Election 2022: Minnesota State Auditor

For State Auditor, I’m going to make a very specific plea: even if you hate Julie Blaha (I don’t know why you would, but if you do), do not vote for the weed party candidates.

On the ballot:

Julie Blaha (DFL)
Ryan Wilson (Republican)
Will Finn (Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis)
Tim Davis (Legal Marijuana Now)

Julie Blaha (DFL)

The State Auditor audits the spending of county and municipal governments. They have a page explaining what they do and also a FAQ that explains who’s responsible for various kinds of oversight that are outside their domain.

Julie Blaha is the only person running for the job who understands what the job even is. That alone is a reason to vote for her!

Ryan Wilson (Republican)

This is one of the handful of offices where I have at any point in my life voted for a Republican (I voted for Judi Dutcher, probably in 1998. I mean, she switched to the DFL a few years later, retroactively justifying my positive feelings about her). It’s not necessarily a particularly partisan job because “waste and graft” are at least in theory something both parties are supposed to be against. However, at this point, most of the Republican party has embraced lies, fascism, election theft, and science denial, and I have no reason to believe that Ryan Wilson is any better than the rest of his party.

Ryan Wilson wants to audit the schools. The problem here is that my full expectation of any Republican auditing schools at this point is that they’d declare social-emotional learning, sex ed, and any history they disliked to be “waste.”

Will Finn (Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis)

Will Finn’s actual name is Kevin Finander, but he’s running as Will Finn because that’s “how the Libertarians and pro-weed folks know me.” He runs something called the “Taxation is Theft” political action committee. The Grassroots party repudiates him along with everyone other than their 1st Congressional District candidate who’s on the ballot as a Grassroots party candidate. Hilariously, Will’s link goes to a Linktree page that links to the Grassroots Party page saying he’s not a valid candidate, which honestly says about all you need to know about both the Grassroots Party, and Will Finn. They’re a bunch of clowns and no one should vote for any of their candidates in the hopes that they’ll drop back into well-earned obscurity.

In 2018, both weed parties had a bunch of candidates on the ballot who were Republicans filing entirely in an attempt to act as spoilers. This worked, and the main reason we didn’t get the DFL’s really good marijuana legalization bill was that they didn’t have a majority in the Senate due to a handful of seats with these fake weed party candidates who sucked off just enough votes to give those seats to the Republicans. Oliver Steinberg, the party chair, engaged in a bunch of breast-beating about how he was going to try to make sure this didn’t happen again. This year, the treasurer of the Grassroots party, Marcus Harcus, tried to change the party name to Marijuana Advocates with Governing Aspirations, MAGA, in an attempt to siphon votes the other way. This got foiled by Oliver Steinberg.

Tim Davis (Legal Marijuana Now)

Tim Davis at least has a website. He lists four issues: (1) Drug Legalization; (2) Alternative Energy & Resources; (3) Population Reduction; and (4) Right to Die.

The State Auditor’s office has nothing at all to do with three of those things. Alternative energy, they oversee some public pension funds and Ryan Wilson has criticized Julie Blaha for disinvesting from coal; Tim Davis gives absolutely no indication that he’s talking about pension funds here, and I literally think he just doesn’t know what the auditor actually does.

Also, I’m just going to note, seeing “population reduction” and “right to die” back to back is chilling, and it does not help that he provides zero explanation of what policies he’d actually advocate for.

The Legal Marijuana Now folks managed to really impress me in 2020 by offering up Oliver Steinberg’s criminal record when I asked what their US Senate candidate stood for. The LMN party stands for even less than the Grassroots party; they literally just want to continue to be a major party so they can keep acting as a spoiler.

So yeah: vote for Julie Blaha. If you hate Julie Blaha for some reason (maybe she beat you in the Crop Art competition at the State Fair and you hold a grudge?) write in your favorite person who you think would make a terrific State Auditor. Do not vote for the weed candidates. Tell your friends not to vote for the weed candidates. The weed parties have done absolutely nothing useful or helpful with their major party status. They do not need to be providing an endless parade of actual Republicans with a second slot on the ballot.

So a week or two back, it looked like WordPress had deleted most of my subscribers? But now it’s back to saying I have 10,143 instead of 473. But if you rely on e-mail to notify you I’ve posted, and this is the first post you’ve seen this year, you should know I’ve posted a bunch of other posts! Also, if you’re not a subscriber, plugging in your e-mail in the subscriber box (you may have to do this on desktop rather than phone) will get you an e-mail every time I post. That might not sound appealing, but if it does, now you know.

If you’d like to make a donation to encourage me to keep working on these, I am highlighting a science teacher at Sullivan STEAM magnet who needs some better computers so his students can actually program the cool robots they got. Or, you can donate to the Movement Voter fundraiser I created; I explained back in May why I’m fundraising for the Movement Voter PAC and the fundraiser is still active.

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 and the NOW REOPENED Uncle Hugo’s (it’s at 2716 E 31st St in Minneapolis, in the former Glass Endeavors.)


8 thoughts on “Election 2022: Minnesota State Auditor

  1. No party endorsement would be better than Naomi declaring me to be a “Hilarious Clown” .
    Next she’s going to tell me that the original Colbert on Comedy Central wasn’t actually a sincere conservative.
    BTW, my linktree is perfect for my target voter: someone beneath the “low information voter” who I like to term the “no information voter” .
    But I bet you a beer, I’m going to get more than 30 thousand votes even if I say “I love Blaha”.

  2. There are five candidates for state auditor in Massachusetts, more than for any other office, and I’m pretty sure some of them are just hoping to get enough votes to claim major party status for the next election.

    It’s possible that the candidates also want the job, or at least know what it does–but when that’s the only office a party has a candidate for, I’m skeptical.

  3. Politics indeed make strange bedfellows, when an author such as you self-admits to taking the side of a criminal who shot a police officer.

    • Dan, do you live under a fucking rock? Just how out of the loop have you been for the last few years that you think “once shot a cop during a protest” makes Oliver Steinberg LESS cool to the group of people who might consider casting votes for you?

      • I chatted with Steinberg the day I filed at the SoS office (May 31st). He seemed okay with me running for Auditor but specifically forbade me to run as AG. I was only ever going to do the Auditor race anyway because Tim Davis had already filed (May 26th) and put the spoiler effect in play. Now I’m sad Oliver doesn’t love me anymore.

    • So we understand each other, Naomi and I are both peace organizers. You’re saying “democratic candidates are GOOD, republican candidates are BAD, no matter what.” That’s where we choose to disagree. I understand you read the NYT, but Steinberg shot the officer serving a warrant on him and his buddies “defending his home” where police tracked them after firebombing an insurance storefront around midnight. It wasn’t “during a protest.” I don’t know how you got that idea. You think he’s “cool” ? I suggest following up on the NYT lead. Oliver Steinberg did time. He got out of jail, moved to St. Paul, ran for U.S. Congress as a Republican (endorsed by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press), and after losing the Republican nomination, founded the Minnesota Grass Roots Party with a bunch of MN NORML activists (including national norml veteran Tim Davis, who’s running for Auditor, this year). Ten years later, Steinberg got kicked out of the group for anti-gay, divisive troublemaking. You can read about that in the 1996 Pioneer Press. More homework for you would be to check the neutrality of your sources. The Minnesota Reformer blog is highly biased, that doesn’t pass muster. Their citation regarding a 2020 race with a Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate is senseless, blaming stoners for an anti-herb D-F-Ler’s loss to a pro-cannabis Republican ? Before you believe the Reformer about the reason for the “poor democratic candidate” losing, and blaming that on why the House’s crappy weed bill didn’t pass, check the voting record of the republican winner. He voted “Yes.”

      • Do I think he’s “cool”? No, I think he’s a grifter. I think both of you are grifters.

        You brought up Oliver’s criminal history when I asked about YOUR party’s Senate Candidate in 2020, rather than taking the opportunity to make any sort of case for your candidate. Oliver committed his crime over fifty years ago. He served his time and got out, so … why should anyone give a shit? It’s not like he’s going to get elected to anything! None of you are!

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