Today in Bachmannia: I’ll presume she considered denying they ever said this. But apparently even the Tea Party wants Our Favorite Congresswoman out of the race. The Tea Party group American Majority posted a blog by its boss, Ned Ryun, saying: “It’s time for Michele Bachmann to go. For the last two years, I’ve been cautioning about the dangers of individuals or organizations trying to present themselves as leaders of the Tea Party movement. An individual personality or organization purporting to be a ‘leader’ of what is truly a grassroots movement can hurt the tea party brand by creating false impressions about its core beliefs. Bachmann, the leader of the so-called tea party caucus in the House and the most vocal about her affiliation with the Tea Party than any other Presidential candidate, has consistently presented herself as a champion of the movement and its values. Bachmann has ridden her tea party credentials from obscurity to a national platform like no other. … In Bachmann’s case, it is clear that the campaign has become less about reform and more about her personal effort to stay relevant and sell books; a harsh commentary, but true. It’s not about tea party values or championing real plans to solve real problems. While other campaigns are diving into the substance, the supposed tea party candidate Bachmann is sticking to thin talking points and hanging on for dear life.” By “diving into the substance,” I assume Ryun means Rick Santorum’s existential distinction between a tissue and a napkin.
Sarah Huisenga at CBS News reports on Team Bachmann’s response: “Bachmann campaign manager Keith Nahigian dismissed Ryun as a supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and contended his opinions do not represent those of the movement activists. ‘Michele Bachmann enjoys strong support from Americans across party lines that that certainly includes the Tea Party,’ Nahigian said in a prepared statement. However Perry has emphasized his ties to the evangelical movement, and Ryun in his blog post criticizes Bachmann for doing the same. The congresswoman is de-emphasizing the Tea Party’s message of limited government and highlighting ‘social issues and religion’ in an effort to pick up more support from Republican caucus and primary voters, he wrote. Ryun called it a strategic mistake.” But, dude, God guides her campaign.
U of M area DFL Sen. Larry Pogemiller will drop his legislative job for some executive action. Jim Ragsdale at the Strib writes: “Pogemiller, a DFLer who was first elected to the House in 1980 and to the Senate in 1982, was named by Gov. Mark Dayton as director of the Office of Higher Education. … Pogemiller served as Senate Majority Leader at the time when DFLers lost the majority to Republicans in the 2010 election. Up until that time, he had served in the majority in the Senate, and was a leader in K-12 education and higher education issues. His district, Senate District 59, includes the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus. Dayton said in a statement that Pogemiller is ‘one of the smartest, most talented, and most dedicated people I have ever met in public service.’ He said Pogemiller has ‘unparalleled experience and expertise in the legislative process and in public policy issues.’ The Office of Higher Education provides financial aid programs for students and is a center for research on higher education and financial aid. The Office administers up to $150 million in grants.”
How do you win both houses of the Legislature and remain $533,000 in the red? Ragsdale colleague Baird Helgeson writes about the state GOP’s ongoing money problems: “Still reeling from months of debt, the executive board of the Republican Party of Minnesota held a closed-door meeting Thursday night to discuss party finances and its path forward. State Party Chairman Tony Sutton emerged after more than an hour and declared it a ‘positive meeting’ but declined to release any further details. Despite Sutton’s assurances, some GOP leaders are surprised the party remains in a $533,000 financial hole. ‘It’s how much?’ said state Sen. John Howe, R-Red Wing. … Sutton said he made a calculated gamble to spend heavily on the 2010 elections and that it paid off politically.” Maybe they should consider a Legacy Fund grant?
Next time, fly the bird First Class. Maricella Miranda of the PiPress reports on a lawsuit against an airline for denying service to a guy’s … bird. “Who’s AirTran Airways to say a bird can’t fly? Magician Bernard Poston of Apple Valley wants to know after the airline refused to let his bird fly last month aboard a flight from Las Vegas to the Twin Cities. Poston, 49, who uses the bird in his act, said he had no problems carrying it in his coat aboard a Frontier Airlines flight to Las Vegas. But on the way home, he and his dove, Magic, were banned from the AirTran flight, Poston says in a lawsuit he filed last week against the airline. Poston, who has sued at least a dozen other companies in the past, said he had to abandon his bird in Vegas with an airport worker.”
You don’t mess with The Beeb. Jeremy Herb at the Strib says Amy Klobuchar has gotten crosswise with Justin Bieber: “Bieber said that he thought Klobuchar should be “locked up” for a bill she’s proposed that would make it a felony to profit from streaming unlicensed online content. Bieber was asked by a Washington-area radio host about the bill, which opponents argue could send people like Bieber to jail for uploading videos to YouTube. Bieber didn’t appear to know much on the issue — he first thought Klobuchar was a ‘guy’ — but when the radio host said the Minnesota Democrat was trying to make ‘unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted material a felony,’ it clearly hit a nerve. ‘Whoever she is, she needs to know that I’m saying she needs to be locked up, put away in cuffs,’ said Bieber, who first gained his fame by singing cover songs that went viral on YouTube.”
Is there a contest for mortuary service, too? Lately we’ve had a skid-steer-driving championship, a beer-pouring competition and now … from Robb Murray at the Mankato Free Press: “Briana Anderson is getting her shot at the big time. The assistant manager at Little Caesars in Mankato will travel to Detroit to compete in a pizza-making contest. She is one of just a dozen finalists competing in the contest, which consists of various pizza making-related tasks. The owner of the local franchise, Craig Frandsen, said he couldn’t divulge the specifics of the tasks competitors must complete (trade secrets, you see). But the most important task is making two pizzas (yep, ‘pizza pizza’).”
It’s a job-creating move, I’m certain. Wisconsin Gov. Scott walker, perhaps feeling the need to keep up with the always cooler and more progressive Minnesota, is pushing his plan to allow citizens to tote guns around the state Capitol. Jason Stein and Patrick Marley at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel write: “The public will be able to carry guns into most parts of the state Capitol, under a policy being developed by Gov. Scott Walker. Lawmakers are developing their own policies that would allow individual lawmakers to decide whether to allow guns into their offices. Under rules planned for one chamber, guns would be allowed on the Assembly floor and in the Assembly viewing galleries, said sources who have been briefed on the plans. That would mean the public could bring guns into the viewing galleries but would still have to adhere to other existing rules, including one that bars the use of still cameras and video cameras.” I hope they at least have Breathalyzer screenings for paint thinner abuse before this crowd is allowed in.
Not everyone is taking the minute-by-minute extreme threat perceived by gun-toters as seriously as Walker. At The Isthmus in Madison, Dave Ciezliwicz writes: “There will be many practical uses for packing heat on a daily basis because there are just so many everyday things that come up when you don’t have time to traipse home, grab the semi-automatic, and get back to whatever it is that needs the attention of a deadly weapon at that moment. This will make things so much more convenient for everybody. And good for the environment, too! In fact, the Sierra Club estimates that Americans waste a million gallons of fuel every year driving back home because they forgot their gun. Here are some practical, everyday examples of how having that handgun right there could make your life easier. Say you’re in the checkout line at the grocery store. You’re in a hurry and you have 12 items, so you go to the express line only to find that the person in front of you has 17 items, two over the limit. Well, you just pull out your revolver (the one with the long barrel; you may want to carry more than one firearm for different needs) and start to count by pointing your gun at each item. ‘Let’s see, that’s one, two, three …” I can pretty much guarantee that before you say “five” the woman in front of you will have quietly moved to a different line.”