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Cory Hepola Raised HOW Much Money?! (And Other Findings.)

Plus parking ramp fire sale, progressive U of M politics, and a heartwarming hockey "fuck you" in today's Flyover.

The standard $5 and $10 bills that politicians tend to raise.
Unsplash via Alexander Schimmeck

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

*Cue Theme Song From NBC’s The Apprentice*

“Cash rules everything around me,” the Wu-Tang Clan once famously proclaimed. Elected officials? They operate on a similar principle. That’s what makes campaign finance data reveal day—today!—so intriguing. For this quarterly report, Tom Nehil and Greta Kaul at MinnPost visualized the fundraising that’s fueling races for statewide offices and the U.S. House. There are several big takeaways. Gov. Tim Walz ($4.6 million) has a commanding financial lead over the second-highest earner, Republican challenger should-he-really-be-a-Dr. Scott Jensen ($1.5 million), while Cory Hepola, the animated product of Andrew Yang’s griftastic Forward Party, has only amassed $31,000. At $1 million, GOP candidate Dennis Smith has outraised incumbent DFLer Keith Ellison by about double in the AG race. (Update: The Ellison campaign just informed Racket that $500,000 of Smith’s haul comes from a personal loan he issued to himself, which seems worth noting.) Over in CD5, a district that’s always showered with out-of-state riches, Republican Cicely Davis ($741,000) is far behind incumbent Rep. Ilhan Omar ($1.6 million). But hey, stop listening to my yammering and experience the charts/graphs/what-have-yous that MinnPost artfully compiled.

Wanna Buy a St. Paul Parking Ramp?

It’s a unique property with many convenient features, but it’s also a kinda dumb investment. The Capital City Plaza parking ramp, located at 50 Fourth St. E. in St. Paul, has never been much of a money generator. For starters, the ramp, built for $20 million by the Port Authority in 2001, is in an odd location. Yeah, you could technically park there and walk several blocks to the Minnesota Museum of American Art or the Hyatt, but other pay lots exist much closer. According to the Star Tribune, audit documents show that last year the property had $16 million in assets and $75 million in liabilities. Still, there must be something sexy about this parking ramp. When it went up for sale in 2019, real estate developer/ex-convict John Thomas coveted the structure, as did W.A. Frost owner John Rupp, who even sued for the first right to buy the ramp. Enticed? The auction began at 10 a.m. this morning.

U of M Students Pass Min. Wage, Cop Accountability Referendums

As Minneapolis and St. Paul slog their way toward a $15 per hour minimum wage loaded with exceptions, University of Minnesota students voted overwhelmingly to outright win the Fight for $15. In campus elections last March, 90% of students voted for a $15 per hour student worker minimum wage referendum, Madison Roth of the Minnesota Daily reports. “I’m feeling optimistic, and I’ll feel a whole lot better as soon as we reach an agreement with University officials to raise the minimum wage on campus,” sophomore Carter Yost, who helped champion the referendum, told the Daily. The other ballot measure—creation of a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC)—passed with 82% of the vote, yet again vastly outpacing the non-progress made in Minneapolis. “I would like accountability for the harm that UMPD has done,” says Bella Harbison with Students for a Democratic Society. “We want to have some sort of actual conversation with admin.” Both referendums are expected to be implemented by the U, the Daily reports. The school’s PR apparatus sounded less certain, telling the newspaper that school officials will be “considering the content of the referendums.”

A Wild Player’s “Fuck You” Goes To a Good Cause

During Tuesday night’s game, superstar Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov got into a fight with Evander Kane of the Edmonton Oilers. Then Ryan Hartman joined his teammate Kaprizov in the fray. In the violent world of ice hockey, this is not unusual. However, once separated, Hartman went a step too far: He flipped the bird at Kane. NHL executives presumably gasped in shock, and handed him a $4,250 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct. Though Hartman told press the fine was “well worth it,” hockey fans, as well as Kane’s ex-wife Anna, soon started blowing up his Venmo with over $20,000 to pay it off. Hartman, however, has announced that he will pay the fine himself, and will donate the funds to Children’s Minnesota, and will top off the impromptu fundraiser with the fine amount, making that a grand total of $24,250 for the charity. Sometimes a “fuck you” can end in a warm fuzzy.