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Election 2013: Volume 2, Issue 8: Mayoral Closing Arguments

November 3rd, 2013 (06:08 pm)

The Star Tribune today ran a piece in their editorial section where they let the six they considered to be the top choices give a brief final pitch for their candidacies. So they had Betsy Hodges, Mark Andrew, Dan Cohen, Cam Winton, Jackie Cherryhomes, and Don Samuels. But not Bob Fine or Stephanie Woodruff.

Honestly, I don't think they needed to include all 35, but excluding Bob and Stephanie is bogus. I assume it's because both did poorly in the poll the Strib did last month -- but given that the leading candidates got a whopping 16%, I'm hesitant to take that poll all that seriously. Stephanie notes that she's raised more money than Dan Cohen, and Bob will point out (repeatedly. you'll have a hard time getting him to STOP pointing this out) that he's the only candidate who's been elected to city-wide office.

So, for those who are looking for some last-minute info (probably for their third pick. Is everyone stuck on their third pick? Because that's my impression) here is the Star Trib's piece with the final pitches.

I checked out Bob Fine's website and this looks like what he'd have said if he'd been allowed to submit one.

And I left Stephanie a note on Facebook and she replied in a comment here.

A couple of comments.

* Bob Fine says he listed his home phone number on his candidate web site. The fact that it's still there, days from the election, is not a good sign for his victory. I mean, this suggests that even the cranks aren't bothering him. (It's good to be accessible. That doesn't mean you want your home phone to ring at 3 a.m. because someone just read something on the Internet about [Fukushima / Fluoride / Mercury Exposure / Alien Abductions / who knows] and wants to know how Minneapolis is going to respond to this TOTALLY PRESSING ISSUE.)

* Stephanie Woodruff emphasizes transparency (her city experience involves a volunteer position on the city's audit committee) and talks about wanting to set up a website with information from the city. I think this is a great idea; the sad thing is how few people would probably ever look at the information if it were available.

* Mark Andrew says he "led the DFL for Sen. Paul Wellstone’s re-election" -- what the heck does that mean? (OK, I googled, and he was Chair of the local DFL during Paul Wellstone's re-election campaign. Here's what it actually means: Mark Andrew wants you to associate him with Saint Paul, and I don't mean the town.)

* Jackie Cherryhomes is very, very cleverly spinning her political defeat years ago as a plus -- you want someone who will place "the city’s needs before her or his own political future," and clearly she did that since she lost her seat. You need to remember why she lost her seat: because she supported genuine boondoggles like Block E.

* Dan Cohen starts off with this:

"The heart and soul of my campaign is restoring the basic right of our democracy: the right to vote. It has twice been denied us.

We got the vote on the same-sex marriage amendment. We got the vote on voter ID. But when it came to the Vikings stadium deal, we didn't get the vote, we got the shaft: a bill for $500 million, and a deal that puts us in business with a judicially certified civil racketeer. We are entitled to a better deal than this, and I will get it for us. And the right to vote on it."

...Dude? SERIOUSLY? Are you trying to suggest here that voting on the civil rights of my gay friends was a positive thing?

I'm totally in favor of the Vikings Stadium vote the council didn't hold. But that attempt to pass the amendment was bullshit.

* Betsy clearly wants you to think, "Mayor R.T. version 2.0: less stadium and even more progressive." Which....okay. I could live with that.

* Don is going for the "big picture" approach. His big picture is that things are way better than they were, but are about to slide back into the pit if he's not elected.

* Cam embraces specifics (he talks about potholes!) but it includes specifics that are totally, 100% out of plausible reach for him, and I don't know who he thinks he's kidding. ("I'll seek school board appointments to push through reform policies, including the end of 'last in, first out,' a policy that prioritizes the interests of mediocre adults over exceptional children." "Last in, first out" is also know as the seniority system and is pretty much core to the union contracts. There are concessions you might be able to get the union to make; this isn't a likely one, and he's not in a position to argue with the unions anyway because that mayorally-appointed school board member idea is a complete non-starter.)

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