A letter writer in Saturday's paper rightly suggests that Al Franken is not an appropriate choice to be our senator. However, his premise that if you can't vote for Norm Coleman, a vote for Dean Barkley is an acceptable alternative, is misguided and ignores history. If the voters divide their votes between Coleman and Barkley, they will hand the Senate seat to the least acceptable candidate. Dean Barkley is probably a decent fellow, but he cannot win. He is no Jesse Ventura.
The history of third parties generally is to give the job to the one most folks would not like to elect. Jimmy Carter won in large part due to the third-party candidacy of Gov. George Wallace, denying Gerald Ford a second term. President George H.W. Bush lost due to the candidacy of Ross Perot, handing Bill Clinton the presidency. In 2000 Al Gore lost in Florida by a lot fewer votes than the number voters gave to Ralph Nader.
Norm Coleman, as he promised in 2002, has tried to work together in a very partisan environment to get things done. We need to focus on the candidate who has the best chance to win and continue to work hard for the people of Minnesota. That candidate is Norm Coleman. West Central Tribune endorsed him because of his legislative ability.