Skip to main content
Wedge LIVE!

Wedge LIVE!

By John Edwards
A show about Minneapolis politics from the maker of Wedge LIVE, the award winning local news website.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo

Breaker

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Kate Knuth, candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis
John is joined by guest co-host PeggySue Imihy. The guest is Kate Knuth, candidate for mayor of Minneapolis. We start the show by playing PeggySue's theme song. Then we poke fun at a rival podcast host. John expresses disappointment in PeggySue's late decision to become a city delegate and reveals he takes pleasure in the pain of Ward 10 candidate David Wheeler. Kate and PeggySue bond over their shared heritage in the suburbs of NE Minneapolis. John asks Kate if she thought she'd ever run for office again after three terms in the state legislature (2007-2013), the urgency she felt to run for mayor, and if she's ready for things to get mean. Kate disputes Mayor Frey's fear-based framing of this year's choices for mayor. We talk about what a potential Department of Public Safety would look like at the end of the next mayoral term, why Kate would succeed where all other mayors have failed, her resistance to making big promises she can't back up. PeggySue asks about the Roof Depot site, and pushes Kate to get specific about whether soldiers on street corners was the right approach for Operation Safety Net. As someone who's spent a career working on climate change, what does "Kate Knuth, Climate Mayor" mean for housing policy, transportation, street design, and energy policy? PeggySue demands more housing. I nominate PeggySue for the Planning Commission. John asks, what does rent stabilization accomplish? Does Kate support the strong mayor charter amendment? PeggySue bashes the Charter Commission. We close the show by pressuring (bullying?) Kate into revealing better "fun facts" than the ones on her website. PeggySue: "The fun facts on your website are bad." Here's what we unearthed: Did you know Kate Knuth used to rollerblade along the shore of Lake Michigan to her job sequencing moth DNA at the Field Museum in Chicago? Or that she has an irresistible urge to dance whenever she hears the song Timber by Ke$ha? And something else about a pet millipede named Milton. We hope you'll soon be able to check kateformpls.org for these updated fun facts. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:21:43
May 6, 2021
Sheila Nezhad, candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis
John is joined by guest co-host Jason Garcia, and they begin by chatting about the state of the race for mayor. Then, a conversation with Sheila Nezhad, candidate for mayor of Minneapolis. Sheila's a policy organizer with Reclaim the Block, who's spent the past few years pushing Minneapolis elected officials to divert funding away from police into alternative approaches to public safety. What does Sheila think of Mayor Frey's fear-based framing of the 2020 election? What would a potential department of public safety look like in four years? What do people misunderstand about her positions? What's the alternative to soldiers on street corners during times of civil unrest? We also talk about crowd control weapons, George Floyd Square, a vision for the city's public works department, housing, the strong mayor proposal, a newfound perspective on sexism that women experience running for office, Ruby the dog, and if Sheila was disappointed at losing the endorsement of the DFL Senior Caucus. Among this episode's gotcha moments: Sheila admits she is to blame for the great police horse budget debate of 2020 and that Jessica Simpson is an "inspiration." Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:18:06
May 4, 2021
DFL Caucus Data Dump with Conrad Zbikowski
Minneapolis DFL caucus registration closed on April 30, so we're checking in with data wizard (and cat tour cinematographer) Conrad Zbikowski for an early look at the results. Over 10,000 people registered -- 3,000 of them in the final two days. 4,500 yet-to-be-confirmed caucus registrants have until midnight on May 7 to input the security code mailed to their home address. We don't know who has the most supporters or who the delegates are. The actual endorsement won't be decided until June. We don't know much of anything, so the most compelling part of this episode might be Conrad looking up John's private information in the DFL database. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
53:08
May 2, 2021
Where Will They Park?
Parking has an impact on everything from the environment to housing affordability to public health to foreign policy. John talks with two people excited that the city of Minneapolis is about to eliminate car parking minimums once and for all. Linnea Goderstad's concerns about climate change led her to join up with Neighbors for More Neighbors, and work to move us away from the car-centric way cities are built and designed. Chris Meyer is a Minneapolis Parks Commissioner and member of the Planning Commission. We talk about the history of parking reform in Minneapolis, including the nationally-heralded 2015 reforms (thanks Lisa Bender) that started this conversation. John asks someone to explain what a TDM is, and how it's changing -- Linnea says the city is shifting "Travel Demand Management Plans" (a requirement placed on certain kinds of development) away from requirements that promote car infrastructure and towards an emphasis on helping the city meet its goals for transit, biking, and walking. We talk about Hennepin Avenue and all the unused off-street parking the Star Tribune won't tell you about. John counts all the ways he admires Linnea, including the time she unwittingly saved an innocent from Carol Becker. Chris tells us about his love for velcro shoes and the time he won $25,000 at a national geography bee. And we take a voicemail from Anton's mom, who offers an assessment of last week's Steve Fletcher episode (co-hosted by her son), and suggests John ask his guests about their favorite bus route. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:02:36
April 27, 2021
Risa Hustad, candidate for Minneapolis Park Board in District 6
John interviews Risa Hustad, who once led him into danger on Lyndale Avenue. Risa is running for Minneapolis Park Board in District 6 (southwest Minneapolis). Because the Minneapolis Park Board is the meanest level of municipal government, John challenges Risa to "prove to us you're not a malignant personality." Topics include Burger King, Lake Chipotle, Embers family restaurant, keeping pollution out of our lakes, park accessibility, encampments, and park police. What does it mean for something to be good for the parks but bad for Minneapolis as a whole? What makes a leader? Risa refuses an opportunity to settle an age old debate: full court or half court basketball? John suggests that in addition to pollution and safety concerns, cars are making our parks too damn loud. We also take an Aldi-themed listener voicemail. Caucus registration is ongoing through the month of April. Don't forget to check the box to become a delegate: caucus.dfl.org Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
53:59
April 23, 2021
Steve Fletcher, Minneapolis City Council Member in Ward 3
Our guest is Steve Fletcher, who represents Ward 3 on the Minneapolis City Council. In the wake of the police killing of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, we talk about how to break the cycle, the need for a new system of public safety, and Steve's work fleshing out what that looks like in Minneapolis. John bemoans a year of crime and safety politics that haven't made sense, and worries that we're going to get really good at declaring states of emergency and deploying soldiers to street corners -- but not actually address the problem of police regularly killing Black men. We talk about Mayor Frey's absence from Friday's Council meeting, not taking questions in the wake of a emergency declaration early in the week. Other topics: the strong mayor proposal, what we need from the city's next mayor, the facial recognition ban, short term rental regulations, parking minimums, and the evolution away from aldermanic privilege (a system where individual council members decide how rules apply differently in their ward). John's co-host for this episode is his dearest friend in Minneapolis, cybersecurity expert Anton Schieffer. John and Anton team up to do the most compelling thing you can do on a podcast: drawing mental maps of potential redistricting outcomes for City Council ward boundaries.  Episode recorded Friday, April 16, 2021. Caucus registration is ongoing through the month of April. Don't forget to check the box to become a delegate: caucus.dfl.org Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
01:26:08
April 20, 2021
Mike Norton, candidate for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 13
John is joined by co-host Pine, who is unreasonably excited about the opportunity to interview Ward 13 candidate Mike Norton. Pine's connection to Ward 13 consists entirely of finding the name Palmisano on a mailbox during a visit to Italy. Norton is an award-winning business leader who was once falsely accused of being a media mogul by a crime-themed Facebook page. He tells us he he felt compelled to run because nobody else was willing, and Ward 13 deserves a choice in 2021. But his policy positions face an uphill battle in conservative southwest Minneapolis -- he supports the public safety charter amendment (which would give the City Council more policy control over MPD) and the 2040 plan that would allow more variety of housing in Ward 13. We also talk about our hopes and dreams for Hennepin Avenue, Norton's diagnosis with Asperger's syndrome in 2019, and play "Who is that local mayor?" Norton tells us about his dog Maleficent J. Woofingtons. He shows us the skull and crossbones lining of his blue blazer, and explains why it's inscribed with "bad motherf----r." Episode recorded Sunday, April 11. Caucus registration is ongoing through the month of April. Don't forget to check the box to become a delegate: caucus.dfl.org Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
01:14:07
April 15, 2021
BIG HUGE MINNEAPOLIS ENDORSEMENTS
2021 election season is underway in Minneapolis! In a conversation continued from our previous episode, Taylor, Jason, and John give their endorsements for Mayor and City Council (note: only John's endorsements are approved by the Wedge LIVE editorial board). Check out John's written endorsements at wedgelive.com/caucus. To have a say in the virtual Minneapolis DFL endorsement process, register to caucus and become a delegate at caucus.dfl.org -- now through the end of April. This year's process is quick, painless, and entirely online. There's no reason not to do it. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
01:11:36
April 12, 2021
Taylor Dumps Norm Coleman
We're joined by Taylor, Simon the cat, and arena announcer (former Meatjacker) Jason Garcia. As we prepare for our upcoming Big Huge Endorsements episode (next episode), we talk about Taylor's teenage crush, former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, and her bizarre encounter with him at the State Fair. Taylor reports on a string of Minneapolis meat thefts over the years. I challenge Taylor and Jason to defend the mean tweets they direct at Mayor Frey. All three of us talk about the experiences that shaped our views on local politics. We take listener voicemails: one that's kind of weird, one that's very complimentary towards your host, and one with a question about intellectual property law. Finally, Taylor shows us her very large cat, Simon. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
25:15
April 9, 2021
Elliott Payne, candidate for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 1
A conversation with Elliott Payne, who's running for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 1. We ask Elliott about his time with the Minneapolis office of Performance and Innovation, public safety, transportation, why change needs a champion at city hall, and what he thinks about a proposal to restructure Minneapolis government to strengthen the mayor's office at the expense of the city council. John asks Elliott why he's potentially disrupting his life to run for office during hard times. Elliott expounds on his housing philosophy and what it means to be a dynamic and welcoming place. PeggySue pins Elliott down on his favorite Ward 1 restaurant. And most importantly, why are people calling it the "Eastside" instead of "Northeast"? Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
50:31
April 5, 2021
PeggySue Reads the Tweets
Co-host PeggySue Imihy joins me, as we prepare to interview Minneapolis City Council candidate Elliott Payne. PeggySue is originally from Columbia Heights but didn't let that stop her from usurping the throne of Miss Northeast Minneapolis. She's put that life behind her and is now interviewing powerbrokers and narrating tweets on a podcast (in addition to a blossoming urban planning career). The best co-hosts make sure their partner is prepared, so I tease PeggySue about the extensive Google document she put together in a failed attempt to make me a better host. If you'd like to hear our interview with Elliott Payne, stay tuned for the next episode. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
25:24
April 3, 2021
It's Caucus Season! with Devin Hogan, the Minneapolis DFL Chair
Minneapolis DFL Chair Devin Hogan is here to talk about the 2021 virtual caucus and convention process. I ask Devin what it feels like to get yelled at for fun, and how it felt to have Mayor Frey and a number of other City Council candidates try to cancel the work they'd put into having an endorsement process this year.  This year, the process is virtual which may increase participation. In a normal year, as a delegate, it could land you in a school auditorium for 10 hours. Why do we do this? Shouldn't we just have primaries? I admit to Devin that I hate caucuses and conventions - but have come around to the conclusion that it's better than not having them. Devin sounds committed to making the process less painful in future years. Check out minneapolisdfl.org for details on how to register so you can participate in the caucus starting April 1. Find out how it works and which candidates (57) are seeking the endorsement for 25 city offices - including mayor, city council, park board, and board of estimate and taxation. I tried to end this episode at 35 minutes but Devin insisted we talk about some hot topics, so consider that bonus content. This is the best deal in podcasting. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
01:03:59
March 30, 2021
BET WTF? with Christa Moseng
Christa Moseng is a career public servant and first time candidate running for the Minneapolis Board of Estimate & Taxation. The BET is a line on your ballot that may have confused you in prior years. I ask Christa to explain what the BET does and why she's qualified for this obscure role. We talk about the two elected members of the BET, their conservative approach, and what role ideology should play on a body with such limited scope. I ask Christa what it means that she has a .bet domain name (Is she a bingo parlor?). We commiserate over how hard it is to get people to call in to a pre-recorded podcast. Christa's campaign manager, Pine, tries and fails to join the conversation from a ten year old laptop.  And we have fun with BET President Carol Becker (who has said she's not running for reelection), who once tried (and failed) to steal the Wedge LIVE trademark and use it to start a podcast. We play audio of the time Becker repeatedly shouted "have the balls" at other public officials. And I talk briefly about the time Becker lied about city debt refinancing for the sake of TV news cameras. Watch this episode on YouTube. Join the conversation on Twitter: @WedgeLIVE For video clips from the show subscribe on YouTube. Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
43:32
March 25, 2021
Wedgie and the Meatjacker (and the Failed Microphone)
My microphone failed, but that didn't stop me from talking to Jason Garcia for 75 minutes. If you don't enjoy this episode's low quality, we know who to blame. It's Jason's fault for single-handedly wrangling 40+ subscribers during the week of the Wedge LIVE Pledge Drive. It has forced me into the podcasting business.  Jason's from a small town, the kind of place that teaches you the value of bullying the mayor. Jason talks about bringing that attitude to Minneapolis, mopping the floor with a 5th grade version of Ronald Reagan (during a stint as a Walter Mondale impersonator), and the joys of nextdoor.com. We talk about backyard meat storage and team up to form the tri-neighborhood area's wackiest radio duo: "Wedgie and the Meatjacker." Finally, we play a listener voicemail. How do we already have a listener? Join the conversation on Twitter: @WedgeLIVE For video clips from the show subscribe on YouTube. Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
01:16:22
March 22, 2021
Coming Soon: The Wedge LIVE Podcast!
Tired of having local news delivered through your eyeballs? Open your ear holes for the Wedge LIVE podcast. Join host John Edwards, a less compelling version of Chuck Todd, for hard hitting interviews with newsmakers and power brokers. This is just like the tweets, only worse, and harder to digest. Coming soon!
00:37
March 5, 2021