From the great city of Montevideo comes news that a dead coyote will get you $10. In the West Central Tribune, Tom Cerveney writes: “The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday to implement a coyote bounty effective Dec. 1. The county will pay $10 per coyote brought to the Sheriff’s Office from Dec. 1 through April 1 each year. … A coyote brought to the Sheriff’s Office in Montevideo will have a hole punched in its ear to indicate that it had been presented for the bounty. Only coyotes trapped or shot in the county may be presented for the bounty. Those accepting the bounty will be required to indicate the section and township where each animal was taken.” So, just asking here, who gets the job of punching holes in the ears of dead coyotes? And what school did they go to to get work like that?
Here at MinnPost, Joe Kimball covers the censuring of Hennepin County Judge Patricia Karasov. At the PiPress, David Hanners writes: “Saying the judge had thumbed her nose at the state constitution, the Minnesota Supreme Court today censured Hennepin County District Judge Patricia Kerr Karasov and suspended her without pay for six months. The court agreed with a finding by the state’s Board on Judicial Standards that Karasov violated the Minnesota Constitution when she lived at her home on Chisago Lake, outside Hennepin County, for three months in the summer of 2009, and then misled state investigators about it. … Doug Kelley, one of the lawyers who argued the judicial board’s case at a hearing in January, said the court’s ruling should prompt Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson to review whether she can remove Karasov from office, a process known as a “quo warranto” proceeding.’ ‘The Minnesota Supreme Court clearly found that she lived outside the district in violation of the Minnesota Constitution,’ said Kelley.”
The unfettered stadium perspective of blogger Neil deMause at “Field of Schemes” continues to amuse us: “The Minnesota Vikings stadium campaign may be headed straight for a brick wall with nobody behind the wheel, but don’t tell that to the Vikings: Team execs just launched a ‘six-figure’ ad campaign to tell Minnesotans that a new $1.1 billion stadium would be ‘owned by the great state of Minnesota’ and bring ‘over 7,000 jobs and $300 million in wages.’ No clue where those numbers are from, but, of course, campaign ads aren’t subject to truth-in-advertising laws, so who cares?”
At Politics in Minnesota, Charley Shaw dials up Hennepin County Board Chairman Mike Opat for his monthly semi-denial of avid interest in pursuing stadium notions: “Opat, who was the lead advocate for the Twins deal, is keeping a close eye on the situation. But he said the county isn’t ready to jump into the fray just yet. ‘We would get in,’ Opat said, ‘if we thought there was a creative and popular way to engage the Legislature and the governor in a way that hasn’t happened yet. … I have a few ideas, and I talk to folks from time to time. If one of those were to hit, you might be coming to a press conference at some point.’ Opat declined to offer details on potential financing options, saying only that ‘I think there are some ways to be creative and, I think, some things that could ultimately pass in the Legislature.’ ” You can rest assured that the words “Vegas-style,” “electronic” and “racino” will be used creatively.
Rochester-area politicos are not pleased that the Big Gummint plan for a high-speed rail link to Chicago will bypass their fair city. Heather Carlson at the Post-Bulletin writes: “A decision by the state’s transportation department to designate the existing Amtrak route along the Mississippi River as the preferred route for a high-speed rail line to Chicago instead of a route that includes Rochester is being called short sighted by some local lawmakers. Rep. Mike Benson, R-Rochester, said it’s questionable whether 110 miles per hour — the top speed achievable on the river route — can even be considered high-speed rail. ‘They clearly made a big mistake by not including Rochester,’ Benson said.”
The story is a bit different over in Winona, which is on the “preferred route.” Mary Juhl of the Winona Daily News says: “State and federal agencies originally considered more than 30 routes before deciding that the Mississippi River line was ideal. ‘It’s our view that this preferred route isn’t just a plus for cities along the line but for the whole state,’ said Winona Mayor Jerry Miller, who chairs the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission and has spent years tirelessly advocating for the route. The project is far from final, however. Funding isn’t secured, and an environmental review alone could take two years to complete. And additional details, such as whether the train would stop in Winona, haven’t been worked out. The biggest hold-up is that in order for the project to move forward, Minnesota needs to form a partnership with Wisconsin, where state officials have not warmed to high-speed rail. In January, Gov. Scott Walker rejected $810 million in federal funds for a high-speed rail project, and has focused instead on improving existing Amtrak services.”
Today in Bachmannia: For a self-proclaimed brainiac, Newt Gingrich manages to say a lot of things that are the political equivalent of loading shells into enemy cannons. Like that business about not being a lobbyist for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Her barrels packed, Our Favorite Congresswoman blasted away Wednesday. Russell Goldman at ABC News writes: “Bachmann attacked the latest GOP frontrunner Wednesday, assailing former Speaker Newt Gingrich for receiving over $1 million in consulting fees from mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Gingrich, now nearing the top of the polls, said today he did not remember how much he was paid for work he did at Freddie Mac between 1999 and 2007, but a former Freddie Mac official said it was upward of $1.5 million. Freddie Mac and its sister institution Fannie Mae have been blamed by many, on both sides of the aisle, for playing a role in the housing crisis that precipitated the financial crisis, making Gingrich’s involvement there fodder for the competition. ‘Fannie and Freddie, as you know, have been the epicenter of the financial meltdown in this country,’ Bachmann said. ‘And whether former Speaker Gingrich made $300,000 or whether he made $2 million, the point is that he took money to influence senior Republicans to be favorable toward Fannie and Freddie.”
They may need another “supercommittee,” this one for that St. Croix bridge. Kevin Diaz of the Strib reports: “The chief antagonists in the long-standing St. Croix River crossing dispute emerged from a closed-door summit in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday calling for a new ‘working group’ to forge an agreement. But they remained far apart on how to achieve consensus on their opposing visions for a new bridge linking Minnesota and Wisconsin. … The meeting came hours after a new bridge bill was filed in the U.S. House by Minnesota Democrats Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison, who oppose the size and scope of the proposed bridge and are seeking to place a $574 million limit on any bridge that would use federal funds. ‘With 1,149 structurally deficient bridges, there are plenty of bridges around the state to use that money,’ said Bill Harper, McCollum’s chief of staff. … Klobuchar and other bridge backers have touted the support of [Transportation Secretary Ray] LaHood, who called the meeting with representatives from Minnesota and Wisconsin. While LaHood has expressed support for a new span, he hasn’t backed any particular bill or bridge design. ‘We can’t take a position on legislation,’ LaHood said after the meeting. ‘We don’t get elected. That’s what these guys get elected to do around here’.”
Strib commentary editor Doug Tice had/dared a live chat wth the paper’s readers yesterday. Perhaps the Strib moderated the action. It was quite genteel. Here are a couple highlights:
Comment From Burnsville13
Does Newt Gingrich have a shot or is he just the flavor of the week?
My own sense is that Gingrich has an impressive intellect and a deep understanding of policy and politics. But his lecturing, smarter-than-thou style makes him difficult for many to like, a characteristic that is deadly in presidential politics. Clearly he’s the latest hope for the somebody-besides-Romney crowd, which is a considerable crowd. You’d have to say he’s a long shot, but he does have more substance than many other non-Romneys.
Comment From JeanL
Michele Bachmann appears to have broken Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment by ripping her fellow candidates in a video. Even though she used their own words, could this backfire on her?
Yes, it’s a strikingly harsh and contemptuous ad for an intraparty contest. Her relations with party leaders are already chilly, so I’m not sure how much she’s really risking. But yes, some voters may see it as an act of desperation that lacks class and only helps the Democrats. It’s the type of thing that might be easier to forgive later in a race, after she’d proven herself to be a contender, when a lot is at stake. But as an effort to revive a flagging campaign at the start, it’s unusual.
Finally, a couple corrections: In Tuesday’s morning edition of the Glean, I somehow managed to credit Paul Tosto (!) with an MPR story reported and written by … Tim Post.
And then, even better, in the same column I cited a Strib op-ed as being written by “DFL Rep. Paul Dilworth.” Uh, stupe, that’s “Paul Marquart, DFLer from … Dilworth.” I’ve since checked my meds. I’m really much better now. Apologies to all.