Not that you needed any more testimony on the unpopularity of the Vikings stadium tax, but from Woodbury Patch, Kris Janisch writes: “At a recent forum, Sen. Ted Lillie asked the crowd if they would support public funding for a new Vikings stadium. “Not one hand went up,” said Lillie, a Republican who represents Woodbury in the state Senate. … Lillie, who last session was staunchly opposed to tax increases, said Tuesday that if public funds were to be used for a new stadium, he would prefer the measure be put to voters in a referendum. ‘That makes a lot of sense,’ Lillie said. … Still, Lillie pointed to a question in his own unscientific survey, which asked responders if the state should use tax money to fund a new stadium. About two-thirds said they were opposed to it, he said. (Lillie noted that about half of survey-takers identified themselves as Republicans.)”
Strib religion writer Rose French reports on the annual retreat of Catholics and Lutheran bishops. “[A]s they have for nearly 35 years, Minnesota’s Lutheran and Catholic bishops are heading off on an annual retreat, away from daily duties and the prying public, to talk. These unconventional, private meetings allow leaders of the state’s largest religious denominations to discuss theological issues and more concrete work such as addressing social issues like poverty. … The two groups have their differences. This year’s retreat on Thursday and Friday at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., comes as Catholic bishops have embarked on a campaign to get Catholics to support a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would define marriage as a union between a man and woman. Meanwhile, the ELCA — the largest Lutheran body in Minnesota with nearly 800,000 members — is applying its two-year-old policy to allow openly gay clergy in committed relationships to be ministers. Lutherans for decades have also ordained women as ministers while Catholic leaders don’t allow women to be priests.”
Entirely coincidentally, Andy Birkey at The Minnesota Independent reports that that disclosure issue relating to donations to ballot initiatives (i.e., the gay marriage amendment) is still in place: “The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board voted Tuesday to maintain its current policies regarding disclosure for ballot campaigns. The board’s rulings have come under heightened scrutiny in recent months as the board works to adjust its policies to new laws passed in 2010. The board has been receiving feedback from both anti-gay marriage amendment supporters that want as little disclosure as possible and open government groups that favor full disclosure. The board rejected a recommendation by campaign finance staff to relax some of the campaign finance guidance that had been considered at the agency’s June and October meetings, but board members also voted to carry forward with more research into the several aspects of ballot campaign disclosure. Specifically, the board is looking into how to classify expenditures and if only ‘expressed advocacy’ should be counted as an expenditure.” That would be some pretty fine parsing, wouldn’t it?
Oh, and this is good. Birkey also links to an editorial in a Boston-area Catholic publication: “In an editorial in the Boston Pilot on Friday, Daniel Avila, a lobbyist and spokesperson for the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage of the U.S. Catholic Conference, wrote that because being gay is not genetic, it must be the work of the devil. Avila penned the column in the Boston Pilot, the newspaper of the Boston Archdiocese which also claims to be the oldest Catholic newspaper in the U.S. In the column, he claimed because no definite genetic connection can be established for homosexuality, then logically, homosexuality must be the work of the devil.” Oh yeah, that’s “logical.”
Today in Bachmannia: On Tuesday, with the political world obsessed with the Herman Cain sexual harassment news, Our Gal was down in Iowa reminding the GOP faithful what the party can’t risk. Reed Epstein of Politico writes: “In front of the Iowa Association of Independent Baptists conference in a small church, Michele Bachmann from the pulpit offered only an oblique warning against ‘surprises.’ ‘This is the year when we can’t settle,’ Bachmann said. ‘This is the year when we can’t have any surprises with our candidate. We have to have a candidate that we can know when we put them into office we can trust them with their record of what they have done and who they are. I have that record. And I have stood and I have stood strong on those issues.’ ” It goes without saying, the party can’t afford a candidate that makes it look silly and clueless.
And you thought Zillow was an invitation to nosy neighbors. Frederick Melo of the PiPress reports: “Ever wonder how many households in your neighborhood live in poverty, or how many have income of more than $100,000 per year? Curious how many homes near you are owner-occupied today compared with 10 years ago, or what the make-up of your neighborhood is in terms of race, gender and educational attainment? The MN Compass Minneapolis-St. Paul Neighborhood Profiles, a new online tool from Wilder Research and the McKnight Foundation, allows users to zero in on Minneapolis and St. Paul, neighborhood by neighborhood, and download an easy-to-read, eight-page report on the place they call home. Data for the MN Compass reports were culled from the 2010 census, the census’ 2009 “On the Map” jobs data project and the 2005 to 2009 American Community Survey.”
And finally … Bill Novak of the Capital Times in Madison reports: “ A female Madison police officer didn’t take lightly a slap on the buttocks by a young man early Sunday morning, putting the 21-year-old in handcuffs as he apologized for his actions, police reported. Taylor Valentine of Madison was cited for disorderly conduct after his alleged butt slap about 12:35 a.m. Sunday in the 500 block of North Frances Street. Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said in a news release that the officer was on bike patrol in the State Street area as Freakfest was winding down.” … But obviously not far enough for that guy.