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Who’s Paying for Your Vote This Year?

Plus the Wilfs screw the Gophs, a cop tries to get laid, and waiting on the snow in today's Flyover news roundup.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Tracking PAC Money

It’s election flier season again, and maybe in the short time that it takes you to walk from your mailbox to your recycling bin you stop and wonder who’s paying for this junk mail. Today in MinnPost Kyle Stokes breaks down who’s funding the PACs involved in this November’s elections, and addresses the big question that’s been bandied about: Do the major donors even live in Minneapolis? The big fish in our little municipal pond, establishment backer All of Mpls, claims money is flowing in from “outside agitators” (a phrase it’s amazing anyone still uses given its unsavory civil-rights era usage) while the progressively aligned Minneapolis for the Many says “corporate developers in Wayzata” are seeking to influence Minneapolis elections. 

Turns out both orgs are getting plenty of money from outside of the city. About half of the contributions to All of Mpls have come from non-Minneapolis sources, with the biggest chunk of $50,000 from Wayzata’s own Vance Opperman, the publisher of Twin Cities Business and former head of West Publishing. Only a quarter of Minneapolis for the Many’s donations come from within the city, with its biggest donor being an out-of-state PAC that seeds money to elections across the country. Percentages don't tell the whole story, however. (They almost never do.) At $443K, All of Mpls has raised nearly five times what Minneapolis for the Many has; Minneapolis for the Many's total funding ($92K) is less than half of what All of Mpls has raised from non-Minneapolis contributors.

"People's Stadium" Boxes Out Gophs Baseball 

Taxpayers spent $498 million on U.S. Bank Stadium, with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf chipping in the other $600 million, though around a third of his portion was subsidized by the NFL. As a result of the supposed "People's Stadium," the Wilf family—who a New Jersey judge once described as "evil"—has seen the team's valuation soar while Minnesotans have been stuck with ceaseless, eye-popping repair bills. And, charitably, the park outside stinks! Which brings us to today's latest stadium indignity: The fact the Gophers baseball team won't be allowed to play cold-weather games there next year, despite having done so for years. 

"We know the Vikings never wanted baseball, but they had to live with us to get the bill passed," longtime coach John Anderson tells the Strib's great Patrick Reusse. "I became something of a public voice for baseball—it's the 'People's Stadium,' right? That got me quite a few hate messages from hardcore Vikings fans." The issue preventing the Gophs from playing as many as 15 games downtown, at least according to building operator ASM Global? Artificial turf replacement, though the U of M doesn't have much recourse considering the precedent set by an old State Legislature bill is the only formal clearance allowing for amateur athletics inside the stadium. "That was our mistake. We didn't have an actual signed contract. We relied on the statute," Anderson admits. "It's just ASM deciding that baseball came at a low-revenue time of year for it, so they threw us out." 

The cash-strapped team was informed of this 2024 booting in late spring, and as a result they've been forced to schedule nearby road games that should've been home games. "Have you checked prices for flights lately, even the cheapest deals you can find?" an incredulous Anderson asks Reusse. Amen, coach.

Report: Oops! MPD Cop Sent Dick Pic from Cop Car.

A 28-year-old looking for a hookup and texting photos of their junk isn't newsworthy. But it becomes headline news if that person does so as an on-duty police officer, one who's possibly in the middle of an emergency call. According to salacious documents obtained by Liz Sawyer at the Star Tribune, a Fifth Precinct officer is currently on leave and under investigation for allegedly erotic workplace behavior. The unnamed cop was working an overnight shift while seeking sex for over two hours, per text messages examined by Sawyer. During that time he allegedly sent his hookup “an apparent photo of his penis,” asked the person if they would be “interested in providing oral sex to 'a cop in uniform,'" and took a selfie of himself from his cruiser. This is the second sex scandal for MPD in the past few weeks. The department is also investigating a female officer who was side hustling as a sex worker/model on OnlyFans. (Amazingly, the Strib reports that she raised her monthly fees by $20 after being outed by the local news—get that paper, lady!—before shutting down the account.)

Does Anyone Remember it Ever Snowing in Minnesota in Late October? 

In the meteorological arms race to predict the season's first snow, we have a winner: friend of Viraluae Sven Sundgaard! A cursory google search of "snow mn" yields pretty much just Sven's recent dispatch for Bring Me the News, in which he analyzes weather models that suggest the potential for snow by late next week. Ya know, right around that holiday that famously once brought a snow event, one that some of us still talk about to this very day... In any case! Sven is self-aware in his report, writing, "To be sure, the first snowfall is almost always a borderline event so forecasting it is tricky nine days out. We have to forecast the track of a system AND the supply of sufficient cold air to produce snow." Keep watching the skies!  

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