Oh, yeah. That “jobs, jobs, jobs” thing. Wasn’t there a lot of talk about that last fall? Tom Scheck and Martin Moylan of MPR rewind the legislative, uh, “action,” and say: “From the moment the legislative session began in January, Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders said creating jobs and fixing the economy were their top priorities. The shutdown put 22,000 state workers and thousands more private sector employees out of work for nearly three weeks. With the session and shutdown now over, both sides said they made progress. ‘I wish there were more in there for jobs,’ Dayton said. ‘It lost its focus there for a while, but it turns out there are some very good measures in there for job creation.’ Dayton told MPR News the new budget includes key initiatives that could help Minnesota attract business and put people to work. Up to 14,000 people will be employed by a $500 million public works bill Dayton pushed for, he said. Dayton also said he secured $10 million for investment funds that help the state attract and retain businesses. … Republicans are focusing on other tax policy — the taxes they kept from being raised. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and House Speaker Kurt Zellers both said the governor’s push to raise income taxes on Minnesota’s top earners would have hurt job growth. Also, eliminating a tax on health care providers will help employers, Koch said. The tax is scheduled to expire in 2019 but could terminate earlier when the federal health care law kicks in. Koch said the tax cut could help spur job growth in the state’s health care sector.” Precisely. I hear UnitedHealth needed some relief.
Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s designated conservative reporter/blogger, is not amused by T-Paw’s odd footwork around the Michele Bachmann migraine story: “Pawlenty’s reaction to the story is even odder when you consider the reaction of every other campaign. Alexander Burns of Politico went from campaign to campaign, asking if each had any involvement in surfacing the story. A spokesman for Jon Huntsman said: ‘It’s a ‘minor medical condition’ that shouldn’t be ‘taken advantage of’ in advance of the Ames Straw Poll.’ Spokesmen for Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney gave flat ‘no’s’ when asked if their campaigns had any involvement in the headache story. In California, Romney added: ‘There’s no question in my mind that Michele Bachmann’s health is in no way an impediment to her being able to serve as president. … Her health should not be an issue in a campaign.’ Then there was this answer from Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant, which a Republican operative described as ‘massaged.’ ‘We did not pitch or push the Daily Caller story and haven’t since.’ Okay, readers, which answer is not like the others?” Me! Me! Ask me!
Is that futility I smell surrounding this idea? Bob von Sternberg’s Strib story says: “[A] trio of Republican state senators unveiled bills they said could prevent a repeat, while a DFL senator called for reforms that would end secret budget negotiations. Republican Sens. Ted Lillie of Lake Elmo, Paul Gazelka of Brainerd and Ted Daley of Eagan said their bills would keep state government operating at existing funding levels even if legislators fail to agree on a new budget by the end of the two-year budget period.”
The brother of Derek Boogaard, the popular one-time Wild hockey player, was arrested Thursday. Matt McKinney, Paul Walsh and Michael Russo of the Strib report: “The investigation into the overdose-related death of Derek Boogaard led to the arrest of his 24-year-old brother Wednesday in Minneapolis on suspicion of prescription fraud/possession of prescription pills, police said. Aaron Boogaard, a Canadian national from Regina, Saskatchewan, is being held at the Hennepin County jail on the drug arrest and on a federal immigration hold, according to the jail’s website. The Minneapolis police record listing Aaron Boogaard’s arrest says that the date and time of his alleged crime is May 13, the day that family members found former Wild tough guy Derek Boogaard, 28, dead in his Warehouse District apartment.”
On Vikings stadium-watch is Kevin Seifert at ESPN. He blogs: “A thousand miles away [from the Metrodome], both literally and figuratively, NFL owners were debating the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that will play a substantial role in the future of pro football in Minnesota. Specifically: Will the CBA include the construction loan program the Vikings have been counting on throughout their decade-long fight for a new stadium? Early reports, including one from Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, suggest the CBA will designate three markets that would be eligible for an undefined loan program. Given the progress they’ve made to this point, it’s reasonable to assume the Vikings will win one of those slots. Other candidates include the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Jacksonville. Keep in mind that CBA negotiations aren’t complete. It’s conceivable that anything could be added or removed at any point. But there are enough stadium issues around the league to justify the continuation of a loan program. At one point, the Vikings were counting on up to $150 million in an NFL loan, equal to roughly 15 percent of the announced cost of their $1.057 billion proposal in suburban Arden Hills.”
There is, of course, a bit of irony in the Strib editorializing on the passing of TiZA Academy. Former (regular) columnist Katherine Kersten leveled several forests railing against the school in her term in the paper’s metro section. Today the Strib says: “The complicated story of how it went from an academic star to being shut down by the state offers lessons in church-state conflicts, effective charter school administration and how best to educate a challenged population of students. TiZA did an outstanding job academically. Its 500 mostly low-income students had top test scores; students in the K-8 program achieved 92 percent proficiency in math and 72 percent proficiency in reading on statewide tests — even though many were English-language learners. … TiZA’s academic accomplishments should be studied by Minnesota educators for years to come. Despite its shortcomings, the charter program got the academics right, and the lessons to be learned from that success shouldn’t be lost with the school’s closing. During its eight years, TiZA won federal grants to share its effective curriculum with other schools. Hopefully other Minnesota schools will replicate TiZA’s success and avoid its administrative troubles.”
Oh, sorry, here’s another T-Paw item. From Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register: “ABC Sports may slap presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty with a cease-and-desist letter for improperly using its footage in a political advertisement, a company official told The Des Moines Register today. ‘It’s a violation of our copyright and exclusive proprietary rights,’ said Louise Argianas, director of rights and clearances for ABC Sports. The struggling Pawlenty campaign launched ‘The American Comeback,’ a television commercial with a down-but-not-out theme, in Iowa on Wednesday. The 30-second spot uses TV footage from the so-called ‘Miracle on Ice,’ the hockey game in which the U.S. team beat the supposedly invincible Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics. … It’s [the] narrative — that his chances of winning the Republican nomination are in peril — that Pawlenty addresses in this Iowa advertisement. ‘Out here, you’re tested,’ he says in the ad. ‘You face an opponent experts say can’t be beat. You fight, you bleed, you prevail.’ ” Or, if that seems too scary, you shift the fight to an indeterminate point in the future after you’re no longer around.
Jerry Trooien, the (and how many times have you heard this?) once high-flying, high-living, big-idea developer, is leaving bankruptcy. Says Jennifer Bjorhus of the Strib: “U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Nancy Dreher on Thursday confirmed Trooien’s reorganization plan, calling the lack of objections ‘a small miracle,’ and setting the stage for Trooien to complete the bankruptcy process within 75 days. Most of his creditors will be settling for a small fraction of the $90 million that he owes them, but they figured they will be better off letting Trooien try to strengthen his assets rather than forcing him into liquidation. Reorganizing, creditors would get about $7.7 million; liquidating, about $1.3 million. ‘They’re well-positioned, well-located properties,’ a somber Trooien told the court. ‘These boats should rise if there’s any rise in the tide.’ Still lurking, however, are unresolved questions about whether Trooien was part of a mortgage fraud scheme at one of his former projects, the Cloud 9 Sky Flats condo building in Minnetonka.” Oh, that.
Finally, a very funny — or outrageously unfair — collection of cartoons about Our Favorite Congresswoman, posted at MSNBC’s “Powerwall”.