See, once the hearing finally ends, and Judge Porter rules, it seems quite likely the golden era of delusion by the "Old Majority" Kool Aid Cult will come to an end, and harsh reality will descend like delirium tremens. So--like a condemned man who can linger for a moment over a savory last meal, who can pause and not speak his last words, but rather feel his heart beating with life while everybody waits for him to speak, then be forever silent--the attorney for the "Old Majority" plaintiffs appears content to let everybody live in the court room, day after day, hashing over events on the "nominations committee," dissecting every nuance of the election with one underlying desire constantly present, constantly apparent...
DO OVER! Oh, god, NO FAIR! We weren't ready! DO OVER!!!!!!
But even if you can't get a "do over," you can be heard. You can make the record. You can shriek out your frustrated desires and the cosmic injustice of it all, and air wild accusations of plots to "gentrify" North Minneapolis, this gentrification somehow intricately linked to the concept of having houses with PEOPLE INSIDE OF THEM rather than sitting empty, and boarded up. Since when did gentrification become synonymous with OCCUPIED?
"New Majority" Board Member David Haddy was the first on the stand. A stout, bearded man with an ultra-smart, super-geek personality (he once won $50,000 on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?) Haddy was respectful and cooperative with Jill Clark, but Clark's questions led openings for answers like, "If you consider a majority of people voting a certain way to be a coup d'etat."
Haddy discussed the telephonic meeting of January 15, called because equipment, records, Blackberries, financial records and, oh gee, the CHECKBOOK had gone missing. Secretary Anne McCandless had called people for a meeting, and considered the situation an emergency.
Physical appearances had changed, slightly, with the attorneys. Jill Clark looked like a big, not-so-delicious chunk of key lime pie with an oddly-colored jacket, accentuated with a "Star of David" necklace which drew a conciliatory compliment from Kelly Browne. For one bright, shining moment, the plaintiff attorney and the wife of the "New Majority" chairman were just a couple of chicks talking about jewelry. Therefore, should this blogger make a goodwill gesture and say Jill's key lime jacket could have--quite possibly--been delicious if only one might TRY a little piece?
Word was that David Schooler's wife forced him to run right out and get a haircut after reading my blog coverage. I had a sneaking suspicion she was equally responsible for her husband's tasteful baby blue tie.
But back to Haddy's testimony. Reflecting a theme which emerged with earlier witnesses, Haddy spoke of being forced to prove his property ownership, despite living right across the street from Kip Browne, the Chair of the Nominations Committee. There would be none of this "Oh, I know him, he's cool." If you wanted to be on the ballot, you had to complete the necessary steps.
Haddy talked about the "melee" with Jerry Moore on January 12. Near the moment when the "Jacc fracas" started, Haddy was talking to blogger journalist Anna Pratt, saying it was too bad the elections went so smoothly and there weren't any fireworks to report upon.
That was when they both heard the yelling. Haddy ran over in time to see Jerry Moore strike Board Member P.J. Hubbard full in the face, knocking off his glasses. Immediately, numerous cell phones were whipped out.
Clark asked if Haddy witnessed anything done to "provoke" Jerry Moore.
No, Mr. Moore threw the punch, Haddy said. Half a dozen people "broke it up." There was profanity from Mr. Moore. Haddy's attention was turned to Ally Wagner, the daughter of Denny Wagner, who was in tears.
Soon after, a vote was held in closed session to terminate Jerry Moore. Haddy distinctly recalls Anne McCandless saying the board should terminate Moore and live with the consequences, rather than be "blackmailed."
Right about then I was seated near Jerry Moore, and one of the plaintiffs--Dokor Dejvongsa--asked Jerry Moore who I was. Jerry Moore introduced me as "The black people hater, Gentrification Johnny."
"That's a terrible thing to say," I said to Moore, in a reproachful tone, and wrote something on my notepad to point out this conversation was on the record. It was only a few hours later Moore would take the stand and deny he ever told Kip Browne that "You like to kiss the white man's ass."
But back to Haddy. David Haddy testified that he was a witness to the fact E.B. Brown made a "concession speech," and also pointed out that Kip Browne's first official act, as chair, was to nominate E.B. Brown for Vice Chair. Haddy wouldn't characterize what happened as a coup d'etat. No, rather, it was majority rule.
Haddy testified the "New Majority" didn't know where the missing checkbook went. At that moment, Jill Clark turned to Jerry Moore and grinned. What a shame court room spectator sections aren't equipped with vomit bags.
Copping a phrase directly from blog coverage, Haddy said the new board members were doing everything they could to "keep the lights on." Haddy talked about getting the "Clean Sweep" neighborhood spring cleaning going again, after a hiatus which, according to one source, lasted "two or three years."
But, you know, some folks consider picking up litter in the street to be "gentrification."
Haddy characterized "Old Majority" fears about housing incentives as concerns that "white people would get the money." In response to a question by Jill Clark about whether there was a plan to have new elections for board officers, David Haddy answered, simply, "Yes."
A break came right about then. Somebody introduced Melony Michaels--the wife of identity theft victim John Foster--to City Councilman Don Samuels.
"SOMEBODY stole her husband's identity," said Kelly Browne, LOUDLY, not to Don Samuels but to the rapidly-retreating backside of Jerry Moore, "And SOMEBODY made $5,000 off that deal!"
Sigh. World peace wasn't exactly busting out in Room 1853, Hennepin County Government Center.
Though the testimony of David Haddy was calm, cooperative, non-confrontational...still raw, throbbing emotion hung in the air, like the sound of random gunfire in North Minneapolis.
But YOU KNOW what it would mean to rid North Minneapolis of random gunfire. Gee, that would be...