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Mondale and Carlson: Nix Voter ID

What do these guys know? Walter Mondale and Arne Carlson team up for a Strib commentary urging rejection of the GOP’s Voter ID initiative: “We in Minnesota lead the nation in voter turnout, and our elections are the most honest. We have recently gone through two very close elections and recounts without a single case of fraud. There is a reason why — our insistence that election laws be designed in a bipartisan fashion. That is key. No party should have an election advantage. Unfortunately, the voter ID constitutional amendment was passed by the Legislature on a strict party-line vote. Not one Democrat in either the House or the Senate voted for it. Not one. Further, this proposed amendment does not have its origins in Minnesota, nor does it come about as a result of legislative studies of recent elections. It is a product of an organization known as ALEC, which is the creation of the Koch brothers, who amassed their fortunes in oil and who live in Florida.”


The state’s Chippewa tribes will soon be getting a $28 million check from the feds. John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune reports: “The U.S. House passed legislation Monday night that will release more than $28 million in federal money to Minnesota Chippewa tribes and tribal members. The money was part of a court settlement 13 years ago but has been held up because of disagreement among bands over how the funds should be distributed. The Leech Lake Band of Minnesota Chippewa continues to oppose the settlement but it appears the deal may now go through despite that opposition. … The United States Court of Federal Claims awarded and appropriated $20 million to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe in 1999. This settlement appropriation was to compensate the descendants of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota for the improper valuation of timber and the taking of land under the Nelson Act of 1889.” I like that one: the “improper valuation” …  

The most amazing story — so far from the Duluth flooding is of the 8-year-old swept six blocks through a storm sewer. The AP story says: “An 8-year-old boy is OK after being swept about six blocks through a culvert in flooded Proctor. St. Louis County Undersheriff Dave Phillips says the boy suffered some cuts, scrapes and bruises but is fine. Phillips says the boy somehow was swept into the culvert Wednesday afternoon and traveled about six blocks before he ‘popped up’ down current.
The undersheriff calls it a ‘miracle out of this whole disaster.' "

Have you seen some of these rainfall numbers? From the News Tribune:  
“24-hour rainfall totals through 6 p.m. Wednesday
Lakewood Township: 10.1 inches
Two Harbors: 9.9
Duluth’s Denfeld neighborhood: 9
Munger Trail outside Duluth: 8.6
Piedmont Heights: 8.5
Alborn : 8.4
Proctor: 8.3
Floodwood: 7.8
Wrenshall: 7.8
Scanlon: 7.7
Kettle River: 7.6
Island Lake Reservoir: 7.4
Duluth’s Endion neighborhood: 7.4
Hermantown: 7.3
Duluth International Airport: 7.3”

If you’ve followed the story, this won’t surprise you. Kevin Giles of the Strib says: “The promoter of Stillwater's ill-fated Lumberjack Days, already under criminal investigation, has filed for bankruptcy to liquidate extensive personal debt. David W. Eckberg and his wife, Stacy A. Einck, owe nearly 200 creditors, according to documents filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Minneapolis. … Eckberg came under investigation in October when several vendors and nonprofit groups told Stillwater police that he owed them money and in some cases, issued worthless checks. Those complaints led to a six-month investigation by the Washington County Sheriff's Office that produced volumes of findings.”

For those who struggle with math, $588,000 is not the same as $1.4 million … which was Wednesday’s story. Catharine Richert of MPR reports:, “Minnesota for Marriage, the primary group backing a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman, has raised roughly $588,000 this year, according to a new finance report. That's far less than the $1.4 million the group said it had raised Wednesday in a press release. It appears that figure refers to the total amount the group has collected since it launched its campaign last year, not the cash it has raised since Jan. 1 of this year. The largest donation of $400,000 came from the Minnesota Catholic Conference Marriage Defense Fund, an organization that has been collecting money from various diocese and Knights of Columbus groups. The Minnesota Family Council Marriage Protection Fund kicked-in $150,000 and the National Organization for Marriage donated $15,000.”

At City Pages, Casey Michel didn’t get much help from Archbishop John Nienstedt or the various anti-gay marriage proponents, but he delivers a cover story that leaves little doubt where Nienstedt is coming from: “Nienstedt first showed his willingness to [toe] the church's anti-gay line while working as a bishop in New Ulm, which happened to coincide with the release of Brokeback Mountain. Nienstedt forbade his fellowship from seeing the film — a unique step among American bishops. Even more odd, he felt the need to explicitly detail the reasons for his decision in the diocesan bulletin. ‘He described these scenes of wanton anal sex,’ says Michael Sean Winters, who covers the American church for the National Catholic Reporter. ‘I don't know why those little old ladies, who are two-thirds of the people that get the bulletin, had to read that.’ … So far the Archdiocese of St. Paul is the largest fiscal contributor in supporting Minnesota's same-sex marriage ban, donating $650,000 to Minnesota Catholic Conference, the self-described ‘public policy voice for the Catholic Church in Minnesota,’ according to the most recent filing. Meanwhile, MCC has donated $350,000 to Minnesota for Marriage. The Diocese of New Ulm and the Diocese of Duluth have both contributed $50,000 to MCC. [Fr. Mike] Tegeder has said that these were ‘parishioners' funds,’ but officials with MCC say the funds come from ‘investment income.' This may be the case, but it is little consolation to the 21 parishes that have either shuttered or merged due to budgetary constraints during Nienstedt's tenure.”

The fraud beat keeps a guy busy. Dan Browning of the Strib moves on to … coin dealers: “It looks like a controversial coin dealer in downtown Minneapolis will be having a going out of business sale. John Stoebner, an attorney appointed to oversee the operations of International Rarities Corp. as it tries to reorganize its debts, told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel Wednesday that the firm ‘has little prospect of improving its profitability’ and should be sold or liquidated. Michael Fadlovich, an attorney for the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, agreed. If the company's assets can be sold before a conversion to Chapter 7 that would be great, he said, but the process should be expedited. … Many Twin Cities coin brokerages, including International Rarities, have been staffed with ex-cons and individuals with serious substance-abuse problems. The [Strib] investigation also raised questions about International Rarities owner David Marion's attempts to take his company public. The FBI said in a September court filing that it has reason to believe that Marion ripped off customers and investors in an unsuccessful national expansion, and spent lavishly on himself, including regular casino visits.”

Talk of T-Paw becoming Mitt Romney’s running mate has Ed Morrissey, via the conservative True North site, saying: “Most of the other candidates for the position are either evangelicals or Catholics (Rubio and Bobby Jindal specifically), and either would suffice for that purpose.  A Catholic might be an even better reminder of the attack on religious liberty launched by the Obama administration via the HHS mandate.  Pawlenty keeps his faith low key but does discuss it comfortably on occasion, which may come in handy in the next few months. In many ways, Pawlenty is a traditional running-mate option.  He carries some geographical heft in an area where Romney needs to compete (the Midwest, especially Iowa and Wisconsin), has a, er, sterling resumé as a two-term Governor of Minnesota, could take over the top job in a heartbeat if necessary, and won’t overshadow the nominee on the campaign trail.  Having watched Pawlenty up close as a chief executive for eight years, I know he’s a highly competent and tough campaigner, even if he did make the mistake of going all-in too early in Ames, Iowa last year.  He connects with people better than Romney does, and after having had to fight a Democratic-controlled legislature for the last four years of his term as governor, knows how to fight and win on legislative matters, perhaps also better than Romney does.” That's right folks, he used the word “sterling” to describe T-Paw’s work here.

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Comments (3)

Voter ID

I have been a voter on the Lower East Side of New York, a village in northern New Mexico and locally in Bloomington, South Minneapolis, South St. Paul and Bayport. In all of those polling places I was recognized by the staff. For me it was frequently a meeting of neighbors for the first time. That is genuine voter identification.

In Bloomington the clerk didn't care for my signature and was intent on denying my vote despite the fact that I had a Minnesota driver's license with my picture. The clerk was over ruled by a supervisor. I lived in an apartment building. Perhaps the address had a reputation for certain voting habits.

I'm less confident about what becomes of my vote. When Lyndon Johnson ran for President the NY Times noted on page one that northern New Mexico liked to delay their report until they knew how many votes the Democrats needed. Wisconsin citizens seem to have had some like experience.

Tim for Veep

I can't wait to see those videos of the 35W bridge falling down again, and again, and again. . . . Tim Pawlenty's fiscal conservatism in action.

Duluth flooding has so many issues yet to be explored

Looks like all the Zoo animals are almost accounted for, except maybe, a vulture whose political orientation has never been officially verified but whose flesh eating appetite makes it difficult to establish who is eating whom.Right or left... flip a coin or a soggy slug?

Another species has been viewed in large numbers; jogging creatures multiplied in the early morn going nowhere all at once on Park Point; a neighborhood pretty much unscathed by the flooding and still fine for runners.

Duluth could learn a lot from Minot North Dakota whose homes in the valley were damaged extensively a year ago and though standing homes were gutted and sanitized a year ago...dangerous mold has been found growing again in those sanitized homes...sad stories indeed.

Plus add to the rip-offs on some who sold fine homes ; flooded and gutted and sanitized to speculators early on -175,000 homes going for 30,000 bucks. Then in comes federal funds giving almost original value funding to 'owners of flooded homes'.

However too often many who sold their homes too quickly essentially got nothing in the process since they sold their homes to speculators who made a bundle after buy-outs when federal funds arrived. Hopefully 'adjustments were made but have read nothing on such an 'adjustment' so far..never a certainty but ever a question best way to go here, eh?

Greed will be an ever-present factor as the flooded neighborhoods began to restore their lost sense of place...just a couple of thoughts processing....