Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Daily Glean: Michele Bachmann’s Dubious Achievement Award

In Tuesday’s local news roundup, the stylish congresswoman is panned by Esquire. The magazine loves Norm, but another poll has Franken up by 3. And: why one candidate shouldn’t do lawn signs.

Michele Bachmann makes Esquire’s list of 10 worst congresspeople — and this was before she said colleagues should be investigated. A Bachmann spokesperson tells AP’s Martiga Lohn, “We have tried to run a positive campaign.” The PiPress’ Dennis Lien says Bachmann “might” increase ads as national Dems plan a $1 million advertising bomb. Local Republicans get wobbly in their condemnations: Gov. Pawlenty says Bachmann’s “anti-American” insinuation wasn’t “appropriate,” but suggests she was having a bad day, rather than letting the mask slip.

More Bachmann: The congresswoman makes her own case at the D.C. site The Politico; she says the “spin machine is in serious overdrive,” without mention whose. Politico’s Daniel Libit also has an insightful piece on Bachmann’s lust for attention — she was on MSNBC only because McCain’s campaign couldn’t find another surrogate for a late Friday afternoon interview. Nancy Pelosi says Bachmann “discredited herself as a person,” according to Fox9.

Final Bachmann: Minnesota Independent’s Molly Priesmeyer has an actual issues piece on the 6th District campaign! Turns out the district has the highest foreclosure rates in Minnesota and one of the highest in the nation. While Bachmann has condemned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for overextending credit, her policy prescriptions don’t mesh up with the problems faced by many members of her district.

A new Strib poll puts Al Franken up 39-36 over Sen. Norm Coleman, with Dean Barkley getting 18 percent. Pat Lopez notes that women are favoring Franken by 9 points over the incumbent; expect more gauzy Coleman ads. Meanwhile, Barkley draws more support from men, limiting Coleman’s advantage. This is the third poll in the last two days that has the race within 3 points — Franken leads in two of them.

Article continues after advertisement

More Senate: KARE’s John Croman has a long profile of Barkley, which, while a good rundown of personality and positions, doesn’t really examine Ventura-era failings or Barkley’s lobbying days. He’s a real candidate, treat him as such — a good example is AP’s new Norm Coleman profile. Meanwhile, Esquire endorses Norm Coleman for re-election, which I think has something to do with the Neiman-Marcus suits.

No more Barack Obama appearances in Minnesota, AP’s David Espo reports. The front-runner will campaign exclusively in red states — wonder if he’ll show in re-emergent battleground North Dakota. Hillary Clinton will be up on the Range today, where racism dogs Obama, MPR’s Mark Zdechlik notes

The time has come: The U Medical School is considering a total ban on drug company gifts to doctors, the Strib’s Janet Moore reports. The policy would be the “toughest in the nation,” though other schools are considering something similar. Limited drug samples (for patients!) would still be allowed. Docs could still have consulting relationships, but those would be disclosed and more closely monitored. The draft is still being circulated.

An important piece from the Strib’s Neal St. Anthony about how government funding cuts hit social service nonprofits as people flock to their doors. St. Anthony contrasts the excruciating needs at the Washburn Center for Children with Hennepin County’s plans to “lay off up to 150 child protection, social workers and others to make that budget work in the face of contract-wage increases and higher expenses.”

AP says Tom Petters wants a judge to review a magistrate’s decision to keep him in jail. Petters’ lawyer calls a recorded conversation “too thin a reed” to keep him in custody. That was the conversation where Petters talked of false documents and fleeing the country. A Rochester bank reports a $7.1 million hit tied to Petters’ alleged fraud, according to the Rochester Post-Bulletin’s Jeff Kiger.

Really? Someone is proposing a new 24-story condo tower for downtown Minneapolis? The Strib’s Susan Feyder says the tower would rise above a proposed Lunds at 10th & Hennepin. It’s designed by the same folks who did the 39-story Carlyle by the Main Post Office. No plans have been submitted to the city, or to economic rationality.

MPR’s Elizabeth Baier has a great piece on local immigrants sending less money home as a result of economic conditions. Actually, the outflow will rise this year, but it won’t keep up with inflation, and is far below the 14 percent annual growth rate this decade. The recession’s local effects on immigrants (legal and otherwise) have been poorly chronicled, but it affects the local jobs and housing climate, so it’s nice to see someone take a stab at it.

It’s probably me not paying attention, but I was shocked by numbers from Twin Cities Daily Planet’s Scott Russell showing Minneapolis North High’s enrollment has fallen by more than half since 2004. My daughter’s Southwest Minneapolis elementary school has higher enrollment than North.

A few weeks ago, I was walking around my neighborhood and was startled to see a blue campaign sign labeled “Bush.” Turns out it was for Hennepin County District Judge Philip Bush — who should’ve emphasized the “Philip” as much as the “Bush.” The Strib’s Rochelle Olson says Bush, a former public defender with no presidential ties, is worried ignorant voters will turn him out solely because of his last name. By the way, WCCO’s Jason DeRusha reports that lawn signs are overrated.