The Independence Party announced today that the party's delegates decided to keep a ban in place that would forbid the party from taking donations from special interests also known as Political Action Committees.
The delegates also voted to ditch a procedure that allowed the I-P to endorse candidates from other parties. The party allowed for such action in 2008, most notably with 6th District DFLer El Tinklenberg. The endorsement at the time didn't mean much since another candidate, Bob Anderson, filed as a member of the I-P and was on the November ballot. Republican Michele Bachmann ended up winning the election.
Here's the release from the Independence Party:
Independence Party Shouts "System Sucks!"
Party definitively differentiates itself from the two entrenched political parties
At its State Party Convention in Brooklyn Park, MN, Independence Party delegates overwhelmingly reaffirmed the Party's ban on accepting special interest money (PAC money) and eliminated cross-endorsement of candidates representing other political parties. State Party Chair, Jack Uldrich, said "Today's actions clarify and amplify the fact that the Independence Party is the only true reform party."
While the ban on accepting special interest money has been a core tenant of the Party since its inception in 1992, Governor Pawlenty's elimination of the popular Political Contribution Refund (PCR) program forced delegates to confront the prospect that all future candidates will now be allowed to accept special interest money. In response, they voted overwhelmingly to "double down" and ban all special interest contributions...period.
"Today's political system sucks and special interest money lies at the heart of so many problems," said Uldrich, adding "Not accepting PAC money won't make our job of electing candidates any easier but it is the right thing to do. Unlike every other political party, the Independence Party is going to live - or die - on principle."
Additionally, delegates voted to eliminate the Party's short-lived experiment in cross-
endorsement that began in 2008. "Our delegates feel that offering endorsement support to candidates of the parties that brought us this systemic mess diluted our message" stated Jack Uldrich, Independence Party Chair, "All levels of government are in need of massive reform that can only be provided by centrist candidates without special interest strings attached as opposed to puppets of the status quo." Added Uldrich, "If other political candidates want our endorsement, they are welcome to have it but they are going to have to leave their current party to get it."