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 #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.
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.
Like me, you may be grappling with the question: Why should I take mayoral candidate Tom Hoch seriously? He’s kind of an uninspiring figure, running a conservative campaign by Minneapolis standards, and I don’t know a single person who’s supporting him.
First, let’s talk about Hoch’s campaign and message. He’s positioned himself as the fiscally conservative candidate. At a mayoral forum on June 15, Hoch said he wants “property taxes at as low a level as possible.” This is consistent with Hoch’s constant social media pronouncements referencing Minneapolis homeowners overburdened by property taxes. No other candidate hits the property tax message as hard and consistently as Hoch.
On housing, Hoch presents himself as the candidate most skeptical of building new housing in Minneapolis. At that same June 15 forum (hosted by a non-profit formed by the wealthy, white residents of tall condo towers because they needed an entity to file a lawsuit to stop the construction of a slightly taller condo tower) he pandered to people he says have told him, “If I wanted to move to Brooklyn, I would have moved to Brooklyn.” He’s tweeted that people have told him “we’re over the tipping-point” in terms of growth.
Tom Hoch recounts these conversations, without challenging the content of these statements, because he is intentionally running a campaign that’s targeted at residents resistant to change. If that’s how he campaigns, that’s who he’ll favor once in office.
But if you really want to learn about Tom Hoch, you need to go to the tweets. Tom Hoch’s Twitter account is unlike any other politician in Minneapolis. Every week or so, his social media team fires off a few dozen tweets, containing many of the same talking points he tweeted the week before, and the week before that. It’s repetitive, but also instructive. Here are the big themes from Hoch’s tweets:
1. “Food could help bridge the urban-rural divide.” My favorite Hochism is the constant call for briding the urban-rural divide with food. I suppose it’s a call for healing in the Trump-era. But it’s a weird thing to keep saying over and over, especially when you’re running explicitly to become the “first gay Mayor of Minneapolis,” a job title that’s sure to make you the most hated man in rural Minnesota.
2. Hoch has an exclusively negative outlook on a minimum wage increase. Tom Hoch’s message on the minimum wage is always negative, never positive. He never calls for raising the wage. His public attitude is resignation that a wage increase will happen, while also warning of its “consequences.” It’s great to be prepared for the unexpected, but the universal negativity makes it hard to believe he supports raising the wage, even though that’s his official position (I think).
3. “FYI: the Nicollet Mall project is NOT on time.”
4. Tom Hoch vows to never consult with colleagues via text message. This is a finger-wag at Mayor Hodges for circumstances surrounding her rescinding Police Chief Janee Harteau’s appointment of John Delmonico as Inspector of the MPD’s 4th Precinct. Tom Hoch wants you to know he has a problem with the early 21st-century practice of consulting with colleagues via text message. But Tom Hoch has never said whether he has a problem with Chief Harteau putting a widely reviled police figure in one of the most sensitive law enforcement jobs in Minneapolis (Delmonico is the man who helped kick off #pointergate, a contrived scandal premised on the racist idea that an obviously innocent gesture showed a black man to be a dangerous criminal.)
Now, the question: why should we pay attention to this uninspiring campaign? After months of fading into the background, Hoch recently started spending lots of money on advertising and expensive campaign swag. His campaign produced a large number of Wheaties-style “cereal boxes” (containing mints, not cereal) to distribute during Pride weekend. The campaign sponsored an issue of Lavender Magazine. Hoch’s most visible spending was for a (plagiarized) television commercial, currently running on local broadcast and cable channels. No other candidate has a TV ad.
Tom Hoch’s plagiarized TV ad.
Tom Hoch’s giant rolling cereal box at the Minneapolis Pride parade.
(video produced by Wedge LIVE, not Tom Hoch’s campaign)
Hoch’s spending stands out as extravagant — some would say wasteful or desperate — but it’s earning his campaign at least some return on investment. Consider the free, uncritical media coverage Hoch has received as a result of his TV commercial. There were two stories on WCCO alone (1, 2).
During a fluffy WCCO-TV interview with Esme Murphy on Sunday, Hoch and his husband repeatedly called the ad “authentic.” Considering this was an interview focused entirely on a candidate’s television ad, Murphy should have asked how Hoch can present himself as the “creative” candidate at the same time he’s plagiarizing another politician’s commercial.
Another reason to pay attention to Tom Hoch: he’s got an unregistered, and therefore illegal, anonymous right-wing PAC supporting his campaign on Facebook. The “Anyone But Betsy” page became somewhat prominent on Facebook for spending a lot of money on ads against Mayor Hodges, racking up thousands of likes. In addition to criticism of the mayor, the page has also increasingly singled out Tom Hoch for praise.
If the race for mayor remains a muddled field of candidates following a likely no-endorsement at the DFL City Convention in July, Tom Hoch could be well-positioned. Lack of money won’t be the thing that stops his campaign from competing all the way to November (finance report deadlines mean that we won’t see what Hoch’s spent or who’s funding his campaign until August). There’s no reason to think Hoch won’t continue to be the beneficiary of uncritical media attention, like his WCCO appearance to gripe about Nicollet Mall or the two WCCO stories focused on his (plagiarized) television commercial. All of which means the most conservative of the plausible candidates for Mayor of Minneapolis might have better odds than you think.
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.
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.
Incumbent Kevin Reichused a photo of himself behind Alondra Cano in a campaign email intended to promote his commitment to “diversity.” This is a strange thing to do because Reich is out of focus in the background, and Cano wants nothing to do with his campaign.
@WedgeLIVE I was never asked by his campaign to approve this nor do I endorse him. Im disappointed his campaign used my image in this way
The poll, conducted in the Second Ward last week, was commissioned by Minneapolis DFL Chair Dan McConnell without consulting the central committee. The potential candidate who would run against Gordon is McConnell’s wife, Becky Boland, secretary of the Minneapolis DFL.
This is notable because the non-DFL Cam Gordon actually pushes for stuff that’s in the DFL platform, but actual DFLers Barb and Lisa Goodman roadblock. Also of concern is the fact that the DFL Chair is privately spending $2,000 on a poll to benefit his wife, while publicly saying the organization has barely enough money to pay for routine democracy, like caucuses and conventions.
There’s more certainty on Pierson’s website, where she says, “I support a $15 wage for full-time workers…” But then you come to the next paragraph, and she’s back to hedging, saying she’s “firmly committed to shaping this policy” to avoid “negative results.” If you happen to run into Pierson, you should ask her about the minimum wage.
…the dates for puppet-making workshops are Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays in April. The day of the convention is, in fact, the only Saturday before May Day that does not have a scheduled puppet workshop.
Ward 9 is expected to remain a hazardous area at least through April 4th. We see a high probability of “Open Letter” conditions on Facebook. We continue to recommend that civilian populations not get involved.
Looking ahead to March 8th, Lisa Bender will be hosting the Ward 10 Minneapolis Mayoral Forum. It might seem a little unusual for a city council member to host a mayoral forum, and to promote it with her campaign’s branding. Lisa Bender is an evil genius who’s gotten the candidates for mayor to appear with her, at her own event, giving the appearance they’re all endorsing her re-election (and they will surely regret it when Scott Fine gets his shit together).
Adam Faitek is mounting a late challenge to Linea Palmisano, a little more than a month away from the April 4th DFL caucuses. Faitek is positioning himself as the progressive alternative to Palmisano.
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*
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.