All the way from Miami, Marc Caputo of the Herald, checks out Our Favorite Congresswoman’s police record … no not offenses on her part, God forbid! But (perceived) offenses against her for which she summoned the (socialized) police force: “With a penchant for tough talk and polarizing positions, Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann is a magnet for controversy — and there’s a trail of police reports to prove it. She and her staff over the years have requested police protection or investigations when her house was egged; when protesters threw glitter on her or held up critical signs; when her campaign yard signs were stolen; when a man wrote an email perceived as a threat; and when she screamed that two women were holding her hostage ‘against my will’ in a city hall restroom. The series of police reports from the Stillwater Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota show a side of a candidate rarely seen on the campaign trail.” Clearly dialed into Minnesota culture, Caputo chats up … Chairman Sutton: “ ‘Michele Bachmann is someone who tells it like it is with the courage of her convictions,’ said Tony Sutton, state chairman of Republican Party of Minnesota. ‘There will be people on the other side who will react in an inappropriate that way. There are a lot of liberals who can’t cope with the fact that she’s an outspoken conservative who sticks by her guns.”
Meanwhile, Andy Birkey of The Minnesota Independent pursues what would be a goldmine for the opposition … if any of Ms. Bachmann’s opposition held any fundamentally different opinions than her. The issue, long lingering in plain sight, waiting for explication, is Mr. Bachmann’s “gay therapy” business. Writes Birkey: “John Becker of TWO spent a week in late-June undergoing the therapy. ‘Based on my experiences at Bachmann & Associates, there can no longer be any doubt that Marcus Bachmann’s state- and federally-funded clinic endorses and practices reparative therapy aimed at changing a gay person’s sexual orientation, despite the fact that such ‘therapy’ is widely discredited by the scientific and medical communities,’ wrote Becker in a report of his findings. “It’s time for Michele and Marcus Bachmann to stop denying, dodging and stonewalling. They owe it to all Americans to provide a full and honest explanation for their embrace of these dangerous and fraudulent practices.’ Like Ramirez, Becker was referred to an ‘ex-gay’ ministry and told that God wants all gays and lesbians to be heterosexual.”
Gov. Dayton has written an Op-Ed. The Strib publishes it: “Republicans remain absolutely opposed to asking the very richest Minnesotans to pay more in taxes Instead, their budget would raise property taxes by $1.4 billion over three years on homeowners, businesses, and renters. Senior citizens, people with disabilities, children born into poverty, college students from middle-income families and their parents would also pay the price for Republican legislators’ refusal to ask the richest Minnesotans to pay even a single dollar more in taxes. In our democracy, if the voters give their ‘mandate’ entirely to one party in an election, then that party has the right to determine policy until the next election. However, when the voters deliver a split verdict, as they did in Minnesota last November, then neither side is entitled to have it all their way. For the past two months, I have offered again and again to compromise, and meet the Republicans half-way. They have refused to compromise to reach an agreement.” Maybe you’ve heard that before?
Briana Bierschbach at Politics in Minnesota says Dayton is going to take his argument on the road: “Dayton plans to drive across the state this week to show Minnesotans his “continued efforts to find compromise” to break the budget impasse and stop what has become the longest government shutdown in state history. Dayton announced the plans at a news conference Monday, along with new offers to help solve the $5 billion budget deficit. In a letter to Republican legislative leadership, the governor suggested eliminating some tax expenditures, broadening the sales tax base and lowering the rate, and increasing taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and other tobacco products to help close the gap. While Dayton said he doesn’t necessarily support these ideas, they are areas he hopes the two parties can ‘agree to.’ ‘I’ve suggested everything I can think of to get this settled,’ he said, adding that his travels are to ‘remind Minnesotans of what’s at stake.’ ”
Maybe Dayton got an advance look at the Strib editorial this morning … or read other columns suggesting he start aggressively retailing his view of the impasse. The Strib says: “DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has made multiple concessions to Republican legislative majorities. Most recently, he said he’d sign a $35.4 billion biennial budget, down from his original $37.6 billion, and offered to drop his preferred income tax increase on the wealthy in favor of a tobacco tax hike. Republicans stubbornly remain where they were in May, at $34 billion. Something has to alter that pattern if the shutdown is to end before it becomes a killer drought. As governor, Dayton is best positioned to play rainmaker. The governor needs a new strategy, one built on his belief that Minnesota needs a strong human-capital foundation to thrive in the future. He needs to help Minnesotans understand that if the state cuts its human-capital spending unwisely, the state’s future prospects will be diminished. He should ask for Minnesotans’ help in wooing Republican legislative support for that vision.” We’re supposed to “woo” the GOP? Unless its Grover Norquist whispering sweet nothings in their ears, I doubt they’ll succumb to any mere citizen’s artful seduction.
The giant bank with a heart? Nancy Lebens at MPR reports: “U.S. Bank said it will allow a month reprieve from most loan payments to customers affected by Minnesota’s state government shutdown. The bank is offering the program to laid off state employees and others whose businesses are affected by the shutdown. U.S. Bank spokesman Tom Joyce says customers can choose which monthly payment they’d like to skip, then notify the bank by calling an 800 number.” And what about that month’s interest?
Emily Gurnon of the PiPress reports that a Court of Appeals has ruled against the U of M mortuary science student who weirded out classmates with a Facebook rant about “Bernie,” her cadaver: “Amanda Tatro posted comments to her Facebook page in November and early December 2009 such as, ‘Who knew embalming lab was so cathartic! I still want to stab a certain someone in the throat with a trocar though.’ A trocar is a sharp instrument used to drain body cavities before embalming. Tatro, now 30, said during a disciplinary hearing that she was referring to a man she had recently broken up with. She also wrote, ‘Amanda Beth Tatro gets to play, I mean dissect, Bernie (her cadaver) today. Let’s see if I can have a lab void of reprimanding and having my scalpel taken away. Perhaps if I just hide it under my sleeve … She mentioned taking out ‘aggression’ on the cadaver and ‘updating my Death List #5.’ ” … Tatro, of Minneapolis, has finished her coursework, she said today, and is studying for the national board exam for funeral directors. ‘I just want to do right by grieving families,’ she said. ‘I want to bring dignity and honor back to funeral service. It’s critical.’ “
They’re canceling the North Dakota State Fair. The AP story says: “Officials decided over the weekend to cancel this year’s fair in Minot because of Souris River flooding. Manager Renae Korslien said officials did everything they could to make the fair a reality but eventually had no choice but to call off the event scheduled later this month. ‘We tried hard, but the timeline got too short,’ she told the Minot Daily News. ‘It’s a disaster,’ she said, describing the cancellation as ‘tough on the heart and tough on the checkbook.’ Officials earlier had decided to hold a scaled-down fair with no parade and no commercial exhibits. They called off the entire event when a revised forecast by the National Weather Service showed the river that flooded the fairgrounds and many other areas of Minot will recede slower than expected due to recent rains.”
Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “No Quarter” column, has another good one: “A prominent business leader from state Sen. Rob Cowles’ district was stunned when the veteran lawmaker explained why he voted in favor of Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial budget-repair plan. Cowles had contacted the business leader earlier this year to ask for the person’s support in his upcoming recall election. ‘He said, ‘I didn’t like this (bill) either. I didn’t like being put in this position. I didn’t like anything about the way it was done’,’ the business leader quoted Cowles as saying. ’But the governor’s office told us if we didn’t give them our support, they would run a tea party candidate against us.’ ” The Green Bay-area business leader, who has not given campaign money to Democrats or Republicans, contacted No Quarter last week and spoke on background, meaning the paper knows the individual’s identity. But the leader asked not to be identified by name in the Journal Sentinel because doing so would hurt the person’s business and industry relationships. … Club for Growth, a conservative group with strong links to the governor, ran TV and radio ads urging voters to tell lawmakers to support the bill and mentioning Cowles by name. Unions leaned on him in hopes that he would buck his party.”