popular incumbent tim pawlenty (as they did in 1998 and 2002!). nevertheless, i see the 2006 race as a three-person barnburner between me, the impaler, and governor pawlenty.
my staff is working up some detailed position papers, but let's take a quick look at how a mild-mannered sociology professor would stack up on the seven most important issues facing the state. the quotations below are taken from the candidates' websites, but i've fabricated everything without quotation marks. i'm envisioning cathy wurzer asking us the tough questions and mary lahammer providing the skinny and analysis:
#1. ms. wurzer: first, where do you stand on the all-important issue of impalement?
impaler: i am solidly in favor of impalement, cathy, preferably on the state capitol grounds. here's my official position:
"As governor, my 'legal way' to justify Impaling criminals is when they are charged, they will also be charged with 'Act's of Terrorism' if their criminal actions are: RAPE, CHILD ABUSE/NEGLIGECT, DRUG DEALING/PROCESSION, VIOLENCE UPON THE ELDERLY OR WOMEN, RELIGIOUS DECRIMINATION/ATTACKS, DWI/DUI (multiple offenses), CHILD MOLESTATION, MURDER (other than justified), POLICE BRUTALITY/ABUSE OF POWER and JUDICAL/PROSECTUTION MISCONDUCT"
gov. pawlenty: i leave the door open for possibly impaling level-3 sex offenders at some future time. otherwise, i am anti-impalement.
uggen: i am solidly anti-impalement, even for those who abuse apostrophes. my future attorney general is briefing me on the more obscure "act's" identified by mr. sharkey, but let me make a broad statement of principle. before investing in a new impalement initiative, i say we should enforce the state's current laws against negligect, procession, decrimination, and prosectution. those are all bad things, right? i wasn't sure about procession.
the skinny: this looks like a winning issue for governor pawlenty. minnesota voters won't elect a "soft on crime" governor. uggen's flip-flopping on procession and his rigid anti-impalement stance make him the outlier here.
#2. ms. wurzer: what about evil more generally? do you consider yourself to be evil?
impaler: "As I have previously stated, I am evil. However, I prefer to unleash my evil side upon terrorists and criminals. Not the innocent."
gov. pawlenty: some say i see no evil, but i am generally opposed to it.
uggen: i am running on an anti-evil platform, though i frequently use powerpoint in lectures.
the skinny: another victory for the incumbent. uggen is grasping at straw -- at least the impaler stands for something.
#3. ms. wurzer: where do you stand on God? love Him or hate Him?
impaler: hate. "I despise and hate the Christian God the Father. He is my enemy."
gov. pawlenty: love Him! i proclaimed may 5th the “day of prayer,” encouraging citizens to “turn to God as their understanding and beliefs direct, that we may open our hearts in thanksgiving for blessings received and to seek strength, wisdom and encouragement to build a better Minnesota for all people.”
uggen: love. are you sure God's a Him? that old dishwalla song suggested a female deity ('cuz i'd really like to meet Her)? i've made no other proclamations to date.
the skinny: governor pawlenty now leads 3-0. he's just destroying the other candidates.
#4. ms. wurzer: have you ever been photographed with a member of the royal family?
impaler: of course! here's me n' jeb in florida.
gov. pawlenty: of course! here's me n' george in le sueur. we even dress alike. darn it norm, we said no khakis! and where on earth did you get that belt? these are farmers, not drugstore cowboys.
uggen: no photographs yet, but i promise to pose with all major campaign contributors.
the skinny: i guess that's why governor pawlenty is the incumbent, cathy. the president loves him! all bets are off, however, if the elder bush brother gets the nod in 2008.
#5. ms. wurzer: are you really one of us? when and where were you born?
impaler: elizabeth, new jersey (april 2, 1964).
gov. pawlenty: south st. paul, minnesota (november 27, 1960).
uggen: we're talkin' st. paul, minnesota, cathy (may 29, 19-i-ain't tellin'). capitol city, baby!
the skinny: finally, a clear win for the professor. score it governor pawlenty 4, candidate uggen 1, and none for the impaler. new jersey? c'mon, new york maybe. and who says baby anymore? that may have cost uggen two million female voters and only gained him fourteen dick vitale fans.
#6. ms. wurzer: what are your educational qualifications?
impaler: "Ph.D., L.D.D.D. I am a Satanic Dark Priest, Sanguinarian Vampyre and a Hecate Witch. My Magikal Path name is: Lord Ares."
gov. pawlenty: i was phi beta kappa as a university of minnesota undergraduate and an honors graduate of the university's law school. i do not yet have a magikal path name, but there are some who call me...'tim.' i will also answer to t-paw and tim the enchanter.
uggen: hmm... how to put this. i got my undergraduate and graduate degrees as an exchange student at the university of wisconsin. but i love the good ol' u of m now! doesn't that count for something? in graduate school i took a magikal path analysis seminar but the instructor did not provide me with a magikal path name. let me respectfully suggest c-love.
the skinny: well, stick a fork in him, cathy. three degrees from wisconsin simply destroy uggen in this race. i would score this as a victory for the impaler. unless they can somehow get their magikal path names on the ballot by november, governor pawlenty and professor uggen are at a distinct disadvantage with undecided voters. knowing nothing else about the candidates, who would pick "chris" or "tim" over Lord Ares?
#7. ms. wurzer: do you have the proper athletic background to regale us with lame sports metaphors? where do you stand on a new ballpark for the twins?
impaler: as a professional wrestler and go kart racer, i'll shove my opponents into the turnbuckle and umm... take the checkered flag? i oppose public funding for a new ballpark but favor remodeling our existing facilities. for the twins to remain competitive, our state must invest in sharpened impaling stakes on the metrodome plaza. better yet, i propose to save the taxpayers money by removing the banners and sharpening the existing stakes. impalement will deter rival owners from stealing players like joe mauer and johan santana. given the deep losses to the twins' bullpen this season, those stakes will also serve as a friendly reminder to our relief pitchers. blown saves are like garlic and hawthorn branches to me.
gov. pawlenty: look, i've proven i can put the puck in the net. i am the puckhead-in-chief in this, the state of hockey, and a 3:43 marathoner to boot. moreover, i have many positions on the twins' ballpark -- not just one, like my opponents.
uggen: cathy, this is a marathon and not a sprint. i can accept defeat gracefully because i play intramural softball with sociologists. i wrestled amateur in junior high. like paul wellstone, i --
gov. pawlenty (interrupting): wait a minute, professor. i served with paul wellstone; i knew paul wellstone; paul wellstone was a friend of mine. professor, you are no paul wellstone.
uggen: that was really uncalled for, governor. let me just state that i've twice beaten the incumbent in marathons. moreover, i have the courage to take a stand on the important issues: yes, i support a new ballpark in the strongest possible terms!
the skinny: oh my! the impaler has clearly done his homework on this one. professor uggen's pro-stadium position will surely cost him among his left-leaning anti-impalement voting base. his bickering with governor pawlenty did little to help either candidate.
lahammer's final tally: governor pawlenty 4, impaler sharkey 2, and professor uggen 1. in light of the impaler's recent legal problems, uggen could overtake him this fall. the professor doesn't have any outstanding warrants, does he? uggen might overtake the governor too -- but only in the twin cities marathon. he should have stayed in his cushy ivory tower, cathy. he's got no shot as a politician.