Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Hyperbolic Reactionary Headed to Statehouse
When you google “Walter Hudson,” you gets lots of results for a 900-pound Brooklyn man who once held the Guinness World Record for Largest Waist; that Walter Hudson died of a heart attack in 1991. RIP. But the Walter Hudson we’re interested in today is this Walter Hudson, the state representative-elect for District 30A. (His bad, boilerplate lock-’em-up, anti-abortion, pro-gun platform is at least written with some dramatic panache.) Independent political video aggregator Aaron Rupar, who you may remember from City Pages, tweeted a clip today of Hudson’s… um, historically creative… views on vaccination mandates. Speaking Sunday at a rally of weirdos that included failed gubernatorial candidate Dr. Scott Jensen, the future lawmaker offered: “You are equivalent to a plantation owner who enslaved Black people and forced them to work for you if you, today, as a medical professional or just a member of the populace, demand that your neighbor take a vaccination to keep you safe.”
After the Rupar tweet popped, Hudson doubled-down: “Indeed. When you claim ownership over another person’s life, which Tim Walz, Dr. Fauci, and the entire ‘public health’ establishment did, you become a slaver.” Good-faith arguments can be made for and against vaccine mandates but, yowza, that’s not what we’re hearing from Hudson. Good luck over the next two years if you live in the Ostego/Albtertville/Saint Michael/Hanover/Rockford Township area!
Make School Lunches Free!
In theory, you can do an awful lot with a $17.6 billion budget surplus and a DFL controlled House, Senate, and Governor’s seat. Guv Walz has mentioned a few programs he’d support with that money already—many of which would benefit students and their families—and universal school lunch is one of them. Minnpost’s Peter Callaghan takes a dive today into what the program might look like if it shows up on the governor’s 2023-25 budget request this January, along with the potential roadblocks that could stand in his way. For example, free and reduced lunch eligibility is how schools’ needs more broadly are determined, so they’d need to hammer out a different system if universal free lunch (estimated to cost the state around $185 million annually) goes through. Seems like a fine thing to have to hammer out, if you ask us. In a hilariously dark Democratic Party move, Minnesota lawmakers passed a 2021 law that prohibited “lunch shaming”—i.e. mandating that “any reminders for payment of outstanding student meal balances do not demean or stigmatize any child”—while doing nothing to address the underlaying problem of lunch debt.
Food Poisoning Hits the Eagle Community
Animals love snackin’ on rotting carcasses. So when local eagles found some discarded dead things at the Pine Bend Landfill in Inver Grove Heights, they probably thought they had won the food lottery. Unfortunately, like an E. coli outbreak at Chipotle, they would soon face the consequences of feasting on animals euthanized with pentobarbital. Police brought in a sick very eagle on December 4, and the following days volunteers and conservationists found more birds face down in the snow, suffering the wrath of human error. (It’s important to dispose of euthanized animals properly to prevent wild creatures from scavenging and getting sick.) While two eagles were found dead, 11 others were brought to the Raptor Center. So far, one found to be also sick with the bird flu has died, but the rest are expected to make a full recovery. Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the Minnesota DNR, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are all looking into how this happened, and a fundraiser to help cover the costs of caring for the eagles is just $2K short of its $15,000 goal. Get well soon, majestic buddies.
Mary Mack Goes Hyper-Midwest On Fallon
Last week we alerted you to the fact Mary Mack, the delightfully folksy Twin Cities comic, would make her Tonight Show debut on Friday. Following guest spots from pop superstar Miley Cyrus and Grey’s Anatomy‘s Jesse Williams, that’s exactly what happened. But don’t take our word for it:
The chives bit!! We’ll ditto the top YouTube commenter: “God blessed us with this sweet funny adorable woman. We must protect her at all costs.”