So you want to be a public servant?

You too could be mayor of St. Paul! Just answer a dozen of the most preposterous, frivolous, and insultingly direct questions you could ever hope to encounter in your whole squirming political life.

4. What are you going to do about the Canada problem?

"Oh my God, that is a problem. They have this unlimited border crossing. We do have a serious problem of Canadians in Minnesota. We're gonna offer one-way bus tickets to the Canadians to go back to Canada, with a free hockey puck if they take the bus."

5. What's the best place to behead a Snoopy statue?

"Those of us who play hockey, we'd say the 'Slapshot' Snoopy [at the Charles M. Schulz-Highland Arena], with a hockey stick."

6. Are there skeletons in your closet that we should know about?

"None of which I would tell you publicly if there were any."

CP: However, Long does divulge his role in the controversial 1975 Class A high school state football championship game between St. Peter High School and St. Thomas Academy, in St. Paul. St. Thomas Academy won on a controversial late fourth-quarter pass play that many observers thought should have been ruled out-of-bounds. Long played defensive halfback for the losing team.

Long: "I was the Deion Sanders of the St. Peter high school team," he quips. Long acknowledges that he lobbied the referee to disallow the St. Paul squad's victory. "I was working really hard to defeat the St. Thomas Academy team both before the game and after the game," he recalls.

7. Why does St. Paul put Minneapolis to shame?

"I could think of 101 reasons. First of all, St. Paul truly understands history. We understand great architecture, we understand great culture, we understand great diversity, and we understand how to have fun."

8. What will be your epitaph?

"Worked hard, played hard, had a wonderful time every day, but always loved St. Paul."


Accuracy: Nailed the Hmong question; stumped by the Lexington "Wall of Fame." (As any good St. Paulite knows, Don Ryan was a long time maitre d' at the Lexington, as well as a distinguished inductee into the Minnesota Hospitality Hall of Fame.) He is pictured with the late broadcaster Howard Cosell. 25 points

Style: Long displayed consistent creativity under fire. We particularly admired his answer to the nuclear attack question. The vision of our would-be mayor scraping the walls of caves along the Mississippi in order to feed his embattled constituents is truly inspiring. 43 points

Mitigating factor: It troubles us to broach this topic, but our journalistic integrity forces us not to remain silent. The fact is, throughout our telephone grilling, Long would repeat out loud the entire question. On two occasions we thought we heard another voice whispering in the background. And at one point, Long appeared to be completely baffled by a question only to pull the correct answer out of nowhere (this question has been eliminated for fear of tainting our scoring system). -10 points




Born August 2, 1950 in Rollete, North Dakota. Graduated University of Minnesota, 1992. Served as state representative for St. Paul's East Side from 1974 to 1990; a state senator since 1990. Also works for brother's small business. Married to Kathy; two children.

Political Party: DFL

Official Web Site:

1. Why do they call it Frogtown?

"That's a good question. The French?"

2. Spell "Antti Laaksonen" (Minnesota Wild left wing, pronounced "An-tee LAX-oh-nenn").

"He's the Czech? I have no clue."

3. Summit or Pig's Eye?

"Pig's Eye."

4. What's the price of a pint of Budweiser in the morning at Schweitz Saloon?

"I haven't a clue. A buck?"

5. Does St. Paul stink?

"Out by the ethanol plant, yes."

6. Are there skeletons in your closet that we should know about?

"That you should know about? No."

7. Why does St. Paul put Minneapolis to shame?

"Because Minneapolis is a suburb of St. Paul."

7. What will be your epitaph?

"A soft, gentle leader."


Accuracy: There are three plausible theories on the origin of the Frogtown moniker. Kelly correctly guesses at one of these: that the name was bestowed upon the area because of the large number of residents of French origin. Another possibility is that the locale was once a swampy home to frogs. Kelly failed to even have a go at the Antti Laaksonen question. And we wish it cost only a dollar for a pint of Budweiser in the a.m. hours at Schweitz Saloon (it's actually $2). Kelly does score some points for conceding that yes, indeed, the Gopher State Ethanol plant in St. Paul does stink. 17 points

Style: Kelly didn't give us much to go with here. He generally adhered to his reputation as a tough-talking East Sider. We give him sympathy points for the stab at putting down Minneapolis. 11 points

Mitigating factor: Kelly was one of the few candidates to embrace Pig's Eye as his malted beverage of choice. But we had to explain to the senator that this was a question about beer, so we're not quite convinced of his allegiance. 2 points




Born January 24, 1959 in Lindström. Graduated Macalester College, 1981. A St. Paul City Council member since 1994. Married to Jacqueline; one daughter.

Political Party: DFL

Official Web Site:

1. Why do they call it Frogtown?

"Because there used to be frogs there. As it got built up, I think, the swamp got paved over."

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