Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Legal Weed? It’s Gonna Be May, Says Guv.
In an interview with the annoyingly formatted, designed, and spelled Semafor, Gov. Tim Walz laid out some of his agenda for the upcoming legislative session. Among his priorities: “to codify access to abortion services and reproductive rights,” “to show that government can function” (meaning no more down-to-the-wire special sessions), increased school funding, and, oh yes, to send out those checks to individual Minnesotans he’s been so keen on for so long. But the big takeaway is that Walz seems more bullish on legal weed than some DFL legislators. “I’d say that by May, Minnesota will have gotten this done,” Walz said confidently. Also notably, he brought up the question of expunging the records of those previously convicted of marijuana-related crimes—a moral necessity if businesses and government are about to make bank on a product that got so many (especially people of color) locked up not so long ago.
3M to Stop Poisoning Us In Two Years
With a notable nudge from regulators in the U.S. and abroad, our good neighbors at 3M have stated they will stop producing their nasty-ass “forever chemicals,” aka PFAS, which never break down and contaminate the environment in perpetuity. Not tomorrow, of course—what kind of fantasyland do you live in where corporations have to stop doing bad things immediately? But by 2025, and, by the end of the year, 3M will stop using PFAS as well. Beginning with an unsupported assertion and ending with gibberish, 3M CEO Mike Roman said “While PFAS can be safely made and used, we also see an opportunity to lead in a rapidly evolving external regulatory and business landscape to make the greatest impact for those we serve.” Don’t credit this decision to a change of heart on the part of the corporation—proposed changes to EPA rules and a settlement with Belgian regulators made it practically a necessity. “No one should trust 3M’s commitment to the do the right thing,” said Scott Faber, of the Environmental Working Group, which has campaigned against PFAS. “They never have before.”
Wells Fargo Ordered to Shell Out $3.7 Billion, Thinks This Rehabs Its Image
Wells Fargo sucks so hard that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is openly trash talking them. Yesterday, the bureau told the behemoth bank to pay $2 billion to consumers, tacking on an additional $1.7 billion penalty fee for all their fuckery, which includes improperly applying overdraft fees on checking accounts, illegal fees and interest on loans, and wrongly denying refinance applications. “Wells Fargo is a corporate recidivist that puts one out of three Americans at risk for potential harm,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra told reporters. That’s a lot of people! Meanwhile, Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf views this payout as good PR that will “transform operating practices at Wells Fargo and to put these issues behind us.” Forgive us for not taking that very seriously; several cited violations are from as recent as 2022. Wells Fargo—which is headquartered in San Francisco but owns the naming rights to the third-tallest skyscraper in Minnesota—was sanctioned multiple times for consumer violations in 2018, eventually paying out over $1 billion.
Minneapolis Councilman Jamal Osman Said Some Really Bad Stuff
It’s so easy to never say “Where’s Hitler when you need him?” Or “Jews will never be pleased unless you follow their ways.” Or “YES YES YES MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN!!!!!” Or, really, any of the weird, terrible things Minneapolis City Councilmember Jamal Osman once posted to Facebook. Minnesota Reformer’s Deena Winter brought the since-deleted posts to the surface today, and quoted Osman as saying “the heat of social media” is to blame. (He also says he doesn’t remember writing the decade-old posts.) Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who is Jewish, tells the Reformer that Osman “apologized unequivocally and expressed deep remorse” for language that was “divisive and dangerous for Jewish and LGBTQ people.” The mayor forgives Osman, who swears he’s a friend to all the earth’s people these days. The Ward 6 councilmember could face an uphill reelection effort next year, especially considering the Reformer exposed fishy numbers around a nonprofit run by his wife, Ilo Amba.