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Daily Glean: A trillion little pieces: why Minnesota partisans splintered on bailout

Everyone leads with the bailout rejection, and Minnesota’s congressional delegation splintering 4-4. Patterns? None, really. Dems split 3-2 for while the GOP was 1-2 against. Among the yeses were the three most liberal (Ellison, McCollum, Oberstar) and one of the most conservative (Kline). The noes featured more moderate members (Ramstad, Walz, Peterson) and a rock-ribbed conservative (Bachmann). The PiPress, AP and MPR have quotes; WCCO’s Esme Murphy and Pat Kessler have video. (MinnPost coverage here.)

Why they voted no: The Strib’s Mitch Anderson says DFLer Tim Walz believes the bill didn’t target foreclosures; Ramstad said there wasn’t enough debate and, thus, no true cost. Bachmann thinks suspending business taxes will do the trick, plus a mortgage insurance program experts think won’t work. Peterson tells MPR’s Tom Scheck he didn’t think the bill would work. The standard “yes” line: The bill stunk, but a better bill was uncertain and nothing would be worse. 

Senate views on the bailout? The U.S. Senate didn’t vote, but in the AP piece, Norm Coleman sounds like a yes. Al Franken sounds like more of a no in Stribber Kevin Duchschere’s blog report.

A Strib editorial castigates “lawmakers who recklessly voted down the measure” but doesn’t really say if Kline, Walz, Peterson and Ramstad fall into that category. A little dot-connecting, oh timid ones.

KSTP’s Tom Hauser is the latest TV newser to score interviews with Barack Obama and John McCain. Hauser’s timing is great, coming on the bailout rejection’s heels. Obama pokes Republicans who claim they voted against the bailout because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a partisan speech; McCain repeats his advocacy against mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. By the way, Minnesota Independent’s Andy Birkey notes Bachmann does not blame Pelosi for the bailout rejection.

It could be worse: You could be a Sun Country employee. How the hell does the struggling airline expect people to survive on half-pay? KSTP’s Mark Alberts says management promises to reimburse the 850 workers, with interest, in 2009. Will the check come in the mail? Owner Tom Petters, is, uh, indisposed.

More Sun Country: WCCO’s Liz Collin notes employees are already working for reduced pay, but the half is figured from their full wages. The Strib’s Liz Fedor says unions, unsurprisingly, haven’t signed off — but are considering it. The PiPress’ John Welbes and Nicole Garrison-Sprenger observe that Sun Country is adding flights and planes. Management’s letter is here.

Meanwhile, Petters quit as chairman and CEO of Petters Group. He still owns what for now is a $2.3 billion company but is under investigation for what may be a $2 billion fraud. The Strib’s David Phelps reports ex-prosecutor Doug Kelly will assemble a new management and legal team, salting in outsiders. The PiPress’ Welbes and Garrison-Sprenger include local business icon Ted Deikel’s lament that he lent at least $10 million to Petters.

The Strib’s Chris Serres says Wells Fargo was on the verge of acquiring Wachovia Corp. but failed. The deal would’ve made Wells one of the nation’s Big Three banks, but Citigroup swooped in. Wells is currently a distant No. 4 but things could change; Serres notes both Citi and Wachovia are troubled. No details on how the deal went down, but at the rate things are going, Wells could get another chance if it remains standing.

Two Minnesota pharmacists will reap $1.44 million for blowing the whistle on Walgreens’ phony Medicaid billing, the Strib’s Paul Walsh writes. The two pharmacists haven’t been identified but will speak with reporters when their attorney can be present. Walgreens billed several states $9.9 million for uninsured patients whom Medicaid actually covered.

Remember the house full of videographers raided the weekend before the Republican National Convention? A newly released search warrant alleging weapons delivery turned up only boxes of books, the Strib’s Pat Pheifer writes. That vindicates the homeowner, who owns Arise Bookstore’s building and gets regular print deliveries for his nonviolent advocacy. For some reason, the warrant was misfiled, delaying its release and exposure. KSTP notes Sara Jane Olson was listed as an Arise co-owner.

Turns out a Minnesota minister did participate in an “endorse-in” this weekend. The civil disobedience was aimed at federal tax privileges you get for not making pulpit political endorsements. According to the Strib’s Paul Walsh, the Rev. Gus Booth, a Republican National Convention delegate from Warroad, says prohibiting such endorsements violates free speech; the counterclaim is Booth can say whatever he wants, but his church can’t get a tax break for doing it.

In the motorcycle-strapping murder of an Anoka woman, the alleged accomplice was a police informant, the PiPress’ Brady Gervais reports. Timothy Boland is accused of helping his brother kill a girlfriend and cover it up with a motorcycle crash. He apparently also helped the Anoka-Hennepin Drug Task Force. A top cop says that Boland-assisted investigations won’t be compromised but now, “his value as an informant is pretty much zero.”

A new Minneapolis cold case unit thinks it’s solved its first case — the 19-year-old murder of Brenda Pikala. The Strib’s David Chanen says the connection was made using DNA under the victim’s fingernails. The perp was already in jail for violating probation on a drunken driving charge. Alfred Moen was charged with second-degree murder Monday.

Gray wolves are back under federal protection. The Strib’s Tom Meersman reports that it’s now harder to kill them; you can’t just shoot ’em to protect livestock or pets. According to the PiPress’ Dennis Lien, a judge ruled the feds couldn’t create a distinctly unendangered gray wolf population and remove wolves that remain nationally endangered. A planned hunting season will be further postponed.

On Monday, I wondered if there was more to the story about Iron Range DFL icon Dougie Johnson endorsing Norm Coleman. Minnesota Independent’s Karl Bremer promptly answered, noting Johnson is one of many lobbyists for a big up-north “clean coal” plant Coleman has championed. MPR’s Bob Collins appears alone among the media biggies acknowledging this, and provides more on other Johnson-Coleman insight here.

Related: The Independent’s Steve Perry notes Coleman is in the Top Ten for oil/gas contributions among U.S. Senate candidates.

Embarrassment for Ashwin Madia’s congressional campaign: A few days after a GOP operative filmed a Madia volunteer taking opponent law signs from a public right of way, Fox9’s Tom Lyden discovers a paid DFL canvasser who took a little girl’s scooter for a ride. Penny-ante stuff — do we really want campaigns doing criminal background checks for volunteers? — but it’s certainly bad synergy for the 3rd District DFLer.

Nort spews: Well, advantage White Sox. Chicago’s 8-2 makeup win over Detroit forces the Twins to U.S. Cellular Field. Minnesota is 2-7 there, and trots out its No. 4 starter, Nick Blackburn. He faces John Danks, who is pitching on three days’ rest; Danks was pounded the last time he tried that.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by John Olson on 09/30/2008 - 12:31 pm.

    Ummm….David…..your statement:

    “Embarrassment for Ashwin Madia’s congressional campaign: A few days AFTER A GOP OPERATIVE (emphasis mine) was filmed taking opponent law signs from a public right of way…..”

    As I recall from the Fox9 story, wasn’t it actually a person with ties to the *MADIA* campaign that was FILMED by a GOP operative (allegedly) taking down Paulsen signs and trying to throw them away?

    If I am wrong on this, I’ll take my share of Boof Bonser wild pitches without a mask on! 😉

    [DAVID WRITES: John – you are absolutely right. Copy is fixed; I’m the one who deserves the pitches to the face! I know what I meant but, well, that’s not what my fingers typed. Appreciate you reading to the end, and sending the correction.]

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