Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


GOP Rep. Garofalo taking heat for tweet

Oh, good lord … GOP Rep. Pat Garofalo was at it again. For the Mediaite subsection Sports Grid, Rick Chandler writes: “ Minnesota Republican state representative Pat Garofalo has never been the smartest, most sophisticated man in the room: unless that room is at this event. (Example: In Oct. he proposed that the new Vikings Stadium be allowed to sell guns during games.) But when one mixes dumb with racist, the result is an incredible tweet like this: ‘Let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime.

In the Strib, Rachel-Stassen Berger writes: “Within two hours, more than 600 people retweeted it, meaning they passed it on to their followers, and hundreds more responded, many calling Garofalo’s comment racist. Among them Ryan Vernosh, whose Twitter bio identifies him as the 2010 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, replied to Garofalo that: ‘the racial and racist undertones in this comment is beyond alarming.’ Asked about his tweet, Garofalo said he was ‘talking about NBA’s high arrest rate and that they are the only major pro league that testing positive for marijuana is not a substance abuse violation.’ ‘No intent beyond that,’ he said.” By the time you read this, he’ll be a misunderstood hero to the talk radio demographic.

Two former legislators, Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Dan Dorman, argue for broadband in a Strib commentary. “Statewide access to reliable, fast broadband technology is absolutely vital to our future. Data from Connect Minnesota found that about 71 percent of households in the state currently have access to wired broadband with download speeds of greater than 10 megabits per second, yet only 46 percent of households in Greater Minnesota have that kind of coverage. However, if 95 percent of Minnesotans could access top-quality broadband, it would have a $1 billion positive impact on the state’s gross domestic product, according to data from the Strategic Networks Group.”

Again … Joy Powell and Kelly Smith of the Strib report: “A second multiple-victim crash within a week has killed three teens and a 20-year-old — bringing to seven the number of young men killed in simi­lar broadside collisions on icy Minnesota highways. The latest victims died Friday night after the car they were in slid out of control outside Sleepy Eye, 105 miles southwest of Minneapolis in south-central Minnesota, the State Patrol said.”

The only thing better than Minnesota hockey is … Minnesota hockey hair. At Deadspin, Samer Kalaf writes: “Since Minnesota loves hockey at all levels, the high school state tournaments are televised, with each kid getting at least a few seconds of camera time for the team introductions. For the past four years, a man has ranked the best hair — flow, salad, or lettuce, if you will — from those intros. It’s a bit weird but mostly funny. For 2014, ‘Pulltabproductions11’ not only ranked his ten players for the All Hockey Hair Team, but went back into the archives of old state tournaments, when mullets and racing stripes weren’t supposed to be funny.” And yeah, there is video …

For the St. Cloud Times, Donovan Slack files a piece on the Minnesota congressional delegation’s wanderlust … “They traveled to destinations as exotic as Morocco and Ethiopia and as familiar as Nashville, Tenn., and Maryland. Most flew business class and stayed at five-star hotels. Together, they took more than $110,000 worth of free trips, part of a record-setting tab for Congress as a whole … Among the travelers was Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Stillwater, who took a 10-day tour of Israel with her son valued at $25,724, and Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Crosby, who traveled with his wife on a $19,000, eight-day trip to Israel. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Eden Prairie, spent four days in Dublin and then another five days with his daughter in Ethiopia, a trip valued at $20,800.”

The GleanMPR’s Dan Kraker discusses the epic size of the PolyMet operation up north: “[E]verything is on an immense scale. One wheel on a truck is twice as tall as an adult. The plant where PolyMet Mining plans to process the ore it digs up is a third of a mile long. The tailings basin near Hoyt Lakes, where PolyMet would slurry its leftover waste is massive, stretching to the horizon. ‘If you look off in the distance, the skyline that you see out there, that’s tailings all the way out to the ridgeline,’ PolyMet CEO Jon Cherry said recently, as he stood atop old iron ore tailings more than 20 stories high.”

At the PiPress, Christopher Snowbeck runs a brief survey of Minnesota physicians on the question of medical marijuana: “In one camp, there are physicians like Dr. Jacob Mirman, a primary care doctor in St. Louis Park who says a few patients have told him they use marijuana to cope with medical conditions. Mirman hasn’t personally recommended that patients use it, and he doesn’t take a position on the specifics of a bill currently advancing at the Capitol. But he supports the idea of making medical marijuana legal — in part because the risks seem small compared to those with some prescription painkillers.”

At City Pages, Jesse Marx tries to explain the official law enforcement position: “According to Jim Franklin, executive director of the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association, the list was put together after certain lawmakers reached out and asked for it. It does not equal support for medical marijuana, he says. It was intended to carve out a middle path — a way to stay neutral in the debate. ‘I don’t think we, as law enforcement, can support any type of a medical marijuana because, technically speaking, it’s a violation of federal law,’ Franklin says, adding that any marijuana reform ought to come from Congress rather than individual state legislatures. The list urges lawmakers to limit the qualifying conditions of medical marijuana patients to ‘seizures, late stage cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis or AIDS.’ “

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Dan Hintz on 03/10/2014 - 07:55 am.


    For the record, Garofolo is just plain wrong. Testing positive for marijuana is a violation in the NBA. Just ask J.R. Smith.

  2. Submitted by Jeff Michaels on 03/10/2014 - 08:55 am.

    Offending people who want to be offended

    As I move closer to another birthday ending in zero, I become even more convinced there are people of the liberal political persuasion who awake each morning determined to be offended by something. The validity of that observation is validated by the predictable folks who see racism in Mr. Garofalo’s amusing and accurate comment.

    The performance of many professional athletes, regardless of skin color, has not been that impressive while on the very public streets. I think Pat Garofalo nailed another 3-pointer with his astute assessment.

    Sadly, for them, liberals will have to look elsewhere today to be offended. But I am sure they will locate something.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 03/10/2014 - 11:28 am.

      Nailed a three pointer?

      Hardly…the fact that Garofalo probably can’t nail three pointer is the root cause of his contempt for athletes. People like Garorfalo simply can’t help themselves. He has a history of spouting this kind of rhetoric and Twitter just allows him the opportunity to illuminate his ignorance to the world in 140 characters…more than he needs. Anyone amused by it has set the bar for what passes for humor pretty low. Of course, that’s why Larry the Cable Guy has a career.

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 03/10/2014 - 12:00 pm.

      Not so much

      Garofalo, to his credit, has apologized and admitted that he got his facts wrong. If you really believe his comments are “astute” hopefully you will follow Garofolo’s lead.

  3. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 03/10/2014 - 09:06 am.

    Garofalo and Winkler


    Although Garofalo did something stupid I don’t really believe that he is a racist.

    Readers will recall the attempt to paint Representative Winkler as a racist when he called Justice Thomas an Uncle Tom. For which he apologized profusely.

    Those on the right continue to hurl this insult at him.

    I believe that the reaction to what Garofalo tweeted is out of proportion because those on the left remember the big and phony issue that was made of this. Tit for tat and all that.

    The old saying about people living in glass houses comes to mind.

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/10/2014 - 10:51 am.

    The thug culture

    that permeates professional sports, is color-blind.

  5. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 03/10/2014 - 10:53 am.


    Garofalo is neither right nor justified. Factually he is wrong, he is making racial allusions and he misunderstands his position as a legislator. We have a right to expect leaders to act like leaders, to unite rather than divide. Sadly, this fool does neither. He also reflects poorly on his district. And what was the point of the tweet? To make appropriate comment on some current issue? No, it was to be snarky and inappropriate while making a stupid observation that went right up to the border of overt racism. How does he think this would make an inner city kid who looks up to his heroes on the court? Is he a thug too? That is what was implied.

  6. Submitted by John Bracken on 03/10/2014 - 11:21 am.

    Prison cell

    I thought it made sense to build a prison cell in the new Viking’s stadium (yes, for players…I think 4 were arrested during the past season). Pro & college basketball and football players are prolific law breakers. Rape and assault come to mind. That is a fact. His tweet was stupid, but most people are sick and tired of boys (meaning the athletes) behaving badly. Does the tweet have racial overtones. Of course. Not coincidentally, all four Viking’s players that were arrested were black.and this is the norm. In 2014, facts that are not PC are often deemed racist. Here are my facts. Where are the fathers of these players? Most had little meaningful contact with their fathers. If I grew up like these players I would probably be behaving the same way, but I still point out the obvious. Boys born into fatherless families tend to behave more naughty than boys from stable mom and dad families. Yes, it is a generalization, but generalizations are founded in obeservations of how things are more likely to be.

  7. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 03/10/2014 - 12:32 pm.

    So Mr. Garofalo has done

    the press release of shame.

    Let’s hope that is the end of it.

    “In the last 24 hours, I’ve had the opportunity to re-learn one of life’s lessons: whenever any of us are offering opinions, it is best to refer to people as individuals as opposed to groups. Last night, I publicly commented on the NBA and I sincerely apologize to those who I unfairly categorized,” he stated. “Those individuals did not deserve that criticism and I apologize.”

    Rep. Garofalo as reported on CBS Minnesota

  8. Submitted by Amy Farland on 03/10/2014 - 07:23 pm.


    Why is law enforcement even being asked about legalization of medical marijuana? What qualifies them as experts on medical treatment? ridiculous.

    and remember, they have a dog in this fight. If marijuana is legalized, they will lose lots of money from the war on drugs.

Leave a Reply