Minnesota Road Trip-Progressives-History-Politics-Duluth 2018-Podcast 727

These days one of the things you learn on a road trip is how big the United States is. Then, how big individual states are. Finally the traveler discovers how each state is different. In Minnesota Road Trip-Progressives-History-Politics-Duluth 2018-Podcast 727.

Get Off The Interstate

Most noteworthy is what happens when you get off the Interstate and onto the back roads. That’s when you really see how it is.

Covering Politics In 2018

2018 is an election year. I said I would cover the Minnesota political scene this year. The first stop is the Minnesota State Republican Convention. Duluth. On the shores of Lake Superior.

Minnesota History

Furthermore some of the state’s old hands don’t know Minnesota’s unique social and political history. We’ll discover it together in Minnesota Road Trip-Progressives-History-Politics-Duluth 2018-Podcast 727.

Town Hall Is In Our Blood

Sure, we know our pioneer history. Especially relevant is the unique history of political grass roots and town hall style representation.

Minnesota’s first settlers were New Englanders and New Yorkers. They brought town halls with them. Later immigrants from Scandinavia, Germany and Ireland formed the bedrock of so called ‘progressive‘ politics in the state. Therefore, those ideas are still with us.

Yes Republicans Were Progressives and Populists Too

In addition while some people assume progressive politics these days is only the political left, republicans too have a long history of progressivism. Find out in Minnesota Road Trip-Progressives-History-Politics-Duluth 2018-Podcast 727.

Tim Pawlenty Tries To Derail Caucus Process

Will the grassroots system survive in Minnesota? Former republican Governor Tim Pawlenty isn’t attending because he’ll be clinking crystal with rich guys at the Minneapolis Club. Pawlenty’s operatives will push the convention to refuse to endorse a candidate for governor. This is the main issue in Duluth this weekend.

Do We Really Want To Dump The Town Hall?

Moreover populists and progressives go back to the roots of Minnesota Republicans and democrats. Probably a big part of that process has been town hall style politics in the caucus system. Most of all do we really want to get rid of it?

Surprises In This Podcast

In conclusion as I researched this podcast I learned a few surprising facts. I think you will too.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Two things. First, it’s not 35W heading to Duluth, it’s just 35 North. Being a Twin Citiean, I have to get on 35W before 35 North. Second, for some reason I thought the State DFL convention – the democrats – was being held in Rochester, Minnesota the week after the Republican Convention in Duluth. Once again those sneaky democrats have managed to slip out of my grasp. It’s in the 40’s in Duluth and the 80’s in Rochester. Given the quality of the speeches in Duluth this weekend, I wish I had gone to Rochester!)

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Minnesota Road Trip-Progressives-History-Politics-Duluth 2018-Podcast 727

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Super Bowl Robbing Minnesota Blind-Civic Boosterism Gone Wild-Podcast 698

Minneapolis and Saint Paul is happy to be hosting the Super Bowl. Costs for the event are not at the top of the local media’s list of things to talk about. We will in NFL Super Bowl Robbing Minnesota Blind-Civic Boosterism Gone Wild-Podcast 698.

Losing Proposition

Local leaders say this big event will generate 400 million dollars of revenue. Cooler heads say that number is pie in the sky. 400 million doesn’t come close to covering the costs of the US Bank Stadium and The Super Bowl.

Who Pays?

Minneapolis is on the hook for 700 million dollars over the next thirty years with US Bank Stadium. Especially relevant is the fact that the Minnesota Vikings owners got one of the best stadium deals in the league. All they had to do was threaten to move the team to LA. So much for loving the people of Minnesota.

By All Means Kneel

Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s Super Bowl Committee agreed to most of the demands of the NFL for a Super Bowl. On the list? The NFL will pay no state, county or municipal taxes for any Super Bowl revenue. Guess who’s paying?

Evil Corporations Do Not Include The NFL

Truth is the taxpayers of Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s metro and the State of Minnesota are paying for this event. So much for evil corporations politicians like to rail about.

Pleased As Punch For The Super Bowl

Hot dish and frozen lakes are all the rage on the local TV and radio stations. The picture of the cute kid in a Vikings jersey at the Super Bowl Experience in the newspapers.

Meanwhile the NFL is making big deals in the presidential suites of all the local hotels the city and state are paying for.

Oh by the way, they get free police escorts as well.

Boosterism Gone Wild.

Legal Corruption

These days free stuff for corporations is what it’s all about. Subsidies for apartment buildings near the train lines. Subsidies for the Mall of America to build an addition. In addition, sweet deals for businesses juiced in to events like the Super Bowl abound.

The game isn’t football. The game is a legal corruption that robs citizens blind.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

NFL Super Bowl Robbing Minnesota Blind-Civic Boosterism Gone Wild-Podcast 698

Friday Night On Mean Street Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis-Podcast 648

Have you been to downtown Minneapolis lately? These days some don’t feel safe there. In Friday Night On Mean Street Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis-Podcast 648 we run the gauntlet on Hennepin Avenue.

After Billions Spent, New Questions About Safety Downtown

The media is starting to ask questions about crime in downtown. Opinion makers and the city’s leaders are apparently concerned. The questions they don’t ask are revealing.

Another New Crisis

The Crisis in American Cities has been grabbing headlines for a hundred years. From The Gateway District to Mayo Square it’s the same formula. Use taxpayer dollars to Demolish. Rebuild. Repeat. Has it been worth it?

Robert Moses and Richard Daley Would Be Proud

Light rail and mixed use condos. Expensive restaurants and Hipster art districts. Bike paths. Safe spaces. Higher Minimum Wages. Political fights about redevelopment and economic inequality. Tax Increment Financing to bring in big retail and big companies.

When these efforts produce mixed results, the process starts all over again. More money. Newer stadiums. More buildings. More condos that are sold as ‘affordable’ but cost at least two hundred thousand dollars. Higher rents. Traffic Jams. Crime.

Downtown Minneapolis was never a ‘thing’

The neighborhoods and retail business were located in North Minneapolis and North East, Uptown, Lake Street in South Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s ‘Midway’. Sure, Hennepin Avenue always featured bars and hotels, places to eat and entertainment. But downtown was for warehouses, light industry, office buildings, city and county government. And drunks.

Not DisneyLand

Let’s just say it. Downtown Minneapolis isn’t Disneyland. It never was. That’s the reason punks loved in in the early 80’s. The gritty nature of Moby’s and other Block E attractions made it ‘charming’. It’s one of the reasons First Avenue was able to gain a foothold as a seminal and nationally famous music and punk culture venue.

These days, the well connected, with impeccable credentials in the Twin Cities’ public-private partnership world, continue to sell ‘more of the same’; Taxes, regulation, and fees that make seeing a show or going to a baseball, football, or basketball game and having dinner after, impossibly expensive for most of the disappearing middle class.

Investment For What?

Want to start a business downtown? Want to buy a condo downtown? Better be juiced into the money or have a lot of money. No wonder people are concerned about the nitty gritty nature of Hennepin Avenue. Walking down this street you’re mixing with the great unwashed. Unruly, scantily clad, vulgar, of different races and often from the poor side of the cities. And it’s really, really fun.

What Does The 21st Century Look Like?

We need to start asking questions about the nature of the city in the mid twenty first century. Retail is dying. Corporations don’t need tons of office space anymore. No one wants to pay more and more tax. No one wants to have to pay 22 dollars for a hamburger to fund the sports cathedrals for billionaire team owners that live around Lake of Isles or out in Minnetonka.

Is the solution really more cops downtown. Another Light Rail line? Subsidized office space? Another redevelopment of Nicollet Mall? More incremental taxes added to the bills at the Smack Shack? Who lives down here? Not the servers. Nor the kids hanging out at the LRT station.

Spend Daddy’s Money Downtown

Downtown Minneapolis is a place for trust fund babies, lawyers and corporates relocating. People who are used to having things their way. No wonder they think it’s unsafe. Sadly, they’re making everyone else pay for their own personal Epcot Center. It’s a con.

Present Becomes Past?

No matter how much they spend when you walk this street, you’re walking where the bums in the Gateway used to spend the winter drinking. The past echoes up and down Hennepin, even if the buildings are long torn down. That’s never going to change.

We Pay For Power In The Shadows

When you think about how much of the taxpayer’s hard earned dollars they’ve spent, one wonders when the Downtown Council and the real shadow power in Minneapolis will be held accountable.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul

Friday Night On Mean Street Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis-Podcast 648