The ongoing sibling rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul just got a little hotter, thanks to Men’s Health Magazine. As WCCO reports, folks there surveyed the most sexually active cities in America. Minneapolis was No. 50. St. Paul was No. 35. This prompted an astonished response from a woman in Britt’s Pub, who said, “It’s shocking, it’s baffling. Minneapolis definitely gets more than St. Paul.” It’s no surprise to us at the Glean, as what else is there to do in St. Paul? But it’s an interesting look at how WCCO does its reportage, which is apparently to just wander across the street to interview people at a nearby pub. One presumes they couldn’t get a satisfactory quote at Vincent. We wait with baited breath for Nov. 2, when WCCO will head over to the nearby Chipotle for responses to the gubernatorial election.
Speaking of which, here’s the latest in that race: Wednesday night saw another gubernatorial debate, this time at the Pantages Theater. You can listen to the whole thing on Minnesota Public Radio, but Andy Mannix of City Pages offers up some of the highlights. Firstly, all candidates are in favor of a new Vikings stadium. So for those of you for whom that’s your only issue, well, any candidate will do. Mannix also offers up an acrid retort from IP candidate Tom Horner to GOP candidate Tom Emmer. Emmer declared he thought English should be the official language of Minnesota. Horner jumped in: “I think anybody that wants a limited role for government should not think that English ought to be mandated.” Zing!
If Emmer is a bit of a busybody when it comes to the language people speak, he is pretty hands off when it comes to other aspects of governance. As an example, Patrick Caldwell of Minnesota Independent details — as much as he is able to — the final part of Emmer’s budget plan. To summarize, Emmer’s approach primarily seems to be to address the predicted budget deficit by refusing to increase the state’s spending, and slashing some spending, although his proposal is quite vague about what will be slashed. He will, for instance, cut $500 million from “Agencies and Other State Spending,” but that’s the extent to which this is detailed. $300 million will come out of higher education; Emmer’s plan is, instead, to focus ” on redesigning and reforming our higher education system to meet the needs of 21st century student.”
How this will be done is not detailed either. Emmer must have a doozy of a restructuring plan up his sleeve. After all, anyone who has worked with complex systems knows that a really intelligent restructuring takes an enormous amount of time and expense — it often costs more in the short term, but then saves money in the long term as redundancies are eliminated and new approaches to work flow carefully integrated. Otherwise, we must imagine Emmer simply intends to financially starve our state’s institutions and hope they can just figure it out for themselves, and nobody in their right mind would consider that responsible governance. So we will await the details of Emmer’s plans, which we are sure must be dazzling.
As it turns out, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has a plan, just in case government aid is trimmed some more. As MPR’s Dan Olson details, this includes delaying payments on pension debt. If that doesn’t work, he’ll consider raising property taxes. Rybak himself gives a fuller version of his proposed cuts on his own blog, including $5 million in street and alley maintenance and resurfacing and $4 million in preventive street maintenance, street resurfacing and alley resurfacing.
Horner released a plan as well — a five-point budget plan, neatly bullet-pointed by MinnPost’s Doug Grow and more fully detailed here. His plan includes stimulating businesses by cutting the corporate tax rate by 20 percent, which Dayton’s Deputy Campaign Manager Katharine Tinucci scoffed at: “Mr. Horner’s proposal to create jobs by cutting the corporate tax rate shows that he is more concerned about his friends in big business than he is about working women and men in Minnesota.”
That cutting corporate taxes would necessarily stimulate job growth is a sort of sacred myth among conservatives — and it’s worth noting here that prior to running as an IP candidate, Horner was a Republican. But is there any truth to it? The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a D.C. think tank, argues that there isn’t, and President George W. Bush’s massive revision of corporate tax law back in 2004 didn’t seem to improve American job growth — it was as stagnant as any since we were at war with the Germans and the Japanese. But we at the Glean are open-minded folks, and would love to see some real hard data supporting the idea that slashing corporate taxes produces enough job growth to support the tax income it loses, instead of simply generating more profits and higher salaries for corporate investors and executives.
In arts: Chris Roberts of Minnesota Public Radio profiles Kristin Cheronis, who has the laborious task of restoring St. Paul’s public artwork, much of which has long been in a state of disrepair. She offers up a quick quote on the value of public art: “You know, if they speak at all they whisper in a gallery and everyone’s so polite,” she said. “Well, people, I think on public art, people get it that it’s public, and that it’s theirs.”
In sports: Once again, we’re going to broadly define sports, this time to include bike riding. Nice Ride MN has released an update on how things have gone in the three months since Minneapolis debuted the “nation’s largest public bike-sharing system.” The answer will surprise nobody who wanders around Minneapolis and constantly sees people atop one of the signature green bicycles: In three months, the bicycles have been ridden 57,645 times, with a total of two presumed to be stolen.