COMMUNITY VOICES | Corporate candidates pre-selected for Minneapolis mayor


I rarely ever buy or read the Star Tribune any more. 

 However- this week I had to drop off my sister in law at a Same Day Surgery Clinic and had 3 hours to spare while I  waited for her. With nothing better to do, I decided to have breakfast and yes- read the paper. There was a fairly large article in the local section on the Minneapolis Mayors race. Without realizing it, the Star Tribune exposed the Kabuki Theater aspect of local politics in this town.

Of course it only covered the “main contenders” Mark Andrews and Betsy Hodges, with a very brief mention of Gary Schiff dropping out and throwing his support to Betsy Hodges. Cam Winton, the Republican who is pretending that he is Independent, got another brief mention.

One sentence admitted “some others” who were also running.

 What made this article so interesting to me was how it framed  the campaign: Mark Andrews as the “political soul mate”  of former Mayor RT Rybak; Betsy Hodges has many former Rybak staffers working on her campaign and at the DFL Convention; Gary Schiff, had “opposed” Mayor Rybak, but, now supports Betsy Hodges. There was no explanation of what actions Councilman Gary Schiff had done to oppose Mayor Rybak  or his agenda. It did use the old canard about “politics making strange bedfellows.”

Or actually,  this just shows the real nature of what I now call corporate selected officials in this town, the deals they make behind closed doors while mounting pretend opposition to what the monied interests want.

As stated- Kabuki Theater.

 The article even pointed out that Mayor RT Rybak was elected on the promise of opposing the undemocratic and corrupt previous mayoral administration, with his “Pajama Protest” mythology fighting Airport noise. Over his three administrations,  Rybak’s words and actions betrayed almost everything he had claimed to stand for and oppose—all too often his actions were the exact opposite of his campaign rhetoric.

 I have  attended both the DFL 2013 Minneapolis mayoral “debates” as well as the ONE MPLS  mayoral debate at Sabathany . I am amazed at just how blatantly stage managed they are.At almost every question- which were written down on little cards and then had to be read by the “presenters” you heard cries of “Wait- that is not what I was asking.” I have experienced this myself. We can only guess which questions were not even allowed to be asked. Stuck at the “bottom of the deck” and never to  be :dealt out.” I have also experienced this.

 Sadly, these charade “debates” have often in the past gone on with the stamp of approval from the League Of Women Voters, diminishing that organization’s  credibility further.

Until the DFL allows real and honest debates and until other organizations also insist on it, we can be rest assured that the real, tough questions will never be asked or answered.

 I will make a prediction here: If Besty Hodges or Mark Andrews are indeed elected Mayor of Minneapolis, I envision either of them becoming the very next incarnation of Mayor RT Rybak.

 As the famous Who song goes,  “Here come the new Boss- Just like the old Boss.”

 Fortunately we have other canididates—who do not have the “stamp of approval” of the Viking Wilfare Stadium promoting Star Tribune—which increases their credibility of those of us who are awake, aware and alert in this town.


North side grassroots activist and artist James Everett had announced his intention to run. With past capaigns for school borad and community activism, Doug Mann has proven by his actions what he stands for. James Charles Wilson is a great way to give the corporate selected officials a great big old finger and Bob Carney- with his fun “Bob Again” Theme and deadly serious Transit Revolution is also available.

All of these men (and wish we had more non  sell out women like say Natalie Johnson Lee) in this race have done that what neither of the Main contenders” have done.  They have proven by their actions in the past to stand up and do what is right and speak their truth. They have proven by their actions to be trustworthy. But only if one is serious about ending corruption in Minneapolis politics.

 As for the “main contenders”,  they have made pretty words and yet- by their actions or lack there of—are completely untrustworthy, on so many important issues that it makes one’s head spin.
Just like Mayor RT Rybak.


This  could explain why the Star Tribune supports and promotes them—but, why voters should not,.


Michael Cavlan has been an activist on the issues of war, peace, justice, media accountability, police accountability,  Single Payer Health Care, Election Integrity (an Official Observer in the 2004 Ohio Re-Count) and many other important progressive issues. Michael ran for office a number of times including for the US Senate in Minnnesota against Senator Amy Klobuchar 2006, 2012