Aren’t there laws against this? According to David Catanese at Politico, Americans for Prosperity, the group heavily funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, “is sending absentee ballots to Democrats in at least two Wisconsin state Senate recall districts with instructions to return the paperwork after the election date. The fliers, obtained by POLITICO, ask solidly Democratic voters to return ballots for the Aug. 9 election to the city clerk ‘before Aug. 11.’ A Democrat on the ground in Wisconsin said the fliers were discovered to be hitting doors in District 2 and District 10 over the weekend. ‘These are people who are our 1’s in the voterfile who we already knew. They ain’t AFP members, that’s for damn sure,’ the source said. … The absentee trickery comes just as AFP has purchased $150,000 in ad time in Green Bay, Milwaukee and Madison to boost GOP candidates.”
Oh … this just in … those misleading ballots? “A printing mistake,” says the AFP. Catanese again, “The conservative third party group Americans for Prosperity said absentee ballots sent to Wisconsin voters this weekend with the wrong election date [were] the result of a ‘printing mistake.’ ‘The date on the ballot application was meant solely for the elections held on August 16th. Due to a mistake during printing, all applications were sent out with the August 11th date,’ said AFP-Wisconsin state director Matt Seaholm. ‘Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin did not intend to print the incorrect absentee deadline or confuse voters in any way.’ ” Oh. OK. Other than targeting Democrats … OK. “Nothing to see here, folks.”
Speaking of … To date, $4.2 million has been poured into Wisconsin’s recall elections. The AP says: “An Associated Press analysis of new campaign finance reports shows Republicans and Democrats have spent about $4.2 million in six Wisconsin recall campaigns involving incumbent Republican state senators since January. Almost half of it has come in just the last three weeks. Republicans outraised Democrats, $3.1 million to $2.1 million over the first seven months of the year. Democrats ramped up their spending in July, though, pouring more than $1 million into their campaigns during the month compared with about $885,000 for the Republicans. The analysis doesn’t include spending by outside groups.”
They may be running out of nose plugs in D.C. Both Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken voted for the so-called “debt deal.” Kevin Diaz of the Strib writes: “Both senators said the hard-fought deal would reduce the deficit and put the nation on the path to fiscal responsibility. But neither was happy about the final endgame of the deal, which President Obama is expected to sign later today. ‘Unfortunately, in a game of chicken, the player most concerned about protecting the full faith and credit of the United States is put in the most difficult position,’ Franken said in a statement released before the House vote on Monday.”
The old saying about weather that is “good for ducks” is true. Sam Cook at the Duluth News Tribune reports: “Minnesota’s breeding duck and goose numbers were up significantly from last year, and the state had a record number of wetlands, according to Department of Natural Resources spring waterfowl surveys. The state’s estimated breeding duck population was 687,000 compared with last year’s estimate of 531,000. This year’s estimate is 11 percent above the long-term average of 622,000 breeding ducks. This year’s mallard breeding population was estimated at 283,000, which was 17 percent higher than last year’s estimate of 242,000, and 26 percent above the long-term average, according to the DNR.”
Also, the stifling heat and humidity has done wonderful things for farm crops. Says the AP: “Minnesota crops developed quickly in the heat and humidity last week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly crop report says the share of soybeans that are blooming advanced 15 percentage points to 72 percent, still down from 86 percent for the five-year average. Likewise, corn silking advanced 29 points from the previous week to 83 percent, compared to 85 percent for the five-year average. The crop was rated 74 percent good to excellent.” When we see kudzu crawling across the back 40, we’ll know that climate change stuff has set in for good.
The United Methodist Church is going after one of its own for blessing — not marrying — a same-sex couple. Says Andy Birkey at the Minnesota Independent: “Rev. Gregrey Renstrom of Minneapolis’ New Harmony United Methodist Church is facing a formal complaint within the United Methodist Church for his participation in the recent Twin Cities LGBT Pride Festival. The complaint alleges that Renstrom performed blessings for same-sex couples, in violation of the church’s laws, during a mass commitment ceremony held annually at the festival. According to the complaint, Renstrom was seen on a KARE 11 video performing a commitment ceremony for a couple at the Pride festival on June 25. The story was about legalizing same-sex marriage in New York and defeating a ballot measure that would add a ban on marriage for gays and lesbians to the Minnesota Constitution. … Earlier in June, more than 70 of Minnesota’s Methodist ministers vowed to defy church law, bless same-sex couples and oppose the proposed constitutional amendment banning marriage for gays and lesbians.”
Not one, not two, but three National Enquirer reporters are by-lined on a piece that is headlined, “MICHELE BACHMANN GAY JIHAD.” It says: “Bachmann, a Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, opposes same-sex marriage and has called being gay ‘part of Satan.’ Her husband Marcus — who runs Christian counseling clinics — believes gays and lesbians can be ‘cured’ of their sexual preference with prayer and has called gays ‘barbarians.’ His remarks prompted Cher to fire off a Twitter message blasting him as ‘unchristian,’ adding she’d like to ‘strangle him with my boa’! Other celebrities, including Brad Pitt, Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Lynch, Neil Patrick Harris, Lady Gaga, Ricky Martin and Sharon Osbourne, have also opposed Bachmann’s White House run, say sources. And comedian Kathy Griffin boasted that she called Bachmann a ‘“bigot’ to her face.” What candidate can survive nasty tweets from Cher?
Randy M. Cauthron of The Spencer (Iowa) Daily Reporter files a piece on Our Favorite Congresswoman’s Sunday visit to a local church: “The service included a patriotic musical audio/video presentation featuring quotations from America’s founding fathers regarding God’s role in the formation and foundation of the country. … The Minnesota lawmaker told the congregation of profiles of the “great law givers” that circle the House of Representatives. She took special mention of the fact that they are all side profiles — except one. Bachmann noted that directly above the main double doors into the House chamber, which welcome the President into the room for his annual State of the Union address, there is one more face. ‘The only face. A full-on face. The face of Moses,’ Bachmann said, calling him the ultimate law-giver. ‘That is more than symbolism, that’s a statement from our founders. We’re a nation in which our motto is ‘In God We Trust.’ “
“His roommate and former client.” Emily Gurnon of the PiPress reports the story of a St. Paul attorney with some anger issues: “A St. Paul defense attorney admitted in court that he assaulted his roommate and former client — a crime that could put him in prison for more than eight years. Brian Louis Pitera, 44, pleaded guilty Monday in Ramsey County District Court to first-degree assault in the Christmas Day incident. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 15. ‘I admitted that he attacked me and I retaliated out of self-defense, but that I got carried away,’ Pitera said when reached by phone this morning. ‘And I deeply regret it.’ The attack caused ‘great bodily harm’ to victim Richard Wegleitner, 64, according to the criminal complaint charging Pitera with the offense. The two shared a home in the 1400 block of Sheldon Street. Pitera had represented Wegleitner in 2009 on a charge that Wegleitner had violated a domestic abuse order for protection involving his wife. Wegleitner pleaded guilty.” I’m thinking those two might not be a good influence on each other.