Minneapolis politicians attend protest march comparing bikes to Nazis

“Nazi Lane” signs dripping with fake blood (photo: Shane Morin)

Minneapolis election season has collided with backlash to a pair of bike lanes recently installed on 26th and 28th streets. Previous negative reaction to those lanes has mainly consisted of Facebook posts, a never-ending thread of commentary on the Nextdoor website, and Jon Tevlin of the Star Tribune fanning the flames. Today the bikelash became an actual real-life protest with signs reading “Nazi Lanes,” “Mafia Lanes,” and “Suck It Lanes.”

One important thing to know is that the idea for this protest began on social media as a hoax, but became very real after spreading to credulous bike-haters on Facebook. The Facebook event was created by internet hoax artist Jeremy Piatt (known for creating the GoFundMe for Kanye West that was picked up by major national news outlets).

By all accounts, organizer Jeremy Piatt didn’t show up to the protest. But here’s who did show up to march against bikes: two candidates for City Council, David Schorn (Ward 10) and Joe Kovacs (Ward 7); and former Ward 10 City Council member Meg Tuthill; and let’s not forget the group of people carrying “Nazi Lane” signs dripping with red paint intended to look like blood.

The anti-bike marchers began by walking in the newly installed bike lane on 26th Street, east from Hennepin to Lyndale Ave. They then walked in the bike lane, west on 28th Street. Observers on social media remarked how fortunate they were to find refuge from cars in the bike lanes.

Former Ward 10 City Council member Meg Tuthill (left, in sunglasses).
City Council candidates David Schorn & Joe Kovacs (right, on sidewalk).

— Franklin Sayre (@mysnuggle) October 14, 2017

> Drivers freak out about bike lanes
> Fake bike lane protest organized online as joke
> Conservatives actually show up w/“Nazi Lanes” signs https://t.co/bgKkIxW34M

— Tony Webster (@webster) October 14, 2017

Cannot fathom the fucking nerve to carry a sign that looks like it’s dripping with blood. Car violence IS killing PEOPLE. That’s real blood https://t.co/ahJWb5l3qr

— Ella Rasp (@ella_enroute) October 14, 2017

Do you think the irony that a nazi killed a woman with a car and not a bike in #Charlottesville is lost on them?

— Heartsapian (@Heartsapian) October 14, 2017

The anti-bike protest was followed a few hours later by an event billed as a “Bike Lane Party” attended by a few dozen residents, including current Ward 10 City Council member Lisa Bender. Bender advocates for policies that create safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists, and has been the target of criticism from bike lane opponents on social media.

Lisa Bender’s opponents in Ward 10 include: David Schorn, who was at today’s “Nazi Lane” protest; Saralyn Romanishan, who is fond of comparing city government to Hitler/Isis/ethnic cleansing; and Bruce Lundeen, the Republican candidate who made racist remarks at a recent candidate forum.

Counter protest “Bike Lane Party.” Lotta bikes. No offensive signage. @lisabendermpls is here. pic.twitter.com/g7WRJWXPVS

— Wedge LIVE! (@WedgeLIVE) October 14, 2017

Ward 10 candidate forum overrun by zany, unprepared challengers

Ward 10 incumbent Lisa Bender puts hands to her face in disbelief

Tuesday night’s Ward 10 forum got weird when Republican candidate Bruce Lundeen opened his mouth.

Lundeen said that non-profits are the “path to the urban plantation, which is basically what we keep up in north Minneapolis.”
“If you’re a black man, you need to try and get a good job,” Lundeen said. “You need to imagine that.”

Lundeen continued: “I don’t even see any… very few blacks here. They don’t even bother to come to hear this chatter anymore.”

Lundeen then pointed towards the back of the room, at incumbent Ward 10 city council member Lisa Bender’s policy aide Ron Harris, who is black. Lundeen said, “ok, there’s one…. I wonder if you agree with what I say.”
“Not at all,” Harris replied. “Continue.”

Bender placed her hands over her head during the exchange.

In other news, candidate David Schorn (who readers of this blog might remember as the history teacher whose knowledge of history includes misremembered urban legends) was asked about inclusionary zoning, which is the practice of requiring or encouraging affordable units in new market-rate housing.
In one of his finest moments of the campaign so far, Schorn admitted he didn’t know what inclusionary zoning was. Lisa Bender even commended him for admitting a lack of knowledge instead of faking his way through an answer.
However, in one of Schorn’s worst moments of the campaign so far, he showed up to a city council candidate forum on housing without knowing anything about inclusionary zoning, which is one of the most commonly discussed concepts in housing politics.

It’s important to remember that Schorn is running a campaign that’s largely a series of complaints about Bender’s housing policies, blaming Bender for the cost of housing, while demanding stricter parking mandates (Schorn’s preferred parking policies would drive up the cost of housing).

Schorn got into his usual routine of “vacancy rate trutherism.” In rebutting the idea that housing is expensive because there isn’t enough of it, Schorn claimed that landlords are faking low vacancy rates in order to charge higher rents. Schorn said this theory is based on his personal experience as the resident of a luxury apartment building in Uptown.
Candidate Saralyn Romanishan had a somewhat forgettable forum performance. But I did find her advocating for cutting the estate tax in her Make Homes Happen candidate questionnaire (Make Homes Happen was the forum host):
The estate tax exemption in Minnesota is $2.1 million for 2017. There isn’t a single home in the Wedge that would be reasonably valued at much more than $1 million. Romanishan’s estate tax cut idea would benefit only the very rich. It seems like an idea that Republican candidate Bruce Lundeen might be willing to co-sponsor.
Three Ward 10 neighborhood organizations are planning another candidate forum on October 17. Because it will be hosted by neighborhood organizations, this forum has the chance to be infinitely weirder.

History teacher turned Council candidate David Schorn blunders all the facts in July 4th tribute to Founding Fathers

John Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence
David Schorn’s July Fourth tribute to the Founding Fathers turned into yet another blunder. According to his bio, Schorn spent three decades teaching history and government to unsuspecting children. Now he’s prepared to unleash his total ignorance on Ward 10.

Schorn’s Fake Fact #1: The idea that John Adams was stepping on Thomas Jefferson’s toes is not a real thing that happened, nor was it intended as symbolism by the painter. It’s just a really old painting, exposed to the elements, and subjected to primitive methods of restoration that have altered its appearance.
Schorn’s Fake Fact #2: While there is an actual myth that someone in the painting is stomping on toes, David Schorn can’t even be faithful to made up history. Schorn says that it’s Adams stepping on Jefferson. But the more typical, and completely made up story people tell about this painting is that Jefferson paid the painter to depict Jefferson stepping on Adams, in order to show that he “dominated” him.
Schorn’s Fake Fact #3: Schorn says the aggressive toe mashing happened during the “long pose,” as if Jefferson and Adams were standing there together in silence, unable to move, battling each other with their feet. The truth is the work on this painting started 10 years after the event it depicts, and the subjects were painted individually, either from “life or life portraits.”

Schorn’s Fake Fact #4: Schorn says John Adams was the “key writer” of the Declaration of Independence. This is not true. I’m not a historian, but I googled it to verify my own hazy notions. By all accounts Jefferson was the primary author. I can’t even find a mythical basis for saying Adams was the real author.

Remember: David Schorn was a history teacher! Now he’s running for City Council and wants you to believe low rental vacancy rates are made up and we don’t actually need more housing. And also his Facebook banner still says “indorsed” by the Police Federation.

Blundering Ward 10 candidate David Schorn earns endorsement, goofs announcement

Indorsement Alert

Ward 10 candidate David Schorn has been “indorsed” by the Minneapolis Police Federation, according to the “Schorn for Ward 10” campaign Facebook page. Many observers were amused by the fact that Schorn, having already committed a number of blunders in the early days of his campaign, misspelled “endorsed” on his Facebook header image.

He could add “Indorsed by the cops” to his acronym to make something more fun. “SPIRE”? “RIPES”? “PIERS”?

— Robin Garwood (@RobinGarwood) July 2, 2017

Setting aside the other graphic design travesties, I’m pretty sure he can’t use the MPD logo, right? How illegal is this?

— David Cook (@divergentdave) July 2, 2017

The Schorn endorsement is surprising because not even the staunchly law-and-order Barb Johnson lists the Minneapolis Police union as an endorsing organization on her website (Maybe she asked them not to? Maybe she knows it’s nothing to brag about?). I’m unaware of any Minneapolis candidates listing the police union as an endorser.

The current Ward 10 council member, Lisa Bender, is enthusiastically pro-police reform. So it’s to be expected that the police union would endorse a Bender opponent. But it’s a little surprising that any union would endorse Schorn, an extremely unqualified candidate who lists no policy positions related to policing on his Facebook page (Schorn has no website or detailed positions on any issues, other than an acronym on his header image).

I’m curious what David Schorn told Bob Kroll’s Police Federation to get their endorsement that he’s not telling the public.

Tenth Ward Update: Candidate David Schorn blunders into Ward 10 City Council race

This is the second part of an ongoing series about the hapless white dude city council candidates of Ward 10. Read Part I here.

A guy named David Schorn has entered the race for the Ward 10 City Council seat currently held by Lisa Bender. Schorn is the second candidate to announce a challenge to Bender.

Here are some quick facts about David Schorn that you can pick up from his campaign Facebook page. First, he doesn’t know where Ward 10 is. He thinks the Lyndale neighborhood is in Ward 10 (close, but it’s actually next door in Ward 8). Geography isn’t his strong suit, but he is able to list wrestling, football, tennis, running, swimming, and weight training on his candidate resume.

Schorn was elected to the neighborhood association board (LHENA) on April 19th. He started campaigning for City Council on April 24th on nextdoor.com. The problem is LHENA bylaws prohibit candidates for office from sitting on the board (he still hasn’t resigned). This has led some observers to say that David Schorn is bad at planning for the immediate future.
David Schorn is also badly misinformed about Wedge neighborhood controversies involving the local developers known as “The Turkey Guys.” First, some things you need to know about the Turkey Guys: 1) they made lots of money selling turkey sandwiches at the state fair; 2) they own and build rental housing in the neighborhood, such as the world famous Rocket House; and 3) they are the subject of controversy among a special contingent of concerned residents (not for their sandwiches, but for their houses).
I suspect that new candidate David Schorn (who seems like he’s only just begun to grapple with many issues) has recently been exposed to a lot of turkey talk: as in, Turkey Guys did this and Turkey Guys did that. This may have caused Schorn some confusion. As you can see in this exclusive screenshot obtained by Wedge LIVE, David Schorn thinks the Turkey Guys are from Turkey the country, instead of  Turkey-To-Go, the booth at the state fair.

Private Facebook reply from Schorn campaign page.

Turkey the sandwich, not Turkey the country

Schorn also has some terrible policy ideas. He would like to solve our housing affordability crisis (which is driven largely by a housing shortage) by stopping housing from being built. And what does the slogan “Parking and Traffic Solutions” mean? Not even David Schorn can tell you. These aren’t really policy ideas so much as local issue buzzwords combined into a terrible acronym on his campaign’s dasharez0ne-style Facebook header.

Someone pointed out to me that David Schorn is the @dasharez0ne candidate. #daSchornz0ne pic.twitter.com/yjbjIifMNh

— Wedge LIVE! (@WedgeLIVE) June 14, 2017

David Schorn is a “low vacancy rate” denier.
Also troubling, considering Schorn’s slogan is “Listening to Neighbors,” is his disregard for the rules of the neighborhood electoral process. In a story you’ll only see reported on Wedge LIVE, David Schorn cast an illegal vote at a CARAG meeting last night. Schorn is not a resident of the CARAG neighborhood and is therefore ineligible to vote at CARAG meetings.

And let’s not forget there is a second Not Lisa Bender candidate in Ward 10 named Scott Fine, who announced his campaign in February. Fine is a web developer with no candidate website, no obvious signs of an active campaign, and he can no longer be reached by phone. Neither Schorn nor Fine have yet registered a campaign committee with Hennepin County; until they do so, both candidates are prohibited from spending or raising more than $100 on their pretend campaigns.