From the Fargo Forum:
U.S. Senate candidate Dean Barkley said during a campaign stop Monday in Moorhead that things won’t change in Congress if Americans keep voting for Democrats and Republicans.
“We aren’t going to get America back on track with more of the same,” said Barkley, the Independence Party candidate running for the Minnesota Senate seat now held by Republican Norm Coleman.
“My goal is to give Minnesotans a choice,” said Barkley, who emphasized that unlike his opponents – Coleman and Democratic candidate Al Franken – he has accepted no money from political action committees.
Barkley said people tell him they are fed up with the negative tone of the Senate race.
“People have had it with what they’re seeing. The question is, are they going to do anything about it?” said Barkley, who said polls show him with about 20 percent of the vote, a number he expects will grow when new polls come out today.
“I’m in position where I think I can win this,” said Barkley, who briefly served in the Senate in 2002 when then-Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura appointed him to fill out the remaining two months of the late Paul Wellstone’s term.
Barkley outlined several of his top priorities, including:
- Ending the Iraq war.
- Balancing the federal budget.
- Achieving energy independence.
- Enacting ethics reform in Congress.
“I think we’ve done enough,” Barkley said, referring to U.S. efforts in Iraq. “It’s now for Iraq to determine its own future,” he said.
On the federal debt, Barkley said that with the debt nearing $11 trillion, the United States can no longer spend its way out of trouble.
On the goal of energy independence, he said if Brazil could achieve it in five years, “we can, too.”
Barkley said ethics reform should start with new rules prohibiting members of Congress from taking money from industries they regulate based on committees they serve on.
Barkley said the current financial crisis is the result of the biggest malfeasance on the part of the federal government in the nation’s history.
“What would Thomas Jefferson think with our country being in such a precarious state?” Barkley asked.