Campaign Finance Board OKs marriage-fight disclosure rule

MORNING EDITION

Although supporters of legislation to restrict basic rights to other citizens complain they may suffer harassment, the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board is going ahead with disclosure rules for ballot initiatives. Sasha Aslainian at MPR reports: “[T]he board approved definitions and guidance to support that decision, which has implications for a constitutional amendment on next year’s ballot defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Even before today’s meeting got underway, the National Organization for Marriage distributed a press release to say the board was ‘acting illegally in attempting to force NOM and other pro-family nonprofit organizations to disclose the names of donors.’ NOM attorney Cleta Mitchell said the board’s action was confusing and had no basis in statute. ‘I think the intent is to limit the scope of NOM’s involvement and to essentially rattle some sabers by the government, saying to this citizens organization, people who support your organization, might inadvertently trigger disclosure of their support of NOM,’ Mitchell said. NOM’s individual donors fear reprisal if their names are disclosed, Mitchell said.”

The feds may have found money for wolves. John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune writes: “The federally funded wolf-trapping effort in Minnesota that ran out of money and shut down Friday could be running again within days after the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture pledged new money for the program. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., told the News Tribune today that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack pledged to use money from the agency’s operating budget to restart the wolf trapping and killing program. … Klobuchar said her focus is to push forward an effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ‘de-list’ wolves off the endangered species list by the end of 2011 and hand management back to state and tribal natural resource agencies. Then the state can begin more aggressive wolf-management efforts that also allow the public to shoot trouble-causing wolves.”

Three members of a Woodbury family died at the Grand Canyon. Joy Powell of the Strib reports: “A Woodbury man and his two children were found dead Monday after their recreational vehicle burned during a family vacation in Arizona, stunning a Washington County school with its second tragedy in just over two weeks. Killed were Jersey and Jace DeHaven and their father, Anthony Dehaven, 35. Jersey, a girl, was in kindergarten and Jace, a boy, was in sixth grade at Skyview School in Oakdale, officials said Tuesday. The National Park Service has yet to determine what caused the fire, which occurred in a parking lot outside an entrance to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.”

The AP reports that the two Somali women now on trial for fundraising for al-Shabab (which claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s massive bomb attack in Mogadishu) are presenting themselves as Good Samaritans: “[A]n attorney for one of the women told jurors during opening statements that Amina Farah Ali, 35, was just trying to help her fellow Somalis and didn’t know the U.S. considers al-Shabab a terrorist group. … defense attorney, Dan Scott, said his client was an avid fundraiser who collected money and clothing for the needy. Scott didn’t outright tell jurors that Ali gave money to al-Shabab, but he did say she was raising money for people in Somalia fighting against ‘invaders.’ “

Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, dares to go there. He compares the Catholic Church arguing for, essentially, restricting marriage to straight people to … Martin Luther King campaigning for civil rights for all. In his Strib commentary, Adkins writes: “The church’s public witness in helping to shape a public order that is just, protects authentic rights, serves the common good and promotes human flourishing is not in any way different from what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. did when he, a Baptist minister and theologian, fought for just laws. His civil rights advocacy was grounded in biblical conviction, the natural law, and the Declaration of Independence, much like Catholic advocacy today. In his words, ‘a just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God’. Would the Star Tribune criticize Dr. King for imposing his religious views on others?”

Far North property owners battling to control copper leases on/under their land are headed for a last stand. Josephine Marcotty of the Strib says: “Private property owners from the Ely area will make a final appeal Wednesday to the state’s top leaders to stop exploration for copper on their land, which lies in a part of the state cherished for its clean lakes and stately forests. The state’s Executive Council, made up of the governor, the attorney general and other elected officials, is holding a special meeting to hear out citizens who have been fighting the state’s decision last April to sell 50-year mineral leases on their land. Residents and cabin owners in what may become a new copper mining district near Ely say they were shocked that the state’s century-old minerals law seems skewed to favor mining companies over property owners.”

A multimillion-dollar shopping-apartment area near the UnitedHealth campus in Minnetonka is moving closer to reality. Says Janet Moore of the Strib: “A $75 million retail and apartment complex has been proposed for the busy corner of Shady Oak Road and Excelsior Boulevard in Minnetonka — near the anticipated Southwest light-rail transit station as well as UnitedHealth Group’s budding corporate campus in nearby Eden Prairie. Minnetonka developer Richard Anderson will present his preliminary plan for the 17-acre patch of land to the Minnetonka Planning Commission Thursday night. Anderson calls the project Ecostation 2012 and envisions an intersection that marries commerce, housing and transportation.” … And reliably startling insurance profits.

The Lakeville City Council is not exactly standing behind Lakeville’s mayor. Jessica Fleming of the PiPress writes: “Lakeville’s City Council issued a statement at its Monday meeting denying the mayor’s recent accusation that a staff member had lied. The statement was a summary of an executive session held last week to discuss the performance of senior center coordinator Linda Walter. The session was called by Mayor Mark Bellows after he accused Walter of lying at a Sept. 19 council meeting. The first part of the statement is as follows: ‘The mayor’s reference to a lie at the Sept. 19 council meeting was intended to reflect a perception in the community that he is opposed to the senior center and was not attributable to Ms. Walter.’ During that meeting, the mayor said, ‘I feel like we were lied to by a staff member … and don’t want to set a precedent among our staff that says that type of behavior can continue.’ Bellows went on to say he was ‘ashamed’ and ‘embarrassed’ by the project, which he said ‘was shoved up our butt.’ “ Never mind the butt stuff, he’s “ashamed” and “embarrassed” … by a senior center?

That butt-ugly sign on the side of Target Center is coming down. “The advertisement for Sanford Health that caused such a kerfuffle when it appeared last year on the side of Target Center will be history by month’s end,” says the Strib’s Jackie Crosby. “When Target Corp. renewed naming rights to the Timberwolves arena in September, the retailer also gained access to what has become a coveted piece of real estate for advertising — the area Twins fans see from inside Target Field. The large and illuminated ad for Sanford Health, a nonprofit health system based in the Dakotas, drew ire from civic leaders. City Council Member Lisa Goodman said she was ‘just disgusted by it.’ Hennepin County Board Chairman Mike Opat said the 2,800-foot sign would ‘cheapen’ the public art and spirit of Target Plaza. Timberwolves President Chris Wright said the Sanford moniker will be down Oct. 31.”

Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 10/05/2011 - 06:56 am.

    Brian Lambert wrote:

    “Although supporters of legislation to restrict basic rights to other citizens complain they may suffer harassment…”

    Now we know “The Glean” is an editorial or just another political blog. I won’t get into *another* debate over the subject, only to point out, once again, that Mr. Lambert should enter the keywords “Proposition 8” and “harassment” in a search engine.

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/05/2011 - 07:01 am.

    I fear that NOM and other like-minded organizations are opposed to financial disclosure because they fear a public backlash against them when it’s revealed that a very few, very conservative, very wealthy, high dollar donors, and large numbers of donors from out of state (such as Mormon Donors to the campaign for California’s Anti-gay marriage “Proposition 8”).

    Genuine Minnesotans will resent such massive outside interference in their right to make their own decisions about gay marriage, not to mention that such disclosure will reveal NOM’s efforts not to be broad and “grass roots” but narrow and “astroturfed.”

  3. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/05/2011 - 08:24 am.

    (quote)

    Of NOM’s $2.5 million budget increase from 2007 to 2008, nearly $2.2 million came from 52 large donations of $5,000 or more from anti-gay organizations. On average, these donations were valued at more than $40,000 apiece, with one source alone giving $450,000, according to NOM’s tax filing. In a sworn statement filed in Iowa by NOM, then-executive director Brian Brown admitted, “NOM solicits and receives most of its funds as undesignated donations from major donors and national organizations.”

    (end quote)

    http://nomexposed.org/the-facts/follow-the-money/

    The fact is that the major donors will be attacked for their donations. Ma and Pa devout conservative Mormon/Catholic with their $10 dollar donation won’t. Why shouldn’t the big money be held accountable for their choices?

  4. Submitted by John Harlander on 10/05/2011 - 10:32 am.

    I can’t help but comment on the parallels between the donors to organizations such as NOM wishing to remain anonymous to avoid potential harassment and gay individuals who remain “in the closet” for the same reason.

    Might I suggest to Neal (#1) to type “gay” and “harassment” into a search engine.

  5. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/05/2011 - 10:41 am.

    Mr. Adkins’ piece states that “The church only proposes; she imposes nothing.” That will come as a surprise to elected officials who have been denied communion by their local dioceases for their support of abortion rights and Roman Catholics who may remain silent in this battle because they fear similar treatment on this issue.

    Cabin owners should not be surprised to learn that 19th century laws favor mining interests. Nor should they be indignant that the mineral interests on lands they lease from the state or for which they own surface rights are subject to reserved mineral rights. They and their predecessors bought or leased the land subject to those rights. That being said, there’s nothing to prevent them from opposing mining development on the grounds of its impact on them and/or the environment. Their self-interest, however, does raise questions about the depth of their other concerns.

  6. Submitted by Steve Sundberg on 10/05/2011 - 11:04 am.

    Agree with #3: If SCOTUS has determined that corporations are “people,” then corporations (and their PACs) should be held as accountable for campaign contributions as any other individual — regardless of party or political affiliation.

  7. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 10/05/2011 - 01:52 pm.

    Hey Neal #1, try entering these terms into YOUR search engine….”courage” and “cowardice”.

  8. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/05/2011 - 02:25 pm.

    James, regarding Roman Catholics “who may remain silent” on issues they disagree with the Church on, I’ve often wondered why people bother to stick with a religion that they don’t care to learn from, or apply lessons learned.

    Family pressure aside, no one forces anyone to attend a religious ceremony, so if one decides that it is too constricting, why not just head for the hills, or find a McChurch that suits your lifestyle.

    I think I know the answer.

    People who feel threatened by people that choose to live within the moral boundries a faith sets set themselves to the task of tearing those moral boundries down…not because they are confined, of course, but because deep in their hearts, they know they should be.

    So we have the spectacle of leftist politicians and dedicated hedonists dragging their guilt to the Catholic communion rail to recieve the cleansing our pop culture will bestow upon them upon refusal of communion.

    It’s really sick when you stop to think about it.

  9. Submitted by Dan Hintz on 10/05/2011 - 02:38 pm.

    Today’s false equivalence award goes out to John Harlander (#4).

    The difference between closeted gays and lesbians and marriage amendment donors is that gays and lesbians that stay in the closet do so because they want to be left alone. The marriage amendment donors want to impose their bigotry on other people by changing the law. There would be an actual parallel if the amendment were about allowing people to hate gays and lesbians in the privacy of their own homes. The parallel fails because what the amendment does instead is deprive a class of people of legal rights.

    A better comparison (not a parallel, though) would be to look at the donors opposing the amendment, who are proud to do so and have no trouble with the disclosure, and the supporters, who don’t have the courage of their convictions and are apparently ashamed of their hate.

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