Columbus Replaced

Minnesota Report

We went to the site of the Christopher Columbus statue and saw an individual squatting in his place. Doug Schiedel sat “Indian Style” atop the pedestal where Columbus once stood and was allowed to stay there by Capitol Police. He was asked by a State Patrol Officer how long he planned to remain in place and was given a bottle of water buy a police officer.

When we spoke with him, we learned he is an artist specializing in monuments and statuary. Maybe he was auditioning for the job to replace Columbus, but we doubt a statute of a elderly white man with a beard would be selected, they already have plenty of those in the Capitol Complex.

2020 Special Session Set to Convene

Minnesota Report

Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) put forward his expectations for the Special Session tomorrow. He has extended the peacetime emergency, which fosters the need for a Special Session call, but also a number of issues remain unresolved with the 2020 regular session, significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

In his statement about the forthcoming session he acknowledges a need to respond to the aftermath of the protest and riots, which have shaken many communities to the core and the need to now, combat systemic racism, which is prevalent in many aspects of our society here in Minnesota. The disparities in Minneapolis, which is the most segregated city in America, are now staring us in the face, and failing to address them now will be done at our own peril.

His comments at his press conference and in his release said, “As Minnesota continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and grapple with needed police reform following George Floyd’s death, Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced that they will convene a special legislative session beginning Friday, June 12. The Governor and Lt. Governor’s priorities for special session are clear: We will pass police reform and accountability and build a stronger, more equitable economy.

“Minnesota is at a turning point. This is our chance to take strong action to combat persistent structural inequities, pass substantive police reform, and build a stronger economy,” said Governor Walz. “I look forward to working with the legislature to seize this moment and build a brighter future for Minnesotans.”

Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan know that the best ideas come from community, and they are committed to working with the Legislature, the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus, and community leaders to take strong action to combat persistent structural inequities, pass substantive police reform, and build a stronger, more vibrant economy for all Minnesotans – especially for those whose economic well-being and businesses have been hit hardest.

“In this unprecedented moment, we must take unprecedented action on police accountability, equity, and economic recovery,” said Lt. Governor Flanagan. “This is not business as usual. We have an extraordinary opportunity to create meaningful, lasting change. We cannot waste this moment with hesitation.”

The Governor supports the recommendations on police reform and accountability that will be introduced by the Minnesota People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus and the Attorney General’s Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters Working Group. The proposals support use of force reform; funding for alternatives to policing; greater police oversight; voting restoration; community healing; and prosecutorial, investigatory, and training reform.

The Governor’s plan to build a strong and equitable economy will include his bonding proposal, the Local Jobs and Projects Plan, in addition to economic assistance for businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Governor will also work with partners at the community, local, state, and federal level to provide assistance for businesses impacted by the events in Minneapolis and St. Paul and plan for the future of these areas.”

In turn, House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-36B, Brooklyn Park) and Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-46A, Golden Valley) put out a release stating,

“The legislature has four important areas to address in this special session: getting financial assistance to local governments and small businesses to deal with the impact of COVID-19, completing unfinished business from the regular session, including passing a bonding bill; enacting legislation on police accountability and criminal justice reform, and rebuilding communities that have suffered property damage,” said Speaker Hortman. “Minnesotans have gathered and raised their voices in support of justice for George Floyd, and for Philando Castile, and many others — we must work together to change our laws so that our communities are safe for all of us.”

“Minnesotans expect and deserve action on police accountability, racial justice, economic support, and COVID-19 legislation,” said Majority Leader Winkler. “Republican attempts to divide Minnesotans and blame others is reckless in the most demanding time Minnesota has faced in its history.”

Here is what Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) has said in response,“Yesterday, the Governor failed the state of Minnesota, again. They knew there was a threat to the Christopher Columbus statue, and he failed to adequately protect it. The mob mentality to do whatever people want without repercussion has got to stop. The Governor didn’t protect the Third Precinct, he didn’t protect businesses on Lake Street, and the Lieutenant Governor condoned the destruction on public property.

We expect there will be mounting protests at the State Capitol to pressure the legislature to enact legislation to address the inequities.

Columbus Pulled Down from His Position

Minnesota Report

Change is coming. The statute of Christopher Columbus on the northeast corner of the Capitol Complex across from the Judiciary Center always seemed oddly placed. Granted, when placed, St Paul was highly influenced by the Roman Catholic Church and St Paul Cathedral is clearly visible in the southern landscape view. Yesterday, the statute was pulled from its position with a rope by members of the American Indian Movement (AIM).

Already, there is a Wiki entry about it being toppled https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Christopher_Columbus_(Saint_Paul,_Minnesota)

Originally, the statute was commissioned by Christopher Columbus Memorial Association commemorating the supposed 1492 discovery and installed on October 12, 1931. It was celebrated with a large throng of Italian-Americans here in St Paul up through the Iron Range, but it is clear this constituency doesn’t retain the same political power of those days.

In spite of being credited with discovering America, we here in Minnesota know, as is evidenced on the west-side of the Capitol, in proximity to the Light Rail Station, the Vikings were here first in 1000 AD, as is evidenced from the Lief Erickson statue, and of course the indigenous people predate his journey.

Does Trump Even Know What Antifa Is?

National Report

The outrage Donald J Trump (R), the self-declared Stable Genius, started when he twittered away about Martin Gugino being a “setup,” after the 75-year-old peace protester was shoved backwards by two Buffalo police officers and his head struck the pavement and blood began pouring from his wound, is unconscionable. The sheer lack of common decency and disgusting retorts from Trump only reinforce his lack of any social demeanor.

The constant screed emanating Diaper Don, our new moniker for Trump, based on Noel Casler’s the former staffer on the Celebrity Apprentice, statements having witnessed Trump snort Adderall and wearing adult diapers on Stephanie Miller’s Happy Hour Podcast, only goes to show how the inflated baby in diapers flown in England during Trump’s visit, is most apt for this impudent incompetent.

Then he further exasperated the situation, by advancing the idea Gugino is a member of Antifa. Again, we ask does Trump even know what Antifa means, it is a term applied to a loose association of Anti-Fascist groups opposed to right wing authoritarian groups, which Trump favors.

The fact, after the George Floyd murder, the following protests and then the memorial constantly drew attention away from Trump caused him to have a conniption and seek routes for regaining attention. This malignant narcissism is a lodestone for this presidency, me, me, me being the central focal point. Our nation will only be returned to some semblance of normalcy when this scourge is gone.

So much for a Stable Genius.

Riotous Trifecta: Anarchists, White Supremacists, and Local Gangs

Minnesota Report

When early reports from Mayor Melvin Carter III (DFL-St Paul) stated the protesters and rioters arrested were mainly from out-of-town it seemed like a narrative was being set, which was later proven false.Our discussions with anyone associated with law enforcement or knowledge of the anarchy in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder at the knee of Derek Chauvin does not bolster Donald J Trump’s (R) false claims of Antifa involvement, which segments of his own administration can’t find. We understand there are individuals who have been arrested or are being sought that are associated with anarchist groups, which the Twin Cities already has, white supremacist groups, which are not domestically organized, though may have sympathizers and local gangs. So this means there is a combination, which might be hard to sort out.

The stirring of the pot, and the added mayhem are not politically motivated acts, merely opportunistic endeavors from those who under the umbrella of darkness and the cover of political strife sought to gain for themselves. Firebombing and looting are not in any way, shape or form a part of cause for Justice for George. Yes, they may be an expected result, but again only from those seeking self-benefit, not advancement of a different agenda.

We believe the forthcoming arrests will provide a broader picture, but clearly, many people got away with a great deal of crime over the last 15 days

Democrats are Providing the Republican Definitive

Minnesota Report

With cries to defund or dismantle the police, and declarations to do so, especially when coming from the Minneapolis City Council, Democrats are giving energy to Donald J Trump (R) and the Republicans. Stoking fears in surrounding communities of government created anarchy, only bring to mind the vision of burning building and civil unrest. Here in Minnesota, the political power is in the suburbs and while Minneapolis burned all of the surrounding communities watched.

This extreme position, may be an outgrowth of the murder of George Floyd, but it does not assist in the ouster of this administration, or fix the system. Granted dramatic change is needed. The distrust and disdain of the Minneapolis Police Department is a reality, shared by many white people as well, the department is and has been corrupt for a very long time, likely since its inception 152 years ago.

The MPD maintains the establishment and perpetuates the status quo. It is an institution of oppression, all true, but it is also the necessary call needed to make when something dramatic happens. Many changes must be made and the motto “To Protect with Courage, To Serve with Compassion!” needs to be applied to all of the residents of the Mill City.

As the largest segment of our economy, Minneapolis needs to be a safe place to live and work and law enforcement, must be an asset and not a deficit.

Now, to look at things in black & white means something significantly different.

The Attack Poodle Bows Out

Minnesota Report

Sen Linda Runbeck (R-53, Circle Pines) left the legislature the first time to run for Congress against Rep Betty McCollum (DFL-55A, North St Paul) and lost by 18-points with 30.89% to McCollum’s 48.04% and it could have been greater since former Ramsey County Attorney Tom Foley ran with the Independence Party and received 20.59%. Then in to 2002, she sought the Republican Party nomination to contest against fellow Sen Bill Luther (DFL-47, Brooklyn Park) and picked up the moniker Attack Poodle from Republican political strategist Pat Rosenstiel, but lost to John Kline (R) who prevailed in November.   

Rep Runbeck’s post-session announcement on June 2nd, led to a number of filings in 38A to contest against the DFL endorsed candidate Kris Fredrick. Kelly Gunderson, Doug Malsom, and Donald Raleigh all have filed for the August Primary Ballot.

This suburban seat is a prime target for the House DFL to pick up and would help solidify DFL dominance of a suburban/urban/rural regional center house majority.

It will also apply additional pressures into the senate election and force Sen Roger Chamberlain (R-38, White Bear Lake) to defend the entirety of his district.

One Week Ago, Today, George Floyd Died

 Minnesota Report

George Floyd died a week ago today at 9:25 pm. He was killed by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck, and held down while handcuffed by, while held to the ground by Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng, while Tou Thao, Chauvin’s partner looked on and kept people away.

Today¸ Floyd’s brother Terrance visited the scene of the killing, saluted his brother’s image on the mural now on the wall of Cup Foods and fell to his knees when he was brought to the exact spot of the crime. He knelt in prayer and the people present also collectively followed suit. The problem is many or the people taking advantage are only opportunists.

When he spoke, he challenged the people protesting his brother’s killing to stop the looting, fires and mayhem saying they were not doing justice to his brother’s name. He said his family is a peaceful family and a prayerful family, and they call for peace but they also call for justice. A poignant moment during his call came when he said, “Peace on the Left, Justice on the Right and showed hands extended with a peace sign in the left-hand and a fist in the right.

The younger Floyd called for people to do more, specifically vote, and not just vote for President by for all offices on the ballot and for voters to educate themselves and who they were voting for. He implored the crowd not to forget his brother when things die down and to let his name ring. George Floyd!

He later led another chant, “No Justice, No Peace, Prosecute the Police.

Day Six: Riots Appear Abated

Minnesota Report

Today, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) announced a different time for the curfew from 10:00 pm tonight to 4 am tomorrow. This will allow for people to gather again at the site of George Floyd’s death, which occurred at 9:25 pm. The fact only one fire was reported and the streets were empty it may be the cessation of the rampant crimes seen the three previous days. While restaurants are allowed outside seating and barbershops and hair salons are allowed to reopen under social distancing measures, the Twin Cities breathes a collective sigh of relief.

Sunday was punctuated by a tanker truck on the 35W bridge, barreling down on protesters and actually appearing to have sped up. What was expected to be mass carnage, miraculously resulted in no deaths or injuries accept to the driver, who was beaten and also protected by the protestors. This was reminiscent of the Reginald Denny, the truck driver hit in the head after the Rodney King beating in 1991.

Last night, we watched the press conference by Walz who fielded questions from the press which challenged the assertion of the damage being done at the hands of people from outside of Minnesota. Walz quickly tried to squelch the idea that the state was trying to create a “narrative” and this put him inline with St Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III, who had made a similar statement regarding the day before and retracted his previous statement.

The pressure to assert blame to out-of-state actors is something being foster by Donald J Trump (R) who seeks to lay blame on the extreme left, Antifa, which ironically is a loose association of anti-fascist group majorly opposed to Trump and right-wing fascists, and the Democratic Socialists of America, which has a small activist group in Minneapolis.

The creation of conspiracy theories is running rampant, but often theories have some basis in fact. The Umbrella Man who broke out the windows of the AutoZone on Minnehaha Avenue and E Lake Street, is a white man, thought to be a police officer. The minority owned businesses were torched by white supremacists, or after having been through three months of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic were torched by their owners. The Minneapolis 3rd District Precinct was burned by white people not the black protestors. There were roving groups of young men, who did break not a loot stores in the area. They went right around the National Guard troops who were not going to fire on young hoodlums, but witnessed the crime.

The problem is the low amount of arrests made don’t provide a means to make a full assessment. If everyone who was out after curfew had been arrested for violating the order then determining their places of origin would be more plausible. The detention of all people in violation would have sent a clear message and reduced the number of people able to turnout.

With tonight being one week since the death of George Floyd and the call for his family to stop the crimes, the looting and the arson some calm may be returned.

Here is the latest press release.

Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-69 modifying and extending the temporary nighttime Minneapolis and St. Paul curfew through Wednesday morning to provide safety for Minnesota residents from individuals who have engaged in unlawful and dangerous activity in recent days and threatened the security of lawful demonstrators and first responders. 

“Having a curfew in place has allowed law enforcement to separate out those who mean to bring further pain and destruction in our communities from the thousands who have peacefully demonstrated for systemic changes in George Floyd’s name,” said Governor Walz. “I want to thank our public servants who’ve worked tirelessly to restore peace to our neighborhoods, and all Minnesotans who have abided by the curfew to keep our communities safe.”

 “This past week has been one of the most painful in our state’s history,” said Lt. Governor Flanagan. “It hurts to stay inside when we know our voices are critical to bringing the systemic change we need, but we will continue this fight tomorrow, and every day after. Please stay home to stay safe and help our communities heal.”

 The temporary curfew is extended from 10pm to 4am, beginning tonight, through the morning of Wednesday, June 3. During the curfew, no one is allowed to travel on Minneapolis and Saint Paul streets or public places, except for first responders, members of the media, people going back and forth to work, individuals seeking emergency care or fleeing danger, and people experiencing homelessness. Curfews are not limited to Minneapolis and St. Paul. Mayors and local governments across the state can issue their own curfews.

 All Minnesotans in Minneapolis and Saint Paul are urged to comply, and to comply with instructions from law enforcement. Peace officers will enforce the curfew and arrest those who refuse to comply.

 On May 25, 2020, George Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. The Walz-Flanagan Administration is committed to addressing the systemic inequities and discrimination that led to this incident and seeking justice.  

Governor Walz Signs Executive Order Activating National Guard to Protect the People of Minnesota

Minnesota Report

Governor Walz Signs Executive Order Activating National Guard to Protect the People of Minnesota

Order will help maintain safety in wake of George Floyd’s death

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-65, activating the Minnesota National Guard to help protect Minnesotans’ safety and maintain peace in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Local leaders have requested National Guard resources after extensive damage to private property occurred and peaceful protests evolved into a dangerous situation for protesters and first responders.

“It is time to rebuild. Rebuild the city, rebuild our justice system, and rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they’re charged to protect. George Floyd’s death should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction. As George Floyd’s family has said, ‘Floyd would not want people to get hurt. He lived his life protecting people.’ Let’s come together to rebuild, remember, and seek justice for George Floyd,” said Governor Walz.

“The anger and grief of this moment is unbearable. People deserve to be seen. People deserve to be heard. People deserve to be safe,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “While many Minnesotans are taking extensive safety precautions while exercising their right to protest, the demonstration last night became incredibly unsafe for all involved. The purpose of the National Guard is to protect people, to protect people safely demonstrating, and to protect small business owners.”

“As Governor, I will always defend the right to protest,” Governor Walz continued. “It is how we express pain, process tragedy, and create change. That is why I am answering our local leaders’ request for Minnesota National Guard assistance to protect peaceful demonstrators, neighbors, and small businesses in Minnesota.”

The National Guard Adjutant General will work with local government agencies to provide personnel, equipment, and facilities needed to respond to and recover from this emergency.

Additionally, the Minnesota State Patrol will assist in public safety efforts for the next several days. Approximately 200 troopers will work with state, county, and local community and public safety partners. State Patrol helicopters and fixed wind aircraft will also be available to assist law enforcement officers on the ground.

This Executive Order also declares a peacetime emergency, which activates the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to help coordinate the state’s response. As the SEOC is already activated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will concurrently support the COVID-19 response and the City of Minneapolis and surrounding communities during this situation.

 On May 27, 2020, George Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. The Walz-Flanagan Administration is committed to addressing the systemic inequities and discrimination that led to this incident and seeking justice.

76 Days After Wuhan Lock Down

Minnesota Report The Chinese lock down of Wuhan started on January 23, and it is being lifted now after 76 days. Theirs was far more astringent than Governor Tim Walz’ (DFL-MN) Stay-at-Home order on March 27th, but using three months as an indicator, we could be...

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What the House Looks Like During COVID-19

Minnesota Report Watching yesterday’s proceedings of the Minnesota House of Representatives during the passage of extension of Worker’s Compensation Benefits to First-Responders and other personnel who contract COVID-19 in the course of doing their jobs, was an...

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Gas Prices Falling Slowly, with Reduced Travel

Minnesota Report The cost of gasoline has not taken as dramatic of a decline as one would think during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Stay-at-Home order. The range in St Paul via Gas Buddy is $1.89-1.57 and with the price of oil floating around $25/barrel one would...

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