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Hecker manages to make news even on a holiday

PLUS: Contract talks for Joe Mauer, and lots of food news, from anti-hunger efforts to happy-hour snacks.

With courts closed for Veterans Day, there was no news to slake the thirst of Tom Petters fans, but Denny Hecker still made the paper’s with his late Tuesday offensive against a former executive assistant who, his attorney says, shipped thousands of pages of secret info to … the U.S. bankruptcy trustee. Dee DePass has that story for the Strib. The strategy here is to disqualify lawyers for Chrysler Financial trying to get the $400 million Hecker owes them and somehow wipe the $83 million in personal loans off Chrysler’s books.  But … “[Chrysler’s lawyer said the Hecker executive] never stole a thing because she was e-mailed directly on all correspondence to Hecker. He also complained that Hecker’s attorney was immediately sent copies of [the executive’s] e-mails and yet Hecker’s legal team never filed documents with the court stating what information was considered privileged.”

There aren’t a lot of encouraging stories out of The Great Recession, but Jackie Crosby at the Strib reports on the cooperation Second Harvest food shelves are getting from Target, Wal-Mart and other big box food retailers. “In the past year, Second Harvest, which serves more than 980 emergency food organizations in 59 Minnesota and Wisconsin counties, has gathered up 4.9 million pounds of food, a 45 percent increase over the previous year.”

And the rum was in the diaper bag. That’s where reportedly a 30-year-old mother, with her two kids in the car and some pot on the front seat next to her, stashed the booze while being chased by cops on her way to Monticello last week. Mara Gottfried’s PiPress story notes her 0.21 alcohol level and that she told cops she was … on her way to work. The woman, “pleaded guilty to driving without headlights in 1999, no driver’s license in possession in 2003 and twice in 2004, no Minnesota driver’s license in 2004, expired registration in 2004, assault on a peace officer and leaving the scene of an accident in 2005, and speeding in 2006, according to Minnesota court records.” I’m not saying, but someone needs counseling.

The Associated Press reports that Republican state Sen. Mike Jungbauer, the guy who said “God was calling on me” to run for governor, has now bailed out of the race.

Paul Demko at the Minnesota Independent adds a bit more, remembering Jungbauer calling global climate change “pure unadulterated bull—t” but saying in his bail-out statement, “When I entered the governor’s race in July, I believed that God had opened the door to a new opportunity and that I needed to respond. I believe I did that to the best of my ability, but it was my human pride that made that job winning the race. As is so often the case, God’s plans aren’t our plans and I now realize that the job that needed doing was to learn a lot, listen even more, encourage and even teach a bit.” Wow. Have you ever noticed how God never tells these guys to go work at Jiffy-Lube?

Charley “Shooter” Walters says in his Wednesday PiPress column that the Twins have begun negotiating a new contract for Joe Mauer and speculates that on the open market our guy is probably worth A-Rod type jing of $25 million or more per year, way, WAY beyond anything the Twins have ever come close to before. Unfortunately,Joe Christensen’s reaction story in the Strib includes a phone interview with Mauer saying talks have NOT started. That story has Mauer talking about hanging out in Chicago with Serena Williams and Usain Bolt. The PiPress’ John Shipley talks with a mellow Mauer, too.

You can tell the Strib has been stung by constant criticism
that its investment group management has dumbed down the editorial page to avoid ever offending anyone over any issue at any time. (Dig into the comments here.) How can you tell? By reading this morning’s blistering “commentary” shamelessly supporting … “Sesame Street”:  ” … [A]fter 40 years, ‘Sesame Street’ has somehow managed to retain its humor, color and, most important, its primary mission of informing and delighting children. And that’s good enough for us,” rages the piece, which in fairness to the Strib was cribbed from the Los Angeles Times, a chronic defender of permissive Left Coast life styles. Still, way to dare the wrath of all those anti-Big Bird advertisers.

John Hinderaker is hammering the usual “all Muslims = terrorists” theme
in his latest posting on PowerLine, which keeps him in lockstep with Glenn Beck and the usual crowd. But, gotta give it to him, he dissects a bit of sleight of hand on the part of the New York Times as, in classic mainstream journalism fashion, they attempt to tamp down racial and ethnic hysteria by pulling out a counter-balance to the likes of the Fort Hood shooter. Except in this case their example of a courageous, honored Muslim soldier was actually … a Lebanese Christian. Oops.

Hinderaker may take an interest in a controversial Minneapolis imam being removed from the no-fly list. Laura Yuen’s story for MPR notes that the authorities aren’t saying anything at all. ” ‘We can’t confirm that he was on the list, much less that he’s off it, or why he’s off it, or why he was on it in the first place,’ said Special Agent E.K. Wilson, a spokesman for the Minneapolis office of the FBI.” The imam in question is associated with a Minneapolis mosque that has seen 20 or so young men return to Somalia for suspicious reasons.

Every day, it seems, some local foodie is whipping up a list of cheap eats around the cities. Today’s, which is pretty good, comes fromNancy Ngo at the PiPress. In it she recommends a dozen happy-hour bargains. You know she’s working off the beaten tracks when she throws a joint in Oakdale into the mix.Pinz … Game-themed pub with half off appetizers (sesame wings, artichoke dip and cheeseburger sliders, $4 to $7). Also, $1 off domestic bottled beer and $2.50 rail drinks.”

Speaking of food — it was a holiday Wednesday, give me a break — Chris Newmarker in the Minneapolis-St.Paul Business Journal reports that Seven, that (very) fleetingly hot joint on Seventh and Hennepin, you know the one that fell into bankruptcy 16 months after it opened … is back! There’s a flash of restaurateur babble/speak in the owner, David Koch, saying, “When we first got into the concept of Seven, the economy was strong. We opened for business, and you couldn’t get in. That first year, we dominated the city’s dining scene.” Always with “the concept” with those guys.