What would YOU do with that much money?

Would you pay for a year’s tuition at my alma mater, Carleton College?  It wasn’t that steep when I went there, luckily.  If it was, I’d never have been allowed to leave the Evans Hall dishroom.

Would you buy a car–or several of them?  My mid-life crisis car has always been an early ’70s Chevelle SS or Dodge Charger, and for that much dough I could get one of each!

Would you click over to Amazon.com to charge up two thousand copies of Davina Rhine’s book Rebel Moms, all because you aren’t Trish from Mississippi, winner of my first-ever book giveaway?  And you tend to overcompensate when you lose random blog raffles?

Probably not.

You’d think of something sensible to do with a pile of cash that large. If you were the mayor of a large city you might use it to fill potholes, clean up dirty parks, improve bike lanes–you know, the usual, boring, “make a city more livable” stuff.

My hometown, the everlovin’ City of Minneapolis, spent $42,429 on THIS:



 Photo credit: Occupy Homes MN

A recently released document shows that my city spent $42,429 to “protect” this empty home from the peaceful, but fiercely determined, protests of Occupy Homes activists.

The Cruz family claims that an online accounting error led them down the rabbit hole of foreclosure with PNC Bank, who had at one point pledged to work with the family to straighten out the mess and allow them to stay in the home on 4044 Cedar Avenue South. (HuffPo coverage of the standoff can be read here.)

Cedar Avenue is a north-south throughway that I use almost daily.  I’ve been by the Cruz house countless times, and I can attest that it is a fairly nondescript little thing, a dinky 1910s-era bungalow that is typical of the area.  It’s nothing fancy.  It is totally insignificant to a bank like PNC that holds assets of $270 billion.

Yet PNC somehow cowed my city into putting its muscle, and $42,429 of its cash, in the service of ridding the house of peaceful, but fiercely determined, protesters.

I was born in this city and have lived here for the vast majority of my life, but a story like this makes me fear that I slipped dimensions and entered Bizarro Minneapolis.  How do I slip back, I wonder?  In the meantime, I should head over to Lakewood Cemetery to see if Paul & Sheila Wellstone’s grave is moving….



Whew.  There’s still hope.

On that note, tomorrow is Occupy Homes’ #J21 National Day of Action Against PNC Bank.  People across the country will support David and Alejandra Cruz as they visit PNC’s Pittsburgh headquarters to hand-deliver loan modification documents to its CEO, Jim Rohr, who earned $16 million in 2011.

Wow! $16 million is a lot of money….!

It could buy 380,952 Minneapolis police actions like the one pictured above.  It could buy EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND copies of Rebel Moms, which would make it a bestseller so massive it would be immediately be turned into a major motion picture starring Kristen Stewart as Davina Rhine herself.









2 thoughts on “$42,429

  1. Minnesota Central

    Interesting post … who is this PNC Bank that you refer to ?

    Is it the same PNC Bank that benefited from TARP ? TARP has solved nothing and actually has set-up tax breaks for banks. (PNC Bank is entitled to a $5.5 billion tax break in acquiring National City that is almost equal to National City’s purchase price, and will also get National City’s share of $7.7 billion in bailout money.)

    Second, the question “What would you do with that much money ?” … it’s the fantasy question that my bride asks me quite often … especially when the Lottery gets really high … but since I have never bought a Lottery ticket, it is a moot question … but a fun one to answer. Invariably, I always respond with a litany of charitable causes … ranging from school scholarships to food shelves and even the local library.
    Most of us will never win the lottery, but Minnesota does have one man who has donated a lot of money (and time) to various charities. That would be former State Senator Glen Taylor … a Republican who most Minnesotans associate with the Minnesota Lynx (we like winners, first) and Minnesota Timberwolves (okay, let’s be kind and calling them “victory deficient”). Glen Taylor donations have benefited a lot of Minnesotans — libraries, nursing school, domestic violence facilities, etc. … and Minnesota is home to 66 libraries built by Andrew Carnegie (here’s a little detail) …. all that made me wonder, there is a mega-millionaire who wants to be CEO-in-chief … so I recognize that $42,429 would be a solid bet (versus $10,000 that he would consider to be a friendly wager) and I wondered what charities he supported ? How many a Mitt Romney libraries have been named ? How many Women’s Shelters did he open ?
    Well, turns out that his giving is largely required by his faith … 10% tithe. Here is his top donations over a ten year period were :
    1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: $4,781,000
    2. Brigham Young University: $525,000
    3. The United Way: $177,000
    4. Right to Play: $111,500
    5. The George W. Bush Library: $100,000
    6. Operation Kids: $85,000
    7. Center For Treatment of Pediatric MS: $75,000
    8. Harvard Business School: $70,000
    9. City Year: $65,000
    10. Deseret International: $50,000
    Weber State University: $50,000

    Well, at least George Bush got a library.


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