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Election Day 2021: The #1 Reason to Get Dressed and Leave Your House This Afternoon

Plus the gas utility price hikes, 3 MN authors on the TX ban list, and a sign of the times in Brandon, MN.

If nothing else, do it for the sweet sticker.
Parker Johnson/Unsplash

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

It’s Election Day! Time to cull the herd

Did you vote? Are you headed to the polls? Are you voting right this moment? It’s a big day for local politics, with a little bit of everything up for grabs: Mayor races! Rent control! Schools! Safety stuff! Uh, Board of Estimate and Taxation spots! The only way to stop all those robocalls on your phone is to voice your opinion via your local polling location. Do you have no idea WTF I’m talking about? Sahan Journal has an excellent guide up today on where to vote, how to vote, and other important details to help you do what you gotta do today. It’s either going to be a historic election or… the same old bullshit.

CenterPoint Energy needs $7 from you

Two proposals recently put forth by CenterPoint Energy seem kinda confusing and ill-timed. But the main takeaway is that the largest gas utility in the state wants more money—and it’s kinda an emergency, for them, at least. Last year, the price of natural gas spiked after deep freezes in Texas and other areas south. Now CenterPoint is pushing for two price changes in Minnesota, one that would give them a 6.5% increase, adding an average of $4.05 to your bill. The second proposal has been dubbed a “rate stabilization plan,” which would spread out the after effects of that price spike from Texas over a period of about two years, adding about $2.83 to the average bill. “Although we believe our full rate request is warranted, we recognize the significant burdens experienced by many of our customers due to the pandemic,” CenterPoint helpfully acknowledges on its site. Hey, gas is hurting too, y’all! In 2021 the company reported a $438 million operating income in the second quarter and $363 million in the first quarter of 2022. 

Texas man hates 850 books, and 3 local authors made the list!

State Rep. Matt Krause is investigating a list of 850 books he believes are making “students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex.” But let’s call it what it is: This dude wants to police content not geared toward cis straight white men. Three Minnesota authors are on the list, and are, for the most part, unbothered. “I couldn’t feel more accomplished,” Macalester College professor Duchess Harris posted on Facebook. “You think I’m being sarcastic, but this was #lifegoals.” Only four of her 125 books made the grade, including Protesting Police Violence in Modern America and Political Resistance in the Current Age. Junauda Petrus is also on the list with her queer, female, young adult, coming-of-age story, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is also here; she wrote the intro for a flagged essay collection, Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage. Strength and courage? From women? Think of the children! “[This is] an effort to simply erase the experiences of groups that have traditionally been marginalized and silenced by our society,” Harris told the Star Tribune. “Just as we are making it possible for them to fully participate, we are taking many steps backwards.”

Brandon, Minnesota, wants in on the “Fuck Joe Biden” meme

Trump-loving folks who make their way through Brandon, Minnesota these days are probably high-fiving over the tiny “Let’s Go” signs that have been added to the town’s city limit signs. For those not up on lesser GOP shenanigans, “Let’s go Brandon” basically became a pro-Trump rallying cry after a reporter mistook “Fuck Joe Biden!” chants from a NASCAR crowd as “Let’s go Brandon!” The west central Minnesota town is certainly Trump country: According to Bring Me the News, of the 287 votes counted in the city precinct, 191 went to Trump and 88 went to Biden.