Here’s a roundup of all my posts about the primaries! Don’t forget to vote tomorrow!
Governor: Tim Walz
Attorney General: Keith Ellison
Secretary of State: Steve Simon
US House 04: Betty McCollum
US House 05: Ilhan Omar, and please, please, please do not make me endorse Don Samuels in the general because I’ll do it if I have to (I would endorse three squirrels in a trench coat carrying a DFL sign before I’d suggest sending a Republican to congress) but I would really prefer Ilhan.
Minneapolis School Board At-Large: Kerryjo Felder and Sonya Emerick in the primary, may opt differently in the general as I also like Collin Beachy.
Minneapolis School Board District 5: Laurelle Myhra in the primary, may opt differently in the general as I also like Lori Norvell.
Hennepin County Attorney: Mary Moriarty
Hennepin County Sheriff: Dawanna Witt
Ramsey County Board of Commissioners District 5: Rafael Ortega
Ramsey County Board of Commissioners District 6: Mai Chong Xiong
Senate District 62: Shaun Laden
Senate District 63: Zaynab Mohamed
Senate District 65: Undecided. (Sheigh Freeberg / Sandy Pappas)
House District 62A: Aisha Gomez
House District 62B: Hodan Hassan
House District 65B: María Isa Pérez-Hedges
House District 66A: Leigh Finke
House District 67A: Liz Lee
In addition to writing political commentary, I write science fiction and fantasy. My book that came out in April 2021, Chaos on CatNet, takes place in a future Minneapolis. It’s a sequel to Catfishing on CatNet and signed copies of both books are usually available from Dreamhaven. You will also be able to get them from Uncle Hugo’s when it reopens at 2716 E 31st St! (and maybe by mail order now? I’m not sure how much mail order Don is doing while getting ready to re-open.)
I do not have a Patreon or Ko-Fi, but you can make a donation to encourage my work! I get a lot of satisfaction watching fundraisers I highlight getting funded (or, in the case of the Movement Voter fundraiser, continuing to raise money past their goal). I explained back in May why I’m fundraising for the Movement Voter PAC and that fundraiser is still active. (Also, I owe some embarrassing readings of my juvenalia to the Internet.)
I also went looking and found two DonorsChoose fundraisers for classrooms at Bethune Community School in North Minneapolis: math manipulatives for pre-K students (this is such a good idea) and a nice book organizer for a first-grade classroom where the shelving is coming apart. If you’re coming to this late and those are funded, here’s a project from a teacher at Lucy Craft Laney to buy iPads and Osmo stations to offer online learning games to her students.
Thank you, as always, for your detailed election information! Do you have a post about the candidates for Ramsey County Commissioner District 4? I couldn’t find one in my searching.
Ahhhhhh shoot. I think I missed that one.
No worries. Based on endorsements alone, Rena Moran looks like my likely vote. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing your post. Thanks again for all of your insights!
I’m so grateful for this, thank you! Made two small donations that felt generous but affordable for me to the campaign and the school. I appreciate your thoughtful work!
Hello Naomi, Thank you for your work and recommendations. I’m writing to ask you to reconsider your recommendation of Mary Moriarty in the fall election. I know several attorneys in the County Attorney’s office who consider her to be toxic and destructive. Here is one testimony:
“Thinking of supporting Mary Moriarty for HC Attorney? Hennepin County voters and the 5th District DFL deserve a better choice.
I am a lawyer (JD Harvard ’83) and have been both a prosecutor (Manhattan DA’s Office, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office) and a criminal defense lawyer (Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office.) I have known Ms. Moriarty for many years as a colleague in the PD’s Office. I was a managing attorney in the PD’s office during her tenure as Chief Public Defender, retiring in December 2017.
Nothing is easier than mouthing platitudes and buzzwords about justice, fairness, inclusiveness and empowerment. But actions are the real test. Media-grabbing photo ops mean nothing when confronted by the day-to-day acts that show leadership—or the lack of it.
Ms. Moriarty’s approach seems always to have been to focus on herself, and on personalities of people she disliked: judges, prosecutors, probation officers, court staff, even colleagues. She seems to view the world as a battle between “Us” (Ms. Moriarty and her fans) and “Them” (everyone else.) Even before her tenure as Chief, a young attorney once confided to me that Ms. Moriarty told him, during a surreptitious attack on certain colleagues (including me), “You are either with us or you are against us.” Needless to say, the young attorney soon after left the Public Defender’s Office.
This me-centered approach conflates personal interest with client/constituent interest. In the courtroom, this can have bad consequences. An example of this is the trial of Dameion Robinson. As she proceeded through the trial, I saw her becoming torqued up over perceived personal slights from the prosecutor and judge. At trial, she did not hide her personal animosities from the jury, nor did she place them in a client-centered context for the jury. This was not a winning strategy for her client. You don’t have to take my word for it: if you can access City Pages, a weekly with archives at Hennepin County Library, you can read a juror’s response in a letter to the editor in which he praised Ms. Moriarty’s zeal, but gently points out that she was way too personal arguing the case. (The sentencing was in July, 1998.)
Finally, there is Ms. Moriarty’s management style. As described briefly above, she was one of those people believed that the best way to advance her career was to tear down others; and not directly but though whispering campaigns. Once she became the Chief Public Defender, her office became divided – “Us” v. “Them”—and those in the “Them” category saw their opportunity for development in the office vanish. This is where we see the true test of her sense of justice, fairness, inclusiveness. It was hard to watch as young, energetic and skilled attorneys—including many people of color—left to find professional opportunities elsewhere. How many times will a qualified Black candidate fruitlessly apply for the position of Senior Attorney before they just decided to leave? What a loss this was to the clients, and to the residents of Hennepin County.
I would hate to see this management style in the County Attorney’s Office. The best prosecutors make tough decisions that affect many—crime victims, accused people, witnesses, law enforcement, staff and colleagues. The County Attorney needs to be someone who can listen to the views and opinions of others without labeling them as “Them” and viewing them as the enemy. A County Attorney must be direct and honest, without backstabbing and whispering agendas. A County Attorney interested only in the safe views of “yes-men” will not be effective, fair, inclusive or empowering. Obsession with “me” makes bad politics. Haven’t we seen enough of that these days?”
Please continue to research this candidate and consider endorsing Martha Holton Dimick instead. Thanks for your consideration and keep up the great work!
Thank you so much for this! Do you have an estimated date when you’ll be posting on the main election?
Not until mid-October. I went to Korea for a literary festival and am literally in Seoul at the moment.