Commentary

Fear mongering on crime failed; now Democrats can get to work on true public safety

BY: - December 2, 2022

Last month, Minneapolis and St. Paul each installed new police chiefs. A coincidence not only that each city had a leadership succession around the same time as each other, but also in that the changing of the regimes occurred shortly after an election season in which Republicans focused their campaign on policing and crime. It […]

Marketing and the midterms

BY: - December 2, 2022

The 2022 midterm vote, and vote counting, are finally behind us. The people have spoken.  Now that we’ve had a moment to breathe we can start arguing about what exactly they said. For some useful nuance, I’d suggest a marketing perspective.   The wounded elephant in the room is the underwhelming performance of the Republican juggernaut […]

A Democrat on what it’s like running in ruby red rural Minnesota

BY: - December 1, 2022

For the past two years I’ve written articles about what it’s like to be a Democrat in red, rural Minnesota. Now I’ll tell you what it’s like to be a Democrat running for public office in red, rural Minnesota. I filed to run for the state Senate on the last day possible: May 31. I […]

Legislature must seize the chance to make bold changes on climate and environment

BY: - November 30, 2022

In November 2012, I attended a Minnesota Environmental Congress event just a couple of weeks after the DFL won control of the Legislature, with DFL Governor Mark Dayton already in office. On my way out, I ran into Rep. Melissa Hortman, who at the time was an emerging DFL lawmaker from Brooklyn Park. I asked […]

Protecting Minnesota reproductive rights: The why, how, and what

BY: - November 29, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe v Wade and the U.S. constitutional right to abortion. The case threw it back to the states and the political process to determine if and when women have abortion rights. Now that the 2022 elections are over and the Minnesota DFL has the […]

Jesse Ventura showed a key quality for a statesman — the ability to learn from mistakes

BY: - November 28, 2022

Jesse Ventura was back in the news again recently by endorsing Tim Walz for governor. He qualified his endorsement by saying he’s not a member of any political party. Instead, Ventura claimed he’s “a statesman”. For many, that title is probably hard to square with Ventura’s squirrelly, shoot-from-the-lip manner when he was Minnesota’s governor a […]

Honoring our food – and those who grow it – this holiday season

BY: - November 25, 2022

For years I had heard from my friends familiar with agriculture in the U.S. about the many benefits of eating food grown locally or regionally, and about the importance of supporting the people growing and raising those products. As I listened to them and learned more about the local food movement, bit by bit what […]

5 budget priorities for the DFL in 2023

BY: - November 22, 2022

The DFL shocked election predictors by gaining control of the state Senate to win unified control of the government for the first time in nearly a decade. With a $12 billion surplus and two years to govern, DFL legislators are in an excellent position to pass major investments that will improve Minnesotans’ financial, social and […]

We need more BIPOC teachers. Here’s what we can do.

BY: - November 22, 2022

My eight-year-old son has a Black teacher for the first time ever. The relationship he is developing with her is so beautiful to see. She inspires and supports him. He lights up when she asks about his favorite book and beams with pride when sharing that she plans to stop by his basketball game. It’s […]

Minnesota can play a big role in challenging corporate power

BY: - November 21, 2022

This is part of an occasional series on the new threat of monopoly power on America’s economy and political system. Read part 1 on efforts to curb monopoly power in the 19th century. Part 2 on how the successful effort to curb monopoly power helped build the middle class. Part 3 on the Reagan-era intellectual […]

Hennepin County prosecutor’s Brady memo falls short

BY: and - November 18, 2022

In our August commentary, we outlined a few basic steps to improve Brady disclosure, which is the constitutional requirement that prosecutors fully disclose all evidence relevant to the defense. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office’s recently released Brady policy does not pass constitutional muster and fails to take the steps needed to ensure justice for defendants […]

Even if charged, convicted and incarcerated, Trump can still be president

BY: - November 18, 2022

The recent declaration by former President Trump that he is running for a second term coincides with the increasing likelihood that he will be charged, perhaps convicted, and even possibly incarcerated for one or more federal or state offenses.  Could he still run for president again if any of those conditions occur? The answer is […]