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13 DFL Senators Slam Colleague for ‘Palestinian Youth’ Comment

Plus Frey snipes at council budget input, how some DFL amendments might fare, and a survey of the local airwaves in today's Flyover news roundup.

6:00 PM CST on November 30, 2023

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State Senator Ron Latz

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

DFL in Disarray!

OK, not exactly, but the situation in Gaza is stirring up conflict among Minnesota Democrats. Today 13 DFL senators sent a letter criticizing the following remark by their colleague, Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park): “Palestinian youth dream of the opportunity to achieve glory and even martyrdom by killing as many Jews as possible.” Well… that sure does seem open to critique, no? “It is unacceptable for people in positions of leadership—particularly those with large public platforms—to use dehumanizing, degrading language to describe entire populations of people,” the letter reads in part. Latz has responded that his remarks were taken out of context, but I’ve watched the video and, well, he said what he said. Surely Latz and many others would object to a similar blanket statement about “Israeli youth”?

This comes on the heels of Sen. Omar Fateh objecting when Latz exhumed Golda Meir’s Sting-like quote “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us” for a recent Facebook post. “This makes it clear to me that nobody in the party gives a shit about their Muslim colleagues, staffers, or constituents,” Fateh wrote of that post. But have no fear, Minnesota DFL party chair Ken Martin will fix everything. Martin responded to the criticism of Latz by bravely tweeting that both antisemitism and Islamophobia are bad— without actually mentioning the situation at hand at all. That's a far cry from Martin's very specific, highly emotional condemnation last month of the Twin Cities DSA chapter.

Begun the Mpls Budget Wars Have

The Minneapolis City Council has passed four dozen amendments to the $1.8 billion budget proposed by Mayor Jacob Frey, Jon Collins at MPR reports, and the mayor sure ain’t happy about that. Altering his budget “would significantly impact our ability to provide efficient and effective services to our residents,” Frey tweeted. One such amendment would create a pilot program of public safety “ambassadors,” funded by $2.1 million of the $19 million in one-time state public safety aid allotted to the city. You may recall that the council already rejected Frey’s proposal to set $15.1 million of that aside for police recruitment and retention. The mayor, of course, is taking this exercise of shared governmental authority well. “I strongly suggest that you get buy-in from the people charged with implementing the work,” Frey wrote.  “Promising new pilots from the Council dais without input from our expert staff could result in empty promises." Is that a threat? 

And Speaking of Amendments...

Two proposed amendments to the Minnesota state constitution that are under DFL consideration received support from a MinnPost/Embold Research poll, reports Peter Callaghan from MInnPost. According to the poll, 60% of respondents backed a state equal rights amendment, which would cover race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry, or national origin, with just 25% opposed. Faring slightly less well, but still supported, was a amendment protecting abortion and reproductive rights, which stands at 53% in favor to 37% opposed. The DFL hasn’t offered up either of these yet as ballot measures, or even stated that it will. But putting them on the ballot would certainly make the 2024 election even more interesting, that’s for sure. 

Radio Radio

As a once regular (if not obsessive) radio listener who now barely tunes in at all (that’s what happens when you don’t have a regular auto commute), I’m always curious to hear how terrestrial stations are faring these days. So when Bring Me the News writes about the current ratings, I peep in. Currently in the lead is Christian music station KTIS 98.5 with a 10.5 share, the only station to make it in the double digits. (And that’s up 1.2 from last month, when they also led the pack.) KFAN trails significantly behind in the second slot, with KOOL 108 and KS95 tied for third. Among other takeaways? The mighty KQRS has certainly fallen—the classic rock station once dominated the charts now barely holds the 10th slot with a 4.3. Life after Tom Barnard might be less noxious, but it ain't any easier.

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