Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2010 Soil and Water Endorsements: Hennepin County

When the Fraters Libertas Soil and Water Conservation Endorsement Board meets to consider the candidates, we ask ourselves: WWRRE, or Who Would Ronald Reagan Endorse. We know that the Gipper was a big fan of soil and water who also understood that sometimes the Soil and Water Conservations Supervisor who supervised best, supervised least.

We jump in with both feet, considering the two fiercely contested Hennepin County races.

Hennepin County:
Hennepin County District 2 (appointed supervisor Brian Wachutka is not running for election)
Four candidates are vying for District 2 Supervisor, Amber Collett, Lora Jones, Greg T. Kryzer and Scott Tracy.

Amber Collett
Whatever you do, don’t vote for Amber Collett. She may have the same last name as the Republican candidate in the fourth CD, Teresa Collett, but the similarities end there. Amber Collett is an activist whose resume includes stints with MPIRG and Green Corps. She is currently a Communications Associate at Transit for Livable Communities.

Her claim to fame
is convincing Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak to fund the TapMPLS project. TapMPLS spent about $180,000 trying to convince people to drink Minneapolis tap water instead of bottled water. The story received national attention when Drudge linked a Channel 9 story on the project.

Here is a photo of Amber Collett with R. T. Rybak celebrating the wasting of 180 grand.

Sorry Amber Collett, you’ll have to pry the bottled water out of our cold dead hands. No endorsement for you, Amber Collett.

Amber Collett’s campaign website is here and she is on twitter here.

The City Pages article defending the money spent on TapMPLS contains the following paragraph:
The funds for the TapMPLS project, totaling $180,000, were approved back in 2006 and were included in the 2007 budget. The money came directly from the Water Fund, a purse filled by user fees, with an annual operating budget of $40 million. All the hubbub was over a slice of pie that represents about .04 percent of the budget.

Actually, $180,000 is .45 per cent of $40 million; City Pages’ stated .04 percent is off by an order of magnitude. I’m sure they still consider this a trivial percentage, but waste half of a percent here and waste half of a percent there and pretty soon you’re wasting a real slice of the budget.

Lora Jones

Lora Jones failed to submit her MASWCD questionnaire, so we don’t know much about her. However, there is a lefty-winger, Lora Jones, who occasionally likes to mix it up with our good friend Swifty in the MinnPost comments.

Here is an excerpt from one of their exchanges in the comments to this MinnPost article:

(#5) On July 22, 2010, Lora Jones says:
I'd be very interested in where you're getting those numbers Swifty. There's sure no proof of an increase on the ground. Larger classes, school closings and teacher layoffs is what I see. Oh, that's right, TPaw did start that boondoggle of QComp -- which increases funding for a minority of schools and adds an extra layer of (gasp!) bureaucracy --

Bottom line, for a man who refused to calculate inflation into any of his budgeting, it's impossible for me to believe he increased anything in "real" dollars. Show me

(#6) On July 22, 2010, Lora Jones says:
Oh, Swift and all the other cons, its Democratic party not Democrat.

(#8) On July 22, 2010, Thomas Swift says:
"According to Minnesota Management and Budget, in real dollars schools received about $6 billion in state aid in fiscal year 2003. Since then, the number has slowly risen to the current figure of $6.9 billion."

Not only is Lora Jones effortlessly pwn3d by Swifty, she is offended by the use of “Democrat Party” while hypocritically referring to conservatives by a term that could more legitimately be considered offensive.

I suppose there is a chance that the commenter “Lora Jones” is not the Lora Jones running for Soil and Water Supervisor, but do you really want to take that chance? We don’t either. No endorsement for you, Lora Jones.

Greg T. Kryzer

Greg T. Kryzer also failed to submit an MASWCD questionnaire. There is a lawyer practicing in White Bear Lake named Greg Kryzer, but I could find nothing on his soil and/or water credentials. No endorsement for you, Greg T. Kryzer.

Scott Tracy

Thank you, Scott Tracy for filling out your an MASWCD questionnaire. Scott Tracy is a former Scott County Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor who works for an environmental engineering firm.

Frater Libertas endorses Scott Tracy for Hennepin County District 4 Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor.

Hennepin County District 4 (Incumbent Stephen Jenkins is not running for re-election)
Four candidates are vying to be the district 4 supervisor, Alex Farrell, Stephen E. Wells, David Rickert, and Richard Strong.

Alex Farrell
The mysterious Alex Farrell seems to be living off the grid. He has filled out neither his MASWCD questionnaire nor his Star Tribune candidate profile. All we know about him is that he lists his address as Edina. No endorsement for you, cake eater.

Stephen E.Wells

Stephen E. Wells is another one who has not filled out any of his questionnaires and is no doubt hoping to coast to victory on the strength of having a cool name. Maybe if his name were Reagan Churchill Coolidge. But, no endorsement for you, Stephen E. Wells.

David Rickert

David Rickert has not only filled out his MASWCD questionnaire, but he has a campaign website. David Rickert has extensive soil and water experience and is employed by the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District. He also “assists Carver, Dakota, and Rice SWCD's with projects when needed.”
David Rickert is already involved with four SWCDs and now he wants to add a fifth? What is going on here? Is David Rickert attempting to build some kind of soil and water empire? Perhaps we’re being a little too paranoid, but just to be safe, no endorsement for you, David Rickert.

Richard Strong

Richard Strong is a Senior Research Fellow at the University Of Minnesota College Of Design’s Center for Sustainable Building Research. Normally we wouldn’t endorse anyone who works somewhere with “sustainable” in its name, but we fear David Rickert’s mounting soil and water power.

On the plus side, Richard Strong is an Architect (a real Architect, not some computer programmer who calls himself a Software Architect to impress the ladies).

Frater Libertas endorses Richard Strong for Hennepin County District 4 Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor.

Stay tuned for endorsements in the other metro counties, assuming we get around to it.