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.

With Goodman's serious advantages, it was big news when Saturday's Ward 7 Convention ended without a DFL endorsement for either candidate. Moments after the convention was adjourned, the Goodman campaign put out a strangely bitter Facebook post confirming the impression they were the day's big losers. I have to print the whole statement because it's amazing (it was deleted the next morning):
I had hoped to earn your endorsement today but I think and hope I understand why that didn't happen. The truth is that we're scared. All of us are. All progressives are, and frankly, so are most of the people in the world. 
We live in an age of incredible upheaval. The pace of change has accelerated way beyond anything we've experienced before and the direction of too much of that change is frightening. 
For progressives, we now live in a country ruled by a dangerous deranged, demagogue who is surrounded by a crazy mix of right-wing ideologues, princes of venture capital and an endless parade of recently retired generals who presided over the longest, least successful and still ongoing wars in our nation's history! 
And here we sit in Minneapolis. A truly wonderful progressive city surrounded by a state that almost voted for that President. 
These times aren't interesting, they're terrifying. 
But the way we overcome that fear is not by turning inward and directing all our energy into making sure we only elect people who we agree with 100% of the time. That can't work. 
Even here in progressive Minneapolis we already have to deal with a conservative, Republican state legislature and God forbid, potentially a GOP Governor. And now we're spending time, energy and money on applying the most stringent progressive policy litmus tests to people in reliably safe DFL districts and Wards in some kind of twisted purification ritual. 
We progressives have to get out of our own echo chambers and start working to spread the word and find compromise when we can. Instead of spending all of our time, money and energy beating up each other, let's direct our energy to helping to recruit and elect reasonable DFL state legislators in Anoka, Washington, Dakota, Scott, Carver and Wright counties so we can take control back NEXT year. That is where local, progressive energy should be focused. 
Look, I am disappointed that I did not get your endorsement today, but being part of this larger fight that goes well beyond the border of our ward is something I will not turn away from. 
So I will proudly go forward and seek to earn all of your votes in the general election this fall. Because, I will never give up this fight and frankly I know I'm damn good at this job, and so do you! So I look forward to continue working with you to make our Ward and our world a better place. 
Let's go to work!

My key takeaways:

  • Lisa Goodman believes your dissatisfaction with her is the irrational product of Trump-based fear.
  • Lisa Goodman believes elections in Minneapolis are inherently illegitimate. (This isn't democracy, it's a "twisted purification ritual.")
  • Lisa Goodman wants you to leave her alone and go campaign where it matters: specifically in Anoka, Washington, Dakota, Scott, Carver and Wright counties. (Begging the question: how much campaigning did Lisa Goodman do outside Hennepin County in 2016?)
  • "I know I'm damn good at this job, and so do you!" (Enough said!)
  • The jarringly dark third paragraph ending with a swipe against the "endless parade of recently retired generals" shows the wide gap between the reality of this neighborhood-level campaign and what Lisa Goodman is choosing to talk about.

If you disagree with Lisa Goodman on all the important things people care about right here in Minneapolis—from housing to transportation to policing—you're probably hoping she spends the rest of this campaign arguing (1) that local issues don't matter and (2) that one of the great tragedies to come from the 2016 election is that she ended up with an opponent.

Goodman Lies About Her Vote on Minimum Wage Study

During a Q&A session at the convention, Goodman lied about her past vote on a study of raising the minimum wage. First she portrayed herself as a longtime proponent of raising the wage. She then claimed that her 2015 vote against studying a $15 minimum wage was because "we already knew the answers." According to Goodman, she didn't want to waste money on a study when it was already obvious to her that raising the wage was the right thing to do.

But when you consider her past statements (on video), including her attacks on the credibility of the wage study's authors when it was published, it's clear that Lisa Goodman disagreed very much with any answers that indicated raising the wage was the right thing to do.

In 2015, Goodman said conducting study would serve no purpose because a wage increase was something "seven people don't want to vote forand the mayorright now." It's not conceivable that Lisa Goodman wasn't including herself among the seven "no" votes on the issue of a wage increase. As she said just last October: "When you are already paying $6 for a single scoop ice cream cone, how much more are people going to be willing to pay?"