It is always refreshing to find a politician who does not sound like a politician, one who just tells you what he actually thinks and not what he thinks you want to hear him say. That is Jeff Wagner, one of a field of 35 running for Mayor in Minneapolis. Jeff recently released a campaign ad that almost immediately went viral.
In the ad a woman stands in front of a lake and says, “You know what I want? A Minneapolis mayor that really represents the people.” At this point Wagner emerges from the lake carrying a coffee cup which he hands off to the woman before turning to address the camera saying, “Over a million dollars is going to be spent to become the mayor of Minneapolis, a hundred thousand dollar a year job… You’re not the ones deciding who you vote for. The media and the money is… I’m cool with making $100,000 a year. I will not take money from the developers, I will not take money from the political angle, I will not even go to the strip clubs — anymore! Wake the f*ck up!”
An opening like that must grab the attention of even the most uninterested. It raises a question that many of us have asked for years, why do politicians spend many times the amount that the job pays in pursuit of a job that will never (even if they serve for the rest of their lives) return as much as the original investment. Of course even while we ask that question, we know the answer, because with all of the outside money they are going to make by being in the job it will pay them a handsome dividend.
On his Facebook page Jeff says of himself; “I’M A SUPPORTER OF THE LITTLE GUY….THAT FIGHTS THE POWERS THAT BE……WATCH FOR BIG THINGS THAT WERE ABOUT READY TO DROP….AND OH I TOSS BAGS VERY GENTLY AT THE REAL JOB”
His Twitter account says he was, “born to make music video programming that pot smokers and beer drinkers will not turn the channel on.”
Minneapolis City Pages Blog recently conducted a twenty minute telephone interview with him learning that he is a baggage handler at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport where he says of his work, “I’m the one of the world’s most gentle luggage throwers.”
When asked why he chose to wear a bathing suit in his ad he said, “I’m big into fashion, and it was fashion week in New York.”
Explaining how he feels now that his video has gone viral, “What happens now is, I become a threat to the other candidates.”
Asked how well he hoped to do in the election he told the interviewer, “I just want to get more votes than Captain Jack Sparrow. Ranked choice voting is going to be a trip. If I have a shot at third or fourth place, I’m happy.”
Mr. Wagner says of his political aspirations,
“I’m not a politician, I’m just trying to change the way things are going. The truth is not even true.”
It is hard not to feel an affinity for a candidate for public office who is not afraid to speak in such an open manner. He does not seem to be inclined to put on an act, or to tell people what they want to hear. Wagner just talks plain about what he thinks should change and what he would like to do. He makes no pie in the sky promises that both he and the electorate know he cannot and will not keep. Good luck Mr. Wagner, we’ll be rooting for you.
Watch Wagner in action for yourself here: