Only one of 13 Minnesota Fortune 500 companies will take any public position opposing the so-called gay marriage amendment heading to the ballot next November. Patrick Condon of the AP reports: “Opponents of the marriage amendment on the 2012 ballot see natural allies in the state’s prominent companies, long seen as integral to preserving the state’s fabled quality of life. But the symbolic and financial firepower of companies like Target, General Mills and others with a history of supporting gay causes may not be so forthcoming. The Associated Press contacted representatives for the 13 Minnesota-based Fortune 500 companies that offer domestic partner benefits — nearly three-quarters of the state’s complete Fortune 500 roster — and only one, a spokeswoman for Little Canada-based medical device maker St. Jude Medical, said the company would publicly oppose the amendment. That’s not what amendment opponents might have hoped for.”
A commentary by DFL Sen. John Marty, he of the sell-Zygi-the-Metrodome-for-$1 idea, includes this: “Zygi Wilf and the Vikings are attempting to make their Ramsey County stadium deal sound like a run-of-the-mill, routine proposal. It is not. The Vikings are asking for the #1, all-time, biggest taxpayer subsidy of any sports franchise anywhere in American history! … I joined with Rep. Linda Runbeck to offer a bipartisan alternative: give the Metrodome to the Vikings in exchange for a 25 year contract to play in Minnesota. This proposal does not require any public funding. No Ramsey County sales tax, no Ramsey County automobile tax, and no state taxes or ‘fees’ or ‘other revenues.’ Taxpayers would be fully compensated for the value of the Metrodome through property taxes, from which the Vikings are currently exempted.”
Did you catch Stribber Lori Sturdevant’s not-so-veiled plea for someone in Minneapolis to step up and grab control of this Vikings stadium deal … before something crazy happens, like construction in Arden Hills? “[Mayor R.T. Rybak] plans to meet with Gov. Mark Dayton about the issue this week, presumably to make the case that a Minneapolis location fills Dayton’s personal bill for a ‘people’s stadium.’ But it’s not clear that the governor, or any elected official, is truly in the driver’s seat on stadium siting. So far, it has appeared that the team is. That’s troubling. The investment of upwards of $600 million in public money is at stake, in a publicly owned facility whose location will affect many of the region’s residents in ways great and small. The public interest ought to carry more weight.” But then the public’s voice would have to carry more weight, right?
It is a drought over a big swath of Minnesota. Jim Adams of the Strib reports: “Despite some drizzle over the weekend, much of southern Minnesota still is experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions, the National Weather Service said Sunday. Concerned about parched conditions, Minneapolis officials have asked residents to water yard and boulevard trees, especially any planted this year. The Twin Cities area is in its eighth year of drought, which has put even healthy trees at risk of damage, city officials said.”
Bill Bleyer of Newsday reports on the sale at auction of a letter from Minneapolis Titanic survivor John Pillsbury Snyder. “One year before the centennial of the Titanic’s sinking, a letter written by a prominent Minneapolis businessman on Titanic stationery the day it sailed is one of more than 100 items of the doomed ship’s memorabilia sold Friday night in New York for $100,570. … Even more important in historical terms is another letter in the collection that Snyder wrote his father after returning to Minneapolis: ‘We were both asleep when the boat hit. … When we reached the top deck, only a few people were about and we all were told to go down & put on our life belts. … We were almost the very first people placed in the Lifeboat. Only a very few people were on deck at the time and they thought it much safer to stay on the big boat than to try the life boat.’ “
A Strib piece by Corey Mitchell reports on Minneapolis struggling to reopen closed schools to accommodate a new tide of students: “Twenty public schools in Minneapolis have closed since 2005, rivaling the per-student closure rate of Chicago and Detroit, some of the nation’s most troubled urban districts. Yet 29 Minneapolis schools are popular enough to have waiting lists, most of them in parts of the city far from any of the shuttered classrooms. The contrasting trends represent an unexpected shift in the district’s enrollment brought about by new students from middle-class neighborhoods and a growing Latino population, mainly from working-class households. That change, coupled with a loss of state funding, is forcing Minneapolis Public Schools to reopen schools, shuffle attendance boundaries and re-evaluate its commitment to integrating each school.”
After literally years of being ignored as “just a blogger,” Karl Bremer’s cred as a valid perspective on Our Favorite Congresswoman is getting … even local notice. Bob Shaw of the PiPress profiles Bremer, of the “Ripple in Stillwater” blog, saying: “Bremer has attracted national attention for his two anti-Bachmann Internet blogs. He co-wrote an upcoming book, ‘The Madness of Michele Bachmann: A Broad-Minded Survey of a Small-Minded Candidate.’ He even offers tours to Bachmann-hungry reporters. ‘I am the expert on Bachmann-alia,’ Bremer said. ‘I run so many tours, I should get my own trolley.’ The latest tour was Tuesday, when police were called to shoo him and a French TV cameraman away from the charter school Bachmann helped start — one of many stops on the tour de Michele. … ‘Every reporter has a beat, and my beat happens to be Michele Bachmann,’ said Bremer, who does marketing for a local manufacturing firm. He says he uncovers stories that the mainstream media miss.” And some of the stuff he “uncovers” are the size of boulders.
Speaking of … Seema Mehta of the Los Angeles Times believes Our Gal’s problems with, you know, facts and accuracy are catching up with her. From Iowa she offers (still more) examples of what goes on almost every day: “Bachmann was laying out a tough immigration policy recently when she veered off script to make a point that she said underscored the national security implications of a porous border. “Fifty-nine thousand this year came across the border, as was said in the introduction, from Yemen, from Syria. These are nations that are state sponsors of terror,” the Minnesota congresswoman and Republican presidential candidate said, citing a report she had heard. “They’re coming into our country!”There were two problems with Bachmann’s passionate assertion. Yemen is not a state sponsor of terrorism, according to the State Department. And the Border Patrol report to which Bachmann referred said that although 59,000 apprehended illegal immigrants came from countries other than Mexico, only 663 had ties to countries with links to terrorism. Voters here frequently say they are drawn to support Bachmann’s presidential campaign by the litany of statistics and facts that stud her speeches. Yet what she says is often inaccurate, misleading or wildly untrue.
All politicians occasionally shade the facts to their advantage. The danger for Bachmann is that her misstatements are so pronounced and so numerous that they erode her effort to regain footing in the presidential race. (Asked for reaction, a campaign aide provided information unrelated to the statements in question.)”
That ultimate Minnesota icon, Target, continues to take a vicious ripping on the Gawker website. The latest piece(s) up, under the title “ Life at Target: Hard Knocks Off the Clock,” includes a long list of mostly unflattering stories from members of Team Target: “It is simply not possible to refrain from publishing constant new stories about the indignities of working at Target, America’s most clean and attractive union-busting big box store. There are all too many current and former Target employees anxious to send us stories of exploitation and generally disgraceful workplace conditions! Earlier this week we told you about a former Target manager suing the store for being fired for working off the clock (though he essentially had no choice). Target veterans sent us their own stories of similar situations. After these posts ran, we were contacted by a private investigator working on behalf of a law firm to investigate similar labor abuses at Target, and by a nonprofit organizer interested in starting a campaign on behalf of Target workers.”