Caryn Sullivan: Friday Food for Thought

I suspect even Jensen would admit he hasn’t run a flawless campaign — no candidate does. But he’s willing to take the hard questions. I’ll take an imperfect leader with courage over a coward any day.

Friday Food for Thought
Caryn Sullivan

With traditional values under siege, it often feels like we’re living in an inside out, upside down world, where right is wrong, and left is right, and those who speak up are shut down.

Friday Food for Thought offers readers news to chew on over the weekend.

Get ready to riot

In a speech last June, a DFL candidate made it clear we’re not finished with riots. In fact, Leigh Finke, who is running in District 66A (which includes Roseville and St. Paul), encouraged other transgender individuals to riot to get their message across. Finke is a favorite of Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, who said she cannot wait until Finke is elected.

With crime the new state sport, who will be the referee? 

County attorneys decide whether to file or dismiss charges. Given the uptick in crime from Minneapolis to Orono and beyond, this position is particularly important in Hennepin County. Voters will choose between someone who has made a career of prosecuting criminals and someone who has spent her career representing them.

Martha Holton Dimick is a resident of north Minneapolis. She’s served as both a district court judge and prosecuting attorney. Dimick says her primary goal is to reduce violent crime, particularly in the community where she lives.

Mary Moriarty worked in and ran the Hennepin County Public Defender’s office for 30 years. She wants to change the status quo. She advocates using a data-driven approach and seeks to end cycles of incarceration she says disproportionately affect communities of color.

Burned out precinct backdrop

Yesterday, Dr. Scott Jensen stood in front of the empty shell of the Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct and accepted the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association’s endorsement. It’s encouraging to hear that, under a Jensen/Birk administration, police would once again be viewed as our partners.

A picture’s worth a thousand words. Check out the Jensen campaign graphic illustrating the dramatic increase in violent crime under the Walz administration.

Fine tuning the basement strategy

To be fair, crime is the province of local authorities. But the overwhelming anti-police sentiment of many DFL representatives contributes to the culture of crime in which we now live. Perhaps Walz will offer his take on crime trends during a debate. Then again, maybe not.

In an unprecedented move, Walz now refuses to debate challenger Jensen on TPT Almanac. Host Cathy Wurzer said it’s a long-standing tradition for candidates to appear on the show.

Jensen has said he would debate Walz any time and any place. As of now, they have two debates on the books, though none televised in the metro and none in front of a live audience — Walz’s terms. I suspect even Jensen would admit he hasn’t run a flawless campaign — no candidate does. But he’s willing to take the hard questions. I’ll take an imperfect leader with courage over a coward any day.

Trick or treat

When my kids went trick or treating, we knew there were evil people who put razor blades in apples. Evil still lurks on Halloween, but the stakes are higher. This year, as families buy their pumpkins and kids pick out their costumes, they should be aware of something even more sinister. Drug dealers are disguising fentanyl — a lethal opioid — as rainbow colored candy that looks like Skittles.

Speaking of candy, it’s projected to cost 30 percent more than last year. If you’re planning to hand it out, watch for sales and hide your stash so it doesn’t disappear before the big night.

Feeling safe in our homes and communities is not a red issue or a blue issue — it’s a red, white, and blue issue. We need to get back to being a law-abiding community. Just 32 days until the election. What will you do?

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not represent an official position of Alpha News. 


Caryn Sullivan

A retired attorney and author of the award-winning memoir, "Bitter or Better: Grappling With Life on the Op-Ed Page," Caryn Sullivan has inspired readers with her thoughtful commentary for the past two decades. To learn more about Caryn’s work or to connect, visit