Like passing through a turnstile, we’ve left the recount behind and fully entered the 2010 gubernatorial guessing game. Thing is, this too includes Norm Coleman. Mike Kaszuba of the Strib asks around town about Coleman’s effect on the race. Kaszuba talks to newly announced candidate Sen. Mike Jungbauer (R-East Bethel). “A two-term senator who said he admires Coleman, Jungbauer predicted ‘[Coleman’s] not going to get the buy-in from the new, younger Republicans. They’re more aggressively Libertarian. … He would do great if he got through the endorsement process. I think his hardest battle will be the endorsement process.’ ” Is “aggressively Libertarian” a euphemism? And if so, for what, really?
There was no big news out of Wednesday’s Al Franken victory rally at the Capitol, certainly not the number of DFL gubernatorial candidates clogging the picture frame with him. But Rachel Stassen-Berger gets some good quotes in a piece for the PiPress. Gov. Pawlenty (who was not at the rally, we’re guessing) tells her, “I just encouraged [Coleman] to stay involved in our state in some way. He’d be a very wonderful governor … a great governor. But everyone (at least Republicans) who’s announced so far is my friend, so I’m not in a position to be endorsing one person yet for governor.”
If there’s one job that requires more predictable, hyperbolic rhetoric than political party chairman, I don’t know what it is. Bill Salisbury of the PiPress finds new Republican chairman Tony Sutton going off on the Franken decision, and gets … exactly what you’d expect. “We got robbed,” says Sutton.
Sutton is, of course, only echoing the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. If you missed its shot Wednesday at the Court decision and Franken, here it is. The key quote is this: “Mr. Franken now goes to the Senate having effectively stolen an election. If the GOP hopes to avoid repeats, it should learn from Minnesota that modern elections don’t end when voters cast their ballots. They only end after the lawyers count them.” Stay classy, WSJ.
For comedic effect, it’s tough to beat the compilation video whipped together by the lefty media watchdog site, Media Matters for America. It has various FoxNews hosts asserting everything from outright theft to fluoridation of precious bodily fluids. “For instance, Glenn Beck said of Franken’s victory, ‘[I]t shows how crazy our country has gone. I]t shows that we’ve lost our minds.‘ Sean Hannity claimed that Franken is ‘not all there,’ and later claimed, ‘I, in my heart of hearts, do not believe that Al Franken won that election.’ And Brian Kilmeade said he’s ‘in denial’ about Franken, who he said was ‘barely sane.’ Gretchen Carlson responded to Kilmeade by again falsely claiming that Coleman ‘won in the original election.’ “
A “Special Litigation Committee” has determined that each and every charge leveled in that Nasser Kazeminy-Deep Marine Technology suit down in Texas, including the allegation that $100K was pumped to Norm Coleman’s wife, Laurie … are false. So reports Paul Demko of the Minnesota Independent. The twist, of course, is that the Special Litigation Committee was appointed by Deep Marine’s board. Demko writes, “Casey Wallace, the attorney representing McKim, argues that the investigation wasn’t independent, but rather was controlled by the company’s board of directors. ‘We believe that the conclusions of the Special Litigation Committee are wrong, that the investigation was skewed to have a certain outcome. The special litigation committee is the board; the board is the special litigation committee. We don’t believe it’s independent or serves any purpose.’ ” Nevertheless Deep Marine is moving to dismiss.
The loss of Marian Gaborik to the New York Rangers isn’t exactly like Kevin Garnett to Boston or Johan Santana to the Mets. But it may be worse. As the Strib’s Mike Russo sees it, “The biggest tragedy here from a Wild standpoint is that Gaborik walked out the door for nothing. Not even a draft pick, which is destructive for a franchise not exactly burgeoning with assets. That mistake was made last summer when the Wild somehow didn’t pick up on the alarm bell those of us who talked to Gaborik on a daily basis were hearing — he wanted out of Minnesota.”
Stephanie Hemphill has a good piece for MPR recollecting the intense storm that tore through the BWCA July 4, 1999, and conditions today. Regrowth is well under way, but the stories of those who were there that day are still pretty vivid. “I knew it was a flat run to the lakeshore but for some reason I was running uphill,” a Forest Service employee tells her. “He was running up a root ball as it was tilting up from the ground. ‘So the root wad actually tossed me backwards. I landed on my feet, and had to run around the root wad to get to the shore.’ He stopped beside the roots of another downed tree and waited there, between the uprooted tree and the lake. The wind whipped the waves six feet high, and the air was full of debris, and it was all coming at him at 90 miles an hour.”
Because we’re cooking more at home instead of dropping dough in restaurants, General Mills saw a 94 percent jump in profits in the fourth quarter of ’08. That at least is the explanation given Matt McKinney of the Strib. He writes, “even for veteran analysts, the company’s announcement Wednesday that it had nearly doubled its quarterly profit of a year ago on sales of staples such as Cheerios, Hamburger Helper and Pillsbury flour, wasn’t expected. The company also estimated that next year’s profit will be above analysts’ current expectations.“
Finally, MPR’s Kerri Miller took an hour away from Iran, health care reform and … Norm Coleman … to talk to Dave Pirner of the rock band Soul Asylum. His stories of the luxe life in the early years as a road band are familiar but still funny.