100 Reasons I’m Voting For Eva Ng Tomorrow

Look – there’s no real suspense.  I’m voting for Eva Ng for Mayor of Saint Paul tomorrow.

Why?  Well, I have 100 reasons:

  1. Because in the 22 years since I first moved to Saint Paul, things have gone way downhill…
  2. …after going way way way uphill for a solid decade under Norm Coleman and Randy Kelly.  Lost progress is like no progress at all.
  3. And it stinks to watch a lot of progress getting flushed down the drain.
  4. Because Saint Paul’s school system is an unmitigated disaster…
  5. …and the only way it’s going to change is if there’s an epic realignment in City Hall…
  6. …and at 360 Colborn (which is also why I’m voting for John Krenik, Pat Igo and Chris Conner for School Board).
  7. Because she scares the crap out of the status quo.  She’s female and she’s Asian – two constituencies that the DFL basically considers trained pets, best seen (at the polls) but not heard (if they disagree with the DFL line in any way).
  8. And until these “hereditary DFL constituencies” show the DFL that they’re not just a bunch of sinecure voters they can count on no matter what kind of crap they throw out, there’ll never be any improvement.
  9. And she will be seen and heard in office.  And that’s good for everyone…
  10. …but the Saint Paul DFL.  Tough.
  11. Because it can be done.  If Bret Schundler could win three terms as mayor of Jersey City, Eva Ng can win Saint Paul.
  12. And Eva’s message – fiscal responsibility, jobs, business – aren’t that different from Schundler’s.
  13. And while too many people in Saint Paul are immune to common sense, quite a few – in Frogtown, Dayton’s Bluff, the North End, Battle Creek – are all too well aware of how badly the Coleman Administration’ policies have failed them.
  14. Because this is a city crammed with beautiful, solid, wonderfully-built homes that are just dying to have a bunch of new homeowners move in and invest “sweat equity” in…
  15. …but the Saint Paul City Council has taken the nannystatist position that “since some remodelers are flippers, and others don’t know what they’re doing, we’ll make it impossible for all of them”.
  16. (Or at least that’s their stated reason).
  17. Anyway – what’s that doing to your property values?  Especially if you live on the North End, on Dayton’s Bluff, or in endlessly-besieged Frogtown?
  18. Because Ng’s a businesswoman…
  19. …and Saint Paul is in dire need of more business people and fewer party animals running the city.
  20. And Chris Coleman, whatever else you can say about him, is mayor because he’s a DFLer who’s put in his time.  (I’ll give credit where it’s due; Coleman is a perfectly fine human being, and an excellent bagpiper.  See?  I’m a uniter, not a divider).
  21. Indeed, electing Eva Ng would derail one of the most noxious aspects of Saint Paul’s one-party rule; the notion that being Mayor of Saint Paul is a perk that’s awarded to the DFLer that’s been plugging away for the party the longest.
  22. Which is pretty much how the Saint Paul DFL sees things.  And we do deserve better.
  23. But we’ll never get it if we keep enabling the practice.
  24. And make no mistake about it; Saint Paul’s DFLers see it exactly that way.  One of the first things I saw a St. Paul DFLer write when Ng announced her campaign was “Oh, yeah?  What’s she done for Saint Paul so far?”  As if the only worthy background for governing is to be part of the machine that caused the problems to begin with.
  25. Because Ng is not part of the machine.  Indeed, she’s pretty much the opposite; if there’s a political organization anywhere in the world that is not a “machine”, it’s the Saint Paul GOP.
  26. Indeed, if you’re a Republican, having Eva Ng win – or even make a strong showing – would send a message to a big chunk of the CD4 GOP; “pay attention to what’s going on south of Larpenteur; it matters!”
  27. And it’s important that it does – because Minnesota will never be more than a dingy, moldy blue shade of purple until the GOP makes a contest of it in the Cities.
  28. Because she’s a political newcomer.  She’s no professional politician; indeed, you can tell, because…
  29. …she doesn’t talk like a politician.  She talks like a human.
  30. Ng is a turnaround specialist.  Her entire career involves taking companies that are floundering, and turning them into successes.
  31. And if Saint Paul under Chris Coleman isn’t floundering, then the term truly has no meaning.
  32. Because Ng’s business background has taught her how to succeed with limited resources…
  33. …while the Saint Paul DFL and the Coleman Administration only know one thing; take whatever their agenda demands them to take, and screw the consequences.
  34. Ng is a Republican.
  35. Much more important than that, she’s a fiscal conservative.
  36. And Saint Paul has suffered terribly over the years from the depredations of the tax-‘n-spend crowd.
  37. Because when the mayor can say, with a straight face, that we need to lay off cops and firemen while we’re building indoor ice rinks, something is drastically wrong.
  38. And when we’re paying for cops and firemen with LGA – money the city does not control – while paying for non-essentials with property taxes (the party they do legitimately control), that’s just irresponsible.
  39. Because the mayor of a city of 275,000 does not need an executive staff with two dozen offices (and many  more employees than that).
  40. Because the Saint Paul City Council’s hostility to business, especially small business, is killing this city.
  41. No, seriously – when I say “hostility to business”, it’s not Republican hyperbole!
  42. Because the City Council’s hostility to small landlords (that aren’t controlled by the city) in the name of “affordable housing” is making affordable housing (not controlled by the city) unavailable.
  43. And because demonizing landlords – which is what the SPCC is doing – has worked so well for making housing affordable in New York, San Francisco and Portland.
  44. Because Chris Coleman spoke seriously about closing the tiny little long-paid-for library two blocks from my house, the one my kids grew up going to…
  45. …while he found the money to build indoor ice rinks.
  46. Because an Ng win would show Saint Paul’s newest immigrants  – the H’mong, Somalis and others – that not only do you not have to be white and anglo to be Mayor, but you don’t have to be a DFLer if you’re not Caucasian.
  47. And then we can have an “honest discussion” about what a disaster DFL rule is, has been for the past 45 years, and will forever more be for the city’s “minorities” (who are in fact, a decided majority in the school system).
  48. And if we make inroads into the school board (go John, Pat and Chris!), we can talk about why the Saint Paul Public Schools are such a disastrous place – moreso than even the Philadelphia and Detroit systems – for minority kids.
  49. And we can talk honestly about why the DFL wants so desperately to close the charter schools that have popped up all over Saint Paul…
  50. …and which are the only real refuge for the thousands of those “Saint Paulites of Color” who’ve found that the SPPS was a waste of time and effort for their kids, and responded by voting with their feet.
  51. Because the “light rail” may be a done deal and unavoidable, but it is going to gut the Midway.  Gut it.  And Ng is the only politician in Saint Paul who is being honest about that fact.
  52. Because the City Council and the Mayor don’t want the Midway to know the world of hurt – traffic, economic dislocation, tearing down and rebuilding, and finally artificial gentrification – that await the neighborhood.
  53. Because after a generation of patient, market-based rebuilding, Frogtown and its largely Asian people, especially it’s almost-entirely Asian business community up and down University, deserve better than what this light rail boondoggle is going to give them…
  54. …which is “shred them like a lawnmower in a cabbage patch” in the short term, and try to gentrify the hell out of the parts of the street that aren’t turned into arid drive-through lands by the train.
  55. Because the free market has helped turn the West End from a reeking, crime-ridden toilet into a decent, occasionally thriving neighborhood.
  56. Because this city has been run by, for, and about the wishes and ideology of Merriam Park’s ofay DFL elitists – the people who were turning out to raise funds for Kathleen Soliah’s defense fund – for far too long.
  57. Because the mayor and the city council have nothing but contempt for the beliefs of all those Latinos who live in Saint Paul’s most dynamic, fascinating neighborhood, the West Side.
  58. And the Latino community still votes DFL. 
  59. Because the North End has enough strikes against it, even without the City Council’s misguided vacant building ordinance.  The ordinance puts a boot on the throat of any chance the neighborhood has of recovering any time soon, making “sweat equity” virtually illegal…
  60. …except for the City Council’s and the mayor’s friends in the non-profit community.
  61. The same goes for Frogtown…
  62. …and even more for Dayton’s Bluff, where the mortgage crisis has virtually emptied block after block…
  63. …that will, by law, pretty much have to stay empty until the city gets around to doing something about it…
  64. …which will be long, long after the market would do something about it. 
  65. Because Battle Creek and the far East Side are watching to see if city and state tax policy drive the rest of 3M out of town, turning those neighborhoods into ghost-towns like so much of the Bluff and the North End…
  66. …and the Administration – the Mayor and City Hall – can’t be bothered, since they’re busy making you happier and happier to pay for a “better” Saint Paul…
  67. …where “better” equals more and more city jobs, programs and spending, as opposed to real jobs, real quality of life, real potential…
  68. …and real reasons for anyone to move here, whether people or businesses.
  69. Because I’ve lived in Saint Paul for most of the past 22 years, now.  And I love the place…
  70. …but I hate what it’s turning into.  If I were a parent with a young family, I wouldn’t move to Saint Paul today.  I don’t know why anyone who didn’t have a vested interest in the current one-party system would.
  71. Because single-party government is always bad.  Even if it’s your party.
  72. Because “debate” over things like taxes and budgets in Saint Paul these days, with our one-party system, tends to devolve into acrimonious recriminations over who isn’t taxing or spending enough.
  73. Because a city – really, any unit of government at any level – needs to have more than one viable party to keep those in power accountable.
  74. And Saint Paul’s government, at this point in history, is accountable to nobody. 
  75. Which means the future of this city is being planned pretty much by the un-tested, un-accountable whims of people who were elected to office out of force of habit…
  76. …and those plans will become law…
  77. …and affect the way this city will be for generations to come.  Think about it; Saint Paul is still paying for stupid decisions (“Urban Renewal”) made fifty years ago.  With the stakes as high as they are today, you think it’s going to get better?
  78. Because Kathy Lantry needs someone to hold her accountable.
  79. As does Dave Thune…
  80. …and Lee Helgen…
  81. …as well as Matt Stark…
  82. …and Dan Bostrom.
  83. Pat Harris too…
  84. …not to mention Melvin Carter.  And while we can’t put any competitors on the City Council for another couple of years, you gotta start somewhere.
  85. Because there are DFLers who respond to any dissent by chanting “we own this town!”
  86. And that would irritate the piss out of me even if a Republican said it.  There’s a word for that – hubris.
  87. And that kind of hubris needs to be brought back into line.
  88. And keeping the status quo fat ‘n happy changes nothing.
  89. Because when you put it all together – the hubris…
  90. …the warped priorities (hockey rinks over firemen?)…
  91. …the irresponsible policies…
  92. …the scandalous peformormance and epic failure of our school system…
  93. …and the sclerotic, bureaucratized, just-plain-dull agenda, and…
  94. …boundless potential for corruption that attends any single-party government and bureaucracy, not to mention…
  95. …a vision for the future that makes Cold-War era Berlin look positively scintillating…
  96. …then the imperative to put John Krenik
  97. Chris Conner
  98. …and Pat Igo on the school board…
  99. and vote Eva Ng for mayor
  100. …is not just the only answer – but in fact it’s gotta be just the beginning.

See you at the polls tomorrow.  Bring a friend.  Have your friend bring a friend, too.

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18 thoughts on “100 Reasons I’m Voting For Eva Ng Tomorrow

  1. Tomorrow speaks volumes if St. Paul is ready to accept a woman of color as Mayor, or if they chose to stick with the good-ole-boy white guy.

  2. AC,

    Heh.

    I’d hoped, early on, that Minneapolis anti-conservative gadfly Eva Young would move to Saint Paul, seek and get the DFL endorsement (against the incumbent mayor, no less) and run for Mayor, if only so I could post signs saying “The only thing standing between Young and Ng is You”.

  3. Or “Gee, I wonder how long Mitch has been fantasizing about a three-way with Young and Ng.”

    Go for four, with Eva Gabor!

  4. For the benefit of the google-turd stalkers that plague the region’s blogs, be advised that Angryclown is a liberal. One of yours.

  5. “Go for four, with Eva Gabor!”

    Best slogan ever. That would get my vote.

    I hope that Eva goes for another office after she loses to Coleman. She seems to be a talented politician.

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