Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Mpls Park Board: Cops Are Cool Again
Two years ago, it seemed like everyone in Minneapolis wanted to put as much space between themselves and the MPD as possible, whether just to maintain a good appearance or in response to public outcry. Among those temporarily cop-averse orgs was the Minneapolis Park Board, which made quite a show of distancing itself from the MPD in the weeks following the murder of George Floyd. The actual policy changes, though, were minimal, as Susan Du of the Star Tribune points out in this story. The board decided to no longer use city police to staff events (which weren’t happening much anyway, because of the pandemic) and restricted park police from assisting the MPD with nonviolent crimes off park grounds. Minneapolis cops still responded to park crimes, and park cops still helped them out with violent crimes. Even that slight concession might soon be going away: A parks committee has voted to recommend rescinding its 2020 policy change, though that decision must approved by the full board. Perhaps more importantly, KSTP reports that while everyone was focused on the MPD, the Park Board abandoned efforts to reform the Park Police: The board has allowed two oversight groups to simply vanish.
What Happens to Campaign Funds If a Candidate Kicks It?
That’s the question journalist Greta Kaul is asking today at MinnPost, using the February death of First District Rep. Jim Hagedorn as an example. His campaign reported $345,000 in funds raised before his February death from kidney cancer. According to FEC laws, that money can be spent settling up with employees, refunding people and committees, diverting funds to charities, and even donating money to other candidates. So far, it looks like Hagedorn’s campaign managers are mostly going the refund route, with over $200,000 already returned to individual donors and $16,500 given back to other organizations. Curiously, no funds have been reported as going to Hagedorn’s wife, former Minnesota GOP Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan, who is running for his seat. It’s probably what he would have wanted?
COVID Numbers Are Going Up
We’re really not trying to get up on a high horse about this, because you’ve all read between 20 and 1,000 tweets to the effect of “If you get rid of mask and vaccine mandates because there’s ICU capacity, cases are going to spike, and then you will again be without ICU capacity.” All we’ll say is what the numbers show: COVID-19 is once more above Minnesota’s high-risk threshold, with the Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson reporting that health officials are watching out for an uptick in hospitalizations and deaths. On the plus side, the statewide case rate is below the January peak of 246 per 100,000 residents, and the CDC considers all Minnesota counties at low COVID-19 risk. However, “[The] message needs to shift from ‘we’re moving on’ to ‘we’re better off but still at risk and can be better,'” Dr. Dimitri Drekonja, an infectious disease specialist with Minneapolis’s VA Medical Center, told the paper.
Minnesota Sports, Man
The Timberwolves must’ve secured an advance copy of Wilco’s deluxe 20th anniversary reissue of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot because, lord almighty, they tried—and succeeded!—at breaking our hearts last night. The crushing 104-95 Game 3 playoff defeat against the Memphis Grizzlies saw the Wolves blow multiple massive leads, putting the home team down 1-2 in the best-of-seven series. Jon Krawczynski of the The Athletic best encapsulated why this defeat is already being ranked among the worst in Minnesota sports history, which is really saying something. “Wolves were up 25 with 3 minutes to go in the third,” he tweeted. “Memphis closed the game 50-13. Staggering.” The TNT crew pulled no punches in their analysis, particularly Charles Barkley. The Star Tribune, whose handsome owner also owns the Wolves, provided a bloggy recap of Barkley’s vicious barbs, though it curiously lacks a byline. I, Jay Boller, find this odd. In any case, hard to disagree with the Sir Charles: “That was embarrassing for basketball. The coaching staff of Minnesota should be just as embarrassed as the players.”