Dr. Scott Jensen allowed Rep. John Thompson to co-moderate a campaign event with him aimed at better understanding the needs of urban Minneapolis residents.
Jensen is a former state senator and practicing medical doctor who was rocketed to national recognition for his opposition to the state’s COVID-19 response. He is now running for governor of Minnesota as a Republican.
Thompson is a freshman state representative whose time in the public eye has been marred by several controversies. Last year, he encouraged mobs of BLM protesters to burn down the towns of Hugo, Falcon Heights, and St. Anthony. He was asked by his own Democratic Party to resign over years of abuse allegations. He’s gone on vulgar internet tirades against his romantic partner and held a Wisconsin driver’s license when he was elected.
Jensen hosted a small event near Lake Street Thursday evening to better understand the needs of Minnesotans who are experiencing less-fortunate economic circumstances.
“I was asked to come so we could just have a conversation. There’s so much more to life that I don’t know, and I need to understand,” he opened. “I want to also say welcome to Rep. John Thompson. Because John knows a lot of the problems that, if you will, inner urban centers face,” he continued.
Jensen acknowledged the hardship the Lake Street area has faced rebuilding from the George Floyd riots and the issues Minneapolis as a whole faces with housing. “There have got to be answers,” he reassured the audience.
“I don’t have the answers, but I sure would like it if you’d be willing to help teach me, and understand what some of the critical issues are. So, I’m going to ask you: let me know what your questions are, what your thoughts are, what you think, I need to understand,” he continued, before inviting Thompson to the front of the room with him.
“John Thompson, I’m going to ask you to help me out because I think John Thompson is going to have more answers than I do in terms of what is the critical nature of what’s going on,” Jensen said as Thompson took a place at the front of the room with him.
Thompson delivered a short message and then remained at the front of the room with Jensen for the remainder of the event. He began his remarks by saying that he represents people who look like him, rather than any party.
“By no means do I represent a party. I don’t represent the Republican Party. I don’t represent the Democratic Party. I don’t represent the independent party but I represent people who look just like me. That’s who I represent,” he said — drawing some applause from those gathered. Jensen also clapped.
Thompson then apparently attempted to justify the arsonists who set fire to Minneapolis during the Floyd riots and suggested that people complain too much about crime in Minneapolis.
“There were people, especially some colleagues of mine, who were more worried about who set the fires than why the fires were started in the first place,” Thompson said. “We can’t complain about crime in the community if we’re not fixing the root problems.”
He then stressed the importance of his cooperation with Jensen and alluded to a breakfast they recently shared.
“It’s important for me and my community that I meet with people like Scott Jensen,” Thompson told the audience. “Me and Scott had this conversation personally, one-on-one over breakfast. Everything I’m saying right now I said to Scott and he agreed.”
“I’m a good judge of character, I’m a good judge of people,” he concluded, apparently approving of Jensen’s character.
The rest of the event took a q-and-a format that allowed Jensen to engage with those gathered, hearing their concerns and explaining how he would work to alleviate their troubles as governor.
During this conversation, he voiced his support for a number of measured reforms. For example, he said he “would be a supporter of a second-chance program where some offense [that] occurred between the ages of say 10 and 18” could be expunged from the offender’s record. Expungement needs to “happen in a sensible way,” he said.
Alpha News asked Jensen if he knew Thompson would be present at his event ahead of time. “I had heard he might show up and I was okay with that,” he responded.