Independence Minnesota



Take Our Minnesota Issues Survey

Posted Saturday, 26 January 2013 by Independence Party  E-mail


Do you have an opinion about Minnesota state government and issues that are or aren't receiving adequate attention? Help the Independence Party shape its agenda and interests by letting us know where you stand as a Minnesotan.

We're counting on hearing from thousands of Minnesotans to help determine how we can be more responsive to their concerns in order to move our state forward. No matter where you stand on politics and policy take a moment and weigh in by CLICKING HERE TO FILL OUT THIS BRIEF SURVEY.

Thanks for your help

2013 State Central Committee Meeting

Posted Monday, 21 January 2013 by Mark Jenkins  E-mail

Independence Party of Minnesota
State Central Committee Meeting
Saturday, February 23, 2013 from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm

Copy of Call (.pdf)

Notification of Election of At-Large Executive Committee Members (.pdf)

Constitution Committee Report (Amendments to be Considered for Approval) (.pdf)


IP Endorses Tim Gieseke for House 19A

Posted Monday, 14 January 2013 by Independence Party  E-mail

ST. PETER, MN -- The Independence Party of Minnesota held an endorsing convention in St. Peter on Saturday to endorse Tim Gieseke, a candidate for the MN House District 19A special election to replace Representative Terry Morrow.

The attendees unanimously endorsed Tim Gieseke, New Ulm, to be the Independence Party candidate in the special election to be held February 12th, 2013.

Gieseke, a resident of Brighton Township in rural Nicollet County, is married and has three young children. He has his own business, Ag Resource Strategies, LLC, and operates his family’s farm.

“The Independence Party of Minnesota is pleased to have such a well qualified candidate willing to step up and serve the residents of House District 19A.” stated Mark Meyer, Independence Party Chairman for Congressional District One.

“As citizens meet Mr. Gieseke and see his leadership skills, they will find him to be a high caliber candidate that can serve the District well and has the experience to bring legislators together to solve problems.”

Residents are reminded to mark their calendars for the House District 19A Special Election to be held on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 in the Nicollet County area.


Know the Party

Posted Thursday, 10 January 2013 by Independence Party  E-mail

Who's involved in the Independence Party of Minnesota -- and why? 
IP delegates share their stories.

Click below to read more.


       Gordon Hanson                        Kayla Hansen                          Kyle Lewis


Throughout 2012 the Independence Party of Minnesota gathered throughout the Twin Cities to welcome some of the state's leading policy minds for "Independent Thinking" meetups

The IP is committed to innovative, sustainable policy approaches that position Minnesota for prosperity. Be on the lookout for even bigger events this winter. 

IP delegates, supporters and guests gather in Minnetonka for a budget workshop

RECAP: Citizens gather for 'Independent Thinking' budget forum 

RECAP: Reform on a Stick: Political Reform chat at the State Fair



Nothing defines a political party more than its platform.  The Independence Party of Minnesota Platform, including its Principles and Core Values are here for your review.

Independence Party of Minnesota Platform (pdf)

(June 2012)


HD 19A Endorsing Convention

Posted Monday, 07 January 2013 by Mark Meyer  E-mail

The Independence Party First Congressional District will hold an endorsing convention on Saturday, January 12 for the special election in District 19A to replace former Representative Terry Morrow. 

The meeting will be at in the Traverse des Sioux Room 102 at the St. Peter Community Center at 600 South 5th Street, St. Peter, MN 56082.

Registration is at 10:30 a.m. with the endorsing convention to begin at 11 a.m.

Beginning at noon, you are invited for lunch and to join the Executive Committee of the 1st Congressional District to plan for 2013.

Please contact district chairman Mark Meyer at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like to provide input but cannot attend the meeting.


Interest brewing in 19A special election

Posted Wednesday, 02 January 2013 by Matt Lewis  E-mail

Southern Minnesota media outlets reported throughout the last week on developments in the upcoming special election for Minnesota House District 19A. The seat is being vacated on January 7 by DFLer Terry Morrow, who took a job with the Uniform Law Commission in Chicago. So far two potential IP candidates have emerged for a seat that went unopposed just two months ago.

IP First Congressional District Chair Mark Meyer told the New Ulm Journal that he's optimistic about the chance to send an independent voice to the state legislature:

"First, the district has a history of being very centrist and voting across both the DFL and Republican parties. He said the entire "fiscal cliff" debacle has left people completely fed up with both parties, giving the Independence Party the opportunity to provide an alternative for voters.

Second, Meyer said the two potential candidates are much more competitive than usual. He said they are being coached in how to bring out strong presentations of their candidacy, including in a few radio ads planned for the race.

Finally, he said the extremely short window for the special election will prevent any party from having much time to put its full force into the race, making it an even playing field."

The first of two potential candidates to express interest is Nicollet County's Tim Gieseke. Gieseke has worked for local government and non-profits and now runs his own business, Ag Resource Strategies. He has a history of working on local, state and federal policy issues on agriculture, renewable energy and the environment with groups including the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the United Nations Foundation. Gieseke told the St. Peter Herald that his views line up with the IP platform.

Another potential IP candidate stepped forward days later. Jeff Thom, founder and CEO of the food ingredient manufacturer All American Foods. The New Ulm Journal reported a statement from Thom saying that "we desperately need independent representatives that can come together, unlike this state's traditional parties have been able to do."

Two DFLers have announced runs and former GOP Rep. Allen Quist, who ran for U.S. Congress in the First in 2012, is reported to be mulling an entrance. Stay tuned for more information from District 19A.

George S. Pillsbury

Posted Thursday, 08 November 2012 by Tom Horner Comments (1)  E-mail

When Minnesotans reflect on our unique culture of civic involvement, we often frame it around tangible outcomes. The commitment of community leaders gave us major league sports and major league arts; we are a prosperous state because of the world-class system of education designed and supported by those who came before; and, we have a tradition of finding innovative and shared solutions to the problems that have crippled other communities.

These assets aren’t the result of some serendipitous good fortune. These – and so many more Minnesota advantages that we often take for granted – exist because of the leadership and commitment of dedicated Minnesota men and women. None of these leaders stands taller than my friend George Pillsbury. George, who passed away Oct. 13, will be remembered at a memorial service Nov. 10 (4 p.m. at Wayzata Community Church).

George served his state and country faithfully and admirably as a Marine during World War II, as a business executive, a Minnesota senator and in countless behind-the-scenes activities. The foundation of his life was his family, especially his wife Sally. Together, they have made Minnesota a better state in which to live and work.

George built on a family tradition defined by his ancestor John S. Pillsbury. In the book about his family George wrote with Lori Sturdevant, The Pillsburys of Minnesota, the heritage is described this way: “(John S. Pillsbury) had not come to Minnesota just to acquire wealth. And when he did become wealthy, he did not turn to public service out of noblesse oblige, the notion that the wealthy owed service to lesser folk. His thinking was more democratic. It was born in the town meetings of New England, in which each adult male, as John himself described it, plays his part, ‘fully recognizing his rights and his duties’ within the community. ‘Each man is the equal of the other…’ He believed that only if each individual did his part…could the whole community thrive.”

George was a bridge builder. He was elected to the State Senate as a Republican. Later, he caucused with the Independence Party. But George never was driven by ideology. His support went to those who offered good ideas and the promise of thoughtful leadership.

Minnesota is an immeasurably better state because Sally and George chose to live here and to help the entire community thrive. Libby and I are blessed to have their friendship. Rest in Peace, George. Yours was a life well lived.


Minnesota Wins

Posted Thursday, 08 November 2012 by Mark Jenkins  E-mail

Minnesota won big on Tuesday.

We showed the country that when people from all political parties work together there is no challenge that can't be overcome. Two important coalitions - Minnesotans United for All Families and Our Vote Our Future - proved that doing the right thing transcends labels.  The Independence Party of Minnesota is proud to have been an early and active member of both coalitions that fought for and defended every Minnesotan's individual and civil rights.
The IP is also proud of all of our candidates who chose to do the right thing instead of the easy thing. In many parts of the state, Minnesotans were subjected to demeaning and hateful attack ads against decent people from both sides of the political aisle.  But in districts where Independence Party candidates were part of the race, issues outnumbered insults, and solutions overshadowed slander.  Our candidates chose to respect the citizens of their districts and to respect their opponents by focusing on the problems we need to face together.  
THANK YOU for supporting these efforts. We are proud of the work we've done this past year in defending Minnesotans rights and in continuing the party's tradition of giving Minnesotans viable and respectful options at the polls. We promise to continue the fight for much needed political and fiscal reform at the state capitol.  

We have much work to do to continue to grow our party, reach out to new communities and address critical issues that have yet to be tackled in our state. We will look to you for the ideas and the energy to make that progress happen. I'm very much excited by the prospects and hope you'll CLICK HERE to get involved. 

But even more critical than building our party is fighting for a better Minnesota for all citizens. Today we congratulate the victors of Tuesday's elections and wish them the best moving forward. While we will stand on our principles, the IP is committed to providing input and working collaboratively with lawmakers in order to advance positive solutions for our economy, or schools, our resources and our people. 

We all want a more prosperous Minnesota. Let's work together to get there.

Mark Jenkins
Chair, Independence Party of Minnesota

Big Ideas: Why I'm IP

Posted Monday, 29 October 2012 by Tim Penny  E-mail

I was a Democrat during my elective years – but often out-of-step with my own party. I found over time that there were fewer and fewer moderates among my colleagues in the Congress – making it more difficult to forge bipartisan coalitions on the important issues. In addition to this increasing polarization, I also witnessed both parties giving lip-service to fiscal responsibility, but doing little to address our nation’s fiscal challenges (except to point fingers and place blame on the other party).

After leaving Congress, I wrote two books designed to illuminate the dangers posed by this political gridlock. Common Cents shared stories of a political culture that rewards bad behavior – from interest groups to careerism. The Fifteen Biggest Lies in Politics attempted to demonstrate how neither party is offering a serious discussion (just sound bites) or serious solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems.

Then, Minnesota elected Governor Ventura – and I saw first-hand how an “independent” leader could change our culture and address big issues. Ventura appointed – by all accounts – perhaps the best Cabinet in our state’s history – and he empowered them to be creative and to improve their agency’s services. He also championed major tax and school funding reform and proposed an ambitious transportation plan. His ideas were put forward in a document dubbed: The Big Plan. And those ideas were big and bold – unlike the pabulum we typically get from Democrats and Republicans. Because he was a third and powerful force in Minnesota politics, he garnered notable bipartisan support (in the legislature and with voters) for many of his initiatives.

Watching the difference that an “independent” could make inspired me to declare my own independence. I have been a proud member of the Independence Party of Minnesota ever since.

Tim Penny is a former United States Congressman and was the Independence Party of Minnesota's 2002 gubernatorial candidate. You can read his column on politics and policy each month in the Star Tribune.


Every Conversation Counts: Why I'm IP

Posted Thursday, 25 October 2012 by William Denney  E-mail

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a cold, rainy, October afternoon back in 2008. There I was, standing all alone on the corner of a busy Dinkytown intersection. I was bundled up in any kind of rain gear I could find, sporting two pairs of gloves, squinting my eyes as the sleet stung the skin on my face.

I had been waving my “Dean Barkley for Senate” sign for more than two hours, to the appreciation of a few who gave me the token honk of the horn, or a simple thumbs-up and a smile through their windows.

I was about to head home for the night when a young man, no more than 20 years old, who I assumed was a student at the U of M, came trudging up to the traffic light I was near. He hit the ‘Walk’ button, and waited. Then he looked my way and proceeded to question me about Senator Barkley, the IP, and why I was so crazy to be standing out in the rain waving some silly sign.

We only spoke for a couple of minutes, but he intentionally missed his opportunity to cross the street and waited for the next one. He was quite intrigued with what I was saying. Not necessarily because he agreed with me, but because of the different candidate, ideas, visions, and solutions I was presenting to him. He had been blind to the other possibilities available to him. He informed me that this was the first election he would be voting in, and he was looking very forward to it. I shook his hand and he walked away.

I stood there for the next couple of minutes pondering what had just occurred. Would he be voting for Barkley? He never said. Did he have any intention of going home and checking out the IP any further? I’m not sure. I decided that it didn’t matter, and I had a sort of epiphany that day.

Regardless of what he took away from our brief conversation, regardless of how his political identity ended up being molded, and regardless of whether or not he ended up voting for Barkley, he was now equipped with more information than he had been just a few minutes earlier. And that was courtesy of me. It was at that moment that I decided I needed to get much more involved in the political game.

Until then, I had been an avid supporter of the IP, but nothing more. Not that there is nothing wrong with being just a supporter, but I craved more. I wanted my voice and my opinion to mean something. I wanted to continue having more conversations like I had that day with that student. I wanted to learn the game. And I wanted to change the game. So I became a political player for the Independence Party of Minnesota.

I started off small, attending a few meet ups here and there. I slowly got to know my local fellow independents and began having the conversations that I had so craved. I soon became a delegate of the party and was attending district and state conventions, voting on crucial party process matters, platform planks, and the election of party leaders. This is what I had wanted; to become truly involved in the process, to feel like my opinion and my work was doing some good, if only a little bit. I was appointed by party members to head a special committee dedicated to crafting party policy and exploring new ideas. And eventually I ran for an officer position within the party and was elected by my local delegates last November to be Chairman of the 4th Congressional District. Since then I have become actively engaged in other political ventures as well. But it all started by attending a simple IP meet up.

The world belongs to those who show up. I am living proof of it. I wanted to become more involved in politics, so I did it. I wanted to reach a position of influence as fast as I could, so I did just that. I wanted to make sure that my words and ideas would be heard, not just by members of the IP, but by the population at large. I am currently doing just that.

Opportunities await those who wish to do the same. We are always looking for fresh ideas and new people willing to contribute. We’re not looking to apply a litmus test or dwell on where we disagree. We welcome those who want to truly get engaged. So I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. You too, can be a cornerstone voice of this great party.

Instead of heading home right away that night, I stood on that corner for probably another hour, waving my silly sign, and thinking about what my next step could be. I felt rejuvenated, with a new sense of political purpose. I didn’t talk to anyone else that evening, but the seeds had been planted in my head, and my mind was made up. I was going to really start trying to change things.

I will never get to thank that passer-by for speaking with me on the drizzly, dreary, October evening. I hope that he followed up and checked out the IP and what we stand for. I hope he voted for Dean Barkley. But even if he didn’t, that’s alright. There will always be another voter to educate. There will always be more people to spread our vision of a more prosperous Minnesota to. And I intend to do just that for years to come with the Independence Party of Minnesota. I hope you will join me.

This is part of a series of letters from active Independence Party delegates sharing why they are dedicated to moving Minnesota forward through involvement in the IP.


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Sometimes doing what is right requires us to do something dangerous.

Mark Jenkins in "Ranked Choice Voting is dangerous for the Independence Party and here is why we support it" Join the discussion