Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Weirdo Ex-Guv: Jensen Stinks!
Say what you will of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura's mixed gubernatorial legacy and inscrutable political beliefs: The man genuinely/justifiably hates the two major political parties. The Body/Mind elucidated as much in great detail throughout his 2012 book, DemoCRIPS & ReBLOODlicans: No More Gangs in Government. That's what makes Ventura's "unprecedented" endorsement today of incumbent Gov. Tim Walz so remarkable. "I took an oath 50 years ago as a Navy Seal to defend this country," the ex-guv said while standing in some sort of hallway. "I can't stand with anyone or any party who cannot condemn the January 6 insurrection, and now women's rights are on under attack across this country." Ventura praised Walz's handling of COVID-19 and noted his commitment to protecting abortion access; Walz called the nod "an honor." In the hours after the video went live, Ventura announced that, for the first time ever, his services are available on celeb video site Cameo. For its part, the Minnesota GOP clapped back by painting Ventura as a "dangerous conspiracy theorist," which, given that party's recent history, is pretty fucking rich.
Hershel Walker Hypocrisy Scandal Achieves Local Angle
GOP U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker is running a historically incoherent campaign on an anti-abortion platform. But if you sleep with him and get pregnant, he’s probably going to aggressively advocate that you get an abortion. At least that’s what two women are alleging. The most recent person to speak out, a woman who is remaining anonymous for safety reasons, says that the two started dating in 1987, when Herschel was playing for the Dallas Cowboys. (Worth noting: He was married at the time.) In 1993, she discovered she was pregnant, and decided that she didn’t want an abortion. Walker wasn’t into that choice, allegedly, and gave her money to get the procedure done. She says she went to the clinic, but couldn’t go through with it.
“When I told Herschel what had happened, he was upset and said that he was going to go back with me to the clinic the next day for me to have the abortion,” she said during a recent press conference. “He then drove me to the clinic the following day and waited for hours in the parking lot until I came out.” Her attorney, Gloria Allred, shared a receipt from the woman’s hotel stay in Mankato, Minnesota, where Walker was at training camp with the Vikings. (Walker was the centerpiece of a 1989 trade that saw Minnesota mortgage its entire future—eight draft picks, four players—to acquire him from the Dallas; it's considered one of the most lopsided trades in league history, one that catalyzed the '90s Cowboy dynasty.) Walker, who has already denied paying for an abortion or fathering a child of another mistress, responded with sarcastic confirmation that he also "didn’t kill JFK," adding, “I’ve already told people this is a lie."
Strib Deep Dives Into Example No. 4,914 of Our Threadbare Society
The consequences of a 40-year, bipartisan consensus to slash social safety nets at every rung of U.S. society? We're feeling 'em, baby! Privy to that are Chris Serres, Liz Sawyer, and MaryJo Webster, the three Star Tribune heavy-hitters tasked with creating the ongoing "Juvenile Injustice" enterprise reporting series. Installment No. 3, dubbed "Nowhere to Go for Troubled Youth," arrived today, and it's predictably heartbreaking. In it, the trio of reporters set the table by rehashing the well-intentioned and successful movement to shut down child prisons. Problem is, they found, that similar to when state-run mental hospitals shuttered, nobody picked up the slack. So now high-risk Minnesota youths, some of whom have committed violent crimes and/or require intense rehabilitation, simply have nowhere to go. The solution? Over the past decade, it's been to export around 1,800 Minnesota kids—kids—to residential treatment centers in other states. "The emotional damage that was done will never heal," Deddtrease Edwards, who was shipped off to Iowa at 14, tells the Strib. "Suddenly I was ripped away from everyone I knew and loved and sent far away… it was too much for me at that age." Oof... You can and should real the entire deeply reported, longform story here.
Let's Paint the Bandshell Blue!
So says ex-Minneapolis Board of Estimate & Taxation member and ex-Star Tribune staffer Steve Brandt, plus 1,415 co-signing townspeople. The way they see it, the 36-year-old cedar shingles clinging to the historic Lake Harriet Bandshell look terrible these days (and they absolutely do). Their aesthetic solution, in conjunction with ongoing repair efforts? Paint the Bandshell from its current dilapidated beige to its original sky blue. "I'm optimistic that we'll get some shade of blue returned to the bandshell once it is renovated next year," Brandt wrote this morning via an update to his Change.org petition. "It's clear from my conversation with Clif Swenson of the Park Board, who is managing this project, that staff is taking the public's desire to go blue seriously and is looking hard at a variety of shades." (Possibly worth noting: In the past, Brandt has taken issue with the use of first-person phrasing in Racket's Flyover news roundup; as an olive branch, we've deployed none of that today.) The Bandshell's glow up won't be complete until spring 2025.