Since no one can explain Tom Emmer’s path to victory in the gubernatorial recount, it doesn’t seem to matter all that much that the Supreme Court appears to have left him with no imaginable way to raise a legal challenge to the election. Eric Roper files a brief on the Strib’s “Hot Dish Politics” blog, saying: “Emmer’s camp argued that ‘voter receipts’ were not an acceptable document with which to compare the number of ballots. The court said they were, based on longstanding legal precedent.”
Our brief here at MinnPost offers a link to the 18-page opinion.
What’s more … now that Emmer has officially withdrawn 85 percent of his ballot challenges, and Mark Dayton in fact has one has more left on the table than he does, I for one don’t see much point to stringing this out any longer. Mark Zedechlik at MPR writes: “Even if Emmer won all of his challenges, including the ones ruled frivolous, he would remain more than 8,500 votes behind Dayton in unofficial results. The canvassing board is set to begin ruling on ballot challenges tomorrow. It had set aside three days for the task, but likely won’t need that much time, because so many ballot challenges have been withdrawn.”
Gov. Pawlenty’s Willie Horton wannabe, Jeremy Giefer, is locked up in Mankato and under $1 million bail. Robb Murray at the Mankato Free Press reports: “When originally charged with 12 felonies, Giefer was able to post bail of $250,000 through a bond company. Conditions placed on his release, however, prohibited him from coming within 100 yards of the [16 year-old] alleged victim. Giefer was cited Friday for coming within that 100 yards when members of the family got together for a counseling session. The victim reportedly had been a passenger in a car that stopped at the same location to drop someone off. Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Chris Rovney said Giefer’s presence that day is indicative of a larger effort by the family to get the victim to recant her story. He said the victim’s mother could possibly be charged for helping Giefer contact her.” Say what? Her own mother is supposedly helping the alleged abuser? “ ‘There’s been a concerted effort,’ Rovney said. ‘This girl is 16 years old, she’s been serially abused. She’s on an island by herself. She doesn’t have anybody in her family supporting her.’ ”
It’s been a long time since the Catholic Church looked good in one of the cases brought by young men claiming abuse, and the streak continues with the story reported by Patrick Condon of the AP. In a nutshell, a kid claiming he was abused by a teacher at a Catholic school he attended tells the school authorities, who tell him the priest in question has been transferred and is doing prison work. “The order’s Midwest leader said the brother in question had been forbidden from contact with anyone under 18 and was working in a prison. But in a 1995 letter obtained by The Associated Press, the leader neglected to mention something: The prison was for males from age 10 to 21. The writer of that letter, Brother Thomas Johnson, is now the second-ranking official in the worldwide order. Brother Raimond Rose was counseling young inmates at a juvenile detention center in Minnesota. One of the inmates later filed a lawsuit accusing him of molestation.” Can’t make it up.
Maybe the demand for SPAM has spiked. But Hormel is handing out $5 million in bonuses, averaging $250 per employee. The Austin Daily Herald story, by Trisha Marczak says: “Hormel Foods Inc. dished out $4.9 million … to employees this week as part the company’s one-time holiday bonus awards. ‘We are pleased to announce today that all 19,500 Hormel Foods employees are receiving a one-time discretionary monetary award,’ said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods. Ettinger said the checks were given to the employees because of the demonstrated work ethic put forth over the last few years.”
This is in addition to $325,000 worth of grants the Hormel Foundation made to the city, according to another Daily Herald story, this by Amanda Lillie.
Breathing populist fire, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann turned up on — where else? — Sean Hannity’s radio show to argue that Republicans should vote down the deal on the Bush tax cuts if it means extending unemployment benefits. As reported by Fox Nation, “Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the chairwoman of the House Tea Party Caucus, said Republicans could balk at voting to extend all the tax cuts for two years if it’s tied to a long-term extension of jobless benefits. ‘I don’t know that Republicans would necessarily go along with that vote. That would be a very hard vote to take,’ Bachmann said …” In other words, denying unemployment benefits to millions of Americans is MORE IMPORTANT than extending those tax cuts for households making over $250,000 a year. Kind of breathtaking.