[Note: A locally specific DNC Glean is here.]
Everyone in the free world reports Tim Pawlenty isn’t getting the VP nod. The still-guv coughed up the news on his WCCO-AM show this morning. “I plan to be at the State Fair. You can draw your conclusions from that,” he states. WCCO’s Sue Turner says the guv sounded bummed, and so are the media hanging out at the governor’s mansion.
By the way, if you believe the bilge about prediction markets accurately forecasting things, dumb InTrade money propelled Pawlenty last night, but now Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is rocketing up on Drudge Report rumors.
Fox9’s Tom Lyden notes the Critical Mass bike ride is tonight, and police fear a confrontation. What’s your InTrade bet? Lyden and Minnesota Independent’s Andy Birkey quote a National Lawyers Guild member saying Friday night arrests mean protesters could be held into Tuesday or Wednesday. That’s because of the Labor Day holiday. Lyden notes that of 19 Mass riders arrested for felony riot in a 2007 incident, only five were charged and two were convicted, of misdemeanors.
Sixty St. Paul police broke up a 25-person “Bushville” protest encampment on Harriet Island. MPR’s Laura Yuen says the break-up was peaceful. A police spokesman tells the PiPress’ Megan Boldt and John Brewer that the rousting was “good practice.” The group was protesting poverty but had no permit to camp overnight. There’s a photo slideshow included with PiPress story.
Related: Organizers of a big Monday protest march pledge it will be peaceful and safe, the Strib’s Randy Furst writes. They cut a deal with anarchists not to disrupt the route. (Anarchists cut deals?)
Pre-RNC photographer harassment has more journalists concerned. The PiPress’ Rubén Rosario talks to a “respected Washington, D.C. photographer” who says he wasn’t questioned in East Germany but was in St. Paul. Ex-FBI agent and Democratic congressional candidate Coleen Rowley says that police overreaction will “make it worse for maintaining security and civil liberties objectives.” Ex-MPR reporter Art Hughes opines against overreach in the PiPress.
The dailies don’t play up the possibility that Hurricane Gustav could postpone the GOP convention. A McCain spokesman started the frenzy Thursday by, ahem, floating the possibility, but a convention spokeswoman tells the Strib, “There’s absolutely no plan to postpone.” There are always contingency plans, a convention exec says.
RNC tidbits: The Virginia delegation canceled orders for The Rake’s “Secrets of the City” guide when they discovered LGBT ads, KARE’s Joe Fryar reports. South Carolina Republicans bought Twin Cities TV ads counteracting the “McCain’s homes” charge by stressing, over and over again, his five-plus years as a POW. KSTP’s Glen Barbour says a U letter emphasizing its code of conduct for off-campus activities could have a chilling effect on protest participation.
Duluth’s David Wheat will be an invited guest of John McCain this week. Wheat was a prison-mate of McCain’s in Vietnam. The Duluth News-Tribune’s Brandon Stahl offers a profile.
Maybe we don’t need the 35W bridge after all. A U study says average Twin Cities car trip increased by 12 seconds post-collapse, the PiPress’ Jake Govum writes. The extra I-94 driving lane helped, and high gas prices didn’t: People still drove as much. Of course, some commuters were messed up, but it’s the average that’s important here.
Politico says Norm Coleman’s landlord is behind ads attacking Al Franken. Jeff Larson’s firm does communications consulting for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is funding the ads attacking Franken’s tax payment. Larson, by the way, is also CEO of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Host Committee for the Republican National Convention.
Larry Clark, convicted last year for a 1970 St. Paul murder, may get a new trial. A judge improperly failed to tell jurors a witness’ testimony needed corroboration, the PiPress’s Richard Chin writes. The Strib’s Pat Pheifer says Ramsey County prosecutor and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Susan Gaertner may not pursue the complex, decades-old case again. Minnesota Supreme Court Alan Page thought the conviction should’ve been tossed with no new trial. In a 19-page dissent, he says there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Clark.
A Dakota County judge is accused of tossing 19 divorce mediation cases to his personal attorney,the PiPress’ Frederick Melo reports.Judge Timothy Blakely owed money on his own divorce and got a discount, the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards alleges. The judge denies it, and the state Supreme Court will appoint a three-person panel to investigate. The Strib’s Rochelle Olson notes that four judges were publicly disciplined last year — three from Dakota County. Voters down there need to pay a little downballot attention.
A legislative auditor’s report says DNR officials improperly spent $300,000 on a conference. They broke state laws to fund a trooper conference, reports the Strib’s David Shaffer, who broke the initial story. The PiPress’ Chris Niskanen says DNR commissioner Mark Holsten took responsibility. The auditor says Holsten created a lax climate that led to the misspending.
It was a bad day for a second state agency in a certain-non-VP’s administration. The legislative auditor said the state Labor Department mishandled tens of thousands of dollars because of lax financial controls, the PiPress’ Christopher Snowbeck notes.
Hennepin County faces a $29 million budget shortfall in 2009. That’s even with a 7.5 percent tax-hike goal, the Strib’s Mary Jane Smetanka writes. Commissioners are bumming about proposed human services job cuts, including child protection workers. The county board still has to vote on all this. Despite the tax hike’s near-certainty, most homeowners will pay less because of valuation declines. Businesses will pay more because their property values have risen. The county’s total budget is $1.6 billion.
Northwest began charging $15 for the first checked bag, the Strib’s Liz Fedor reports. Just in time for the RNC! WorldPerks Elite members get out of the surcharge. A recent oil-price drop won’t reverse the fee, an airline spokesman states.
Nort spews: The Twins lost to Oakland 3-2 on Kurt Suzuki’s ninth-inning double off Jesse Crain. Minnesota is now a game-and-a-half back of Chicago. The Vikings lost 16-10 to Dallas in the biggest exhibition-game ripoff ever. No Purple starter played.