The PiPress’ Rachel Stassen-Berger confirms what the Franken campaign has alleged: the Coleman folks want to prevent any improperly rejected absentee votes from hitting the Canvassing Board. Republicans have said they merely want the Supreme Court to set sorting standards. Things will end up in a post-canvass “judicial contest,” but blocking votes now could alter the board-certified winner. The Supremes hear the matter at 1 p.m. The Strib’s Bob von Sternberg says Hennepin County will sort and report today.
MPR’s Tom Scheck notes the Coleman forces will increase the number of challenges the Canvassing Board must wade through; that’s after a day when observers felt Franken did pretty well. A surprising number of his challenges were upheld, the Strib reports. Coleman’s advocates say they are adjusting to Day One canvass precedents. KARE’s Scott Goldberg reports that Franken may also reinstate. Get rid of frivolous challenges, demands Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, via The Uptake.
A canvass horror? Bizarrely, the New York Times goes with the “It’s a nightmare!” meme. Endless, yes; tedious, yes; complex, often; nightmarish, no. Goldberg notes the board only got through 160 votes in an afternoon; there are (as of now) about 1,300 to go. The PiPress’ Jason Hoppin says at the one-per-90-second rate, it will take five eight-hour days to count votes — not including challenged rejected absentees. The board had hoped to wrap up Friday.
Re-purposing a Braublog item from earlier this morning: Local U.S. District Judge John Tunheim is among those mentioned for Barack Obama’s CIA director, the Wall Street Journal reports. He’s handled a bunch of terrorism cases in the last several years.
Minnesota’s Madoff fallout continues. The Strib’s Chris Serres says a local lab’s profit-sharing fund was wiped out by the $50 billion fraud; some workers lost more than $100,000. The Minneapolis-based Phileona Foundation and Charles and Candice Nadler Family Foundation were also hit; the former, which subsidizes arts and animal groups, will keep operating; the latter isn’t talking. This comes at a time when one in four nonprofits is cutting staff and half see reduced donations, the Strib’s Jean Hopfensperger reports.
More Madoff: The PiPress’ Nicole Garrison-Sprenger finds a local advisor whose investors tortured him to match Madoff’s returns; he never could figure out the model and now knows why. Fleeced Oak Ridge Country Club members held a meeting Tuesday, KARE’s Karla Hult notes; no details, but ubiquitous attorney Doug Kelley (Petters receiver, Norm Coleman defense lawyer) was there. Hult says two local human rights orgs got dinged. Joe Soucheray pens an honest rememberance of being a golf club fleecee.
Elsewhere on the fraud beat, the Strib notes Kelley is foreclosing on two Petters-related condo projects in Northfield and Winona. It also sounds like Polaroid, a Petters business that some thought healthy, isn’t.
Nearly every Twin Cities public school district faces shortfalls, the Strib’s Norman Draper reports. Minneapolis will be off $28 million if state support is frozen; Anoka-Hennepin will be down $17 million, and St. Paul down $15 million. Smaller metro districts are in the $1 million to $4 million range. Class sizes and teacher layoffs will rise and schools will close, administrators say. Only five of 36 districts surveyed won’t have to cut. White Bear Lake, Minnetonka, Robbinsdale, Hastings, and Orono got referendum infusions this year.
Meanwhile, state community college enrollment is up, MPR’s Tim Post says. Pricier higher-ed options aren’t experiencing such growth. The irony: State support is going down, which may threaten CCs’ ability to handle more students.
Ex-PiPress and Strib cartoonist Kirk Anderson argues that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s Senate-selling efforts aren’t much different than rich guys like Mark Dayton buying seats with overwhelming personal spending. Expect a Dayton reply posthaste.
Is a death sentence too much for starting a massive forest fire? Stephen Posniak, accused of starting 2007’s enormous Ham Lake fire, killed himself Tuesday, the Strib’s Lora Pabst reports. He put a gun to his head a day after a judge rejected a motion to have early-investigation statements thrown out. Posniak was charged with starting the fire and lying about it; his attorney says prosecutors overdid the case.
KSTP says Minneapolis should bite the financial bullet and call a snow emergency already — the streets are atrocious!
Silly surveys: A research firm says the Twin Cities has the nation’s sixth-highest ratio of rich single guys to women, Fox9 notes. (But did any invest with Madoff?) Rochester was No. 7. Sheboygan, Wis. was third? San Francisco was first, indicating all those moneyed fellas might not be available, gals.
Nort spews: LeBron is in town, but you have to watch the Wolves to see him. Minnesota could host four marathons in a month next year, the Strib notes.