The Republic’s endorsements for Mayor; Wards 2, 3, 6

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Nathan Amundson

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In advance of the November 7 election, the Minnesota Republic would like to announce our endorsements for Mayor of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis City Council in Wards 2, 3 and 6, all of which have high student populations. We weighed these endorsements carefully, and we would like to emphasize that our opinions represent the opinion of the Minnesota Republic as an institution.

We, the Editorial Board of the Minnesota Republic, do not endorse any candidate or political party in the 2017 Minneapolis Local Elections. As an organization actively filing for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, it is outside our legally permissible expression to endorse or electioneer for any candidate. As a nonprofit corporation registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, we are legally unable to operate as a political party or express support for any candidate seeking public office.

This endorsement is a reaction to the Minnesota Daily’s flagrant violation of its educational nonprofit status with its endorsements for Mayor, Ward 2 Councilor, Ward 3 Councilor and Ward 6 Councilor. This is part of a long history of the Daily endorsing political candidates despite its tax-exempt status. As it “operates independently from the University as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization,” the Daily is bound by the same restrictions incumbent upon other such groups, such as Collegians For A Constructive Tomorrow, Americans For Prosperity and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. These groups are educational in nature, and while they can do issue activism, they are unable to campaign for or endorse candidates, else they may risk having their tax status revoked.

The nonprofit that publishes the Minnesota Republic is unable to use this paper to produce a political endorsement for any election above the level of student government. The Republic’s role in any election can at most be encouraging students to go vote and to make their voices heard, regardless of what those students may believe. Our staff holds diverse opinions ranging from conservative to libertarian to classically liberal to the center-left. We cannot, as an editorial board, claim to speak with a unified voice on any candidate for this institution.

As individuals, we all support candidates for various offices in local government, state government, and the federal government. Many of us have previously worked on campaigns, for political parties, and with explicitly partisan groups. As individuals, this behavior is acceptable. As individuals, this is the behavior we endorse. Involvement in politics from the community to the federal level is so important in representing your principles and making your voice heard.

We endorse involvement. We endorse paying attention to events going on throughout the country and participating in the system to make your voice heard. Join pressure groups to help drive policy changes you want to see in your community. Join campaigns for candidates you support and want to see win. Make calls. Knock doors. Put a lawn sign in your front yard and a bumper sticker on your laptop. Get a t-shirt and wear it around campus talking to all the people you meet.

The Ginger Jensen for Ward 3 supporters are a prime example of what we as students and active citizens need to be doing. Putting up posters all over campus, standing on street corners getting people registered to vote, and asking those voters to come out and support their candidate is what a well-functioning system looks like. Representative systems rely on participation. Representative systems require voters to go out, give a damn and make themselves heard.

The Minnesota Republic understands that it is too late for our endorsement to change minds. We hope that our endorsement of participation over any candidate or political party will help to remind our colleagues of their obligation to avoid electioneering.

We are an educational nonprofit bringing conservative, classically liberal and libertarian ideas to the University of Minnesota. We bring news, opinion, and entertainment to campus. It is not our place to tell students how they should cast their ballot or to presume that we know better than they do.