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We Already Don’t Like This Guy

Plus utility-funded anti-abortion laws, more bad ideas from Dr. Gov. Jensen, and a corntastic plea to the State Fair in today's Flyover.

Screengrab via Fox 9

Cedric Alexander Fits Right in

Minnesota politics has a long history of paternalism: Think of the wise elders of the Itasca Group steering public policy for the good of us masses from their secretive downtown meetings. In Minneapolis itself, this top-down, fuck-the-plebes style of government has thrived under Jacob Frey, who responds to public criticism about as gracefully as a toddler, if not quite as eloquently. The governing principle under Frey has been that the less the people of Minneapolis (including their council reps) know the better, especially when it comes the Minneapolis Police Department and public safety.

So of course Cedric Alexander, the new Community Safety Advisor Frey hired, has begun his tenure by dismissing those who would “criticize” the police—which places us in a difficult position, because it’s hard to state basic facts about the MPD in a non-critical way. In an interview with Fox 9, Alexander says he will ignore the perspectives of those who use the MPD “as a punching bag.” (Ooh, can we do that?) He also wants to closely analyze the budgets of the city’s violence prevention programs, though curiously he makes no mention of doing the same for the MPD’s bloated, untouchable budget. Sorry, was that a criticism?

As Wedge Live has noted, the idea that certain voices no longer need to be attended to is rapidly becoming the party line of the downtown Minneapolis establishment. “Congenital distrust of MPD for some will never be overcome,” said Steve Cramer of the Downtown Council, who I sure don’t remember voting for. Since nearly 44% of Minneapolis voters wanted to replace the MPD with a Department of Public Safety just last year, Cramer’s “some” makes up a sizable chunk of the city. Unclear how we’re now supposed to express our concerns to government officials who’ve preemptively dismissed our input. What was that MLK quote about “the language of the unheard” again?

Your Gas Company is Bankrolling Anti-Abortion Trigger Laws

CenterPoint Energy’s ludicrously compensated gargoyle CEO, David J. Lesar, rang the Wall Street bell yesterday to celebrate 20 years of natural resource extraction. Was he also celebrating the gleeful price gouging the Houston-based company recently subjected Minnesotans to, as Minnesota Reformer’s Max Nesterak suggested? Or perhaps Lesar was still riding high from the repeal of Roe vs. Wade, considering his company has given $166,100 to Texas politicians and causes that promote “trigger laws”—state-level actions that would effectively ban abortion. The utility has sprayed another $14,850 to support trigger laws in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma over the past few years, according to a report from the Energy & Policy Institute. Click here to learn more about the trigger laws that CenterPoint—a big-time celebrator of International Women’s Day—is helping fund.

Scott Jensen Compares Eliminating Income Tax to Creating the Lightbulb

Metaphor-challenged gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen, under fire this week for tripling down on insisting that mask mandates are creeping Nazism, is continuing to demonstrate how his huge doctor brain works in ways beyond our feeble comprehension. Jensen wants to eliminate the Minnesota state income tax, the primary source of the state budget. Many of us who are not doctor-geniuses, using primitive tools like “math,” believe we can determine the effects of such an act. Rich people would be richer, public services would be gutted, and the GOP dream of a struggling populace dependent on the needs of financial elite would be realized. The Minnesota Reformer crunches the numbers here.

But that’s not what bold innovator Dr. Gov. Jensen thinks. The Reformer also surfaced an intriguing Jensen quote on this subject from June. “When Thomas Edison created the lightbulb, his friends told him ‘That’s not realistic,’” Jensen said. “Is it realistic to talk about eliminating Minnesota personal income tax? I think it’s as realistic as inventing a lightbulb or a computer in my phone that used to take up a room this size with mainframes.”

Well, when you put it that way! Comparing technological advances to reactionary boondoggles may not strike your fancy, that’s fine. But this is how he thinks and you don’t get to be his thought police person. Now if you excuse me I’m gonna go jump off my roof and learn to fly using my non-realistic bold innovative thinking.

The State Fair Must Land the TikTok Corn Kid

The TikTok Corn Kid has taken the internet by storm. We love him. You will too—just follow along.

Here’s the origin story of the adorable tot, a kiddo named Tariq from New York City:

Cribbed from his interview soundbites, here’s the song that’s currently lighting up TikTok:

And here’s a million dollar idea: The Minnesota State Fair—home to the never-misses Corn Roast booth—must devote any amount of dollars necessary to flying the Corn Kid out for an appearance. He’d gnaw some knobs off the beautiful big lump, maybe do the corn dance, and generally delight every damn fairgoer in earshot. Hell, he’s more exciting than anything at the Grandstand.

Let’s make this happen, people! Public pressure could motivate the Fair to move on this screamingly obvious PR win. Let’s get the Corn Kid to Minnesota! LFG!