Uh-oh. Cue all your rodents-and-foundering-ship jokes. Shannon Travis of CNN says Our Favorite Congresswoman is losing a couple more top staffers: “Pollster Ed Goeas will soon leave, and senior adviser Andy Parrish will return to the Minnesota congresswoman’s congressional office in Washington, D.C., a campaign spokeswoman said on Monday. ‘With the abbreviated caucus and primary schedule, we’re focusing on Iowa and not doing as much polling,’ spokeswoman Alice Stewart said, referring to Goeas. ‘He’ll be with us at the end of the month working on different projects.’ ” [Goeas] has been instrumental in helping us build the team and our message and he is still a great and valuable member of the team,’ Stewart added. As for Parrish, he moved from the congressional office to Iowa help Bachmann full time in the state. But Stewart insisted his current exit is of no surprise. … The departures are sure to raise eyebrows. Last month, Bachmann’s campaign manager — Ed Rollins — bolted, citing health reasons. Rollins’ deputy, David Polyansky, also left.” Maybe Ron Carey would like to come back?
Bret Hayworth of the Sioux City Journal had no luck at all asking Our Gal a question at her “event” in his town: “Bachmann began a few minutes late — 3:10 p.m. for the event with a 3 p.m. start time, then shook hands with each of the people on hand before speaking through 3:25 p.m. Then she took seven questions over the next 25 minutes up to 3:50 p.m. After she took a bunch of pictures with energetic Siouxlanders, Bachmann also signed autographs on placards. But there was no media avialability for the roughly six news outlets I saw there. That was a curious choice for a campaign that has fallen on hard times, when measured in national polls, since Bachmann hit an Aug. 13 crescendo in winning the Iowa Republican Party straw poll in Ames. Not talking with reporters is the strategy often pursued by frontrunners afraid of a slip-up. … Near the conclusion of Bachmann’s 40-minute event, after six questions from the audience, the staffer motioned to her and said the time for questioning was up. The candidate herself complained about that, and took ‘one more’ from Doc Zortman, a local Republican who has a lot of regard for Sarah Palin. Zortman asked if Bachmann had a ‘Plan B,’ if her ‘Plan A’ to win the presidency didn’t pan out. Zortman threw out Supreme Court justice or attorney general as a few of her fallback positions. ‘I’ve only got Plan A,’ Bachmann said with verve, and the audience responded warmly. ‘I firmly believe it is time to put an Iowan in the White House.’ “
Oh, and that “supercommittee” that is going to fix all our budget problems? “Unconstitutional,” says Ms. Bachmann. Politico’s Maggie Haberman writes: “Bachmann, at her Sioux City town hall, questioned the debt-reduction supercommittee: ‘I think it’s wrong and unconstitutional to hand over the entire budget to 12 people,’ she said of the 12-member bipartisan panel. Speaking of her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, Bachmann said she ‘lived very carefully.’ ‘We wouldn’t consider spending more money than what we took in. That’s the kind of thinking that has to return to Washington DC,’ she said. ‘That’s why the supercommittee is such a bad idea.’ ” Because they don’t “live carefully”?
Over at MPR, Mark Zedechlik talks up folks still giving Bachmann money: “Thomas Webber, a Greenville, S.C., [is a] businessman who gave $250 to Bachmann’s campaign a couple of weeks after she announced she was running in June. ‘I continue to give her money on an occasional basis as I can,’ Webber said, insisting that he’s with Bachmann for the long haul. And he discounts the notion that her campaign is in trouble. ‘When the primaries come up we’ll start seeing who gets the votes’. … Bachmann had only officially been in the presidential race for a couple weeks when the April-June reporting period ended and she put up a big number: more than $3.6 million. But $2 million of that came directly from her congressional war chest. ‘What you want to see is how many donors does she have; are the numbers of donors increasing; is the amount of money increasing from one quarter to the next? That’s what I would pay attention to in the July-September period, he said. If there’s no growth, “I would be concerned,” [PoliSci prof Cary Covington] said. ‘That’s a bad sign.’ “
The local ACLU is claiming full vindication after a document dump on the matter of its suit against now-closed TiZA Academy. Tom Weber of MPR writes: “[Executive Director Chuck] Samuelson says the documents also vindicate what his organization has been saying all along, namely that TiZA ‘illegally transferred money to its religious landlords, promoted Islam through its Arabic curriculum and its connection to the after-school religious program, and used taxpayer funds in excess of $1 million to renovate buildings to the benefit of their religious landlords.’ The lawsuit can now focus on one party instead of three, he said. Shamus O’Meara, a lawyer for TiZA, called Monday’s document release ‘a bunch of noise’ that only serves to spin and taint any potential jury pool in the trial. He added the ACLU had ‘cherry-picked items’ to prejudge TiZA.”
And, no, the “who” is not reported in the story of one Minnesotan who complained that a lot of law enforcement personnel were checking on his/her records. Brady Gervais and Elizabeth Mohr of the PiPress say: “The Department of Public Safety has asked 18 law enforcement agencies in Minnesota to look into potential misuse of its Driver and Vehicle Services database concerning one individual. That individual contacted DPS in August after becoming concerned law enforcement looked up the person’s record and/or photo, said Andy Skoogman, a department spokesman. The department ran an audit of the individual’s name and found about 100 law enforcement employees had accessed the individual’s record more than 400 times over the last four years. …The agencies contacted by DPS include police departments in Bloomington, Burnsville, Cottage Grove, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Isanti, Lakeville, Minnetonka, Minneapolis, St. Paul and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The Dakota County, Pine County, and Ramsey County sheriff’s offices were also notified. The Department of Corrections, Office of Special Investigations, FBI’s Minneapolis office, Metro Transit and the State Patrol were contacted.” This is one for an office pool. Who among us would be of that much ongoing interest?
The “jobs, jobs, jobs” agenda is still working its magic. Annie Baxter at MPR reports: “In September, the survey of factory managers in Minnesota signaled economic growth for the 26th straight month. However, the state’s index fell from 56.3 in August to 55.3 last month. A score above 50 indicates growth. Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss said the survey suggests there will be layoffs at Minnesota factories in coming months, though the state’s overall economy will still see some job gains. ‘It’s not anything to write home abou,t, Goss said. The unemployment rate is likely to tick up in the next three to six months as new individuals enter into the labor market, he said.”
Oh, now he says he didn’t do it. Maricella Miranda of the PiPress checks up on the latest with the “runaway dad” and says: “A Lakeville father plans to dispute allegations that he abandoned his 11-year-old son. Steven Alexander Cross, 60, appeared [Monday] afternoon in Dakota County District Court on a gross misdemeanor of child neglect. Chief Judge Edward Lynch scheduled a future court hearing in the case for Jan. 4. If the case isn’t resolved, Cross will go to trial Jan. 23.”
It took three years, but three journalists caught up in the demonstrations at the Republican National Convention are collecting $100K from St. Paul, Minneapolis and the Feds. Chao Xiong of the Strib says: “The cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis last week reached an agreement in federal court with “Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman. The settlement doesn’t assign blame to either city for arresting her and two producers as they covered a demonstration at the convention. The cities will pay a combined $90,000 to Goodman, Nicole Salazar and Sharif Abdel Kouddous under an insurance policy taken out by convention organizers. The federal government will pay $10,000. Goodman and her producers sued both cities, Ramsey County, the federal government and several others, alleging that they were unlawfully arrested and that officers were inadequately trained in First Amendment rights.”