Endorsement: Jason Chavez for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 9

You might be tempted to paint Ward 9 as another left vs. right, tough-on-crime vs. soft-on-crime city council race. But this one isn’t like the others. There are lots of candidates who I would suggest are wrong on the issues — but, among all the plausible contenders, there’s one candidate in Minneapolis I’d categorize as a scam.

Among the things that local politics twitter has gotten right, but the mainstream press can’t really cover, is the true story of oddball city council candidate Mickey Moore. In 2020, he ran for congress against Ilhan Omar while living in Anoka County. That’s not in district 5. In 2021, he filed campaign finance paperwork for his Ward 9 city council campaign using his mom’s home address in Ward 8 — while he still lived in Oak Grove, MN. Neither of those places are Ward 9 in Minneapolis. From Mickey’s website: “I was born and raised in South Minneapolis, and I have lived here my whole life.” This is definitely not true. Anoka County’s division of Property Records and Taxation confirmed in an email two months ago that Mickey Moore and family have been homesteading his mom’s property in Oak Grove, MN since 2013.

Mickey now claims to be residing in a small apartment in Ward 9, which would be an uncomfortable fit for the family he probably still lives with in Anoka County.

In the time since I originally wrote this post, the Star Tribune editorial board endorsed Mickey Moore, ignoring the known problems and red flags. After that endorsement was published, journalists at the Star Tribune obtained an email between Moore and a person he was attempting to rent an apartment from, in which Mickey said he would like to pay “NOT to live there.” We’ve also gotten a look at some of Mickey’s tweets going back to 2014, which appear authentic because they posted content referencing Mickey’s businesses. In the posts, Mickey makes homophobic, transphobic, and Islamophobic statements. He also expresses support for 9/11 truther conspiracy theories.

Mickey Moore does present well, in the style of an infomercial pitchman. The videos on his website are fairly well done, which makes a strange contrast with his crude website. The site for his hair braid business, the Braid Factory, calls it a “hair saloon.” The site also features a stock photo of a white man in a Halloween dreadlock wig. He has loaned $40,000 to his campaign, which is a lot of money for a city council candidate in Minneapolis, let alone an oddball candidate like Mickey Moore. As of a few months ago, he was claiming an endorsement from something called “The League of Minneapolis Homeowners,” a mysterious and un-googleable organization that has since been removed from his website. There is so much that doesn’t feel right about Mickey Moore.

Naomi Kritzer goes into the the bizarre quality of the campaign he ran against Ilhan Omar last year (he ran under the banner of a marijuana party, but opposed legalization of marijuana; he also ran against diapers).

Not to make this about me, but I almost forgot to mention that Mickey Moore’s campaign manager is Alex Minn, the son of a prominent local developer, who (after I posted a video of Mickey laughing and rolling his eyes at opponent Jason Chavez giving his pronouns “he/him/his”) created a series of sock puppet twitter accounts to accuse me of being paid off by developers (if you’re wondering how I know this: Alex has a very distinctive voice on twitter). The theory as I understand it: developers wanted me to destroy Mickey Moore to help elect DSA-endorsed candidate Jason Chavez.

On the issues, Moore has a lot of vague non-specific thoughts, but distinguishes himself on public safety as the conservative candidate. He’s endorsed by Operation Safety Now. But it’s interesting that Mayor Frey’s PAC “All of Mpls” has so far not endorsed in Ward 9. On the merits, Mickey Moore should get beaten badly, but this is a polarizing year and weird things can happen. I’m taking nothing for granted.

At this point it’s just reassuring that Jason Chavez doesn’t appear to be running a scam, was raised in/grew up in Ward 9, has worked at the state legislature, and has a recognizably progressive platform. I like Jason Chavez and you should vote for him. But even if you’re vehemently opposed to creating a department of public safety and want to double the size of MPD, you should still seriously consider voting for Jason Chavez — because Mickey Moore is a scam.

Yes, this is a long way of saying I’m looking forward to finding out whether the Star Tribune editorial board endorses Mickey Moore. (They did it!)