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The mayor of Two Harbors is under the microscope for public comments he has made about investment projects in the scenic North Shore city — including a $400 million underwater hotel in Lake Superior that has the backing of an alleged billionaire podcast host who refuses to use his real name.

The city council called a special meeting for Thursday afternoon specifically to discuss whether some of Mayor Chris Swanson's digital efforts violate city code, charter or policy. At issue are three specific pieces of communication:

  • Tweets from the mayor's account @MayorSwanson
  • The unfinished website, which prominently includes the mayor as a contact for investors interested in a 15-year-plan to "put Two Harbors rightfully back on the map."
  • Swanson's appearance on the Aug. 29 episode of the Ask A Billionaire podcast, during which he spoke at length with the "recluse billionaire" — who goes only by Mr. O — about a $400 million underwater hotel project

The council ultimately voted to pass the issue to the Minnesota Attorney General, requesting a written opinion on the matter. A spokesperson for the attorney general's office told Bring Me The News it had not received a formal opinion request from Two Harbors as of Friday afternoon.

Swanson's Twitter feed is filled with references to blockchain, decentralized autonomous organizations, CityCoins and web3. But he also often celebrates the perks Two Harbors has to offer, as well as small victories.

His lofty ambitions are clear on the Vibrant Two Harbors website, which outlines a 15-year-plan to "put Two Harbors rightfully back on the map in a new light and lead to years upon years of prosperity for its community."

The site, however, is unfinished, offering no details and in some places including filler text:

Vibrant Two Harbors screengrab

The "Who We Are" page says it's a team  "entrepreneurs, visionaries, billionaires, and driven individuals who believe in making the city of Two Harbors Minnesota the next big tourist destination" in the state. Swanson and Mr. O — who has no public record of ever completing a project and claims, without evidence, to be a billionaire — are the only people listed.

In the podcast description for Swanson's appearance on "Ask A Billionaire," the mayor is described as a client of Mr. O. The two spend about 50 minutes discussing "the mayor's project being developed with the help of ENIGMA Mastery Group on the shore of Lake Superior. This project is an underwater hotel that when completed along with the other ancillary projects around the town will be an investment of over $400 million. The Mayor, who is already a successful entrepreneur himself, shares some of the insight he has gained so far in this preliminary process of working with Mr. O."

The Duluth News Tribune got a hold of the "billionaire," who offered few answers in response to the newspaper's questions. The mayor has also declined to offer much in the way of specifics to the News Tribune and CBS 3.

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