Off Beat

The Cost of Political Partying

According to a document acquired by Off Beat (okay, we picked it up off the floor), Ted Mondale's campaign dished out about $500 for food and drink on primary night at the Minneapolis Hilton. The breakdown: $155 for crudités, $125 for an "international cheese" platter, $110 for spring rolls, $48 for chips and pretzels, $12 for onion dip, and $32 for eight Molson Lights. Generally speaking, Ted should be saluted for his fiscal prudence. But only eight overpriced Canadian beers for a campaign that finished a distant last among the five DFL gubernatorial hopefuls? "To tell you the truth, I wasn't really monitoring what people were drinking, so I can't comment on that," says campaign manager Tina Smith. Mark Dayton's campaign didn't return Off Beat's calls, but the DFL Party's bash for Freeman and the rest of the endorsed slate cost roughly $5,000, says executive director Kathy Czar. Doug Johnson staffer Scott Moen puts a $1,500-to-$2,000 tag on his campaign's bash, which included "a little spread of finger food" and a polka band. The Republican Party coughed up about $4,000 for its evening of merrymaking, according to spokesman John Schwalbach. And Jesse Ventura supporters shelled out $10 a head for a pizza-and-salad buffet at Broadway Pizza. "We're a little different," notes media chair Gerry Drewry. "We made $34.50."

Old CP Editors Don't Fade Away--
They Run for Office

Who says journalism and politics don't mix? Former City Pages editor Mike O'Neill has thrown his beanie into the ring for a seat on the Dakota County Board on an "I'm really sorry" platform. "I've been faithful to my wife, but I will confess to some unbefitting thoughts," trumpets a press release for the 52-year-old candidate, whose byline readers may remember from his "Suite D" column circa 1986. "In fact, I gawked at a couple of young women just this past summer." In a more serious vein, O'Neill cites concerns about urban sprawl as an inspiration for his bid. It'll be tough to topple three-term incumbent Don Maher, especially given the status of the challenger's campaign war chest: "I haven't accepted any contributions," he reports euphemistically.

Call Them...Unfaithful

"How many of the members of Congress who voted for the Communications Decency Act do you suppose also voted to release the report that reads like a borderline pornographic dime-store romance written by a Texas preacher's son?" Cyberjournalist Keith Dawson recently posed that question on his Web site Tasty Bits from the Technology Front ( The CDA, you'll remember, threatened jail sentences of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 for anyone caught disseminating a raunchfest like the Starr report on sites accessible to children. By cross-referencing tallies, Dawson came up with 284 members who had voted "yes" on both issues--"the 284 most hypocritical members of the U.S. House of Representatives on the subject of the Internet." Among Minnesota's eight reps, only two didn't make the list: 5th District Democrat Martin Sabo, who voted for the CDA (contained in the much broader Telecommunications Reform Act) and against releasing the Starr report; and 7th District Democrat Collin Peterson, who opposed the CDA and favored the release of the report.

He Got the Beat

Last week Off Beat wagged its figurative tongue about a possible Jim-Niland-for-mayor bid. This week Southwest Journal editor Mark Engebretson wags a finger at Off Beat--and rightly so. Turns out an e-mail post by City Council member Steve Minn wasn't the first time that scrap of scuttlebutt bobbed to the surface of the local-politics pond. No, that honor goes to...Engebretson himself, who mentioned the prospect a month ago in his own paper.

Off Beat is open for business and accepting tips. Call 372-3788 or e-mail [email protected] with any poop (political or otherwise) that's fit to print.

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