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Supercharged DFL and Super-Defeated Jenkins, Explained

Plus chicken chain doubles footprint, rebates incoming, and landlords lose in today's Flyover.

4:35 PM CDT on May 23, 2023

minneapolismn.gov; Wikipedia Commons|

Minneapolis City Council President Andrea Jenkins; Minnesota Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman

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

Wait... What Happened?

For a recap of the tidal wave of progressive legislation the DFL managed to pass this session, consult this voluminous Twitter thread. For an insightful glimpse into how they did it, there’s no better source than J. Patrick Coolican today in the Minnesota Reformer. “Given a 34-33 Senate, many around the Capitol—myself included—assumed that influential monied interests would prevent sweeping change," he writes. "Everyone saw a half dozen or so potential Joe Manchins. Apparently behind the scenes it wasn’t always pretty... but the final numbers on the scoreboard tell the story.” But while Mayo Clinic torpedoed a bill that would’ve helped nurses, those monied parties couldn’t stop legal weed, free college, codified reproductive rights, free school lunches, and, oh boy, just go back and click on that Twitter thread for a full refresher. And be sure to read all of Coolican’s piece, which suggests DFLers are “betting that a Scandinavian model, in which we pay higher taxes but are guaranteed benefits… will nudge people to be healthier, better educated, more productive,” he concludes. “In other words: The work has just begun.” 

Kyle Stokes at MinnPost also authored a helpful explainer this week, his about how Minneapolis City Council President Andrea Jenkins failed to secure the DFL’s Ward 8 nomination this past Saturday. “The pioneering politician’s skepticism about rent control and her stances on tent-encampment evictions and public safety issues have put her on weak footing with the left wing of Minneapolis’s already-left-of-center electorate,” Stokes writes of Jenkins, thus paving the way for the endorsement of Soren Stevenson, whose candidacy was endorsed by the Twin Cities chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. The story dives deep into the policy gulf between Jenkins and Stevenson, and, toward the end, addresses the complicated racial politics at play when a white male challenger upsets a Black trans incumbent. "I am not sure how a white guy is going to solve [institutional racism]," Jenkins said to audible groans and laughs from Stevenson campaign HQ via Zoom. “Racism is a white problem,” Stevenson tells MinnPost. "And if a white man can’t be a part of working against racism, then we’re really in a sad place.”

Korean Chicken Chain Adds 2nd MN Location

Last fall, we brought you the incredible story of Emily Krouse, a Korean adoptee who journeyed from her Twin Cities home to Seoul, South Korea, eight years ago to meet her biological family. Together they dined on bb.q Chicken, the fast-growing Korean chicken chain with 3,400 locations in 57 countries. “It was the first meal I had with my birth mother," remembers Krouse, who launched Minnesota's first bb.q location six months ago in Uptown (1500 W Lake St.). "I don’t speak any Korean, they don’t speak any English, and yet this one fried-chicken meal was enough to bring a level of connection between my birth family, myself, and my family that raised me.”

Now, just as she vowed last year, the restaurateur is adding new bb.q Chickens, the latest of which is opening in the ol' Bap & Chicken space on St. Paul's Grand Avenue. Krouse hopes to be sampling never-frozen, extra crispy chicken at 1328 Grand Ave. by the return of Grand Old Day on June 4, the Pioneer Press reports. Bap & Chicken closed down earlier this year, and its owner, John Gleason, collaborated with Krouse on the restaurant handoff. “I think [Gleason and I] both felt really great that it was still going to be a Korean company," she told the PiPress, adding that a third bb.q Chicken is in the works. "And that the legacy of Bap & Chicken, which was missioned around supporting the adoption community, was still going to resonate."

The Government Is Gonna Make It Rain on Us Poors

Oh dang, everyone! The Minnesota legislature signed off on a tax bill that includes a rebate for people in a certain income range. As far as we can tell, however, they are not being referred to as “Walz checks” or the catchier "Timmy stimmy." And don’t get too excited: They’re not for everyone, and they’re probably not going to even cover your grocery bill that month. Basically, single filers who made $75K or less in 2021 will be getting $260 back, while married joint filers who made $150K or less will get $520.

The rebates could come to us as early as this fall, and, as long as you filed a tax return in 2021 and qualify, you will automatically receive the payment. If you included your banking info on your returns that year, expect a direct deposit. Otherwise, a paper check will come to you in the mail. This Q&A guide from Briana Bierschbach over at the Strib is handy, and reading through the comments from people complaining that they made too much money is a pretty good mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Fed Judge: Of Course Rent Control Is Constitutional

A federal judge has slapped down a suit from two landlords seeking to have St. Paul’s rent control ordinance declared unconstitutional, Fred Melo of the Pioneer Press reports. Woodstone Limited Partnership (managed by a Bloomington company) and the Lofts at Farmers Market LLC (managed by a Washington state-based firm) filed the challenge against the voter-adopted ordinance, though the Lofts’ property was eventually exempted by changes that St. Paul officials made to the rules. U.S. District Judge Nancy Brasel said there was a “long history” of courts okaying rent control measures, reaching back to a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court opinion. The landlords had also argued that rent control doesn’t work, but that’s just not a legal argument, the judge said. “A poor policy decision is not a due‐process violation," Brasel wrote in a opinion that you can read here if you are a huge nerd.

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