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You may not be surprised to hear that crime is rising in Minneapolis after the city council voted last June to work towards “ending” the police department. According to MPR, “The City Council moved $1.1 million from the police to the health department to fund “violence interrupters” who would mediate conflicts and head off further trouble.” This does not defund the police, but it did make a significant cut in the budget of the police department. On November 9, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that since last June, the number of officers has gone from 877 down to 844. The number of civilian employees in the police department has gone down from 176 to 143. Of the 987 total employees on October 1, nearly 100, mostly officers were on leave lasting over 2 weeks.  The paper reports that “The city has struggled to combat a wave of violent crime, recording 74 homicides so far this year.” Even last September the Star Tribune reported that “Through last week, the city had logged 3,674 violent crimes — defined as homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults — up 17% from the previous five-year average for this period, according to a Star Tribune analysis of police statistics.” On November 10, National Review reported that “Violent crime is up in Minneapolis more than 20 percent compared to this time last year, according to Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. The department is also bracing for about $12 million in cuts.”

The Star Tribune also reports that “Minneapolis officials are considering bringing in officers from other jurisdictions to help the city’s Police Department as they face a wave of violent crime and an officer shortage.” The article continues stating that: “If the mayor and City Council approve the plan, officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit Police would temporarily work with the city, primarily helping to respond to violent 911 calls.”

Do you suppose the Minneapolis city council, and city councils in other cities, will learn anything from this experience?

Libertarian Spoilers

Last week I pointed out that a Libertarian Party candidate may have cost David Young the 3rd District congressional seat here in Iowa. There was no Libertarian candidate in House District 2, where Marianette Miller-Meeks has a razor-thin lead. Would she have the lead if there had been a Libertarian in the race.

Now we have to wonder if Libertarian candidates also cost Senator David Perdue a Georgia Senate seat, setting up a runoff in January with the Democrat candidate. Perdue was just a fraction of a percent short of the 50% requirement that is required in Georgia to win elections. The Libertarian candidate in the race received about 114,000 votes or 2.3%, substantially more than the difference between Perdue and the Democrat candidate. You probably know that control of the Senate depends on the outcome of the 2 Georgia Senate runoff elections to be held in January.

Libertarian candidates also received more votes than the difference between President Trump and Joe Biden in Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan. Of course, we do not know how the Libertarian voters would have voted if the Libertarian Party did not have candidates on the ballot.

It seems to me this matter deserves attention for future elections. Do Libertarian voters really not care which of the major party candidates wins the race?

Author: Julian Garrett