Off-year election results around the country were a mixed bag.
And by “mixed”, I mean generally good for conservative Republicans nationwide, and six of one, half a dozen of the other in Minnesota.
Tinkering With Leviathan: Saint Paul’s elections yesterday, were a victory for DFL zealots over DFL extremists.
The City Council gained two councilors who ran on an agenda critical of Mayor Chris Coleman. This can, in some ways, be read as a very mild moderate win – Jane Prince, who ran unopposed in Ward 7, and Rebecca Noeker (who is currently leading by a razor-thin margin as the “Instant Runoff” counting slogs on and on in Ward 2) ran in opposition to Mayor Coleman’s profligate subsidies of favored businesses via “Tax Increment Financing”, as well as his botched plan to install parking meters on Grand Avenue to try to chisel revenue out of shoppers in Saint Paul’s only successful mid-market retail district.
But I wouldn’t count on much change from the Council on the larger issues that are sandbagging Saint Paul; the stifling regulatory environment, the obeisance to the Met Council’s lust for 19th-century transit, and the crime problems that are percolating along University and out on the East Side.
Meet the New Boss, Same As The Old Boss: The Saint Paul School Board election, as predicted, installed the four
union-backed wholly union-owned candidates over the four formerly union-owned candidates. Whatever residue of independence from the Teachers Union that might have existed in the Saint Paul public schools will be hunted down and buried in concrete shortly.
While changing Superintendent Silva’s intensely unpopular disciplinary policies may be one of the upshots of yesterday’s elections, look for the fiscal profligacy and unaccountability to accelerate.
The election will be a great boon to charter schools – if Saint Paul parents are smart.
Schools Dazed: The referenda in the various school districts around the east metro went about 50-50; the pattern seemed to be, broadly, that voters approved the bond levies for maintenance and repairs, but voted down the big additions to infrastructure and programming.
Which may show – who knows? – that voters are still manipulable by demands “for the children”, but they have their limits.
The Gathering Storm?: Around the country, the news was less ambiguous. A Republican not only won the Kentucky governor’s race. but so did his black Tea Party Republican Lieutenant Governor. In VIrginia, Michael Bloomberg, hoping in his ghoulish way to capitalize on the deaths of a couple of TV reporters, pumped a ton of money and a lot of agenda into a couple of key races, with control of the Virginia state senate on the line. It flopped; just as in Colorado a couple of years ago, only in the most addlepated coastal hothouses can gun control get any popular traction.
In Houston, a referendum on gay rights got swept away in a vote that would be hard to see as anything but a backlash against the creeping fascism of the Social Justice Warriors and their waves of lawsuits and coercion against supporters of traditional marriage. And even in San Francisco, the sanctuary-city-promoting sheriff got sent packing.
It’s a year ’til the next election. Look for “progressives” with deep pockets to spend a ton of money to try to iron out the wrinkles in the narrative.