Mark Andrew is Already Justifying Corporate Welfare as Smart Investments #mplsmayor

I think you can learn a lot about where a candidate really stands by seeing what they’ve promised to specific constituencies. For example, what types of taxpayer subsidized projects did Mark Andrew tell the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation that he’d support as mayor?

Here’s a rare example of finding out ahead of time what our future tax dollars have been promised to fund. This comes from the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation’s mayoral candidate questionnaire, which lead to their endorsement of Mark Andrew.

When is a public investment in private development a good idea? Give some specific examples of situations in which you would support public financing of a private project. Do you support tying this funding to agreements guaranteeing permanent, living-wage jobs?

YES – I believe in public investment and public-private partnerships that drive growth, create jobs and build tax base. Smart public investment creates development that would otherwise not occur or would not occurring ways that best serve the public. Public investment is a good thing when it creates jobs and provides a good investment for the community. The sports facilities already built and being built are worthy of smart public investment. Our investments at the County in LRT preparation were worthy of public investment. I will probably support selective use of incentives to attract light industry to North Minneapolis, and will for certain support investment in training for companies that locate there. We also may need to utilize these types of tools in order to spur development around the new Vikings stadium, so we don’t end up with a desert of parking lots. I strongly support agreements that guarantee permanent living wage jobs associated with these types of incentives. And I strongly support requirements to increase the use of local labor to build and maintain these projects.

Here’s my take on this:

1. People are going to differ on what they consider to be a “smart” investment. Personally, I don’t think subsidizing pro sports stadiums is a smart investment. But, a guy who profits from consulting with pro sports teams on the construction of publicly subsidized stadiums who’s lobbying for support from construction unions who profit from the construction of publicly subsidized sports stadiums may not share my opinion about whether it’s a smart investment to spend a ton of the public’s money building stuff we don’t need.

2. As I’ve mentioned before, bad public projects will be justified as smart public investments based on the jobs they create. It’s as if taxpayer money spent hiring people to do things we need is somehow less valuable than spending the money to subsidize the NFL or NBA.

3. It’s depressing to hear that Mark Andrew thinks the area around the new Vikings stadium will be a dead zone without public subsidies. But, that may be true based on the city’s willingness to subsidize the development for one of America’s biggest banks, Wells Fargo, right next to the stadium. This just goes to show how ridiculous it is to look at pro sports stadiums as development catalysts. Didn’t the Metrodome teach us anything? Isn’t Target Center helping Block E?

4. I don’t view the North Minneapolis investment ideas as differentiators between candidates since most other candidates would be willing to do the same.

5. I don’t view support for use of union employees on publicly funded projects as a differentiator either for the same reasons as #4.

6. The construction unions backing Mark Andrew, and the corporations who’d like public subsidies for their projects, know that they’ve picked the right candidate to back for mayor. If you think your money is being spent wisely when it’s spent subsidizing large corporations over going toward basic city services, or helping locally owned businesses get started and grow, it’s pretty clear which candidate reflects your values.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

7. In my opinion, world class cities are cities with strong neighborhoods and strong schools and viable locally owned businesses that help keep money in the local economy. Candidates who prioritize subsidizing national sports franchises owned by billionaires over building strong neighborhoods are not the kind of candidates I’m willing to support for mayor.

8. Minneapolis’ high property tax rates are going to remain high if we continue committing such a large amount of city resources to subsidizing the construction of buildings for pro sports teams and wealthy corporations.

9. I highly recommend reading this mayoral candidate breakdown from Naomi Kritzer before heading to the polls. In that piece, she describes two of the leading candidates like this:

  1. Betsy Hodges (progressive DFLer)
  2. Mark Andrew (corporate DFLer and greenwashing marketing stooge)

Sure, it’s a little harsh. But, how else should one describe a candidate who’s backed by large corporations who troll for corporate welfare at City Hall, and who makes a living putting an environmental spin on the construction of sports stadiums?

10. Personally, I’m going with a progressive DFLer over a corporate DFLer because I think Minneapolis is stronger when it helps people in need, and local entrepreneurs who are starting and growing businesses, over corporations who can afford to staff lobbyists at City Hall.

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