Don Allen, Poopgate, and $15,000 from Minneapolis Schools

Johnny Northside has uncovered an interesting line item in a Minneapolis Schools contract where Don Allen is scheduled to receive $15,000 for some form of video production work. This seems strange, considering the quality of work Don Allen publishes on his blog (it’s called the Independent Business News Network, but he hosts it at donny-allen.us).

I haven’t had a chance to meet Don Allen, but I have watched a lot of the videos he’s published and read a lot of his reporting. Based on the quality of the video production and writing I’ve seen him do to date, I don’t understand why the Minneapolis Schools would pay him for that type of service.

Additionally, I have a hard time trusting the guy. For example, last month he concocted a downright strange lie about North Minneapolis blogger, Eric Johnson, who runs a blog called Irving Inquisition. Don Allen, writing on his Independent Business News Network blog, claimed that Eric paid a prostitute to urinate on a house:

“We watch, we call” is being used inappropriately by some self-righteous White residents of north Minneapolis who find it funny to pay a Black woman $20 to watch her pull down her pants and urinate on a garage.

I kid you not. That’s what he wrote. In case Don Allen decides to delete it, here it is along with the picture Eric Johnson took of a prostitute urinate on a house (without coercion).

Don Allen's Poopgate Allegations

I coined this “Poopgate”, which is an even more ridiculous term for an already ridiculous accusation. Clearly, if Eric Johnson paid someone to urinate on a house, that would be one heck of an interesting story. I mean, who pays people to urinate on houses? Notice that Don Allen also claims that Eric Johnson, by taking that photo, is “exploiting black women”. Frankly, I don’t think the color of someone’s skin is the issue here. The issue is that people are urinating on the sides of houses in North Minneapolis, and Eric Johnson is tired of it. And that’s what Eric Johnson explained when he first wrote about the hooker that defecates on houses last summer.

So, back when Don Allen’s alleged “Poopgate” story broke, I asked him to back up his claim that Eric Johnson is paying prostitutes to defecate on houses. Having met Eric a couple times, and having been a regular reader of his blog since it launched, it seemed highly unlikely to me that Eric Johnson would pay a prostitute to defecate on houses in his neighborhood. I left the following comment. (At the time I let this comment, it was the 2nd comment on Don’s article, but he later deleted the first, which bumped mine up to position #1):

Asking Don Allen to Support his Poopgate Allegations

Don responded to my comment, but didn’t exactly answer what I thought was a fair question:

Don Allen's Response to My Poopgate Question

Don seems to be referring to these three posts on Eric Johnson’s blog (which links to some previous posts), where Eric Johnson published some info about Mr. Allen’s past. I found it hard to understand Don’s point, but I think he’s claiming that Eric Johnson made up stuff about him, so it’s okay for him to make up stuff about Eric. That didn’t really get to my question about whether he could prove his Poopgate accusations, so I followed up:

Following Up on Don Allen's Poopgate Accusations

Don never got around to responding to that comment. In fact, he ended up deleting all of the comments from that post and removing the comments functionality from the post. Strangely, the three comments listed about still show up on Don Allen’s blog in his “Most Recent Comments” sidebar (and his site’s comments RSS feed):

Most Recent Comments on Don Allen's Blog

I’m having a hard time trusting Don Allen. As I see it, the man has proven to me that he’s willing to fabricate lies about people living in the City of Minneapolis, then delete comments that challenge him on his lies. That’s not the type of behavior I expect from people receiving funds from the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Don Allen is also scrubbing offensive videos from his YouTube account, as Johnny Northside has noticed. Again, this is not the type of behavior I’d expect from someone doing work for the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Frankly, I’d love to know more about how the Minneapolis Public Schools entered into a contract with Don Allen in the first place. With so many talented and trustful residents in the City of Minneapolis, what made the Minneapolis Schools decide that Don Allen was the right person to hire for video production work? How did they decide upon the contract’s value? How do they measure success? Where will Poopgate take us next? So many questions.

26 thoughts on “Don Allen, Poopgate, and $15,000 from Minneapolis Schools”

  1. What’s even more amazing is that Don Allen has asserted the Minneapolis school system paid $103,000 to the oh-so-notorious Al Flowers and that he (Don Allen) helped to “work on the paperwork” but didn’t get paid s***.

    (That’s how Don Allen put it)

    Now, you can only believe Don Allen about 1/3 of the time, but that still works out to more than $33,000 for Al Flowers.

    OK, I jest but you get my point. Don Allen is saying Al Flowers got this huge payoff from the Minneapolis school board. Don Allen’s payoff is outrageous enough, and we need to get to the bottom of it, but what other dubious payoffs might be out there?

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Don Allen, Poopgate, and $15,000 from Minneapolis Schools | The Deets -- Topsy.com
  3. Eric Johnson didn’t even take that picture. I know who took the picture, but if I say who it was the poop will hit the fan.

    Ed, you need to get to the bottom of Poopgate!

    —Deep Butt

  4. @John Hoff, interesting find. Keep digging.

    @I Have To Be Anonymous, good point. In fact, it looks like Eric Johnson’s original post from last summer alludes to that: “When a concerned Jordan resident responded to neighbor complaints about all the criminal activity there, they went to the address only to see this!”

  5. If anybody can get to the bottom of Poopgate, I know The Deets can…. and then he can share a picture of the toilet paper roll that he may or may not find at the bottom of Poopgate.

    No, for real though, the story of that picture of the hooker defecating and/or urinating (it has never been clear what was going on there) goes like this….

    The area of Penn-Queen-Russell and 30th Ave N had been besieged by hookers this past summer of 2010. Neighbors who lived in the are were completely frustrated and fed up and desperate for relief. One summer day and the yard of a vacant house was being used as hooker and druggie headquarters. A nearby neighbor called a friend and asked for some advice and help. That friend walked over to see what was going on and he promptly discovered a hooker copping a squat on the side of the house, and he proceded to snap a picture for purposes of criminal prosecution.

    The photographer sent the picture out to the neighborhood listserv with the story of what happened. He said when he held up his camera to take the picture the hooker said “Hey! You can’t take my picture!” to which he replied “Oh yeah? Well you can’t take a crap there either so I guess we are even!”

    The defecating hooker picture ended up on Irving Inquisition blog as the Jerk du Jour.

    Clearly, The Deets original assertion that Don Allen made up a load of crap and published it on his IBNN blog stands true. Eric Johnson did not pay anybody to urinate on the side of a house. Eric Johnson did not even take that picture. So yeah, Don Allen just makes up crap to write about people he does not like.

  6. Megan’s assertion is 100% accurate. I never claimed to have taken the picture. The chain of events went down exactly as Megan said.

    Once I saw that e-mail the concerned resident sent out, I did go over to that area and saw that same hooker working the street corner 3 doors down. However, I can not take credit for that now legendary picture. I merely had the fastest trigger finger to publish it up on my blog.

  7. Given the expectation costs for video production, it is hard to imagine MPS is going to get much for their 15 grand. In the IBNN/Don Allen posts to YouTube, I see juvenile material – nothing to suggest professionalism. Now if all MPS wanted were a bunch of clips why they didn’t rely on their own resources is a mystery. #1 MPS has been doing audio-visual for a very long time (some of the first would be gelatiine lantern slides and Edison cylinders). #2 collecting clips would make for a marvy classroom project – the quality would be as good if not better and the creativity would just ooze out of the kids heads (MPS owns lots of videocams some being those old Panasonic shoulder busters). #3 the kids would get experience doing scripting and story boarding. Does North High still have a audio-video option?

  8. @Dyna, if it wasn’t clear from my post that I was basing my opinions on the public videos Don Allen has published (together with what he’s written), my apologies. While I have provided my assumptions, you have not in your response, which I find disappointing. For example, if you pointed me to examples of professional quality video production work by Don Allen, I would find that instructive and valuable.

    I haven’t followed the Minneapolis Issues List lately, but I just took a peak and see that this issue is being discussed over there as well. While the tone of that thread doesn’t seem to be abiding by the forum’s rules, the topic of the thread (why is the Minneapolis Schools spending our money with this guy?) seems like a valid Minneapolis issue to me.

  9. @MeganG., thanks for sharing some Poopgate background.

    @Eric Johnson, Poopgate lives on.

    @Jack Ferman, great idea about getting students involved, and using the city’s own hardware. That sounds both cheaper and more educational.

  10. @Dyna, if you’re suggesting that the Minneapolis Schools is paying Don Allen to find a video production service for them, I’m even more confused by this contract.

  11. Don Allen has stated on IBNN, on the Mpls issues list, and on comments on JNS that he is sure his print and commercial campaign will be the best campaign ever on behalf of MPS. I would like him to show us his other print and commercial campaigns that help him form his confident assertions.

  12. The examples of Don Allen just MAKING SHIT UP are endless. He puts out a particularly poisonous mixture of truth mixed with vile crap he plainly knows is just fiction. And it is widely believed he is one of the contributors to certain anonymous anti-revitalization blogs where playing fast and loose with facts is the standard, not the exception. But stating somebody participated in a deviant sexual act (paying a hooker to be photographed urinating) is “defamation per se.” Don knew it was a fucking lie when he said it, he knew he was pulling it out of his own ass, and he did it anyway.

    When is somebody going to sue the hell out of Don Allen and rid North Minneapolis once and for all of his toxic and bizarre IBNN agenda to scare people, threaten people, upset people, race-bait people until somebody throws money his way to STFU? When Chris Steward called Don’s blog “the equivalent of black on black crime” this seems like a cry for help from the black community. Don is a vicious poverty pimp who preys on the black community for his own ends. The $15,000 he is getting from the school system smells like a shakedown.

  13. Oh, by the way…

    I doubt if the poster calling herself “Dyna” is a certain DFL activist widely known and loved in North Minneapolis. The trolls tend to sow this kind of confusion on purpose.

  14. @Dnya / @Dyna / whoever you are. It’s disappointing to find out that you’re, apparently, pretending to be someone you’re not. Can you give me a good reason why I should tolerate comments impersonating other people? This seems like a distraction from the points you seem to be trying to make. If impersonating other people is your thing, I think you may need to find a different venue for your behavior.

    I’m currently in my phone, where it’s a bit of a pain to block you, so consider this your opportunity to come clean about why you’ve chosen to mislead me and my readers about who you are.

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