Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Meg Tuthill: What About Her Emails?

Misleading graphic note: emails not leaked, they were data requested.
(Read Part I)

When last we heard from Meg Tuthill on the bike lane issue, she was flanked by signs that said "Nazi Lane" while participating in a protest of the new safety features on 26th and 28th Streets. But she's more than just an outspoken opponent of bike lanes.

After being defeated in 2013, Council Member Tuthill transitioned directly from working as an elected official into an administrative position with the city's Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department. This allowed her to keep her old City Council email address, and become Meg Tuthill: Shadow Council Member.

Wedge Bike Lane Skirmish About More Than Bike Lanes

(Part I of II)

A meeting of the Whittier Alliance neighborhood organization was overrun on Monday by a group of Wedge residents eager to voice concerns over a proposed bikeway on 24th Street.

Staff from the city's Public Works Department found it hard to even begin their presentation, as former Council Member Meg Tuthill -- notorious "Nazi Lane" protester, accompanied by about a dozen energized loyalists from the Wedge -- interrupted the introduction by snapping "first of all, who are you?"

Tuthill at left, participating in "Nazi Lane" protest.
Tuthill, who was defeated by Lisa Bender 64 percent to 30 percent in 2013, tag-teamed the meeting with another former Minneapolis elected official, Audrey Johnson. Johnson, a former school board member, is known for hurling insults ("Bendrification") at Lisa Bender while giving public testimony at the City Planning Commission.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Wedge to the MAX!


We've come to the end of a long, weird, grueling election season. I’ve had some days off. The team is newly invigorated.

We’re pleased that Tom Hoch wasted an unprecedented amount of his own money not becoming the next mayor of Minneapolis. My pumpkin, Mayor Betsy Hodges, is off to the compost bin. And the actual Betsy Hodges is probably planning a Hawaiian vacation. No more Barb, no more Blong -- a striking change in leadership for north Minneapolis. John Quincy lost his seat in Ward 11, and on the bright side, I imagine he probably never had strong feelings either way about that.

As we contemplate the transition from one city council to another in 2018, we’re declaring this "Wedge to the MAX Week." Our work is not sustainable without your support. Getting to 200 total subscribers is the next step. If you value what Wedge LIVE! adds to the local conversation, please subscribe on Patreon.

You can send a message that you're serious about us doing serious coverage in 2018. Seriously!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Next Step for New Minneapolis City Council: New President

Minneapolis City Council c/o 2017 with Mayor-elect Frey (in crown)
Our municipal elections are over and the biggest story nobody can see happening is the race to become president of the Minneapolis City Council in 2018. Newly elected members won't be sworn in for two months, but the behind the scenes discussions, jockeying and waffling is happening right now. Four years ago, in 2013/2014, we didn't get the full story until late January, weeks after it was officially settled.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Wedge LIVE 2017 Voter Guide: Minneapolis City Council

This post comes a little late! But I've been busy volunteering for a candidate (you should be too!) Election day is Tuesday. This is your abbreviated Wedge LIVE! Voter Guide for competitive city council races in Minneapolis. (For a non-partisan voter guide please see our sister publication, MSP Votes.)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Ward 11 Endorsement: Erica Mauter

Conventional wisdom says incumbent John Quincy is a goner in Ward 11. The Star Tribune would not have endorsed against him if they thought he had a chance of surviving this election. Which means Ward 11 will likely have a new city council member come 2018.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Ward 7 Endorsement: Janne Flisrand

This one goes without saying. I've been a Janne supporter from the beginning. But it's important to make it clear one last time before election day: Ward 7 would be very lucky to have Janne Flisrand working for them.

Ward 10 Endorsement: Lisa Bender

Nobody should be surprised I'm endorsing Lisa Bender. I agree with her on just about everything (even though I'm still shaking my fist at the Great Downzoning of 2016!). As someone who bikes, walks, and takes transit, I'm grateful for all that she's done to make Ward 10 a safer place to travel. 

Ward 3 Endorsement: Steve Fletcher

I saw Steve Fletcher compete for the DFL nomination earlier this spring. He won on the first ballot at the Ward 3 convention, as the candidate of the left. Before the emergence of Ginger Jentzen's campaign, it seemed like Fletcher would glide easily to an election victory in November.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Minneapolis politicians attend protest march comparing bikes to Nazis

"Nazi Lane" signs dripping with fake blood (photo: Shane Morin)
Minneapolis election season has collided with backlash to a pair of bike lanes recently installed on 26th and 28th streets. Previous negative reaction to those lanes has mainly consisted of Facebook posts, a never-ending thread of commentary on the Nextdoor website, and Jon Tevlin of the Star Tribune fanning the flames. Today the bikelash became an actual real-life protest with signs reading "Nazi Lanes," "Mafia Lanes," and "Suck It Lanes."

Friday, October 13, 2017

Downtown business interests pay for mailers supporting conservative city council members

[Post updated with additional waves of mailers sent on behalf of conservative city council members aligned with Barb Johnson. See this post to read how the group funding these mailers has aligned with the right-wing PAC that helped flip the Minnesota House and Senate from the DFL to Republicans. Minneapolis Works is supporting a slate of candidates that includes incumbents Lisa Goodman, Council President Barb Johnson, Blong Yang, Kevin Reich, John Quincy; and challengers Tim Bildsoe (an actual Republican), and Mohamed Farah.]

There's a political fund called "Minneapolis Works!" sending mailers supporting Ward 7 incumbent Lisa Goodman [and a bunch of other candidates, as indicated above]. On both sides of the mailer, a diverse collection of disembodied thumbs can be seen endorsing Lisa Goodman as the "proven progressive."

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Conservative Minneapolis incumbents running scared from democracy

Blong Yang; Barb Johnson; Lisa Goodman
Wards 4 and 5 in Minneapolis are composed of 14 North Side neighborhoods where people of color are the majority. By a wide margin, these wards have the lowest turnout in Minneapolis municipal elections. These wards have also produced two of the most conservative members of the Minneapolis City Council, Barb Johnson and Blong Yang.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Ward 10 candidate forum overrun by zany, unprepared challengers

Ward 10 incumbent Lisa Bender puts hands to her face in disbelief

Tuesday night's Ward 10 forum got weird when Republican candidate Bruce Lundeen opened his mouth.

Lundeen said that non-profits are the "path to the urban plantation, which is basically what we keep up in north Minneapolis."

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Lisa Goodman puts gum from her mouth into opponent's hand at Ward 7 forum

At some point, far into the future, when I give talks to classrooms full of aspiring journalists, I will tell them you miss 100% of the weird stories you don't show up for. That's why you go to all the neighborhood meetings, all the zoning hearings, and every candidate forum.

You go to a Ward 7 city council candidate forum at a big fancy church on Hennepin Avenue to break a once-in-a-lifetime story that a not-so-clever person might call Gumghazi.

(What you're about to read is the biggest Wedge LIVE scoop since Deflate-gate.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Election 2017 Calendar

We're going to try to track Minneapolis candidate forums and other key election-related dates on this calendar. You'll also see a sidebar calendar on the desktop version of the site. I'm asking readers and campaigns to help track down anything we've missed: contact us via Twitter or send an email to newsroom@wedgelive.com.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

It's not your imagination—*not driving* is still way harder than driving in Minneapolis.


It's no accident that not driving is still the hardest way to get around Minneapolis. More than half a century's worth of decisions by local officials have led to a city designed primarily to serve automobile traffic. This has created neighborhood streets that inconvenience and threaten the safety of anyone not traveling in a car. It's a destructive trend that, despite recent victories on bike lanes and parking reform, hasn't yet reversed itself.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The mayor's race is a false flag

It's pretty sad that you care about this llama dressed as a biker more than you care about the city council election.

I wrote a whole thing about the mayor's race, and I hope you didn't read it. Don't let establishment media figures like myself use the mayoral sideshow to distract you from what matters in 2017. I'm here to tell you: the mayor's race is a false flag.

MAYORAL UPDATE: Carol Becker's dumb lawsuit against Mayor Hodges goes up in flames; Carol Becker declares victory, says "Judge agrees with me."


Send us your not-driving horror stories

Frustrated Man

Do you have a bus ride that takes three times longer than if you drove a car instead? Have you ever had to lug a bike upstairs because secure bike parking (or any bike parking) is just impossible to find? Are you frequently run off the road, or out of a crosswalk, by a suburban lawyer driving too fast on the way to storing his car in some remarkably cheap real estate in a downtown parking garage?

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Great Big Mayoral Roundup


Lots of big news swirling around the race for Minneapolis Mayor.

Carol Becker sues Mayor Hodges. Becker, a member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, says the budget document the Mayor delivered is insufficient and violates the city's charter. The mayor says she has complied with the charter and will deliver a more robust budget presentation in September.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Groundbreaking Campaign Finance Transparency Tool for Minneapolis Elections


Today, MSP Votes is debuting a groundbreaking new campaign finance transparency tool. We have combed through the finance reports of every City Council, Mayoral, and Park Board candidate for the last two years (from January 1, 2016 to July 25, 2017). We have compiled the most significant donations (nearly 1000!) and plugged that data into MSP Votes (alongside all the great info you can already access in our candidate profiles).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tenth Ward Update: Saralyn Romanishan enters Ward 10 City Council race


Following the short-lived campaign of Scott Fine, and the blunderous beginnings of candidate David Schorn, Ward 10 now has a third city council challenger: Saralyn Romanishan. Romanishan is best known for her work running the Facebook page Minneapolis Residents for Responsible Development Coalition (MRRDC).

She's risen to become a leading figure in a movement of southwest Minneapolis anti-apartment activists who have become increasingly bold in the last few years, engaging in acts of vandalism such as letting the air out of the car tires of a worker who was removing appliances from a vacant house [VIDEO].

The expressed political views of Ward 10 City Council candidate Saralyn Romanishan

Below is a selection of Saralyn Romanishan's political views. You should also read this other blog post explaining why I think she's a frightening possibility for City Council.

Note: this page may be updated. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

History teacher turned Council candidate David Schorn blunders all the facts in July 4th tribute to Founding Fathers

John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence

David Schorn's July Fourth tribute to the Founding Fathers turned into yet another blunder. According to his bio, Schorn spent three decades teaching history and government to unsuspecting children. Now he's prepared to unleash his total ignorance on Ward 10.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Blundering Ward 10 candidate David Schorn earns endorsement, goofs announcement

Indorsement Alert

Ward 10 candidate David Schorn has been "indorsed" by the Minneapolis Police Federation, according to the "Schorn for Ward 10" campaign Facebook page. Many observers were amused by the fact that Schorn, having already committed a number of blunders in the early days of his campaign, misspelled "endorsed" on his Facebook header image.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Cats of the Wedge Historic Walking Tour


Today is the day. Over 100 people have committed to attend, or have committed to be "interested" in attending, the first ever cat-based historic walking tour in the Wedge neighborhood's very historic history.

Cats of the Wedge Historic Walking Tour
Mueller Park (25th & Bryant)
Thursday, June 29, 7:00 PM

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tom Hoch rides wave of cash and fawning media coverage, achieving "plausible" status


[Appreciate relentless Tom Hoch coverage? Support Wedge LIVE!]

Like me, you may be grappling with the question: Why should I take mayoral candidate Tom Hoch seriously? He's kind of an uninspiring figure, running a conservative campaign by Minneapolis standards, and I don't know a single person who's supporting him.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tenth Ward Update: Candidate David Schorn blunders into Ward 10 City Council race


This is the second part of an ongoing series about the hapless white dude city council candidates of Ward 10. Read Part I here.

A guy named David Schorn has entered the race for the Ward 10 City Council seat currently held by Lisa Bender. Schorn is the second candidate to announce a challenge to Bender.

Monday, June 19, 2017

We can do better on Hennepin Avenue

Project Information
Re-printed below is a letter written by area resident Alex Cecchini to the Minneapolis City Council's Transportation and Public Works Committee regarding the reconstruction of Hennepin Ave S.

Hello,

I am writing a comment on the June 20th, 2017 Transportation & Public Works Committee agenda item 13: Hennepin Ave S (from Lake St to 36th St) Street Reconstruction Project as I cannot attend in-person. I live two short blocks away from the project corridor and use Hennepin Ave on a daily basis, primarily by walking, biking, and riding the bus.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

74-unit apartment building proposed for 2201 Blaisdell


Local developer Yellow Tree Homes is planning a 74-unit, 5-story apartment building at 22nd St and Blaisdell Avenue in Whittier. The proposal was presented to around 25 people at a meeting of the Whittier Alliance neighborhood organization on Monday.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Barb Johnson stands up for white people

ReCAST presentation.

ReCAST Minneapolis is a federally funded program intended to promote "healing from the damage done by a history of policymaking that has devastated African Americans, American Indians, and immigrants including Latinos, SE Asians, and Somalis." Here's more background from the ReCAST Community Strategic Plan:
The shooting of Jamar Clark, an unarmed African American male, by police officers is the impetus behind the creation of ReCAST Minneapolis. In our city, African Americans and American Indians are disproportionately discriminated against by the police which also echoes other indicators of wellbeing where there are greater disparities between our African American and American Indian population and the rest of the populace.
If you're a terrible person, you might be thinking, "Why doesn't this program intended to heal the damage of a long history of racist policymaking do more for white people?" Fortunately for terrible people, they have a champion in City Council President Barb Johnson.

Monday, April 24, 2017

2017 Ward 7 Convention

One of the themes of Lisa Goodman's campaign this year is that Donald Trump is a bad man, and Lisa Goodman will protect you.

It's not a crazy message. There's an anti-Trump undercurrent running through many Minneapolis campaigns this year. But for arguably the second-most conservative member of the City Council, Goodman has used "Trump" as a way to distract from the real differences she has with her opponent, Janne Flisrand. (I won't go into those differences, but there's no denying Ward 7 has two very distinct choices this year.)

Another theme that's emerging: Lisa Goodman is clearly unaccustomed to the hassle of having to run for re-election. She hasn't had a serious challenger since first winning her seat in 1997. But she has built up a large campaign fund ($133,000 at the end of 2016), and acquired enough power to have convinced Senator Al Franken to endorse her just days before the DFL caucuses on April 4.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Support Wedge LIVE on Patreon

You can't bypass our paywall by opening our pages in incognito mode.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

The concerning behavior of concerned residents

We have obtained this exclusive video.
Important local journalism like what you're about to read is only made possible with your support.

I have been shamelessly teasing a must-see video on Twitter. But there's a good reason: before we get to the video (do not skip ahead to the video), this story needs unpacking. It would be irresponsible to release this video without context.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Don't forget Ward 11 in 2017

John Quincy disappears during Ward 11 candidate forum.

There was a city council candidate forum down in Ward 11 last night. This is one of a handful of pivotal and competitive council races in Minneapolis this year (1, 3, 5, 7 and 11 - and if you think Barb can be beat, add Ward 4 to that list).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

2017 Wedge LIVE / MSP yimby Candidate Survey


Wedge LIVE has partnered with MSP yimby for a housing-focused 2017 Minneapolis candidate questionnaire. Thanks to all the candidates who participated.

If you enjoy our 2017 election coverage and other original content, please consider supporting us on Patreon.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Lisa Bender on the radio



Ward 10 City Council Member Lisa Bender took the the AM radio airwaves recently to talk about the neighborhoods she represents, housing, safe streets, and the 2017 election.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Non-Notable Candidate for Mayor Creates and Edits Own Wikipedia Entry

Aswar Rahman
Following in the tradition of other non-notable candidates for Mayor of Minneapolis, Aswar Rahman has a Wikipedia page. However, voters looking for impartial sources of information about mayoral candidates should be aware that the Wikipedia page for Aswar Rahman appears to have been created and edited by Aswar Rahman.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Post-It Note Sparks Collective Outrage Among Minneapolis Neighborhood Associations

Peter Bajurny (left) is the man at the center of Post-It-Gate

A coalition of 18 Minneapolis neighborhood organizations has been privately working for months to pressure the City Council and other officials to delete a public comment they disagree with from a draft community engagement report published by the city. This is according to a leaked email provided by a person close to one of the neighborhood organizations involved.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Minneapolis 2017: Campaign Digest #2

This will get you caught up on all the Minneapolis election news that's happened since the last campaign digest.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tenth Ward Preview: Scott Fine is running for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 10

Scott Fine is running for Minneapolis City Council against Lisa Bender in Ward 10.
We'll start with a few things about our current council member. I find this endorsement of Lisa Bender very persuasive:
In three short years, she has passed more progressive ordinances than other Council Members have managed to pass in two or three whole terms. Parking reform, ADUs, flexibility for homeless shelters, a nation-leading Complete Streets policy, parklets, sick and safe time, relaxing regulations for beekeeping... I could go on, but won't.
The quality I appreciate most in a politician is the sense that they are running for office because they care about policies more than just the idea of getting elected. Lisa Bender cares about policy; she wants to make those policies happen; and she's talented enough to have been successful making them happen in her first three years in office. Most importantly, she inspires enough confidence in her colleagues that they're willing to follow her lead.

Monday, February 6, 2017

What's Going on in Ward 9?


(For Minneapolis election year news beyond Ward 9, read this post.)

Gary Schiff announced his campaign to challenge Ward 9 Council Member Alondra Cano a little more than a week ago. Schiff held the Ward 9 seat until running for Mayor in 2013. Since his announcement, a series of open letters have been addressed to Schiff on Facebook questioning the legitimacy of his candidacy.

Minneapolis 2017: Campaign Digest

First, a public service announcement: City Council incumbents of varying degrees of bad are being challenged in Wards 1, 4, 5, 7, and 11.

DFL caucuses are April 4th. Consider donating, volunteering and--especially--caucusing for one of the challengers in these races. 2017 is your last chance to decide which candidates get to spend the next four years making decisions about police reform, transit, zoning, bikes, and whatever other local stuff you care about.

City government is the easiest level of politics for one person (you!) to have an impact. This is your moment!

Ward 1: Jillia PessendaZach Wefel (incumbent Kevin Reich)
Ward 4: Phillipe Cunningham, Stephanie Gasca (incumbent Barb Johnson)
Ward 5: Jeremiah Ellison (incumbent Blong Yang)
Ward 7: Janne Flisrand (incumbent Lisa Goodman)
Ward 11: Erica MauterJeremy Schroeder (incumbent John Quincy)

Like the above races, Ward 9 is also competitive, but Wedge LIVE is advising the civilian population to evacuate the area. Do not get involved in this conflict. For details, read the Ward 9 update.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Our Winter Sidewalks Are Broken

Snow emergencies are a big deal here in Minneapolis. You hear about it on the TV news. There’s an app–tens of thousands of people have installed it on both iPhone and Android (“avoid the cost and hassle of a ticket and tow…”). People are very interested in not having their cars towed, so people become very interested in moving their cars to designated areas.

The reason the City of Minneapolis makes a big fuss and puts so many residents at risk of serious personal cost, inconvenience and unhappiness is that we’ve collectively decided to make it a priority to keep our streets plowed and safe. Individually, people comply with the rules because their personal interests (money and property) have been aligned with public safety (plowed streets).