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Election 2013, Volume 1, Issue 2: Anderson, Anderson, Andrew, Baxter, Benjegerdes

August 25th, 2013 (06:09 pm)

RIGHT. ::cracks knuckles:: Might as well get started, I guess. It's about 150 degrees outside (okay, it's 95. But I am a fragile northern flower that wilts in anything above 87) and getting out and enjoying the beautiful day -- or, you know, setting foot outside the air conditioning any more than I absolutely have to -- is incredibly unappealing.

(I actually did have to go out earlier -- we needed milk -- and you know what, I swear you will see more people outside in Minnesota on a Sunday when it's 30 below. Our cold weather makes us PROUD OF OUR STRENGTH AND FORTITUDE whereas really hot weather makes us want to curl up and die. With the exception of weirdos like my friend Greg, who LOVES this sort of weather. How he wound up living in Minneapolis instead of New Orleans or Houston, I'm not sure.)

So. When looking at a list of thirty-five candidates, from which voters will be allowed to rank three, there are a couple of really basic questions we need to ask.

1. Who here could plausibly do the job?
2. Who here could plausibly win the election?

"Could this person plausibly do the job" is always a question that ought to be asked, honestly. Or, even more basically, "Does this person have a basic grasp of what the job involves?" This is extra important when we're talking about an executive sort of job where the person is running a city or a state. We did, in fact, elect someone to the Governorship who didn't really know what he was doing, and the results, well, we got some very funny t-shirts out of it and I still have my Governor Jesse Ventura action figure, but I wouldn't say the results were great for the state.

If someone has served as a City Council member or a County Commissioner, I'm willing to assume that they can plausibly do the job of Mayor. They might not take the city where I'd want it to go, but they at least know how to drive the car. The people coming at this with no political experience need to bring some credentials to the table that will at least persuade me that they have some grasp of what the Minneapolis Mayor does all day.

There are small towns where the mayor is entirely ceremonial. Minneapolis isn't one of them.

ON TO THE CANDIDATES. Cut for length.

I'm thinking I'll attempt batches of five. Going in alphabetical order, that gives me:

Mark V. Anderson (Simplify Government)
Merrill Anderson (Jobs & Justice)
Mark Andrew (DFL), former Hennepin County Commissioner
Neal Baxter (Independent)
Troy Benjegerdes (Local Energy/Food)

Mark V. Anderson (Simplify Government)
Website is here: http://markvandersonformayor.org/

Mark Anderson is a CPA who wants the city to focus on "basic services" and license fewer things. He has no endorsements, no political experience, no lawn signs, and no link to donate or volunteer.

1. Is there any reason to think he can plausibly do the job? No. Well, maybe. He's a CPA and he talks about the city budget on his website, so clearly he at least grasps that a big part of the job is allocating money.
2. Could he plausibly win? No.
3. Is there any other reason to vote for him? Not that I can think of.

Also, I want to argue with his site. He's absolutely right that Minneapolis licenses and inspects too damn many things, but then the first example he pulls out is tree trimming. Tree trimming is a deceptively complicated task, and carelessly lopping off a heavy branch in a densely populated urban area can result in (a) serious injuries (if it falls on a person), (b) major property damage (if it falls on a car), and (c) major outages (if it takes an electrical wire with it). The licensing of tree trimmers became hugely controversial because in the wake of the North Minneapolis Tornado, there were people who were forbidden even from helping people to clear trees that were already DOWN and yeah, that was ridiculous, but licensing tree trimmers is not IN ITSELF a crazy idea that shows how out-of-control Minneapolis government is.

The example I would give from my personal experience was that years ago, after we had a dishwasher installed (by a licensed plumber) we were charged a fee because someone was supposed to come inspect it, only the inspector never actually did (when you called the inspector, you got this extremely grumpy-sounding voicemail saying to leave your name, phone number, and address, and to NEVER BOTHER HIM HE WILL GET TO YOU WHEN HE GETS TO YOU and I followed the instructions and we had no further contact.)

I looked through the licensing requirements and they ranged from "no shit, obviously" (to get a business license for a dance hall, it has to be inspected to show that it meets fire codes) to "no shit, are you serious?" (you have to get a business license for a "courtesy bench," i.e., a bench sitting outside your home or business for people to sit on while waiting for a bus or eating their ice cream or whatever, and you need insurance for it). This is a real problem, but he's coming at it from a very strange angle.

And in fact one of the ridiculous things about his angle here is that he decided the best way to make an impact on this is to RUN FOR MAYOR. A more effective option would be to contact the mayoral candidates who have a shot at winning and ask them what they're going to do to address this problem, and then campaign for that person. You could even get a group together that is concerned about this problem, interview candidates, and do an endorsement. Any of these options would be more likely to result in this problem getting fixed than a quixotic run for mayor. But hey, they'd also be more trouble than filing for office.

Merrill Anderson (Jobs & Justice)

Merrill Anderson doesn't have a web page, but he has a Facebook page where you can read a mix of random campaign-y sorts of things and deep thoughts like, "Just enjoyed a root beer float on the back deck." Having perused his web page, I'm going to say that he's a cranky older man who doesn't balk at re-sharing stupid crap on Facebook ("AMERICA TAKES BETTER CARE OF ILLEGALS THAN ITS VETS") because someone in his feed told him to share if he agreed.

1. Is there any reason to think he could plausibly do the job? Oh my god, no.
2. Could he plausibly win? No way in hell.
3. Is there any other reason to vote for him? Maybe you had some unresolved issues with your late grandfather, who was a cranky veteran who would go on long Fox-News-inspired rants at the Thanksgiving table, and you think that casting your vote for this guy will somehow help you come to terms with your family history? Other than that, no.

Mark Andrew (DFL), former Hennepin County Commissioner

And here we come to the first real candidate. (YES, MARK AND MERRILL AND THE REST OF YOU CRANKS WITH GOOGLE: I SAID THE FIRST REAL CANDIDATE.) I'm going to do the basic questions first this time.

1. Is there any reason to think he could plausibly do the job? Yes.
2. Could he plausibly win? Yes; he's arguably the front-runner.

which makes question three

3. Should you vote for him?

So, let's take a look at this guy.

His website is here: http://www.markforminneapolis.com/ Unlike every other candidate so far, Googling just his name, even though it's Mark Andrew, got me his mayoral website as a first hit. (This may not be true if you're in another city when you Google.)

Mark Andrew seems to elicit strong responses; on my last post, he was described as a "corporate shill" by one detractor, another person said that his corporate marketing push was terrifying, and when Gary Schiff dropped out of the race and endorsed Hodges, he made it clear he was trying to keep the "progressive candidates" from being steamrolled by Mark Andrew. Since I'd never actually heard of him before he got into the race, I found this all a little startling.

As a candidate, he touts both his environmental record, and his environmental plans. As a Hennepin County Commissioner, apparently he helped implement curbside recycling and the Greenway bike path. His big "when I'm mayor" thing involves solar collectors on public buildings. Other than solar energy, most of what's on his website is the standard candidate puffery about empowerment and jobs and how great Minneapolis is, blah blah blah. Looking for "corporate shill" stuff, I did find this:

"We must cut regulatory red tape to help turn good ideas into good businesses and jobs. As mayor, Mark will work to improve and deepen relations with the downtown business community and renew the 'advocate for industry' role at City Hall. Cutting red tape means supporting our local business owners so they can continue to grow and thrive. Mark will work to strengthen incentives and support home-based businesses across Minneapolis."

...which, you know, could be fine or could be a huge red flag. This is one of those things that is harder when EVERYONE (with a chance of winning) is a Democrat, you know? I am fine with cutting regulatory red tape when it involves NOT requiring that people have $50,000 of liability insurance to put up a bench. I am less enthusiastic about it when it involves a failure to enforce things like "all apartment units must have working smoke detectors." I'm fine with deepening relations with the business community when it involves things like legalizing food trucks (as happened a few years ago); I'm less enthusiastic when it involves, oh, spending 8 gazillion dollars (I'm rounding) to build a downtown Target store.

When everyone (with a chance of winning) is a Democrat, and everyone's saying more or less the same "blah blah LAKES blah blah BIKE PATHS blah blah GREEN COLLAR JOBS" sort of stuff, I find that the endorsements are often extremely helpful for sorting people out, so let's take a look at his endorsements. (Like the other real candidates, he has them.) His endorsements page is here. Loads of unions; Sam and Sylvia Kaplan, which means he has deep pockets; Jim Davnie, who I like tons; a bunch of school board members; Betty McCollum, Mike Freeman, Walter Mondale... no one who catches my eye as noteably evil (I think they're all backing Jackie Cherryhomes)

Anyway, my tentative answer on Mark is "maybe," but I'd like to invite his supporters and detractors to tell me why they love him / why they hate him.

Neal Baxter (Independent)

Neal doesn't have a candidacy website but he DOES seem to have an election-related website: http://www.electiontrendsproject.org/bio.html It seems to be mostly archiving of data about past elections. It's completely unclear to me why he's running for office but my best guess would be that he wanted to be in his own data.

1. Is there any reason to think he could he plausibly do the job? No.
2. Could he plausibly win? No.
3. Is there any other reason to vote for him? Nope.

Troy Benjegerdes (Local Energy/Food)

Troy's website is here: http://mayortroy.com/ You can also find the remains of his GoFundMe site, where he and his wife tried to raise money to put solar panels on their roof. They DO now have solar panels on their roof, but it appears they mostly had to go fund it themselves. I recognize the house; it's a short walk from my old house in Minneapolis.

One of the local controversies in the last year was whether Minneapolis should municipalize their electricity. At present, their electricity is provided by Xcel, which pays Minneapolis quite a bit of money to lease the land for the lines and substations and stuff. They also have their headquarters in Minneapolis, and employ several thousand people there. After a huge storm in June knocked out power to many city (and suburban) residents, Xcel had workers come in with trucks from Kansas and the Dakotas to restore power. It didn't happen overnight, but neither did the removal of all the downed trees blocking the streets.

I consider myself progressive on stuff related to utilities. I believe strongly in the value of regulation, because utilities are inherently monopolies; it's not practical to have a half-dozen electric companies running lines through your town. But you'll note what happened when Minneapolis was supposed to inspect my stupid dishwasher; I can tell you various hilarious horror stories about pretty much any city service, from trash pick-up to snow plowing, going weirdly awry, and the bureaucratic maze that results when you need something fixed. And that's the stuff they've provided for decades, in general, as opposed to electricity, which they would be BUYING and TAKING OVER and holy crap, seriously, how on earth does anyone think this makes sense?

Troy is a proponent of municipalization. I submit that's really all you need to know. He's also obsessed with Bitcoin.

He also appears to be Facebook friends with four of my Facebook friends, which makes me think he's going to have defenders.

1. Is there any reason to think he could plausibly do the job? No.
2. Could he plausibly win? No.
3. Is there any other reason to vote for him? No.


Maybe I'll come do another five later. I feel like I'm on a roll.

Election 2013 Index of Posts.


Posted by: Springheel_Jack (springheel_jack)
Posted at: August 25th, 2013 11:30 pm (UTC)
Soviet Atomic Industry

My comment is that it's nice and cool here.

Posted by: Springheel_Jack (springheel_jack)
Posted at: August 25th, 2013 11:38 pm (UTC)
Soviet Atomic Industry

We're municipalized - power, water, and sewer combined into one public entity - and we even get our power from a giant quasi-public energy monopoly (TVA). It's great. They're better than any private or privatized utility I've ever used. And it's cheap. We probably pay less than you by a good chunk, because they don't have to make a profit AND pay the city all that money - that money had to come from somewhere. It came from you. Oh, and by breaking all the union contracts of the people that work for them. It came from there, too.

That said, they still suck, but they suck less.

Privatized utility conveyance is a nightmare. Nobody likes dealing with city bureaucracy, but dealing with them is like an orgasm compared to Comcast. I even like the DMV a lot better than Comcast.

Posted by: Springheel_Jack (springheel_jack)
Posted at: August 25th, 2013 11:41 pm (UTC)
Soviet Atomic Industry

And what xcel did when your trees were down, they're obligated to do. There are laws about that. All the utilities have swap deals with the other utilities to get extra people in when bad weather hits, because none of them maintain enough personnel or equipment stock for the few times when it's a big crisis. All that stuff would sit idle most of the time, so they don't.

Actually, I think post-privatization, a lot of utilities cut those inventories too much, so that the shortages of equipment and people are national, not just local and temporary. It's like when libraries all decide they can get by on ILL.

Edited at 2013-08-25 11:42 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Naomi (naomikritzer)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 12:09 am (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that Minneapolis's electricity has been a private company since power plants were first being constructed in the 1890s; it wasn't ever privatized because it was private from the beginning. It was at some point aggressively regulated, obviously. (I'm reading the Wikipedia page about the TVA. My mother grew up on a farm in rural Virginia with no electricity or running water -- in the 1950s. Rural electrification required a huge government investment, but in the cities, it was totally worth it very early on to build power plants and lines and all the rest. Anyway. Just as I wouldn't privatize the interstate highway system I wouldn't say "privatization is awesome! SELL THE TVA TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER!" But at this point I think for the city of Minneapolis to buy out Xcel would be utterly ridiculous, especially given that Minneapolis does a genuinely terrible job at a number of infrastructure-oriented services.)

Posted by: Springheel_Jack (springheel_jack)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 12:16 am (UTC)
Soviet Atomic Industry

Did you know Indiana DID privatize I-80/90?

The tea party wants to sell TVA, too. The main person resisting that is Lamar Alexander, who I think is not even fifty-fifty to survive his next primary. I don't really see the point of privatizing it, especially because it owns more riparian land than you can even imagine, but whatever. They do what they want, those tea folks.

You're probably right Minneapolis shouldn't buy out Xcel.

Minnesota should buy it out.

Edited at 2013-08-26 12:18 am (UTC)

Posted by: Naomi (naomikritzer)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 12:20 am (UTC)

I didn't know that. I want to be surprised, but apparently I've hit the point that nothing Republicans do surprises me.

Posted by: Naomi (naomikritzer)
Posted at: August 25th, 2013 11:55 pm (UTC)

In my experiences with corporate vs. city bureaucracies, Century Link is worse than any city or state bureaucracy, but dealing with the gas company and the electric company have been better. (I don't use Comcast for anything, but I have never heard anyone say anything good about Comcast other than that they provide faster Internet than Century Link.)

I got pretty consistently decent customer service from USI Wireless, which was a private corporation that had partnered with the city to do citywide wireless. The wireless didn't always work well, but they answered the phone and weren't dicks to me.

Posted by: van (vanaabegra)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)

"I got pretty consistently decent customer service from USI Wireless, which was a private corporation that had partnered with the city to do citywide wireless. The wireless didn't always work well, but they answered the phone and weren't dicks to me."

It is pretty bad when the 'bar' is set to "answered the phones and were not dicks."

Posted by: Naomi (naomikritzer)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 03:49 am (UTC)

Yeah.......we get our Internet now from Century Link, so you can probably guess why we set the bar that low.........

Posted by: Surrendering to the mystery (jenett)
Posted at: August 25th, 2013 11:44 pm (UTC)

I am so very glad you're still doing these (even if I am way further away than just across the river.)

On Google: once I convinced it that I wanted Mark Andrew, not Mark Andrews, it brought up his website at the top of the results too. (This computer has never lived in Minnesota, and I tried it on the browser I use only for streaming media viewing rather than searches.)

Posted by: Becca Stareyes (beccastareyes)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 12:00 am (UTC)

Not a Minnesotan, but, in 2013, I wonder if 'register name-for-office dot com and pay someone to put your platform and contact info up on it' is a basic test for candidates about whether they are doing anything to communicate with voters*. Or at least 'establish a professional web presence'.

* Barring the 'stereotypical cranky Fox-News grandparent' vote, which might just use Facebook to fill the 'reposts of misleading memes, Facebook games and photos of grandkids'.

Posted by: Naomi (naomikritzer)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 12:23 am (UTC)

Yeah, weirdly, I got into the whole "endorsements" thing because I started exhaustively researching the Soil and Water candidates. ALMOST NONE of the Soil and Water candidates ever put up web sites. So on one hand: YES, a website with your platform and contact info is pretty much a bare minimum, and yet, for some offices, you can go below even that bar and I might still endorse you.

Posted by: Naomi (naomikritzer)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 12:30 am (UTC)

But, yeah. Things I think of as a bare minimum, if you're running for something like Minneapolis mayor (and you should ALREADY HAVE THESE THINGS if you want anyone to treat you even remotely seriously as a candidate):

1. A campaign website.
2. With your name and your major positions.
3. Also a "contact me" link with your e-mail address.
4. And a "donate to me" link with the ability to take Paypal or SOMETHING.
5. And a "get involved!" link for people who want to volunteer.

If you don't have easily-findable information about your campaign on the Internet, YOU ARE NOT ACTUALLY RUNNING. If you don't have the ability to accept volunteers or donations, YOU ARE NOT ACTUALLY RUNNING.

Based on this set of criteria, the only person out of these five who is actually running for office is Mark Andrew.

Posted by: A Wandering Hobbit (redbird)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 03:07 am (UTC)

Also, while I don't think you have to have NAMEforMayor or VOTEforName as your URL, a candidate who gives his contact email as mynameANDwifesname@aol.com does not convince me that he is taking the campaign seriously. (That's for getting photos of your grandchildren, not constituent complaints.)

Posted by: Naomi (naomikritzer)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 03:50 am (UTC)

This is also an excellent point.

Posted by: Springheel_Jack (springheel_jack)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 12:10 am (UTC)
Soviet Atomic Industry

Bitcoin is hilarious. Bitcoin isn't money, it's a mental illness.

At least, right now it is. Eventually I assume it will become some kind of coupon.

Posted by: Da Hozer (hozed)
Posted at: October 19th, 2013 06:33 pm (UTC)

It is kinda hilarious, and gives me the opportunity to have hilarious conversations with the hennepin county campaign finance reporting people.

Posted by: Corinne (corinnethewise)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 03:46 am (UTC)

Every time you do this I just want to link it to all of my students (I'm not teaching this semester, boo) and go "look - this is the essence of informed democracy - go do this!"

Posted by: coho29 (coho29)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 09:33 am (UTC)

(1 of 2) Thank you for the invitation, Naomi. I was neutral on Mark Andrew (undecided overall, in fact) when I started looking into the mayor's race this year. Now I strongly oppose him.

For starters, I question the implications of his GreenMark consulting firm. (When I wrote of terrifying corporate marketing, one of the things I had in the back of my mind was The EcoBrandTM Experience.) The website suggests that the firm's purpose is "demonstrating that sustainability is profitable," starting with sports facilities. I find myself wondering where the founder stands when sustainability and corporate profits are not in alignment. Moreover, the sports world is rife with absurd stadium subsidies, including last year's Vikings stadium deal. Andrew was not involved in that, but he's working in the industry, and many of those unions endorsing him are the same ones who pushed that Vikings deal. I absolutely support unions bargaining for fair wages, but I oppose boondoggles. As mayor, how would Mark Andrew negotiate the unresolved money questions surrounding both the football stadium and Target Center?

Andrew's MinnPost interview raises...perhaps not a huge red flag but at least a big yellow one, when he describes his corporate relationships as an asset and "corporate inducements" as central to his plan. (As a side note, the "28,000 jobs" figure from this interview turned out to be an exaggeration.)

Andrew has lots of party machinery on his side. Powerful supporters include Brian Rice (one of the pension middlemen Betsy Hodges alluded to in her city DFL convention speech) and a co-chair of the convention itself, Rick Stafford -- who felt really irritated when the Hodges campaign insisted on having votes counted accurately. I was admittedly biased as a Hodges delegate, but I felt like the Andrew people felt entitled to the endorsement. 60% on a ballot was needed to endorse. I don't think Andrew ever reached 51%.

Posted by: coho29 (coho29)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 09:36 am (UTC)

(2 of 2) As for energy--first of all, I'm a newbie with very limited information. If any of the following is false or misguided, please point it out and I'll listen. Cam Gordon made some key points in defense of Minneapolis Energy Options: Apparently state law limits the city's leverage with Xcel, not only "to negotiate for options" but also "to put more renewable energy and energy efficiency goals into franchise agreements." The 2013 ballot initiative (since cancelled) was only a first step, almost certainly not the last, and even this step was conditional on the city proving that it could deliver cleaner energy with no detriment to reliability or rates. If the city can't prove that, then MEO is a non-threat. If the city could prove that, then that's leverage; at that point, I would have to think that an agreement with Xcel with stronger clean-energy goals would be in everyone's best interest.

Mark Andrew has been scoffing at Betsy Hodges in a way that reminds me of how McCain treated Obama in 2008. In a debate he said she had "the disease of a small vision," among other things, and he practically bragged about doing so afterward. Regarding her support for that energy resolution, he said: "She has never worked in the private sector a day in her life and doesn’t understand that...you have to have constructive engagement. [Interesting phrase, constructive engagement -- coho29.] You can’t go into a discussion in a toxic atmosphere and having this ballot initiative on the ballot accomplishes that and nothing else." So he's deeply concerned about being respectful to Xcel, a former GreenMark client. In a press release, Andrew added that the city should "not commit resources to condemning Xcel Energy." It's one thing to say that municipal energy is a bad idea, but "condemning?" Whose side is he on?

Mark Andrew made some real accomplishments 20-30 years ago. Today I'm dismayed by his corporate alignment and campaign ambitions. I have little doubt that he will declare victory on Sep. 3, when campaign finance reports come out based on donations through Aug. 27. I maxed out my donation to Betsy Hodges to put a dent in that margin. I've also volunteered, doing one door-knock so far. I urge readers to do their research and consider chipping in as well. Thanks again.

Posted by: coho29 (coho29)
Posted at: August 26th, 2013 02:56 pm (UTC)

Addendum: In these comments, I speak only for myself, not for any campaign or organization.

Posted by: Da Hozer (hozed)
Posted at: October 19th, 2013 06:40 pm (UTC)

I'm speaking on behalf of my campaign, which exists to raise awareness of *other options* to business as usual.

Shouldn't we at least consider putting the public grid out for public bid?

I'm also speaking on behalf of my retirement goals, which are to own farmland and wind turbines, and I can either start a business, make a crapload of money, and buy some consultants and a political party, or I can just skip the nonsense and make the political connections directly by running for Mayor.

Posted by: coho29 (coho29)
Posted at: August 31st, 2013 10:21 pm (UTC)

A list of lobbyists and industry types who hosted an event for Mark Andrew earlier this week: http://firedoglake.com/2013/08/31/come-saturday-morning-the-corporate-blue-greenwashing-of-mark-andrew/
(I don't know that I would quite use the language used by this blogger to describe Andrew, but looking at the event hosts can be informative, like looking at endorsements)

Posted by: Naomi (naomikritzer)
Posted at: September 1st, 2013 12:32 am (UTC)


That is a seriously fascinating bit of information, and I completely agree that looking to see who donates to a candidate is every bit as informative as the endorsements.

I can certainly understand why he chooses not to advertise those associations on his website. WOW.

Posted by: coho29 (coho29)
Posted at: September 5th, 2013 04:20 pm (UTC)

He also got $500 from Stanley Hubbard.

This election is reminding me of the 2000 Presidential election. Andrew's business-friendly "progressivism" sounds to me like GW Bush's "compassionate conservatism." Hodges made compromises (she had to) but balanced the budget and helped clean up predecessors' mistakes. She's relatively un-flashy and she bears bad news about energy and the environment. Some on the left (see Mpls Issues Forum) seem to dismiss Andrew and Hodges as Tweedledee/dum. There are 3x the ballot slots compared to 2000, but there are 33x the Ralph Naders to split the attention and resources. Do I think Andrew is equivalent to Bush II? No, but he could well be Sayles Belton/Cherryhomes II.</p>

I voted Nader in 2000. Not in a swing state, but I feel foolish for it nonetheless. This year I've donated and am volunteering for Betsy Hodges.

Posted by: Lioness (elisem)
Posted at: September 12th, 2013 03:08 am (UTC)
elf hill


Thank you. I am glad I read that.

a voter figuring out who to vote for

Posted by: max1mil (max1mil)
Posted at: November 4th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)

I would point out that a lot of these people would probably support any candidate if they felt that candidate was the likely winner. Attempting to buy influence doesn't necessarily mean the person they're supporting also supports them. But it also might.

As an aside, whoever wrote that article is super annoying.

Posted by: Erica Mauter (swirlspice)
Posted at: September 13th, 2013 05:49 pm (UTC)

I am not supporting Mark Andrew, not even as a #2 or #3 choice. I honestly think he'd be an okay mayor. But, seriously, with all the options we have, do we want to put another old white guy in office? One who's orientation is obviously old-school, deep pockets, and corporate? I know relationships are important, but what relationships are we talking about here?

Also, what have you done for me lately? Midtown Greenway, yes, I got it. Hennepin County, yes, I got it. He's running on a 20-yr-old record.

For the longest I thought GreenMark was a green tech company. It's a green marketing company. And if you wanted to label it "greenwashing" I wouldn't argue. I wrote a paper for an ethics class on the deal he brokered between Pentair and the Twins for Target Field. http://www.scribd.com/doc/166392082/The-Ethics-of-Stadium-Funding-Naming-Rights-Schemes-and-the-Public-Good

He deliberately (skillfully?) changed the conversation on what Minneapolis Energy Options was trying to do. That process was not perfect, but I think it had worthy goals, and he purposely tried to derail it. Mark also supports the garbage burner and played a role in building it.

Someone somewhere linked to some shenanigans in Ward 6 between Abdi Warsame and Robert Lilligren. I've heard that the Andrew campaign is (or at least was, around convention time) playing up some of those same dynamics to court Somali votes.

Mark is relying on having an R.T.-esque persona. Lots of energy and charisma. People love that, but I'd say there's more than one way to lead. At the same time, where there is overlap in policy positions, style makes a difference. That was the only way I could distinguish between Betsy and Gary Schiff when he was still in the race. Gary's the kind of guy who'll throw bombs for effect (which is not what I wanted, but some people do). That's also the vibe I get from Jackie Cherryhomes.

Posted by: coho29 (coho29)
Posted at: October 2nd, 2013 03:58 am (UTC)

In a recent Star Tribune article by Maya Rao on lobbyist Brian Rice (which I will leave unlinked-to, to save Naomi the trouble of spam-unfiltering), it's reported that Rice is a strategist for Warsame's City Council campaign in addition to having done fundraising for Andrew. Rybak is quoted in the article; he mentions Rice's name and the phrase "hardball politics" in the same sentence. It seems apt. Guy reminds me a little of Karl Rove. (NB: In the City Pages blog piece about alleged shenanigans, which I linked to in a comment under the Index of Posts post, there was no mention of Rice. In the Strib article, there was no mention of the alleged shenanigans. They make for an interesting sequence of reads, however.)

Posted by: Wendy (kajicarter)
Posted at: November 3rd, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
avengers steed

Whee! Out of curiosity I clicked on the "Mayor Troy" website. "Local Food, Local Energy, Local Currency"???? Wow, didn't have to read far on that one.

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