Read What Alabama US Senate Candidate Roy Moore is Saying Now

We have the “privilege” of receiving information from highly distorted sources, but then the old adage is “know thy enemy”.  Here is the most recent fundraising appeal from Roy Moore. Read how strident it is since he has been cut-off from the more “establishment” Republican finance resources.

It reads like an appeal from Oral Roberts preventing God from taking him to heaven.  You will notice we removed the links because we really do not want anyone to follow them and contribute to this effort.

Judge Roy Moore

 

Breitbart Link to Roy Moore Article
Friend,

It’s sad but true. . .

According to sources, establishment Republicans are colluding with the Obama-Clinton Machine behind-the-scenes in a desperate effort to sabotage my campaign and keep me out of Washington.

Fake news reporter Chuck Todd of NBC even called out McConnell for attempting to sabotage my campaign — referring to the recent attacks as an effort “orchestrated” by Mitch McConnell and his cronies.

Apparently Mitch McConnell and the establishment GOP would rather elect a radical pro-abortion Democrat than a conservative Christian as the next U.S. Senator from Alabama.

I’ve been abandoned by Washington’s establishment Republicans with just four weeks left before Election Day.

I must be able to count on the support of God-fearing conservatives like you to help me defeat the forces of evil seeking to crush out and destroy our conservative movement — starting with me on December 12.

So will you stand with me at this critical moment by chipping in a generous donation to my campaign?

Banner Judge Roy Moore

The national DNC.

The Obama-Clinton Machine.

Billionaire George Soros and his army of radical left-wing foot soldiers.

And now Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and the establishment GOP — the same Republicans who attempted to sabotage Donald Trump’s campaign — are gunning for me with everything they’ve got.

Fortune Link to Roy Moore Article

It’s getting nasty.

And I’m it’s only going to get worse the closer it gets to Election Day.

So won’t you please stand with me at this critical moment by chipping in the maximum donation you can afford — whether it’s $2,000, $1,500, $1,000, $750, $500, $250, $150, $100, $75, $50, $35 or $25 — to help me fight back and defeat McConnell and the Obama-Clinton Machine on December 12?

The good news is, national Tea Party and conservative leaders across the country are rallying behind me and my campaign.

In fact, my good friend, Congressman Steve King of Iowa, slammed the gaggle of anti-Trump Republican Senators attempting to gut me and my campaign behind the scenes:

Paramount Link to Moore Article_1

But that’s not all.

The good people of Alabama are smarter than the liberal media and the GOP establishment.

They know Mitch McConnell and his cronies dropped nearly $30 MILLION to defeat me during our hard-fought primary campaign.

Paramount Link to Moore Article_2

But more importantly, voters understand the outcome of this election is about far more than Alabama.

The good people of Alabama know the outcome of this election could determine the future of our country.

And they’re rising up in droves and rallying behind me, my family and my campaign.

That’s why, if I can raise the resources to counter the filthy and disgusting attacks and get the truth out directly to voters across Alabama, I’m confident you and I can defeat McConnell and the Obama-Clinton Machine on December 12.

I need your support right now more than ever.

Stand with me at this critical moment by chipping in the maximum donation you can afford at once.

Thank you in advance for all you do!

Sincerely,

Roy Moore Signature

Judge Roy Moore

Banner Judge Roy Moore

Paid for by Judge Roy Moore

Frey Wins with Plurality

As expected the race in Minneapolis produced a plurality victor with Council Member (Ward 3) Jacob Frey (DFL) eventually receiving 44.69%. He was followed by Rep. Raymond Dehn (DFL-59A, Minneapolis) eventually had 33.46%. Incumbent Mayor Betsy Hodges (DFL) was dropped after the 4th ballot. When the total votes were cast and counted 22,835 votes were labeled as Exhausted and 21.85% of the voters on this ballot could have stayed home because their votes did not matter int he final outcome.

Here are the breakdowns.

5th Round (Hodges defeated)

Jacob Frey                           46,716   44.69%

Raymond Dehn                 34,971    33.46%

4th Round (Hoch defeated)

Jacob Frey                           39,368   37.66%

Raymond Dehn                 27,358    26.17%

Betsy Hodges                     26,875   25.71%

3rd Round (Levy-Pounds Defeated)

Jacob Frey                           29,480   28.20%

Raymond Dehn                 24,028   22.99%

Betsy Hodges                     23,511   22.49%

Tom Hoch                            22,754   21.77%

2nd Round (Al Flowers, Aswar Rahman, Captain Jack Sparrow, Charlie Gers, Christopher Robin Zimmerman, David John Wilson, David Rosenfield, Gregg A. Iverson, Ian Simpson, LA Nik, Ronald Lischeid, Theron Preston Washington, Troy Benjegerdes, UWI)

Jacob Frey                           26,750   25.69%

Raymond Dehn                 18,574   17.77%

Betsy Hodges                     19,467   18.62%

Tom Hoch                            20,912   20.01%

Nekima Levy-Pounds      16,189   15.49%

1st Round

Jacob Frey                           26,116   24.89%

Raymond Dehn                 18,101   17.32%

Betsy Hodges                     18,915   18.10%

Tom Hoch                            20,125   19.25%

Nekima Levy-Pounds        15,716   15.04%

In St Paul a Majority Result with a Minority People Ranking Their Vote. In Minneapolis Just the Opposite

In St Paul a Majority Result with a Minority People Ranking Their Vote, In Minneapolis Just the Opposite

The participation rate in Ranked Voting in St Paul shows less than 50% of the people used the system.  Yesterday, 54.36% of the voters did not rank their vote. The rejection of the opportunity shows the following:

Total voters on the          1st ballot                  61,641

2nd ballot              28,135                   45.64%

3rd ballot              20,454                   33.18%

4th ballot                9,909                   16.08%

5th ballot                5,447                   08.84%

6th ballot                3,539                     5.74%

In Minneapolis, the numbers were more robust.

Total voters on the          1st ballot               103,503

2nd ballot                91,513                 88.42%

3rd ballot                77,516                 74.89%

Carter Poised to Win

Melvin Carter III (DFL) said to the gathered throng of supporters, “We are standing on the intersection of St Paul’s past and future.”

With 94 out of 96 precincts reported. Carter leads with 31,264 for 51.03% over Pat Harris with 15,194 for 24.80%

MC3_Victory

Eyes on a City Council Race in the Zenith City

While national and state politicians are wound up over healthcare and gun laws, there’s a small, yet significant election getting the attention of social media patrons in Duluth.

Ryan Sistad, a 23-year-old project manager for a local union contractor, is running against current Duluth City Council President Joel Sipress, a six-year incumbent, for the 2nd District seat on the Duluth City Council. This is the first election where Sipress has had a challenger – he first selected by the City Council through a Ranked Choice method. This now seems odd, remember Duluth voters rejected Rank Choice Voting in 2015 by 75%.

Sistad entered the race late – filing within the last minutes of the final day – and without fanfare according to the Duluth News Tribune. Within a few weeks, he had put together a Facebook page and began drawing in an audience. In three short months, he has amassed more followers on his Facebook page than his opponent. And, according to a recently-released campaign finance report, his campaign outraised the incumbent in less than 3 months.

Sistad’s first Facebook post in early September states his intention of running a respectful campaign, focused on local issues. A quick peruse of his candidate page validates he has largely held-up his end of the bargain. While there are several questions raising issues related to his supporters or position, Sistad has repeatedly defended against disrespectful allegations and various inquiries relating to state and national issues.

This past weekend, Claire Kirch wife of Sipress, launched vicious remarks through social media regarding Sistad’s donors and the presumed intentions of his campaign, alleging he had been “bought by” his campaign donors. Over the course of the next several days, verbal attacks were shot across both bows, with rare, if any, interaction from the candidates themselves. A quick review of social media would demonstrate the Sipress campaign, or rather Sipress’ wife, had launched the majority of the social media attacks.

At the heart of the attack was a Sistad donor – successful local businessman, Brian Maki, of Lakehead Constructors. Lakehead Constructors, a regional union contractor, has a long legacy of working on the Iron Range and in Duluth. Ironically, Sipress’ campaign materials, he holds the DFL endorsement for the election, in spite of the fact he was a Green Party person in the past. While Sipress have the endorsement, there are few social posts connecting his campaign with the other local DFL endorsed candidates.

It’s impossible not to draw a connection to an event which unfolded in August. Sipress engaged in a heated private message conversation that went public. Sipress had choice words (F-Bomb) with a local elected official, Justin Perpich, relating to a local special interest group, Duluth for Clean Water, and the lack of required campaign finance disclosure. Sipress is a champion of the group and is one of the endorsed candidates. While subsequent online petition gathered more than 400 supporters calling for the resignation of Sipress as the City Council President ensued, the dust settled and life moved on in Duluth.

Duluth voters in the 2nd District – a large, diverse district – face a choice tomorrow. Vote for the incumbent – who’s views may either be his own self-proclaimed socialist views, his wife’s or those of the special interest group that endorses him. Or Sistad – the youthful, inexperienced candidate backed by the business community.

Soon the voters will decide who becomes the voice at the table for the small, seemingly insignificant District race in Duluth.

How Minneapolis Ward Five Should Take a Lesson from St Paul Ward One

In the 2015 Special Election in St Paul Ward One, there were three African American candidates two Hmong candidates. The result was the election of Dai Thao (DFL), and the main reason the seat shifted from being a traditional African-American seat held by Bill Wilson, Jerry Blakey, Debbie Montgomery, and Melvin Carter III was due to the community failing to come together.

But because of Ranked Voting, the African-American community remained split and did not consolidate in the end. They lost out to Thao because their Effective Vote was diminished and the voters who supported Montgomery and Johnny Howard didn’t vote for Noel Nix.

The same scenario happened in Minneapolis Ward Five in 2013 and the stage is set to occur again. The Incumbent Blong Yang (DFL) has three challengers from the African-American community, which is clearly the largest voting bloc in this Ward.

If the supporters of Jeremiah Ellison (DFL), Cathy Spann (DFL), and Raeisha Williams (DFL) fail to cast their votes for each of the other African American candidates Vang will win reelection. Based on the fact Ellison, like Carter III in St Paul, has family members already in office father Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN05) and Minneapolis School Board member Kim Ellison (DFL) their name is well known in the community. By all reports we have gathered in spite of the lack of experience Ellison can grow into the job.

All three camps should instruct their voters to rank all three and let the chips fail where they may, but at least it will be on one side of the table.

What Ranked Voting Actually Does

Political scientists are quick to remind people to “Beware the unintended consequences,” as will we. Here is little understanding of the ills of Ranked Choice Voting.

If you read articles explaining the process of Ranked Choice Voting and if it were so darn simple, why do people need to keep writing these public service articles explaining the process? Today in MinnPost, is a primer The lazy person’s guide to ranked-choice voting in Minneapolis and St. Paul and last week was the following story Has ranked-choice voting lived up to its promise in the Twin Cities?

We will say this now and to be clear, whatever the result in each contest Minneapolis or St Paul, the overall vote total will need to be reduced by the number of votes that are dropped from the ballot. Dropped from the ballot you say and we say yes. If a voter selects a candidate who does not come in either 1st or 2nd place as their final choice, their vote is effectively tossed aside. In Minneapolis, it is called an Exhausted Vote and in St Paul, the term is an Unassigned Vote.

The basic gist is these people need not have even shown up to vote and they played no role in the final outcome so we call on people, to be honest, and report the “Effective Vote.” Take the first-round vote total subtract the votes that didn’t matter in the end and report the result. Because this is the truth.

This will likely mean there is no majority victor in either city and the size of the voter turnout is also effectively reduced.

Ramsey County Elections Director Joe Mansky must be the eternal optimist. He is quoted in the Pioneer Press expecting 58,000 voters when the last two mayoral elections have shown 31,175 in 2013 (With Ranked Voting) and 34, 411 in 2009 (Without Ranked Voting).

He may be going back to the yesteryears of contested elections in St Paul. When we look at the Wayback machine we see the following. The 2001 St Paul Mayoral open seat contest between Randy Kelly (DFL) and Jay Benanav (DFL) the vote total was 59,235. In the 2005 St Paul Mayoral Contest between Randy Kelly (DFL) incumbent and challenger Chris Coleman, the vote total was 59,154.

We inquired why Mansky would expect such a dramatic result and learned his numbers are 25% of the eligible voters, not the registered voters. This is something we would expect as well if it were a hard-fought two-person contest. Where each side defines its candidate and the other side seeks to differentiate their candidate from the opponent.

While the population of the Capitol City has increased by a significant margin, the number of registered voters have remained virtually flat. Today, there are 156,535 pre-registered voters with the same day still occurring. In 2015, there were 151,966 registered voters with 1290 same day, 2013, 156,231 registered voters of which 1280 registered the same day, and in 2011 156,482 with 1513 same day.

As we have said we expect between a 28.7 to a 26.8% turnout of the registered voters which will result in a total vote of between 45-42,000 voters. Again, if the numbers are higher than the Effective Voters must be taken into account.

Carter Response to Police Report & Building a Better St Paul Campaign

Here is the response from the Carter Campaign regarding our release of a portion of the police reports on the burglary of former City Council Member Melvin Carter III’s (DFL) home and a mailing by the Building a Better St Paul Campaign which arrived today.

Members of the press

Today, a mail piece was delivered to Saint Paul residents that attempts to tie Melvin and his family to unrelated violent crimes committed citywide. This mail piece was sent by Building a Better St Paul, an Independent Expenditure committee established to benefit Pat Harris and funded chiefly by the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce and the Saint Paul Police Federation.

Earlier this afternoon, excerpts of the police report detailing Melvin’s break-in were posted online. This police report is sealed pending the prosecution of charges and is not publicly available.

The following is a statement, attributable to me, in regards to these incidents.

In addition, we wanted to be sure and provide you with a quote from Melvin if you wanted it. To that end, please find attached an audio recording of Melvin’s comments from a meet and greet yesterday evening. Please feel free to reach out with any further questions you have.

“Yesterday, the Saint Paul Police Federation claimed to regret that their offensive letter to the Carter family caused harm. That disingenuous rhetoric has already been proven false.

“These repeated attacks show clearly that our police union has determined that preserving ‘business as usual’ isn’t possible with Melvin in City Hall – and they’re right. The repeated attacks on a family that has been victim to a crime demonstrate again the systemic racism built into police culture across America.

“The Saint Paul Police Federation’s endorsement and support, along with their repeated attacks, must be denounced by every candidate in this race – particularly by Pat Harris, who has touted and embraced their endorsement. This kind of politics has no place in our city.”

 

Best,

Emily

Here is an audio file of Carter’s comments at a recent event.

bldg_better_st_paul_S2 (002)

bldg_better_st_paul_S1 (001)

2017 St Paul Mayoral Race: The Questions Over Carter’s Guns Continues

We were interested to read the apologies from former City Council Member (Ward Three) Pat Harris (DFL) and St Paul Federation President Dave Titus on Wednesday in the Pioneer Press online after the original letter we first ran on Tuesday. https://checksandbalances.com/2017/10/24/police-federation-sends-carter-a-demand-letter/

Especially, since we continue to hear questions about the consistency of former City Council Member (Ward One) Melvin Carter III’s (DFL) statements contained in the police report on the incident and the follow-up afterward. The issue in question is whether or not Carter purchased one of the firearms at Bill’s Gun Shop in Hudson, WI. Carter has said he received both guns from his father in MPR and Pioneer Press stories.  While his critics refer to a different version in the police reports.

MC3_Police Report_Supplemental_Redacted

MC3_Police Report_Supplemental_1_Redacted

We contacted the Carter Campaign and they referred us to their original statement, first published here.  https://checksandbalances.com/2017/10/24/carter-campaign-releases-statement-on-the-st-paul-police-federation-letter/

There are many opinions about this issue and they are regularly discussed on the St Paul Issues Forum, but beware some of the comments occurring there are clearly uninformed.  http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/stpaul-issues

Impact of a Political Letter

Many attribute the election of College Professor Paul Wellstone (D) to the US Senate was the “Jewish Letter” sent out by the US Senator Rudy Boschwitz’s (R-MN) reelection campaign in 1990. The question is will the “Gun Letter” be a determinative factor in the election of the mayor of St Paul?

Since its release, both former City Council Member (Ward Three) Pat Harris (DFL) and the initiator Dave Titus, President of the St Paul Police Federation have apologized for any revictimization of the target former City Council Member (Ward One) Melvin Carter III (DFL).

The charging of the atmosphere may not have been the intent of the letter, but the direct result is that fact. The theft of two handguns from the home of Carter from a locked box and their serial numbers are the focus of the letter. We understand the paperwork for the guns was contained in the same box from which a few items have been recovered including one of Carter’s daughter’s baby teeth. Looks like the cat’s out of the bag on the tooth fairy.

It shows other things of value were contained in the box.

Anyone who has experienced property theft from their home knows the feeling of being violated and helpless. The backlash from the letter is occurring and impressions of the letter with others is forming. It’s literally a double-edged sword and depending on one’s perspective.

We are waiting to see what other activities will occur, if any, with this issue and twelve days left in the campaign.

Number of Early Voters in the Two Municipal Races

Early voting in Minneapolis is occurring at a faster pace than in St Paul. As of yesterday, two-weeks before the General Election Minneapolis mailed out 2782 ballots, received 866 mailed ballots, 3843 people have voted in person and 154 have cast ballots in a category named other, which is likely standard Absentee ballots for a grand total of 4771. There were 68 ballots which were rejected.

In St Paul, there have been 535 in-person and 708 by mail for a total of 1243.

We are unclear if this is an indication of interest in the contests or lack thereof.

Campaign Finance Two-Week Reports for the 2017 St Paul Mayoral Race

Here are the reports for the various campaigns. We will delve deeper into these reports later.

Melvin Carter III (DFL)

Raised this report            127,494.74

Raised Cumulatively       392,137.80

Spent this report                71,296.12

Spent Cumulatively         283,296.21

Money On-Hand              108,841.59

Elizabeth Dickinson (GR)

Raised this report               5,063.00

Raised Cumulatively        20,806.96

Spent this report                 9,396.93

Spent Cumulatively         17,090.86

Money On-Hand                 3,716.10

 

Tom Goldstein (DFL)

Raised this report                  794.00

Raised Cumulatively        20,747.93

Spent this report                   824.96

Spent Cumulatively         15,819.48

Money On-Hand                4,928.45

 

Pat Harris (DFL)

Raised this report            133,842.32

Raised Cumulatively       555,292.19

Spent this report              179,253.85

Spent Cumulatively         347,584.58

Money On-Hand                 73,865.29

 

Tim Holden (R)                  Not available at the time of this story

Raised this report

Raised Cumulatively

Spent this report

Spent Cumulatively

Money On-Hand

Carter Campaign Releases Statement on the St Paul Police Federation Letter

Members of the press –

Today the Carter campaign received a letter from the Saint Paul Police Federation.

The following is a statement on that letter from campaign manager Emily Weber:

The letter we received from the Saint Paul Police Federation demonstrates the way people of color are presumed guilty by police every day in our city.

The idea that a victim of a crime could become the accused based solely on the color of their skin is exactly why police culture needs to change, and it’s why our campaign has proposed a police reform plan to rebuild trust in our community. This shameful attack exemplifies why that reform is so critical.

We call on the other candidates in this race – especially Pat Harris, who has been endorsed by the Saint Paul Police Federation – to condemn this racist attack for what it is, and to reject the Federation’s methods and endorsement.”

As always, reach out if you have any questions.

Best,
Caroline Burns

St Paul Municipal Race 2017, Now the Fun Begins

The final two-week campaign finance reports are due today and we will see how much money is collected, how much spent and how much remains on-hand, or will we. No, we will not. The amount of money to be spent in this last period will determine the race. The bevy of mailings, advertisements, and third-party expenditures will begin in earnest.

If any negative attacks are to occur they will start now, when they will be harder to identify, harder to combat and harder to diminish the adverse impact. The question is who will do the dirty work.

What will be the October Surprise?

We know there are some who want the issue of the guns stolen from former City Council Member (Ward One) Melvin Carter III (DFL) home to be discussed.   (The conversation speculates on when the serial numbers were filed off, before or after the crime, which is a convenient supposition.) Correction: This sentence is an ongoing rumor in circulation, but not accurate the focus is more so why Carter will not release the serial numbers. The chain of ownership of said guns also is being questioned, but unless someone comes forward with specific, legitimate knowledge on this issue, if it is an issue, it will likely remain in limbo.

Update: We have learned the St Paul Police Federation is likely to be the source of information.

We know other media sources have been approached with this and other issues question the veracity of the “evidence” in this situation and are unwilling advance a specific point which would clearly benefit former City Council Member (Ward Three) Pat Harris (DFL), who has advanced an anti-crime initiative seeking to hire 50 new Cops. We will see if media source bites.

The reports are due at noon and we will try to be on top of their release.

A Last-Minute Tacit Endorsement, of Sorts?

An interesting discussion is underway about the candidate dubbed the transactional politician during the “bribery investigation” current City Council Member (Ward One) Dai Thao (DFL). The speculation is Thao will suggest to his voters that they select Harris as their 2nd Choice, and the implied idea is Harris voters would choose Thao as their 2nd Choice. Now, based on Ranked Voting only the candidate who is dropped from the ballot will have their voters 2nd Choices revealed. This is an opportunistic transaction for Thao, who will still be a seated Council Member after the election.

This type of maneuver could bring Thao into a more favorable position on the council and solidify a 4-3 majority, but one with the mayor in the minority’s corner.

This is not outside the realm of possibilities, we will remind our dedicated readers the Harris and Thao colluded during the St Paul DFL City Endorsing Convention on the rules and tried to facilitate a “No Endorsement” strategy. They lost the rules fight but there was not an endorsement because they ran out the clock so in the end, they won.

Now this may be perceived as a desperate move, and we know Thao has reached out to the Elizabeth Dickinson campaign (GR), but she declined to meet with him, so the plausibility of some sort of deal being struck is not as farfetched as it may seem. Call it Shenanigan’s, but this was once an Irish town.

As we try to access the value of Thao 2nd Choices votes we are trying to determine two factors, the overall size of the voting universe and the size of the votes this could impact. The largest block of Hmong voters in St Paul reside in Senate District 67. In 2012, Fong Hawj (DFL) secured 2142 votes against Robert Humphrey’s (DFL) 1897 and Tom Dimond’s (DFL) 806. Most, believe the greatest majority of Hawj’s support were Hmong votes. Looking at Thao’s own support in his Special Election victory in 2013, he received 1347 votes.

Granted, there are more Hmong voters in St Paul than these 3489 because not all Hmong voters live in these two areas of St Paul and younger Hmong have come of age in the last 5 years and it is not only Hmong voters who will support Thao. But if we view the available size of the population and factor in population increase, and Thao’s progressive stance, his effective voting bloc may be around 5-7000 votes.

This could be a key voting bloc for Harris especially is the overall turnout is low. If the universe is as we expect between 42-45,000 then Thao may be able to influence as many as 9.5-15.5% of the electorate. If the race is tight between Harris and former City Council Member (Ward One) Melvin Carter III (DFL) this could play a significant role.

Again, the question is what is needed and will it be enough.  Voters make their decisions for many reasons at the ballot box and the call for support from one politician to another may not be the preeminent factor.

It just proves that there are more issues contained in a Ranked Voting system then its supporters would like people to know.    

Pioneer Press Endorses Harris

On Sunday, the Capitol City’s daily newspaper swung its support to former City Council member (Ward Three) Pat Harris (DFL). The paper noted his depth of experience and commitment to the community of St Paul. The ringing endorsement said, “Our endorsement goes to former City Council Member Pat Harris, whose background in both the public and private sectors — a dozen years on the city council and more than 15 as a public-finance professional — equips him distinctly to meet the challenges of a changing city.”

Read the endorsement in its entirety. http://www.twincities.com/2017/10/15/editorial-for-st-paul-mayor-pat-harris/

St Paul Mayoral Race 2017 Continued

The most interesting development in the St Paul mayoral race this week was the release of former City Council member (Ward Three) Pat Harris’ (DFL) “Safe St Paul” plan for increasing police by 50 FTEs during his four years in office. The cost of such a program would be about $7.5 million and there’s not any direction on where that would come out of the budget. When it was released on Monday, the other candidates questioned the reason for the proposal and where the money would come from.

This proposal reinforces the perception of Harris being the more conservative candidate. A law and order appeal strikes a chord with older and more conservative voters. As we have scrutinized the support base of the Harris campaign we can see direct support from many prominent Republican contributors.

Harris has received financial support from 2014 Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mike McFadden, Minneapolis Police Union President Bob Kroll, which was later returned and Republican spokesperson for Governor Tim Pawlenty Brian McClung, Republican political operatives Mike Zipko, Carl Kuhl, Patrick Connolly and former Republican legislator now lobbyist Joel Carlson.

If the strategy of the Harris campaign is to cultivate the voters on the right and there may not be enough votes on that side of the formula to win the day. The only two candidates appealing to the right are Harris and Tim Holden (R). Since the winnowing of the field will take place during the tabulations of RCV Harris may be in the uncomfortable position of holding the conservative spot but not generating many second-choice votes. Because if candidates drop as we anticipate then Holden votes move to Harris but Holden only carried 4978 votes in 2013 against Mayor Chris Coleman (DFL) and we expect a lower percentage this election. If the universe of voters is less than 45,000, as we believe, the bump Harris gets will be no more than 10 or 11%.

While, on the left side of the formula are former City Council Member Melvin Carter III (DFL), Elizabeth Dickinson (GR), current Council member (Ward One) Dai Thao (DFL), and Tom Goldstein (DFL).

When Goldstein‘s votes are reallocated, we doubt they will go to Harris. There is a possibility of some of the Thao votes, especially members of the Hmong Chamber of Commerce may move to Harris, but the big question is how large is that block of votes. We are quite assured when Dickinson’s votes are re-distributed we are highly doubtful those votes will land with Harris.

So while Harris has consolidated his base, in a system where base plus voting seems to be the rule, he may not have many opportunities for second choice votes to move in his direction.

St Paul Positioned to Have the Most Transparent Election in State History

There is one benefit of the Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) system and that is the improved quality of voting machines purchased by Ramsey County in 2015. These new machines will be taking a picture of every ballot cast in the St Paul elections and later will be made available to the public on the Ramsey County website.

This means we will finally know how everyone in St Paul voted and we will see if voters used the RCV system correctly, or if the participated in casting multiple ballots at all. Anecdotally, only about 30% of the electorate casts more than one ballot.

Dickinson Goes Old School

St Paul Mayoral candidate Elizabeth Dickinson (GR) has resurrected an old campaign mechanism. She may have gotten the idea from the old campaigner Roy Magnuson. They are calling the piece the “Dickinson Dispatch” in it are a series of articles intended to introduce Dickinson to the voters of St Paul. They are literature dropping 50,000 pieces from now until the end of the campaign.

Dickinson Dispatch

Update on the St Paul Mayoral Election 2017


Voters in St Paul are receiving additional information in the St Paul Mayoral race from an Independent Expenditure group called Building a Better St Paul. Since the Supreme Court ruling on Citizen’s United v. FEC (2010) political campaigns have been supported and opposed by outside campaign groups.

Former Rep. Brian Bergson (DFL-Champlin) who has lived in St Paul for over 20 years, is listed as the Chair and Secretary/Treasurer. The campaign has raised a good deal of money. In its 8-week pre-election the political committee reports receiving $53,600.00, spent $42.652.31 and has a balance of $10,652.32.

So far, the Building a Better St Paul committee has mailed out four literature pieces with favorable information supporting former City Council Member (Ward One) Pat Harris. (DFL). Because this is an independent group it is prohibited from coordinating with the Harris Campaign, but the themes and tenor of the messages highlight attributes the Harris campaign advances itself.

The larger campaign contributions are:

St Paul Police Foundation                           $10,000.00

St Paul Chamber of Commerce                  $10,000.00

Teamsters Local 120                                     $10,000.00

St Paul Police Federation                             $10,000.00

Stephanie Laitala (Minneapolis Resident) $5,000.00

We are expecting the more negative, targeted efforts to differentiate Harris from the field of nine other candidates will occur are the last campaign finance report is filed on October 24th.

Here is a link to the full report.

Stay tuned.

St Paul Voters Are Not Being Served Well This Election

We have been strong in our criticism of Ranked Choice Voting, and our experience in the way voters are being informed this election is a prime example of the problems with the system. Saint Paul voters are left with little information other than candidates literature when making their determinations for the next mayor in November.

The main reasons because of a large number of candidates (10), and the structure of the forums based on standards from the League of Women Voters (LWV). The LWV in its attempt to be fair and impartial does a serious disservice to the voters.  By incorporating all the candidate’s voices, is laudable as a goal, practically it does not provide the citizenry a good quality understanding of the positions of the various candidates. We have attended two separate events one at the Mount Zion Temple and the Halle Q Brown Center during the last week and came away with the same conclusion. There are too many people to hear from.

The LWV produced a 2017 Saint Paul Voter Guide, but it only exists as a handout and is not available on their website.

We understand, there will be other forums that will be structured in a “Speed Dating” format where the candidates will move from one table to the next engaging with the participants. Sorry, but selecting a mayor is not like looking for a date, that is a trite pursuit and the affairs of the Capitol City warrant far more consideration than a novelty.

Prior to attending these forums, we expected them to distinctively different, because of the locations of the discussion, but sadly they were similar. We came hoping for a robust conversation about the major issue facing the city and received less than a Cliff notes version of any one candidate’s thoughts.

At Mount Zion Temple, the audience mainly consisted of middle-aged to elderly Caucasians with a spattering of younger people most involved with one or another campaign. We were not surprised when the only four persons of color were the three candidates former City Council Member Ward 0ne Melvin Carter III (DFL), City Council Member Ward 0ne Dai Thao (DFL), Trahern Crews and one Hispanic gentleman providing technical support.

We anticipated this event to be more of a conservative affair because of the nature of the sponsors Summit Hill Neighborhood Association and the Grand Avenue Chamber of Commerce. 9 of the 10 candidates were present except for Chris Holbrook and perennial gadfly candidate Sharon Anderson arrived late.

Each event was the same the candidates were given a short one-minute response to questions asked by the moderator and the moderator started with a different person each time based on LWV rules. The result was no in-depth discussion about any topic but just a cursory statement made by each of the candidates.

The problem is other than comedic value certain candidates being on the stage provided more of a distraction instead of useful information. Each time Anderson spoke it resulted in either laughter or groans. Again, if there were a primary that had taken place prior to this time the field would we be without it down to two candidates and the voters of Saint Paul would have an opportunity to understand the differences between the two candidates and whom they thought best capable representing the city.

As we have previously discussed, we have broken the field of candidates into 3 tiers and will only discuss issue of substance from thought people. We will not waste your time discussing others.

On Tuesday night, at Mount Zion Temple, the candidates provided their standard stump speech which we’ve have heard throughout the summer. Former City Council Member (Ward One) Melvin Carter III (DFL) discussed his being a fourth-generation St Paulite whose grandfather was a janitor in St. Paul public schools and he’s a product of the Rondo neighborhood.

Tim Holden (I) criticized the mayor and the City Council for pushing through issues without citizen support.

Former City Council Member (Ward Three) Pat Harris (DFL) stated he is also a fourth-generation St Paulite emphasizing that he is been working all his public life to make the city better by creating a library committee which resulted in the Rondo library and the Arlington Heights library. He’s a public finance professional with a bold jobs program.

Former School Board Member Tom Goldstein (DFL) discussed the need for improvements and infrastructure affordable housing pre-kindergarten education rec centers libraries and parks focusing on job-creating not subsidizing stadiums and other nonessential building projects as priorities.

Current, City Council Member (Ward One) Dai Thao (DFL) due to his late arrive was given an opportunity to state his opening remarks and said, he’s a short Asian liberal IT professional who has the clout to succeed and keep meters off of Grand Avenue not supporting the Ford site because he respects the people who live there.

Elizabeth Dickinson (GR) quickly stated she’s the Green party candidate with experience working with the Minnesota aids project and that the main difference she has from the guys is that she’s running to bring green jobs to Saint Paul.

In the limited amount of time, they covered some cursory issues including:

$15 minimum wage.

Dickinson was in support feeling that property is disproportionate amongst people of color and it does not put businesses out of business

Harris also supports a $15 minimum wage stating that he supported it as a member of the Metropolitan Airport Commission when they were pushing for a $15 minimum wage for baggage handlers. He wants to protect against job loss inflation in managing taxes and regulation.

Thao didn’t answer the question, he waffled. He says he wants to invite businesses to the table but seems to have changed his opinion on the minimum wage which as we understand has been a point of contention between him and the mung Chamber of Commerce.

Carter emphasized being the first candidate to have stated his favorable position for the $15 minimum wage. He believes it’s an investment in creating a stable family and neighborhood and providing better opportunities for education.

Holden supports it in a patchwork fashion for certain businesses that can afford it agrees that it will fix the party problem and promote additiona commerce, but discussed the fact that some businesses cannot handle a $15 minimum wage.

Goldstein supports the effort to get everyone to a $15 minimum wage your plugs targets movement towards a $15 minimum wage but also believes that a $15 minimum wage is not adequate unless you also have a healthcare system in place.

Racial Equity

Holden believes it’s all about respect and that people need to listen to one another.

Goldstein sees it as an opportunity if you don’t have housing and jobs in low-income neighborhoods everything should be like Highland Park. He believes that solar jobs are one of the answers.

Harris also sees it as an opportunity started to discuss his bald jobs program with access to capital in Summit University and on the east side of St. Paul targeting schools with more dollars in the classroom and I focus on jobs-education housing.

Carter wants to eliminate racial discrimination and it’s all involved in the same goals which are to improve education and jobs.

Thao stressed the fact that he is an example of somebody who has experienced racial inequities as an immigrant coming to this country as a child and living in subsidized housing.

Dickinson supports in hiring 40% people of color for city jobs and supports the forthcoming Bigelow foundation recommendations.

During one moment in the forum a question was asked about the Amazon contest for various cities to come forward with proposals to encourage the siting of the second corporate headquarters. As a device, they suggested that Amazon President Jeff Bezos was in the audience and what would you say to him.

Thao missed the question altogether Holden talked about how if we could bring Amazon here it might help fill the downtown.

Goldstein remarked flippantly asking “are you lost” and then went on to saying that the Ford plant site would have been a great distribution spot not Shakopee and stressed the need to negotiate across the table.

Harris said that he would stress education the private colleges and university of Minnesota in addition to transit and then also discussed the Ford site and then said well you could stop over to my house will have some food and make some things happen.

Carter said we should look at all other cities and compare are we looking for a 21st-century transportation system navigation system of our schools and our colleges and in comparison Saint Paul comes out on top.

Spending Cuts

Carter stressed that the budget is a values document and we should focus on expanding our cities opportunities.

Harris discussed efficiencies general fund financing Public Safety and restructuring the cities’ debt. Recommending that you run the city like a business.

Goldstein called for the hiring of an independent city auditor and how the city could save $21 million if it weren’t for obligations based on tax increment financing.

Dickinson agreed with Harris regarding restructuring the debt. She also agreed with Goldstein on the tax increment financing issues and called for a freezing of senior’s property taxes where their obligation would be for filled after they leave their home. Meaning creating a specific debt that is tied to that property from his past residents.

Holden said that there are 12 departments they need to be looked at and there needs to be a financial audit.

Thao stressed his work in IT. Believes that through data analysis of cell phone records computer logs and other mechanisms that efficiency and accountability can be established so that we would know which employees are looking at Facebook on city computers. He supports the PILOT program or PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) to meet funding and calls for a public audit.

On Schools

Harris calls for more money to the schools immediately. Stressing that he has a program that will bring money into the school, but due to lack of time had no ability to impart that knowledge to the audience.

Carter highlights his role in the creation of Saint Paul promise neighborhood when he was a City Council member. Calls for more money for early childhood education, after-school and summer programs. Additionally, he would like to have a jobs program for students and employers with labor unions.

Goldstein stressed the fact that he’s the only one running for mayor who has been a school board member. He called on people in the room not to demonize schools. He called for a citywide commitment to education by establishing a strong higher education tie as is in place with Hamline University.

Dickinson pointed out that she’s the only one who is been a public-school teacher.

Thao discussed test scores have fallen for the last five years and that the curriculum needs to reflect the values of the community. He also called for all day pre-K.

Holden discussed the fact that the main issue in public schools is safety.

In each of their closing statements day again highlighted the same points that they did in their opening and there wasn’t much new information communicated.

On Wednesday at the Halle Q Brown Center. The evening started without Thao in attendance because he was in a council meeting about the Ford plant

.As we surveyed the audience in the highest minority district in the city only a 1/3 of the people by our account, were persons of color.

Once again, the openings were the same as we’d seen the day before the questions opened with the issue of racial disparities.

Carter emphasized Minnesota leads the nation in racial disparities.

Dickinson said that her program for solar on schools would help hire people and minority communities for solar installation jobs.

Harris emphasized jobs and education and fixing racial disparities based on a shift in the investment portfolio of the city.

On Schools

Carter again discussed his role in the creation of the St. Paul promise neighborhood.

Dickinson again pointed out she’s a former schoolteacher and called for an education based on restorative justice.

Goldstein stressed the need for partnerships between higher education systems and the schools.

Upon his arrival, Thao talked about the education gap and it’s connected to an economic gap in the need for role modeling of teachers that look like the community they are teaching.

On Public Safety

Dickinson discussed being on it a couple of ride-alongs emphasizing the only 2/10 of 1% of requiring the use of force.

Goldstein was critical of the fact the only 16% of the police force lives in St. Paul. And discussed incentives that could be used to encourage cops to live in the community they police.

Harris called for better training for the police force and that they should reflect the communities they police. He said that police need to be out in the neighborhood for community events not just for law-enforcement.

Thao discussed his role in helping remove the two officers off the civilian review board. And stated his support for the use of body cams.

Carter said as a son of a police officer he understands law enforcement. And said that when he turned 16 years old and began to drive he met a whole lot more police officers.

He called for hiring people that reflect their communities. An easier method for filing complaints. The need for crisis counselors. And a change in the use of force policy.

Biking and walking paths

Dickinson supports the bike plan and Grand Rounds. She said that we need to respect small businesses and provide support responses when there’s a lot of parking.

Goldstein believes that there should be a effort to build consensus on biking and proposed any need for a more commonsense solution.

Harris supports complete streets and walkable city is a livable city in a breakable city is a livable city.

Thao supports the bike plan and got a great laugh when you said I look funny on a bicycle because I can’t reach the pedals. He is an advocate for the stop for me campaign.

Carter discussed the need to discuss a sample of where we would like to be versus where we used to be an identified biking is an issue but it should not be a conflict between bikes versus cars and that we should seek the type of St. Paul that we want to live in.

Though this article may seem long there truly isn’t much information that differentiates one candidate from the others, except our tiered structure.

Thao Clear of Bribery Charges

Ward One City Council Member and mayoral candidate Dai Thao (DFL) has had the dark cloud removed from his campaign. Yesterday, he was cleared, as we have expected all along, of the allegations of soliciting a bribe, by the Scott County Prosecutor’s office.  Deputy Chief Attorney Neil Nelson said, “After analyzing the facts and applicable law, we believe there is insufficient information on which to prosecute,” in his letter to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Scott County also did the same for Thao former campaign manager Angela Marlowe.

Now, we expect things will get interesting in the mayoral campaign because the Thao campaign has been silently blaming the Carter campaign for the release of the information to Fox 9 investigative reporter Tom Lyden.   

St Paul Campaign Finance Reports 2017

The campaign finance reports for the St Paul Mayoral race were due today at 12:00 pm. As of this report, we are posting the information available from the Ramsey County Election’s website. We were on-hand at the office right before it closed and this is the only information available at this moment.

Both former City Council member (Ward Three) Pat Harris campaign and the former City Council member (Ward One) Melvin Carter III raised over $200K. Harris raised $286,957.55, spent $168,310.73 and has $119,296.82 on hand.  Carter raised $264,643.06, spent $212,000.09 and has $52,642.97 on hand.

One interesting feature of the Harris report is the lack of due diligence. In many instances, there is obvious information lacking from contributors. Many times, the report fails to list the occupation of the contributor and instead says “Best Efforts.” Now it seems someone on the campaign should know the occupation of Mike Harris, brother of candidate Harris and not list Best Efforts. Also, anyone in St Paul knows Bruce Larsen “the Kaiser” now deceased, who was written up in the Pioneer Press as the owner of Equity Services of St Paul.    Additionally, the second contribution from former Council Member Dave Thune should have the same information as the first contribution and not list Best Efforts. Joel Carlson is a Lobbyist and a quick Google search will bring up his Campaign Finance registration, they do have the number, it’s clear he is self-employed, but if it is hard to figure out there is a phone number to call. This It is just sloppy work.

We have listed the amounts available for the top two candidate tiers. We will update the list as information becomes available.

 Melvin Carter III

Contributions 8-week report       $112,273.06

Expenditures                                  $194,528.54

 

Contributions totals to date         $264,643.06

Expenditures                                  $212,000.09

Account balance                              $52,642.97

 

Elizabeth Dickinson

Contributions 8-week report           $9,899.96

Expenditures                                      $7,608.63

 

Contributions totals to date           $12,813.96

Expenditures                                    $14,653.02

Account balance                                $7,668.76

 

Tom Goldstein

Contributions 8-week report       $13,065.40

Expenditures                                  $13,041.72

 

Contributions totals to date        $19,953,93

Expenditures                                  $14,994.52

Account balance                               $4559,91

 

Pat Harris

Contributions 8-week report   $233,057.55

Expenditures                              $167,802.95

 

Contributions totals to date    $286,957.55

Expenditures                             $168,310.73

Account balance                        $119,296.82

 

Dai Thao                                       

Contributions 8-week report    $142,596.78

Expenditures                                 $71,219.67

 

Contributions totals to date     $171,541.77

Expenditures                                $74,079.10

Account balance                          $97,462.67

 

Tim Holden                               (Report Unavailable)    

Contributions 8-week report   ???

Expenditures                              ???

 

Contributions totals to date        ???

Expenditures                                  ???

Account balance                            ???

A Supreme Decision

If the State Supreme Court decides to support Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) in his powers as prescribed in the Minnesota Constitution, they will be acting as strict constructionists. If they side with the legislature they will be acting as judicial activists. The language of the state constitution is clear the Governor can line-item-veto any legislative expenditure.

Additionally, the state legislature impinges itself by sending the governor a budget, with the funding for the legislative branch included. In Washington, DC, the Congress sends the President a Budget Resolution, which he is not able to act upon, but is informed by. If the legislature were to do the same then the House and Senate would be funded as it is spelled out in the state Constitution.

This means the House drafts its resolution and the Senate drafts its own. Then the Governor is not able to take any action against legislative funding. Additionally, the Legislature could be vindictive and not budget any money for the various departments, commissions or boards overseen by the governor. Since the governor doesn’t have the ability to appropriate money then only his salary would be funded.

Of course, the legislature could pass a constitutional amendment and change the appropriations process if it were to pass in a plebiscite, which the governor lacks any role in.

If the Court is concerned about judicial independence they too should petition the legislature for a budget resolution, but then the judiciary would be solely dependent on the legislature for funding.

We will watch this issue closely to see if the judiciary is acting in the state’s interest or in self-preservation mode.

Minneapolis & St Paul Mayoral Races are Only Smiles and Profiles.

The problem with Ranked Choice Voting is the lack of differentiation between the candidates. The fact each candidate is seeking to be the 2nd choice for voters, after their 1st choice is no longer in the field, is only available if the voter selected someone who fails to finish first or second. This means the people who pick less able candidate with their first choice, show a lack of judgement and they get another shot at making a better choice with their second, third or in the case of St Paul up to sixth choice.

This exercise is a social experiment and not a system where the collective will of the electorate is easily obtained. Sure, voters may see the system as simple to use, who has problems filling in a blank oval on a ballot, and doing so more than once, but the problem is it doesn’t require voters to be discerning and make a solitary choice as to who they want to lead.

Politics is not a participation sport where everyone gets a medal for playing, it is not a beer tasting competition where collectively beer of the day is selected and given a trophy, it is far more important than this form of a trite exercise.

In St Paul, the State Supreme Court ruled against the collection of Right-of-Way fees intended to pay for infrastructure costs such as street maintenance. This caused a significant gap in the city’s funding sources. Now, the Citizen’s League is set to promote the idea of PILOT funding (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) again a term known in the State Tax Committees as PILT Funding, but it will not affect the 2018 budget.

There are significant issues to address in both Minneapolis and St Paul. The number of shootings by police, and between citizen’s needs to be addressed. The role of law enforcement and cops getting out of their cars is always a good idea, and in the case of Minneapolis, Mayoral candidate and Ward 3 City Council member Jacob Frey (DFL) has a worthy idea when he is interested in incentives to get cops to live in the city they work for are admirable. Again, the State Supreme Court ruled against the interests of city residents when they found this idea to be unconstitutional.

The campaign activities in both communities has been nearly non-existent. Now that the State Fair has ended the campaigns will start in earnest. The campaign finance reports in St Paul are due on September 12th and we will see who leads in the “Money Primary.”

There are nice smiley photographs in neighborhood newspapers, with a couple of paragraphs about each candidate and the most signs we have seen are expressing pro/con positions on the Ford Plant Redevelopment Plan.

This is a sleeper election to date unless something breaks to stir things up.

We are wondering if the BCA will make its report on Mayoral Candidate and Ward 1 City Council Member Dai Thao (DFL) extortion charges before the Election Day on November 7th? If not Thao campaign may feel the same impact as the Hillary Clinton (D) campaign did from FBI Director James Comey. Since Angela Marlowe was cleared of any wrong-doing one would expect the same for Thao.

The various third-party organizations have selected their candidates and we expect the volume of “negative” claims will come from that direction.

The Final Passage of Rick Stafford

We learned of the passage of Rick Stafford as many of us now do, on Facebook. The man who was small in stature had a significant impact on party politics both here in Minnesota DFL and at the DNC. He was the first openly gay DFL Party Chair, DNC National Committeeman, and was the chair of the DNC LGBT Caucus.

Stafford was not a single-issue voter, he supported a range of issues, with the primary focus on what was best for the DFL Party. His enduring nature was fighting the hard fight, but still, maintaining a relationship with his opponent, and then going to have a cigarette. Many people will be sad when they delete his number from their cell phone.

He has been instrumental in drafting the National Delegate Selection Plan for our state for the last 30 plus years and was an expert on parliamentary procedure and DFL Party Rules. To quote Stafford “Those who write the rules, Rule.”

A memorial is scheduled for Saturday at the Sabathani Community Center at 1 pm, 310 E 38th St, Minneapolis with a reception to follow in the gym.

Feehan Our Own Ossoff

When Dan Feehan announced his candidacy for the 1st Congressional District people scratched their proverbial heads and wondered who he was. He says he left the state when he was 14 years old, but now has returned and is calling the state home.

This is curious especially if you follow his own words.

Dan says, “I hail from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the finest state in the union…During my freshman year at Georgetown University, I chased women and refused to cut my hair.”

Feehan also said in a speech given to Marmion Prep School that he married his wife and baptized one of his sons there, making it a home.

As people are looking for a candidate to replace Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN1) they will be looking for someone with integrity. If we again pay attention to what is known we find Dan says he joined the military because of 9/11… but he went to a prep academy in Chicago where he joined Junior ROTC in the late ‘90s.

Dan talks about Teach for America in Indiana… but he doesn’t talk about returning to Chicago to teach or about what he did for Rahm Emanuel’s administration.

Dan talks about losing his job because of Trump… but doesn’t mention and denies being recruited by the DCCC to move to Minnesota and run for Congress.

Now, one thing is clear non-Minnesotan’s have run for office after coming here for college, or having lived in the community they seek to represent after a significant period. US Senator Paul Wellstone (D) and Governor Arne Carlson (R) are the first two which come to mind, but each had some grounding here.

One fact Jon Ossoff faced which he couldn’t shake was the fact his opponent Sharon Handel could don a sticker which said, “I Voted” after she had voted for herself, and he could not.

If Feehan stays here after the election then he will prove he really wants to be a Minnesotan.

State Fair Polls

Usually, we publish the questions available at the state legislative fair booths in the Education Building. We will attest this is the 2nd time we failed. It was due to a great lack of motivation. But we still contend the questions asked are a flavor of what to expect in the forthcoming legislative session.

Since this will be the first time since the survey’s inception, both Republicans control both bodies in the legislature you can see from the questions asked which direction things will be heading. We expect another tumultuous session, where Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) will be expected to protect the state from an influx of Republicanism.

House Poll

Senate Poll

St Paul’s Development Situation

There are many opportunities for St Paul to change its landscape. The two largest are the St Paul Ford Plant and the Hillcrest Golf Course. With the 135 acres in Highland Park and the 110 acres on the east side, many families could become St Paul residents. The City is already on a pace to increase its population by 5% and will help the state increase its odds of retaining a Congressional District.

The closure of Cooper’s Grocery Store in Sibley Plaza also creates an additional opportunity. The revitalization of these different areas of the city can pour more lifeblood into the Capitol City and bolster the argument that St Paul is a better place to live than in Minneapolis.

Though we would truly lament the loss of Hillcrest Golf Course, but the times they are a changing.

Support for the Mayor’s Budget

When St Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (DFL) announced his proposed budget, many were quick to write the epitaph for his Gubernatorial campaign. The 23.9% property tax increase is a response to the State Supreme Court action on the collection of Right-of-Way fees. This accounts for a 14.86% hole in the proposed $141.3 million tax levy increase up from $113.9 million in 2017.

This is a tough position for the St Paul City Council. We expect the vote will pass with a bare margin. We doubt Mayoral Candidate and Ward 1 City Council Member Dai Thao (DFL) will support the Mayor’s position, but think the majority in support will be Ward Two Council Member Rebecca Noecker, Council President and Ward Four City Council Member Russ Stark (DFL), Ward Five City Council Member Amy Brendmoen, and Ward Seven City Council Member Jane Prince (DFL).

 

St Paul Mayor’s Race 2017: 82 Days and Counting

We posted a piece yesterday, which preempted other news sources. We discussed the occurrence of a robbery at the home of former City Council Member (Ward 1) Melvin Carter III (DFL). Due to expediency, we were not as detailed as other reports, but we were first to identify two of the items stolen as handguns, equipped with trigger locks, and secured in a lockbox.

This piece of information was not readily available in the initial police report released to the public, but was communicated to higher-ups in the department. Our source(s) were a bit quick on the trigger themselves and sought to portray a slightly different picture. Now as the air clears, we understand better the timing of the crime, the items taken and feeling created when one is violated in such a manner.

Since this is an active investigation, law enforcement is trying to prevent information from leaking out about specifics so that they can catch the criminal. We understand things are rapidly moving forward, and the authorities are confident about the ultimate result.

We apologize if we created any negative impression of Carter as being irresponsible or placing his family in any harmful situation. Since he grew up in the home of a police officer Carter, we have learned clearly, he has developed respect for firearms.

Filings Closure

The field of candidates in St Paul is now clearly defined at ten.  As we often do in large filing for office we will define these people into tiers. The first tier contains those we consider as legitimate viable candidates. In Tier One are: Carter, former City Council Member (Ward 3) Pat Harris (DFL), current City Council Member (Ward 1) Dai Thao (DFL), and Elizabeth Dickinson (Gr). In Tier Two are: Tom Goldstein (DFL), Tim Holden (I). In Tier Three are: Sharon Anderson, Trahern Crews, Chris Holbrook (L), Barnabas Joshua Yshua.

 In our estimation, only a Tier One candidate has the possibility of winning. The question will be who finishes in first or second place and can the candidates in third or fourth receive enough votes to leap past the top two?

This is where the voters for the Tier Two and Tier Three candidate may, and we stress may have an impact. The Tier Three candidates will likely receive less than 10% of the vote. In 2013, Anderson, a gadfly candidate received 917 votes or 3.02% and she will probably have the highest amount of support of the four in this tier.

When looking at the Tier Two candidates we will point out both have run citywide before and in 2009 Goldstein lost his reelection bid for the school board and received 4517 votes or 16.56%. In 2013, in his bid for mayor Holden received 4978 votes or 16.41%. These two candidates may have the greatest effect on the race because if they can carry comparable numbers, depending on turnout, they can have a block of double digits in support.

The major factors in this race are turnout, perceived strength of voter support, endorsements, and financial strength. Given the ludicrous system of Ranked Voting, the depth of the field and the different factionalization of specific constituency groups split support among the various unions and the continuing low-grade fever people are experiencing from Washington, DC, we are not expecting any candidate to carry a majority.

This will once again prove Ranked Choice Voting does not live up to its claims.

Minneapolis Mayor’s Race 2017: 82 Days and Counting

There are sixteen candidates for mayor this go-round versus thirty-five in 2013. We expect the decline is due to the $500 filing fee, which can be offset by securing 500 valid signatures, which by our measure is too low of a bar for entry.

As we did in the St Paul race we will place this field into tiers.

The Tier One candidates are State Rep. Raymond Dehn (DFL-59A, Minneapolis), current City Council Member (Ward 3) Jacob Frey (DFL), Businessman Tom Hoch (DFL), Incumbent Mayor Betsy Hodges (DFL), and from NAACP Executive Director Nekima Levy-Pounds (DFL).

The Tier Two candidates are Al Flowers (DFL), and Aswar Rahman (DFL) who both made thoughtful and impassioned speeches at the Minneapolis DFL City Convention.

The Tier Three candidates are: Troy Benjegerdes (who filed as Farmer Labor), Charlie Gers (L), LA Nik (I), Gregg A. Iverson who filed as DFL, but has always been known as a Republican, Ron Lischeid (People over Politics), David Rosenfeld (Socialist Workers Party), Ian Simpson (The Ideal Party), Captain Jack Sparrow (Basic Income Guarantee), and David John Wilson (Rainbows Butterflies Unicorns).

As is the case Tier Three will likely contain around 10% or less of the overall vote. In 2013, Sparrow received 352 votes or .44%, Benjegerdes received a high water mark of 167 votes or .21%, and Iverson 156 votes or .19%.

As was the case in 2013, we are highly doubtful there will be a winner by majority come November.  If any candidate tops forty-three percent and someone will bet on another candidate going past them as the votes are re-ranked, take the bet.  Forty-three is our “magic number” for a first ballot path to eventual victory.

With Hodges selection of Medaria Arradondo as Police Chief, she may have made a significant mayoral decision, which will assuage the hostility on the Northside to some degree. It also proves the advantage of incumbency.

Robbers Score Arms From Carter

We learned of a recent robbery at the home of mayoral candidate and former St Paul City Council member Melvin Carter III (DFL). During the theft of various items we understand two handguns are now in the circulation with the seedy underbelly community.

We have made a number of calls into the Carter Campaign, but the phone only seems to work in one direction.

As we continue our coverage of this election, we intend to provide every campaign the benefit of the doubt and ask questions in order to better understand the situation and issues associate, but when silence is the response the only conclusions to be draw come from the information as presented to us.

We hope a small chiding will change the resulting perspective.

Increasing the Temperature of the St Paul Mayor’s Race.

We are hearing from multiple sources of additional scrutiny expected into former City Council Mayoral candidate Melvin Carter III (DFL) background and finances. These types of rumors were discussed prior to the St Paul City DFL Convention, by never materialized.

We expect the discussion will begin, with questions raised about Carter’s fitness for office, due to his personal finances, tax payments, and past martial conflicts. This may backfire if there is a perception the questions raised are just against the only person of color who is poised to win.

Stay tuned and we will be the primary place where this information is first aired.

Capitol City Mayor’s Race 2017

The filing period for Mayor has commenced and will continue until August 15th. To date the field consists of: former City Council Member (Ward One) Melvin Carter III (DFL), Elizabeth Dickinson (GR), former School Board Member Tom Goldstein (DFL), businessman Tim Holden (Ind), former City Council Member (Ward Three) Pat Harris (DFL) and current City Council Member (Ward One) Dai Thao (DFL). Upon the filings close, the race to the finish line will begin in earnest.

Unlike the Minneapolis race, a surprise is still be possible in Saint Paul’s Mayor’s race.  The biggest change in the mix would be another woman, especially a DFLer?  There is also the possibility of another strong school board candidate that might bring out a different set of voters to the polls?  Some of Saint Paul’s traditional “free spirited” candidates have yet to be heard from. We think that it is likely that the line to Ramsey County Elections Director Joe Mansky’s domain will be longer, rather than shorter before the doors are locked for good and the ballot finalized.

The issue over whether or not enough signatures were achieved in a bid to move municipal elections to even years is in district court tomorrow, and even though this is a stupid idea, we hope the court will be wise enough to prevent the issue from appearing on the ballot.

As in Minneapolis, we think that turnout will be crucial in the Saint Paul races.  At this moment, we think it may be lower than many are predicting. Again, what will that mean? How will ranked choice voting play out?  Will the race be close enough for someone to leapfrog their way past the early leader(s)?   If so, who could this said someone be? what are the odds, long or short for such occurrence to happen? Additionally, how will identify politics play out in this race?  If at all?

Learning the flow rate of the monies raised, spent and which remain on hand and will provide a comprehensive breakdown later because reports are not due until September 12th, eight weeks before the General Election. This will answer a series of questions. How much will it make a difference?  Will these amounts be decisive, or is the likely electorate so composed of regular voters that the Saintly City’s version of the Old Gray Lady, the Pioneer Press, which has shown an interest in the mayor’s race, be all that the people need turn to, except of course C&B?

Is demography destiny?  Will Wards Three and Four be the electoral giants that determine the winner? Or, will a different dynamic emerge?

After an election cycle virtually void of lawn signs, will the multiple candidates raise a bumper crop of self-serving two by two or two by four placards?  Will there be a self-righteous backlash?

Stay tuned for continued the updates, Follow us on Twitter checksnbalances.

Mill City Mayor’s Race 2017

Here is a sample of the discussions that we are having and hearing as we head to the start of the spring to the November finish line. What will matter, what will get people’s attention and other thoughts – random or otherwise.

Filing – will there be any surprises?  Unlikely at the mayoral level.  Probably none that will make a difference at the council or park board level.

Turnout – the $64,000 question.  We think it will be up, but where and with who are the key questions. More on this in our weekly updates.

Events – one of the candidates is the incumbent.  Events always matter. They are a double-edged sword.  They can sink the incumbent or they can make the incumbent look mayoral and separate said incumbent from the challenges.  Events can play into the hands of challengers wheelhouses or events can create challenges for candidates. Again, more in the weekly updates.

Downtown – always a part of the story (in both cities) and now that downtown has become such a residential neighborhood, will that change the traditional “rest of the city versus the greedy downtown” narrative that often drives discussion?  If so, who is favored?  Will downtown residents vote in higher percentages than the rest of the city?  If so, shut and for which candidate?

How liberal/progressive will the actual electorate be? How old? How diverse?

Lots to follow. We will try to zero in on these and other breaking events in the upcoming updates. We may follow conventional wisdom, or we may surprise you.

The information on campaign finance is in and we will scrutinize those numbers and see if any clear indications present themselves.

Stay tuned.

The Old Saw of Twin City Municipal Tensions: Neighborhoods v. Downtown

Former Minneapolis City Council member Steve Cramer, now head of the Downtown Council rekindled a long simmering debate in Minneapolis recently with a Counterpoint Opinion Piece in the Star Tribune entitled In planning the city’s new core, we look up, not down.

As he highlighted the issues of concern he has with the direction of the Mill City, he focused on the in migration of businesses into the downtown. This traditional juxtaposition of business interests, which are often people who do not live within the city boundary and people who reside in the city limit is not a valid any longer. As we have also seen in St Paul, the people who decry the availability of skyway access and routes of travel between the skyscrapers then need to also acknowledge the vibrancy of downtown is due in large part because people live there.

The expenditures of monies in the downtown core often brings about controversy, but face it that is what people think about first when they talk about a city, it’s downtown amenities. There is a new dynamic to consider and that is the fact, Downtown is now a neighborhood too.

The interests of business now must be offset by the interests of downtown residents. The number of businesses who do commerce throughout the day and evening need to take into the idea of operating in a shift mentality. There are retired people who live there as well as people who work 1st, 2nd and 3rd shift. The ability for the community to thrive is not to pull up stakes after 5 pm, but look to other opportunities throughout the day. If Minneapolis and St Paul want to become true mature cities their vibrancy needs to evolve to the same structure as cable news, a 24-hour cycle or at least a 20-hour cycle. If the millennials ever organize then a new political power group could seek change.

There are reasons why Mickie’s Dinner is a St Paul icon, because it is open 24-hours. Similarly, so is Fed Ex and you can mail, ship or work on a project anytime of the day.

Any issue of safety and security in the skyways is because uniformed police do not randomly patrol them. The skyways need to either be incorporated as a regular part of a beat where police get out of their cars and walk through, security cameras need to be in place and vagrants need to be moved along and prevented from relieving themselves in the alcoves of these concourses.

As these new realities come to the fore the structural balance between the interests creates opportunities for dialogue.

Minneapolis DFL City Convention

4:53 PM

We are on-hand for the Minneapolis DFL City Convention it has been a long day. It is 4:53 pm and the first candidate for Mayor Rep. Ray Dehn (DFL59B, Minneapolis) is speaking. There was a Rules fight earlier in the day that resulted in a process that will nearly assure No Endorsement.

There is a Drop Rule applied on the 3rd ballot of 10%, this is not a method that enables a candidate to achieve the required 60% endorsement because it means there will still be four candidates on the 4th Ballot.

The seven nominated candidates were: Dehn, Ward 1 Council Member Jacob Frey (DFL), Mayor Betsy Hodges (DFL), Tom Hoch (DFL), Al Flowers (DFL), Aswar Rahman (DFL) and Captain Jack Sparrow. We expect the order of the first ballot will be Frey, Dehn. Hodges, and Hoch followed by the rest.

6:50 PM

We are finally, heading into the 1st ballot, with 1260 delegates voting. Our speculative numbers show Frey leading with 450 votes for 35.7%, followed by Dehn with 350 votes for 27.7%, Hodges with 250 votes for 19.8%, and Hoch with 126 for 10%. These are ballpark figures.

They are allowing the media to observe and we will be in the teller room.

Here are pictures from inside the teller room.

The candidates were asked if they would abide by the endorsement, with a caveat it meant if someone else was endorsed.

Frey abide, Dehn abide, Hodges abide, Hoch abide, Flowers no sure, Rahman abide, and Sparrow no.

Actual first ballot results.

1326 votes cast. Dehn 401 votes 32.44%, Frey 344 votes 27.83%, Hodges 299 votes 24.19%, Hoch 131 votes 10.60%, Flowers 15 votes 1.21%, Rahman 24 votes 1.94%, and Sparrow 4 votes .32% No Endorsement 18 votes 1.46% and Spoiled 17.  FlowersRahman and Sparrow drop. 

8:50 PM

It looks like the Hodges, and Hoch campaigns are preparing to release their delegates and walk out of the convention.

9:57 PM

After a lengthy debate the delegates voted to adjourn.

 

MPLS DFL Convention Countdown: Day Ten

We are having a bit more trouble getting our hands on the full delegate and alternate list for the Mpls DFL City Convention because the list we have lacks emails and phone numbers. We are aggressively seeking additional information for our list so that we can directly contact the attendees prior to the July 8th event. We encourage anyone interested to either provide us with the information or share it with people from the thirteen Wards. We will rely on social media to dissemination our information, and encourage our readers to make suggestions for different Twitter hashtags.

We will start as we did with the St Paul City Convention and recycle our tips and tricks. These are intended to provide information about conventions we believe are helpful pieces of information.  Again, if you have any suggestions we will accept them willingly and publish accordingly.

Convention Tips & Tricks

  1. If you are committed to a candidate, wear a t-shirt or at least a button, candidates have limited time to talk to people at a convention, and if you want the person you support to win, help them out by being well-identified.
  2. If you are uncommitted, do not wear buttons, or wear everyone’s button. If you seek to confuse candidate’s, and their campaigns being elusive is the best route.
  3. The best campaign has the best hospitality room. delegates and alternates are the purposes of why campaigns stock up on snacks, drinks and provide everything from bagels & coffee in the morning, to pizza and pop for lunch. Even if you support a specific candidate go to the other candidate’s rooms and see what they offer, they may try to sway you with gourmet coffee or some other tasty treat.

As we come into the Mpls City Convention we have learned a few interesting items. The Convention is going to be held at the Mpls Convention Center and will cost $30,000. The price tag will seem a great waste of money, especially if it fails to deliver a DFL endorsement in the mayoral contest, which is our expectation.

We are still awaiting the names of the Convention Co-Chairs, but have been informed Jason Cassady will be the Parliamentarian. This news comes as a pleasant surprise because Cassady has provided supporters of Ranked Choice as the Drop Rule a significant boost to their argument when he provided research on the issue for the DFL Constitution and Bylaws Commission and Rules Committee.

Rules Committee

One factor from the meeting of the Rules Committee evident to use is the inherent weakness of the Tom Hoch Campaign on the floor of the Convention. As we listened to the debate over the drop rules, thresholds, and speech time, it was clear Hoch has a weak hand. Despite having a majority on the Rules Committee, the Hoch campaign on agreed to a drop rule of 10% on any ballot prior to the next ballot being the final ballot. It did not change whether the ballots were limited to five, four or three, but the height of the threshold percentage their campaign would agree to was fixed at 10%.

This leads us to believe the Hoch campaign’s ceiling is close to 10%.

Another point during the Rules Committee meeting Ron Wacks attempted to pay the role as self-anointed broker and that is a fool’s errand Wacks should never be sought out or used as a medium for any conversation of substance. He was such a poor chair at the St Paul Ward One and Two Conventions, he was disinvited from chairing at the City Convention. Take heed and act accordingly.

Why RCV as the Drop Rule, is an Available Option.

Here is the following information we received prior to the St Paul City Convention.

Hi Shawn,

This email is in response to your question about the use of RCV as a drop rule.

Jason’s analysis below is specifically regarding the use of RCV to bestow an endorsement.  I have confirmed with Jason that his analysis does NOT address the use of RCV as a drop rule.

The DFL has historically granted wide latitude for rules committees and conventions to select a drop rule appropriate to their situation.  Units have used many different formulae, such as a percentage threshold, a percentage with an “elevator” that increases the percentage, drop all but the top 2, or RCV to the top 2 (among others).  The final ballot(s) for the endorsement must be done with non-RCV at a 60% threshold (as Jason describes).

*Our State DFL documents (Constitution and Bylaws, and Official Call) are silent on drop rules.*  However, the model rules for local unit conventions does include a drop rule, as do the Temporary and Proposed Permanent State Convention rules.

Kind regards, Chris Thorp Co-chair of the DFL State Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules Committee

Jason Cassady – drafter of the forwarded message below, Jill Garcia – Co-chair of the DFL State Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules Committee, Libby Kantner – Chair of the St. Paul DFL and Rick Varco – Vice Chair of the St. Paul DFL

———- Forwarded message ———-

I have reviewed our national and state party rules.  The only mention of Ranked Choice Voting is in the Official Call, where we have specifically permitted its use for the election of a party officer when only one position is open on the ballot (e.g., table officer, or filling a vacancy for a single director).  It is otherwise not prohibited, permitted, or addressed.

Turning back to the question at hand, when our documents are silent we are governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.  On Page 426 is the following:

While it is more complicated than other methods of voting in common use and is not a substitute for the normal procedure of repeated balloting until a majority is obtained, preferential voting is especially useful and fair in an election by mail if it is impractical to take more than one ballot. In such cases it makes possible a more representative result than under a rule that a plurality shall elect. It can be used with respect to the election of officers only if expressly authorized in the bylaws.  (emphasis added.)

First, I would note that Robert’s refers to ranked choice voting as “preferential voting” (see pages 426-28 for a full discussion).  Accordingly, I draw your attention to the fact that the first sentence of the above quotation does not permit use of ranked choice voting except when it is “impractical to take more than one ballot.”  While it may be desired to take only one ballot at a convention, it is not impractical.  Second, I direct your attention to the last sentence of the above quote, where it provides that ranked choice voting cannot be used to elect officers unless expressly authorized in the bylaws.  Robert’s does not really address endorsement as we use the term.  Rather, our endorsement is similar to an election which requires 60% and has the option of no election.  Thus, one could extrapolate from that sentence that because we do not expressly permit endorsement by use of ranked choice voting, we cannot use it.

Regardless of your position on the second point I have made, I believe the first point is directly on point, and it is not impractical to hold multiple ballots, and thus use of 2nd choice ballots, etc., via ranked choice voting is not permitted for endorsement.

I hope this email answers your question.

Thank you. Jason

Following my previous email, I consulted further with Jason, and am providing this email as follow-up.

RONR contains a mix of recommendations, requirements, and factual statements.  The language on “preferential voting” is a recommendation and not a requirement (“should” vs. “shall” or “must”).  The first portion of language cited by Jason is actually a recommendation and not a requirement. Roberts continues in that section, on page 428, to state:

The system of preferential voting just described should not be used in cases where it is possible to follow the normal procedure of repeated balloting until one candidate or proposition attains a majority. Although this type of preferential ballot is preferable to an election by plurality, it affords less freedom of choice than repeated balloting, because it denies voters the opportunity of basing their second or lesser choices on the results of earlier ballots, and because the candidate or proposition in last place is automatically eliminated and may thus be prevented from becoming a compromise choice. (emphasis mine)

If it were prohibited in all cases where it is otherwise possible to conduct repeated balloting, it would be “shall not” be used.

With our long standing practice of using drop rules in our endorsement process, we are largely subject to the negative effect cited by RONR against using preferential voting – namely that the last place is automatically eliminated (often subject to a percentage threshold).  We partially mitigate the negative effects by not dropping below 2 candidates.

Regarding the second portion, the prohibition on use for officer elections unless authorized by the bylaws, I see our endorsements more akin to other resolutions with multiple choices.  It is effectively a multiple-choice motion that permits future monetary and volunteer commitments to be made.

Regardless, it is clear that reasonable people can make different interpretations with respect to the language contained in RONR and endorsements, which include, but are not limited to:  (1) the above quoted language prohibits use of ranked choice voting for both the endorsement and the drop rule; and (2) that the extrapolation of the above language relating to an election is completely irrelevant and should not be consulted with respect to endorsements.

Given this fact, Jason and I now agree that the entire subject of ranked choice voting and endorsements is a gray area (which we will work to clarify with the CBRC for future cycles).  Accordingly, because the convention is the highest ranking body of an organization, we are inclined to defer to the will of that convention with respect to use or non-use of ranked choice voting as a drop rule.  While a gray area, drop rules vary wildly, and are not addressed in our party rules or RONR (either as a permitted activity or limited in any fashion).  Because we as a party have a long history of allowing conventions to establish their own drop rules as they see fit, it seems reasonable to us to believe that use of ranked choice voting as a drop rule would survive challenge (so long as no reallocated votes were used in issuing the endorsement).  See, e.g., the discussion on Custom on page 19 of RONR.

Although there is a reasonable argument that use of ranked choice voting is not prohibited for endorsement itself, we recommend against use of reallocated votes for endorsement.  This is political, practical advice.  As a matter of illustration, I would note that when the ranked choice voting procedures section was added to the Official Call, the CBRC debated whether to extend this authority to endorsements, and it was rejected.  While that rejection is not binding (i.e., no prohibition was voted upon and added to the rules), it is a window into the thinking of many CBRC members (especially given that the CBRC is made up of members statewide, and ranked choice voting is not generally as popular or widely supported outside of the metro).  So, for political, practical reasons to ensure that an endorsement could withstand a challenge, Jason and I advise that ranked choice voting not be used to reallocate votes in a manner which results in an endorsement.

Kind regards, Chris Thorp Co-chair of the DFL State Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules Committee

 

 

Minneapolis DFL City Convention Set-up for Epic Failure

We were on-hand for the Minneapolis DFL City Rules Committee meeting yesterday held in a packed conference room at the Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council. This was the second meeting after the first resulted in an impasse. Sunday’s meeting produced a set of Rules for the mayoral contest angled for No Endorsement. The position was advanced by the Tom Hoch campaign lead by Kieran McCarney, Campaign Manager. The Hoch campaign had succeeded in over-stocking the Rules Committee with delegate strength which far exceeds its floor strength. The reason being the Rules Committee spots which remained unfilled from the 13 Ward Conventions were filled at the Executive Committee by anyone who showed interest.

The result of the 2 ½ hour meeting was a set of Rules, destined to fail on the floor, mainly because the Hoch Campaign failed to listen to the voices of the other three contending campaigns for State Representative Ray Dehn (DFL-59B, Minneapolis), Ward 3 City Council Member Jacob Frey (DFL), and Incumbent Mayor Betsy Hodges (DFL). The other candidates in the field are Al FlowersJeffrey Sterling Olson, Aswar Rahman, and Captain Jack Sparrow.

This proposed set of Rules, will clearly fail on the floor, and the Rules Committee passed a Minority Report calling for the application of the DFL Party’s Model Rules, which are: 10 minute speeches, with a drop of the lowest candidate on the ballot, seeing no endorsement of 60% proceeding to another ballot. This is to continue until a candidate receives 60% majority, with No Endorsement an option on every ballot.There was an attempt to strike a compromise, but that too failed to pass because it like the Hoch proposal provides no path to an endorsement.  What did pass 5-minute speeches, no Q & A, a 5% minimum threshold on the 2nd ballot, and no further balloting after the 3rd ballot. This passed on an 11-9 vote, with Hoch carrying the day.

There was a discussion of the use of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), and Jeff Strand proposed the idea over the phone, but both the Dehn and Hodges campaigns expressed their opposition to the idea, being included in the Minority Report. We have already had conversations about an amendment to the Minority Report being included with a couple of reconsiderations of the vote on this question since it only requires three people to support a Minority Report.

Even if RCV is not included in the initial documents being made available to the delegates, we understand it will be coming from the floor as an amendment with broad support. The stage is set for Minneapolis to follow St Paul’s historic move to replace the Majority Report with the Minority Report after a protracted floor fight. In St Paul, it took 2 hours.

As we did for the St Paul DFL City Convention, we will be writing a Convention Countdown starting later this week and providing Delegates information about information being discussed by the campaigns, suggestions for items to look for during the convention and important influential activities relevant to the Convention. Stay tuned.

We also will accept information from people if they want to communicate through C&B to the delegates. Email: mn.editor@checksandbalances.com