With the Strib’s once-liberal editorial page having gone “rogue,” its endorsements now carry the frisson of the unexpected. The paper refuses to endorse in the 3rd Congressional District, denying DFLer Ashwin Madia a nod the old board would probably have given him, but saving its sharpest brickbats for Republican Erik Paulsen, about whom they have “significant reservations.”
And in the Bachmann-Tinklenberg race? The editorialists love Elwyn, finally noting — for the first time since the “anti-America” brouhaha — Michele Bachmann’s “list of bizarre incidents and statements that undercut her credibility as a political leader.” You can check out Bachmann’s new “Tink broke the law” website here and decide if it’s a credibility enhancer.
By the way, WCCO’s Jason DeRusha asks a “Good Question”: “Why do newspapers endorse, anyway?” Strib edit page editor Scott Gillespie notes the eight-person editorial board is not a democracy; he and publisher Chris Harte make the calls and didn’t talk party “much” when endorsing Obama and Coleman.
Aryan?! The Strib’s Pat Lopez checks in with a timely look at Minnesota “Ticketsplitters,” who will help decide the U.S. Senate race. They’re not undecideds who wait for late info, but a small group of voters who decide on a candidate’s “personality and character.” Like the Duluth Franken backer who won’t support Obama because she was “raised Aryan.” Character, huh? Obama-Coleman supporters are more benign.
More splitters: Lopez cleverly notes that if all of Obama’s or McCain’s supporters voted for the party’s Senate nominee, Franken or Coleman, respectively, would win. 26 percent of Obama’s backers disdain Franken, and 20 percent of McCain’s dump Coleman.
The pro-Norm “comic book” mailer bursts from the blogs to make the PiPress’ front page. The hit piece’s cover says, “Come on in kids,” with cute cartoon children and rape-joke attacks. The PiPress’ Rachel Stassen-Berger likens it to Rudy Boschwitz’s “Jewish letter” that helped swing the 1990 election. However, this one came not from Norm (who decried it, not that it will mollify protesting DFLers) but from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
No joke: Channeling DFL critics, the Strib’s Kevin Duchschere notes the National Republican Senatorial Commitee is the group Norm wants to head if re-elected. But Coleman gets a good headline distancing himself from the attack, even as he re-emphasized Franken’s bawdy past in his disavowal. By the way, KSTP has video here.
OK, this is just weird — vandals are hitting Norm’s hair salon? AP reports someone tagged a Jon English hair salon with “Norm,” “retire,” obscenities but no Bible phrase. The key question I’m left with: Norm gets his hair done in Uptown? KSTP has video with the senator’s stylist. By the way, the Psalm 2 crazies are tagging Missouri politicians’ property.
My favorite poll-junkie site, Fivethirtyeight.com, judges the Senate race “probably Franken’s to lose.” (Scroll down near the bottom of the piece.) The author is a Dem, so take that into account, but he’s a sharp analyst. Via MPR’s Tom Scheck, analyst Stu Rothenberg calls the race the nation’s only true tossup
More endorse: The PiPress picks Supreme Court incumbents Paul Anderson and Lorie Gildea. They’re surprisingly complimentary to the losers, Tim Tingelstad, the “God’s will” candidate opposing Anderson, and Deborah Hedlund, a Hennepin County judge whose strangely ambiguous reply to an email attacking Muslims isn’t mentioned. AP takes a good long look at the races here.
Some irony here: A convicted felon was charged with trying to swindle Tom Petters’ attorney out of $250,000 to make the mega-fraud case “go away,” the PiPress’ David Hanners writes. The attorney went straight to the FBI after the con artist allegedly passed a note outlining how he had judges in his pocket. Bright bulb, that one.
Nutjob tax protester Robert Beale was found guilty of trying to intimidate a federal judge; he and his two posse buddies issued “arrest warrants” and were going to try Judge Ann Montgomery in their kangaroo court, the PiPress’ Brady Gervais reports. The Strib’s James Walsh recounts the once-fugitive businessman’s greatest narcissistic hits, including his notion that only Jesus has jurisdiction over people and “God wanted me to destroy the judge.”
Minneapolis cops resisted killing the alleged murderer of three Mounds View women. The PiPress’ Tad Vezner says police Tasered the suspect, who then tried to stab himself and jump from a third-story balcony. No word on how the three women died; victims were a mother and two daughters, one of whom had Down syndrome. KARE offers video.
Say “buh-bye,” uniformed Northwest Airlines employees March 30; that’s when they’ll don Delta togs, MPR’s Bob Collins reports via the Atlanta Journal Constitution. If the merger goes through, of course.
Gotta love those St. Kate’s women! At least one plastered duct tape on her mouth to protest the school’s refusal to host political speakers in the campaign’s final weeks, the Strib’s Jenna Ross and Paul Walsh report. School officials describe a campus version of the Fairness Doctrine; one side can speak only if the other shows up soon afterward. That’s nuts; the standard should be equal access — let those with initiative not wait for others — with perhaps a looser equivalency standard.
If you live in Minneapolis, the $60-million-per-year school bonding referendum isn’t the only initiative on the ballot; you get to decide if we should go from an all-at-large school board to a three at-large, six-district system. The Strib offers a valuable pro-con primer here and here.
The city of Minneapolis voted to spend $180,000 on a P.R. firm to tout its water to suburbs like Robbinsdale, Richfield, St. Louis Park and Hopkins, Finance and Commerce’s Bob Geiger notes.
Revolution in Bloomington! The City Council unanimously nixes a SuperTarget, the Strib’s Mary Jane Smetanka writes. Traffic is the reason the Bloomington Marxists won’t rezone the site from industrial to commercial.
Great excuse for a California vacation to see a Madonna concert; Twins officials tell KSTP they’re going to her Petco Field show in San Diego to “look at how the ballpark is able to host such a big concert and clean up after.” Tough duty.
Nort spews: The Wild keep rolling with a 3-2 home win over the Blackhawks, Marian Gaborik again proving unneccesary. Sore Loser here.