Will Tell Stories For Food

Naomi Kritzer's blog

Will Tell Stories For Food

Elections 2022: All the State Senate Races in Minneapolis and Saint Paul

Once again, this is pretty quick (the tl;dr is just vote for the DFLers, obviously) and I remembered this time to say “in Minneapolis and Saint Paul” instead of “in the metro,” because I don’t write about the suburbs (but you should vote for all the Democrats there, too) (also, for people looking for information on suburban races, check out https://candidatenotes.com/, a blog by someone who is trying to do something similar to this blog but including more than just the cities.) I am relying on MinnPost’s roundup of who’s running.

Senate District 59

Bobby Joe Champion is running unopposed.

Senate District 60

Kari Dziedzic is running unopposed.

Senate District 61

Scott Dibble is running unopposed.

Senate District 62

Omar Fateh is the DFL incumbent. The Republican running against him, Andrew Schmitz, doesn’t have a website but does have a Twitter account where he signal-boosts Jim Schultz and JK Rowling (her post about how her enormous royalty checks reassure her that her anti-trans bullshit is just fine). I would absolutely vote for Omar Fateh.

Senate District 63

Long-time State Senator Patricia Torres Ray is not running again. Zaynab Mohamed is the DFLer running to replace her. Shawn Holster is the Republican. Zaynab’s priorities include a $15/hour minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, the Minnesota Health Plan, and funding for universal Pre-K. Shawn Holster’s priorities include centering cars as much as possible (he calls transit funding “the attempts to limit mobility,” which makes me wonder if he knows anyone over the age of 70, because the absolute #1 reason I’ve seen seniors lose their independence is that they lose the ability to drive while living somewhere with shit transit), school vouchers, and fewer regulations. Also he’s apparently a 3%er. I would vote for Zaynab Mohamed.

Senate District 64

The DFL incumbent is Erin Murphy. Robert Bushard is the Republican. I like Erin a lot (she’s actually my Senator.) Robert is a crank whose website demands a solution to inflation but clearly doesn’t know what that would entail, objects to taxes more or less as a concept, and promotes conspiracy theories about voter fraud. I am going to vote for Erin Murphy.

Senate District 65

The DFL incumbent is Sandy Pappas. Paul Holmgren is the Republican. I think he’s a Qanon-er and he thinks Justice John Roberts is a liberal. I would vote for Sandy Pappas.

Senate District 66

Another confusing redistricting situation — the current Senator for SD 66 is John Marty, but thanks to redistricting he’s now in SD 40, so this is a vacant seat. (There’s a longer explanation here.) The DFLer running is Clare Oumou Verbeten. She’s a solid progressive and is endorsed by all the area Democrats. The Republican running is Mikki Murray. She’s anti-union, pro-school-vouchers, and focuses her website on being pro-cop and anti-taxes. There’s also a Libertarian in this one, Jeremy Peichel. Jeremy is striking for being the first Libertarian I’ve ever seen run on a libertarian affordable-housing platform — I’ve been muttering for years about the fact that “if you own property, you should be able to build a giant apartment complex on it if you want, and capsule apartments and SROs should all be legal” is absolutely a reasonable Libertarian position on the best way to solve the housing crisis, so kudos, dude. (I am curious what his thoughts are on antitrust regulation given that part of the housing affordability crisis has apparently been driven by landlords using a computer algorithm to engage in price-fixing.) He’s also in favor of police reform, transit, and tax form reform (where instead of you having to fill out a complicated form for your tax return, the state sends you a form and lets you send in corrections if something doesn’t look right to you). He also thinks gun owners should have to get a license. Basically: far and away the most tempting Libertarian I have ever seen. I would still vote for Clare Verberten, but there are races where I’d have been tempted by Peichel.

Senate District 67

Foung Hawj is running unopposed.


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.)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.I also went looking for some DonorsChoose fundraisers. In Minneapolis, I found a science teacher at Sullivan STEAM magnet needs some better computers so his students can actually program the cool robots they got. In St. Paul, I found an English teacher at Harding Senior High who would like snacks for her students.

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Elections 2022: All the State House Races in Minneapolis and Saint Paul

I’m going to knock these out as fast as I can using this helpful post from MinnPost to identify the people running.

House District 59A

Fue Lee is unopposed.

House District 59B

Esther Agbaje is unopposed.

House District 60A

DFL incumbent Sydney Jordan is running against Republican Diana Halsey. Diana Halsey doesn’t have a website; she does appear to have a personal Facebook page that shows her to be an anti-abortion, low-key-racist Boomer who likes to repeat implausible horror stories about Democrats. Her (wide-open) Facebook page includes pictures of her at anti-lockdown protests, anti-Walz protests, anti-abortion protests, and the Republican State Convention, but does not appear to mention anywhere that she’s running for office. Sydney Jordan is fine and I would vote for her.

House District 60B

Mohamud Noor is running unopposed.

House District 61A

Frank Hornstein is running unopposed.

House District 61B

Jamie Long is running unopposed.

House District 62A

Aisha Gomez is running unopposed. (She and Hodan Hassan swapped districts, which is confusing. She’s currently serving in 62B, but is running in 62A due to redistricting.)

House District 62B

DFL incumbent Hodan Hassan is running against Republican Taylor Hammond. (She and Aisha Gomez switched districts, which is confusing. She’s currently serving in 62A, but is running in 62B due to redistricting, and as of 10/17, is still using a website that says she’s running in 62A because she hasn’t updated that bit since 2018. If she fixes it, and someone lets me know, I’ll take out this sentence.) Taylor Hammond has no website, and I tried to track down Taylor Hammond in Minneapolis and got two possible hits: a territory manager at a tool rental company and a newlywed. I ruled out a beauty influencer because her Twitter says Minnesota but her Insta makes it clear she’s in Colorado now. Anyway, I would absolutely vote for Hodan Hassan.

House District 63A

Long-time State Rep Jim Davnie is retiring and Samantha Sencer-Mura is the DFLer running. I realized when I looked at her bio that I’ve worked with Samantha — she’s the executive director of an organization called 826 MSP, which is an educational nonprofit that works with high schoolers. Back in 2019, I did a writing workshop at South High organized by this group. Samantha is herself a South High graduate. She’s hard working, progressive, dynamic, and I’m excited to have her in the legislature. Her opponent is Kyle Bragg, who is once again (every single time I google him I wind up having this same “WTF” moment) not the Black union organizer in New York State. He doesn’t have a website of any kind although he was interviewed in the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger in 2016. I would absolutely vote for Samantha Sencer-Mura.

House District 63B

Emma Greenman is running unopposed.

House District 64B

Kaohly Vang Her is the DFL incumbent. Dan Walsh, the Republican running, actually set up a website, so kudos to him for that, I guess. He’s a Boomer-ish white guy who hates criminal justice reform of all kinds and touts an endorsement from some guy who moved out of state so his kids wouldn’t be exposed to “Ethic Studies” (this confused me so much — seriously, Republicans are opposed to ethics now? openly? — that I Googled, and fortunately Google said, “do you mean ETHNIC studies” and I thought, ohhhhh that was probably it.) Kaohly Vang Her’s major priorities are education, health care, economic justice, and environmental justice. I would absolutely vote for Kaohly Vang Her.

House District 64B

Dave Pinto is the DFL incumbent. He’s my rep and he’s fine. His opponent is Lorraine Englund, who has no website. I maybe found her Facebook but I’m not sure (and it didn’t have anything political visible). I am going to vote for Dave Pinto.

House District 65A

The incumbent, Rena Moran, is not running (she’s running for Ramsey County Board, instead.) The DFL candidate is Samakab Hussein, the Republican is John Schonebaum, and there’s also a weed candidate, Miki Frost. I think the Republican is a computer programmer (I didn’t find any other John Schonebaums in the area — the Facebook hit was clearly the same guy and even less informative). Miki Frost also has no website although his mayoral race Facebook page from last year is still up (and what I wrote about him last year is here.) Anyway, I would definitely vote for Samakab Hussein.

House District 65B

This is an open seat. The DFL candidate is María Isa Pérez-Hedges. She’s a musician, progressive Democrat, and insulin organizer (she has Type I diabetes) who worked to pass the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act. The Republican is Kevin Fjelsted. He’s aggressively anti-abortion, anti-vax and anti-mask, has a long rant about teachers’ unions, scarmongers about illegal votes, and has a couple of interesting thoughts about website accessibility (he’s blind) but he definitely doesn’t need to be in the legislature to share them. I would definitely vote for María Isa.

House District 66A

This is an open seat. Leigh Finke is the DFLer. She’s a progressive trans woman. The Republican is Trace Johnson, who’s one of those really genuinely puzzling examples of a gay Republican. The Republican party still explicitly calls for same-sex marriage rights to be repealed. I looked Trace up on Twitter and found a locked account where he proclaims himself a “deplorable,” and wading through a little of his Twitter with the (frustratingly slow) Wayback Machine turned up a bunch of cheerleading for January 6th and promotion of Trump’s big lie, so I’m going to go ahead and say: he’s an absolute piece of shit masquerading as a moderate (“Aren’t you tired of the constant bickering?” asks someone who retweeted a post cheering on the violent insurgents who broke into Speaker Pelosi’s office. Gosh.) Anyway, I would absolutely vote for Leigh Finke.

House District 66B

Athena Hollins is the DFL incumbent. Her Republican opponent, Jay Hill, loves cops and infrastructure and hates the taxes that pay for those things, in sort of standard Republican fashion, honestly. Also he wants to “allow for the freedom to make your own medical choices” which I’m going to just say, despite his lack of clarity on the topic, probably means “people should be able to send their children to public schools without vaccinating them” and not “people who need abortions should be able to get them.” I would absolutely vote for Athena Hollins.

House District 67A

This is the seat currently held by rolling disaster John Thompson, who lost in the primary. Liz Lee is the DFLer on the ballot. Scott Hesselgrave is the Republican who was put forward as a replacement candidate after the original Republican candidate, Beverly Peterson, died. I actually think it was entirely reasonable for the GOP to go to court to demand that new ballots be sent out after a clerical error sent out a bunch with Beverly Peterson’s name on it, but if you’re going to go to that much effort, you could also set up a website for your candidate? Anyway, I would vote for Liz Lee!

House District 67B

Jay Xiong is the DFL incumbent. His Republican opponent is Fred Turk, an aging geezer who is absolutely old enough to be getting his health care through Medicare who thinks that Medicaid is a waste of money. I would vote for Jay Xiong!


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.)

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.

I also went looking for some DonorsChoose fundraisers. In Minneapolis, I found a science teacher at Sullivan STEAM magnet needs some better computers so his students can actually program the cool robots they got. In St. Paul, I found an English teacher at Harding Senior High who would like snacks for her students.

Election 2022: Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, District 4

This is an open seat; long-time commissioner Toni Carter decided not to run again.

On the ballot:

Rena Moran
Darryl Spence

Rena Moran is a state legislator who is endorsed by the DFL and basically every Democrat holding office in the area. Darryl “The Rev” Spence is a pastor who is endorsed by a bunch of cops.

I spent a bunch of time trying to determine whether Darryl’s church was a conservative church or a liberal church. It’s Baptist, which could go either way. After a lot of digging I still don’t really have an answer. They just don’t say much on their website about their stance on anything, at all. I will note they require masking at their services. Anyway, it doesn’t matter all that much since “she’s endorsed by all the Democrats and he’s endorsed by Sheriff Bob Fletcher” is sufficient reason to say, I would vote for Rena Moran.


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.)

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.

I also went looking for a DonorsChoose fundraiser for a classroom in St. Paul and found an English teacher at Harding Senior High who would like snacks for her students. In her project intro, she notes, “With a new schedule this year, some students have to wait a very long time to eat lunch everyday. When students are hungry, they cannot focus and most students can’t afford to buy their own snacks.” This made me curious about their schedule. Some students at Harding don’t get to eat lunch until 1 p.m. School starts at 8:30. When I eat breakfast at 7:30 I’m ravenous by noon, never mind 1 p.m. Feeding kids is an absolute no-brainer, seriously.

(WordPress turned that last bit into a weirdly formatted mess, so I’m editing to see if that fixes it or makes it worse.)

Election 2022: Minnesota Attorney General

This is one of the races that’s so stark for me it almost doesn’t feel like I should need to write this. Keith Ellison is one of the DFLers who is not only better than the alternative, I’m actually extremely happy with the job he’s done, plus he’s up against a radical right-wing Republican who is smart enough to say the quiet part quietly but is nonetheless going to do anything and everything in his power to screw over LGBT people and anyone who needs an abortion while also defanging Minnesota’s consumer protections. tl;dr VOTE FOR KEITH ELLISON.

On the ballot:

Keith Ellison
Jim Schultz

At the top of my list of reasons I appreciate Keith Ellison’s work: his prosecution of Derek Chauvin. The AG’s office does not do a lot of criminal work (mostly that’s handled by the County Attorneys, more on this in a minute) but in a situation where a police officer is being prosecuted for a crime, there are significant advantages to letting a state official take the lead. (County Attorneys depend on police officers to testify in all their other criminal prosecutions; this creates a significant conflict when prosecuting police for crimes committed while on duty.) More importantly: Ellison’s office did an extremely good job prosecuting Chauvin. It is hard to get a conviction of a police officer, even when he commits cold-blooded murder in front of multiple cameras. They took nothing for granted, brought in top-notch experts, built the case, and won it.

Normally, the Attorney General is more focused on consumer and worker protection, and Ellison has also done a lot of excellent work there. He’s taken slumlords to court. He’s created a wage theft unit. He’s won debt relief for people who were conned into enrolling in fraudulent diploma-mill schools and a settlement from Navient over allegations they steered people away from the repayment plans that would have benefited the borrower. He defended the Alex Smith Insulin Affordability Act and joined a lawsuit against generic drug makers for colluding to keep costs high. He’s done a lot of really good work and I am genuinely really happy with him as AG.

Jim Schultz seems to be running on the platform of, “not Keith Ellison.” If you look at his website, it’s sort of shocking just how little information is on it. I counted, and on his issues page, he uses fewer than 100 words total. (It’s 71, to be exact.) The icons shift slightly when you mouse over them, suggesting that maybe they’re links that would go to a more detailed policy discussion, but nope. No links. Here’s one of his “issues”:

Defend the Constitution
Safeguard the constitutional rights of every Minnesotan.

He does not say which constitutional rights and we sure as hell know he doesn’t mean the right to an abortion! (I assume, after a bit of digging, that he means “the right to own guns and take them wherever the hell you want with no repercussions or inconveniences or requirements or training or whatever, at least if you’re white.”)

He’s tried repeatedly while running to claim that abortion is “settled law,” which — weirdly — is almost word-for-word what several of the Republican-nominated justices said in confirmation hearings and they went on to overturn Roe vs. Wade. His phrasing here is absolutely not a coincidence; it’s intended to reassure the right wing that he’s definitely going to do whatever’s in his power to stop people from getting abortions.

And what is in his power? Well, in the debate, he pointed out that AGs can wade in to criminal cases uninvited if they involve “racketeering.” The NLRC has been urging the passage of legislation that massively expands racketeering laws to prosecute people who provide abortions. Abortion in Minnesota is legal and protected, but that does not mean that Schultz would not be able to find loopholes to harass and prosecute people seeking or providing abortions. He served on the board of the “Human Life Alliance,” a nonprofit that says it seeks to make abortion “not only illegal, but unthinkable.”

This morning, I listened to a radio show (also a podcast) about “pill fairies,” women who provide abortion pills on demand in states where abortion is not legal. (There’s also a transcript — you can find it here.) The legal status of people who buy abortion pills over the counter and send them by mail is deeply unclear, but I am really confident that a Republican could dig up a law they could prosecute that under, whether it’s practicing medicine without a license or misuse of encryption. Racketeering laws are intended to prosecute people involved in criminal enterprise. So let’s say someone in Minnesota acts as an intermediary — buys the abortion pills via telemedicine for a friend, sends them along, and gets reimbursed the cost over Venmo. Do we really think Jim Schultz won’t try a racketeering charge for that, if it happens in Hennepin or Ramsey County and the County Attorney declines to treat this as a criminal matter?

In the piece about pill fairies, the journalist cites a Mexican activist in saying, “the bigger the movement becomes, the harder it’ll be to crack down on.” Overall, this is true. However, what I predict will happen is that right-wing prosecutors will try to make an example of anyone they happen to catch. There’s a saying popular among cops that goes, “You may beat the rap, but not the ride” — even if a jury refuses to convict, this sort of criminal prosecution can really fuck up someone’s life. And that would be the goal.

In the meantime, Jim Schultz has explicitly promised to protect the rights of people who take pharmacy jobs in order to act as the personal moralistic gatekeeper against anyone who needs medication they “disagree” with (rather than the rights of individuals who need medication) and I sure as hell don’t see him protecting the rights of same-sex married couples, never mind the rights of trans kids or their families.

He’s also a literal hedge fund lawyer and has made it thoroughly clear that his priority is not citizens that get ripped off, but businesses and their right to make as much money as possible. He wants to cut the number of consumer protection advocates in the AG’s office. He says he would hold businesses accountable for serious wrongdoing, which is a heck of a caveat. Just how serious does it have to be before he’d get involved? Does it matter if a company only stole $100 from you, rather than thousands? The Strib article also included this really classically Republican quote:

He would focus on protecting seniors in assisted living facilities from neglect and abuse, noting his late father who had dementia did not receive adequate care at one nursing home and had to be moved to another.

Seniors in assisted living facilities absolutely need protection from neglect and abuse. (This is in fact something Ellison’s office has worked on!) But it’s sure telling that the one area of consumer protection Schultz wants to talk about is the one where a family member has suffered unnecessarily. This is such a chronic Republican thing (where they suddenly recognize that something is a problem when it happens to them, their spouse, one of their parents, or one of their kids — because this is the set of people on whom they’re disinclined to blame the victim) that I thought surely there was a term for it but I’m not finding it. Maybe there isn’t! Maybe we should come up with one! Because it’s sure a thing.

Jim Schultz is not a moderate. He’s a right-wing extremist who believes all the same crap as Doug Wardlow, but said with a smile and couched in polite words. I am voting for Keith Ellison and I really hope everyone reading my blog will vote for him as well.

ETA 10/31 to add: Jim Schultz also committed massive campaign finance violations, coordinating with a Super PAC on $800,000 worth of ads. Totally fucking racist ads.


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.)

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.

I also went looking for some DonorsChoose fundraisers. In Minneapolis, I found a science teacher at Sullivan STEAM magnet needs some better computers so his students can actually program the cool robots they got. In St. Paul, I found an English teacher at Harding Senior High who would like snacks for her students. In her project intro, she notes, “With a new schedule this year, some students have to wait a very long time to eat lunch everyday. When students are hungry, they cannot focus and most students can’t afford to buy their own snacks.” This made me curious about their schedule. Some students at Harding don’t get to eat lunch until 1 p.m. School starts at 8:30. When I eat breakfast at 7:30 I’m ravenous by noon, never mind 1 p.m. Feeding kids is an absolute no-brainer, seriously.

Election 2022: Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, District 5

I really don’t have a lot to add since the primary, but people always ask, so. Rafael Ortega is the long-time incumbent.

On the ballot:

Rafael E. Ortega (incumbent, DFL-endorsed)
Bill Hosko

Bill Hosko

Bill Hosko is a perennial candidate. In 2015 he ran for Ward 2 City Council on a “no parking meters” platform; in 2019 he ran for Ward 2 City Council on a “we should spend millions of dollars to install turnstiles for the light rail, and also bring back fireworks, and also lower taxes” platform; and in 2021 he ran for Mayor on a “build turnstiles, crack down on shoplifting and shame Mayor Carter for having weeds in his yard” platform.

His platform this year seems to be “crime is bad and we should do something about it, lower taxes, make a plan for the old West Publishing site, create railway attractions at Union Station so it stops losing money, and bring back Grand Old Day, Taste of Minnesota, Fourth of July Fireworks, and Cinco de Mayo.” Also he still wants turnstiles. You can read his East Metro Voter Guide responses here.

I am, just in general, extra unimpressed by people whose positions include both a demand for lower taxes, and a long list of fun extras they think the government should be providing. Show some ideological consistency, ffs!

Rafael E. Ortega

Rafael Ortega is doing fine. My complaints about county-level stuff in Ramsey County are all things that are not overseen by the county board. Also, his opponent is a crank. You can read his East Metro Voter Guide responses here.

I will be voting for Rafael Ortega and if you live in my district I’d encourage you to do the same!


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.)

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.

I also went looking for a DonorsChoose fundraiser for a classroom in St. Paul and found an English teacher at Harding Senior High who would like snacks for her students. In her project intro, she notes, “With a new schedule this year, some students have to wait a very long time to eat lunch everyday. When students are hungry, they cannot focus and most students can’t afford to buy their own snacks.” This made me curious about their schedule. Some students at Harding don’t get to eat lunch until 1 p.m. School starts at 8:30. When I eat breakfast at 7:30 I’m ravenous by noon, never mind 1 p.m. Feeding kids is an absolute no-brainer, seriously.

Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, District 3

Trista MatasCastillo was elected in 2018, displacing long-time incumbent Janice Rettman.

On the ballot this year:

Trista MatasCastillo (incumbent)
David A. Singleton

I was really pleased to see Trista win in 2018, and in the last four years, every time she’s crossed my radar it’s been something good or at least neutral. She’s been quoted in several articles on homelessness and how Ramsey County changed things to shelter people during the pandemic; earlier this month she was quoted talking about adding snow making capabilities to Battle Creek Regional Park.

Regarding David Singleton, I just want to note that if you visit his website on a desktop computer it initially looks like it doesn’t work. There’s content but you have to scroll down a whole lot. (It looks better on a phone.) He has one endorsement, from a state legislator from Cloquet. He’s a reserve police officer and maybe also a paralegal?

Over on his Facebook page he says, among other things, “Some and most people that have served in Government for multiple terms, are drunk on power,” which is a weird thing to say when you’re running against someone who’s finishing up her first term, and “I promise if you elect me to be your Ramsey County Commissioner for District 3, I will make your priorities my priorities,” and like, here’s the thing about that sort of promise, I guarantee you that plenty of my neighbors have very different priorities from me? Ten minutes poking around my Facebook neighborhood group makes that extremely clear! So the idea that he’ll make “your priorities” his priorities is pretty meaningless without more information he does not provide. (In this video of both candidates speaking, he lists his three priorities as law enforcement reform, business development, and government transparency, but with zero details.)

Anyway, I would vote for Trista MatasCastillo without hesitation.


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.)

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.

I also went looking for a DonorsChoose fundraiser for a classroom in St. Paul and found an English teacher at Harding Senior High who would like snacks for her students. In her project intro, she notes, “With a new schedule this year, some students have to wait a very long time to eat lunch everyday. When students are hungry, they cannot focus and most students can’t afford to buy their own snacks.” This made me curious about their schedule. Some students at Harding don’t get to eat lunch until 1 p.m. School starts at 8:30. When I eat breakfast at 7:30 I’m ravenous by noon, never mind 1 p.m. Feeding kids is an absolute no-brainer, seriously.

Elections 2022: Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, District 6

This is an open seat and a competitive race. On the ballot:

Ying Vang-Pao
Mai Chong Xiong

During the primary, I was pretty sure that these were the two candidates who would advance and said I’d take a closer look in the general. At the time, their priorities sounded pretty similar and while Mai Chong had more endorsements that impressed me, I thought Ying might be worth a second look.

So in the intervening months they have differentiated themselves a lot more significantly. Ying’s endorsements are a lot more conservative: she has Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher (who I do not like at all) and Dino Guerin. She also lists an endorsement from Alexander Bourne, which is sure a choice a person can make.

Mai Chong’s endorsements include the somewhat more centrist Jane Prince, but they also include Nelsie Yang, former mayor Chris Coleman (not to be confused with former mayor and overall slimeball Republican Norm Coleman — Chris is an actual Democrat, don’t get him mixed up with Norm!), current mayor Melvin Carter, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, and the DSA.

I took a look at Ying’s Priorities section, which she’s expanded a lot since the summer. Her second item is “more resources for law enforcement” (and she’s entirely vague about what she means there — more officers? higher wages? more military-grade weaponry?) Then I got to this one:

Finish the Yellow and Purple light rail lines, connecting the East Side to the light rail system, which will provide for higher density development, leading to more jobs and business opportunities and make the East Side more attractive to residents, business, and visitors. 

…and thought, wait, there are more light rail lines in progress for St. Paul? and looked this up. Both of these proposed lines are BRT, Bus Rapid Transit (here’s the Metro Transit page on Purple Line plans), and it’s the Gold Line not the Yellow Line. These are weird details to get wrong on your website.

Mai Chong talks about BRT on her Vision and Values page (“Ensure that Bus Rapid Transit Lines are fully funded and stops are accessible for those that need them most; Invest in electric buses and cut down diesel pollution through our neighborhoods.”) Though she doesn’t call for “finishing” the Gold and Purple lines, possibly because they’re scheduled and thus in the category of “stuff that’s going to happen, we just need to focus on making sure they’re done properly.”

One of the other places that their differences are really clear is on housing. They both talk about affordable housing:

Ying says, “More affordable housing by making Ramsey County more attractive for private investment in housing, thus increasing housing supply and keeping rents down. Rent is too high, but the resulting homelessness is caused by an acute shortage of homes, so by providing conditions that make it easier to build more homes where people of all income levels want to live – such as making more real estate available for housing, reducing regulations, making it faster to obtain required permits, and providing transportation options for new developments, we can end homelessness.

Mai Chong says, “We need to decommodify housing. We need to build a system in which every single person in our community has dignified housing. As your County Commissioner, I will fight for all of us and ensure that we build deeply affordable housing at and below 30% AMI; fully fund and push for low-interest loan programs that rehabilitate & repair homes and businesses to remove lead, improve energy efficiency, and install solar panels; build a pipeline for people who are homeless to obtain long-term, sustainable, and dignified housing.”

I will note that I feel like both of these answers on housing are problematic because I’m very much in the both/and/all school on “should we be addressing the housing shortage with public housing or with private development.” We need both, as much as possible, as quickly as possible. (It’s interesting that neither talks about the rent control ordinance, although Mai Chong talks about tenant’s rights further down in her housing section, and Ying does not.)

Anyway — at this point, this is a fairly straightforward decision for me. While there are things about Ying’s approach that I appreciate, I don’t like her “more resources for police” stance and I actively dislike some of her endorsements. I would absolutely vote for Mai Chong Xiong if I lived in District 6.


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.)

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.

I also went looking for a DonorsChoose fundraiser for a classroom in St. Paul and found an English teacher at Harding Senior High who would like snacks for her students. In her project intro, she notes, “With a new schedule this year, some students have to wait a very long time to eat lunch everyday. When students are hungry, they cannot focus and most students can’t afford to buy their own snacks.” This made me curious about their schedule. Some students at Harding don’t get to eat lunch until 1 p.m. School starts at 8:30. When I eat breakfast at 7:30 I’m ravenous by noon, never mind 1 p.m. Feeding kids is an absolute no-brainer, seriously.

Election 2022: Minnesota Secretary of State

I’m back from South Korea, super jet-lagged and foggy, but this is a very straightforward one so I should be okay, right?

On the ballot:

Kim Crockett (GOP)
Steve Simon (DFL)

Kim Crockett is frankly despicable. She’s a proponent of Trump’s big lie and has been completely open about her desire to make it harder for people to exercise their right to vote. On her website she says we should “protect vulnerable citizens” and says “the elderly, homeless, and non-English speaking citizens are being exploited for their votes. Why do election rules allow and encourage this?” — she’s previously questioned the right of disabled people and non-English-speakers to vote and I read this as more of the same.

On her Twitter feed, she retweeted an adulatory post about Giorgia Meloni, who is, at minimum, fascist-adjacent, and a tweet saying “Never Forget what they did to us” with a clip from Halloween 2020 suggesting safe ways for children to have fun during the pre-vaccine pandemic Halloween.

She’s whined about “ad hominem attacks” which is hilarious because she’s genuinely an incredibly terrible person. Why would I trust a really bad person, a liar and conspiracy theorist, a racist and ableist, someone who won’t even commit to accepting the results of the election she’s running in, to run elections? As I noted back in August, the Republican party has made it abundantly clear that they have complete contempt for the entire concept of government of, for, and by the people. No one should trust any Republican with elections, in Minnesota or any other state, but especially not Kim Crockett.

ETA: Also her husband is a huuuuuuuuuge fan of voter intimidation. He’s not the one running, but when you’re running for a job overseeing elections and you’re married to someone who goes to a Tea Party Patriots meeting to talk about how Republicans should round up family members who are “deputies or sheriffs” to be “part of a SWAT team” on election day, you get no benefit of the doubt from me. Kim Crockett should be allowed nowhere near this job!

Steve Simon has done an excellent job — in particular, he did a really good job in 2020 dealing with the complexities of elections in a pandemic. I would absolutely and without hesitation vote for Steve Simon even if his opponent were one of the handful of Republicans standing up against Trump; under the circumstance I would crawl over broken glass to vote for Steve, but fortunately, thanks to Steve, I’ll have lots of better options, including no-excuses in-person absentee voting. Vote for Steve, who will never make you crawl over broken glass to cast your ballot (okay, maybe I should have waited until I was less jet-lagged to write this post…?)


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.)

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.

I also went looking and found a cool DonorsChoose fundraiser for a classroom in Minneapolis: a science teacher at Sullivan STEAM magnet needs some better computers so his students can actually program the cool robots they got.

Election 2022: Governor

HEY NAOMI WHERE THE HECK ARE YOUR POSTS

Hello from South Korea! I really truly intended to put a dent in my posts before I went on my (two week) trip to Seoul, and I totally did not even start before leaving, so. We may go old-school for some of these, which is to say, maybe a little less of a deep dive, because let’s be honest, most of you know that what you should do in the partisan races is just. vote. for the Democrat. Your DFL option may be imperfect but the alternative is invariably worse. Unhappy with Tim Walz? Your other option for governor is anti-vax anti-choice anti-gay pro-censorship big-lie-promoting asshole Scott Jensen!

It’s tempting to just leave this post there (I’m in a hotel in Myeongdong with a remarkably uncomfortable desk) but I’ll go through the list of people on the ballot because I really do want to make fun of the “Jury Democracy” guy.

Steve Patterson and Matt Huff (Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis)
James McCaskel and David Sandbeck (Legal Marijuana Now)
Hugh McTavish and Mike Winter (Independence Alliance)
Gabrielle M. Prosser and Kevin A. Dwire (Socialist Worker)
Scott Jensen and Matt Birk (Republican)
Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan (DFL)

Continue reading

Primary Elections 2022: Sample Ballot (with links)

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.