Mayor Rybak delivered his final budget speech Thursday. The city has added flexibility this year because of extra state aid and unspent department funds that were set aside.

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Rybak warns of last-minute attack ads

  • Article by: CAMPAIGN NOTEBOOKMaya Rao and
  • November 1, 2013 - 6:33 PM


Mayor R.T. Rybak warned voters Friday about last-minute political attacks they may witness before heading to the polls Tuesday to elect his successor.

In a post on his Tumblr page, Rybak instructed readers to be skeptical about critical mail pieces.

“Look to the bottom of the piece for the disclaimer, meaning who paid for it,” he said. “If it doesn’t have a candidate’s name on it, ask more questions.”

Earlier in the week, Rybak said he’ll be unavailable for comment Saturday through Wednesday, when a mayoral winner is likely to be announced. On Thursday, he expects to hold a first transition with the mayor-elect, likely at 8 a.m.

Improv, politics and Superman

Who says candidate forums have to be snoozefests?

A candidate discussion hosted by a group that performs improv comedy about public policy had the entire theater at Bryant Lake Bowl roaring with laughter, not least because Park Commissioner Bob Fine suddenly stripped down to a Superman costume on stage. There was a moment of nervous suspense when Fine started removing his pants, but he was only moving to display the full outfit.

Moderator Tane Danger’s discussions with six aspiring mayors offered rich material for the improv cast to parody. The actors poked fun, for example, at how Jackie Cherryhomes’ husband had skipped the forum to go to the Timberwolves game while Betsy Hodges proudly pointed out her husband was sitting in the audience.

There were plenty of serious moments, too. Cherryhomes drew a round of applause when she acknowledged that the city’s investment in the now ailing Block E while she was City Council president in the 1990s was a mistake.

“Bad idea,” she said. “I own it. … You learn from it, you move on.”

Managing managers

During the final mayoral debate on Friday afternoon, candidates asked where they would save money in city government. Mark Andrew said the city has too many midlevel managers. “We still have too many managers managing managers,” Andrew said.

Don Samuels said the city should use smaller vehicles — rather than large rigs — to respond to medical emergencies. That is the focus of a pilot project the mayor proposed this year.

Barrage of mailers

Minneapolis mailboxes are filling up with campaign fliers.

In the large field of candidates, many of the fliers focus on making their candidate stand out. In one from an independent group campaigning for Jackie Cherryhomes her photo is displayed prominently, and in color, over her rivals’ black and white pictures. “In a crowded field, one candidate stands out,” it says. A mailer paid for by the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation on Mark Andrew’s behalf says, “Even with 35 candidates, only one candidate really stands out.” Council Member Don Samuels had the most attention-grabbing mailer, featuring police caution tape and glass shattered by a bullet.

“Most avoid a neighborhood with six murders in two weeks, but … it’s where Don Samuels made his home and made a difference,” says the ad, referring to the North Side candidate’s residence in one of the city’s toughest areas.


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