In late January, shareholder/attorney Tim Flaherty and senior media advisor Glen Fladeboe embarked on a media tour through the cities of Alexandria, Moorhead, East Grand Forks, Thief River Falls and Bemidji to respond to the legislative majority’s “Phase 1” budget bill, which cuts roughly $1 billion in state spending, $149 million of which comes from city aid programs. Working on behalf of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC), Flaherty and Fladeboe joined mayors in discussing city aid programs with local editorial writers and explained that the impact of cutting these programs would fall hardest on rural communities like theirs.