(The following was originally published in the Star Tribune.)
The last time the Green Party mattered in Minnesota politics, Facebook had just launched out of Mark Zuckerberg’s college dorm room.
Consumer firebrand Ralph Nader, in a high-profile presidential run in 2000, secured major party status for the Greens that year, casting them into the limelight and bringing them legitimacy, tax subsidies and automatic ballot inclusion.
Their zenith was short-lived however. In 2004, presidential candidate David Cobb garnered only 4,403 votes, falling 137,000 short and casting the party back into the minority. Without those perks, the Green Party has been largely relegated to the political fringes for the past decade.
That may change this fall, in Minnesota at least.