Diane Hofstede criticizes Jacob Frey on her Facebook page, gets blasted by commenters

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Hofstede's attempt to wage a Facebook offensive against Frey backfired.
Yesterday, Minneapolis City Council member Diane Hofstede took to her Facebook page to ding her challenger, Jacob Frey, for allegedly trying to "smear everyone in an effort to distract voters from his lack of experience."

SEE ALSO: Four Mpls City Council members openly oppose council colleague Diane Hofstede's reelection

There doesn't seem to be any evidence that Frey has actually used smear tactics in his campaign, though, and his supporters fired back. They peppered Hofstede's post with negative comments, and whoever manages her page deleted them shortly thereafter.

But not before we took some screengrabs.

Here's Hostede's post, followed by all of the comments on it shortly before most of them were deleted:

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Frey, a barely-turned-30 lawyer and community organizer, won the DFL's 3rd Ward endorsement earlier this month and also has the support of four current council members. Hofstede was first elected to the council in 2005 and has proven to be a polarizing figure who churns through staffers and has been characterized as hard to reach and disorganized. But while she isn't running for reelection with the DFL's endorsement, she does have the support of three current council members and Mayor R.T. Rybak, who praised her last month for having a "bold vision."

"I can tell you she has the best interest of the city in her bones and works hard to make it a reality every day," Rybak wrote in a statement.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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16 comments
akorf
akorf

Hofstede is a joke - as a constituent and someone that lives in and cares about North East Minneapolis I can say that she's been consistently inconsistent getting back to me when I have questions and concerns about the neighborhood. She has also done much to stifle the nascent economy of13th Ave NE (the lifeblood and cultural center of North East Minneapolis) as evidenced by the support by most of the businesses there for Frey. Hofestede's days have passed.

JaneVy
JaneVy

Now there is a comment on her page:

"Hi Council member Diane Hofstede we love you as a somali community now in NE but now you lost our trust and everything we had you before because your using our name for your own advantage for your campaign. I was supporting before from now on I'am supporting for Jacob Frey he next city Council member in our ward. here are teh reason why I am supporting him 1. your told your campaign worker to tell that somali community they don't have to come to the convention. 2. you said your going abide your if you loose the dfl endorsement and you our name for the first time you mention pubic. -Mr. Wilkasanadka Hassan"

Is THAT what her post was referring to?  Telling Somali delegates not to come to the convention?  Let's have some investigative journalism here...

BreeND
BreeND

I commented on her page, "Why do you keep deleting any post that asks about abiding by the endorsement process? I've seen two get posted and disappear so far this week! Both were very respectful. What's wrong with dialogue?"

 My post was deleted and now I am banned from commenting on her page.

dhillmsp
dhillmsp

I wish I could say I was surprised by either the original posting or the fact that any critical commentary is being deleted. Unfortunately, this is just another smack in the face to her constituents in the last week.

As both a (theoretical) member of the DFL and generally as an elected official holding a public trust, CM Hofstede has a responsibility, moral and ethical if not legal, to produce evidence substantiating her charges.

She had that obligation last week when alleging irregularities in the caucus and convention process. No challenge was or has yet to be filed to my knowledge. We are simply supposed to take her word for it. Much like we were supposed to take her word that she would abide by the endorsement process itself.

Without proof, it's all just words. As we saw last Saturday at the endorsing convention, talk is free. Saying you'll abide by the endorsement means nothing without actually following through on those words.  I went to university in Missouri, the "Show Me" state. Show me proof. I demand it as a voter and a constituent. Failure to do so is irresponsible - morally, ethically, politically and possibly legally. It again violates the trust that we place in our elected officials.

It is ironic that her most recent charge smacks of what she accuses Mr. Frey of - smearing someone in an attempt to distract from a campaign that appears to be at best mismanaged and, at worst, is foundering. It reminds me of the "I'm rubber, you're glue" politics that Republicans have engaged in at the national level these past years. I would have hoped that a member of my own party would have taken a different tack. Yet another smack in the face for me.

I would turn her own questions back at her. How does someone with a palpably lower level of public and party support than her opponent plan to govern effectively if her campaign is somehow ultimately successful? How does an "experienced" politician heal the kinds of rifts that have occurred and will occur in the new Third Ward because you broke your word to avoid a divisive general election campaign if you did not receive your party's endorsement? How do you govern effectively when four of your fellow council members openly endorsed your opponent months before the first caucus convened?

It seems to me that CM Hofstede only respects democratic processes when she agrees with them or is forced to deal with them. She voted in favor of the stadium deal and in so doing denied us our democratic right to vote on it. She was happy to abide the DFL endorsement when she knew she could win it. The minute she couldn't, she broke her word and denied us, the voting delegates, the right to weigh in on her candidacy as a DFL'er.

I think CM Hofstede also fails to recognize reality. Specifically, three parts of it. First, the Third Ward has changed. Living in one of the newly added parts of the ward - my read is that she's not well liked in these parts. Especially since we're ground zero for the new stadium a lot of us didn't want. Which brings us to the second item - a lot of us weren't pleased with that stadium vote. A good number of us are intent on expressing ourselves in that one democratic process she is forced to grapple with - the general election in November.

Then there is the third point, which is both the most surprising and telling for me.  We're Democrats. We are the party of Obama. Jacob Frey might be a "political newcomer", but so was our President, comparatively, when he launched his campaign. He did what we witnessed locally over these last weeks and months, culminating in last weekend's convention. He built a grassroots coalition that re-energized the party and successfully challenged the party establishment.

We had the highest turnout at our caucuses of any ward in the city. That's not just because there is a contested race. It's because the "political newcomer" was able to mobilize new participants and their new energy in a new ward. In so doing, he out-mobilized an "experienced" politician who outspent him. The coalition that Jacob has built has the potential to reshape the ward in ways that excite me and make me a proud supporter and resident of the Third.

Her withdrawal from the endorsement process was a slap in the face to all of us who have organized for new leadership in a new ward. I don't think we'll forget, much less forgive, any time soon.

I call on CM Hofstede to honor her original word, to honor her party's endorsement and end this divisive campaign now, before things get out of hand - like that posting.

RyanPK
RyanPK

Oh man, they are continuing to delete comments.  Since I can't figure out how to turn my "Print-to-PDFs" into legit screenshots, I'll just copy-and-paste what's there now (for the third time):

"Everytime you delete comments, you prove that this candidate is unable to take any criticism and unable to handle any challenge. I will continue to post until you choose not to delete it and prove that you are a leader who answers to residents of Mpls rather than just ignore them.

If you can "positively say" that your campaign hasn't done this, why are there so many delegates, including former supporters, who testify differently? I've spoken with 4 people who were told by your campaign that the convention was cancelled. Why would they lie? I know you'll call my integrity into question, but I can sleep at night knowing I haven't misrepresented myself."

JaneVy
JaneVy

Aw come on, he's almost 32.

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

Heh, oh Diane. I have lived in Diane's ward for the duration of her tenure and have met her, at least, 15 times...and introduced myself to her 15 times, because as far as I can tell she wouldn't remember where her eyebrows were if they weren't attached to her face. 

She DOES shows up to neighborhood meetings, doesn't return calls, doesn't return emails (even when she's asked for volunteers for a project and you are making yourself available), and has an air of entitlement that does not fit-in with her ward (tip: Don't show up to a NE neighborhood meeting discussing urban farming with two bottles of Evian from which to sip...you look ridiculous).

mnjimn
mnjimn

She's going to be a really sore loser isn't she?

Mary Kenefick
Mary Kenefick

Good call grabbing screenshots...I believe most of the comments have been removed from her page.

john.fena
john.fena

out with the old, in with the new, that's how it works.  talk about shooting yourself in the foot... enough of these entrenched bullshit fucking political alliances that have done nothing to move mpls forward, no progress just enjoy the ride and the cushy position.  i wish i lived in the 4th ward so i could vote for jacob myself.  he's positive, energetic, inclusive, and deserving of the office... and will set an example!  good work to jacob on an uplifting campaign, and best of luck in november!

dhillmsp
dhillmsp

@JaneVy The same post is on Frey's campaign Facebook page.

Totally agree - there needs to be some investigation here.

JaneVy
JaneVy

@RyanPK I heard this rumor at coffee this morning.  If true, it is very disturbing.  And maybe illegal???

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

@mnjimn She's been a sore candidate, withdrawing her name from the Ward 3 DFL endorsement saying she "didn't have faith in the process" as it was pretty clear she was not going to get it.

Taking your ball and leaving is not typically the hallmark of a considerate candidate for anything.

In all honesty, I probably would have voted status quo and not known about Frey if her tantrum hadn't made front page news in the Northeaster. All in all, I will be glad to see Diane and Meg Tuthill go the way of the dinosaur, though I am disappointed there aren't more/better minority candidates for both these seats.

JaneVy
JaneVy

@dhillmsp I'm really concerned about disenfranchisement. I'm in Ward 6 and while I know there are some problems being investigated, it was still really amazing to see the great participation from the Somali community.  Abdi Warsame did a great job organizing and getting his people out.


I talked to someone at coffee this morning who said he heard organizers for Diane's campaign told Somali delegates that the convention was cancelled.  I don't want to spread rumors or make false allegations, but it seems to follow what Mr. Hassan was saying.  Is that even legal to do?  It's very upsetting.

dhillmsp
dhillmsp

@JaneVy @dhillmsp If there was any sort of paid communication to that effect, it could be a gross misdemeanor (Minn. Stat. 211B.06). Otherwise...is it legal?  Probably - it was a convention, not an actual election (where it would likely be illegal).

Just because it's within the bounds of the law (or perhaps not prohibited by it) doesn't make it right.

If true...if this is the kind of campaign we can expect, I'm worried about what comes next.

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