Ed Thompson has passed away after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. (h/t, Blogging Blue)
I voted for Ed for governor in 2002. I thought he could do less damage than either the incompetent Scott McCallum or the corrupt Jim Doyle. I also hoped that he (along with former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura) would help poke holes in the partisan duopoly of our nation's politics. Alas, that was not to be, and the brief flowering of viable third-party challenges collapsed under pressure from the major parties, as well as the impatience of those smaller parties for following a long-term strategy of building viability by consistently running candidates for lesser offices all across the country. The Green Party had actually been following that strategy before it decided to skip ahead several levels and hitch its wagon to Ralph Nader's vanity presidential campaign in 2000. The Reform Party never really made the transition from cult of Ross Perot's personality.
Although I often disagreed with him, Ed had a loud voice that made sure his unique point of view was heard. Anyone who believes in a free marketplace of diverse ideas must miss him just a little bit. It is doubly sad that cancer has taken both Thompson and Ben Masel in the same year.