Our Favorite Congresswoman needs a bit more time to get her financial records together. Tom Scheck of MPR says: “[Michele] Bachmann has asked for another 45 days to file her financial disclosure report with the Federal Election Commission. The attorney for Bachmann’s presidential campaign, William McGinley, told the FEC that they were ‘working diligently to obtain the required information’ but that they need more time. He wrote in the letter that the campaigned needed ‘additional time to discuss some disclosure questions with the Office of Government Ethics and to ensure that the SF-278 is complete and accurate.’ This is the second time Bachmann’s campaign has asked for a 45-day extension. McGinley used the same arguments when he sought a 45-day extension in July.” Maybe she can explain how the hub pays himself and staff salaries, lease and maintenance on a clinic that “grosses” between $50K and $100k a year?
Astounding revelation #4211: Minnesotans think our politicians did one lousy job of “solving” the budget crisis and prefer a … wait for it … “balanced approach” when/if they ever decide to get it right. Bill Salisbury at the PiPress reports: “A majority of Minnesotans say both tax increases and cuts in state services are needed to fix the state’s long-term budget problems, according to a report being released today. Nearly two-thirds think one-time borrowing — the compromise Gov. Mark Dayton and the 2011 Legislature used to resolve their budget differences — is a bad idea, the Bush Foundation and InCommons study found. The report, ‘Citizen Solutions: Citizen Perspectives on Minnesota’s Long-Term Budget,’ is the product of three citizen forums held around the state in July, followed by a statewide poll this month. The Wilder Research survey of 600 Minnesotans had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The poll found three-fourths of Minnesotans were disappointed in the process state leaders used to reach their budget agreement and 69 percent were dissatisfied with the final deal.”
The latest in the saga of that juuuust-slightly-over-the-top island home in Lake Minnetonka comes from John Welbes at the PiPress: “The former owner of the Grand Hotel in downtown Minneapolis and two well-known water parks in the Twin Cities was indicted today on federal tax evasion charges. Jeffrey John Wirth was charged along with his ex-wife, Holly Claire Damiani. Michael James Murry, who prepared taxes for Wirth and his businesses, was also charged. The Wirth Companies, a business controlled by Wirth, owned the Grand Rios Hotel & Waterpark in Brooklyn Center and the Grand Lodge Hotel & Waterpark of America in Bloomington, near the Mall of America. The federal indictment, filed in Minneapolis, says that from 2003 to 2010, the three arranged for millions of dollars’ worth of construction for a home on an island in Lake Minnetonka to be paid for by The Wirth Companies. Those payments were not reported on business income tax returns or Wirth and Damiani’s personal tax returns, the indictment alleges. From 2002 to 2006, Wirth and Damiani also reported wage income of $12,000 per year or less, ‘whereas the fair market value of their labor was significantly higher than that,’ according to a release from prosecutors.”
As our Brad Allen has also noted, Minnesota’s unemployment rate, that pesky measure of our “jobs, jobs, jobs” production, ticked up last month. Dee DePass at the Strib writes: “Minnesota’s government shutdown in July pummeled the state’s job record, causing the state to lose 19,800 jobs and thrusting its unemployment rate to 7.2 percent from 6.8 percent in June. However, state labor economists said the true rate is actually closer to 7.6 percent. Minnesota lost 28,000 state government and school jobs during the month of July as a result of the government shutdown and school closings during the summer. The state gained 8,200 private-sector jobs in July, mostly thanks to gains in manufacturing. Factories added 3,500 jobs during the month and 12,100 jobs since January 2010. That pushed the sector’s job totals above 300,000 for the first time since early 2009. Manufacturing is still about 100,000 jobs shy of totals a decade ago.”
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) dropped over $700K on Minnesota TV and radio stations in the 2010 election. Andy Birkey at The Minnesota Independent reports: “Findings by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board show that the National Organization for Marriage spent $709,000 on radio and television ads during the gubernatorial campaign in 2010. Those ads targeted DFLer Mark Dayton and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner for their support for marriage equality and lent support for the campaign of Republican Tom Emmer who supported a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage. The ads, paid for by the New Jersey-based NOM, were created by the California-based Schubert Flint Public Affairs. The ads were the subject of a campaign finance complaint that was dismissed Wednesday by the public disclosure board.”
… And there’s more to come. Says the Strib’s Bob von Sternberg: “A full 15 months before Minnesota voters decide whether to cement a ban against same-sex marriage into the state Constitution, the campaign over the amendment is already heating from a simmer to a full boil. Groups on both sides of the proposed amendment have ramped up their fundraising machinery — amid suggestions the campaign could top $10 million — and have boosted their efforts to enlist armies of volunteers. But the organizing faces two daunting realities: Extravagant gushers of cash and ground troops have had little effect on voters in other states, and anti-amendment groups have been largely ineffective elsewhere in preventing the measures from passing. A study published last year by New York University political scientist Patrick Egan found that in 33 states where marriage and domestic-partner ballot issues have been decided since 1998, the campaigns have not changed voters’ minds.” Yeah, not a lot of “undecideds” on that one.
Von Sternberg has another piece, in which the state’s GOP leaders are talking about “reforming” government. With, you know, unprecedented, revolutionary thinking designed to get us away from the same old talking points and empty jargon. Writes von Sternberg: “Nearly six months before the start of the next legislative session, the lawmakers unveiled what they call their ‘Reform 2.0’ campaign, a day after Gov. Mark Dayton announced he will conduct a tour around the state to listen to Minnesotans’ ideas about spurring job growth. The Republicans’ agenda will include what they describe as limiting government ‘overreach, improving the state’s business climate, lowering taxes and streamlining government functions.’ They also plan to push for a constitutional amendment that would require a supermajority vote in both legislative chambers to increase taxes.” Oops, I’m sorry. Someone must have put in an old tape.
Just a message for anyone else thinking of unionizing Target … plan on working someplace else. Jim Spencer writes in the Strib: “Target Corp. fired one of its employees who led a recent unsuccessful effort to unionize a store in the New York City suburbs. Aided by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union Chapter 1500 (UFCW), Tashawna Green, 21, last week appealed her termination to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). She asked for reinstatement to her job until an administrative law judge hears her case. Target said Tuesday that Green’s dismissal was based on her personal behavior, not her union organizing. ‘This team member recently acted in an overly hostile, disruptive manner that is inconsistent with Target’s policies and therefore her employment was terminated,’ the company said in a statement.” That isn’t very team-y to a “Team Member” now, is it?
Another day and another expose ripping back the curtain on DFL/liberal perfidy. This time from Gary Gross of the “Let Freedom Ring” blog: “For years, people across the nation have thought of the League of Women Voters and Common Cause as nonpartisan civic groups. (Informed conservative bloggers knew better.) When they joined forces with TakeAction Minnesota’s coalition, that facade disappeared. The truth is that LWV and Common Cause were inextricably linked with the most corrupt DFL special interest allies. Their pure-as-the-driven-snow reputations disappeared in a nanosecond. Their political stripes are now there for the world to see. The people that they’re ‘partnering’ with aren’t just garden variety liberals either. Their partners are corrupt, far left lefties who contributed enthusiastically to the biggest smear campaign in Minnesota history.” And then, in the spirit of blogging, Gross gets a single comment, saying, “this is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read.”