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Cowboy Frey Shows off His Cool, Not-at-All-Rehearsed ‘Veto Pen’ Unholstering on TV

Plus unions win big in school board races, a new challenger for Phillips, and a special fan of Josh Dobbs in today's Flyover newsletter.

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

Why Is He Like This?

Look, we know Frey-bashing is annoying. At this point it probably works in the guy’s favor when lefties habitually criticize him, because he gets to do a little “standing up to my enemies” tough guy routine, with few repercussions likely since a 2021 charter amendment gutted city council’s power. But after… well, everything, it’s hard to believe the guy is acting in good faith when he tells Fox 9 he wants to cooperate with the incoming Minneapolis City Council, which will lean slightly more progressive than its predecessor. “Now is not the time to highlight disagreements,” Frey said in a televised interview. “Look, if I’ve got to use my veto pen, I’ve got it right here in my pocket. But that’s not the way you start out a term. You start out the term saying, ‘Let’s work together.’”

But if pulling out a veto pen is “not the way you start out a term,” then why make such a show of, well, pulling out a veto pen, as Frey did here. He almost certainly practiced this corny motion beforehand; if he didn’t, that’s even worse, since it means he makes even a spontaneous action feel rehearsed. (Hat tip to Wedge LIVE for watching TV news so the rest of us don’t have to.) And as for those of you who think we're too snarky here at Racket, please note that we didn't say a word about his new haircut.

Unions Win Big School Boards, Conservative Groups Less So

School Board elections ain’t flashy, but they’re a battleground where plenty of hot button political issues get fought out hand to hand. This year’s campaigns in Minnesota were unusually well-funded—nearly $200K flooded into races for the Anoka-Hennepin school board, the state’s largest. Also notable this year was an influx of candidates backed by the conservative Minnesota Parents Alliance. (“Parents” is one of those words, like “freedom,” that you should always be suspicious of when it surfaces in a political context.) Ten of 44 candidates backed by that org won, with two of them winning seats in Anoka-Hennepin and three on the Hastings school board. But MPR reports that the night’s big winners were “union-endorsed school board candidates and school funding.”

Where’s Dean?

With Dean Phillips off in New Hampshire, persisting in his doomed pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, some DFL members back at home are lining up to challenge him for his U.S. House seat in 2024. As Ana Radelat points out at MinnPost, Phillips has missed some high-profile congressional votes lately: He was absent for a resolution condemning the October 7 Hamas attack; a bill to increase military aid to Israel (and gut the IRS); a measure to boot Rep. George Santos from Congress; and a vote on whether to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib. Phillips’s single yea or nay wouldn’t have made a difference in any of these instances, but a sparse voting record could become a talking point for his opponents in November. The latest to jump in the water is state Sen. Kelly Morrison (DFL-Deephaven), an assistant Minnesota Senate majority leader who believes her status as a pro-abortion-rights OB-GYN will be an asset in 2024. Already in the race is DNC member Ron Harris (no relation), who is peeved at Phillips’s challenge to President Joe Biden.

Football Ain’t Rocket Science—Or Is It?

Bring Me the Sports has a cute profile of David Forliti, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at St. Thomas and former Air Force rocket science. Like many Minnesota football fans, Forliti has been happy to see new Vikings QB Josh Dobbs do well. But Forliti has more of a personal and professional interest than most—after all, Dobbs famously has a degree in aerospace engineering and was a NASA intern. “Watching Dobbs piqued his interest because he fully understands the workload that engineering students face,” writes Matthew Coller. What’s the big payoff here? Nothing! Just one rocket scientist happily watching another thrive, with some talk of the challenges that face student athletes, the difficulties of aeronautical engineering, and some cool stuff about rockets. What more do you need?

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