yippie-kay-yay
"John McClane: You know what you get for being a hero? Nothin'. You get shot at. You get a little pat on the back, blah, blah, blah, attaboy. You get divorced. Your wife can't remember your last name. Your kids don't want to talk to you. You get to eat a lot of meals by yourself. Trust me, kid, nobody wants to be that guy.
Matt Farrell: Then why you doing this?
John McClane: Because there's no body else to do it right now, that's why. Believe me, if there were somebody else to do it, I'd let them do it, but there's not. So we're doing it.
Matt Farrell: Ah. That's what makes you that guy. "

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"The era of small government is over ... government has to be more proactive, more aggressive." ( Tim Pawlenty 2006)

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“I didn’t question her patriotism. I questioned her judgment.” Mr. Cheney went on: “The point I made and I’ll make it again is that Al Qaeda functions on the basis that they think they can break our will. That’s their fundamental underlying strategy, that if they can kill enough Americans or cause enough havoc, create enough chaos in Iraq, then we’ll quit and go home. And my statement was that if we adopt the Pelosi policy, that then we will validate the strategy of Al Qaeda. I said it, and I meant it.” (Vice President Cheney NYT Feb. 2007)

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Let’s Talk About Turnout And Local Election Cowardice

Yesterday Minneapolis’ new Mayor Betsy Hodges released her first budget plan that includes a 2.4% increase. How can she be newly elected if the 2014 elections haven’t taken place? Because Minneapolis, like a host of other cities and school taxing districts hold their elections in the odd numbered years when turnout is dismal. They rely on this low turn out to pass tax increases and avoid higher Republican turn out in normal election years to elect liberal Democrats who tax and spend.

Let’s take a look at the Minneapolis numbers since 1968. (Available here pdf)

Presidential Year Turnout
Year Number Pre- registered Number of Election Day Registrations Number Voting Percent Voting
1968 258,030 N/A 194,694 75%
1972 269,086 N/A 198,045 74%
1976 255,493 38,760 201,135 68%
1980 249,437 45,092 201,189 68%
1984 254,198 36,318 200,238 69%
1988 235,212 36,967 185,329 68%
1992 232,250 39,156 186,438 69%
1996 209,079 30,784 163,110 68%
2000 212,604 46,627 175,191 68%
2004 238,848 48,611 201,672 70%
2008 240,022 50,505 208,973 72%
2012 214,003 50,668 215,804 81%
Average 70.83%
Federal, State County Year Turnout
Year Number Pre- registered Number of Election Day Registrations Number Voting Percent Voting
1970 227,745 N/A 153,299 67%
1974 243,583 12,400 127,206 50%
1978 237,026 19,057 153,975 60%
1982 244,076 26,003 168,025 62%
1986 231,980 10,934 112,632 46%
1990 225,048 22,074 150,476 61%
1994 219,550 14,863 127,165 54%
1998 227,894 26,103 141,540 62%
2002 219,834 32,869 155,464 62%
2006 226,585 28,907 149,318 66%
2010 227,024 24,985 140,363 56%
Average 58.73%
Off Year City Elections
Year Number Pre- registered Number of Election Day Registrations Number Voting Percent Voting
1979 240,743 7,955 114,079 46%
1981 235,544 8,533 108,329 44%
1983 241,624 2,789 61,312 25%
1985 241,727 2,178 54,541 22%
1987* 212,282 1,206 33,836 16%
1989 219,276 2,281 58,651 26%
1991* 224,792 513 12,670 6%
1993 222,101 8,501 104,626 45%
1995* 203,223 10,138 26,106 12%
1997 200,311 7,839 96,722 46%
1999* 204,363 706 23,323 11%
2001 217,802 5,976 89,927 40%
2005 229,593 5,579 70,987 30%
2009** 231,078 2,950 45,968 20%
2013** 233,351 6,634 80,099 33%
Average 28.13%
* School Board only election in years 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999
 **Ranked Choice Voting, no Primary

The election for one of the largest and most powerful cities in Minnesota is held in the ultra low turnout off year election. Democrats don’t care about how the decision about who runs Minneapolis or other cities across Minnesota are hidden in off year elections. They also love how a lot of school districts put their tax levies in these off years when they know there will be low turnout.

There is a 30 to 40% drop in turnout from general elections to off year elections. Just over a quarter of registered voters decide the fate of Minneapolis.

If people think low turnout is supposed to be a statement of voter enthusiasm, why is there not outrage over the decision to hide municipal elections in off years when turnout is repeatedly so dismal?

The population of Minneapolis is about 400,000 but only 40,000 voted for the Mayor.  (give or take its really impossible to know now with Ranked Choice Voting, just look at these MN SOS website results and try to figure out how many votes Hodges actually got). 2013 Minneapolis turnout was just 33% with a total of 80,000 of the city’s voters bothering to show up and vote. In theory, Hodges received 50% of that 80,000.

Is a Mayor who receives just 10% of the population’s vote really worthy of dictating tax increases and setting spending priorities?

When Democrats care about low turnout in their own back yard, maybe I’ll take them seriously. Same for the media, when they highlight the dismal lack of support the mayor of Minneapolis really has, I’ll take them seriously when they crunch the numbers on Republican turnout out in a Primary.

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