PAC Chairman John Edwards’ speech for tonight’s campaign kickoff fundraiser and victory celebration

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Hello and welcome.

I want to start by telling you a story: before tonight’s event I didn’t know what I was going to say. I googled “how to give a fundraiser speech.” The results suggested telling a story. A story that makes an emotional connection between your audience and your organization’s mission. Possibly involving children.

We all want a world for our children and grandchildren where local elected officials don’t minimize the influence of corporate money in our politics by saying things like: YEAH BUT WHAT ABOUT THE INFLUENCE OF BLACK LIVES MATTER?

That’s a huge red flag.

We don’t want our kids to turn on live TV to see a politician shouting repeatedly at her colleagues: “HAVE SOME BALLS!”

That’s just not an effective communication style.

Most importantly, try to envision a world free from brazen intellectual property theft — and complete disregard for the law — by a person we’re supposed to trust with vital government functions like taxation.

Just pause for a moment to imagine: what would it take to achieve such a world?

So, on April 1st we announced the formation of a PAC: We called ourselves “The Club for Taxpayer Justice and Not Carol.”

Just 25 days after we began, Carol Becker announced her retirement from the Board of Estimate and Taxation — a position she was first elected to in 2005.

TONIGHT, not only are we celebrating our 2021 campaign kickoff, we’re celebrating total victory — achieved with unprecedented speed.

Now — do I trust that Carol Becker is telling the truth about not running for re-election? I don’t. And neither should you. We should assume she’s trying to take the steam out of the powerful movement we’ve built over the last four weeks.

People say, fear is the great motivator. Tonight, I appeal not only to your hopes, but your darkest fears. I ask you to imagine that next time it’s your award-winning website she files a trademark application for.

This year, in 2019, we have achieved total victory with incredible speed — but this fight isn’t over. We will continue to stockpile campaign cash and fulfill our mission for 2021. That mission: restoring integrity to the Board of Estimate and Taxation by supporting candidates who aren’t Carol Becker.

Please join this fight:

Thank you all for coming tonight. God bless you and may God bless the City of Minneapolis.