Below are news items about city, ward, and neighborhood issues that you might find of interest. Please check back as the list is updated often.
Planned Parenthood reveals big 2014 game plan
By Alexander Burns
Politico, 2/26/14
For those who say we shouldn't talk about abortion, the fact is it's a major funding source for the Democrat party. "The cost of the [2014] midterm campaign [Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes] is expected to cross the $18 million mark, including $2.4 million the group spent in 2013 for Virginia's off-year governor's race."
The Party of Big Money?
MNGOP, 2/27/14
"The truth is that Democrats outspend Republicans by nearly 3-to-1 in Minnesota. In fact, $27 million of the $53 million contributed to Minnesota campaigns in recent years was from just 26 donors: 19 of which are Democrats."

Linea Palmisano and Others Struggle to Explain Sudden Moratorium, 3/19/14
"Minneapolis doesn't just want more cash either, it needs it; the city is broke — but it's quite good at masking the fact, God forbid they ever get audited by the state — and if it ever wants to be able to do some heavy spending again, it will need a larger tax base." Mr. Bergs nails it. Full audit of Mpls budget. Now.

New Emails: Democratic Senator Pressured IRS To Target Groups
Daily Caller, 5/14/14
Remember that MN's Al was also calling for the IRS to investigate Tea Party and conservative groups. What was Franken's role in this scandal?

Minneapolis cuts back program to bring fresh food to small city stores
By Maya Rao
Star Tribune, 2/23/14
"One study in 2011 tracked low-income people in Minneapolis, Birmingham, Ala., Oakland, Calif., and Chicago, and found little connection between fruit and vegetable consumption and access to supermarkets" but that doesn't matter to the progressives downtown. They will continue to waste our money trying to force people to do what they don't want to do.

NYC: More Black Babies Killed by Abortion Than Born
By Michael W. Chapman, 2/20/14
"In 2012, there were more black babies killed by abortion (31,328) in New York City than were born there (24,758), and the black children killed comprised 42.4% of the total number of abortions in the Big Apple." Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, would be proud. Blacks voting for Democrats is suicide.
Video: "I thought the Affordable Care Act would save $2500 per family?"
By Ed Morrissey
Hot Air blog, 2/20/14
Right on, right on! This is how every Democrat should be treated when they venture out among Minnesotans.
Seven Minimum Wage Facts That Have Democrats Worried
By Wynton Hall, 1/5/14
Fact #1, just 2.8% of American workers earn at or below the minimum wage and #2, half of all minimum wage workers are 16 to 24 years old. Typical of progressives to raise this non-issue as a smokescreen for the real havoc they have and are causing the economy. Look away from this shiny object and focus on defeating Obamacontrol.
San Francisco bans all fireplace use during Christmas
Daily Caller News Foundation, 12/25/13
"First-time offenders will have the option to enroll in a wood smoke awareness class to learn about the hazards of wood smoke." The commissars in downtown Mpls have already discussed the "dangers" of wood smoke. With no hard evidence or research to back up their claim these SF weenie facists, obsessed with control, use their political power to limit freedom. What's next? A ban on burning candles in church?
Campaign Finance Board Rules Democrat Campaigning Illegal: $100,000 fine one of the largest in state history
MNGOP Press Release, 12/17/13
MN Democrats cheated in 2012 in order to buy majorities in the state House and Senate. Ever wonder who would be elected if only eligible voters voted and campaign finance rules (good or bad) were followed by everyone?
Study finds no clear link between lung cancer and second-hand smoke
The Independent, UK, 12/13/13
"There is "no clear link" between secondhand smoke and lung cancer, a study led by researchers at Stanford University has found."
The Politics of Poverty, Part 1
By Bill Glahn
"As it turns out, using [liberal Blogger Tony] Petrangelo's voting index, the metro's poverty areas rank among the most Democrat-voting areas in the state...What are we to make of the fact that the Met Council has identified no area of poverty that is represented by a Republican?"
Homes raided, subpoenas issued targeting conservative groups and allies of Scott Walker
By Joe Schoffstall
Capitol City Project, 11/18/13
This is how progressives use government. The Obama/Chicago thugocracy.
Voter turnout nearly doubles in Texas under new ID law
By Faith Braverman
Daily Caller, 11/13/13
Why not in Minnesota?
Coming Pension Meltdown: The 10 Most Troubled City Systems
Newsmax, 11/11/13
Minneapolis also has looming unfunded public employee pension liabilities. How will our new mayor deal with the issue if outstate MN isn't willing to rescue us once again?
Documents show Dayton earns less than many Minn. city, county leaders
MPRNews, 11/11/13
" managers, police chiefs, parks directors, county health agents among them -- now drawing bigger paychecks than the governor. In some cases, pay for the same position shot up more than $40,000 in about eight years." All these employees are forced to pay union dues that feed the MN Democrat party. Coincidence?
Minneapolis mayoral candidate Cam Winton emphasizes jobs, schools and services
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 10/18/13
"His platform keys on three priorities: growing jobs by easing red tape at City Hall to make doing business easier, pushing for better school results, and focusing on doing basic city services better. He said he'd make getting part of his salary dependent on making progress on those priorities." Imagine a Democrat giving up public funds for not performing. Never happen.
Minneapolis Building Houses For Artists; Selling Them At $100k Losses
Up and at 'em with Jack and Ben
Twin Cities News Talk, 9/24/13
"This is madness. Minneapolis is letting people buy houses for 70 cents on the dollar so the new owners can turn around and sell them for a $50,000 to $100,000 profit?" Only government, which spends other people's money, would think this losing proposition is a good idea.
Linden Hills getting not-so-extreme makeover
By Bill McAuliffe
Star Tribune, 9/15/13
"Betsy Hodges, who represents the area on the Minneapolis City Council and is running for mayor, said Linden Hills, Uptown and neighborhoods along the proposed Southwest Corridor light rail line all face intense development pressure – particularly in an improving economy. One of her stated goals, and one of Mayor R.T. Rybak's, she said, is to increase residential density in the city." We don't need the central planners downtown (Betsy and R.T.) imposing their socialist version of high-density communes around govt. defined transportation routes. Mpls. neighborhoods developed just fine over the last century without guidance from on high.
Obamacare exchange leaks data of 2,400 unsuspecting customers
By Sarah Hurtubise
Daily Caller, 9/14/13
Who is the employee and why do they have access to this highly personal data? Are they a high level employee? How can they simply attach what should be a highly classified file to an email and send it to a private party? Why hasn't this MNSure employee been named and fired? This is a classic example of our government which demands to know everything about us (for our own good) and yet is never held responsible when they fail. Time to reign in government.
Outsourcing Even a Democrat Can Like
By Bill Glahn
Look True North, 9/10/13
"For 2012, House Democrats reported receiving a total of $189,036.51 of "in-kind" contributions. The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) donated $13,350.20, mostly in "staff and mileage" costs. The Education Minnesota teachers union donated $63,394.51 in "staff time." Taking the top spot, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) donated $108,593.99 in "staff expense" to the House Democrats.
The House Democrats' Republican counterparts–the HRCC–show only $7,230.63 of "in-kind" contributions. Of that amount, $6,880 is attributed to "fundraising event" costs." House Democrats must vote on public employee union contracts and appropriate funds to pay for government employees' salaries and benefits. How likely is it that elected Democrats would defy union demands?
Dayton shell game, Rybak scam
MNGOP, 8/27/13
The money (pun intended) quote: "Yet when he released his budget document Monday, we see he is actually proposing a City of Minneapolis spending increase of $24 million or 2.2%. Notably, salaries and wages go up 4.2% and fringe benefits go up 7.3%. - there is no way Mpls. can pay for this - absurd, selfish." We need a complete audit to find out who is profiting from city government behind the curtain, besides the obvious kickback of employee union dues to the Democrat party.
'Motor City' Detroit files for bankruptcy with 100,000 creditors
The UK Telegraph, 7/19/13
Detroit's bankruptcy was no accident. It was the inevitable result of decades of liberal Democrat policies (last Republican mayor - 1961) of cronyism, ever expanding government dependency, high taxes and regulations, failing schools, and a grossly overpaid and underfunded public employee sector. How far is Mpls from the same edge after one party Democrat rule for 40 years? If we look honestly at the cronyism in the way our city does business, the under 50% high school graduation rate, the crushing burden of city taxes and fees, the rapid decline of the disposable income of residents, and our severely underfunded public pensions, we can see the signs that were ignored in Detroit before its collapse. Time for a new direction. Time to stop the decline.
Winton says trash hauling bid process is rubbish
SW Journal, 7/10/13
"Winton used the garbage truck as a backdrop while he criticized city leadership for not opening up the Minneapolis garbage contract to non-union haulers. He also wants the city to consider contracting all garbage hauling. Right now city workers do half the hauling." Finally, someone is questioning how the city spends our money. Cronyism can only work in the dark. Keep shining the light, Cam!
Am I rich? Gov. Dayton thinks you're rich.
MN Majority, 7/10/13
"Earn $10,931 – $19,316 a year? Congratulations! According to Governor Dayton and the Democrat legislature, You're rich! This year your estimated tax burden will increase by 0.7% and you'll pay $136 more each year as part of your ever-increasing "fair share." By contrast, the state's top-earners, those making over $146,401 a year saw their tax burden increase by just 0.67%."
Top Cop 'Disappointed' with Continuing Violence, But Says Rahm Has His Back
By Ted Cox and Erica Demarest, 7/8/13
Of course the Chicago Mayor approves.
1 Dead, 7 Wounded In West Side Shooting
CBS Chicago, local, 7/7/13
"It's crazy," said Rashauda Tolbert, a niece of the dead man. "Kids can't play outside. People can't sit on their porches...Why we gotta be prisoners in our homes?" Chicago is the product of decades of liberal Democrat policies that severely restrict legal gun ownership and promote lax police enforcement of criminal gun activity. The policies of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel are the same policies our city government would like to impose. Now is the time to change direction to make certain Mpls doesn't turn into Chicago, or Detroit, or LA.
Video: Fox News Covers Minnesota Connection to IRS Scandal
By Dan
, 6/20/13
Our own MN Majority was a victim of IRS intimidation.
Using ObamaCare To Create A Permanent Democratic Majority
By Betsy McCaughey
, 6/18/13
Obama's tool, Mark Dayton, has dutifully set up a MN Health Care Exchange which will front for taxpayer subsidized Democrat party outreach. Read all about it.
Winton slams streetcars during "moving press conference"
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune
, 5/30/13
"To build a streetcar line would be an epic mistake," Winton said. "Minneapolis can achieve its transit goals and meet its transit needs with an enhanced bus system. And the facts show that an enhanced bus system is the only way to meet the transit needs of Minneapolis in a responsible way."
Cam Winton Questions Downtown East Development Plans
Cam Winton for Mayor, 5/29/13
Finally a candidate who's willing to question the business as usual, crony capitalism at city hall! Cam Winton has looked into the mixed-use development plans for Downtown East and has several great questions of the powers-that-be who run the city. It's possible with Cam that we will at last have a mayor who represents us and not just special interests.
Flashback: Schumer, Franken urged IRS to target tea party in 2012
By Jeff Poor
Daily Caller, 5/17/13
When Democrats are in control of government you get the abuse of power we're seeing at the federal level to restrict the Constitutional rights of free speech, association, and participation in the political process by conservative groups. This is why they want big government and political power. Obama's darling, the unfunny and pornographic comedy writer Al Franken, who was elected to represent not rule Minnesotans, is at the center of this illegal and unconstitutional intimidation. He's got to go.
Toxic Government by Democrats: Minneapolis
By John Perazzo
Frontpage Mag, 4/4/13
"The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota--whose population is composed of 63.8% whites, 10.5% Hispanics, and 18.6% African Americans--has been governed exclusively by mayors from the Democratic Farmer Labor Party, the state affiliate of the Democratic Party, since 1978. As of 2011, the poverty rate in Minneapolis was 23.5%, more than one-and-a-half times the national figure of 15%....Prior to the permanent Democratic takeover of Minneapolis in 1978, the city's poverty rate had been consistently lower than the national average." Cause and effect.
Dayton's new taxes on the middle class:
  • Energy rate tax
  • Mortgage and deed tax
  • Alcohol tax (up 350 percent)
  • Auto insurance tax
  • Solar tax
  • Gas tax (up 10 cents per gallon)
  • Estate tax
  • Snack tax (nuts, seeds, popcorn, pretzels, chips, cookies, ice cream novelties)
  • Vehicle excise tax
  • Electricity surcharge tax
  • Frac sand tax
  • Health insurance premium tax (3.5 percent)
  • License plate tab fees (up $10)
  • Cosmetics tax
  • Wheelage tax (up $15)
  • Toll fee for the St. Croix River bridge

Plus, there are plans to grow government, spend billions more, and ultimately secure Democratic political control through the unionization of:
  • Childcare providers who are independent, small business owners
  • Personal care attendants
  • Legislative staff
This isn't insanity. This is the far left, Democrat agenda from Obama to Dayton to Rybak. It's about power and control. It's time to stop it. (HT Rep. Ernie Leidiger (R-47A))
MN Democrats' Health Insurance Exchange: Good Enough for Minnesotans, but not Good Enough for State Lawmakers
MNGOP News, 3/15/13
Once again the ruling class exempts themselves from a government program they want to impose on the rest of us: "This bill is bad for Minnesotans. Health insurance costs will go up, choices will be limited and there's no guarantee our private health care information will remain private." Swell.
Audit finds common misuse of Minnesota driver data
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune, 2/21/13
And the city council and mayor tell us to trust them as they spend $2.8 million to build a database of all the information they collect any every city resident that will be accessible to every city employee. Don't fall for the lie that they limit access and no one EVER gives their password to anyone else. It's already happened in the driver's license data scandal where Mpls employees account for a disproportionate number of offenders. The only way we can trust them is to LIMIT THEIR POWER. This database should not be built. $2.8 million tax dollars are better spent on crumbling infrastructure than using our own money to limit our freedom.
Powerful new tool in Minneapolis creates virtual city
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune, 2/20/13
What's city government done for us? Prosperity-crippling taxes and fees, crony capitalism, stifling regulations, plans to confiscate firearms of law-abiding citizens, and now they are compiling data on us so they can prevent undesirable behavior before it happens. Detect a pattern here? We hired these people to maintain our streets, pick up the garbage, and put in a sewer and water system. They're out of control. They all need to be replaced.
St. Croix bridge tolls, higher gas tax may be ahead
By Pat Doyle
Star Tribune, 2/17/13
"'It's a potentially important source of revenue,' said Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis...Raising the gasoline another option favored by key lawmakers, including Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis...Dibble was on a governor's task force that recommended raising the gas tax by 40 cents a gallon." Their beady eyes bright with greed and with nothing to stop them, these two Mpls. politicians are why we can no longer afford their brand of govt. It's time to replace these ruling elites with men and women who understand that the money we earn is, first and foremost, ours and not theirs.
2/15/13 - The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is releasing statistics that provide an estimate of the county's violent crime in 2012. The statistics show that violent crime has decreased countywide by 37% from 2006 to 2012. Shall issue permit to carry was implemented in 2005. It's no coincidence. When law-abiding citizens are armed, criminals have a bad day. Fact.
Rybak offers bold vision of downtown in 2020
Star Tribune, 2/13/13
By Eric Roper
"The mayor noted that retail will also play an important role in making the downtown of 2020 an attractive place. Better 'retail management' is needed, he said, because 'we have not figured out how to do retail right.'" Clueless and incompetent central planners have plagued Mpls for decades--similar wizards of smart tore up the same street car tracks in the 1950's that are now so essential. Time to clean house and bring in men and women with real world experience and fresh ideas before they spend us into a Detroit.
Debt is really just a matter of sharing
Tweet, 1/27/13
Councilwoman Betsy Hodges tweeted that massive govt. debt is really just a matter of sharing. While that ludicrous remark is grounds for questioning her intelligence, it is more likely that she has simply been too long in a system where govt. greed is called justice and the lust for power is community service. Our economy SHRUNK 0.1 percent in the 4th quarter of 2012, the federal debt at the moment is over $16 trillion, and every citizen in the country owes $52,309 and they're still spending. It's time to replace stale politicians like Betsy with men and women with real world experience and fresh ideas. The status quo is unsustainable.
5,000 alerted of records breach in abuse of drivers' data by DNR employee
Star Tribune, 1/16/13
If this is how they treat our drivers license data, how safe will we be when the ruling class has access to our complete medical history, has pinpointed and registered every gun, and Google has turned over a database of every website we've visited and every search we've made? Imagine your life controlled by Al Franken.
Pushing forward in the fight against gun violence
Posted on January 14, 2013 by R.T. Rybak
Rybak and the Democrats' faux angst over gun violence is just a gossamer veil over their political agenda. If their concern was genuine, they'd examine our culture of violence where infants are chopped into pieces and sucked from their mother's womb; where movies, music, and games glorify wasting anyone who gets in your way and are marketed to children; and where schools teach bullying and intolerance is fine if the victim is someone who disagrees with the agenda of the left. Violent reactions that have become second nature in our society is the real problem and until we face that, it will never be stopped.
Response to Mayor Rybak's Announcement Not To Seek Re-election--12/27/12
"And the residents of Minneapolis have been every step of the way as partners."
Mr. Mayor, we are NOT your partners as you wrote in your 12/27/12 e-farewell address, we are your employer. Over your 12 year tenure, you have taken our money in taxes, fees, and regulations to the point where we can barely afford to live in our city; you have forced your liberal utopian dreams on us against our will (remember denying the stadium vote required by city charter?) to the benefit of millions of dollars for your friends and special interest supporters; and you've condemned the north side of our city to generational poverty, failing schools, and loss of opportunity.
As a rising star in the political class, you will no doubt do well in the future. Our only hope is to reverse your charted course and begin to reestablish and grow the once prosperous middle class in Minneapolis before our beautiful city turns into a Detroit or LA or Chicago.
St. Paul shop caught with smoking gum
By Paul Walsh
Star Tribune, 12/27/12
"A unanimous City Council outlawed candy smokes and cartoon character lighters in April 2009. The council cited a study showing that these products encouraged youngsters to take up smoking tobacco." The government class is now codifying their irrational and unfounded fears into law. It's time to limit their power, replace them, and get them the therapy they need before they do any more damage to society. Let's start in Minneapolis.
Fast vote tally in Minneapolis? Maybe not
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 12/26/12
"Minneapolis estimated two years ago that a hand count in 2013 would cost $133,000 more than an automated count, and that amount would balloon if turnout returns to normal after 2009's light voting." But we can't have voter id because it's too expensive and complicated.
"Advocates say ranking candidates gives voters more choice and helps ensure that more voters support the eventual winner rather than the traditional winner-take-all approach."??!
"Council Member Cam Gordon, who heads the council's Election Committee, said he's looking forward to huddling with Hennepin County soon on the issue." They've had four years to get software and machines to handle this expensive, complicated, and possibly unconstitutional (one person, one vote) form of voting and they are just now beginning to "huddle" with the county, legislature, and Secretary of State's office? What has the council been doing? Oh yeah, the Vikings needed a stadium.
Defendant: Snooping was rife at Minneapolis City Hall
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune, 12/21/12
What's going on here is more than just a city employee being disciplined. Tom Deegan was head of housing inspections and a 37-year employee of the inspections and regulations dept. that Rybak is rolling into the CPED as he consolidates power into one huge, difficult to hold accountable city department. Deegan is in the way and needs to go. Maybe this power play within the government class will bring to light how the game at city hall is really played. When thieves fall out...
Rybak's 12/19/12 e-newsletter, "Turning despair into action to end gun violence", is a shameless exploitation of the Sandy Hook shootings for political purposes. The young victims have not even been buried yet and the mayor giddily writes his wish list of 2nd amendment restrictions which will not and would not have prevented what occurred. But that isn't the goal of the Democrat left. They see this tragedy as their best opportunity to neutralize the 2nd amendment, which is the final protection of citizens from government, under the guise of concern for public safety and the children. It's despicable.
Schools may lower academic bar for sports
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 12/19/12
"Now a proposal before the school board would allow students who make at least a .1 improvement in their grade-point average in the previous term to compete, even if they are below a C or 2.0 average." Are our public schools just training grounds for the billion dollar football industry or is their purpose to educate young people to succeed in life? This plan may be currently shelved because the coaches don't want players who can't even make a 2.0, but the officials who think this was a good idea are still there. Our kids deserve much better than the Mpls public schools are even interested in delivering.
Math test causing division at schools
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 12/17/12
"One argument for insisting on a high standard is that 40 percent of Minnesota students require remedial classes if they enter the state's public higher education system." What are critics of this test saying? That MN high school teachers are too incompetent to teach higher level math or that students are too stupid to learn it? Evidently, these same students can learn math if taught remedially in college so it must be the teachers. But I thought we had a teachers union to guarantee the quality of its members...right.
Rybak asks state to keep car license data private
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune, 12/14/12
"If the commissioner approves, it would prevent the city from releasing the tracking data to members of the public...Rybak said the issue became clear to him after reading Star Tribune stories, one of which documented his own vehicle's locations throughout the city." For thee and not for me, R.T.? The big question is why this data is being collected. Is it based on the presumption that someone MIGHT be guilty sometime, so hidden cameras and police cars should track where everyone is or has been at all times?
U student leaders worry that low- and middle-income families will be priced out
By Jenna Ross
Star Tribune, 12/14/12
Before raising tuition why not try: cutting faculty salaries by 2%; reducing public sector union dues by 3% eliminating the need for employee raises; cut froo froo degrees; find and eliminate redundancy and waste; prioritize the goals of the U with an eye on core degrees, research, and overall purpose. There are lots of places to cut and reorganize before pricing students out.
Minneapolis school attendance down in wake of bus passes
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 12/13/12
Really? I wonder where they went?! LOL.
Ryan Cos. in talks with Star Tribune over land development
By Janet Moore
Star Tribune, 12/12/12
"Ryan [Cos. U.S. Inc.] may be interested in purchasing four of five blocks owned by the newspaper, all of which will be near the planned $975 million Vikings stadium and the Downtown East/Metrodome light-rail station...the four blocks covered by the Ryan agreement have a value for taxation of about $18 million. The fifth parcel owned by the newspaper across from the light-rail station that is slated to be part of the stadium development is valued at about $3.3 million for tax purposes." To sum up: City politicians pushed the dome site where the only local newspaper and Vikings owner Zygi Wilf own prime real estate and in return get favorable press, campaign contributions in 2013 and beyond, and can stick city residents with the possible bill of $890 million. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here. Just the usual liberal crony capitalism at work.
Six-figure Salaries Abound at State Teachers' Union
By Jonathan Blake
Freedom Foundation of MN
Let's see: we pay the teachers who pay the union officials who lobby our representatives to pay the teachers more who pay the... Swell.
Election official offers ways to fix voting problems
By By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 12/4/12
"Carl said that the logjam from the city's 81 percent turnout -- which was matched statewide -- was exacerbated by one-quarter of those voting registering to do so at the polls, compared with only 18 percent statewide. That slowed lines for those voters and consumed the time of election judges, he said." Solution: kiosks to register to vote everywhere across the city and registration ends three days before election day. Problem solved.
Plan calls for $20 billion in Minnesota tax hikes for roads, transit
By Pat Doyle
Star Tribune, 11/30/12
"Higher local sales taxes, gas taxes and vehicle fees are being pushed by Gov. Mark Dayton's task force on transportation and could help shape the debate on highway and transit funding as DFLers take control of the Legislature next year." Elections have consequences.
Pay-at-pump option may fuel lottery ticket sales
By Alejandra Matos
Star Tribune, 11/29/12
"[Minnesota Lottery executive director Ed] Van Petten said the easy access has some worried about its abuse, but he said the State Lottery has worked to address that. Lottery employees at the nine participating gas stations are checking driver's licenses. Eventually, lottery players will have to scan their licenses, but that software is operational only at the ATMs for now." How is it that the state lottery department can run a complex program that requires "a debit card, driver's license and cellphone number...and other identification information" from an individual to buy a lottery ticket, but it's too expensive and complex for the government to require a photo id to vote?!
Financing for K-12 targeted
By Maria Elena Baca
Star Tribune, 11/28/12
It appears no one is asking the real questions, like, why do Minneapolis schools, which have one of the highest per pupil costs in the nation, only graduate less than 50% of students with even worse percentages among minorities? On what exactly is all this money spent? Isn't this plan to "increase revenue" by redistributing levy taxes simply government greed (when do they ever have enough?) with no accountability to the people paying for it or responsibility for the poor result to the people they are supposed to be serving? It's time to stop funding government greed and to hold the political class accountable for what they do.
Minnesota educators push to end high-stakes math exam
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 11/27/12
"With nearly a third of high school students at risk of failing Minnesota's high-stakes exit exam for math, some educators say it's time the state dropped the requirement...In Minneapolis, administrators are urging the school board to go on record opposing the GRAD portion of state testing in favor of vocational and academic assessments leading to the ACT that tell students whether they're on track for their college or work goals." The headline should read: "Teachers Fail. Students deemed to pass." Kumbaya.
State Department Sends Assistant Secretary to ... Minneapolis
By Daniel Halper
Weekly Standard blog, 11/19/12
"The press release is written in the same way an announcement for a trip abroad would be described. Except Brimmer is only going to Minnesota."
We are the world; we are the children
Star Tribune, 11/10/12
"Students who won the "Power of We" essay contest share how working together can improve our world." The one thing the children may have missed is that it took ONE PERSON to organize others to accomplish something. Shouldn't we award those individuals with the innovative ideas and encourage them to persevere even if no one else agrees? How does a contest like this encourage leadership, creativity, or individual excellence if children are told that alone they are nothing? A camel is a horse designed by a committee. We don't need any more government sponsored committees designing camels.
Rochester re-elects dead man
By Richard Meryhew
Star Tribune, 11/7/12
A commentary on the mental ability of the average voter or a new and good idea?!
Cities speak on ballot issues
By Mary Jane Smetanka
Star Tribune, 9/28/12
Ms. Ideal Councilperson would ask, "Is it appropriate for those we've elected to enforce and uphold our laws to issue an official city proclamation, on city time, against any law before it is even passed? Are our elected officials now picking and choosing which laws they will support and which laws they will not?"
Mr. Commonsense Councilperson would inquire whether "This action by the city council, showing themselves to be above and beyond the will of the people and not subject to it, explains why they were able to simply ignore the city charter requirement of a public vote on any sports facility in Minneapolis requiring more than $10 million in tax dollars?"
Suburbs, state top Mpls for growth in homeless students
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 9/19/12
"Homelessness among Minneapolis students is up, which isn't newsworthy, considering the city's widespread areas of poverty." Homelessness of children in Minneapolis ISN'T "newsworthy"?! That's appalling but not surprising coming from the establishment media who appear to have accepted as the new norm the destruction of human lives under the weight of the poverty created by the city central planners.
The Purple Plunder Taxpayers
More members have a financial interest in projects before the panel.
Taxpayers League of MN, 9/18/12
"The Legislature approved $600 million in taxpayer funding for the new Vikings Stadium. While taxpayers wallets are being emptied, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf sees his investment in the team increase 22% in ONE year."
Minneapolis to install 25 new electric car charging stations
By Bill Keller, 9/10/2012
"The Minneapolis City Council is moving toward a greener future by adding 25 charging stations for electric cars, but how necessary are the plug-in stations when electric vehicle sales are falling below projections? General Motors spent more than $1 billion to develop the Chevy Volt, but only 20,000 have been sold since 2010." Mr. Commonsense Councilperson would ask if it is the purpose of city government to use taxpayer dollars to create energy policy? Shouldn't the primary concerns of the city council be streets, infrastructure, and public safety?
Minneapolis planning board's conflicts prompt ethics review
More members have a financial interest in projects before the panel.
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune, 9/10/12
"In recent months, members of the Minneapolis Planning Commission have increasingly sat out votes on development proposals because they're somehow involved in the projects...the nine-member Planning Commission is one of the city's most influential citizen boards...responsible for advising the City Council on most major development projects that pass through City Hall...Dan Cohen, a one-time City Council member, followed suit out of frustration [recused himself]. It's planning commissioners using the planning commission as their own personal piggy bank," said Cohen, who represents Hennepin County on the commission. "And that is not right. Sitting in the audience doesn't cure it." Cronyism. How it's done.
Minneapolis tax increase would pay for more police, firefighters
By Eric Roper and Maya Rao
Star Tribune, 8/16/12
"But the mayor claimed the rise in the levy would have been doubled had it not been for recent Vikings stadium legislation that directs less property tax revenue to the aging Target Center." TRUTH: Our property tax levy could have been CUT if Rybak and his 13 rubber stamps hadn't committed $890 million of our hard earned money to buy a playpen for their wealthy crony Zygi Wilf. 2013. Last chance.
"Rybak said his spending plan will boost the city's police budget by $2.5 million next year, an increase that amounts to about 1.8 percent more than 2012. That will allow the city to have 10 additional officers by next summer, Rybak said." TRUTH: The 2012 city budget is $1.22 BILLION. An increase of 1.8 percent for public safety is nothing! It pales compared to the waste and misuse of funds by this bloated, out of control politburo. How long will we be fooled by this aging carrot of 'a few more cops and firefighters' while they squander hundreds of millions to prop up their failed agenda? 2013. Last chance.
"That doesn't mean next year's levy will be particularly high, but instead that homeowners will have to take on more of the total tax burden. "What we do in 2013 can make a difference to how painful 2014 feels to people," [Council member Betsy] Hodges said." TRANSLATION: Wait until after we're reelected in 2013 and then we'll have 4 more years to take what little is left from the producers in this city, finish building our culture of dependency, and complete our plan to turn Minneapolis into Detroit or Baltimore or LA or... 2013. Last chance.
Minneapolis 311: Best run but most costly?
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune, 7/30/12
"The city pays about $3 million to operate 311...67 percent of that cost is attributable to salaries and benefits -- there are currently 28 employees." And the job these highly paid telephone operators do is more critical than police and arson investigators or fire fighters?! Evidently it is to Rybak and the central planners.
Minneapolis police skip inquiries in most hit-and-run accidents
By Masako Hirsch
Star Tribune, 7/27/12
"The Minneapolis police website says only hit-and-runs that involve "serious injuries or fatalities" will be probed. The Accident Investigation Section has dropped from seven investigators to two in recent years...The policy appears to be unique among large agencies in the Twin Cities -- sheriffs' representatives in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, St. Paul and Bloomington police and the State Patrol routinely investigate hit-and-runs, with or without injuries."
An unfinished project on the North Side
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 7/27/12
"Filed in July 1992, the lawsuit [was] settled in 1995, [and] an estimated $225 million has been spent to erase the four projects that once straddled Olson and to rebuild the area. Hundreds of project residents moved to new public housing in the suburbs. Others used 900 new federal rent vouchers to move there or to safer areas of the city." $225 million in tax dollars to help people flee the Northside and it's still poverty ridden. Over 40 years of liberal, central planner ideas have failed. We need to admit it, remove them from power, and make 2013 the year of freedom from political tyranny in Minneapolis.
Anti-Vikings stadium crowd silent
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune,
, 5/29/12
"In '97, you could collect signatures and make a difference," [Council member Cam] Gordon said. "In 2012, all you can do is hope and pray and beg your elected officials to vote the way you want them to." BEG AND PRAY that our representatives will do what we want?!! We don't need hope or prayers. We need new council members. But the machine knows that's not likely to happen when the sheeple vote in 2013. And the beat goes on...
Stadium gets final sign-off
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune,
, 5/25/12
Stadium next step: Minneapolis City Council
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune,
, 5/13/12
The city's contribution is expected to be $150 million for stadium construction and another $189 million for operating costs over the life of the deal. That $339 million total rises to $675 million when factoring inflation interest. It is paid for by a combination of city sales taxes that help support the Minneapolis Convention Center -- a citywide sales tax, downtown liquor and restaurant taxes, and a hotel tax. If sales tax revenues rise faster than expected the city's contribution, with interest, could reach $890 million.
Bryn Mawr Safety Committee
By Patrick Murphy
Bryn Mawr Bugle
, 5/12
"At the meeting last fall, we talked with other Area 3 residents whose streets are used for buying and selling drugs. These transactions bring to Bryn Mawr people who are openly contemptuous of our neighborhood. The police representative with whom we met made it clear that the precinct is kept busy with serious crimes on the North Side and is not prepared to respond routinely to calls about drug trafficking in Bryn Mawr. So-we're more or less on our own, at least on this issue." You can be sure there will be plenty of cops (at our expense) to guard Zygi's Crony Stadium though."
STATE OF CORRUPTION: How the Vikings Stadium Deal Went Down And Took Honest & Open Government With It.
By Nick Coleman
The State I'm In blog,
"The state's non-profit pubic interest groups, the "progressive" organizations still dizzy with glee at being FOD’s (friends of Dayton), the churches, the advocacy groups for the poor, the civil liberties and good-government groups — all have stayed silent during a lengthy, furtive, closed-door giveaway of hundreds of millions in scarce public dollars to the NFL and Zygi Stardust. None of them even made a peep when Dayton, who campaigned on a promise to keep his calendar available to the public, reneged on that promise – at exactly the time he started dancing with Zygi, (sometimes even neglecting other duties)."
The Minnesota Vikings — based in Delaware?
By Heather J. Carlson,
Rochester, MN, 5/8/12
"The Red Wing Republican [Sen. John Howe] said he plans to offer an amendment today to the Vikings stadium bill that would require the Vikings organization to be based in Minnesota in order to get state funding for a stadium. Howe also plans to offer an amendment that would pay for the state's share of the stadium with a user fee on stadium-related items like tickets, parking and sports memorabilia."
Rybak's top aide clears first vote for city planning post
By Maya Rao and Eric Roper
Star Tribune,
"Others at City Hall counter that Hanson Willis' experience as the mayor's liaison on key economic issues and communications background will help him lead a department that is trying to better coordinate planning with development and ensure it has enough funding." CPED is the most powerful, intrusive, and inappropriate department in all of city government. This is a move by the central planners to consolidate their control over every aspect of life in Minneapolis. The 2013 city elections may be the last opportunity we have to free our city.
Gay 90's facade redo gets city cold shoulder
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune,
"They're just control freaks," [owner] Hafiz said. "They want to call the shots on everything..."You know the city," Hafiz said. "When you get them involved, they want you to change the name of your kids." Spot on.
Push for Internet sales tax crosses party lines
By Baird Helgeson
Star Tribune,
It never even occurs to these political elites that the solution to internet sales cutting into the bottom line of  local businesses is to LOWER local taxes, not raise online taxes. Want less of something (smoking, anyone?), tax it. Want more of something, make it cheaper. Of course, it's hard to grow government that way...
With voter ID, state would be in compliance
By Andy Cilek
Star Tribune Counterpoint,
, 4/12/12
"As amazing as it may seem, this November the state of Minnesota is set up to do what it has done since 1974. Namely, it will stop accepting and checking the validity of new voter registrations 20 days before the election and then, on Election Day, allow more than 500,000 people to register and vote without doing any checking of their eligibility beforehand."
Rybak: City's future depends on revitalizing North Side
By James Eli Shiffer
Star Tribune online
, 4/11/12
"If the city wants to grow, the key will be North Minneapolis." Four decades of ever increasing central control and liberalism has undermined the unique neighborhoods that made Mpls. the vibrant city it used to be. Does anyone believe giving more money and power to the political class that caused the city's decline is going to reverse it? Decentralized, limited and transparent city government, strong, individual wards and neighborhoods, and most importantly, local control of government schools are ways to begin to stop Minneapolis from becoming Detroit. Next year's elections are where the reversal starts.
Mpls. robbery turns deadly
By Matt McKinney
Star Tribune
, 4/11/12
"The boys yelled at him that they wanted his bike, then shot at him twice, running away as [Jody Lynmarvin] Patzner continued to bike for 30 feet before collapsing on the sidewalk...."We're moving," [Tara] Hesser said. "I'm getting out of Minneapolis. When you can't leave one block from your own house, that's ridiculous."
Mpls. City Council schedules April 24 hearing on Vikings stadium
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune
, 4/9/12
"It will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in room 317 of City Hall."
Minnesota teachers start to sweat the big test
By Kim McGuire
Star Tribune
, 4/1/12
"What we see is the potential for 400 current classroom teachers not to be in the classroom next year," said Keith Hovis, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Education. "And that could cause significant staffing problems statewide." Create a staffing problem?! The real problem is that 400 teachers in MN can't pass a simple test. Worse, they are at this moment teaching our children. This is appalling!
Payrolls down but payouts up
By Maya Rao
Star Tribune
, 4/1/12
"Minneapolis spent $13.9 million on payouts of unused sick and vacation leave from January 2007 through December 2011, a period when annual payments jumped about 15 percent." How long can taxpayers continue to pay salaries of public sector workers who make twice as much they do?
E-mails reveal under-the-radar maneuvering to land Vikings stadium
By Eric Roper and Mike Kaszuba
Star Tribune
, 3/28/12
When big business and big government collude (cronyism) to use the power of government to take the wealth and property of citizens to benefit the few, it's tyranny. We taxpayers have no representation in this city. 2013 is our opportunity to restore our rights. Let's do it.
New stadium offers the ultimate marquee
By Thomas Lee
Star Tribune
, 3/25/12
"As part of the proposal to build a $975 million stadium at the current Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis, the Vikings would receive all revenues for the new venue's naming rights. The return could be substantial to the franchise. Adding a corporate namesake to an NFL stadium could fetch the Vikings anywhere from $100 million to $500 million." Do the taxpayers of Mpls. have NO representation?! Who brokered a deal where we have to dig deep to fund the Vikings' business costs while they rake in $100's of millions? Why isn't the revenue from the naming rights going toward the cost of this billion dollar playpen? Silly question. The political class takes care of its friends.
Stadium debate puts downtown's last frontier front and center
Star Tribune, 3/12/12
If the Vikings stadium is built at the Dome site, Zygi and Mark Wilf, "whose family has made millions developing real estate" could be in line to reap even more millions in development around the billion dollar stadium paid for by overburdened Mpls. taxpayers. Given the liberal cronyism rampant in Minneapolis and the fact that "three key parcels near the Dome on S. 3rd St. and 9th Av. S. already are owned by the Wilfs and are assessed at about $2 million", it could happen. Seems like the Putin of Minneapolis, Mayor Rybak, is still taking care of his friends with our money.
Minneapolis City Hall Could See An Extra Pile of Cash, 3/5/12
As much as a $6 million surplus in the city coffers by simply requiring departments to review their budgets and use the money wisely. How much could be saved if the city began to eliminate unnecessary departments altogether? I wonder if they'd give us our money back by lowering taxes and fees?!
Jon Tevlin: Bumper crop of 'nimbys' sprouts around plans for urban farms
Star Tribune, 2/29/12
"[Council member Meg] Tuthill is concerned...and she wants to make sure it doesn't allow someone to grow corn out of a bathtub in their front yard, for example..."I grew up on a farm," said Tuthill. "They are out there tilling before the flippin' sun comes up." Meg Tuthill's phobias--first backyard fires and now corn--don't make good public policy. It seems that the reaction of central control to every truly human activity, like making fire or growing food, is to stamp it out before it spreads.
And let's not overlook the limousine liberal hypocrisy in all this: "Nobody seems to be against big gardens, per se. Many involved in this issue are good progressives. You know, people who are for density, unless perhaps it's next door, and for organic farms, unless perhaps they're next door." When the Obama economy collapses, we may be very grateful to these urban gardening entrepreneurs.
School board turns to founder of Harvest Prep
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 2/28/12
"But the biggest departure from the district norm will be Pierre Bottineau French Immersion School. It's the first school to open under the state's self-governed schools law, which dates to 2005...The school will be run by a council of community, parent and teacher representatives, and they'll contract for such services as busing or food. 'Keeping decisions close to teaching and learning makes decisions better,' said Tina Maynor, a district teacher who now has the job of school leader." Could this be the beginning of real school reform that puts education content and management in the hands of teachers, principles, and parents?
Gun bill gets thumbs-down
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 2/17/12
"'This law would give our citizens a greater right to use deadly force than we currently provide to law enforcement officers in our state, with less review,' said Backstrom [Dakota County Attorney]." First of all, we're not "your" citizens. Second, the U.S. Constitution gives citizens all the power, except for a few and enumerated powers given to the state. This bill would be a start to restoring the proper balance.
Minneapolis not keeping up -- how do your streets rate?
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 2/15/12
How about sliding the $300 million for the stadium to repairing streets? In fact, spending this now excess tax revenue (the mayor and council tell us it's not needed for its original purpose) would also mean that home and business owners' property would not be assessed for these repairs. Great deal all the way around! Go for it R.T.!
To catch a thief in Minneapolis is unlikely
By Matt McKinney
Star Tribune, 2/14/12
Rybak and the council want to spend $300 million to build another sports playpen in the city, but there is no money for detectives to solve crimes. "Already one of the most common crimes in the city -- 5,103 burglaries were reported in Minneapolis last year, or about 14 every day -- they also hold the distinction of being among the least likely to be solved." The priorities of the liberal political class running Minneapolis are not in providing basic services, but in funding ever more expensive, unnecessary development we can't afford. It's time to ask who benefits from all this spending?
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