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How Should Minnesota Squander Its $7.7 Billion Surplus?

Plus a loopy Secretary of State candidate, Brooklyn Center's progress, and investors upending the housing market in today's Flyover.


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

Minnesota Is Swimming Scrooge-McDuck-Like in Gold Coins

We’re rich! Rich, I tells ya! How much extra cash is in the state of Minnesota’s accounts this year? “Oodles,” reports Brian Bakst at MPR. OK, he does go into a little more detail: Minnesota projects a $7.7 billion surplus, which isn’t bad considering, well, everything. To put that in numbers that Racket readers can all understand, that’s 7.7 million Racketeer-level subscriptions, 770 million Accomplice-level subscriptions, or a whopping 1.54 billion Lookout-level subscriptions. Remember, a Racket subscription makes the perfect gift for that “difficult to shop for” person “who has everything” this holiday season. Sorry, back on track now: Where will the money go? Topping the list of those entreating the state for more funding are schools, which, absolutely, and businesses who've been making higher than usual unemployment payments, which, well, hmm. 

Kim Crockett? More Like Kim Crackpot.

Kim Crockett is running for Secretary of State, the Minnesota Reformer tells us. You might remember Crockett for her insights into immigration in St. Cloud. “These aren’t people coming from Norway, let’s put it that way,” she told the New York Times about the city’s Somali population in 2019. “These people are very visible.” That got her a 30-day-suspension from the Center for the American Experiment. (Ooh, harsh.) But for Republicans, her chief qualification isn’t that she’s even too racist for CAP (though that won’t hurt). It’s her commitment to encouraging the well-funded lie that our voting system is fraud-ridden, a mass delusion (also rooted in racism) that’s become more visible in the Trump era but has been encouraged by Republicans for decades (at least). Crockett now works for the litigation-happy Minnesota Voters Alliance and says things like, “Other than California, we’re probably the state with the least amount of integrity.” She’s referring to “election integrity,” a made-up problem her bosses would like you to obsess over so they can disenfranchise more voters—especially the ones who don’t look like they’re coming from Norway, let’s put it that way. 

Brooklyn Center: Doing What Minneapolis Can’t

Turns out, when a police officer kills someone, a city can respond to justifiably outraged public opinion by improving its public safety system. Not in Minneapolis, where we chose to stand behind our (retiring—surprise!) police chief and, I guess, hope for the best. But in Brooklyn Center, where former cop Kimberly Potter now stands trial after killing Daunte Wright last summer. Last night the suburb passed $1.3 million in funding for alternatives to policing, the Star Tribune reports. The scaled back measures that have been adopted have disappointed proponents of stronger measures, including Mayor Mike Elliott and Wright’s mother, Katie, but as first steps go it sure beats establishing another toothless commission.  

The Latest Group Screwing You Over? Out-of-State Housing Investors. 

Have you had a hard time buying a house in the Twin Cities metro? A rise in long-distance investors swooping in and turning single-family homes into rental properties could be one cause. “The effects—including higher prices throughout the market, greater competition at time of sale, and out-of-state landlords showing less care for properties and renters—are becoming harder to ignore,” the Star Tribune reported this weekend. Corporate investors are buying in lower-income neighborhoods, shutting first-time homeowners out of the market, and possibly contributing to the continued low level of Black homeownership in the area, according to the Strib. Sounds bad to me, and I don’t even want to buy a house.  

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