Still the Candidates We Know (EDITORIAL)

Last year Digital Media did something new: we endorsed a Governor and Lt. Governor candidate ticket. At the time we believed Carter Jones and Alex Vijums fit the bill best. Last night Digital Media began to doubt this.

Now, after an interview with our Governor, we have again began to believe that Jones and Vijums are the candidates that we endorsed.

The issue the Digital team had was that Jones and Vijums would not share their platform with us. Last night the Governor’s office sent a press release stating the reason they would not allow the platform to be made public was because Jones and Vijums “want delegates to get a fair chance for their bill to pass or fail on the floor without prior influence from a document that can be interpreted in many ways.” To begin with, we all agreed that it wasn’t fair to assume that just because a delegates bill doesn’t go along with the Governor’s platform, that delegate wouldn’t fight just as hard, if not harder to pass their bill. Delegates are here to participate in a model of Minnesota government, a democracy. If a bill is vetoed and enough delegates disagree, they have the option to override the veto. This is the beauty of our check and balance system.

This seemed clear enough to Digital Media, but when we sat down to talk to Jones about his platform, we saw another side. Jones discussed in the interview that while he would go through each point of the platform and discuss it with us, we would not be allowed a physical copy. This had been one of our original issues, but after Jones gave us an example, things are making more sense.

When we went over Jones’ platform, he stated that he and Vijums would not pass bills mandating core curriculum as this would decrease the space students have to take classes of their choosing that could benefit them in the future. Also, there is concern for schools not being able to provide the necessary teachers and materials needed to add a new class. This part of the platform would seem to say that any bill regarding mandated curriculum would not be passed by the Governor or Lt. Governor. Yet Jones is expected to pass and sign a bill that would mandate the teachings of climate change and global warming in biology and chemistry. The reason Jones is willing to pass this bill is because it is not mandating a whole new class, but simply adding material to an existing class. This example, which would seem to be the kind of bill that Jones would veto, begins to prove that a public, written platform may not be the best idea.

Jones and Vijums considered releasing their platform from the beginning of their terms. Through votes with their staff, and discussion with predecessors and experienced Youth in Government adult leaders, Jones and Vijums chose to not share their platform, in writing, as they felt it was what was best for the program. Digital Media has been behind these two since their election last year, and we are glad to say we continue to stand behind them.