Minneapolis Ballot ‘Question 2’ Draws Attention, Outside Money

28October 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Campaign flyers and ads are telling Minneapolis families how they should vote in next Tuesday’s election.

Residents in the Twin Cities can look at political flyers trying to sway voters, and see who is paying to try to influence their vote. But some of the people funding those messages don’t even live in Minnesota.

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Let’s take Yes 4 Minneapolis for example. The group wants residents to vote yes on Question 2 to remove the Minneapolis Police Department and add a public safety department. Its year-to-date revenues are $1.8 million. Many of the donations are local, with small donations from across the country. Small donations like $175,000 in donations from the ACLU of New York and a $220,000 in donations from the Solidaire Network in California.

“We’ve never seen anything like this in the state of Minnesota before,” said Professor David Schultz, a professor of political science at Hamline University, and law professor at the University of Minnesota. “These are not just issues for Minneapolis, they’ve taken on national importance and will be with us into the next election cycle,” he said.

Schultz says everyone wants their political agenda to win out.

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“The issues of police reform and rent control I’m going to say are making us uniquely important this year,” said Schultz.

He also says it’s important to take the paid political messaging with a grain of salt.

“The lesson should probably be don’t pay attention to any of this stuff,” said Schultz, referring to the political junk mail. “You have to do research at the end of the day.”

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