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Mpls City Contracts Are Funding Anti-Union Forced Birther’s Run for Wisconsin Guv

Plus politicians get fired up at Farmfest, Chino Latino stuff for sale, and Mpls picks its first Community Safety Commissioner in today's Flyover.

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

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Do you support Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for Wisconsin governor, Tim Michels? If you live in Minneapolis, you kinda do, whether you want to or not, reports Charlie Rybak at Southwest Voices. Michels, a “right-to-work” partisan who believes “God is unhappy with a country that allows for the killing of babies” and would work to outlaw morning after contraception in Wisconsin, is largely funding his campaign privately. Those funds come from his infrastructure contracting company, Michels Corporation. If that name sounds familiar, you’ve probably seen it on vehicles around town, because the city of Minneapolis has shelled out $12.7 million to Michels Corp. for “projects focused mostly on water mains and flood walls.” Anyway, can we not?

Gonna Be a Shouty MN Guv Race

If the first debate this year at Farmfest between Gov. Tim Walz and Republican challenger Scott Jensen is any indication, we’re in for four loud, acrimonious months. Walz called out Jensen’s ah, unconventional theories about COVID-19, and accused him of implying that Minnesotans who collected unemployment during the pandemic were “lazy.” Jensen, as expected, lashed out at Walz’s (some might say inadequate) COVID restrictions as “an abomination of government overreach.” He’d also have sent the National Guard into Minneapolis sooner, because of course he would have. As Jensen summed up his philosophy: “It’s relatively simple. Let farmers farm, let miners mine, let teachers teach, and let government get the hell out of their way.” I’m worried that’s just a stupid enough sentiment to get this clown elected.

Own a Piece of Dead Uptown! Chino Latino Stuff for Sale!

You think the best parts of Uptown are long dead, huh? Well, why don’t you purchase a slab of its carcass and to bring into your home. It’s the least you can do for an old friend. Chino Latino, the former Hennepin & Lake Asian/Latin/suburban white people/Hawaiian fusion restaurant, is selling its bits and bobs over at Auction Masters & Appraisals. Most of it you wouldn’t want unless you’re in the industry–we’re talking giant stainless steel sinks, soap dispensers, and a giant sushi case–but some items could be enjoyed by a non-food conglomerate. There are clusters of bamboo decor that could tiki-fy any child’s bedroom. There’s a slew of giant LED wall panels of sumo wrestlers that would glow up any man cave. There are wooden chairs–who doesn’t need wooden chairs? Chino Latino, owned by Parasole, closed in October 2020 after over 20 years, stating that hotly debated the vibe of Uptown had changed. The location has remained a soulless empty husk since.

Mpls Council Approves Alexander

The city of Minneapolis will have its first Community Safety Commissioner in 2023. Today Cedric Alexander was approved by a city council vote of 8-3, with two abstentions. Alexander brings a hefty resume to the table, having served on Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and as head of public safety in DeKalb County, Georgia. But that hasn’t quelled objections to his appointment, or to the relatively undefined role he’ll play in Jacob Frey’s amorphously redefined city government structure. In his previous testimony Alexander downplayed allegations of sexual harassment made when he worked for DeKalb, saying an investigation had fully absolved him. And while there are superficial similarities between the Community Safety office and the changes pushed for in last year’s public safety amendment, supporters of the latter are hardly fully on board with the former. “We’re seeing a department that is likely to be far less transparent or accountable than we’d been pushing for in previous campaigns,” Kenza Hadj-Moussa of TakeAction Minnesota told MPR News.