Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation

So the Board of Estimate and Taxation has two open seats and two people on the ballot:

David Wheeler
Carol Becker

John Edwards of WedgeLIVE is also running a write-in campaign. Commentary below the cut.

I have been hearing people grouse about Carol Becker since at least the whole Hard Times Cafe controversy back in 2000, because she’s been irritating people on the Minneapolis Issues List for at least that long. (Back in 2000, I had a friend who was a fan of the Hard Times Cafe and who fought like crazy to keep it open. I got a lot of running commentary during that fight. Carol Becker was not one of the power players during that fight — my recollection is that Jackie Cherryhomes and Joan Campbell were at the center of it — but she was friends with the power players and talking about it on the Minneapolis Issues mailing list and definitely on my friend’s shit-list.)

So this year, Carol (acting as a private citizen) filed a lawsuit against Betsy Hodges for failing to release a budget on time. She also posted to the Minneapolis Issues list asking who was funding Our Revolution and various other groups she disliked, including WedgeLIVE:

Third, I see WedgeLive as a huge influence on the conversation. They have a
huge web/twitter/Facebook/video operation, much more than could be done by one
person with a full-time job. I see them attack many people who they think are
too entrenched in City Hall but enough but oddly, never Betsy Hodges, who has
been in City Hall 12 years. When John Edwards decided he was going to do a
write-in campaign for the BET, his first supporter was Javier Morales, who is
married to John Stiles, Betsy Hodges Chief of Staff. I would love to see the
financing of that operation disclosed also.

The “much more than could be done by one person with a full-time job” is sort of hilarious given how much Carol posts to the Minneapolis Issues list and comments on blogs. (Pretty sure she’s not on Twitter, though. Not being on Twitter is probably a major time-saver.)

This response cracked me up, FTR:

I kind of wished I were a confederation this year. This year was a lot of work.

So here’s my unpopular opinion: I like Carol Becker. I mean, I disagree with her on a long list of issues, starting with, “was Sharon Sayles Belton an awesome mayor?” (Carol was a fan; I was not) and more recently, “should we re-elect Barb Johnson, Lisa Goodman, John Quincy, and Blong Yang?” (Carol: yes. Me: no.) But I think she’s legitimately good at budget stuff and I appreciate the fact that she has always e-mailed me right back when I’ve asked her questions about budget issues. And I think that’s why she’s kept this job for so long: even people who find her opinions generally annoying tend to find her competence appealing. (Either that, or all the people who’d run against her don’t want to spend a whole lot of time handling city finance stuff in a job that pays approximately bupkis.)

I was annoyed enough by David Wheeler’s disingenuous claim that Alondra Cano’s endorsement was invalid (he repeats the “mandatory 3 p.m. adjournment” thing) that if I were voting in Minneapolis, I’d be tempted to write John Edwards in instead of him. (Bonus: in theory, that would mean John Edwards could wind up on the BET with Carol Becker. Which would be hilarious. For me, I mean. Not so much for either of them!)

But I would probably just go ahead and vote for Carol Becker and David Wheeler. If you are part of Carol Becker’s opposite-of-a-fan club, though, John Edwards’ platform is more or less, “not Carol Becker.” Knock yourself out!

Finally, if you’re a fan of my blog and haven’t checked out WedgeLIVE, you should definitely check out WedgeLive. (Or follow John on Twitter. Or both.)



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