#Integrity is on the ballot…
Lets be clear Dark Money is not attacking me and propping up my opponent because I am a bad candidate, a bad person, or ineffective. They are not painting me as a bad person because people believe that. And they certainly are not shying away from actual issues because I am wrong on them. Lets review the issues and see what they are trying to buy.
Let review a few policies that I believe dark money people (as outed by the Med City Beat) oppose.
Municipal Broadband – Longmont CO is similar in size to Rochester and built out a municipal fiber to the home system. People in Longmont get up to 250 times the speeds we get in Rochester for $50 per month. Additionally low-income households can get broadband for less. This would be a huge benefit for local consumers, businesses, and children. John Wade, Journey 2 Growth, Charter Communications and by extension the Dark Money people strongly oppose this. They are trying to silence us on Broadband.
DMC Money – I have long held that public funds should be held for public benefit. There was a Holiday Inn proposed across from St. Marys. Javon Bea bought the land for somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 million, he was going to sell the land to a developer a couple years later for around $12 million. The developer then came to the city asking for $6 million in DMC funds to make the project work. I do not believe we should use DMC funds to line the pockets of speculator. While campaign contributions are relatively limited; PACs allow people like Javon or Andy Chafoulias to hypothetically give unlimited funds in secrecy. When you see the kind of money at stake you can see why $50k to manipulate an election is a good purchase.
Affordable Housing – Inclusionary Zoning is best and most effective policy for creating affordable housing. I support this policy (along with a number of others) and have led the charge to develop a plan for Rochester. My opponent, Patrick Sexton, SEMAR, and by extension the dark money people strongly oppose this. They are trying to silence us on affordable housing.
Historic Preservation – I support a strong preservation ordinance that will protect our most special historic places like historic 3rd street, the Paine Furniture Building, and similar. We know preservation works in Rochester, just look at the current home of Blue Duck. I respect property rights as the Supreme Court has settled this issue. However, John Wade, Chamber of Commerce, Rochester Area Builders, and SEMAR created their own group dedicated to making sure Rochester’s preservation ordinance was the weakest in the state of Minnesota. It is no surprise that there are connections here to Dark Money. They are trying to silence us on Historic Preservation.
Developer Subsidies – One of the greatest injustices in comes to you every month in your RPU bill. There you will find something called a Sewer Customer Charge (city charge). In the last decade this has gone up by many hundred percent. Most of this increase is actually a subsidy for new homes. A sewer plant expansion was done years ago solely for the purpose of serving new development. The problem was the Rochester Area Builders Association didn’t want to pay the actual cost of services so they got the city council to instead put most of the cost on existing ratepayers. This is a horribly regressive tax. It is entirely truthful to say that in the city of Rochester the very poorest renters in the community actually pay extra every single month to subsidize the construction of million dollar homes. This is madness, but a policy advocated for by the Chamber of Commerce, SEMAR, and Rochester Area Builders and by extension Dark Money. They wish to silence the voice that fights against this subsidy.
Stay tuned… Many, many more examples coming / edits coming… Volunteers currently working to write more examples.