The Independence Party is both hailed and criticized for its notion of reform, maybe even innovation and its indistinct location between or outside of mainstream party lines. The Independence Party is both hailed and criticized for its notion of reform, maybe even innovation and its indistinct location between or outside of mainstream party lines. Having said that, with the passing of Governor Ventura’s administration and his senate appointee Dean Barkley, can the Independence Party claim meeting the needs of those who are not well represented?
Former United States senator Dean Barkley (I) said, “The Independence Party appeals to those voters that think they are not being represented in politics today. We speak for those ordinary citizens that cannot afford to hire a lobbyist to push their agenda.”
Barkley admitted that the “Black voter is a very important group that the party needs to appeal to. We have had a Black Party Chair (Eric Pone) in the past and are seeking ways to gain the trust of Black voters that have been taken for granted by the DFL party.”
The Independence Party’s effort to seek specific populations as voters, representation and positions of power may be key. Barkley said, “We have had several Black candidates endorsed by our party the past several years and would welcome more Black participation in our party.”
In response to claims that the Ventura administration, and subsequently the Independence Party, may have emitted political indifference or rather failed to successfully address their Black constituency, Barkely explained, “I believe that the Ventura Administration’s efforts in affordable housing and teen pregnancy clearly demonstrate its concerns with the Black community. I do believe that there could have been more effort made to reach out to the Black community during its administration in an attempt to recruit Blacks into the administration.”
Barkley added, “We worked a great deal with the Governor’s Councils representing minorities in an attempt to deal with their particular issues. I know that I spent a great deal of time working with the minority councils in an attempt to rectify some state policies that dealt with minority business issues during my four years as Planning director.”
Of his political future Barkley said, “I have not closed the door on running for office again. Time will tell whether or not I run again. What I have learned is that more effort has to go in early in an administration to actively recruit minorities into positions of power.”