Ken and Erin

Ken and Erin

Friday, July 30, 2010

Notes From the Trail


Today I took the bus back to Wadena and got picked up by Greg. He filled me in on the plan to recover the blown down wood on farms in the region and build economy for the farmers, small local millers, wood finishers and installers; strengthen the local economy keeping the value of the wood local. 1,200 truck loads of wood had already been hauled out from the city-center to the airport to be chipped; a typical export of raw valuable resources. Fortunately Greg's vision, skills and organizing ability are being recognized on the wood recovery project from the tornado blow-down. Now we need he and others who could be hired (naturally through an ecology-based economy) to do planting and selective logging, where wood is milled, finished and installed locally, at the same time enhancing the fertility and wildlife corridors of the forests(not tree-farms) over the next 100-200 years.. For the two poorest counties in Minnesota: Wadena and Todd, there is potential to create a vibrant wood-based economy that restores the land and the people of the land.


Back on the bike, destination: Wadena. It was hot with a sweet tailwind on the back country roads. I got caught in a short intense storm with lightning above my head that put a shock through my handlebars! I stopped in Clarissa. From what I understand it is losing it's high school (Another rural town drying-up due to centralization). At the city park I crashed a family picnic to introduce myself and the campaign. I talked with the Mayor's wife, some siblings from Mankato, and others at random.

Then on to Highway 71. (which needs a bike trail paralleling it; a natural outcome of an ecology-based economy. Which would add an alternative transportation route and tourism to that part of the State). Road kill for the day were varieties of butterflies. When I was about 10 miles from Wadena a storm started to swirl, the air pressure shifted, and it was as if I were biking through mud. Someone stopped and told me people were being stopped in Bertha because the conditions were becoming ripe for a twister. My pace picked-up and for the next 10 miles I sprinted (as fast as you can pulling 150 pounds) thinking “Not Wadena again.” When I was 6 blocks from Kent's, where I was staying, a train blocked me and, of course, the rain poured for that short distance. I was so close to getting in dry! 6 hours riding.

That evening Kent and Vicki took me out for some delicious Mexican food.


Today we prepped the old barn foundation for my presentation on Kent's land: 80 acres of aquaculture, carbon sink and retreat.

Kent, the host, and Mim the organizer, were the only two to show. Even though through Mim's initiative we got some publicity in the Wadena Journal (Which is rare.) and she posted about 40 flyers around the region about the event. With no turnout we spent our time organizing a regional strategy for the campaign and beyond. “ Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.


I opened a new Facebook page for the campaign.

The day was a beautiful 3 ½ hr. ride into Staples. I saw two soaring hawks, another, dead on the road; I tolerated the traffic on Hwy 10 (another needed location for a separate bike trail).

As I arrived in Staples I was met by a reporter, Dawn, from the Staples World Newspaper ( see attachment of article and picture).

As Dawn and I walked into a cool community-based non-profit coffee house called the Stomping Grounds, the guy working behind the counter, Ethan, was totally jazzed on what the Party and campaign are all about. He, his band mates and community of friends, are ready to do some organizing.

I stayed that night at the Dower Lake Campsite by a cracklin fire with the loons calling into the night. It's a glorious way to campaign.


Today I woke from a rough nights sleep, had a good breakfast and shower; went toward Staples stopping and pitching the campaign to farmers and others along the way. Then into the Stomping Grounds where there was good conversation to be had and a chance to catch-up on e-mail. After that I went business-to business talking to chiropractors, lawyers, workers at the pizzeria and the HVAC man, Marv. Then back to camp where Ethan showed and we had a lively conversation next to the fire. After dinner I watched the storm roll-in, it was all flash and thunder but no rain until the next morning.


At about 6am I was awoken by the thunder of the slowly moving storm, I could smell the oncoming rain. I decided to pack-up as fast as I could to avoid packing-up in a downpour. Just as I got everything under the tarp and was rolling up the tent the sky opened. It was a close call. As I started to bike the storm passed but the air seemed thick enough to spread on bread.

In Motley I stopped to do a radio interview on Breezy Point KLKS and then for a big breakfast.

In Pillager there was a crafty coffee house called Shante'. Timing was everything; while I snacked a fierce storm must have dropped 2 inches in 40mph winds in a half an hour. After that the skies cleared the humidity dropped and the wind was at my back floating into Brainerd.

After a quick stop for some bike repairs it was over to Lonna's, Roderic's cousin. As I arrived so did Roderic, David and Ryan hauling two canoes. We feasted on bbq veggie brats, and then over to another of Roderic's cousins Jamie's, to prepare for our launch on the Mississippi River the next morning.


We woke, packed, and headed over to John's, Jamie's boyfriend's where Roderic and Jamie prepared some tasty, filling eggs and pancakes.

From there we went to Kiwanis Park and set the boats in the water attended and assisted by Roderic, Jamie and Jamie's daughter. Kristen Olsen came in from the Cities with her children and boyfriend to celebrate our departure (look to attached picture).

It was a beautiful sunny day with a strong headwind. With three of us: David, Ryan and I, one had to go solo and it made for slow and challenging paddling.

As we approached Crow Wing State Park, Larry was waiting with freshly picked raspberries from his garden. He joined us for lunch and political banter on war and peace and the need for harmony with nature.

After that I was the solo paddler and offered comic relief for David and Ryan.

A sense of urgency grew as we began to realize we were not going to make our initial camping destination and needed an alternative. Our pace picked-up, the sun was going down, we scouted out a few spots, and after ten hours on the water we noticed though the trees a boarded-up cabin.

As David and Ryan tolerated my edginess and anger from fatigue and hunger we pitched our tents. Ryan took a swim and gained a leech on his hand. David and Ryan fired up the stove and prepared a delicious Indian dish. For night sounds we had the firing of guns across the river at Fort Ripley.

I started to realize being away from home for so long on the road/river was taking an emotional toll.

At bedtime for the first three hours in the sleeping bag, due to my 20 year gap from canoing, I never have felt such pain in my shoulders; then sleep.


Today we woke to constant gunfire and a beautiful sunny day, we talked about how big dollars were being wasted on war when great peace could be achieved by using the gun dollars for ecological and humane needs (same-old same-old. When are we going to find the gumption to subdue/redirect/dissolve the war biz and redefine national security?).

The winds were with us; within 3 hours we were at the canoe campsite we had hoped to reach the first day. It was a steep eroded bank to the site but once there it was great. We went for a swim relaxed and soaked in the day. Boy, they could use more of these types of canoe campsites along the river! Later that night after dinner Ryan lit a beautiful fire and, even though the mosquitoes were tenacious, we sang a few songs; David held counsel on organizing and the ways of the universe.


We arose at sunrise so we could break camp and get out on the water before an impending storm. Ryan headed out first. As David and I were loading the canoe, I looked one way and then back again and there was David looking stunned drenched from falling out of the boat. Instead of telling him to grab his eyeglasses which were loosely clinging to his shirt, I told him to grab his floating hat, and then the glasses fell in. For the next 45 minute we kept diving but we could not find them. Fortunately he had a back-up pair. When we called Ryan to notify him we were late he had already reached our destination in Little Falls. He had truly transformed into a strong solo paddler.

The river was both mighty and majestic. With an abundance of wildlife we saw: Loons, turtles, eagles, hawks, deer, wild turkeys, osprey and otters. The roots along the eroding shore revealed so much history, at times I felt it could have been 1910. Yes this life and death cycle, this source, is worthy of more than my words could describe. But, what would this river, the Mississippi, truly be if there were no locks and dams to alter it, clog it? No poisons to beat down it's immune system? What would it be like if the River were allowed to be a free river again? For now, no matter what was or could be, I'm grateful, if only once, to have had this experience. Thanks to David, Ryan and Roderic for making it possible.

Roderic arrived at the boat launch as the storm was looming. We switched my bike and trailer for the canoe, and Roderic, David and Ryan headed back to the cities. I raced to the nearest motel and just got in as the storm hit. A hour later the sirens went off; no tornado only heavy rains.


The day was hot with a soft tailwind as I traveled hugging the Mississippi . The road kill of the day was skunk. And did I get some serious stink up-front and personal. I decided to make random stops to introduce people to the campaign: one stop a vicious dog came running around the corner, the owner stepped in to keep him tame. The owner must have been studying the Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Beck talking points. Once I realized our conversation was going into a place where we were speaking past each other the flyer I was going to hand him went back in my bag and I booked it out of there without getting mauled. Other conversations along the way were better.

After 7 hours in the saddle I arrived at Nicholas's in St. Cloud and had dinner with him, his wife Sharalynn, and their four kids. Nicholas and I then walked a few blocks to the Munsinger Clemens Gardens which is the most magical spread of fountains, flowers, colors and sweet aroma. We walked the shore, caught a view along the river and were privy to local geocaching and/or a micro-treasure hunt. Another little secret of St. Cloud.


I started out at 9:30am my tentative destination was Buffalo. It was another hot and humid day. A woman, Leslie, also on a bike, noticed the sign on the back of the trailer and stopped to talk about the campaign and offer support. Arriving in Buffalo I stopped to talk to the news editor at the Wright County Journal-Press. Instead of staying in town I continued on to the Cities. All day it was liquids and more liquids. And the sights were corn, corn everywhere. Boy, do we grow way too much corn in Minnesota!

As I passed through Delano I was on the lookout for Tom Emmer. I thought I saw him busing his own dishes at local restaurant. Maybe not!

About 9 I arrived in Minnetrista at the Luce Line Trail. After being greeted overhead by a few bats the ride was haunting and challenging. After 15 hours and consuming about 3 gallons of liquids I arrived home at 12:30am Tuesday morning (Look to attached picture). There was some pain in the shoulder and knee and yet out of the exhaustion my resolve only grew for this campaign.


I headed out to Mound where I met Danene at the bus stop, we headed to dinner then I had a massage from Shirley, which was deep and needed.


The Next morning we went to the bike trail to flyer and I walked over to the Farmers Market.

After a quick lunch we went over to the beach and had some good conversations. One with an older couple Jack, and his wife of 60 years, Clifford (Kinda like "a boy named Sue".). She told us a story of her cotton picking days and how that kept her strong into old age. Clifford then proceeded to showed us how she can still slam her palms to the ground and reach her foot over her head. And she kept squeezing my arm to prove she still had the cotton pickers grip.

Danene is the Ambassador of Mound and I feel she could become Mayor too.

From there it was a sweet bike ride back to Golden Valley.


Danene picked me up and we went out to a street festival next to the Black Dog Cafe in Lowertown St. Paul. We worked the crowd, handing-out over 200 flyers. It was a beautiful mix of sun, music and planting of political seeds.

See you on the trail.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Upcoming Campaign Fundraisers in the Twin Cities

Dear Pentel for Governor supporters,

Ken Pentel finished his northern loop of the campaign on bike and in canoe and will be out in the west suburbs on Saturday, July 24th. We have organized a “Meet the Candidate” stop at the Dakota Rail bike trail adjacent to 2281 Commerce Blvd in Mound.

Thanks to all of the volunteers who participated and the great photos that were took! More to come on our photo gallery on the website at . Our webmaster will be back from vacation soon and will resume developing the photo gallery link and more on the website.

For the month of August through early September, Ken will be campaigning in the metro area. If you are interested in hosting a house party during this time, contact our Fundraising Coordinator, Kristen Olson at House parties are a great way to connect one to one with the candidates and meet like-minded people. Invite a few friends and family, serve lemonade and cookies and hear how to fix our broken system.

Campaign Fundraisers

July 31st

Club Honey (beneath the Ginger Hop) starting at 8pm

205 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Neighborhood: Northeast

(612) 746-0306

8:00p – 10:30p Erica West, Rand B hits, $5 cover at the door

10:00p JF Shrnbtz (Disc Jockey) – Classic hits

Ken Pentel will have mic time and there will be a Pentel for Governor table with buttons, campaign literature and a donation jar. Thanks to Roderic for organizing this.

August 6th

Help Us Make the Change

Ken Pentel for Governor ~ Silent Auction and Fundraiser

Are you tired of politics as usual in Minnesota? Do you believe that we have a responsibility to our Earth and future generations?

Let's get together!

On August 6th the Ecology Democracy Party will host a Silent Auction and Fundraiser for the Ken Pentel for Governor campaign at the Walker Community Church in Minneapolis from 6 to 9 pm. Meet Ken and hear how together we can bring proportional representation to the Minnesota House so that all viewpoints are represented in our government, how bringing ecologically sane industries to Minnesota will help heal our planet and revive our economy, and how getting corporate sponsorship of our legislature will inevitably lead us into a future where a healthy and educated citizenship will thrive!

There will be food, music, and like-minded people. Expect to have some fun and make a difference.

Friday August 6th - 6 - 9 pm.
Walker Community Church

3104 16th Ave. S.

Mpls, MN

**If you can volunteer time or items for the silent auction for the event (goods, services, crafts, art, homemade food, etc), your help would be greatly appreciated! Please contact Kristen at for more information.

If you cannot make the event but can donate $5, $10, $50, or any amount to the campaign, please mail to:

Ken Pentel for Governor

P.O. Box 3872

Minneapolis, MN 55403

I will be contacting volunteers in mid August to schedule MN State Fair shifts (4 hours each from 9a – 9p). This will be a great opportunity to do education/outreach to almost 2 million in 12 days between Aug 26 and Sep 6. Any other campaign ideas, feel free to call me.

Three more months.


Danene Provencher

Kelsey Miller

Campaign Managers

Ken Pentel for Governor


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Article from Staples World Reporter

Ken Pentel, governor-hopeful, bikes through Staples

By Dawn Timbs

Staples World reporter

Gubernatorial candidate Ken Pentel, with the newly formed Ecology Democracy Party, parked his bike in Staples July 12 - 13, one of the stops along his campaign trail.

He’s been on the road since June 26, traveling mostly by bike (in keeping with his ecological-friendly beliefs) and occasionally by canoe.

“I’ve traveled through St. Cloud, Sauk Centre, the Browerville area,” Pentel said recently, at the Stomping Grounds coffee house in Staples. “I just biked here from Wadena. It’s a great way to see this beautiful State of ours and get to know the people who live here.”

Pentel, 49, goes door to door with his campaign message, and holds informal meet-and-greet sessions along the way. In Staples, he invited folks to join him at Dower Lake campground, where he took time to talk with people and answer questions about his policies.

It’s the fourth time Pentel has run for Governor of Minnesota. Previously, as a member of the Green Party, he ran in 1998 (against Jesse Ventura), in 2002 and in 2006. “It was heartbreaking when Paul Wellstone died,” Pentel says of the late Green Party Senator, who died in a 2002 plane crash.

His split from the Green Party came because of a difference in organizing policy, Pentel said. “It’s a beautiful party, filled with beautiful people, but their platform is too sprawling,” he added.

Pentel’s passion for ecology (he worked for Green Peace for 11 years) led him to build the Ecology Democracy Network, of which he is the sole proprietor. “This party was born out of it and was officially formed May 8, 2010.”

The three main issues of the Ecology Democracy Party are:

o Establishing an ecology-based economy for Minnesota

o Implementing proportional representation for the State House (Simply stated, Pentel stressed, “If your party or candidate in a voting region receives 10 percent of the votes, they earn 10 percent of the seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives)

o Removing Big Money and Corporate Interference in government.

Pentel admits he doesn’t have the big bucks that the major parties have access to.

He’s not willing, however, “to pander to the wealthy,” Pentel said. “I’d rather bike through small towns, and help the people who live there find courage to do things differently.”

Pentel believes that poor people can live very rich lives. “There’s a difference between being poor and being in poverty.”

Basic needs need to be met at the local level, Pentel said. “We’ve got to strengthen the local economy.”

Strengthening the non-human world is a big concern for Pentel. He’s also very concerned about rural communities. “They’re drying are moving away after they graduate because there aren’t jobs for them. We need to be able to give kids livable wage jobs,” the gubernatorial-hopeful said.

Pentel said he sees restoring rural areas as a key to strengthening Minnesota as a whole.

He may not have power or a lot of money, Pentel added. “But I do believe that I have the richest and the best ideas.”

For more information about Ken Pentel and the Ecology Democracy Party, visit

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 24 Celebration and Discussion in Mound

You are invited to join the Ecology Democracy Party’s gubernatorial candidate, KEN PENTEL, in a discussion about bringing ecological consciousness and greater democracy to politics in Minnesota. Ken is completing his campaign tour of the northern part of MN on bicycle and will be joining others from the campaign team, including Danene Provencher, on the 24th to celebrate the success of the campaign:

What: KEN PENTEL for Governor 2010:

Meet the Candidate/Discussion on Bringing Ecological Consciousness and Greater Democracy to MN Politics

When: Saturday

July 24, 2010

12-2:00 PM

Where: Dakota Rail Bike Trail

(Adjacent to)

2281 Commerce Blvd

Mound, MN 55364


Contact: 651-695-1966 or

The Ecology Democracy Party grew from the already flourishing Ecology Democracy Network, established by Ken Pentel over the last two years while bicycling over 6,000 miles grass roots organizing around the State. The Ecology Democracy Party was established to transition the thinking and action in our culture from a human-centered to an ecological-centered approach in relation to how we manage our relationship with our home, planet Earth. The Ecology Democracy Party will restore a harmonious and sustainable relationship with our natural environment through a structural change of the fundamentals of Minnesota Government. This change is to be brought about through the following three Ecology Democracy Party mandates:

Ecology Democracy Party mandates:

* Establishing an ecology-based economy for Minnesota

* Implementing proportional representation for the State House

* Removing Big Money and Corporate Interference in Minnesota Government

Ken Pentel quote: “The people who mobilize and vote for Erin and I should know that when elected, our three mandates will form the basis of how we will govern. These are: the establishment of an ecology-based economy for Minnesota, implementation of proportional representation for the State House, and the removal of private and corporate money in the people’s government of Minnesota. In the course of this campaign and beyond, it will be the responsibility of the people in the field who mobilized, and all those who will vote for us, to give us the backbone to see this through. We know Minnesotans are up to the challenge and we look forward to earning and maintaining their trust and confidence.”

Prepared to Govern,

Ken Pentel, 2010 Ecology Democracy Party Gubernatorial Candidate

Ken Pentel is a Minnesota native and former Green Party gubernatorial candidate with 11 years of work experience with Greenpeace and 12 years of work experience developing the Minnesota Green Party. Ken is the founding director of the Ecology Democracy Network.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Canoeing Down the Mississippi

Here are some pictures of Ken Pentel and the Ecology Democracy Party members starting off on their canoe and campaign trip down the Mississippi River. Safe paddling!

Article About Ken and the Ecology Democracy Party

Here is a link to an article about Ken and the Ecology Democracy Party on the Independent Political Report website:

Read on in the comments--they form some interesting discussions about Proportional Representation, among our other mandates.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Here's what others are saying about meeting Ken Pentel as he campaigns on his bicycle through Minnesota:

To find out where Ken will be in the coming weeks leading up to the election, check the previous entry and the upcoming entries!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ken Pentel on the Campaign Trail - Mississippi Leg

The Mississippi River segment of Ken Pentel's Central Minnesota Human -Powered Campaign has its paddle-off the morning of Thursday July 15th at 9:00am from Kiwanis Park in Brainerd. The Canoe Campaign will proceed down river stopping at Crow Wing State Park, Fort Ripley Landing, Fletcher Creek Landing, Maple Island Park in Little Falls, Bend in the River Park near Rice, and stops at Sartell and Sauk Rapids before culminating at Riverside Park in St.Cloud Saturday evening.
There will be rallies at Crow Wing at noon Thursday, at Little Falls noon Friday, at Rice Saturday noon and at the Brainerd sendoff and St. Cloud arrival.
People in licensed non-motorized watercraft are invited to join in for all or any part of the tour ( please have required safety equipment on board).
THE ECOLOGY DEMOCRACY PARTY at the following locations:
Thursday, July 15 Brainerd Kiwanis Park 9:00am
Thursday, July 15 Crow Wing State Park Noon
Friday, July 16 Maple Island Park, Little Falls Noon
Saturday, July 17 Bend in the River Park, Rice Noon
Saturday, July 17 Riverside Park, St. Cloud Evening
Join Ken and the Ecology Democracy Party as he promotes ecological consciousness, proportional representation and the removal of undue corporate influence on the health, democracy and prosperity of Minnesota.
For the Earth,
Danene Provencher
Co-campaign Manager
Ken Pentel for Governor 2010
Ecology Democracy Party

Meet the Candidate Event July 13

Ken Pentel for Governor, with the Ecology Democracy Party, invites you to join him on July 13th at the campgrounds of the Dower Lake Recreation Area (see link for map below) at 6:00 p.m. The campgrounds are located two miles north of Highway 210.
Ken has been touring the northern part of MN on bicycle and will be joining others from the campaign team on the 15th to canoe down the Mississippi River while on the campaign trail.
The Ecology Democracy Party is a newly formed party in the state of MN which will focus on restoring a harmonious and sustainable relationship with our environment through a structural change in the fundamentals of our MN government. The party and campaign is focusing on three mandates:
1. Establish an ecology-based economy for Minnesota
2. Implement proportional representation for the MN State House
3. Remove big money and corporate influence in our government
Feel free to contact Ken directly if you plan on meeting up with him one of the days listed above. Ken will have balloons at his campsite to mark the spot for the "Meet the Candidate" forum.
Ken can be reached at 612-387-0601 if you are unable to attend and would like to connect with him at another time.
For the Earth,
Danene Provencher
Co-campaign manager
Ken Pentel for Governor 2010
Ecology Democracy Party

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Notes from the Trail, Winning, and Communication

Dear Organizers and Supporters of the Pentel/Wallace Campaign For Governor,

Notes from the Trail


The first day of the northern swing was muggy and I almost fell asleep riding as the water poured out of me. As I passed through the sprawl of Plymouth and Maple Grove I couldn’t help thinking about the gusher in the Gulf and how the normal condition of cities and towns, such as these in suburbia Minnesota are gushers too: Car dependent planning, long distance transport of electricity, energy wasteful housing and commercial building codes to feed the growth model. All gushing energy from flattened mountaintops, poisoned oceans, and blood soaked lands far away, out-of-sight out-of-mind, disconnected from our needed visceral response to heal the gushing wound.

I was 6 ½ hours in the saddle and arrived in Monticello just before the storm. Finally got a good nights rest.


I thought today would be an easier day of riding, no such luck, my body was struggling against a tenacious headwind of 20-30mph on a hot day. St. Cloud always seems like a mirage as if I’m never going to make it. Most of the road kill was frogs, birds and a few turtles. 7 hours on the bike.

But I made it to Nicholas Snavely’s home and had a quick drink, then off to a "meet the candidate" event at Burrito Bravo. Nicholas showed with Oliver, his 2-year-old son, and we ate a delicious meal.


The next day after getting out of St. Cloud to St. Joseph I got on the Wobegon Trail away from the car and truck traffic and it’s as if I landed in an enchanted place, where only the wind and birds were the noise and the land was plush and the butterflies and dragonflies escorted me along the way to Melrose. 8 hours on the bike.

All along the way I had a chance to talk to a few people along my path about the campaign, but I was getting anxious to get out to meet more.


The next day it was short two-hour ride into Sauk Centre. When I landed I set-up camp at Sinclair Lewis Campsite. Then, over to the Sauk Herald for an hour interview with Bryan. The article comes out on July 13th. That evening I handed out about 80 flyers at the movie theater.


The next day I went for a refreshing swim in the Sauk Lake and did laundry and went to Jitters for another "meet the candidate"-no one showed. Then it was off to flyer at Gerrard's restaurant, the movie theater then to a concert in the park where horns were playing folk music. It was beautiful day. I invited people to join me at my campsite and the only person that showed was Bob from the fruit stand who was a religious zealot and homophobic. He liked my honesty and was into the issues of the campaign, Bob took some flyers for his fruit stand. Go figure.


Today I set off to Browerville to stay at Greg and Marcia’s place. It was beautiful tailwind on a hot day.

I stopped in Long Prairie and had a good talk with Kay at the Co-op. The town of Long Prairie had many empty buildings.

As I was getting close to my destination for the day my bike broke down. Fortunately, Greg was on his way to pick me up and hauled the bike to his place. It is a beautiful place to stay--an off the grid, local sustainable business.( )

We ate a beautiful meal with most of the food grown either on Marcia and Greg’s land or within two miles.

That evening they gave me a thorough education on sustainable forestry.


The next day we headed to the Brainerd Farmers Market. With Marcia, Greg and their daughter Sunny. Greg and Marcia described to me the care people at the Market take to produce high quality food and maintain the integrity of the land and water. The weight of this experience moved me to tears. Not only was it moving to see the product and hear the practices, but to learn that many of the people there (Including Marcia) do not make enough money to pay, or get paid very little for what they produce. This sickens me. While those who rape the land with destructive uncaring farming practices make billions of dollars not paying the whole cost, and what they do is crushing the local farmers of the land.

Then we dropped my bike at the shop. While Allen and Jeremy at the shop were working on the bike I spent some time flyering in town and had some good and very sad conversations; while securing some votes.

At the bike shop they said they have never seen a bottom bracket so broken. (I pull too much weight.) With an addition of a new cassette and chain it was a $160 bill. Ouch! I guess a small price for all the benefits/value the bike has given.


We headed out at 6:30 AM for the Little Falls Market. Marcia is selling mixed greens, maple syrup, whole grain bread and muffins. Sunny is selling flowers, homemade dog biscuits, and jewelry. It was a slow day. I walked into town and talked with local business owners, as well as the vendors at the market.


Today we all headed to the Brainerd the 4th of July parade. We joined in with the Brainerd Coalition for Peace. It was a hot day with a big crowd. The Coalition had a big puppet (about 15 feet tall on one wheel.) holding up a peace sign. And they struggled with mighty strength to keep it from falling. Kelsey and Marcia held the campaign banner and I worked the crowd. This was a tough crowd, many of them were hostile to the peace signs and expressed themselves in a variety of ways and some were very supportive. Kelsey and I handed out about 200+ flyers.


This evening I went to Camp Hill Village where I made my case to be Governor. Camp Hill is a non-profit in Sauk Centre ( ) inspired by Rudolph Steiner and founded by Karl Koening. where co-workers work with villagers with special needs on 500 acres where they grow food using biodynamic farming practices. It is a very inspiring community. About 10 people showed. Kelsey Miller (Co-coordinator of the Pentel/ Wallace Campaign and Chair of the Ecology Democracy Party.) gave a thoughtful and inspiring opening statement, then we had a very lively conversation. Afterwards new relationships were formed among people who are already living the ecological life.

Further thoughts:

This campaign is starting to build an organizing formula, take shape, and build momentum. It is an opportunity for us to learn how to work together at the state and local level. And biking and canoing for Governor allows us a rare chance to magnify the vision of the Party and the passion for that vision.

Do you think you can win?”

When people ask me “ do you think you can win?” My response is, “if that is the criteria then this campaign should not have to take place. Because if winning where the standard and all the promises by all the people who have won elections in the past where kept, our species would be in harmony with the non-human and human world. Obviously that is not he case. Winning in a dysfunctional political and economic system can only lead to dysfunctional outcomes. So, I consider this the criteria to be Governor:

1. Do the initial judgments, structural pathways and/or mandates meet the standards of relevant policy for the times we live?

2. Am I prepared to fulfill the role of Governor?

In response to #1: I will measure and debate our mandates against any or all of the candidates seeking to be Governor of Minnesota, anytime, any-place, any-where, and I feel ours are the strongest by-far. It's not even close.

In Response to #2: With every campaign for Governor since 1998 I have been prepared to take responsibility where others have obviously not: Erin and I are ready to Govern the challenging and beautiful State of Minnesota.

Now, if the person asking the question agrees with the mandates, then it is up to them to vote accordingly and mobilize beyond the vote to build the cultural courage, as well as offering their organizing abilities and skills so Erin and I have the needed cultural strength to literally achieve the mandates.

But, if this campaign is about the ability to raise millions of dollars; chasing money and not preparing to solve vital problems or, emphasizing style over substantive policy, then this will continue the political philosophy and corruption that has lead us to such rapid ecological decline.

An independent Party like the Ecology Democracy Party can empower the citizen who feels excluded by their own government, to take literally the role of “citizen”: mother, teacher, farmer, laborer, student, etc., and bring clarity of vision, and action, to end the corruption in the people's Government.


Campaign Expectations in Communication:

Communication keeps the organizing body active, aware, and strong. Trust grows through communication at a variety of levels. As we reach out to the general public we build our individual powers of persuasion. Within the Pentel/Wallace Campaign, open communication helps to build trust with each other as we learn to rely on each other. This is why we require active participation in the Campaign. No matter how many people are in the Campaign, when all of us are participating, trust will grow. Out of this trust, individual confidence will grow and that will lead to a more courageous Campaign. We will develop into a Campaign of individuals who are ready to take on the great challenges that lie ahead and who are ready to assume the responsibilities of decision makers.

To the tastiest mouth-watering organic strawberries in Browerville, salude!