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Last Monday, the St. Cloud City Council went off the deep end. On Ox in the Afternoon’s Friday program, it was said that the City Council “flipped us the bird.” This was planned. Most disgustingly, it was a surprise ambush. Jeff Goerger put forward a resolution for the Council’s consideration. In putting forward the resolution, Goerger ignored the rules that the City Council revised this past August.

Apart from the tactics used, and infinitely more important, the City Council didn’t listen to the people. There have been a large group of people clamoring for an independent audit that tells St. Cloud residents how much of their taxes are being spent on subsidized housing, education, public safety, health and other things. That’s what was the driving force behind Councilman Johnson’s moratorium. City Council President Lewis, Councilman Laraway, Councilman Libert, Councilman Goerger and Councilman Masters voted against accountability and transparency.

They, along with Mayor Kleis, sang from the same discredited ‘hymnal’ that this is a federal issue that doesn’t intersect with the city’s budget. If they want to continue singing that discredited refrain, that’s their right. It’s also St. Cloud’s right to defeat each of these councilmembers the next time they’re up for re-election.

Goerger, Masters, Laraway, Lewis and Libert exposed themselves as unworthy of being called leaders. They did what Kleis wanted them to do. That makes them sheep, not leaders. Further, Goerger, Masters, Laraway, Lewis and Libert attempted to quiet the city with this resolution. They did the opposite. Rather than having a rational discussion with their constituents, the City Council essentially told the people to shut up, that they knew what’s best.

Goerger’s condescension was showing when he introduced his resolution, which was titled “in support of a just and welcoming community.” The implication wasn’t lost on St. Cloud. It’s apparent that Goerger thinks that those that disagree with him aren’t just. His introductory speech made that clear, saying “This one guy bringing forward a resolution is not the voice of the City Council”:

What is the City Council afraid of? It’s clear that they thought that they had to control the debate. It’s clear that the Council felt they had to repudiate Councilman Johnson. It’s clear that there’s a sizable and growing group of people who simply want to know that their taxes aren’t getting spent foolishly.

The other unmistakable message sent by the City Council was that they have no intention of being transparent with the people of St. Cloud. The unmistakable message sent by Councilman Goerger is that he’s a liberal who isn’t that bright. In his resolution, he stated that “the city of St. Cloud has the capacity to provide municipal services to the aforementioned prospective new residents without an impact on the city budget or quality of life.”

Anyone that thinks that refugees don’t have an impact on the city budget is delusional. I wrote in this post that this was a crystallizing event. Further, it’s clear from watching the video of the meeting that there were essentially as many citizens opposing Goerger’s resolution as supporting. Why, then, was the vote lopsided in favoring Goerger’s resolution?

Further, people are saying that the Goerger resolution passed. It didn’t. The only vote taken was on whether to call the question. No votes were taken on whether to approve Goerger’s resolution. This video clearly shows that:

That’s shown approximately 1:20:00 into the video. Within seconds of the vote to call the question, Council President Lewis adjourned the meeting.

Finally, it’s clear that the anti-transparency activists weren’t there to listen people with a different opinion. They were there to shout down people who disagreed with them. Think about that. The people supporting the resolution titled “in support of a just and welcoming community” shouted down the people who wanted a full, respectful discussion. These anti-transparency activists who demand St. Cloud be a welcoming community were openly hostile to Councilman Johnson.

That’s both ironic and pathetic.

As you know, last February, I broke my right arm, which led to me spending 3 months in rehabilitation and away from LFR. While my arm is functional, it still isn’t 100%. Still, I’m grateful that I’m returning to the level of productivity that I was known for prior to my ‘year from hell’.

Over the past month, LFR has led the way in holding the ISD 742 School Board accountable. Additionally, I’ve spent time laying out a positive reform agenda that includes reducing the scope of government, especially as it pertains to the Met Council.

For the rest of 2017, I’ll be working on holding DFL front groups like Black Lives Matter and #UniteCloud accountable for their protests. I’ll also spend time exposing the connection between the School Board and special interest organizations. Trust me when I say it’s one of the best-kept secrets in town. It’s my goal to turn those connections into the worst-kept secrets in town.

Meanwhile, I’ll do my best to hold the St. Cloud Times and other media outlets accountable. Finally, LFR will provide information that will help you, the news consumer, the best-informed readers going into next year’s midterm elections.

Thanks for your loyal readership the past 12+ years. If you want to contribute monetarily or forward stories to me, contact me by leaving a comment to this post. I’ll contact you via email.

Stephanie Dickrell’s St. Cloud Times article about a #UniteCloud event puts in play the question of whether #UniteCloud’s message is compromised.

Ms. Dickrell’s article quotes Natalie Ringsmuth, the executive director and founder of UniteCloud, as saying “At midnight last night, we decided to do something. We felt like we didn’t want to wait a whole week. … We wanted to give space for people to be able to gather in the name of peace.” To their credit, their gathering was peaceful, with an asterisk.

Though there wasn’t any acts of physical violence at #UniteCloud’s gathering, #UniteCloud’s credibility is questioned because one of the organizations participating in the gathering was Black Lives Matter. Their history isn’t filled with inspirational moments. It’s filled with questionable activities. The article includes a paragraph that reads “BLM leaders are under a new kind of scrutiny because of a whiplash of unexpected events: cell phone videos of two black men who died from police gunfire followed by the ambush and killings of five police officers in Dallas at a Black Lives Matter protest, and three police officers targeted and killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.”

The Twin Cities chapter of Black Lives Matter has its own checkered history:

Rumors about the man’s death started with a Facebook post by a user of the name Davion Gatlin, who initially claimed the man was black, the Pioneer Press reported. “[W]e ride pass the park around 6am and witness a brother hanging dead from a tree!” he wrote, attaching photos of the body that he took from afar. “They still killing us and we still killing each other! #MakeGoViral”

The verified Facebook account of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis has since picked up on Mr. Gatlin’s semi-viral post, also sharing the graphic photos and claiming that the man was “lynched.”

“A man was found lynched in St. Paul, MN this morning,” the group posted. “St. Paul PD was quick to call this a suicide while witnesses on the scene say the man’s hands were tied behind his back. We are hurt by the tragic news and know that this despicable & disgusting act of cowardice will not be erased.”

Here’s a question for Ms. Ringsmuth. If the march was for peace, why would you let Black Lives Matter, a group with a sometimes violent history, participate in the march?

Here’s the ugly truth. #UniteCloud is a DFL front group that’s more into stirring up political trouble than they’re about providing solutions. If #UniteCloud wants credibility, they need to get rid of organizations like Black Lives Matter because of their sordid history.

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