Naomi (naomikritzer) wrote,

Election 2013, Volume 4, Issue 7: Mpls City Council, Ward 1, Ward 2, Ward 4, Ward 7, and Ward 8!

It's the Friday before the election! I think I'll wrap up my coverage by seeing how many of the remaining Minneapolis City Council wards I can get through. I've done 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 12. Still to do: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 11, and 13.

Why don't I just a bunch of these in order.

Minneapolis Ward 1

Vincent Coffeen
Mark Fox
Kevin Reich (DFL-endorsed, incumbent)

Vincent Coffeen

Vincent is a member of the Pirate Party. He'll answer questions on his Facebook but he doesn't seem to actually have any policy positions there, just lots of stuff about door-knocking. He does, however, have a nice picture of himself with Bruce Schneier. This picture suggests "look, I'm practically endorsed by this well-respected figure!" but you know, I sort of know Bruce Schneier through local fandom and while he's got a certain amount of personal reserve, I don't think he'd duck and run if someone wanted a picture with him.

The closest thing I found to a political philosophy from him was this: "We are bringing city government back to basics. We are proposing the largest shake up of local politics in decades. We invite the local media to come to our event and report on the platform of the campaign. We are proposing to put the platform of the campaign and agenda back into the hands of the voters. Vincent is not an entrenched politician he is ready to make big changes in Northeast."

I find it really hard to take seriously claims about radical shake-ups when all people say is, "I'm going to shake things up radically!"

Mark Fox

Mark Fox informs you vocally on his site that he's not running. Despite this, he's got a lot more policy positions where you can find them than Vince Coffeen does. Browsing through his Facebook, I found the suggestion that we ban pit bulls, that we make cops wear cameras, and that we make all buses free ("Now, I know many who don’t like spending a nickel on transit of any kind. I sympathize. Setting aside philosophical arguments, the political reality is that transit will be subsidized. I say let's get the biggest benefit for the neediest people from whatever subsidy we spend.") He's officially an Independent but I think he's probably a Ron Paulite Minneapolis Republican (socially liberal, anti-tax) because of statements like this: "The proper focus for City government is core services. I am delighted that there are ever more accomodations and conveniences for bicyclists on City streets. But we must not lose sight of the fact that most of our stakeholders prefer and depend upon roads built for motorists."

Anyway, the main reason he's running is because he's totally pissed off by Kevin Reich's pro-stadium vote and he wants people to be able to vote for him to register their disapproval. Also, despite the fact that he says on his website that he's NOT REALLY RUNNING he's super indignant that the various local papers have endorsed Reich. Many of them sort of tepidly. (Dude, maybe if you were ACTUALLY RUNNING FOR REAL like you say you're not, they'd have endorsed you!)

My friend Dave joked that he considered filing for mayor under the "Don't Vote for Me, I'm Busy" party just to see what I'd say about him. The #1 problem with this is that you only get three words, so he'd have to be Dave (Too Busy) or Dave (Don't Vote Dave) or something else less funny than "Don't Vote for Me, I'm Busy." Anyway, this guy looks like he started out as the Don't Actually Elect Me I Don't Want the Job protest candidate and forgot that he wasn't a serious candidate somewhere along the way. He's running a lot more actively than plenty of people who think they're running (he's filled out all the questionnaires, etc.)

Kevin Reich

Kevin Reich is the current incumbent and is endorsed by the DFL. His website talks about paving roads and making things better for bikers and getting single-sort recycling and conveniently doesn't mention anywhere that he voted for the Vikings Stadium.

If I lived in Ward 1, I'd vote for Kevin Reich despite being irritated by the Vikings Stadium vote because his opponents are so completely underwhelming. It's not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it's an endorsement.

If you're REALLY REALLY PEEVED about the Vikings Stadium, go for Mark "Not Actually Running" Fox with vote 1. I think he's probably a safe protest vote, but I'll note that I'm not 100% sure. (I think it's hard to predict how people will use IRV and what will happen with turnout in this race, but I do think it's a pretty safe race for Kevin Reich.)

Minneapolis Ward 2

Cam Gordon (Green Party)
Diana Newberry (Socialist Workers Party)

Why yes: the only person challenging Green Party member and City Council Rep Cam Gordon is running from the left. (Sort of.)

Cam Gordon

Cam Gordon is the incumbent. The people I know represented by him generally like him.

Diana Newberry

On her affidavit of candidacy, Diana Newberry lists the Socialist Workers' website as her website, what appears to be their generic e-mail address as her e-mail, and she doesn't seem to have bothered with any of the candidate questionnaires.

I did find an article about here here. Apparently she does spend some time door-knocking. I think the funniest line in that article is from a Socialist Worker colleague saying that Diana is "very passionate about the importance about posing an alternative to the two main parties." Because SHE IS RUNNING AGAINST A GREEN.

I mean, it's possible that in the context of Minneapolis she means "the two main parties -- you know, Democrats and Greens," but in that case she probably should have elaborated a little.

I'd vote for Cam, but it doesn't matter all that much because his opponent is REALLY in no danger of winning.

Minneapolis Ward 4

Kris Brogan (DFL)
Barbara A. "Barb" Johnson (DFL - Endorsed, Incumbent)
Dan Niesen (Republican Party of Minnesota)

Kris Brogan

DFLer, was a policy aide under Sharon Sayles-Belton, works as a Real Estate consultant now. She sounds like she has a fair amount of relevant experience even if she's never held political office before, but she hasn't gotten much traction, probably in large part because she didn't get the endorsement. (She was yet another candidate who said she'd abide, at least according to her Stonewall DFL questionnaire, but is still on the ballot; it's possible she just quit campaigning but didn't withdraw.)

If you're really irate about Barb's stadium vote, list Kris Brogan first.

Barb Johnson

As City Council president, Barb is arguably the most powerful politician in Minneapolis (or at the very least, she's up there). With the significant turnover that's about to happen (it's a fair bet that some of the non-endorsed running-anyway incumbents will lose their races, and we're definitely getting a new mayor) she's going to be even more powerful.

The fact is, it's to your advantage to be represented by a power broker, unless they're totally evil. So yeah, if I lived in the 4th Ward I'd vote for Barb without a lot of hesitation.

Dan Niesen

He doesn't have a campaign website but I found his Facebook page, which showed that he's a Republican who was totally infuriated when the shutdown ended. He's also incoherent, inarticulate, and a big fan of some Facebook game called myVEGAS Slots. Sample insight from his Facebook page: "The arguments for abortion is you do not have to get one, and this makes perfect sense to pro-choice people. Why do the same people want to ban guns when they do not have to own one."

Don't vote for this turkey.

Minneapolis Ward 7

Lisa Goodman (DFL, endorsed, incumbent) is running unopposed.

Minneapolis Ward 8

Elizabeth Glidden (DFL, endorsed, incumbent) is running unopposed.

That leaves Ward 11 and Ward 13. Both of these have real and interesting races and will get their own posts.

Index of Election 2013 Posts
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