Monday, February 06, 2006

Minneapolis Culture Of Corruption, Or Business As Usual?

Rochelle Olson of the Red Star speculates today in an article titled "Indictments lead to a closer look, but not an overhaul" whether or not Minneapolis has a culture of corruption.

On the wall of an office in the Hennepin County Government Center, someone posted a flier with a running tally of days without an indictment across the street at City Hall.

The gag poked fun at the criminal investigations that have ensnared three Minneapolis council members in five years. In each case, politicians were accused of soliciting cash or favors from those with business before the city.
Acting Minneapolis Mayor Ryback denies any problem "despite the three indictments, including two convictions since 2001."

"What strikes me most about it is it's amateur corruption. It's the crudest form of corruption: Give me a bag of money," Schultz [Hamline University professor of law and politics] said.
Rambix asks: Is it a culture of corruption, or a corruption of liberals? By now you may or may not have seen the frequently updated list of liberal politicians and operatives who have been indicted and/or convicted of crimes while in office. The list is staggering: "The ongoing liberal corruption in Minneapolis".

When the city governmental structure is made up entirely liberals, Democrats, and Greens, its not hard to determine which side of the political aisle is responsible for the corruption and incompetence. If there was any balance in the city, the liberals could at least blame conservatives. Since there aren't any conservatives, none, the leftists are stuck.

Schier [Carleton College Professor] said he thinks the problem is some Minneapolis politicians don't face serious electoral challenges. "Minneapolis is now as safe a DFL domain as you can imagine. You've basically got a situation where reelection is a foregone conclusion for a lot of people. People can get complacent, sloppy and cut corners," he said.
That's exactly right.

Meanwhile, Mayor Ryback remains absolutely clueless:

Rybak said he established ethics rules and disputes the notion that one party controls the city, even though 12 of 13 council members are DFLers.

"Anybody who thinks there's one-party rule in Minneapolis doesn't know the incredible diversity of characters here," he said.
When the "leaders" deny that there is a problem, the chance for reform is nil. Three Minneapolis City Council members indicted in five years, and the liberals don't see trouble?

This begs the question: What if these are only the ones that were caught?