Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Taylor Fam Leads Mayo Nurse Union Decertification Drive
Jeez, is Glen Taylor actually the good guy in his family? Lol no, let’s not get carried away here, but at least the current owner of the Strib and outgoing Timberwolves owner buys properties it’d be nice to keep in-state. Meanwhile, his daughter Jean is further corporatifying what remains of MPR and stepdaughter Brittany Burgess, surely the wealthiest nurse in the state of Minnesota, has conspired with the National Right to Work Foundation to convince other nurses to ditch their union protections, Max Nesterak at the Minnesota Reformer reports. Burgess recently invited colleagues to Taylor’s Mankato mansion to discuss the process of decertifying the union for Mayo’s Mankato hospital, which labor reps dismissed as a cynical move to exploit exhausted nurses during a particularly grueling time. But today, the decert motion passed on a vote of 213 to 181. Oof, alienate that labor, y’all. Anyway, if there is one “right” I’m pretty clear will never be stripped from us, it’s our “right” to work.
Let’s Fund Some Abortions, Minneapolis
With the Supreme Court sinking Roe, what can local governments in places like Minnesota do to help abortion-seekers fleeing their repressive states? Well, like the rest of us, they can cough up some money. At MPR, Michelle Wiley looks at a push by orgs Our Justice and Pro-Choice Minnesota, supported by city council members Aisha Chughtai and Robin Wonsley, to convince the city of Minneapolis to directly fund abortion care. The groups are already seeing an influx of Texas patients who require not just medical care, but lodging and travel costs. Jacob Frey seems on board, in his verbose and vague way, and we’d join Portland, Chicago, and New York, cities with already existing funding programs. The proponents are asking for $800,000, which you can think of as less than the cost of a single police settlement.
Creepy Big Money Paternalist Groups Band Together
We don’t talk about the Itasca Project enough. But as the shadowy group (purportedly well-meaning Minnesota execs plus former officeholders) merges with the equally opaque org Greater MSP, it’s as good an excuse as any to take a little peek behind the curtain. The Itascans meet at digs provided by consulting icksters McKinsey sporadically to discuss ways to keep businesses and corporate talent in-state—stuff you’d think wealthy, powerful people would have no shortage of ways of doing on their own. They also seek (and often succeed) in steering policy. As with so much that happens behind the scenes in Minneapolis, it’s hard to put a finger on an actual offense, other than a generally distrust in democratic self-rule that just skeeves me out. As Esquire’s Charles Pierce once said of the group, “Good intentions don’t justify unaccountable power.”
The Dumb Matt Birk Burger Saga Continues
When “cancel culture” came for both the Nook and Shamrocks for having a burgers on their menu named after former NFL center/Republican Lt. Gov hopeful Matt Birk, the businesses, which share an owner, removed the item. Now, Jameson’s Irish Bar in West St. Paul is picking up the stupid torch with plans to name a burger after Birk. Owner and chef Brian Rubenzer made the announcement via an interview with notably crappy far-right website Alpha News. (Huh, for some reason we can’t link to them.)
Basically, Rubenzer stans hard for Birk because he ate there during peak pandemic times and now he wants to help Birk during these dark burger-renaming times. “That was my most difficult time, you know? So I appreciate that. So I’d say in his most difficult time I want to do the same for him.” Birk, meanwhile, is flattered, and hopes his new burger will bring people together. “Maybe the Matt Birk Burger will be so good that it can bring people from both sides of the aisle together,” Birk told Alpha. Yes, because family fights over politics never start at the dinner table. We just hope that Jameson’s doesn’t employ any women; according to Birk that’s a slippery slope to abortion and, of course, slavery.