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Evangelist files election complaint against Bachmann

This is what happens when you stiff the staff. Kevin Diaz of the Strib says: “A top adviser in Michele Bachmann's 2012 White House bid has filed a complaint with federal election officials alleging campaign finance violations involving her presidential campaign and the independent political action committee she leads. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint was filed Tuesday by Peter Waldron, a widely known evangelist enlisted by the Bachmann campaign for outreach to Christian conservatives. The filing follows his allegations last week that the Bachmann campaign has withheld payments to staffers who refused to sign confidentiality agreements. Waldron, formerly Bachmann's national field coordinator, is accusing the campaign of improperly dipping into money from MichelePAC to pay longtime fundraising consultant Guy Short for presidential campaign work he performed in the critical final weeks ahead of Iowa's caucuses last year. … nobody in the campaign or in Bachmann's congressional office responded Tuesday to Waldron's FEC complaint alleging improper ties between Bachmann's PAC and her campaign.” I assume the congresswoman was out of the office, repealing Obamacare.

If truth matters, the passing of Karl Bremer is indeed a sad day. Mary Divine of the PiPress says: “Stillwater writer Karl Bremer started rabble-rousing when he was a young boy. Bremer, the co-author of ‘The Madness of Michele Bachmann: A Broad-Minded Survey of a Small-Minded Candidate,’ died Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 15, at his house in Stillwater Township, from complications related to pancreatic cancer. He was 60. Bremer was a tenacious muckraker, an award-winning blogger and an avid photographer. His blog — Ripple in Stillwater — was named Best Local Blog by City Pages in 2012. He also received several Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists awards for best use of public records. … Bremer was ‘one of the greatest muckraking reporters that Minnesota has ever produced,’ said Ken Avidor, who, along with Eva Young, co-wrote with Bremer the book about Bachmann. ‘He had a bit of troublemaker quality about him, but he had a deep, deep, deep concern for his community and the state. He was a very strong environmentalist.’ ” Ms. Bachmann is no doubt relieved that so few in the mainstream press are as “excessive” as Karl was.

Neiman Marcus can’t get out of here fast enough. The Strib’s John Ewoldt reports: “Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is heaving its last gasp in downtown Minneapolis nearly a week earlier than planned. The ‘Good Buy’ sale, which Neiman's is calling its final sale, will end Jan. 26. The Texas-based retailer had originally planned to close Jan. 31, but strong sales of its clearance merchandise caused the retailer to move up the closing date, according to Ginger Reeder, vice president of corporate communications. Last week, nearly all of the full-priced merchandise was pulled from the racks and sent to other stores, leaving only a small selection of winter clearance discounted 55 to 65 percent.”

On the matter of bikes v. cars, the Strib’s Steve Brandt says: “Bikers like to point their finger at drivers as the reason for crashes and drivers do the same to bikers. It turns out both are almost equally to blame. A new analysis of 10 years of crash data has found that drivers and cyclists are almost equally at fault in the 270 reported bike-motor vehicle crashes that Minneapolis averages annually. Biker actions contributed to the crash in 59 percent of collisions, compared to almost 64 percent for drivers, according to the study presented Tuesday to the City Council. Sometimes both were judged at fault by investigating officers. Crashes often occur because drivers don't see or yield to bikes, the study found, or when bikers behave unpredictably by ignoring signals to stop or riding against traffic.” Then there’s the hipster biker after midnight, in head-to-toe black …

KARE-TV’s Allen Costantini files a report on the latest federal climate change data: “Minnesota could look and be very different in as little as 40 years, according to a draft report on climate change. … ‘As we get a warmer and warmer climate, it is shifting our energy use from winter to summer,’ [Great Plains Institute Executive Director Rolf] Nordstrom said. ‘That is the expectation. So, especially in a place like Minnesota, we use most of our energy in the winter to keep ourselves warm and most of that comes from natural gas. But, as the climate warms, we are going to be shifting more energy use to the summertime for cooling. That cooling is going to be driven by electricity and today much of that electricity is from burning coal.’
What does Nordstrom believe Minnesota should do? ‘I think it would be great if we could have a serious study that looked at what would a transition to a very low carbon or carbon-neutral system look like by mid-century. How much would it cost? What would be the step-wise milestones for getting there?’ said Nordstrom.” Or, if you’re a TV weatherman, you can continue to pretend it’s all a bunch of Chicken Little hysteria.

Related … The AP says: “Poor snow conditions have forced organizers to postpone the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in northeastern Minnesota. The race had been scheduled to start Jan. 27. It’s now postponed until March 10. Race coordinator Pat Olson tells the Duluth News Tribune that the trail is ‘terrible.’ Olson says organizers are hoping for snow by March 10. If it doesn’t snow, the race could face only its third cancellation ever.”

But I heard a guy on talk radio say felons were already voting, in fact several times for Democrats, every election … ? At the PiPress, Doug Belden says: “An elections task force created by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recommends the state switch to electronic poll books and at least consider letting felons vote once they're released from prison. The 15-member Task Force on Election Integrity — which included Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and the new chairs of the elections committees in the House and Senate — delivered its recommendations Tuesday, Jan. 15. Electronic poll books are meant to modernize polling-place operations. They're intended to save time and money by managing election records and registration information electronically. The issue is cost, said state Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Newport, a task force member and chairwoman of the Elections Subcommittee. No firm estimate is available at the moment, she said, because the cost would depend on what kind of poll book system is implemented. The task force was divided on the idea of making felons eligible to vote once they leave prison, as North Dakota does.”

The new Vikings stadium has made it to the uber-lefty website Think Progress. Travis Waldron writes: “The majority of the state’s financing of the stadium would come from revenues gained from new electronic gambling machines placed in bars and restaurants — an idea that seemed fool-proof to Dayton and legislators since Minnesota ranks among the biggest states in charitable gaming. Less than a year later, revenues from the electronic pull-tab machines are falling far short of projections, and even before ground has been broken on the new stadium, it already looks like a bad deal for Minnesota taxpayers. … Across the country, taxpayers are footing the bills for stadiums to the tune of $4 billion a year. Cities and states have used a host of public financing tactics, but the result is near-universal: revenue from such schemes falls short of projections, the city and state that financed the stadium are left with a shortfall and without the promised economic boom, and taxpayers eventually pick up the tab, whether through higher taxes or cuts to government services. Usually, hard evidence that stadiums and arenas are boondoggles doesn’t emerge for at least a few years. In Minneapolis, it became obvious before construction crews even broke ground.” But … we’re guaranteed a Super Bowl!

To date, it isn’t exactly a deep field … . Tom Scheck of MPR says: “State Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, isn't taking a run for higher office off the table. Rosen was asked whether she's running for governor in 2014 during an appearance on the MPR News Daily Circuit program today. Here's what Rosen said:

‘I'm talking to some very important people and looking at the direction of the Republican Party and seeing what we can do to help this party. Obviously we're on life support in many areas, and I think I can come to the table and really do some good things for this state because in the end it is what's best for the state. Women are interesting. They don't jump in unless they know they can do better and they're asked. I am being asked, and I do believe I can do better.’ ”

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Comments (8)

Uh-oh, you may have opened up

Uh-oh, you may have opened up a can of worms with the hipster-in-black comments...although it's a pretty common occurrence here in S Minneapolis.

My sympathies are generally with the bikers, since I commute by foot, and because for them a fender-bender is a part of their body being bent, vs. an actual fender. But the small (but not that small) cadre of bikers that wants to blow through lights and stop signs, and still be treated as cars, is a problem. The biking community probably is doing more than I'm aware of to try educate them, but more is needed. I'd like police to get serious about drivers not yielding to bikes/pedestrians, and about road bikers not following the rules of the roads.

Why?

Why would commenting on a biker dressed in black open a "can of worms"? It's simple physics - when it's dark outside, it becomes difficult to see dark things. And if those "dark things" are in the road with cars, they've increased their chances of being hit. There's a reason traffic signs and road markings are made of reflective materials, after all. Visibility matters.

Is "looking cool" really worth putting your life at risk?

I'm clearly in agreement with

I'm clearly in agreement with you. The "can-of-worms" comment just reflects that when bike/car articles get into the press, usually the comment section gets pretty hostile. Thus far this seems to be an exception...

Karl

I worked with Karl at a business magazine publisher decades ago. Even in that corporate environment, he was never shy about raising impertinent questions and calling b.s. when it needed to be called. I wish there was room for people like him and Nick Coleman in the modern mainstream press.

Can a felon's vote

be any worse than those cast by the rest of us? Or is there an assumption that one party would garner more votes than the other from the currently disenfranchised? It seems foolish to me, particularly given the relative few who vote. (Of the roughly 4 million adults in Minnesota, only 3 million are registered to vote. Only 75% of those voted in the last election, or roughly 55% of the adult population.)

If a felon is interested enough to vote, why not let him or her participate?

Is it just me or...

...doesn't it seem the same people who helped turn Park and Portland from three-lane streets with bike lanes into two-lane streets with bike freeways must also secretly want more global warming? Otherwise those third of a street-wide lanes are going to be chronically underpopulated from November through March. Tip: when Eric the Bike Man is advertising snowboards, your bikes belong in the garage.

Not that small? Try majority.

I'm a cyclist.

I obey all traffic rules, to the best of my ability, when I ride.

I am very much in the minority in this regard.

Thank you

Unfortunately, the traffic laws regarding bicyclists are confusing, too. Minnesota law says that a bicyclist does not need to remain stopped at a red light /if the light remains red for an unreasonable amount of time/. To some, it appears that this rule means that a stop is not required at all. And, while sidewalks are not for bicycles, I'd rather see a cyclist act like a pedestrian at a sidewalk (stopping at intersections--cyclists move faster than pedestrians, so it's hard to know that they're coming if you're turning in a car and the cyclist is on the sidewalk) than ride unsteadily on the street. There are all sorts of laws about handlebars and cycle size and I see lots of examples of breaking the law, but oddly, it seems that the unicyclists and weird-sized bicycle riders are some of the most sane. Probably because they're not in a terrible rush.

I wonder about how "fault" is determined, as well. I would guess that there's less of an overlap than the statistics would suggest.