Podcast 590-Ending Met Council Tyranny

Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show #61-Jeff Johnson

Across the country regional councils controlled by unelected appointees are amassing great power over elected town councils, county councils and in some cases state legislatures. The biggest and most expensive of all is the Metropolitan Council, which exerts funding and legal control across the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Metro, up to and including its own taxing authority. In some cases saying no to the Met Council results in a loss of funding, public relations attacks on the offending elected official and his or her town, or lawsuits because, “You can’t say no to the Met Council”.

In Podcast 590-Ending Met Council Tyranny, Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show #61-JeffJohnson, a Hennepin County Commissioner gives a history of the Met Council, a description of just how large the council’s budget is, how many employees it has, the extent of its vast influence in planning and development in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area. If your town wants state and federal funding for various projects, the Met Council is the conduit for that funding.

At issue is the Met Council’s peculiar view of just what development is supposed to look like, which is decidedly not funding for highways and bridges. The Metropolitan Council’s view of the future is fewer roads, more bike trails and more sidewalks. We’re supposed to ride our bikes to work when it is 5 below zero, or sit in traffic jams of biblical proportions or ride light rail transit being forced through at a cost of billions.

This podcast is a companion to Podcast 501-Mark Korin, which details the trails and tribulation of a small town Minnesota Mayor against the Mighty Metropolitan Council. As Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson explains, the Metropolitan Council’s tyrannical control over towns, cities, counties and even the legislature is becoming a bi-partisan issue. With the advent of the Minneapolis South West Light Rail project and its threat to the peace and quiet of Minneapolis’ Chain of Lakes Parks, local residents are furious at the unelected council’s heavy handed approach.

An agency that began in 1967 as a way to mange water and sewer connections between local towns and cities, and to manage bus lines, has grown into an agency employing thousands and costing taxpayers billions, with its own police force, and the power to tell local administrators and elected officials to pound sand.

Johnson and Bob Davis discuss at least two ways to eliminate the Metropolitan Council’s authority or all together. Johnson proposes eliminating the council and replacing it with a board of elected officials from the area, with a more circumscribed and specific authority.

Bob Davis suggests at the very least, the Met Council’s budget could be deeply cut starting with council members who make over six figures a year, its police force absorbed by county and city law enforcement, and the creation of a separate transit authority. Finally, statutes which coerce local towns and cities to comply with the Met Council’s plans for dense growth, low income housing, bike paths and light rail transit, must be repealed.

Finally, are there enough votes in the legislature to accomplish Ending Met Council Tyranny? Johnson seems to think there is a chance, since many legislators hail from rural, suburban and exurban districts, with residents who have to pay for the Met Council’s grandiose plans, but receive none of the benefits. Moreover, legislators from urban districts in Minneapolis are getting an earful from wealthy Minneapolis liberals incensed at the way they’ve been treated by the Met Council over the Southwest Light Rail Project.

Sponsored by Brush Studio and Hydrus Performance.

 

 

Podcast 507

End Of Primary Season. As June begins, the presidential preference primary season for 2016 draws to a close. What are the takeaways from the End Of Primary Season? Maybe some surprises. These days it can be difficult to do political media, since media types are expected to turn their microphones on and flap their lips, endorsing candidates and causes, and joining the partisanship parade on talk radio, cable television, and in the Op-Ed world. Even some reporters can barely conceal their biases. With no one to observe and present facts to the voters to help with decision making, people have either lost their ability to discern fact from conjecture and bloviating (a sort of alchemy in itself) or they just don’t care anymore. Maybe people have already made up their minds to be disappointed with the choices delegates eventually will make at the mainline conventions this summer, or to be excited. Lots of ‘analysts’ trying to explain the ‘Trump phenomenon’. Some of these explanations have become both absurd and comedic, if not outright ridiculous. A ‘resurgence’ of interest in Hitler in Europe (thinly based on sales of books and some ‘polls’ there) suggests the reason Trump is gaining so much support. This serves as underpinning for the ongoing anti-trump tripe that he is a fascist, or his supporters are fascists. Everyone forgets fascism itself was a center left movement in Italy and Germany as a third way between socialism and communism, and that the conditions that predicate fascism as a political movement require the failure of socialism, which looks like Venezuela, not the United States in 2016. Then of course there is the ongoing figurative suicide of talk radio, bloggers and television personalities. In the End Of Primary Season Glenn Beck is pulled off the air as one of his guests suggests armed revolution is the only path left for #nevertrumpers. The Red State Blog has become The Black and Blue Blog as Eric Erickson continues to trip on his shoestrings as he falls down the back steps. And Sean Hannity makes a fool of himself telling the world he is voting for Trump and can say that because he runs an ‘opinion’ show. MSNBC gets attention advertising that with Hugh Hewitt they might get tagged for being to right wing. Then there’s William Kristol – the establishment moderate – laying the groundwork for a challenge to Trump at the Cleveland Convention, up to and including the suggestion of David French as a potential third party presidential candidate. It’s only the beginning; next comes the remonstrations of Trump’s inability to win an electoral victory, which remains to be seen, and of course the suggestions the New York developer is tied into the Mafia. Moderates are trying to secure a disaffected evangelist/moderate/establishment GOP coalition to derail the Trump Train which is described as ‘inevitable’. Meanwhile in the democratic party the fight is only just beginning. Bernie Sanders won’t quit – one wonders why Ted Cruz did, watching the Vermont Senator wreak havoc with the Clinton campaign and the democratic establishment. By the way, there is a third party candidate and his name is Gary Johnson. Think he’ll be in the debates between the mainline party candidates? Despite all of this there is a nagging feeling our politicians are headed in exactly the wrong direction, regardless of party. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and by Brush Studio in the West End.(Editor’s Note: This podcast suggests Speaker Paul Ryan remains on the sidelines, in terms of endorsing Donald Trump as the republican candidate. This was true at the time this podcast was posted, early in the morning on June 2nd. Ryan endorsed Trump and the story broke later the same day, June 2nd, 2016.)

Podcast 496 – The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show – 25

The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show – 25. This weekend’s radio show in crystal clear, digital audio. The radio show includes excerpts from podcasts through the week as well as original content for radio affiliates. In The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show – 25, the tumultuous developments in American Politics this week take center stage, so this show focuses on these developments. First, Donald Trump’s victory in Indiana has the media and elements of the republican party crowning the New York developer as the ‘presumptive nominee’. Certainly, without opposition in primaries from here on out, delegate count isn’t as much of a problem. Trump’s biggest obstacle to the nomination now is the fracturing of the Republican party. Mitt Romney says he can’t support Trump while decrying ‘populism’ in American Politics (whatever that means). It was reported this week that both former Presidents George H.W Bush, and George W. Bush will not attend the RNC in Cleveland. Paul Ryan says he hasn’t decided on whether to support Trump, Trump says he isn’t sure whether he supports Ryan’s ‘agenda’. Down Ticket senators in vulnerable seats are complaining about Trump, and not just ‘any’ senators; Former Republican Presidential Candidate and senior senator John McCain says a Trump nomination puts his seat in question. There, then, is the rub. With no clear indication yet on the plan for Cruz, Kasich and Rubio delegates, it might be suggested Trump’s new ‘presumptive nominee’ title might be, well, presumptive. In this podcast – The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show – 25 – state Cruz organizer Mandy Benz joins me to talk about her raw reactions to the Cruz campaign suspension announcement. After a New York Times article late this week that says news outlets often reprint press releases without editing, don’t ask questions, don’t do any real reporting and the story is controlled from places like The White House, it’s not surprising that talk show charlatans, pundits and personalities seem to be addicted to the attention that comes from endorsing candidates. Being disgusted with the whole process and not liking any of the candidates seems to be the best thing a podcaster do, to provide objective analysis. No one else is, apparently, so Namaste, Bitches. Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End and Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 489

New York Primary Results. The results of the New York Presidential Primary are in. Now sit back and watch the story lines change. Surprise! After a day of voter confusion and typical New York statements from election officials about investigations, the New York Primary Results are in. Donald Trump won roughly 60 percent of the Republican votes, and Hillary Clinton managed about 57 percent of the Democratic votes in a slightly closer race. The most interesting outcome of this presidential preference poll is which republican candidate came in second. While Trump celebrates a win large enough for him to control a lion’s share of the delegates from the Empire State, Ohio Governor John Kasich ran a good second, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz came in a distant third, which should be enough to change the media story lines from ‘Ted Cruz is posing a strong challenge to Trump’, to whether or not John Kasich could be the nominee for the republicans in a contested republican convention this summer. The next primaries favor Trump and especially Kasich. Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island will hold primaries on April 26th. While most analysts expect Trump to win most of the delegates, many will be keeping a close eye on Kasich. Is the republican establishment working for Trump opponents in states that favor them? Recent polls from Wisconsin suggest that might be true. More establishment figures as well as candidates seem to be pointing toward a contested convention. With the establishment concerned about the so called ‘down-ticket’; the US Senate and House, chances are Trump and Cruz — who don’t poll well against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in a head to head match ups — may not be able to get the nomination if they can’t get the required 1237 majority of delegates on the first ballot. This is the main thing to pay attention to in the next few weeks. Ignore the pundits and the exit poll nonsense and focus on the next spate of primaries. Finally, the New York Times reports voters ‘disillusioned’ by primary races that depend on delegate elections, not the popular vote. Are they being sidelined or were voters always sidelined in these state primaries and caucuses? Sponsored by Brush Studio and X Government Cars.