The coveted Spotty (tm) - graphic by Tild
by Steve Timmer
Aug 9, 2020, 10:30 AM

Leif Erik Bergerud wins the coveted Spotty ™

For his wonderful, pithy letter in the Star Tribune on Saturday, August 8th, Leif wins a Spotty™.

The Minneapolis City Council has only itself to blame for its 2020 charter rewrite going down in flames (“No vote on Mpls. police this fall,” front page, Aug. 6).

When you start off by pledging to abolish/end police without offering even a sketch of what will replace it, then have your council president go on CNN only to respond to the you-had-to-know-it-was-coming question of “What if, in the middle of the night, my home is broken into? Who do I call [if there are no police]?” by saying “I know that comes from a place of privilege …” — well, where did you think this was headed? The main thing that held the council’s efforts back is they couldn’t put forward a rigorous, detailed plan. Had they done so, this would’ve been on the 2020 ballot.

But to craft such a plan, it takes hours and hours of difficult reading and researching of complex issues — something the council has avoided in favor of histrionic sloganeering. By now (early August), the council should’ve had a lengthy report available to the public, downloadable from its website. In it, they could’ve laid out a data-rich plan that cited rigorous studies and scholarship.

It wouldn’t have had to be the final plan but rather a coherent, viable prototype that could be altered as community discussions and research continued over the months ahead. This would’ve shown that the council really did have legitimate ideas — not just chic, radical-sounding slogans. Instead we got two months of political and intellectual amateur hour further embarrassing our city.

Leif Erik Bergerud, Minneapolis

Remember, a Spotty™ is awarded, in the name of my old alter ego, to the writer of an op-ed, letter to the editor, or blog story or comment that I wish I had written myself. In this case, I did write something on the same subject, but Leif took many fewer words to do it.

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