Skip to main content

Betsy Hodges says ranking as 2nd worst mayor is a partisan jab

"Well, I got Trump's attention," was how the mayor started her response.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges was unmoved after being named America's second worst city mayor by a New York news website, brushing it off as a partisan attack.

The New York Observer criticized Hodges for "serious problems of her own making," calling her soft on crime and accusing her of the "gross mismanagement of public works." Hodges' colleagues in the top three are New York mayor Bill de Blasio and Chicago's Rahm Emanuel.

In a response on Thursday, Hodges points out that the Observer is owned by the Kushner family, and was run by Jared Kushner until January – when he took up a position with his father-in-law, President Donald Trump. The Observer endorsed Trump during the primary process last year, but didn't endorse anyone as a candidate. In 2012 it endorsed Republican Mitt Romney, and in 2008, Democrat Barack Obama.

The article was published the day after Hodges gave a special mayoral address called "One Minneapolis in the Time of Trump," in which she said her administration would stand up to any government attacks targeting vulnerable people, people with disabilities, women, or the LGBTQ and immigrant communities.

In her response to the Observer article, Hodges commented:

“Well, I got Trump’s attention. Last night I gave a speech about how we as a city can come together in the face of Trump’s attacks on our communities and our democracy, and his agenda of suppressing free speech and dissent. Twelve hours later, the paper that Jared Kushner’s family owns – that Jared himself ran until 88 days ago – named me one of the worst mayors in the country. Imagine that. When Trump’s cronies are the people attacking you, you know you’ve done something right."

She goes on to describe the article as a "recitation of every right-wing attack on progressive cities across the country," noting she is joining her fellow progressive mayors in defending access to affordable healthcare, protecting the First Amendment and "supporting our vibrant immigrant communities."

The Observer's arguments

So what are the Observer's arguments against Hodges?

It does say the mayor "appears to want to better her city," but mentions the her handling of the Jamar Clark protests as a specific issue. Both Hodges' office and the Minneapolis Police Department were criticized in a recent Department of Justice review, that found ineffective communication hindered the city's response to the 4th Precinct Demonstrations.

Hodges' at-times strained relationship with Minneapolis police chief Janeé Harteau is also cited, which was something mentioned in the DOJ report as well.

The Observer accuses Hodges of being the point-person on several "expensive, never-ending and unimaginative urban reconstruction projects that have disrupted small businesses and local transportation," mentioning the Nicollet Mall revamp.

The Observer says that project "has taken longer to complete" than the Vikings Stadium. This isn't strictly true though – the Vikings Stadium broke ground in December 2013 and opened in August 2016. The Nicollet Mall project started in April 2015 and is slated to be completed in November this year.

But at the same time as criticizing for taking on expensive projects, it somewhat contradictorily criticizes her for snubbing Minnesota United's plans to build a privately-funded soccer stadium, with the MLS club heading to St. Paul instead. The newspaper says the club was "welcomed with open arms by Mayor Chris Coleman."

Hodges will fight for re-election as mayor this year. City council member Jacob Frey, state Rep. Raymond Dehn, civil rights activist and attorney Nekima Levy-Pounds and former Hennepin Theatre Trust President Tom Hoch are among her main opponents.

Next Up

Image (1)

School bus carrying students plunges into river southwest of Fargo

None of the kids suffered life-threatening injuries, though some were taken to area hospitals.

Richfield High School

Richfield High School cancels weekend events after shooting

Two men were shot outside the school's football stadium

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Sound of shots, mass panic at Richfield football game streamed live on YouTube

Gunfire caused panic at a varsity football game Friday night.

J. Gordon

K-9 search leads to $36K fentanyl seizure during traffic stop

A traffic stop was made after the vehicle was seen speeding through the area.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 5.20.08 PM

Gov. Walz reacts to Tuesday death of Mankato West student

The governor is a former geography teacher at the high school.

court room

Teen pleads guilty to Minneapolis carjacking, admits to others

The man was yanked out of the vehicle by witnesses before fleeing the scene.

Federal court house

Three plead guilty to roles in murder on Red Lake Reservation

The 2019 murder left another person seriously injured.

image

Sheriff: Heifer shot and butchered on farmer's pasture near Aitkin

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to call the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office.

SwearegeneMugDouglasCoJail

Minneapolis murder suspect arrested in Wisconsin

The man has been wanted by police since the shooting happened in April.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Charges: Man kidnapped woman at gunpoint, forced her to withdraw $1,500

The 56-year-old suspect is accused of forcing the woman to the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis.

police lights

Police arrest suspect in Oakdale after 10-hour standoff

The standoff with police lasted over 10 hours Friday.

Related

Betsy Hodges' efforts as Minneapolis mayor were overshadowed by policing incidents

The mayor's own list of accomplishments were overshadowed by policing incidents.

More Democrats line up to challenge Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges

Betsy Hodges was elected as a Democrat. All three people that have said they'll run against her in 2017 are also doing so as Democrats.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges says she's not done yet, will run for re-election

She's made challenging police policies part of her platform – but been criticized for not enough progress.

Since her mayoral reign ended, Betsy Hodges has taken the fight to Twitter trolls

The former mayor of Minneapolis isn't carrying the weight of the office on her shoulders.

Report: A bunch of campaign staffers have quit on Mayor Betsy Hodges

The news comes just a few weeks before Election Day.

What is the 'tip credit' and why does Mayor Betsy Hodges not like it?

Minneapolis is weighing a new minimum wage for businesses, but Mayor Hodges doesn't want to see a "tip penalty" included.

hodges-tweet-frey-1-SQUARE CROP

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.