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Former Mayor Betsy Hodges accuses Frey of falsely claiming she supports 'strong mayor' amendment

"Please know that if you have been told this, it is a lie: I have no position on the amendment," Hodges tweeted.
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Jacob Frey is again facing allegations of misstating the policy position of a prominent political figure — this time that of his predecessor, former Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges.

Hodges on Monday published a brief Twitter thread, in which she said Mayor Frey "is representing, at least privately" that they share the same view on one of the City Charter amendment questions Minneapolis voters will see on their ballot this year. Specifically, "City Question 1," which if it passes would change how the city's government is structured.

Frey is in favor of this "strong mayor" ballot amendment, his campaign said. According to Hodges, the mayor has been falsely suggesting to some people that she agrees with his stance. 

"Please know that if you have been told this, it is a lie: I have no position on the amendment," Hodges, who lost her reelection bid to Frey in 2017, said in her Oct. 4 tweet. She followed it up with a reminder that the current city charter gives the mayor full control over the Minneapolis Police Department.

A spokesperson for Frey's campaign told Bring Me The News the mayor can recall one conversation where both Hodges and proposed charter amendments were discussed, noting it was between Frey and a mutual acquaintance. 

"In that conversation, Mayor Frey referred to the former mayor’s past position on shared council control of the police department — not the governance structure considered in Question 1," the spokesperson said.

Hodges, when asked for her reaction to the comment from Frey's camp, told Bring Me The News she stands by what she previously said, and continued:

"I will add that I have not taken a public stance on *any* of the amendments on the ballot in Minneapolis this fall. I have had no communication with Mayor Frey about any of them. The mayor can avoid this problem in the future if he keeps my name out of his mouth entirely."

(Note: For more information about City Question 1, see these great rundowns by MinnPost, MPR and Sahan Journal.)

This is the second time in the past month a prominent Minnesota political figure has accused Frey or his campaign of an inaccurate portrayal.

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U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, on Sept. 9, said on Twitter the mayor's campaign sent out a newsletter "that incorrectly stated my position on the public safety charter amendment." The referenced "Frey Five" newsletter listed Smith as one of the "leaders" that had voiced their opposition to City Question 2, which would replace MPD with a Department of Public Safety.

"I am still considering whether it would move us closer to a city where everyone feels safe, like I think a lot of people are doing," Smith's tweet said. The Frey campaign issued a correction afterward, with a spokesperson saying it was an error "based on an incorrect media report."

Hodges quote-tweeted the senator's post as a conclusion to her own Oct. 4 thread.

Also facing scrutiny is a new TV ad from the Frey campaign, during which on-screen quotes attributed to news outlets are actually just the mayor's own words (h/t Tony Webster).

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