Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Mark Dayton assessing Pawlenty’s executive orders

MORNING EDITION ALSO: Photo ID issue is back, a little good news at Lockheed, more bad news for housing and Hecker, a brutal murder, and reflections on Obama’s speech.
Read Thur. Afternoon Edition


Mark Dayton assessing Pawlenty’s executive orders

You may remember that ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty wasn’t shy about exercising his executive powers. The AP reports that Mark Dayton is working his way through stacks of executive orders Pawlenty left behind and deciding what to do: “Dozens of other executive orders issued by Pawlenty, a likely presidential candidate, remain in effect through March — unless Dayton undoes them or opts to keep them in effect longer. One order in effect since early 2008 deepened the state’s involvement in enforcing federal immigration laws. Another removed officials’ discretion to release sex offenders from a locked treatment program. … The orders stay in effect for 90 days after the governor who issued them leaves office — unless superseded by law or another executive order.”

The immigration order is particularly controversial: “There is support for lifting the immigration orders early. Sen. John Harrington, St. Paul’s former police chief, said the law enforcement order had a ‘very chilling’ effect in greater Minnesota, even though Minneapolis and St. Paul police aren’t involved. He would like to see Dayton scrap the order soon. ‘From a police perspective and a public safety perspective it is the wrong direction, and most major cities have recognized that it’s the wrong direction,’ said Harrington, a first-term Democrat.”

On the Strib’s “Hot Dish Politics” blog, Mike Kaszuba writes that the issue of voter IDs, closely association with the GOP’s perennial complaints of election fraud, is rearing its head again. “The issue has long been championed by Republicans, who in November seized control of both the House and Senate. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Mike Benson, R-Rochester, a first-term legislator, and is being co-authored by several other Republican first-term House members. ‘There were many of us that ran on the need for election reform, and photo ID being an important element of that. It’s really important to the [Republican] caucus,’ said Benson. ‘I think that [now] was the appropriate time. I know there are a lot of critical things that need to be passed for the state, budget-wise.’ “

MPR’s Annie Baxter has the story of Lockheed retaining 100 employees thought to be losing their jobs in last November’s announcement of the plant closing in Eagan in 2013: “The plant closing and elimination of 1,000 jobs is one of Minnesota’s largest mass layoffs in the past decade. One of the few bright spots in Lockheed Martin’s news Thursday is that fewer workers than expected received a pink slip. Lockheed is cutting 250 jobs altogether, down from the original 350 anticipated. Another 750 workers will have an opportunity to transfer to jobs in other states.”

Stribber Jim Buchta provides the latest on the lousy housing market: “Just-released data from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors and several other Realtors’ groups shows that home sales last year were down 16.8 percent compared with the previous year — a year that everyone had hoped would have been the worst. Despite the steep decline in sales and a steady stream of bargain-priced foreclosure sales, the median sale price of all closed sales last year was $169,900, 2.3 percent increase from 2009.”

The St. Cloud Times offers an editorial on the  finger-pointing aftermath of  Saturday’s killings in Arizona titled  “Our View: Think for yourself, use civility.” I know, compelling. They say: “[S]top and think about what you are hearing, reading and believing. Don’t ask yourself if it’s liberal or conservative. Ask yourself if what you are hearing is rooted in fact. Ask whether it considers research of all sides. Ask whether its presenter has a vested interest in solving the problem or simply keeping the debate going. After you’ve answered those questions, think about what you can do — and, yes, say — to get your outcome yet still treat others the way you want to be treated. Then act accordingly.” How do you dispute that advice? I remember my saintly grandmother saying practically the same thing.

Ten years for Denny? John Welbes of the PiPress reports that prosecutors want our favorite car dealer in the slammer for a full decade. “The 10-year term is the statutory maximum for the conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud charges that Hecker, 58, pleaded guilty to last September. ‘What is unique and most remarkable about this case,’ prosecutors wrote in court papers …, ‘[W]hat sets Hecker apart from other defendants, is that Hecker committed each of these relatively ordinary crimes over and over and over, year after year after year.’ The position paper on Hecker’s sentencing, written by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicole Engisch, Nancy Brasel and David Genrich, portrays the former auto dealer’s crimes and his brazen attitude. After seeking bankruptcy protection, ‘a system designed to give honest debtors a fresh start, Hecker cheated that system in a multitude of ways, through nearly a dozen major bankruptcy fraud schemes all designed with the single goal of furthering Hecker’s high-flying lifestyle.’ ” Sheesh, do you know how many jobs Denny supported with that lifestyle?

Article continues after advertisement

Erin Carlyle, author of City Pages’ “Homicide Files,” continues to write on the murder of Christopher “Chrissie” Bates: “Bates was identified by police as a man when they came to her apartment at 1302 Linden Ave. on Monday, but she was living as a woman and went by the name Chrissie. ‘Complex homicidal violence generally means just that — not a single type of injury,’ says Dallas Drake, principal research at Center for Homicide Research. ‘There may be multiple types of injury. If there’s a wound, it’s not a single wound. It’s a series of wounds or a series of types of wounds.’ ‘We see in GLBT homicide, it’s common to see overkill. Overkill is excessive wounding, more injury than what is necessary to cause the death. Or second, multiple types of wounds.’ “

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line praises President Obama’s Tucson speech, and obviously heard something few others did: “The conservative commentary I’ve seen about President Obama’s speech of last night has been laudatory, and rightly so in my view. For example, Peter Wehner, who knows a thing or two about presidential speeches, writes that last night ‘Mr. Obama was president of all the people and spoke beautifully for them.’ Pete also makes the key point that ‘the president used the occasion to essentially close an ugly and unfortunate chapter of this debate.’ In other words (mine, not Pete’s), the hard left, having been in effect, called out by Obama, will now have to crawl back into its hole on this issue. And conservatives, without forgetting the outrageous attacks by the left, can move on.”

Modesty usually prevents me from hyping my own deep thoughts, but they seem like a response to Mr. Mirengoff. So here’s a link to mine, titled “The ‘Real Victims’ of “Blood Libel.’ “

Sid! Mr. Hartman has news that Brad Childress who recently oversaw the “kick ass” offense of the soon-to-be-Super Bowl champion Minnesota Vikings as their head coach, will be talking to the Miami Dolphins. “The former Vikings coach will be in Miami on Saturday to interview for the offensive coordinator job with the Dolphins.” Lucky Fins.