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October 15, 2002 // UPDATED 1:32 pm - April 30, 2007
By: Skyway News Staff
Skyway News Staff

Minneapolis City Council Actions Meeting 10/11/02, Councilmember Barret Lane (13th Ward) absent.

Beauty Bar: The council granted an on-sale liquor license with Sunday sales, a sidewalk caf license and all-night special food license to Mel's Beauty Bar, 606 Washington Ave. N. 11-0, Councilmember Scott Benson (11th Ward) abstaining.

Liquor regulations: The council changed liquor ordinance language, deleting references to "incompetents" and "drunkards," and prohibiting alcohol sales to "obviously intoxicated persons." 12-0.

Impounded pets: The council established a requirement that pet owners leave a $40 deposit when they retrieve any impounded cat or dog older than six months, to be reimbursed if the owner provides pet sterilization records within 30 days.

COPS grants: The council accepted $3.1 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Justice for domestic abuse programs and community policing. 12-0.

Nicollet Mall: The council directed staff to publish hearing notices for a meeting on Oct. 31 to consider assessments for Nicollet Mall improvements, maintenance and operations. 12-0.

Lutheran Brotherhood: The council approved a one-year extension to Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (formerly Lutheran Brotherhood) on an interim use permit for a parking lot at 601 S. 5th St. The organization had asked for a three-year extension. 12-0.

Billboards: The council established a policy prohibiting the city from providing financial contributions to billboard advertising. 12-0.

Local legislative intern gains national fame...or infamy A young would-be legislator who interned for Nicollet Island state Rep. Phyllis Kahn, then told his boss he'd decided to run against her, is doing a bit of soul-searching over his decision. However, he said, he's not seeking forgiveness.

"I don't really regret it because I've learned a lot from it," said Jason Samuels, 25, who told Kahn last spring that he would run against her as a Green Party candidate. Kahn, a DFLer, is running for re-election in District 59B, which includes the Nicollet Island-East Bank neighborhood near Downtown.

Samuels became nationally famous -- or infamous -- after Kahn wrote a New York Times Magazine columnist, "The Ethicist," asking whether she was right to feel betrayed. "Should I have been more alert to this possibility?" she asked in a letter published in the magazine Oct. 20.

Said Samuels, "As far as thinking whether it's right or wrong, I still think I have a lot of thinking to do about that. It's something I still think about and am still going to think about for a long time."

He won't, however, have to think about how he'll unseat Kahn. A state Supreme Court ruling recently stripped Samuels' name from the ballot for maintaining a residence two-and-a-half blocks outside the recently redrawn 59B when he filed his candidacy.

"I did my best to state a case for residency; I promptly got moved to a different address in the district," Samuels said.

However, the court ruled he did so too late.

Kahn said she wasn't involved in getting Samuels booted from the ballot. "I had no involvement ... except telling people in the district about it and answering questions from the attorney," she wrote in an e-mail to Skyway News.

Kahn forwarded an undated e-mail sent her by Paul Soper, director of internships at the University of Minnesota's political science department. Soper said he tried convincing Samuels that a campaign against his boss was both "unethical" and "just stupid."

Soper wrote he wasn't sure he got across to Samuels that a candidacy would be wrong, but thought he made headway convincing the student it would look bad and possibly torpedo his future ambitions.

Indeed, Samuels said that after Kahn fired him for using his insider position against her, he withdrew from the race.

However, he said, his desire to run for political office was longstanding -- predating his internship with Kahn. Eventually, he filed his candidacy.

"I understand the conflict," he said. "But I know that I didn't intend to be malicious, I didn't intend to act unethically. But what happened, happened." -- Kevin Featherly