Vote stats show Dayton ran poorly in key metro cities

The official Day Two Strib story off Tuesday’s primary eats up a lot of space with very little actual news. Bylined by Rachel Stassen-Berger and Bob Von Sternberg, the story mentions the first anti-Dayton ad queued up by Republicans … and that it emphasizes his “erratic” behavior and being “too risky for Minnesota.” The story leaves the Dayton money issue mostly untouched, saying only, “Dayton leaves the most expensive gubernatorial primary in state history — the three DFL candidates dumped more than $9 million — and enters one where his millions could easily trump his competitors.”

More illuminating is Stassen-Berger’s piece dissecting voting numbers around the state. Speaking of Dayton, she writes: “The former U.S. senator lost the state’s biggest cities by large margins. In Minneapolis alone, Margaret Anderson Kelliher won 55 percent of the vote for a 12,000-vote advantage. She also took St. Paul, Edina, Minnetonka and other key suburbs. But Dayton, 63, made up ground almost everywhere else for a sure — if narrow — 7,000-vote victory. He captured nearly 50 percent of the vote in rural Minnesota and posted huge numbers on the Iron Range and in Duluth.”

Mark Zedechlik and Madeleine Baran file on the Day After for MPR, mentioning the new Republican TV spot. The 30-second ad includes quotes from media sources criticizing Dayton, but does not mention Emmer. “ ‘He was absolutely, positively one of the worst Senators in America and Mark Dayton agrees,’ a female narrator says.” They mention that IP candidate Tom Horner “said also he plans to run TV ads within the next two weeks, promoting a message he thinks will make him a centrist alternative.”

KSTP-TV’s Tom Hauser runs the new anti-Dayton ad through his “Truth Test” and gives it an “A-” for accuracy, while reminding viewers that Time’s much-quoted line about Dayton being one of the “worst senators” was “the opinion of one writer.”

Liberal blogger Robin Marty, writing on the care2 website says: “It’s an interesting question as to why [Margarent Anderson Kelliher] didn’t play up the historic gender angle of her campaign. On the one hand, it appeared to be something her opponents were waiting for her to do, and in some cases pre-emptively ready to attack over. Having the support of groups like EMILY’s List, or Minnesota’s local version WomenWinning, Anderson Kelliher’s challengers were poised to see her do anything that they could accuse her of ‘playing the gender card.’ With two male candidates challenging her in the primary, there was a desperate need for their campaigns to disarm the possible gender issue before it could ever be used.”

This morning’s Strib editorial argues that the DFL’s  endorsement process needs a serious overhaul. “DFLers should more critically rethink a selection process that has not produced a non-incumbent gubernatorial winner since 1970. Demographic changes in Minnesota and new technology join a dismal recent track record in auguring for a more open and broadly participatory way to choose candidates for major offices than the insider-dominated endorsement regimen allows.” But what’s the point of paying good money to be an insider if you don’t count more than the average dweeb?    

The circumstantial end of the story of the murder-suicide in Eagan  feels  like its pointing in an obvious direction, but threads are dangling. Frederick Melo and Jessica Fleming write in the PiPress: “Court documents in his divorce from his first wife show that he met [now deceased second wife] Svetlana Hanson when she interviewed with him for an internship at Starkey Laboratories several years ago. She later approached him about a full-time job at the company. Instead, she became his au pair and moved into an upstairs room of his home in 2008, about the time his marriage to Marianna Rae Brown-Hanson fell apart, court records said. Marianna and Charles Hanson separated in 2008 and were divorced in April 2009. Svetlana Hanson and Robin Bhattacharyya were divorced in May 2009.” So let’s get this straight, a young woman — who is married — applies for an internship and ends up moving into the house as an au pair?

You can start the countdown for the anti-immigration crowd to lock onto the story of the feds busting a large pot-growing operation covering nine different sites in  northeast Wisconsin. Todd Richmond’s AP story runs in several places. He says: “Investigators spent June and July watching the sites and access roads, and reported seeing groups of Hispanic men emerge from the forest and load pickups with sacks. They tailed a truck to a home in Seymour, just west of Green Bay, that the men apparently used as a base, according to documents. Investigators raided the home late Tuesday and found marijuana plants drying in the garage and laundry room, and marijuana buds drying in all the rooms of the house. They estimated they seized about 232 plants and 200 pounds of drying marijuana, the complaints said. They also found industrial-sized backpack sprayers, handsaws, shears and fertilizer. In a bedroom was a stash of firearms, including an AK-47 assault rifle.”

As much as Target CEO Greg Steinhafel would like to get past his gay controversy, City Pages and its alternative media ilk aren’t having it. Certainly not yet. Nick Pinto thrashes around in the story some more. He reminds his readers that “Steinhafel sent his daughter to Wheaton College, a Christian institution where being gay will get you expelled. The younger Steinhafel also studied at the Focus On the Family Institute, one of the leading proponents of therapy to cure gayness. Meanwhile, one of the other executives with his hands on Target’s political donation purse-strings has an even stronger homophobic pedigree: Matt Zabel, the company’s VP of government affairs, is a former staffer for Sen. John Thune, the  South Dakota senator who supported a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and sought to outlaw gay adoption.”

It’s worth wading into the story’s “comments” section. Unlike the usual Strib and PiPress grade-school-level troll dialogues, there’s an actual discussion there. With this from Abe Sauer of the popular website The Awl. He begins by responding to one commenter, “ ‘Would you all be so outraged if the reverse was true and brought up in the news. That a few employees donated to organizations that were pro-GLBT, so slam the company for being anti-family?’  Chris, that your argument equates pro-GLBT with anti-family is sad. Eric: 1) They didn’t give it to the anti-gay candidate because THEY COULDN’T. That’s why Citizens United was such a valuable tool for corporations. And Target DID given money directly to hyper anti-gay Michele Bachmann, just recently in fact. In addition to highly gay-hostile politicians like Roy Blunt. 2) Target’s giving is wildly lopsided, while its direct to candidate giving is mostly even, its PAC to PAC giving favors the GOP by 3 to 1. 3) Who cares about $20k going to a parade here and there that accomplishes, legislatively, almost nothing, when hundreds of thousands of Target’s dollars go to candidates who block national laws for gay equality, and, worse, to politicians who vote against laws extending laws to cover sexual orientation workplace discrimination? Let me repeat that last one, Target, which claims to itself be good to its gay employees, is directly, and heavily, favoring politicians who would deny all of America’s gays workplace equality and protection. ‘ONE mistake’ indeed.”

Meanwhile, Rachel Maddow has a lock on the Emmer candidacy, and Emmer’s reference to the anti-gay Christian “ministry” You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, as “these are nice people.” This despite leader Bradlee Dean suggesting Islamic radicals have it right about executing homosexuals. The Minnesota Independent’s Paul Schmelzer has several links in his story. Including this choice quote from Dean on … where else? … The Patriot AM1280. “ ‘Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America,’ ” Dean said on YCR’s May 15 radio show on AM 1280 the Patriot. ‘This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.’ ‘If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that,’ Dean continued. ‘That is what you are seeing in America.’ ”

Orchestra Hall will get a makeover in the near future, but what exactly anyone will do with adjacent Peavey Plaza is still up in the air, says Brian Johnson at Finance and Commerce. “Though the plaza has earned national recognition as a modernist gem, it has seen better days. Earlier this week, the city of Minneapolis, which owns the plaza, and the Minnesota Orchestral Association, which operates Orchestra Hall, put out a ‘request for qualifications’ for landscape design services on the plaza. The planned $5 million to $6 million project will ‘revitalize’ the plaza, which has ‘suffered from lack of investment’ and from ‘modifications that have compromised the original design,’ the city noted in the RFQ.” He adds, “Concept design and budget development for the project will begin in January and construction should wrap up by fall 2012, according to the city.’ ”

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Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Michael Hunt on 08/12/2010 - 09:51 am.

    Brian, if your CP summary is accurate, Nick Pinto is to journalism what Nick Punto is to baseball…not really major league caliber.

    Steinhafel has every right to send his kids to any whack-job school or training he wants, it’s his $$.

    But the Target situation is different. Now he’s on the Board and beholden to shareholders. That requires a different set of standards.

  2. Submitted by Josh Williams on 08/12/2010 - 10:25 am.


    You are absolutely correct in that Steinhafel has every right to send his daughter to Wheaton College and, for that matter, Focus on the Family Institute.

    However, I would say that it is relevant to the story. Steinhafel is in a position of power at a publicly-held corporation, one that has (or at least had) cultivated a reputation for being supportive of equal rights for its gay employees. It is reasonable to assume, then, that Steinhafel’s personal views may have been at minimum part of the motivation for using corporate money to further goals so opposite of those publicly espoused by the corporation.

  3. Submitted by David Brauer on 08/12/2010 - 10:36 am.

    Should be clear that Nick Pinto was repeating Abe Sauer’s reporting from the Awl. (Nick did link and give credit.)

  4. Submitted by Paul Scott on 08/12/2010 - 11:07 am.

    Yes, David, and you could add that its unfortunate it took a couple guys in NYC to figure out that Steinhafel apparently drives into Target headquarters with James Dobson on the dial. Fumble for the local press.

  5. Submitted by John Heintz on 08/12/2010 - 11:31 am.

    “But what’s the point of paying good money to be an insider if you don’t count more than the average dweeb?” Isn’t that the point of the results: that with the primary results continually overriding the endorsement, that the insiders don’t in fact count more? That it actively contributes to cynicism about the process? That the endorsement hasn’t led to desired electoral results?

  6. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 08/12/2010 - 11:51 am.

    Say Brian?

    Since all of the perps required the services of a translator, the anti-*illegal* immigration crowd might indeed lock onto the pot-growing story, since, as has been repeated here at MinnPost ad nasueam, legal immigrants learn to speak the lingua franca almost immediately.

    But that’s actually a good thing, since the alternative story is *legal* immigrants going into the large scale dope and gun business….which would be really bad.

    Don’t you agree?

  7. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 08/12/2010 - 11:56 am.

    Does Dayton really have a metro problem? Usually only losing campaigns get picked apart, but it bears mentioning that there were “Margaret” lawn signs and bumper stickers commonly seen, but Dayton seems to have relied almost entirely on TV. I can’t believe a lawn trumps TV, but maybe it’s an indication that a lack of emphasis on local campaigning came a whisker away from changing the result. If he fixes that mistake, I think he’ll still do well in the cities.

  8. Submitted by Stephen Dent on 08/12/2010 - 12:14 pm.

    The news about Target gets even more depressing by the day. I am resentful that I, as a member of the Lambda Car Club, carried the “Corporate Community” winners, Target, in my ’52 Studebaker convertible for the Pride 2010 parade. I would have thrown them out and ripped that Target bulls-eye off the side of my car if I knew then what I know now. Just re-upped my Costco membership.

  9. Submitted by Swanson Painter on 08/12/2010 - 01:55 pm.

    Brian, thank you for giving the Maddox show a plug. She is great!
    I have tried to; listen to Bradlee Dean, in that effort to “hear” the other side.
    He and his show are probably one of the worst examples of hate radio in the Twin Cities. If he is trying to evangelize, I do not see the true love of the Christ coming through his program. It is shock jock crap.
    That someone who wants to run the State of MN would condone and contribute money to him, is reason alone to vote for ANYONE else.
    Thanks for your column.

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