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Keith Ellison Fine With Micromanaging Prosecutions Now

Plus more accolades for Sean Sherman, more bike hate from Carol Becker, and the NYT tests our property market in today's Flyover.

4:42 PM CDT on April 13, 2023

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Not on the best terms ATM.

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

Keith Ellison Taking Hits from the Left Over Moriarty Power-Grab

Last year, Minnesota's GOP candidate for Attorney General, Jim Schultz (remember him?), pledged to take cases over from “far-left” prosecutors who lacked a sufficient lock-’em-up mentality. He specifically mentioned Mary Moriarty, then a candidate for Hennepin County Attorney running on a reform agenda. His opponent, incumbent AG Keith Ellison, who endorsed Moriarty in that election, took a strong stand against Schultz’s proposed actions. Well, Moriarty won her election handily and is acting on her agenda, while Ellison prevailed in a more closely contested contest and now apparently thinks it’s cool to yoink a case from prosecutors when he disagrees with their actions.

The case in question: Two teens have been accused of killing a Brooklyn Park woman, and Moriarty offered a plea deal of two years in juvenile prison, and, if they violate the terms of their probation after that, 115 months of adult prison time. (This is in keeping with Moriarty’s belief that the goal when prosecuting youth offenders is to reduce recidivism.)

The proposed deal sparked a backlash; the Star Tribune, for instance, ran an opinion piece by Martha Holton-Dimick, Moriarty's failed rival in last fall's Hennepin County Attorney race. Holton-Dimick not only criticized Moriarty's decision but also Moriarty herself for, among other things, living in south Minneapolis. At the urging of Gov. Tim Walz, who always gets fidgety when Greater Minnesotans are outraged by metro area residents making their own decisions, Ellison has taken over the case. And now people are noticing this situation, with disappointment, outside of Minnesota. Eamon Whalen has a good rundown on the whole affair, including the background I sketched above, for Bolts/Mother Jones. Another progressive national outlet, The Intercept, piled on today too with "Behind Keith Ellison's Tough-on-Crime Turn."

Racket ran a story on Moriarty when she first announced her candidacy, laying out many of the principles she promised to act on as county attorney. “Is Hennepin County Ready for Restorative Justice?” our headline asked. In November, a majority of voters appeared to say yes. But maybe we should have asked whether the DFL is ready.

Owamni’s Sherman Makes Time’s 100 Influential People List

Oglala Lakota chef Sean Sherman is having a moment. His restaurant, Owamni, is not only the talk of the town, but of the nation, leading the way in the decolonized food movement. (Here's hoping it recovers quickly from a recent fire.) He’s won two James Beard Awards, one in 2018 for his cookbook, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, and one for leadership in 2019. His BIPOC Foodways Alliance even scored a coveted feature in the pages of Racket. Now he can add Time’s 100 Influential People of 2023 to his rapidly growing list of accolades.

Actress/writer/host/fellow Time influencer Padma Lakshmi, who featured Sherman on her show Taste the Nation, nominated him and wrote the blurb. “Sean has inspired many people, myself included, to become more curious about Native communities, the beauty of their dishes, and the importance of eating harmoniously with Mother Nature,” she writes. Other featured '23 folks include admirable entrants like Salman Rushdie, Beyoncé, Brittney Griner, and the local-ish author Neil Gaiman (he owns a home out in Wisconsin), plus a whole lotta shitheads like Mr. Beast, Mitch McConnell, and Elon Musk.

Guess What Carol Becker Is Upset About...

It's been a while since we've heard from anti-bike zealot Carol Becker. The poli-sci instructor from St. Kate's returns time and time again to her two-wheeled hobbyhorse, including in last month's edition of the Hill & Lake Press. "The Bike Lobby Is Destroying Our Environment," screams Becker's headline in the monthly Minneapolis community newspaper. Her logic twisted pretzel-like, the author argues that pro-bike activists, through their lust for bike lanes, will create "hopelessly snarled" congestion along Hennepin Avenue and other routes, resulting in idling cars puffing out surplus greenhouse gasses. (Becker apparently doesn't teach the concept of Occam's razor to her classes.) Elsewhere, we see the fiery ecological defender take aim at 3M for its poisoning of our soil, PolyMet for its calamitous threat to the North Woods, and Cargill for its insatiable deforestation around the globe. Just kidding! Becker concludes the piece by stating that e-bikes are effectively motorcycles, and, again, that "biking, walking, and transit" are responsible for "more carbon emissions and pollution in auto travel."

NYT Takes Readers Home Shopping In Minneapolis 

In today’s popular The Hunt feature, New York Times readers are introduced to Minneapolitan home shopper Rae Bullinger. The former U of M swimmer, now 26, had been saving up for a house since 2021 and, per The Hunt’s format, she presents us with three potential houses, all of ‘em in south Minneapolis. “You’re still a part of the city of Minneapolis, but you’re not downtown,” she informs rubbernecking New Yorkers, who are no doubt reading their print editions from inside their precious $2 million brownstones, coastal elitism on overdrive. “You’re not in all the hustle and bustle, but you’ve got access to all the lakes, and there’s really cool restaurants.” We couldn’t agree more! Bullinger's shopping list included: a $345,000 Kenny property with a finished basement; a tiny $275,000 fixer-upper in Page; and a $343,000 Keewaydin place that, curiously, has a basement dishwasher. Ya gotta click to find out which one she picked.

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