Saturday, August 11, 2018

Minnesota Going Berserk

Wow, things are crazy in Minnesota politics right now.

The big story is the governor's race and the fact that our sitting attorney general, Lori Swanson — now running for governor — has been violating campaign laws for years by using her taxpayer-funded office staff (including attorneys) as campaign "volunteers." Many of the accusers are unnamed, but quite a number of others are on the record. Swanson has attacked the primary accuser by releasing his expunged criminal record (!) and says the publication, The Intercept, is biased against her, even though the reporter pitched the story to them. There's a lot more to this case, but wow. Check it out here, here, here, and here. I've been exclaiming over it all week.

Aside from the obvious (that we don't want someone who does that in office!), the problem is that if Swanson manages to win the primary, this issue will be used against her in the November election, making it all too likely the Republican candidate will win. And Minnesota just cannot have that happen.

The other off-the-wall story is a Minneapolis one. A blogger working under the name Wedge LIVE! has been active for four years. (The Wedge is the neighborhood in Minneapolis where he lives.) He's a renter, attending public meetings to get the word out about building more housing and increasing density and non-car transportation. Over the past couple of years, he's one of several people who has been confronting an elected official named Carol Becker (member of an obscure city board who has become a spokesperson for NIMBYism and driving your car everywhere).

Today the guy behind Wedge LIVE! discovered that Becker has reserved the name Wedge Live with the Minnesota Secretary of State and filed for a trademark on it as well, claiming that she plans to do a podcast on how "wedge issues" divide us. (Another crusading blogger has the story here.) She swore, on penalty of perjury, that she is doing business with that name or plans to do so. "Plans to do so" is pretty vague, of course, so she's unlikely to be prosecuted but petty crap is a real head-shaker, and she makes paranoid statements about Wedge LIVE's funding, implying something like a George Soros dark money conspiracy.

Whew. And that's not even mentioning the city council race in Saint Paul where one minor candidate has been arrested twice and kicked out of public buildings twice in the past few weeks.

No comments: