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GOP convention: $7M surplus, $170M impact, 11 pending cases

It’s a year since the Republican National Convention and we’re still assessing its impact. As reported by Tim Nelson of Minnesota Public Radio, one study, by a marketing professor, has St. Paul as gaining $170 million from it (here’s a PDF of his report). That’s better than the $160 million promoters were hoping for, but everybody admits this is an inexact science. It doesn’t hurt that organizers actually wound up with a surplus, coming in $7 million under budget; according to Tom Webb of the Pioneer Press, this surplus will be donated to local charitable foundations.

Of course, in one way, the RNC isn’t even over yet. As the Associated Press reminds us, 11 protest cases that resulted from the convention are still pending, including the so-called RNC8, who were arrested in area homes a few days before the convention and charged with “conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism,” according to a brief Wikipedia summary of the case. Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner is specific as to the charges against the RNC8 in the AP story, saying: “They are charged with planning to do things like break windows, trash squad cars, throw feces and urine at police officers.” The defense attorneys for the accused claim there were never any actual plans to bespoil public servants; this was just political rhetoric.

Speaking of which, Michele Bachmann has never been one for moderation in public speaking, but in a speech in Denver on Saturday, the congresswoman’s rhetoric turned from purple to scarlet, offering up a vision of post-health care reform America as something that might be found in a post-Apocalyptic wasteland. Ernest Luning of the Minnesota Independent compiles some of the highlights, including Bachmann’s declaration that Democratic initiatives “have the strength to destroy this country forever.” “Right now, we are looking at reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom,” Bachmann said, and as though this image weren’t violent enough, she proposed making a pact with her audience that relied on blood and a puzzling interpretation of a childhood ritual: “What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing.” Slit wrists? Isn’t that a little excessive? Even Grizzly Adams merely made a cut on his hand when he became blood brothers with Nakoma.

Bachmann reportedly takes pride in being the second-most-hated Republican female, behind Sarah Palin. Politico reports that the two have something else in common as well: Sarah Palin’s money. Bachmann was the recipient of $1,000 from Palin’s political action committee, which is currently under scrutiny from the Federal Election Commission for possible mismanagement of funds.

Who knew ding dong ditch could be so dangerous? Of course, this classic prank, in which you ring a doorbell and then run away, takes on added risks when it’s the governor’s house you’re pranking. As the Associate Press reports, three teenagers ding-donged the governor’s Eagan residence on Friday, then ditched, and when a Minnesota State Patrol trooper gave chase, he fell and injured his hip. There’s no word on whether there was any musical accompaniment to this, so we’re just going to imagine that Boots Randolph’s “Yakety Sax” was playing in the background.

One of the more puzzling questions about the calamity that is the Minneapolis police department’s Metro Gang Strike Force is how it could have gone on so long; wasn’t there at least one good cop who was willing to blow the whistle when the force tipped over into lawlessness? Well, according to a lawsuit filed against the city of Minneapolis, there was at least one. David Chanen of the Star Tribune gives the basic details: Sgt. Kelly O’Rourke claims that he went up the chain of command to report misconduct in the force a year before the state inquiry found evidence of it, and was promptly transferred out of the unit. O’Rourke’s name has come up before in the telling of this tale. He is the officer who is supposed to have borrowed an ice auger that was seized by the strike force, used it at home, and then returned it considerably worse for wear. O’Rourke claims this isn’t true, and the story was leaked in retaliation for his whistleblowing.

Mara H. Gottfried of the Pioneer Press looks a little deeper into O’Rourke’s resume, and finds some spots. While the officer has been commended, including having done what sounds like exemplary work on Operation Blood Drive, a three-year investigation that cracked the Rolling 30s Bloods Gang, he also has a DWI conviction and was the host of a party in which two officers discharged their weapons. Both were later fired, but O’Rourke claims to have been asleep at the time that the guns were fired.

While we’re on the topic of police misbehavior, a cops vs. firefighters softball game last Tuesday seems to have erupted into what FOX9 has dubbed “antics.” Specifically, the Minneapolis police’s internal affairs division is investigating reports the Minneapolis police officers went to the Double Deuce strip club after the game, where the bouncer refused them entry because of their level of intoxication. As the story goes, the officers flashed their badges, and, when that didn’t work, one urinated on the buildings walls. They then are supposed to have gone to Mayslak’s bar, picked fights, and assaulted a passer-by. In this instance, if there had been musical accompaniment, at some point in the evening the needle would have been yanked off of “Yakety Sax ” and “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys would have started up.

Today in Favremania, Darren Rovell of CNBC reports that Brett Favre’s jersey has already surpassed other league jerseys in sales. We can only hope these shirts don’t end up like Billy Beer, as a memento of a public embarrassment. After all, it’s only been a week or so since Favre announced he’d be joining the Vikings for a reported $25 million, and already the man seems to have injured himself: The AP reports that he might have cracked a rib. Nonetheless, the quarterback played against Texas on Monday night, providing what Sean Jensen of the Pioneer Press called “a rather boring stat line.” While Favre’s performance wasn’t especially memorable, Jensen allows the football player has one quality that’s worth commending: “Favre can still throw a heater.

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Comments (18)

  1. Submitted by Joel Rosenberg on 09/01/2009 - 11:36 am.

    It’s not at all clear, yet, that there’s much to O’Rourke’s story. It’s possible, of course.

    According to the Strib video, his lawyer says that he’s “single-handedly credited with taking off the Rolling 30’s Bloods”. Who, exactly, has been doing this perhaps unlikely single-handed crediting?

    His lawyer also was unambiguous in his assertion that O’Rourke was not contacted by the gang strike force investigators, the Legislative Auditor, or the FBI.

    He didn’t say whether or not O’Rourke had picked up a phone and called the gang strike force investigators, the Legislative Auditor, or the FBI — the latter two of which are in the phone book.

    If he was concerned about retaliation — as he might well have been — one obvious source of support would have been his union, the MPD Federation — they wouldn’t have been hard to find, either; according to the Heimerl report, Sergeant Jeff Jindra, an official of the MPD Federation, was also on the MGSF.

    We’ll see, I guess.

  2. Submitted by david granneman on 09/01/2009 - 11:45 am.

    hello all regarding michele bachmanns comments. lets look a president obama’s science advisory john holdren. in 1977 he wrote a book advocating the following ideas.
    • Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
    • The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food;
    • Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
    • People who “contribute to social deterioration” (i.e. undesirables) “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” — in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
    • A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives — using an armed international police force.

    do you think man should be advising the president

  3. Submitted by Max Sparber on 09/01/2009 - 12:37 pm.

    Considering that none of that is true, then, sure, he could well be the man for the job.

    What you are misquoting is a 1977 textbook entitled “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, and Environment.” Holdren is one of three authors of the book, and it contains a chapter on various population control policies. Not only does the book not advocate them, but actually comes out against them.

    I don’t know whether you just believe whatever guff appears on the Web or if you’re actively smearing the man, considering your comment had precious little to do with anything in today’s Glean, but if you’re going to make that case, please site the relevant quotes from Holdren that demonstrate what you claim.

  4. Submitted by david granneman on 09/01/2009 - 01:02 pm.

    hello max

    read this article

  5. Submitted by david granneman on 09/01/2009 - 01:13 pm.

    hello max
    i am not out to smear anybody. i am uptill now like most Americans who had the attitude of go along to get along.
    we no longer have luxury to continue this attitude. we need to stand up and confront liberalism where ever you find it otherwise WE MAY LOSE THE COUNTRY WE GREW UP IN.
    i guess you probably dont want to live in the country we grew up in.

  6. Submitted by david granneman on 09/01/2009 - 01:17 pm.

    hello all
    it is amaising to me that so many of president obama’s advisors are saying dont believe your own lying eyes and ears about my past because i am not like that anymore – i have totaly changed my ideas. wake up america

  7. Submitted by Matt Burdock on 09/01/2009 - 01:20 pm.

    I enjoy your column but there is a glaring omission from today’s Glean. The charges against the RNC 8 originally contained several that included the “…in furtherance of terrorism” component. However, those charges have since been dropped and what remains are conspiracy to riot and other charges without the incendiary terrorism aspect. Several recent Star Tribune and Pioneer Press stories have pointed this fact out. Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information.

    Also, as a resident of the neighborhood populated by the Rollin’ 30’s Bloods I say that anyone who claims to have “cracked” the gang problem isn’t fooling anyone but themselves.

  8. Submitted by Max Sparber on 09/01/2009 - 01:31 pm.

    Absolutely none of the things cited in that link actually advocate anything you claim, David. Neither does it demonstrate that Holdren held those viewpoints the, or hold them now. It also somehow left out the concluding paragraphs, in which the authors advocate against these measures.

  9. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 09/01/2009 - 01:45 pm.

    The leftist spin: “Not only does the book not advocate them, but actually comes out against them.”

    The facts: “In Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment, they wrote, “[I]t has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society,” though adding that the current population didn’t justify the practices.”

    How’s them apples?

  10. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 09/01/2009 - 01:56 pm.

    For those of you keeping score at home:

    Biding your time = “advocating against”

  11. Submitted by Max Sparber on 09/01/2009 - 01:59 pm.

    I’m sorry, but “could be sustained under the existing constitution” does not equal “we are advocating this.”

    It’s not too hard to discover what they actually say in the chapter, if you dig around: the argue that harm caused by coersive and non-coersive population control “would, in our opinion, militate against the use of any such agent.”

    But we’re in a world where truth become “leftist spin,” apparently.

  12. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 09/01/2009 - 02:15 pm.

    It’s amazing isn’t it? Some people just seem to believe that anything they find posted on a web site MUST be true.

    It’s the local community equivalent of Jens telling Sally, “I heard Bob tell Mary that her sister’s best friend’s husband’s uncle said that global warming is (true or false – name your preference) and he’s some kind of Dr. or scientist or something.

    If you haven’t read and comprehended the book being cited, citing someone else’s comments about that book are as reliable as citing a movie critic’s comments about a movie you’ve never seen.

    The net is like Nostradamus or the Bible or any ancient religious text you care to mention… if you look far enough you can find some word or phrase or some web site that seems to support what you believe.

    But in taking that approach (to the net or to religion) the missing question is always, why do I need to believe that? Because, if you believe something because you need to, then your religion is not about God, it’s about YOU, and your research is not about fact finding, it’s about massaging your own shaky ego.

  13. Submitted by dan buechler on 09/01/2009 - 02:26 pm.

    Like my truthful rural centrist democrat/catholic lawyer milt would say “what we have here is a failure to moderate”. All three of you guyzs look at the language Bachmann uses. She is also gearing up for an energy fight. Does she profit at all personally from her fundraising or is she building up such a large war chest to even keep out an even better gop candidate like immelman (ex soldier, moderate christian on foreign policy etc. etc. Have some whatever with this.

  14. Submitted by Joel Rosenberg on 09/01/2009 - 02:38 pm.

    The truth is somewhere in between the overly hysterical protestations of some of the critics and the you’re taking it out of context and the only way for you to put it in context is to post the whole book with the stuff I want you to focus on highlighted lotsa luck finding it okey-doke of the defenders. The chapter in the book comes out, clearly albeit weakly, against some of the policies that you (and, for that matter, I) find abhorrent.

    That said, if there’s anything in the book that categorically rejects Erlich’s longstanding tranzi authoritarianism, I’d be stunned, and would love to see one of its defenders post it — anywhere; please send a link to .

    I don’t think I’ll be able to hold my breath — or, for that matter, go without a couple of annual visits to my doctor — while waiting.

  15. Submitted by david granneman on 09/01/2009 - 03:24 pm.

    hello all
    how do you guys feel about van jones – president obama’s green jobs advisor. he is a self proclaimed communist revolutionary. do you feel a communist has the knowledge and experience to create the jobs this country needs to end the recession. never in my 60 years did i think i would ever see democrates defending a communist advising a president.

  16. Submitted by dan buechler on 09/01/2009 - 04:06 pm.

    gawd david give it a rest. You know there are people out there who didn’t think that “Bush I” was the worst president in the world or that Clinton was the best thing since sliced bread.

  17. Submitted by david granneman on 09/01/2009 - 07:14 pm.

    hello all
    i got to thinking that i may be wrong about having a communist in the white house. you see the chinese communitsts have slashed their corporate taxes to reenergize their economy and create jobs. the communitsts have continuously told president obama continued massive government spending and borrowing will destroy the american dollar. finally the chinese communists have totaly rejected global warming. they are actively developing their oil and gas natural resources. they are bulding new power plants daily. in addition they have made deals with iraq, argentina, and cuba to develope newly discovered oil fields. the chinese are ensuring that they will have the energy to allow china to grow and prosper. IT MAY BE A GOOD THING TO HAVE A COMMUNIST ADVISING THE PRESEDENT.

  18. Submitted by dan buechler on 09/01/2009 - 08:12 pm.

    Its finally good that the hate america first/failure concensus group has settled down for the nite perhaps a sedative was slipped in their drinking water supply. Sweet dreams.

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