Tenth Ward Preview: Scott Fine is running for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 10

Scott Fine is running for Minneapolis City Council against Lisa Bender in Ward 10.

We’ll start with a few things about our current council member. I find this endorsement of Lisa Bender very persuasive:

In three short years, she has passed more progressive ordinances than other Council Members have managed to pass in two or three whole terms. Parking reform, ADUs, flexibility for homeless shelters, a nation-leading Complete Streets policy, parklets, sick and safe time, relaxing regulations for beekeeping… I could go on, but won’t.

The quality I appreciate most in a politician is the sense that they are running for office because they care about policies more than just the idea of getting elected. Lisa Bender cares about policy; she wants to make those policies happen; and she’s talented enough to have been successful making them happen in her first three years in office. Most importantly, she inspires enough confidence in her colleagues that they’re willing to follow her lead.

Lisa Bender has a challenger in the 10th Ward this year. His name is Scott Fine. His campaign Facebook page describes him as a web developer who’s lived and rented in Ward 10 since 1970.

Guy on twitter makes this observation:

@WedgeLIVE “I’m a web developer.”
*Launches campaign with FB page only*

— Scott Shaffer (@scttdvd) February 16, 2017

In terms of Scott Fine’s policy, advocacy, or activist experience, this is all there is:

That sounds like I’m being unfair. But you can check for yourself.

Fine highlights “Democratic Neighborhoods” as one of his top three issues. I’ve been covering neighborhood politics since the last election in 2013, and I have never come across Scott Fine.
It’s also notable that Scott Fine is from the Wedge neighborhood. Ward 10 has many neighborhoods, including CARAG, Whittier, ECCO, and East Harriet. But recently, all our council candidates are Wedge-based. Lisa Bender is from the Wedge. Lisa Bender’s predecessor, Meg Tuthill, is from the Wedge. We should be very proud of this. Other neighborhoods should be ashamed for making the Wedge neighborhood do all the council membering.
You might be wondering:
  • Is Scott Fine’s candidacy propped up by the forces of the Wedge Shitstorm? I’m pretty sure.
  • Has HGTV’s Nicole Curtis “stockpiled” her money to write a $600 check to his campaign? I wouldn’t count on Nicole Curtis to pay up on her promises.

What’s Going on in Ward 9?

(For Minneapolis election year news beyond Ward 9, read this post.)

Gary Schiff announced his campaign to challenge Ward 9 Council Member Alondra Cano a little more than a week ago. Schiff held the Ward 9 seat until running for Mayor in 2013. Since his announcement, a series of open letters have been addressed to Schiff on Facebook questioning the legitimacy of his candidacy.

All of these “Dear Gary” letters pretty convincingly argue that Gary Schiff is a white guy. The phrase “white supremacy” is used. Comparisons to Trump are made.

(Please note: Wedge LIVE isn’t getting involved in Ward 9.)

On Sunday, Schiff held his campaign kickoff/pancake party/birthday bash (happy birthday, Gary!). The event was attended by a handful of Alondra supporters, who refused to eat pancakes–but did pass out a printed copy of a “Dear Gary” letter originally posted to Facebook.

In the aftermath, Mayoral candidate and current Ward 3 Council Member Jacob Frey (who by all accounts did partake in pancakes), became embroiled in the controversy. A Facebook user who says he was among the people distributing the letter, alleges Frey checked the “endorse” box on the sign-in sheet at Shiff’s event. Frey denies endorsing Schiff.

Again, Wedge LIVE is advising readers to steer clear of dangerous conditions in Ward 9.

@IanAlltyr – didn’t endorse. Was there for his birthday as he’s a friend and I respect him.

— Jacob Frey (@Jacob_Frey) February 6, 2017

In other Ward 9 news: Alondra Cano releases City Hall security camera footage, along with a letter of reprimand from Council President Barb Johnson.

Yet more Ward 9 news: A Ward 9 candidate you may not have heard of is raising a lot of money and spending it in surprising ways.
Most surprising City Council campaign finance report is Mohamed Farah’s.

-Raised $23,000
-Paid $1200/mo in rent
-Held $3500 kickoff event. pic.twitter.com/ygityWGaU5

— Wedge LIVE! (@WedgeLIVE) February 3, 2017

Ward 9 Fact: The Hennepin County emergency sirens that sound off at 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month are intended to warn local residents of the threat posed by getting involved in Ward 9.

Continuing Coverage: Ward 9 Logo Disaster
New Gary Schiff Design Evokes Image of Man Beaten to Death With His Own Birthday Pancakes

CAUTION: After reading the Ward 9 update, you may be tempted to get involved–do not do so.

Minneapolis 2017: Campaign Digest

First, a public service announcement: City Council incumbents of varying degrees of bad are being challenged in Wards 1, 4, 5, 7, and 11.

DFL caucuses are April 4th. Consider donating, volunteering and–especially–caucusing for one of the challengers in these races. 2017 is your last chance to decide which candidates get to spend the next four years making decisions about police reform, transit, zoning, bikes, and whatever other local stuff you care about.

City government is the easiest level of politics for one person (you!) to have an impact. This is your moment!

Ward 1: Jillia PessendaZach Wefel (incumbent Kevin Reich)
Ward 4: Phillipe Cunningham, Stephanie Gasca (incumbent Barb Johnson)
Ward 5: Jeremiah Ellison (incumbent Blong Yang)
Ward 7: Janne Flisrand (incumbent Lisa Goodman)
Ward 11: Erica MauterJeremy Schroeder (incumbent John Quincy)

Like the above races, Ward 9 is also competitive, but Wedge LIVE is advising the civilian population to evacuate the area. Do not get involved in this conflict. For details, read the Ward 9 update.

Fundraising. We’re still waiting to find out what Council President Barb Johnson spent on cable TV, internet, cell phone service, and landlines for her homes. Barb is traditionally late with her filing.

Yes Barb spends over $7100 in campaign funds on those things every year, but doesn’t pay anyone to file her reports on time. pic.twitter.com/cKguzYEF88

— Wedge LIVE! (@WedgeLIVE) February 5, 2017

In Ward 7, Lisa Goodman has the biggest bank account of all the City Council incumbents. Fortunately, Janne Flisrand is challenging Goodman. Janne is the only candidate endorsed by Wedge LIVE. 

Here’s how Goodman is making her case to Ward 7 residents:

Lisa Goodman will probably spend $200,000 this year telling you how progressive she is, then spend 4 years acting like she never said it. pic.twitter.com/KpPhj7SmjA

— Wedge LIVE! (@WedgeLIVE) February 3, 2017

Janne Flisrand is running against Lisa Goodman this year. You might find her flyer more believable. pic.twitter.com/TzxeizpH1u

— Wedge LIVE! (@WedgeLIVE) February 3, 2017

Current Ward 3 Council Member Jacob Frey has decided to run for Mayor. His campaign got a boost when a campaign finance board ruled he could use the nearly $200,000 he raised as a City Council candidate for his Mayoral campaign.

The vacuum left by Frey in Ward 3 has been filled by a steady stream of candidates, most notably by Steven Fletcher (DFL), Cordelia Pierson (DFL), Samantha Pree-Stinson (Green Party), Ginger Jentzen (Socialist)–and many, many more.

The problem: nobody in the Ward 3 clown car is named Anton Schieffer. Schieffer is a nationally regarded YIMBY icon and fitness celebrity with over a decade of cyber security experience. Please join the “Draft Anton” movement by tweeting any of the following images using the hashtag #time4anton.

“Transgender candidates for Mpls. City Council seek a voice at the table.” The Star Tribune has a story about Phillipe Cunningham (Ward 4) and Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8). Neither wants to focus their campaigns on the fact that they are transgender, but both are aware of the historical significance of their candidacies.

Mohamud Noor is reportedly challenging Ward 6 incumbent Abdi Warsame. Drama.