UNCONVENTIONAL MINNESOTA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE TAPS INTO PUBLIC’S DISCONTENT WITH “POLITICS AS USUAL”
Paula Overby is a 2016 Independence Party of America candidate seeking election to the U.S. House to represent the 2nd Congressional District of Minnesota. This is Overby’s second bid for this office; she was unsuccessful in 2014 when the incumbent, John Kline defeated her.
Overby is believed to be the first openly transgendered person to run for Congress. She is running against Angie Craig (Democrat) and Jason Lewis (Republican). Kline is not running for reelection.
Campaigning on a flurry of ideas, Overby has focused on some of the hot topics of this political season. She laments the current “parenting time” templates utilized by courts in cases involving child custody issues. She feels that the tribunals too often credit the “female gender” by generally subscribing to the belief that “women are being abused, and men are getting off too easily.” Such stereotypes, “promoted by female attorneys,” perpetuate this “myth” that is often accepted by the courts with little examination. In the end, the children suffer. In the GLBT community, “if you have two same-sex partners,” the validity of the formula falls apart. The fees charged by attorneys are outrageous, “there should be flat fees,” she contends. Overby points to her case where lawyers cost approximately $150,000 just for one of the litigants.
Overby has watched the feminist movement morph from the bra-burning days of the 1960s and the ERA movement to the “homemaker versus career” times of today. “The focus is now on economics and the transition of women into the workplace that has been traditionally male-dominated.” We are experiencing a “loss of feminism” in the sense that “traditional roles of family values, care-taking and volunteering are giving way to this drive for economic dominance.” Men are becoming less secure about their traditional roles as breadwinners as they continue to lose traction and financial agency, Overby surmised.
She distinguishes her campaign from the two largest parties on at least a few principles. “Both sides are polarizing women and men”; the Democrats “have abandoned the rural communities” even though they have done little for the African American and Hispanic communities. “The 1964 Civil Rights Act is the last big thing the Democrats did for minority citizens”. Overby promises policies of inclusion, relief from the trillion-dollar student debt, the elimination of Super Pacs and the “dysfunctional” policies of the two-party system that have resulted in gridlock and waste.
Given the dissatisfaction with the general public and the derisive politics of the two Presidential candidates, Overby feels she has a decent chance to win a spot in Congress this time. The election is November 8, 2016.