Mayoral debate at The Parkway
It should be quite a show!
There will be a Minneapolis Mayoral Debate, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Parkway Theatre, hosted by the Hale Page Diamond Lake Community Association, co-hosted by the Field Regina Northrop Neighborhood Group and the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association and moderated by the League of Women Voters.
That sounds sensible and sane until you realize there are 35 candidates for mayor. If each candidate got one minute to answer a question, there would probably be time enough for only three questions.
This, it seems to me, is the major reason for switching back to an open or non-partisan primary election in mid-September and a run-off general election between the top two candidates in November. This would allow the voters to slim down the field, but it would also allow any candidate to file. And the winner in November would have earned a majority vote. Ranked choice voting is cumbersome, unwieldy and confusing. If we go back to the old system, after an open primary, the two leading candidates could have debates and the voters would have a clear choice between two options.
The choices for mayor are too numerous to mention, but some are more interesting than others. Captain Jack Sparrow is running in a pirate costume—I think to make fun of the fact that it takes that kind of nonsense to get noticed as a candidate. Bob Carney is running on a transit revolution platform that would make bus service every five minutes—it would also reduce the pay for new hires and park vans and buses along the freeway.
The two leading candidates for the DFL endorsement were Mark Andrew and Betsy Hodges. Neither could get the 60% needed for endorsement. They’re both running. Mark is slightly favored. He told the Southwest Journal: “Any candidate who voted against the stadium is irresponsible.” Betsy voted against the stadium.
In his literature he says he is running to “make Minneapolis the greenest city in America.” Alan Maki in FireDogLake calls him on his greenery.
At a recent fundraiser, some of Mark’s friends that will help him “green” Minneapolis were:
John Derus, lobbyist for Minnesota Metalcasters, a metal industry group that claims to be green but seems to be more “green by assertion.”
Jason George, pro-sulfide union mining lobbyist (creating short-term jobs through long-term polluting of trout streams and groundwater).
Dan Gunderson, lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, which among other things backs the Keystone XL pipeline.
Tony Kwilas, prominent member of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and strong mining backer.
Duane Arens, until recently a lobbyist for Connexus Energy.
John Evans, lobbyist for Wells Fargo Bank.
The husband and wife team of Ron and Val Jerich, whose bread and butter comes from lobbying for the ethanol and Big Ag (especially Big Corn) industries.
Vic Moore, a lobbyist whose clients include the health insurance industry and anti-environmental “wise use” groups such as the Minnesota Snowmobilers Association.
Mark Oyaas, lobbyist for Minnesota CenterPoint Energy.
Erin Roth, yet another American Petroleum Institute lobbyist.
Maki likes Doug Mann for mayor. Doug has brought a suit to District Court asking the court to order the City of Minneapolis to uphold its charter and allow the citizens of Minneapolis to vote on whether they want to pay for another football stadium. The hearing was Aug. 20, and Judge Phillip Bush hasn’t issued a ruling as of press time.