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Best Local Blog Minneapolis 2011 - The Adventures of Johnny Northside

John Hoff's personal crusade to rid north Minneapolis of crime, corruption, and general malfeasance isn't everyone's idea of a good time, especially when he's breathing down your neck while posting criminal complaints and rap sheets, incriminating government documents, and photographs that document shady dealings, crummy storefronts, and other assorted bad news. He's the kind of guy who sees cops arresting someone in his neighborhood, parks his car, walks right up, and asks, "What's going on?" Then, instead of just telling a friend about what happened over a beer, he opens his laptop, types up his story, hits publish, and tells the whole world. And that's what makes his blog so great. It's a rip-roaring scandal sheet and bullhorn, and citizen journalist Hoff glories in its victories. Sometimes, in fact, his victory laps get him in trouble. Not long ago he got slapped with a $60,000 fine when he linked community activist Jerry Moore to a fraudulent mortgage deal and cost Moore a position at the University of Minnesota. First Amendment experts were stunned by the verdict because the judge in the case said Hoff had published nothing untrue about Moore. And any of Hoff's foes hoping the fine would shut him up must have been sorely disappointed. Within a few days he was back to business as usual. One recent headline: "Police Action at 26th and Knox in North Minneapolis: Suspected Drugs, Gun, and a Five-Year-Old Boy Named "Tre" Along for the Ride." Tell it, Mr. Hoff. Tell it!

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Here is a turn of events: John Hoff the self-proclaimed NoMi revitalizer who reports his neighbors for housing code violations has been hit with administrative orders and could face fines from the City of Minneapolis to bring his house up to code.

When he bought the home on 26th & Bryant Avenue North in 2008 it didn't have a functioning furnace or water heater, and was missing considerable plumbing. WITHOUT OBTAINING PERMITS, he made unauthorized repairs to the home which he now rents out WITHOUT A RENTAL LICENSE.

Recently, the City of Minneapolis issued orders to have the house brought up to code and to be in compliance with the Truth in Housing report filed before he bought the house. His failure to bring o up to code will result in fines, and possible condemnation.

Currently, Hoff is an absentee slumlord renting out his out-of-compliance house to two people he calls “roommates”, even though he hasn’t lived in the house for over one year. According to Hoff’s neighbors they have not seen his in months, some claiming the only people seen around the house have been his two renters.

It’s worth pointing out that the house only has two bedrooms, and if Hoff were actually living there and each had his own bedroom, one bedroom would be unauthorized under building code.

The question has to seriously be asked: Why does the City of Minneapolis ignore John Hoff’s refusal to comply with his own housing code violations, while at the same time allowing him to file numerous 311 complaints about others in the City of Minneapolis? Why do they keep letting him "slide" without the same follow-up they inflict on other landlords?

Is someone protecting him? We know Hoff is personal friends with Councilmember Don Samuels who chairs the powerful Public Safety Committee, and that Samuels even testified on Hoff’s behalf at a recent civil trial. John Hoff himself has written in his blog that he sends Samuels “trinkets of nominal value” to show his appreciation. This situation appears to have the appearance of impropriety.

Investigators recently discovered that in a fatal south Minneapolis fire that the house was an unlicensed rental, although the owner claimed that his tenants were “roommates”, just like Hoff is doing. What will it take to get the City of Minneapolis to crack down on John Hoff’s unlicensed rental that needs to be brought up to code,  another fatality?



Wow, does anyone actually read this smut? His sense of self-righteousness and total lack of respect and morality for his community is palpable. He is a blatant racist and relies solely on prejudice it's almost comical. His blog is full of hate and stereotypes in guise of being an "activist and telling it like it is" This guy is a complete fraud and it is a shame that City Pages would reward him for what he calls in his blog "journalism" Here is a recent example about a thread he started about a victim of a murder where at this point there are no facts, and no information about the circumstances of the murder and yet his hateful and spiteful comments about the VICTIM is just plain incredulous. I'm sorry City Pages but you just lost a lot of my respect for your paper.


John Hoff
John Hoff

Doesn't read it, Don Allen says, while commenting on a fresh article.

Hey, Don...

How's your tirade against the Minneapolis Public Schools going, Don? Oh, wait, I know: no $15,000 in your pocket, nobody actually resigning despite your repeated public demand for resignations, and you are writing a 900-part tirade with the frothy spittle of your own public tantrum.

Yeah, that was a great story about your $15,000 contract. Who wrote about that first? Before the Star Tribune, before Twin Cities Daily Planet, before The Deets and all the other blogs?


Donald Allen
Donald Allen

Maybe the best small, little newspaper to start a fire should be City Pages...LOL - Don't read it, but have used it to clean the windows in my Benz.

John Hoff
John Hoff

(Sarcasm font)

Right, maybe the best blog should have been Don Allen, publicly throwing a tantrum and doing a 900 part piece about the Minneapolis Public School system after they didn't pay him the $15,000 for advertising he was expecting, after my blog broke the story.

(End sarcasm font)

Funny thing: "Shake down blogger" Don Allen has grammar issues just like the poster above.

For example, "City Pages rational." That should be "rationale" and also City Pages should be possessive, like so: City Pages'

As for whether I have "insider friends," well, having insider friends is one of the reasons my blog is so hot and, um, why it's so hard to serve legal paperwork on me, ha ha.

But seriously. Seriously. Thank you City Pages for the lovely rhinestone tiara, the bouquet, and the sash. I hope other grassroots bloggers are inspired to walk right out, find out about what's happening in their neighborhood, and slap it on their blogs for the betterment of the place where they live. I do what I do and I get away with it. There are so many other folks who could do the same thing, and I hope they do it, do it.


If John Hoff won this "award" for the second year in a row, the voting is obviously rigged. There are several popular local blogs that cover a variety of Twin Cities things of interest. Hoff's blog is exclusive to north Minneapolis and covers things that effect his selfish needs and opinions. City Pages rational is almost an exact repeat of what they wrote last year. I must suspect that Hoff has some insider friends at City Pages, who ignore the many other interesting TWIN CITIES blogs.


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