Former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman has announced that he won’t be running for Tim Pawlenty’s position as Governor of Minnesota. Naturally, conservative thoughts turn to the other candidates.
The Tea Party movement is being held largely responsible by the media for the recent victory of Scott Brown over Martha Coakley in Massachusetts. It seems if you’re running for office and you fit in with the Tea Party agenda, you’ll have a lot of people behind you.
Researching the six GOP candidates for Minnesota Governor lead to my deciding state Senator David Hann of Eden Prairie embodies most what conservatives are looking for.
The Tea Party movement has been portrayed in the media as a mob of right-wing nut jobs; that couldn’t be farther from the truth. They are comprised of Republicans, Independents, right-leaning Democrats and dissatisfied Americans who have never been affiliated with a political party. Some feel they are in danger of losing the country they love, and they want to return to the values they say made America great.
The Tea Party Patriots website’s mission statement lists their core values as:
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Constitutionally Limited Government
- Free Markets
These core values include: individual freedom to spend their own money; considering the U.S. Constitution “to be the supreme law of the land;” supporting states’ rights for powers not expressly stated in the Constitution; and supporting personal liberty within the rule of law. They are also opposed to the government being involved in private business operations.
These definitions sound very mainstream conservative. The Tea Party movement isn’t affiliated with a political party per se, and it is not its own political party. They released an official statement that they will stand behind the Republican party because they see a three-party system as potentially disruptive to its mission. Included in the statement was a call for existing parties to reform themselves to better fit the Tea Party vision.
That said, why is David Hann the best fit for this emerging group of voters? Frankly, most of the GOP candidates are extremely similar. They’re mostly fiscally conservative and their voting records back that up.
Hann has been a state Senator, representing Senate district 42, since he was first elected in 2002. He is very much in line with the Tea Party ideals of smaller government, lower taxes and balanced budgets. But there are three things that make him stand above the rest:
- He is fiscally conservative without coming across as insensitive.
- He has been named “Best Friend of the Taxpayer” four times by the Taxpayers League.
- He was the only candidate in my research who referred to our founders and our Constitution.
During his declaration speech, Hann said he considers himself to be, “a Lincoln Republican. I say that because Abraham Lincoln understood something that our founders understood, and that is for this experiment in ordered liberty to work, we as a people have to embrace both the principles of the Constitution, which gives us the structure for limited representative government, as well as the Declaration of Independence, in which that structure is given its foundation and purpose. And I don’t think I have ever had a political thought that wasn’t rooted in the ideas in those two documents.”
His statement clearly fits in with the Tea Party value of considering the Constitution “to be the supreme law of the land.”