Naomi (naomikritzer) wrote,

Election 2013, Volume 1, Issue 3: Bennett, Bruyere, Carney, Cherryhomes, Clark

So, the five-name blocks in alphabetical order work out rather nicely; as it happens, the real candidates have names that are alphabetically rather dispersed. In a typical block, I have one real candidate and four novelty candidates.

The next set of five:

Alicia K. Bennett (DFL)
Edmund Bernard Bruyere (Legacy — Next Generation)
Bob "Again" Carney Jr (Demand Transit Revolution)
Jackie Cherryhomes (DFL), former City Council President, lobbyist
Christopher Clark (Libertarian)


Alicia K. Bennett (DFL)
website is here:

On first glance at her website, I thought that Alicia, unlike ANY of the candidates other than Mark Andrew from the last batch of five, met my bare-minimum "yes, this person is actually running for office" requirements (spelled out in the comments to my last entry):

1. A campaign website.
2. With her name and major positions.
3. Also a "contact me" link with her 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.

It looks like she has all this stuff but she doesn't, actually, it's all internal and mostly non-functional linkage. She does have a website that spells out her major position, which is, "Poverty is the problem." She has a "Contact me" form (I didn't test it out to see if it works) and an e-mail address, so that's something. She has what looks like "donate" and "join our campaign" links but they don't do anything.

Perhaps I'm being unfair? I mean, it's August 25th and the election isn't until November?

No, you know what? My expectations here are not unreasonable. If you're not running for office in late August, you're not running.

Anyway. Her position, as I mentioned, is that poverty is bad, and she complains that "not a single candidate for mayor has any credible plan to address this issue." She doesn't, either. She says that it's time to declare war on poverty, but what exactly this means, what she thinks she'd be able to do as Mayor of Minneapolis, what policies she would enact to fix the problems she sees.....nothing.

1. Is there any reason to think she can plausibly do the job? No.
2. Could she plausibly win? No.
3. Is there any other reason to vote for her? If you only vote for women and your first pick was already Betsy Hodges, go with Alicia and/or Stephanie Woodruff over Jackie Cherryhomes. (I know nothing about Stephanie Woodruff other than that she's NOT Jackie Cherryhomes. But not being Jackie Cherryhomes counts for a lot.)

Edmund Bernard Bruyere (Legacy — Next Generation)

Website is here: For some reason, it doesn't pop up when you Google "edmund bruyere mayor," so my guess is that someone accidentally stuck in the code that wards off the Google indexing spiders. They should fix that, because a website that can't be found on Google is a website that for many practical purposes doesn't exist. And that's especially a shame because it is a website that has all the requisite major pieces, including an agenda, contact information, the ability to donate, etc.

Bruyere seems to be a teacher, activist, and researcher. He's an Anishinaabe tribal member, and has degrees in a bunch of things, including Criminal Justice, Special Ed, and Psychology. He doesn't appear to have a lot of political experience. Looking at his experience and interests, many of which are youth and education focused, I have to say that I would love to see him run for the Minneapolis School Board, and he'd have a much better shot at actually getting on the board. (He'd want to be a DFLer, though, and not an Independent, and try for endorsement, since pretty much the only people who vote in the school board races are the ones who are consulting the DFL postcard telling them who to vote for. I am only slightly overstating the case here.) Admittedly, being a school board member in Minneapolis is possibly one of the most miserable, thankless, poorly paid overworked irrationally elective positions out there; I don't know why anyone wants that job, so it's possible that he's running for mayor instead because he doesn't.

1. Is there any reason to think he can plausibly do the job? Hmm. He has academic qualifications galore, but as the child of two PhD's, I am not convinced. He has no prior political experience. So I'd say that's a no.
2. Could he plausibly win? No, although at least he's running for office, unlike most of the people who filed.
3. Is there any other reason to vote for him? He has a genuinely interesting breadth of knowledge and experience and seems like a person who would be worth recruiting to work in city governance somewhere. Maybe if loads of people mark him 1st and the eventual winner 2nd, that will encourage the eventual winner to recruit him to a city post? It seems kind of convoluted. I'm going to say probably not, but if you want to vote for one of the outliers as a first pick because Oh Hey Why Not, you could definitely do worse than this guy.

Bob "Again" Carney Jr (Demand Transit Revolution)

Website, well, hmm. Bob seems to have two websites, but neither of them relate to the mayoral race. This one has news releases from 2010 about his write-in campaign for the Minnesota governorship and his book about whether it would matter if Obama HAD been born in Kenya, and this one is about his run for U.S. Senate (or rather, for the Republican slot for the election that Kurt Bills went on to lose to Amy Klobuchar.)

If you just want me to sum up: he's a kook who considers himself a moderate Republican and would like to retake the Republican party from the far-right Christianist loons like Michele Bachmann. Which is great, except that he's such a loon himself that he doesn't really lend the moderate end of the party a ton of credibility.

He's not even running as a Republican this time. Apparently he wants a "Transit Revolution," but whether this means that he wants us to build more trains, or fewer trains, or Personal Rapid Transit, or a system of zeppelins, I'm not sure, because he doesn't have a current website about his mayoral platform.

1. Is there any reason to think he can plausibly do the job? HA no.
2. Could he plausibly win? HA no.
3. Is there any other reason to vote for him? Perhaps you are a Republican, and would like to list as your top choices people who consider themselves to be members of your party. Apparently Cam Winton is also a Republican; he's the only other one I'm aware of. So you could do Cam, Bob, and then whichever Democrat is your favorite.

Jackie Cherryhomes (DFL), former City Council President, lobbyist
Website is here:

So, let's get this out of the way.

1. Is there any reason to think she can plausibly do the job? Yes. She was a City Council member for 12 years, City Council President for 8.
2. Could she plausibly win? Yes.
3. Should you vote for her? OMG NO.

Here's a Star Tribune article that rather neatly sums up WHY YOU SHOULD NOT VOTE FOR JACKIE. They don't bury the lede: "After several Minneapolis mayoral candidates at last Wednesday's debate criticized a proposal to burn more garbage at the Hennepin County incinerator, Jackie Cherryhomes stepped in with a different view. "I support the plan," she said, adding that the county has increased its recycling. "The fact of the matter is, everybody knows you've got stuff that you can't get rid of, and it's got to go somewhere." There was just one detail Cherryhomes left out: until a month ago, she was a registered lobbyist for Covanta Energy, the company that runs the incinerator. "I didn't feel that it was necessary to mention it in that context," she said, when questioned later about the omission."

...and that sums up part of what I remember about her: she had a lot of corporate friends, she went out of her way to get them what they wanted, and would conveniently fail to mention conflicts of interest.

She brought us Block E and the other corporate-welfare seriously-you're spending-tax-money-on-WHAT? excesses of the Sayles-Belton administration -- they're generally blamed on Sharon, but this was a partnership, and Jackie was at least as much of a part of it as Sharon.

When she lost her City Council seat, she destroyed all her constituent records, and when asked about it, stated that she had the legal right to do so. To be honest, I'm not sure whether this was pure vindictiveness toward the woman who'd beaten her (at the expense of her constituents! since they were the ones most harmed by the complete disposal of the history) or if she was hiding something. With some Council Members, I would assume the latter, but despite her corporate coziness, Cherryhomes was so notoriously awful I have always assumed it was the former.

You don't want her anywhere near the Mayor's office. You don't.

Fortunately, she's not running a particularly good campaign (I watched her "viral ad" -- that's what she called it, presumably in the hopes that it would go viral -- and she clearly doesn't grasp what makes an ad go viral. Also, there are some points in that ad where she definitely has the Michele Bachmann eye thing going on.) Also, a lot of Minneapolis residents have a long enough memory to warn their friends, even though she's been out of politics for twelve years.

Christopher Clark (Libertarian)

My experience with Libertarians running for offices in Minneapolis is that there's almost always one on the ballot, but he (it's always been a he) has no website and doesn't answer candidate questionnaires so there's no information whatsoever beyond maybe a link to the Libertarian Party's website.

Christopher Clark doesn't disappoint. In the candidate filings apparently he listed the Libertarian Party's website as his website, and when I Googled for his name and "Libertarian" I found this, which is a public post from June 6 on the Libertarian Party of Minnesota Facebook page, and says, "Hello, my name is Christopher Clark. I'm running again as a Minneapolis mayoral candidate. Interested in participating in state party. I'd like to show up at the June 17th executive committee meeting. But I don't drive or own a car. I'm not sure how late buses go to and from Eden Prairie at this point. May I catch a ride with anyone going my way? Thank you!!!" No one replied.

On further perusing the Libertarian Party of Minnesota Facebook page, I saw someone else asking about him, and the page manager replying and saying that they're aware of the guy but don't know much about him, then adding that Clark had decided not to seek Libertarian Party endorsement.

1. Is there any reason to think he can plausibly do the job? No.
2. Could he plausibly win? No.
3. Is there any other reason to vote for him? Perhaps you are a Libertarian, and would like to vote for someone who associates himself with your party? But you might want to hold off and vote for the Libertarian-endorsed candidate, instead (it looks from their Facebook page like they are going to endorse someone; if this is important to you, keep an eye on the page.)

There was a candidate debate at the State Fair yesterday; I heard this mentioned in the car, but nothing about which candidates were involved. Thirty-five is a truly unworkable number for anything even remotely resembling a debate; if you give every candidate two minutes for an opening statement, and two minutes for a closing statement, that's well over two hours without leaving time for the moderator to say, "Okay, you're out of time. Next?" Apparently they invited the top eight -- Mark Andrew, Jackie Cherryhomes, Dan Cohen, Bob Fine, Betsy Hodges, Don Samuels, Cam Winton and Stephanie Woodruff.

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