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House Proposal Snubs Minneapolis Public Housing Dept.’s Grant Request

Plus GOP seeds weed party campaign, a dating show comes to town, and the final word on chili and cinnamon rolls in today's Flyover.

4:00 PM CDT on March 30, 2023

Facebook: MPHA

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

$45 Million? Why, That's Almost 2 Police Stations.

At the Minnesota Capitol, things feel like the time Springfield Elementary got stupid rich with oil cash, and everyone came knocking with spending ideas. (Who could forget Otto’s rubber-stamped plea for "guitars that are, like, double guitars"?) The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority has been pushing hard for a seemingly no-brainer use the state's colossal $17.5 billion surplus: A one-time $45 million grant to rehabilitate the city’s 700+ “deeply affordable” family homes. Yet, per the Minnesota House Housing Finance and Policy Committee’s recent surplus spending proposal, MPHA will receive exactly zero of those requested dollars. In fact, the proposal doesn't include any cash for public housing residents throughout Minnesota, according to a press release issued Thursday by MPHA. (Elsewhere, the state Senate's Housing and Homelessness Prevention Committee's surplus package would give $30 million to MPHA; Gov. Tim Walz has targeted $20 million to public housing rehab efforts.)

Agency head Abdi Warsame addressed that grant snub this afternoon during testimony in front of the state Senate, where he stressed the need to invest in public housing stock that’s in majority “poor” condition. Here’s Warsame making his case earlier this month to MinnPost’s Kyle Stokes: “[The $45 million] gets the preservation of the largest family housing portfolio serving people of color anywhere in the state of Minnesota—700-plus homes—for the foreseeable future. This, in a time where the city of Minneapolis is becoming unaffordable for working class families and families of color. If we were to lose this precious infrastructure, it would cost more than $45 million—maybe 10 times more—to help those [3,800] families.” Apropos of nothing: MPD might get $26 million for a new Third Precinct station, though that's not surplus-related.

GOP Tossed Money at Weed Party Auditor Candidate

The relationship between Minnesota Republicans and the state’s two marijuana legalization parties—Legal Marijuana Now and Grassroots Legalize Cannabis—stinks like cheap grass cut with oregano. In the past, on the assumption that the two weed parties siphon votes from the Democrats, the GOP has made a point of recruiting friendly candidates to declare for the pro-pot parties.

And now, Deena Winter at the Minnesota Reformer reports, some pretty square Republicans, including the very 420-unfriendly Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria), tossed a bunch of cash at Tim Davis, the Legal Marijuana Now Party’s candidate for state auditor, just before a July deadline. That enabled him to draw a public subsidy, to possibly yanks votes from DFL State Auditor Julie Blaha, and to certainly cut Blaha's own public subsidy. Then Davis hired Paul Tuschy, aka Liberty Longbeard (these fuckin’ people...), a former GOP state House candidate, to coordinate door-knocking for him. Said Davis of the whole affair, “It does look suspicious, I’ll grant you that.” Sheesh. Legalize it now and get these shady burnouts off our ballots.

It's Your Chance for Reality TV Stardom

No one here at Racket is a Love is Blind watcher; judging by this promotional image from Netflix, the show is some sort of combination of Squid Game and 2001: A Space Odyssey? Apparently those are pods, where contestants in the wildly popular dating show talk one-on-one with potential partners. But though they can chat, they're unable to see or touch—hence the name of the show. Anyway, this week the good people at Kinetic Content announced that casting for the upcoming seasons will come to three metro areas: Washington, D.C., Denver, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Hey, that's us! If you're 21 or older, you can fill out the show's 78-question application right here.

We Promise to Never Talk About Cinnamon Roll Chili Again...

...but U.S. Sen. Tina Smith tried it today, and seems a little unimpressed.

When South Dakota-born Kyle Sorbe, a PR rep for Smith, professed his love of a classic Midwestern combo—chili and cinnamon rolls—the internet was dubious. Undeterred, Sorbe decided to introduce his office to it. "This all started when I made a side comment about it at a meeting and we all got to talking and now we’re having a chili cook off in the office with cinnamon rolls [Thursday]," Sorbe told us yesterday. "We’ll see how it goes and if I can convince a few people that cinnamon rolls belong with chili."

The Minnesota Senator got in on today’s tasting, sharing her experience via Twitter. “Okay, so Kyle in my office says that the best way of eating chili is to… what is it? Slurp and dunk?” she asks. “Shot and chaser!” he responds from behind the camera. (Always good to use a technique for downing nausea-inducing alcohol when trying new foods.) From what we can tell, she likes the chili, but just kind of nods and smiles once she adds the contentious roll.

Correction: An earlier version of this post suggested MPHA won't receive any surplus dollars; it has been updated to reflect other sources of funding that have been pledged.

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