Saturday, February 09, 2008

Truth or Consequences: The HD61B Race

By Dennis Tifft, on 04-02-2008 09:21

The process of democracy has always been a great tradition in our country. But recently in Minneapolis, the process has taken on the appearance of the old Soviet Politburo; it's who you know and who you...well you know the rest. The "powers that be" have come out in intimidating numbers to anoint Jeff Hayden as our next State Representative for 61B.

Now don’t get me wrong, Jeff is a nice guy, but should he be representing us in the State House? I don’t believe so.

In the last couple of years, Jeff seemed to drop off the local political map. With so many people in the district who are and have remained involved with the 61B community, it begs the question how these outsiders chose Jeff?

Is Jeff the last desperate trick the DFL heavy hitters could pull out of their bag? Was this possibly a consolation prize for his defeat two years ago when he lost the City Council bid to Elizabeth Glidden? If he had to think long and hard about this decision as has been reported, and if the rumors are true that he had to be pushed into this call to duty, does he truly have the passion to represent us properly and with conviction? If Jeff were not able to get the endorsement would he still have enough fight in him to go the distance against Green Party candidate Farheen Hakeem, who some neighborhood party activists secretly whisper would be a better Representative?

Can Minnesota House District 61B do better?

Of the six years that I served on the board of Bryant Neighborhood, Jeff only served for one year. During his one year on the board, he seldom showed up for our meetings. On the occasions he did attend, he arrived late, he would stay a few minutes and then he would leave. I believe that the only reason he got on the board was so that he could use it in his political literature when running for the 8th Ward City Council seat. Would voters be content with this lack of passion and perseverance in a candidate?

Jeff claims to have been involved in the 38th Street Renaissance- he also claims to have been involved in the whole process for that area. But in actuality, there's been very little involvement by Hayden.

Again, we must ask ourselves, can Minnesota House District 61B do better? I believe we can!

The issues facing the City of Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota present the greatest challenges we've faced in 30 years. I don’t believe that Hayden will be up to the task.

How many important meetings will he miss? For how many resolutions will he arrive too late to vote?

Looking at his past history of community service, would it be realistic to expect a better showing from Jeff? Do you want this type of representation at the State House? I don't. The constituents of 61B deserve better then this type of candidate being thrust upon us.

Shame on Neva Walker for the way she handled this, but even more shameful is the conduct of local DFL politicians. How despicable that they would attempt to mislead us regarding the past accomplishments and community involvement of Hayden. Their lack of thought and effort behind their choice is an insult to the intelligence of the electorate of 61B. Before such quick endorsements are made, they would well advised to give a bit of thought before supporting a candidate of such a questionable history of activism and community service.

We can’t afford to put someone in office that will miss lead constituents regarding past accomplishments and community involvement. The misinformation by those who wish to railroad voters and elect a candidate by any means necessary, needs to stop or my neighbors in 61B will be the ones to pay the consequences.


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