Recent Posts

Grace Kelly

Questioning Sheriff Stanek High Travel Expenses

by Grace Kelly on October 25, 2014 · 2 comments

Previously, I reported that Sheriff Stanek’s projected 2014 budget is $92 million, which is $43 million larger than Ramsey County’s projected 2014 budget of $49 million. Hennepin is way above every other urban county.


At the same time, Stanek has the smallest population of any urban Sheriff in Minnesota to directly police. Hennepin County is unique in that it is comprised of cities that all have their own police forces. Less than 1% of the population is directly policed by the Hennepin Sheriff Rich Stanek. The other urban counties have more population being directly policed by the Sheriff.


This graph shows the glaring the differences between Hennepin and other urban counties in 2012 numbers. In comparing urban county Sheriff Budgets, one would expect that the budget is high when the amount of direct policing and reported crimes is high. Hennepin county is the opposite. Given the numbers on direct policing, one could easily make a case that Hennepin’s budget should below Ramsey County’s budget.


Kelly Sheriff Budget Comparison


So if Sheriff Stanek money is not being spent on policing, where is the money being spent? Today Eddie Frizell, the Minneapolis Deputy Chief running against Stanek gave us all a clue. Frizell’s press release said:


Reports show that within the past 2 years, Sheriff Stanek has traveled extensively while neglecting the communities that matter in Hennepin County. “Just in the past 3 years of his term, the Sheriff has charged over $54,000 in tax payer money to his county issued credit card for over 40 flights and 30 hotels for numerous conferences and out of town meetings,” stated Frizell. “Between the money spent on travel and his administrative costs being doubled, this is money that could spent in other areas of the organization. To me, this doesn’t justify “sound and principled stewardship of taxpayers’ resources”. Hennepin County is best served by electing a community Sheriff that leads from right here at home and November 4th is the voters chance to make a difference,” added Frizell.


A brief look at the list of travel charges leads one to start asking questions:
1) On 01/23/2012, $2,244.20 was spent at “MARRIOTT 33769″ in Washington DC, for the purpose of “JW DC NSA Conf Hotel – Stanek.” A online website lookup of this hotel says that the daily room changes range from $229 to $429. So it appears that Stanek took the most expensive room for 5 days. Is it the policy to take the most expensive room?

2) The number of Sheriff conferences seems high. Why did Stanek go to the WESTERN sheriffs conference?
3) On 03/22/2012, $1,327.20 was spent at Delta Air on a flight for and “Flight to DC and PHX”. Aren’t DC and Phoenix in the opposite directions from Minneapolis? Currently Delta Air round trips delta flights from Minneapolis to Washington are $559 first class. So was this charge for two round trip first class tickets?

4) On 08/14/2012, $183.98 was spent on a “Dinner with Fed Partners” at Sunsets Wayzata. An expensive meal at Wayzata’s Sunset restaurant would be $30. So did Staneck buy meals for 6 “Fed Partners”? Why didn’t “Fed Partners” use their own expense account?
And those questions are only from the first half page, the list goes on.
Stanek is Republican, so we shouldn’t be surprised that he spends other people’s money lavishly.
Comments below fold.


holding accountable magnifying glassBoth Minneapolis Mayor Hodges and Chief Harteau are committed to changing the culture of the Minneapolis police into more of community police force. The police abuse has violated community trust. Chief Harteau even called in the federal Justice Department to put on more pressure to change. The Star Tribune describes the conclusions:


A year ago, the chief asked the federal Justice Department to conduct an independent assessment of the department’s officer oversight and discipline process. The yearlong study, conducted by the Office of Justice Programs Diagnostic Center, pointed to a need to revamp its “Early Intervention System” and take a more data-driven approach to helping supervisors identify problem cops and provide them with additional training.


While the St Paul force does better, it still had a large settlement for alleged police misconduct by three officers, Diskerud, Sullivan and Whitney. The start of the incident was merely the stop of suspicious vehicle near University and Avon avenue, not a crime in progress. When the person that they wanted to question fled, the officers used their fists, feet and a flashlight to hospitalize that person for several weeks. Apparently the officers forgot they had tazers. Once a police target is down, every extra blow looks suspiciously like police abuse. This incident had many extra blows.


St Paul police force has 600 officers, where 99% act in a way that has built community trust over many years. Indeed when a St Paul police officer shot the wrong person years ago, the community was unhappy but there were no riots or even protests. Over years, many actions by many officers built that kind of trust. Yet there are still problem officers like Diskerud, Sullivan and Whitney that bring down the reputation of the whole St Paul Police department.



DSCN6270In the Hennepin County Sheriff’s race, the most telling endorsement is that the deputies DO NOT want the current Sheriff Stanek. Given the risk on that endorsement, I am glad that a labor union, AFSCME Council 5,  has stepped up to also back Eddie Frizell for Sheriff. Sheriff Stanek’s impressive list of endorsements dwindle to no importance when most of them were collected when there was only a single candidate in the race. Research on my part found little excitement from current Stanek endorsements.


What is really strange is that Republican blogs like True North are complaining about the DFL endorsement. They say things about the Hennepin DFL central committee not being large enough, so I wonder just how large and well attended the GOP meetings are. I say that tongue-in-cheek because I know they are not well attended. For years, GOP has done an endorsement of Stanek in a non-partisan race. Now finally the DFL has stepped up to endorse in the Sheriff’s race.


I am so glad the GOP is claiming Staneck because they can now also claim his spendthrift overspending ways. No other Sheriff spends so much for so little.



Carrie W1The Ramsey Conservation District (RCD) is commonly called the water board. The board protects the quality of lakes and drinking water from storm runoff. Controlling water runoff also conserves our good top soil. The board encourages people to have rain gardens that trap rain and redirect back into building back up our water table. Since water is our most critical resource, the people who serve on this board are unnoticed heroes.


Carrie Wasley is running for re-election. She received the Public Service Award from Friends of the Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County! Here are her answers to our standard questions:


1) What is your background? How does this background make you the better choice for the office you are running for?


I have done extensive non-profit and government board work and work well with others on an individual board’s agenda. The Ramsey Conservation District (RCD) Board of Supervisors have established a team approach to our responsibilities. Over the last four years we have regained financial stability and we are now recognized as a knowledgeable and effective county asset. The RCD staff are dedicated technicians and policy experts. Together the Supervisors and staff work well back and forth on critical issues.


2) What are the three main issues or values that are key to your campaign?


The three main values or issues that are key to my campaign are accessibility, teamwork and energy.


Accessibility – The mission statement of the RCD is to be the bridge between conservation agencies and Ramsey County citizens and local governments to sustain our natural resources through partnerships, technical services and education. It is inherent for the RCD’s purpose to be accessible.


Teamwork – It is critically important that citizens and other conservation staff people feel that they are treated with respect, without doubletalk and effectively. This has not always been the case with the RCD but starting about four years ago the Supervisors decided to think first about the citizens and what we were trying to give them in education and effective programs instead of obfuscation and condescension. The past four years have seen a turn-around in teamwork and outreach into the community.


Energy – Each year the RCD grows larger and larger with dedicated staff promulgated on successful grant funding. This is because there is an energy both technically but also in interacting with professional people across the county. This energy is a critical factor in the success of the RCD over the past four years.


{ 1 comment }

The Mimics Who Live Off the Real

by Grace Kelly on September 21, 2014 · 0 comments


In nature, defense is hard word. One type of snake develops venom, it is effective but it is also a great investment in resources. So the snake develops a color pattern, a distinctive brand to save all the effort of actually having to use the venom. The mimic snake develops the same color pattern as the original snake, essentially being protected by the hard work of the venomous snakes. In very hard times, the mimic snake will live because it does not have the extra hard work of producing the venom. Mimics are cheats and freeloaders. Mimics also force the original snakes to have to use their venom more often because the mimics are teaching the world threat of the color pattern is not a real threat.


In business, we constantly have good quality services and goods being mimicked by cheap knock offs. That is why branding is protected. It so much cheaper to pretend to be something than to really be that something. Marketing became the science of lying. The consumer is constantly sifting through the real and unreal. Indeed business has a hard time rewarding the true value of work.


In the world of ideas, there is real original content and the mimicry which is noise. Remember when journalism was a reporter writing about first hand experiences. Then the AP service came along, where newspaper basically became repeaters of information. The more that noise enters a process, the more the original content providers lose. Original blogs were high content. When content became good enough, newspapers mimicked blogging. Then sales sites mimicked blogging. It became difficult to find the original content and original blogs are dying. Facebook is going through the same evolution from useful to clogged with the useless. “Monetize” is a way of turning real content to noise.



Despite the fact Ted Daley’s Linkedin still shows him as co-chair of Veterans’ Voices, Ted Daley is NOT currently chair of Veterans’ Voices.


Ted Daley Co Chair Veterans Voices
Yesterday, we had the mystery of how the co-chair of Veterans’ Voices could give an award to himself. The mystery is solved. Trista Matascastillo, the Program Officer of Veterans’ Voices asked us to publish this clarification (Bolding is added):


As a Veteran myself, and protective of Veterans’ and our stories I find it important to offer some clarification about the Veterans’ Voices Award. So, on behalf of both myself, and The Minnesota Humanities Center I’d like to clarify some inaccurate details included in this blog post. Ted Daley is one of 30 Veterans who was nominated for and will receive the 2014 Veterans’ Voices Award. Mr. Daley did not nominate himself nor did any of the awardees. The Minnesota Humanities Center received over 80 nominations for the 2014 Veterans’ Voices Award. This year’s awardees were selected from an impressive group of highly qualified candidates. Thirty awardees – 20 On the Rise (ages 40 and under) and 10 Legacy (ages 41 and over) – were chosen by two independent review panels of Veterans based on their nomination write-up to receive the 2014 Veterans’ Voices Award.. The Humanities Center is honored to recognize these extraordinary men and women for their contributions to community.


Veterans’ Voices is a long-term initiative that draws on the power of the humanities to call attention to the stories and contributions of Veterans. This initiative amplifies, honors, and recognizes the stories and contributions of Minnesota Veterans in their own voice through plays, art, discussion groups, and the Veterans’ Voices Award. For a full list of this year’s Awardee’s please check our website;




Ted Daley served as a co-chair for the 2013 Veterans’ Voices Award Ceremony. He is not a co-chair for our 2014 event. Al Horner and Sakinah Mujahid are the Co-Chairs of this year’s event.


We agree that Veterans’ Voices is awesome and it is really sad that Ted Daley is misrepresenting his relationship to this group!

{ 1 comment }

Yesterday, we had the mystery of how the co-chair of Veterans Voices could give an award to himself. The mystery is solved. It turns out that even though Ted Daley Linkedin still shows him as co-chair of Veterans Voices, he is not actually co-chair anymore.

Ted Daley Co Chair Veterans Voices

Could Senator Daley be trying to deceive people? What does his Facebook say? It says Daley is still a state senator when he lost his Senate Seat to Jim Carlson two years ago. The claim is on the same Facebook page that Daley is bragging about his 2014 Veterans Voices award.
Ted Daley Still Senator 2014
Daley has a history of resumes where the job titles change and improve. Daley also has a history of missing company registrations for his company actively engaged in business.
May we should take a closer look at the current resume.


Veterans Voices Awards will be presented at the second annual Veterans’ Voices Award Ceremony being held at the Humanities Center on the east side of St. Paul on Sept. 11. The Veterans’ Voices Award recognizes military service members that make exceptional, positive contributions which improve the lives of people across Minnesota.


Previous Eagan State Senator Ted Daley is the co-chair of Veterans Voices Awards.


Ted Daley Co Chair Veterans Voices


Now here is where it gets strange. Ted Daley is also one of the Veterans Voices awardees.


Ted Daley Veterans Voice List


Normally, someone in charge does not give awards to oneself. Although that could be considered the epitome of self encouragement. One could imagine many possibilities. I, Ted Daley, CEO do award Ted Daley as Employee of the Month. I, Ted Daley, King of all this land do proclaim Ted Daley as knight of the realm. It is a good thing that Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV reporter and veteran, will emcee this ceremony otherwise Ted Daley would have to say, “I, Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices do hereby award the Legacy award to Ted Daley. Then maybe he could move the award from one hand to another. Or may Ted Daley could jump on the platform to announce, jump off and then jump on again to accept. Or maybe Ted Daley could use a mirror and pretend that there were two Ted Daleys. Any way you look at it, it is very strange to head up an organization giving an award to one self.


Ted Daley Double



Mark_with_LaraMark Schneider is a farmer that cares for land. He uses smart no-till farming practices, planting corn, soybeans and hay in rotation to control insects. (pdf) “Smart” is the way that Schneider likes to do things. In government, Schneider talks about building roads to endure Minnesota weather for lowest long-term costs instead of the cheapest one-time road-resurfacing cost (pdf). Schneider says that by doing government smarter we can save money in many ways. Mark Schneider is running as the representative in the Minnesota House for Dodge, Goodhue, Wabasha and Winona counties (21B).




Mark Schneider is advocating for a rural community that can live independently off the grid and also produce profitable crops. Schneider would like to have every rural location have its own solar/wind generation because 90% of electricity is lost by the time it reaches the rural areas. That 90% loss gets charged back to the customer. In trying to verify the 90% number, I found out that this 90% number is a factor of maintenance, distance and usage. No one wants to admit to poor maintenance. What is easily verifiable, is that there is an expectation that as batteries become better and cheaper, the rural areas will find it cheaper to totally switch to off grid. This could be happening as soon as 2018, just 4 years away.


Global investment bank UBS has highlighted the challenges facing Australian energy utilities by suggesting that the falling cost of solar and battery storage means that the average Australian household could find it cost-competitive to go off-grid by 2018.


Mark Schneider is a strong advocate for his community. Schneider talks to Dayton and other top Democratic officials advocating for higher levels of ethanol. Ethanol really helps local farmers. Ethanol is also a better environment choice. Schneider says that one acre of corn produces 500 gallons ethanol (pdf) and still feeds 500 chickens. It takes 3 gallons of water to make a gallon of ethanol and the water is reusable. Contrast that with over 1800 gallons of water to distill a barrel of oil, yielding 20 gallons of gasoline from tar sands. Since ethanol is a new industry, the efficiency of all parts to the industry have been rapidly improving.


DSCN6270The newest candidate for Hennepin Sheriff is Eddie Frizell, a Deputy Chief of the Patrol Bureau with the City of Minneapolis Police Department with 21 years of experience. He is also a Colonel in the National Guard with tours in Iraq and Kuwait. Frizell is challenging the current Sheriff Rick Stanek.


Just yesterday, Eddie Frizell was endorsed by the Hennepin County DFL after months of consideration. During the endorsement process, Frizell faced tough questions. One person asked Frizell, how would he ensure more probable cause and less profiling. The answer was that when officers better reflect the community, they make better decisions on probable cause. The vote of support was unanimous and enthusiastic.


Impressively, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association have also endorsed Frizell saying:


“It is clear to us that you understand creating a livable, safer community and that this requires a multi-faceted approach involving partnerships at all levels of the community and government. As a result, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association supports your candidacy for Sheriff of Hennepin County!”


As a writer, I wanted to contrast the endorsements of both candidates for Sheriff. However I ran into difficulties on the Stanek endorsements.