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Video: Madison Capitol cops tackle Democratic rep

AFTERNOON EDITION ALSO: A Wisconsin ultimatum; a level 3 sex offender’s fate; St. Cloud State ditches homecoming; more Vikes developments; op-ed reaction; a suspended judge; and more.
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It was apparently more misunderstanding than confrontation, but still … the video of cops tackling a Democratic representative inside the Capitol in Madison is pretty amusing. Scott Bauer of the AP reports: “ ‘There was no harm, no foul in this incident,’ said Rep. Nick Milroy of South Range, in northwestern Wisconsin. ‘It may have looked violent on the video but I had a puffy jacket on.’ Video from WISN-TV shows Milroy struggling with officers from the Two Rivers police department as he tried to enter the Capitol on Thursday night sometime after 6 p.m., when the building was closed to the public. At the same time, unbeknownst to Milroy, police were trying to urge about 100 protesters who had been in the rotunda for more than two weeks to comply with a court order to leave. Protesters have converged on the Capitol in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal taking away most collective bargaining rights from most public workers. Milroy said he identified himself as a state representative and showed identification but the officers refused to let him in. He was tackled as he tried to enter despite their refusal.”

The ultimatum has been introduced in Wisconsin: Either the 14 AWOL Democrats return and allow Gov. Walker’s budget strategy to move forward or … he’ll lay off 1500 state employees. CNN’s story is saying: “Walker has repeatedly said the collective bargaining provisions of his bill are not negotiable. The governor showed little sign of backing down from that stance Thursday night. Instead, Walker repeatedly said he was ‘frustrated’ by the intransigence of the 14 Democratic senators trying to stymie the bill by not showing up to vote. He blamed a core group of ‘extreme’ dissenters for standing in the way of compromise. ‘What’s probably the most frustrating is I keep getting the sense that many of these responsible senators are seeking a pathway home, however some of the more extreme members of that caucus are putting up a barrier to them,’ Walker said.”

Is there a level three sex offender who doesn’t sound dangerous? John Rydberg, now 69, testified on his behalf this morning attempting to reassure authorities and victims he is no longer a threat. The AP story by Steve Karnowski says: “Rydberg could be the first person permanently released from Minnesota’s program since it started in 1994. Rydberg testified Friday before a three-judge panel in St. Paul considering his release. The 69-year-old Rydberg acknowledged he had hurt many people, with more than 90 sex offenses beginning when he was 12 years old. One of those victims glared at Rydberg during Friday’s proceeding. Tom McCartney, a Wisconsin man who with his wife was raped by Rydberg in 1975, told the court he didn’t believe Rydberg was a changed man.”

Maybe they couldn’t keep up with the demand for beer kegs? St. Cloud State has announced it is putting a fork in Homecoming, a 80-year tradition at the college. David Unze at the St. Cloud Times writes: “Scheduling Homecoming became difficult with limited home football games, even less choice about who the Huskies played and with other competition for fans from things such as deer hunting season. … The university will focus on creating events or expanding existing ones such as the Lemonade Art Fair, KVSC-FM’s Trivia Weekend and family weekend.”

Did you see where Mary Jo Copeland of Mary’s Place and Sharing and Caring Hands ain’t giving no ground to the Vikings? Dave Orrick of the PiPress says: “As the search for a potential stadium site shifts to the western side of downtown, civic leaders envision a pro football stadium as a bookend to an entertainment district that already embraces Target Field and Target Center amid hotels, bars, restaurants and, at least in the mind of one developer, possibly a casino. Not Mary Jo Copeland. She envisions a land grab jeopardizing thousands of families and displaced people who seek shelter, food and medical services at her campus that includes Mary’s Place and Sharing and Caring Hands. The well-established firebrand is readying for a fight. That may not be needed, but she already has allies, including Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and at least a few state lawmakers.”

Copeland won’t be pleased to reader Charley “Shooter” Walters today in the PiPress: “… it’s a good bet the team will get approval before the end of the legislative session. Call that prediction educated conjecture. Financing would come from state and Hennepin County taxes as well as the Vikings, who will have to put up more than they want — about $400 million of an estimated $900 million overall cost. The stadium will have a roof, but it won’t be retractable. Location: Don’t be surprised if it’s built just west of the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field rather than on the site of the Metrodome.”

Comments to Strib editorial page chief Scott Gillespie’s opinion piece equating the “extremes” of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker going after collective bargainbing contracts and Mark Dayton urging a new level of taxation on the wealthy make for good reading. A sample:

Says “rockpile12”: “It seems the saga of Minnesota and Wisconsin is a microcosm of the differences between liberalism and conservatism in the 21st century. It has become clear the principles of liberalism — especially here in the Twin Cities, seek to subvert the individual while exalting the collective so as to create a permanent dependence on state government. Liberals like Mark Dayton and Keith Ellison eagerly raise taxes to preserve policies like light rail, socialized medicine and gun control. In so doing, the individual and his/her rights and freedoms are cast into a back seat while the collective is given a front row seat at the dining table of government. On the other hand, conservatives like Scott Walker and Michele Bachmann, while skewered relentlessly by the press, have the principle to take stands on what is right versus what is easy.”

And “Mark27” says: “The editorial writer also bestows his own personal bias in his reference to ‘more moderate Minnesotans’ by pretending that Dayton’s call to tax wealthier Minnesotans is out of the mainstream. Most ‘moderate’ Minnesotans have been on the receiving end of the property tax hikes, fee hyperinflation, and service cuts that defined eight nearly uninterrupted years of budget crises during the Pawlenty administration while upper-income Minnesotans were spared almost entirely. Most ‘moderate’ Minnesotans are already stretched to their breaking point after all these years of one-sided sacrifice and are wondering why the Star Tribune’s editorial page editor considers it so immoderate for the rich to have their turn to plug a budget deficit.”

I should have included this last night. Chris Serres of the Strib writes about the head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve discussing the new realities of long-term unemployment: “[Narayana] Kocherlakota reiterated his support of the central bank’s plan to buy hundreds of billions of dollars in government debt, a program known as ‘quantitative easing,’ while urging his fellow policymakers to guard vigilantly against the possibility that consumer prices could rise while joblessness remains high, as happened in the 1970s. The warning that the Fed might have to tighten policy before unemployment declines significantly is likely to unsettle people who view fighting joblessness as a more important mission than the Fed’s focus on inflation. Some have assumed that the Fed would keep short-term interest rates near zero so long as unemployment stays above pre-recession levels. In his presentation, Kocherlakota argued that the current high unemployment rate is not solely related to cyclical shifts in the economy. He said it also is the result of longer-term factors, such as expectations of higher taxes, expansion of unemployment benefits and a growing mismatch between job vacancies and employee skills.

The irresistibly petty squabbles within the case of Hennepion County Judge Patricia Karasov may not fade from public view, even though she’s been given a three-month suspension. Barbara L. Jones on the MinnLawyer blog says: “A panel of the Board on Judicial Standards declined to recommend removing Judge Patricia Kerr Karasov from the bench, opting instead to ask for a 90-day suspension and public censure. The board determined that the judge did not live in her district from July 1 to Sept. 30, 2009, and did not tell the truth about it. As is so often the case in similar situations, the BJS is not happy that the judge lived outside her district but is even more unhappy with her, in their words, “dissembling and lack of good-faith cooperation with the board’s investigation.” The board had recommended her removal from office. The panel’s recommendation is generous to the judge, but … Karasov intends to continue to fight the matter, starting with a motion for amended findings. That would be a bad idea and a terrible disservice to the public Karasov purports to serve.”