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.

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