Contrary to what others thought, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf sees that problematic feasibility study as a “road map” to building the stadium in Arden Hills. Tim Nelson of MPR reports: “[T]the Vikings, fresh from escaping a Ramsey County requirement for a stadium referendum last night, said there’s no looking back now. ‘There is no Minneapolis proposal,’ said Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley. The report means a stadium deal is now a numbers game, not a debate over whether it’s possible, Bagley said. And both Wilf and Bagley said that the team is coming to terms with writing a bigger check for their new home. Bagley noted the team originally offered $407 million. ‘It’s still in negotiations. It’s north of $407 [million],’ Bagley said. ‘What we need is for state leaders to sit down and sort that out.’ ”
At the Strib, Mike Kaszuba and Kevin Duchschere take a longer look at what’s cooking in Minneapolis: “Hennepin County Board Chair Mike Opat, who has laid low during the Arden Hills debate, on Wednesday said that his county’s involvement in helping fund a Minneapolis stadium may come down to timing. ‘I think when the time is right, we’ll know it, and I just don’t know when that will be just yet,’ he said. Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, said that in a Tuesday meeting with Ted Mondale, Dayton’s chief stadium negotiator, Mondale outlined how stadium proposals in Minneapolis might come together. ‘There’s clearly work being done there,’ said Bakk. … Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson said the report should make people think about what it would mean to have the Vikings leave downtown Minneapolis. ‘It just doesn’t make sense for us to subsidize a big development in some suburban place,’ she said.”
The two Somali women on trial for aiding terrorists did not have a good day in court Wednesday. The AP says: “Two Minnesota women accused of funneling money to a terror group in Somalia talked about collecting money for al-Shabab, supporting fighters instead of other charities and the possibility that FBI was listening in on their conversations, according to hours of recorded phone calls played for jurors. Prosecutors have built the bulk of their case by playing more than 80 phone calls recorded during a 10-month wiretap on the home and cellphones of Amina Farah Ali, 35. In those calls, prosecutors allege, Ali is heard talking to her co-defendant, 64-year-old Hawo Mohamed Hassan, as well as leaders of al-Shabab in Somalia. The calls include recordings of teleconferences in which the women gave religious lectures and collected donations.”
Following a ruling from the Vatican, merger plans for several area Catholic churches will move forward. Rose French, for the Strib, writes: “St. Austin’s Church in Minneapolis merger with St. Bridget will move forward, according to the church pastor the Rev. George Kallumkalkudy, who informed the congregation about the Vatican’s decision on Sunday. Twin Cities archdiocese officials say the congregation of St. John’s Church in St. Paul, which is set to merge with St. Pascal Baylon, was also recently notified their appeal was rejected by the Vatican. At least two other parishes also appealed their mergers with other parishes to the Vatican, but archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath could not immediately say Wednesday whether they had received word yet on the outcome of their appeals.”
If this holds true during an actual election, it’ll be even tougher convincing critics of Voter ID that they were wrong about the regulation’s real purpose. Clay Barbour in the Wisconsin Journal says: “For three hours Tuesday, the city of Madison conducted a small mock election inside the City-County Building. It was designed to help officials work out the kinks in a process that by February will require voters have photo IDs or fill out detailed provisional ballots. The new rules, signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker in May, were meant to address concerns about possible voter fraud. But as the mock election Tuesday proved, sometimes ‘secure’ equals ‘slower.’ ‘This will take people longer to do, there is no getting around that,’ said Dane County Clerk Karen Peters, who attended Tuesday’s vote as an observer. ‘Voters will just have to be patient, because there is a lot that goes into this.’ With passage of the law, Wisconsin joined Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and South Carolina as states with voter ID requirements. Four other states request photo IDs but allow voters to cast regular ballots without one. The Wisconsin measure, which could cost the state as much as $7.5 million, has long divided Republicans and Democrats.”
John Hinderaker at Power Line clues in his readers on an author appearance on the 19th: “We have written several times about Tim Groseclose’s new book, “Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.” That the press is biased toward the left is obvious, but Professor Groseclose is the first academic to use social science techniques to measure the extent of the bias and its influence on our culture. Our first post on Left Turn explained what the book is about and why it is so important. We have done several more posts on the book … Professor Groseclose will be in Minneapolis one week from today, on October 19, for a program that is co-sponsored by the Center of the American Experiment, Power Line and Wyncrest Capital. … We will be there, as will our friend Kathy Kersten, who plays a significant role in Left Turn as a sort of laboratory experiment.” And the book? In the good professor’s own words:
“[T]he political views that we currently see in Americans are not their natural views. We only see an artificial, distorted version of those views. In the book I calculate the precise degree to which those views have been distorted. Specifically, I answer the question: What if we could magically remove the metaphoric glass and see, face-to-face, the average American, once his political views are no longer distorted by media bias? What would we see? The answer, basically, is Ben Stein. Yes, the actor, author, commentator, and former host of Win Ben Stein’s Money. More specific, the person whom we’d see is anyone — like Ben Stein — who has a Political Quotient near 25. The Political Quotient is a device that I construct to measure political views in a precise, objective, and quantitative way. A person’s PQ indicates the degree to which he is liberal. For instance, as I have calculated, the PQs of Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) are approximately 100. Meanwhile the PQs of noted conservatives Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) are approximately 0.” This whole thing sounds irresistible.
In Duluth, Minnesota Power has thought better of those “No Trespassing” signs for OccupyDuluth demonstrators. Peter Passi of the News Tribune reports: “Occupy Duluth demonstrators will be allowed full access to Lake Superior Plaza at the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street, according to Amy Rutledge, a spokeswoman for Minnesota Power. [Tuesday], the power provider posted ‘No Trespassing’ signs on the plaza and arranged concrete planters in a line demarking the bounds of its property. But those signs were removed some time around 4:30 a.m. [Wednesday], though not by the company, according to security staff at Minnesota Power’s adjacent headquarters. Rutledge said it’s unclear who exactly took down the signs.” So … someone trespassed to remove the “No Trespassing” signs?
The state will soon have a new No. 1 law firm — in size that is. David Phelps of the Strib says: “Faegre & Benson emerged as Minnesota’s largest law firm after agreeing Wednesday to combine practices with the Baker & Daniels firm of Indianapolis. The new firm, with 770 attorneys and revenue in excess of $400 million, will be called Faegre Baker Daniels, featuring a powerhouse of major clients and locations from Denver to Shanghai. … The partners said no layoffs are expected from the merger, and the new firm will not have an office acting as headquarters. The deal will be effective Jan. 1, 2012. Faegre Baker Daniels would rank as the 68th-largest firm in the U.S., surpassing Dorsey & Whitney as the state’s largest.”
This has been up for a few days, but Karl Bremer at the Ripple in Stillwater blog lays into Minnesota’s leading Democrats for complicity in the Stillwater/St. Croix bridge deal: “So what’s gotten into Klobuchar and Franken, and DFL Governor Mark Dayton? One source, a transportation consultant and former longtime congressional staffer, told me recently that the word in Washington is that Klobuchar introduced her bill to inoculate herself again a Bachmann claim to victory on the bridge should Bachmann challenge Klobuchar in 2012, which long has been rumored. The same source said Franken truly wasn’t wild about supporting the bridge, but was only doing it to provide cover for Klobuchar. Dayton’s erratic behavior and flip-flops on the issue, according to several sources, is inexplicable but not surprising.”