Election 2016: Soil & Water District 3

(By request.)
There are two candidates in this race:

Mara Magnuson Humphery
Ianni Houmas

Neither has a website, at least that I found. Mara is endorsed by the DFL; Ianni is endorsed by the Greens.

I found a brief statement about Mara here (note that it’s from 2012):

Mara Magnuson Humphrey (Saint Paul) is endorsed by the DFL, PROGRESSPPAC, Senator Mee Moua, Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough, Representative Tim Mahoney, and City Council Member Dan Bostrom. She was (is?) a registered lobbyist for the financial industry (per Fraters Libertas, 2008). She is a member of the Ramsey County Capital Improvement Program Advisory Committee; Board of Directors, Friends of Lake Phalen; Vice President—Governmental Affairs, Minnesota Credit Union Network. She was the past president of New Bridge Homeowners Association. She has a B.A. in Government, St. Lawrence University. She is married and has two children.

(That site also includes contact information that might or might not be current. Oh, hey, while hunting for something else I found her Twitter — looks like she still is a lobbyist, for credit unions, which are definitely part of the financial industry but we’re not talking a lobbyist for Wells Fargo here.)

Ianni is quoted talking about environmental issues in a 2009 MPR news article. I also tracked down his mostly-friendslocked Facebook. I was not impressed by his coherence in those posts I could see. (“Why has there not been talk of reparations, to the Indigenous of north america, by way of tabacco? States and health care did it for obvious reasons. It is an indigenous plant cultivated by the original people here. Just a thought. Maybe there has and im not aware.” — I’m not opposed to reparations, but I’m not even sure what he’s suggesting here and also he misspelled “tobacco.” I totally judge people running for office on incoherence and bad spelling.) He also appealed or sued (I’m not 100% clear) for unemployment coverage back in 2009 https://mn.gov/law-library-stat/archive/ctapun/0910/opa082283-1013.pdf — when Qwest fired him for cause. The “cause” was that he had a job that involved a lot of driving, was supposed to have a clean record and report any moving violations, and he racked up so many speeding tickets his Minnesota license got suspended. This did not impress me either.

Edited to add: someone on Twitter passed along this site, which includes a statement about Ianni’s candidacy:


Ianni is an appointed member on the City of St. Paul’s Transportation Committee. Ian feels that devising better ways of moving people and goods around our metro area is important for the mitigation of highway gridlock and of fossil fuel emissions that negatively impact our climate.

Born and raised in Philadelphia and later on the South Shore of Lake Superior, Ianni came to St. Paul as a teen and eventually attended the University of Minnesota. To support his growing family, he chose to work in utilities, first for NSP, then for Qwest, where he acted for eight years as a CWA union steward.

After a layoff in 2008, Ianni refocused his life and began Adonis Eco-Housing, a non-profit with a mission to create affordable, sustainable housing in the midst of the housing crisis, and later started Midway Green and Granite.

“When I take something on, I dedicate my life to it: to my family, to my alt energy non-profit, to my small business and to public service. Likewise I would dedicate myself to the duties and tasks of Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor.” –Ianni Houmas

So you know, if someone gets fired from a job because they racked up a bunch of speeding tickets, I don’t care. I was not impressed that he applied for unemployment, and appealed, despite the fact that he was terminated for cause, but it’s basically a “meh.”

If you got fired for cause but you say in your campaign materials that you were laid off, that’s a full-on lie. And given that this comes up when you Google his name, it’s a really stupid lie. I am even less impressed than I was before.

Conclusion: if this race is on your ballot, vote for Mara Magnuson Humphery.


5 thoughts on “Election 2016: Soil & Water District 3

  1. It is too bad you did not reach out to me, Ianni Houmas, as i could have addressed your concerns instead of you trolling. You comment on spelling and a job where I was a Union Steward. Which is a much longer story of union busting, rather than what you present. Even you say you do not understand the situation but then you make an assumption anyway. Which brings me to the misspelling you mention. I have a documented learning disability. I was very active at the U of M regarding students with disabilities. I helped pave the way on how the school interacted with students. I think you should stick with fiction; it’s your niche. Please see link for more information on learning disabilities: 


    Ianni Houmas

    • TROLLING. Wow wow wow. It always really impresses me when a candidate calls me a troll and tells me to “stick to fiction.”

      Ianni, I do occasionally contact candidates, but you know something you did not provide as part of your statement for the Green Party’s website? LITERALLY ANY WAY TO CONTACT YOU. The Green Party website that was literally the only campaign materials out there about you, which I only had because someone else Tweeted a link to me.

      So now you’ve found this post, and left an indignant comment, but again, with literally no way to contact you, even though if someone Googles your name and “soil and water” this is the first result.

      Instead, you’ve left me a link to information on accommodating learning disabilities in academic environments. I am glad you had the accommodations and supports you needed while at the U of M, but I am not your professor.

      • This is ironic. I was looking for information on these candidates via google and likewise found little. One thing I did find was this blog post. Even after your suggestion to vote for Humphrey, I was definitely planning on voting for Houmas because even someone questionable who runs an alt-energy non-profit seems a better fit than a credit union lobbyist with no ties to conservationism. Then I read Houmas’s comment on this post, in which he insinuates that anyone who questions his qualifications is “trolling” him. That word does not mean what you think it means, Houmas. This is called intelligent evidence-supported discourse and man could our society use more of it. Humphrey it is.

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