When I first saw this illustration…:


… I thought for a brief moment that there was an event that involved bicyclists chasing after fleeing packs of terrified runners through the streets of Minneapolis.

Upon further reading, I see it’s just a duathlon.

Opportunity lost.

Open Letter To Mayor Betsy Hodges

To:  Betsy Hodges – Mayor, City of Minneapolis
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Protest Plans

Dear Mayor Hodges,

I, like (I take it, after the news that the Minneapolis Police were ordered to facilitate rather than hinder the blocking of I35W by protesters yesterday) you, am a big believer in the First Amendment right to free speech, especially free speech focused on political protest. 

This is especially important, since it wasn’t all that long ago that Tea Party protesters were being harassed by the police for waving signs above the freeway as “too distracting”. 

This seems like a major step forward!

So if it’s OK with you, I’d very much like to reserve I35W at 28th Street for some of my friends; the limited-government, pro-Second-Amendment, pro-life, pro-school-choice, fiscal-responsibility and other right-of-center movements. 

Have your people call my people!

That is all.



Our schools are failing, and every snowfall turns our streets into Bolivian goat paths.

But they’re talking about putting a “cap” on 35W from Washington down to 5th Street.

It’s a noise-abatement thing:

Across the country, cities are covering loud highway trenches with lids, or caps, that block out noise, restore old neighborhood connections and yield development opportunities.

In Minneapolis, planners have their eye on covering a portion of Interstate 35W that separates Downtown East and Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods, running from Washington Avenue S. to about 5th Street.

A lid over that gap would create 17 acres of green space above the highway and the chance to put up new buildings on both sides.

Still in the early concept stages, the project team has yet to nail down a cost estimate or get a funding proposal in place, but they say the payout will be greater than the risk.

They always do, don’t they? 

At least they’re not talking about making it a retractable roof.

That’s One Way To Speed Up The “Green Line”

The “Green Line” – nee the “Central Corridor”, aka “The current Met Council’s $1.4 Billion monument to its own wisdom” – has, exactly as predicted in conservative circles, turned out to be a very, very slow variety of “rapid transit”.  In its first four months in service, it’s clocked the trip between the downtowns at well over an hour; that’s about the same as the 50 Line limited stop bus it replaced, not that much faster than the 16 Local that it trudges down University with, and slower – much slower – than the 94 Express that it shouldered out of existence, except during rush hour. 

Part of the problem – exactly as I discussed on my radio show in 2007-2008 – is that the train operates at street grade level, and has to obey the same traffic signals as all the cars, trucks and buses on the street.

But at least one MTC driver seems to have figured out a way to jumpstart his route times – by ignoring traffic lights; the video in the attached story shows a “Green Line” train crossing a street in Prospect Park (southeast Minneapolis) against a green light on the cross street.  Note that that green light is on throughout the entire motion of the train across the street.

The MTC has an explanation, of course:

Metro Transit spokesperson Drew Kerr declined to answer specific questions about the video because “you can’t see what signals were indicating to the train. A train doesn’t follow green or red lights like a car does.”

If the train driver’s special signals conflict with the lights that the cars around it are seeing – as they clearly do?    I’m no Met Council traffic engineer, but I’m seeing a problem, here…


The rumors started flying over the weekend – and Tuesday, we got confirmation:  one of the rash of shootings in Minneapolis over the weekend involved a carry permittee, a 21 year old Minneapolis man:

Authorities believe he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot 18-year-old Earl Malone Saturday night at the intersection of Knox Avenue North and 26th Street.

Police took the 21-year-old man into custody at the scene. Sources tell WCCO the man has a conceal-and-carry [sic] permit, and told police he shot Malone because he had tried to rob him.

According to a Facebook post from the Twin Cities Gun Owners and Carry Forum and the irreplaceable Shelley Leeson – a reliable source on these sorts of stories – the permit holder apparently said Malone was armed, and tried to car-jack him. 

According to police files, the 21-year-old permittee fired three shots; Malone fled, and the permittee called 911, exactly as one is supposed to do.  Squads responding found Malone dead – his gun still in his hand. 

Since the permittee has been released without charges, you may be certain of three things:

  1. He didn’t pick a fight with Mr. Malone.  Indeed, he did everything feasible to get away from the fight (with “feasible” being the operative word).
  2. The permittee legitimately feared being killed or maimed – enough so that the notoriously anti-gun Henco attorney Mike Freeman was convinced the case didn’t need to go to trial.
  3. The use of lethal force was appropriate under the circumstances; if it weren’t, Mike Freeman would pounce like a vulture.

And while the identity of the shooter has not been released, and likely won’t be (for the shooter’s protection, no doubt), I’m going to hazard a guess – and it is only a guess – that the permittee is African-American. 

If it weren’t true, the local media and the cluster of anti-gun pressure groups, who would love to have a Trayvon Martin of their very own to wave like a bloody shirt, would be howling about it right now.

Minneapolis’ Real Scandal

Outrage is brewing over the scandal involving “Community Action”, a Minneapolis “non-profit” whose director, Bill Davis, spent a boatload of taxpayer money on living the high life, according to an audit

And yep, DFL figures are involved in the scandals up to their eyeballs:

[5th CD Representative and DFLer Keith] Ellison, [Senate Deputy Majority Leader Jeff] Hayden, [Minneapolis City Council president and DFLer Barbara] Johnson and City Council Member Robert Lilligren were on the board during the time covered by the audit. All have said they appointed alternates and did not regularly attend meetings.

Passing the buck to your patsy.  Not exactly a profile in courage…

…or, I suspect, much of a defense. 

The GOP has filed an ethics complaint against Hayden, and Ellison’s GOP challenger Doug Daggett has got Ellison pretty well dialed in.

But here’s the real scandal;  this is inevitable in a one-party city like Minneapolis. 

Maintaining one-party control in a place like Minneapolis (or Saint Paul, which has its own single-party patronage scandal brewing) requires paying off a lot of stakeholders from the dominant political class – in both the Twin Cities’ cases, that’s the DFL.

There are only so many patronage jobs available for the giving out in city government.  Likewise, the city school district can only absorb so many petty administrators and pay for so many “consultants”.

So the “non-profit sector” serves as a patronage factory for people in the dominant political class.  While many non-profits exist to do good things, many others exist to channel money from the government run by the party in power to the people who help get and keep it elected.

Picking examples of corruption in a one-party city like Minneapolis – like its intellectual kin in Detroit, Camden, New Orleans, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington DC and so many more – is like playing whack-a-mole.  Until the people of Minneapolis decide they need the accountability that a multi-party government can (with a little elbow grease) bring, not to mention an adversarial (as opposed to dutiful) media? 

Meet the new scandal, same as the old scandal.  And the next scandal.

Because There Aren’t Enough Unemployed Blacks, Latinos And Immigrants In Minneapolis

Minneapolis is now talking about following Seattle’s “lead” in raising the minimum wage to $15/hour.

Council member Alondra Cano tells us she’s working with the U.S. Department of Labor to get a sense of the legal challenges the city could face if officials try to follow Seattle’s lead and raise the minimum wage within its borders.

What do you call three people without a single honest clue about economics between them? I dunno, but this pic says a thousand words. Jacob Frey (Annoying DFL Hipster, South Mpls), Ryan “Uncle Tom” Winkler (Smug Volvocrat, Saint Louis Park) and Alondra Cano (union puppet, Minneapols) grinning at the thought of more unemployed black, Latino and immigrant youth to demigogue.


“My office and myself and my constituents are very supportive of the efforts of fast food workers,” Cano tells us. “We’re very happy that a handful of council members are very interested in this topic. There’s a lot of political interest in this, I think people feel that it’s the morally right thing to do, and the right time to do it.”

The most annoying part?  They know it’s a dumb idea. Well, not in as many words – but read this next bit and tell me there isn’t  an “and then a Miracle happens” tucked away here:

But Cano acknowledges that the context in Minneapolis is different than it is in Seattle, where earlier this summer the city council voted to gradually increase the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour. “Minneapolis is a very competitive and connected environment where if we make any moves that would discourage companies from doing business here, they could move to St. Louis Park, Bloomington, or St. Paul,” Cano says. “Seattle is a hub of the local economy, a lot of companies are locked in and anchored there, so the real question is how do we ensure that people in Minneapolis benefit from this move? If we do this, how many of these jobs would stay in Minneapolis and benefit residents? At this point we’re doing a lot of research.”

They’re doing a “lot of research”.  All of it political.  None of it economical. It’s a payback to the public employee unions, perched on the backs of black, latino and immigrant Minneapolitans.  Who the DFL just knows aren ‘t voting for anyone else…

Two Patties Of Sizzling Ugh

A friend of mine from South Minneapolis emails.  The bad news?  :

Oh great, my favorite local bar and burger place where I have taken many of you is now world famous. The POTUS just had a “Jucy Lucy” at Matt’s. Crap. We’ve been going to this place for decades and now…the place will be known in every corner of the earth. Best kept secret burger joint now will be even more busy. Dang.

The good news?  At least he didn’t go to The Nook.  You thought it was hard to get into Matt’s even before the POTUS’ visit?


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Minneapolis trying pop-up parks to stop teen violence. Also:

“One goal for the pop-up parks is to connect kids with at least one caring adult who can act as a mentor and help them make good choices.”

In the Olden Days, these were known as Fathers. They’re obsolete now, replaced by government social programs.

Joe Doakes

Not so much “obsolete” as “officially denounced”.

If Planning On Driving In Saint Paul On Saturday

It’s two days until the opening of the “Green Line” – and the Met Council’s toy choo choo has already been involved in four accidents.  That’s far ahead of the pace of the Ventura Trolley.

I’ve driven down University alongside the trains; it’s more than a little bit disconcerting.  And, if you’re not really really diligent about checking your vehicle’s blind spots, potentially deadly.

But what could possibly make it worse?  They’re going to turn opening night into a pub crawl.

That’s right – like Uni doesn’t have enough drunks patrolling it on a Saturday night anyway…


Doakes Sunday: Stasis

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Strib says we built 3,000 apartment units in the past year but the vacancy rate stayed at 2.5% and rent stayed below $1,000.

That means we’re adding apartments as fast as people are moving in, and that the people moving in are low-income.

Where are all these low-income people moving From?

And why does Minnesota want to build apartments for more of them?

Joe Doakes

Cheap labor?

The Unthinkable

In the eternal battle between crony controlled, politically endorsed monopolies and new service is popular among hipsters, a Minneapolis City Councilman has proposed – well, suggested – the unthinkable.

The Minneapolis city Council match in a public hearing to determine how to deal with the difference in regulation between the city sponsored taxicab monopoly, and the new ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. Some cities have opted to back the monopolies.

. But in Minneapolis, the ordinance sponsor, Council Member Jacob Frey, said after the hearing that he doesn’t yet know if that’s an option but he is open to considering relaxed taxi regulations.

What will those Democrats think of next?

The Government You Deserve

A friend and regular correspondent sent this from a Linden Hills Zoning Committee meeting last week:

There were about 40 citizens there to hear Council Member Palmisano speak about having to do this moratorium. Most there were opposed to the moratorium. The clear and present danger (my words) that prompted an immediate moratorium was so that a “study” could be done correctly to determine the effects of all this positive economic energy. Good heavens, storm water run-off might increase. Really folks the reasons are additional storm water, increased demands on landfills, irritating construction workers, dumpsters parked on the street (hey how about PLOWING the streets better) and ugly remodels. Wow if those are the reasons have I got a stadium remodel that should be moratoriumized for the same reason plus a burden on the current and future taxpayers.

That’s the thing about NIMBYs (people who say “not in my back yard” to everything) – they don’t want anything in their backyard!

Most people got up and said this is a real drag on their businesses, their personal lives, and it simply is an over-reaction to a problem that is already solved by zoning and permit laws. Just enforce the laws on the books. But the complaint from Mr. Cress of the planning department (CPED) is that his staff is stretched. Welcome to the real world so add some staff, authorize some overtime, work a little smarter. When asked if he recommended the moratorium he said that’s what elected officials do.

Then the last speaker from the zoning committee said she thanked the council member for not caving in to “scare” tactics of job loss and business loss. Really? What about the scare tactics of storm water increases and overflowing landfills. Good grief what a hypocrite.

This city is in so much trouble. We need more diversity at city council. The current groupthink is wildly destructive.

There’s an old adage – when you pay people to do things, they’ll do them.

The obverse of that adage is “if you get a city full of people who are True Believers in the power of government, you’ll get a lot of it”.


I got this via email from a friend in Minneapolis:

Cam Winton posted about this on Facebook. The current city overseers do not want single family dwellings. They have said as much. We are not in their vision for the future. Our little happy lives living in single family homes is destroying their view of the world.

I rode the bus this morning with a neighbor today who shared his story of increased taxes, I shared mine, he told me of neighbors with huge jumps. At work I talked to another county employee who is ready to sell her house which is located about 4 blocks from mine. Reason…unbelievable hikes in taxes.

This is nuts. We are about to get rolled big time.

We certainly are.

Minneapolis and Saint Paul are indulging in several parallel liberal conceits:

  1. “Progressives” do, in fact, believe that there’s always a few more bucks they can wring out of any population.  The correspondent wrote that, suddenly, home valuations are skyrocketing in parts of South Minneapolis.  The idea is “pay up, or move away and let us get at all that choice property!”
  2. The idea that they know better than the free market how people want to live.  The essence of the free market is that if people don’t like, or want, a product, service or idea, they just say “no”.   As long as we have a free market for homes, people will choose what they want, and say “no” to what they don’t.  As Minneapolis is not New York or San Francisco (whatever its pretensions) – it’s built in an place with lots of land – most people eventually will look for some kind of breathing room.

Joel Kotkin predicts that at some point, “cities” as we know them today will become playgrounds for the very wealthy, and warehouses for the very poor, surrounded by…not so much “suburbs”, but exurbs and smaller communities where actual people will hold actual jobs.  I think Minneapolis is well on the way.

The War On Home

It’s one of those lines conservatives have been using for a decade, maybe two; the “progressive” left wants to move people out of single-family homes with yards and driveways, and into high-density housing.

Only it’s not a “line”.  It’s here, and it’s in Minneapolis right now.

Without warning, on Friday March 7th, 2014 the Minneapolis City Council passed a Moratorium(a full stop) on all new construction and certain remodeling projects EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY in the Southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods of Linden Hills, Fulton, Armatage, Lynnhurst, and Kenny. This Moratorium prohibits anyone without a completed permit from starting construction on a project for up to one year from the effective date.

They passed it unanimously.

The moratorium hurts everyone (except progressive planners), especially taxpayers in Minneapolis:

The reduced potential property tax base and permit revenue lost from the moratorium will cause property taxes on residents to go up yet again. So the question you should ask is, “Why should I pay the same tax rates now with a moratorium that I paid when I could fully use my property?”

Dear (mostly) relentlessly PC liberals of South Minneapolis:

This was the sort of thing that, 240 years ago, impelled a bunch of other impeccable liberals to throw a…

…dare I say it? A Tea Party.

Scorecard: Light Rail 10, Concealed Carry 0

The Ventura Trolley has its tenth victim:

Spokesman John Siqveland said the gate arms were down, an alarm was sounding and lights were flashing at the intersection when the accident happened. The sidewalk is adjacent to the gate arms, but is not covered by the gate arms. The southbound train stopped just a few feet beyond the intersection after the accident.

Several passengers were on the train at the time. They were questioned by Metro Transit police and put on a bus to continue their ­journeys, Siqveland said.

No word yet if Rep. Michael Paymar feels “intimidated” by trying to cross the tracks; the Ventura Trolley is, statistically, infinitely more dangerous than a citizen with a carry permit. 

(No, not to make light of the death; my condolences to the victim’s loved ones.   This isn’t about mocking the dead; it’s about mocking the priorites of the vacuous hamsters some parts of this state keep sending to office). 


Who Knew?

Minneapolis has a car idling law:

We caught about a dozen Minneapolis residents idling their cars past the legal limit this morning, and none of them knew they were breaking the law…15 minutes is all the time you have if you’re within Minneapolis city limits. In below-zero temperatures, drivers in Minneapolis can leave their car idling and unattended for up to 15 minutes. When the temperatures warm above zero, the idling limit is just three minutes.


“Maybe half an hour,” said Kissel, on how long she lets her car warm up. “But I wouldn’t know the difference. It’s the morning. You forget time!”

And yet they have no idle politician law.

It’s not a “green” thing; it’s about preventing auto theft – by making it illegal to leave a car in a condition where it can easily be stolen.

Honestly?  I’d almost prefer the “green” law; at least it’d be stupid, rather than  stupid and insulting.

Buck Passed

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The old Sears Roebuck building on Lake Street in Minneapolis was converted into Midtown Global Market, an indoor bazaar.  It’s been losing money for years.  Now the mayor wants another $1.8 million to bail them out.


Look, Mr. Mayor:  if the project can’t make enough money to fund its own operations, it’s not a business: it’s a hobby.  The City has no business funding hobbies.


Granted, it’s Minneapolis, so I don’t care what they do in their own town.  But whatever Minneapolis does, St. Paul wants to do, like a younger brother who whines “How come I didn’t get a train?”  Throwing cold water on damn-foolishness is wise, no matter where it occurs.


Joe Doakes

That, and the bill is eventually going to be passed on to taxpayers in Moorhead, Wilmar and Lakeville (and any left in Saint Paul) via Local Government Aid.

Which is, of course, why we have Local Government Aid – so the citizens of Minneapolis can continue to be gulled into thinking their government is doing its job with the tax money they extract for life in the city.

Minneapolis: The Racket Wants To Strike Back

Minneapolis has always wanted to roll back Minnesota’s “Pre-emption statute”, which prevents city governments from enacting gun laws different (especially more stringent) than state law.

And they’ve been lobbying to change that as long as I’ve been aware of the issue – and that’s getting to be a long time, now.

“Ron V” of the Minnesotans for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms blog notes that the City is not above lying through its teeth to try to do it.   Mr. V writes:

The (post Sandy Hook) Minneapolis City Council Legislative Agenda on Firearms recommendations were prepared by Melissa Lesch, Intergovernmental Relations Specialist, and WIFE OF REP. JOHN LESCH (66B DFL), who was one of the MN legislators leading the gun control charge in the Minnesota legislature post Sandy Hook.

[Minneapolis Police Department assistant chief Matt] Clark testified before the city council at the request of Melissa Lesch/IGR. Included in the recommendations from Melissa Lesch/IGR was full support for Obama’s extremist federal gun-grab agenda. The Legislative Agenda ultimately approved by the city council included:

–A plan to use the city’s weight to lobby the state legislature for the repeal of the state pre-emption provision currently included in Minnesota’s right-to-carry law (MN 624.714).

Meaning, the city of Minneapolis wants to be able to override state law and set its own ordinances in regard to permit holders and gun owners who live in, travel through or visit the city of Minneapolis by implementing ordinances to:

—-Require concealed carry and outlaw open carry by lawful permit holders within the city limits of Minneapolis;

—-Ban lawful carry from parks and public buildings within Minneapolis;

—-Ban common use semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines within city limits;

—-Require that permit-to-carry applications be approved by local police chiefs (returning to arbitrary “may issue” standards);

—-Deny the 2nd Amendment rights of any person who has experienced a “mental health incident that required the intervention of law enforcement” or anyone who has ever been placed on a 72 hour hold;

—-Add additional regulations to the transfer of firearms;

—-And a number of other vaguely worded recommendations designed to allow infringement of 2nd Amendment rights

Nothing new, there.

Here’s the rub;  Minneapolis is lying, via its police department, about the data it’s using to try to convince the legislature.

Here are the verbatim statements made by asst. chief Matt Clark during the testimony:

—-“We’ve had incidents where handgun owners have had handguns taken away from them. Where they have lost those firearms because somebody knew they had them on their person, and they specifically took it away from those individuals.”

—-“What we’re looking for… is that if you have a permit to carry a firearm that it [be] concealed in public. We have a lot of calls from constituents, individuals, residents, visitors that are very ‘shocked and surprised’ to see a handgun on somebody out in the open…”

As to the latter?  In parts of this world, people are “shocked and surprised” to see same-sex couples, women without headscarves walking without male relatives, or Jews without Stars of David on their person.  We don’t dignify any of those, either.

But it’s the former that Mr. V went after:

Following those statements by asst. chief Clark in January, I immediately made several attempts to contact asst. chief Clark and chief Harteau, as well as the MPD public information officer, to request the data upon which Clark’s testimony was based…After multiple attempts over several months to get the information, I NEVER received a response from Clark or Harteau, and finally filed a Data Practices Request with the city of Minneapolis to get the information on which his testimony was based.

Mr. V requested the info and math behind the dates, places and case numbers of incidents where people openly carrying firearms had their guns stolen – and of course whether they were carry-permittees carrying legally at the time.

And the result?

In total, the response to my Data Practices Request for the cases used as the basis for Clark’s testimony to the city council includes 15 incidents between 2000 – 2012 where a firearm was taken during a crime incident, NONE OF WHICH INCLUDE an incident where a firearm was taken from a lawful permit holder while open carrying in a public place. The 15 incidents they tried to palm off as citations for Clark’s testimony include:

–Six (6) Robbery of dwelling (that’s NOT a permit holder lawfully open carrying in public…

–Four (4) Car-jackings (that’s NOT a permit holder lawfully open carrying in public…

–Two (2) Business robberies where a store gun was taken (that’s NOT a permit holder lawfully open carrying in public…

–Two (2) Random street robberies where one female had a gun in her purse, and the other, which made the news last spring, was a guy randomly attacked who had a permit but his gun was concealed in his pocket …

–One (1) incident where a holstered firearm was taken from a victim IN HIS OWN YARD BY SOMEONE HE KNEW (that’s NOT a permit holder lawfully open carrying in public…

If “ProtectMN” and its official minions couldn’t lie, they’d be silent.


That’s what got Betsy Hodges the victory in Minneapolis’ mayoral election last night.  About a third (36.55%) of a 34% turnout in the first round.

Cam Winton came in just under 10% with 7,500 votes.  Which is about ten percent better than a Republican did in the last Minneapolis mayor race.  Or the one before.  Or the one before that.  Ad infinitum (or at least back to the nineties, which was the last credible GOP candidate I can recall in Minneapolis).

Now, we know there are more than 7,500 Republicans in Minneapolis.  240,000 people in Hennepin County voted for Mitt Romney, for crying out loud – and the “Republican districts” in Henco would fit into a phone booth and leave you enough room for someone to come in and ask you what a phone booth was.  If even 20% of those 240,000 were in Minneapolis, and they’d come out to the polls last night, Winton would have crushed Hodges.

But Republicans never come out for local races.  My theory:  they’re so used to getting beaten down in local, county and Congressional elections, they only come out for statewide and federal races, where their votes actually end up mattering; a GOP vote from Longfellow is worth exactly the same as a GOP vote from Dassel.

The upsides last night?  The fake Republicans, Bob “Let’s Build a Bike Skyway” Carney and Ole “Will Run For Office For Food” Savior, got less than a percent of the vote.  In a cycle in which the 5th CD GOP started out being run by people whose main goal was to destroy the GOP, that’s not a bad job of protecting the brand – although most of the credit goes to Winton, who ran a great race.

Nationwide?  I can’t be too disappointed.  Christie isn’t my favorite Republican, but he had my favorite result – crushing his opponents in a blue state.

Ken Cuccinelli outperformed expectations immensely last night, coming within two points in a race everyone counted him out of – and (this is important) losing to a Democrat vote surge in the only part of the country that’s doing well financially right now, the DC suburbs.

Takeaway?   A good candidate is better than a bad candidate.  A well-organized party in an area is better than a party that’s a Bulgarian goat rodeo.  A two-party city is a better prospect for a challenger than a one-party cesspool.   And all three factors matter, every election,every time.

And it’s going to take either a Detroit-style calamity, or several cycles of rebuilding the GOP as credible contenders, to change either Minneapolis or Saint Paul.  Which would mean spending less time in a circular firing squad shooting other Republicans and more time actually making a case to actual voters.

And I think I started saying that seven years ago, and it’s only gotten worse in the metro.

Winton For Mayor Of Minneapolis

I don’t “endorse” candidates on this blog or on my show. 

Partly because I’m not under the illusion that anyone cares what I think.

And partly because on the off-chance someone does care what I think, I’d much prefer they make up their own mind for themselves, rather than piggyback on anything I, or anyone, says. 

But if you live in Minneapolis, I’m going to urge you to vote for Cam Winton for Mayor.

If you’re a Republican in Minneapolis?:  Here’s the deal; 25-30% of Minneapolis is Republican.  The DFL vote is split six ways – or, perhaps most realistically, two ways (the DFL-endorsed Hodges and the well-funded Warner).  If every GOP voter in Minneapoliscomes to the polls and closes ranks and puts Winton as their #1 choice, he’s got a decent shot.

If you’re a conservative voter:  Winton’s no paleo.  He admits it up front.  He’s a former DFLer and it shows.  But Buckley’s dictum holds true; if you’re a good conservative, you vote for the most conservative candidate who can win.  There is no way around it – if there’s a more conservative candidate on the ballot, they are not in a position to win.  Seriously – who’s raised any money?  Who’s knocked a single door?  Who’s gotten any media?  Nobody.  Winton is not a movement conservative – but in the context of Minneapolis in 2013, it’s a miracle that someone even this close to conservative is on the ballot at all.  Winning would be a great step forward. 

If you’re a “Liberty” voter:  one of the biggest problems too many “liberty” voters have is that they have nothing analogous to the Buckley commandment; for too many of them, anything less than 100% agreement is disagreement.  Because Winton is imperfect on a couple of Libertarian issues, he’s not perfect “Liberty” candidate:

  • He favors hiring more police.  The current fad among big-L libertarians is to distrust, even hate, the police.  I get that.  But Winton is running for office in a city that’s 60+% DFL and a fraction of 1% “Liberty” purists – and many of those DFL voters live in North Minneapolis, a place where abstruse Libertarian principle comes in way, way, way behing “stopping gangbangers from terrorizing the neighborhood”.   Public safety is one of very few legitimate jobs of government.  Follow-up question:  Who do you think is more likely to reform Minneapolis’ police department – a mayor from the establishment that made them what they are today, and is utterly beholden to the union that makes any reform via the DFL impossible? 
  • He supports background checks at gun shows – provided they can not be turned into a confiscation list.  Which is both a palliative for DFL moderates who might be thinking about coming over and voting for him, and a statement with no teeth whatsoever; it’s impossible to make a background check anything but a confiscation list, ergo he has no plan.  And – more importantly – Minneapolis’ pre-emption statute prevents the City of Minneapolis, or any city, from imposing gun controls more strict than state law.  And let’s not forget – while Winton may favor background checks under conditions that can never occur in nature, every DFL candidate in the race favors outright bans; they will throw your guns into a smelter if they get a chance.  But either way, anything Winton or any of the other Mayor candidates say about gun control is completely irrelevant.  Tell you what – we elect him Mayor, I’ll undertake the job of convincing him he’s wrong on gun control.  Deal?   
  • He supports modifying, rather than scrapping, the Southwest Light Rail:  The problem is, the mayor of Minneapolis has little influence over the project.  It’s the Met Council.  The SWLR is going to happen, barring a major change in state government – as in, a GOP (or, sure, “Liberty”, whatever) Governor and Legislature to completely gut the Met Council.  So – at election time, you want the mayor to piddle away potentially thousands of “moderate” DFL votes over an issue he has no meaningful control over, to win Minneapolis’ literally dozens of hard-line 100%-er Liberty voters? 
  • His company is in the wind power business:  Lots of misinformation here; I’ve seen “liberty” people claim his company builds wind turbines and collects the big government subsidies.  It does not; it maintains existing turbines.  Someone has to – why not his company?  If you’re a Libertarian who opposes bike paths but rides ‘em anyway because you already paid for ‘em, sound off here. 

For some “Liberty” voters, it’s like talking to the wall – and that’s leaving out the ones who aren’t voting because they just want the whole system to collapse anyway.  For those that are left?  Incrementalism may be a dirty word, but incrementalism in the right direction is better than the wrong direction.  If that makes any sense to you at all, please vote Winton.  Or vote your principle and put the “liberty” candidate, whoever it may be, as first choice but put Winton second. 

For DFLers who care about Minneapolis:  Minneapolis’ current system is unsustainable.  There is no way for the current system to keep running the way it is.  Minneapolis is going to bankrupt itself – maybe later than sooner.  Not only can you not tax yourselves to prosperity, but in Minneapolis under the DFL machine you can’t even tax yourselves to competence.  The streets are terrible.  The schools have among the worst achievement gaps in the United States – worse than Philly or Detroit, for crying out loud.  The North Side is a shooting gallery.  And yet Minneapolis is laying off cops but proposing building a trolley from where people aren’t to where they don’t want to be, at exquisite city expense ($53 million a mile!), and socializing the city’s power system. 

If you’re a DFLer with some common sense – and I know there are a few of you out there – isn’t it time to say “enough?”  To stop the crazy train?  To run a city like a city, and not an excellent frat party for government hangers-on? 

I can’t vote in Minneapolis.  I wish I could.