Posts Tagged ‘OccupyMN’

Fox9 Take on Protest

Written by Jeff Johnson on October 19th, 2011. Posted in General

Tom Lyden and Fox9 had a good story on the OccupyMN costs and the protesters’ requests for tents last night:

Occupy Minnesota Costing Hennepin County $152,295:

Costs of the “Occupation” Pile Up

Written by Jeff Johnson on October 18th, 2011. Posted in General

County taxpayers have spent over $150K on the protests in the first 10 days

Today, the County Board received a report from administration that the OccupyMN protests cost Hennepin County taxpayers over $150,000 for just the first 10 days (through this past Sunday), most of it in overtime costs.  In addition, Minneapolis police said overtime has cost the city about $56,000.  The costs will continue at a pace of thousands per day as long as protestors continue to camp out on the Hennepin County Government Center plaza at night.

During the Open Forum portion of our meeting today, we heard from 24 different protestors, most of them asking that the county allow them to pitch tents on the plaza so they can continue to camp out into the winter. Although we did not vote on the tent issue, Commissioners Opat, Stenglein and Callison all expressed opposition to allowing tents for various reasons.  I explained that, while I admire anyone who stands up for their beliefs (even those beliefs with which I profoundly disagree), I was opposed to anything that would string this protest out any further (including tents) as it is costing my constituents a great deal of money.

And, a majority of the constituents I am hearing from have lost their patience with this protest after watching people trying to get arrested, blocking traffic and attempting to disrupt businesses downtown for the past week.

It’s time to go home.


Written by Jeff Johnson on October 9th, 2011. Posted in General

If you can’t say something nice…

I had a chance on a couple of occasions to speak to the Midwest Leadership Conference this weekend – a tremendous gathering in Bloomington of about 800 Republican activists from all over the Midwest.  On one of those occasions, I referred to the Occupy Minnesota protests being held at the Hennepin County Government Center – my workplace – and made the following unscripted remark (as hastily reported by both the Star Tribune and MPR):

“Because of you, I don’t have to spend my Friday afternoon with 1,000 or so clueless, obnoxious and frankly, very messy anarchists, socialists, flower children … or whatever they call themselves. Instead, I get to spend my Friday with 1,000 or so patriots.”

Some might argue it was not my best moment (and I would have to agree).

I made the comment off-the-cuff in a joking way to a group of conservative activists. And while it was not meant for public consumption, when I read it in print later it certainly came off as rather mean and obnoxious (to use my own term).

I try to teach my two boys not to live their lives in different “boxes” where they act one way in one setting and completely differently in another – maybe saying something to friends or on Facebook that they wouldn’t think of saying at home or in church. Obviously, I wasn’t practicing what I preach as I wouldn’t have used terms like that, even in jest, in any other public setting.