Shame on you, Mr. Rybak

Drew Frenz

Early last week I received a postcard in the mail and, to my surprise, it was not graced with yet another collegiate crest, but with a grand sweeping photo of the Governor’s Mansion . The card (not endorsing any particular candidate) was an appeal from the state Republican Party asking voters to keep in mind current mayor R.T. Rybak’s ambitions and whether or not he truly cared about the well being of the City of Minneapolis.

Indeed, it has long been public knowledge that Mr. Rybak is very likely going to be running for Governor next year due to a flurry of media reports on the subject. Nevertheless, Mr. Rybak remained extremely popular going into the November 3 election. Coming off a strong victory in 2005, where he carried 25 more percentage points than the second-place candidate, Mr. Rybak enjoyed high popularity that remained little diminished by four straight years of 8% property tax increases, with an 11% increase proposed for 2010. Perhaps 2009 Minneapolis mayoral candidate Bob Carney said it best: “Mayor Rybak is also apparently running for Governor, but it is not clear yet whether he is seeking this by election, or as an appointed czar .” Mr. Rybak continued to run almost no campaign at all– not showing up for debates, rarely acknowledging the existence of any other candidates.

To nobody’s surprise, in the wee hours of November 4 , Mr. Rybak was declared victorious in his quest to win a third term as Mayor of Minneapolis. This time he carried a massive 74 percent of the vote, a full 63 percentage points above the next candidate– the largest margin of victory for the office in city history. The very next day (Nov. 5th) Mr. Rybak officially filed candidacy for the 2010 Minnesota Governor’s election. Oh, that’s cool. No, really Mr. Mayor; it’s alright, we’ll find someone else to hold down the fort while you’re out campaigning. Maybe Ms. Goodman from Ward 7 wants a shot; she too seems to be immune to the opinions of constituents.

Glad to be of service to you Mr. Mayor. I believe I speak for the entire City of Minneapolis when I say that I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to be walked all over for the purpose of your career, Mr. Rybak. Minnesota, next November as you head out to the polls, keep in mind what Rybak has already shown us: that he cares nothing for the well being of his constituents nor does he have any respect for the office he holds. He is not a public servant. He’s a career politician.