Minneapolis council approves filing-fee amendment

When Minneapolis voters go to the polls this November they will be asked to approve an amendment to the City Charter that will increase the fees paid by those seeking public office.

Currently, the filing fees are $20 for anyone seeking the office of mayor, council member, and park commissioner or to become a member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation.

The proposed Charter Amendment would raise the filing fee for mayor to $500, for council member to $250 and for park commissioner or Board of Estimate to $100.

School Board candidates currently pay a filing fee of $20. That would not change under the proposed charter amendment.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/01/2014 - 03:14 pm.

    Government by the one-percenters

    Bad idea. What they should have done was require 500 signatures on a petition as a requirement to get on the ballot. Citizen participation and all that. Now it just looks like they’re saying they only want people of means to run for office.

    • Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/02/2014 - 01:44 pm.

      That is already state law

      The 500 signature requirement (or some lessor number of a percentage of registered voters, I think) is already state law along with the old $20 fee along with the ability of cites like Minneapolis to set their own filing fees.

      I’m in agreement, surprisingly, with Mr. Tester about limiting filing to those who have collected the signatures and David Brauer has suggested a $1 Million filing fee to accomplish the same.

  2. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/02/2014 - 11:21 am.

    Doesn’t Mr. Tester know that anyone already can file for Minneapolis (or any other) political office by gathering petitions?

    No one will need to have $500 or even $100 to be a candidate. Just get your friends and family to help you quickly gather signatures from all the potential voters who are excited about your candidacy!

    Problems will exist for those vanity candidates whom nobody really supports, even at the petition-for-candidacy stage. But we’re not talking one-percent versus the rest of us here, so can we please stop pleading that (and–hilariously!–from the far right)?

  3. Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/02/2014 - 01:14 pm.

    It is kind of silly, but silly is how a significant number of Minneapolis folks saw the spectacle of 35 candidates running for mayor last year, a group that includes me (although I was really running to get people to think about a Council-manager system of government instead of the weak mayor-Council system).

    I certainly would not have paid $500 to get my message out; I hardly spent a quarter of that to get a website up and cover my expenses during my ‘campaign’, so the higher fee would have kept me out.

    What is really silly is having entirely unqualified people, even if they can raise a great deal of money and maintain a facade, voted into office based on how well they can hoodwink the voting public.

    A city council makes sense, but under our system, a mayor does not; a professional city manager well trained to do the job of running our city with an agenda established by the Council along with their feedback on policy and implementation, will give us a city that works without all this silly BS.

  4. Submitted by Eric Paul Jacobsen on 08/02/2014 - 03:06 pm.

    Government by the one-percenters, indeed.

    For once, I agree wholeheartedly with Dennis Tester. “What they should have done was require 500 signatures on a petition as a requirement to get on the ballot.” Unless that was sarcasm, Mr. Tester, I say, Amen to that!

    I am disappointed that the first instinct of a governing majority of elected officials, even in as supposedly liberal a place as Minneapolis, is to assume that the ability to spend money is an acceptable measure of the “seriousness” of a candidate for local public office. I am also disappointed that no elected official seems to have considered the possibility that the endorsement of 500 of one’s own fellow citizens might just be a more accurate measure of seriousness, not to mention electability. The pay-to-pay system that we permit in local government, on a small scale, expands to mammoth proportions at the state level and to Brobdingnagian proportions at the federal level. And this should surprise nobody.

    Plutocracy has defeated democracy, again, and this time, it happened in our own backyard. Friends, nothing will improve about our political system until this plutocratic ideology becomes so generally despised and so politically toxic that everybody, including every elected official, becomes ashamed to espouse it. The first thing we need to do to initiate the shaming process is to defeat this shameful proposed amendment to the Minneapolis City Charter.

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