Dean Barkley was appointed by

Dean Barkley was appointed by Jesse Ventura to serve the unexpired portion of Paul Wellstone’s term. Initially, Ventura leaned toward appointing another Democrat, but after the Wellstone pep rally (at which he was booed), Ventura announced his intention to appoint someone from his Independence Party. Barkley is one of a handful of actual members of that party. Today, he announced that he will remain independent and not caucus with either party. The practical effect of this is that Daschle will remain in control of the Senate’s agenda during the lame-duck session. Barkley can’t be blamed for maintaining his independent status, but I’ll predict that he will vote with the Democrats. In Minnesota, at least, if you scratch an independent you nearly always find a Democrat.


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