Gov. Dayton doesn’t like the “duplicity” over the Vikings stadium and says he’s more interested in jobs than football. Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib writes: “ [H]e’s frustrated by ‘all the duplicity’ he sees on a project that he said is less about football than about needed economic development. ‘The stadium, for me, is more about economic development and jobs than it is about football,’ Dayton said. ‘Far more. To me this is about a public/private partnership of a large scale that can generate several thousand jobs in the next three years or so.’ … Dayton said a special session is needed. ‘I want to isolate the stadium because if this goes into the regular session … the leveraging everyone will try to pull with their votes … it’s going to get very messy and very ugly.’ “ As opposed to the way it is now, you mean?
Fox9’s Jeff Goldberg looks into what may be a Racino “resurgence”: “Supporters of racino say they are gaining support to add video slots at horse tracks as a funding solution. ‘If everyone that is saying ‘yes’ now stays with ‘yes,’ we could pass this today,’ said Sen. Dave Senjem. Senjem said he believes racino should be part of the final bill, and said work is still being done to sway more lawmakers to get on board, though the Indian Gaming Association is strongly against the suggestion and plans to fight it. Dayton has criticized Republican lawmakers for playing games with regard to the stadium, and has accused them of failing to show leadership. FOX 9 News spoke with several Republicans on Wednesday who did not want to talk on camera, but said the ramped-up rhetoric from Dayton does not help move the issue forward.” Well, at least they’re demonstrating their leadership skills.
Blogger Neil de Mause at Field of Schemes isn’t one of those who think Dayton was born without a “wiley” gene. He writes, “If there was any doubt that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton was trying to position himself so that the state legislature takes the blame if the Vikings don’t get a new stadium, it should have dissipated yesterday when Dayton blamed the state legislature for the Vikings not getting a new stadium.”
So where do you, a man of the cloth, go to spend the cash you’ve allegedly swindled out of an old, seriously ill parishioner? Warren Wolfe and Paul Walsh at the Strib report: “[The Rev. Gregory] Oats, a St. Paul faith leader who lives in Roseville, has been charged with hijacking the finances of his 77-year-old congregant, then spending thousands of dollars of [Vernon] Rollins’ money at Wal-Mart, Burger King and other retail outlets. Oats, 31, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with four felony counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult after convincing Rollins to give him power of attorney over his finances. Rollins, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, diabetes and mental illness, was one of 1,678 alleged victims of financial exploitation in 2010, state records show.”
In other religious news … the trial of the former Nativity parish priest charged with having sex with a vulnerable parishioner has begun in St. Paul. Emily Gurnon of the PiPress says, “The allegations came from a woman 17 years his junior who suffered from bulimia and had been sexually abused as a child. [Fr. Christopher] Wenthe, 47, joined the pastoral staff at Nativity, in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood of St. Paul, in 2003. He met the woman that summer at a church event for new converts to Catholicism, of which she was one. The relationship became a close one, said the woman, now 29, who testified today … ‘I felt like he was a safe person to talk to,’ said the woman, who was 21 at the time her sexual relationship began with the priest. ‘He was a priest. For me, that meant he had a vow. I wasn’t in danger of anything.’ Wenthe’s guilt in the eyes of the law depends on whether the sex occurred during ‘a period of time in which (she) was meeting on an ongoing basis with (him) to seek or receive religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort in private.’ The woman poured her heart out to him. … She told him about the older cousin who had raped her beginning when she was 5 years old, she said. And about the bulimia that she fought daily — a disease she attributed to the earlier abuse.” Other details are more graphic.
Hey! A lot of fathers show their kids the ropes of the family business. Laura Adelman of the ThisWeek Newspapers reports: “Police say a Farmington man used his marijuana growing operation to teach his child how business works. Craig Martin Gisch, 34, is charged with conspiring to employ a minor to sell and manufacture marijuana, child endangerment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint issued in May but posted online Nov. 9. According to the complaint: Farmington police were called to Gisch’s home at the 4800 block of 189th Street West on reports of an unresponsive female on May 6. Police said Gisch’s wife, Katryna, was found in a car in the garage and pronounced dead at the scene. Neighbors told police that three children also lived in the home, and they searched inside the home to check for others who may be in need of medical attention. Nobody was in need of medical attention, but police discovered a marijuana growing operation in the basement.” That’s right, the dead wife in the garage is not the lead item …
The Strib’s editorial page likes what it sees in the vote against “personhood” down in Mississippi. “If a life-begins-at-conception ballot measure fails in the Bible Belt state of Mississippi, where can it win? That’s the question that backers of the southern state’s anti-abortion ‘personhood’ amendment should be weighing after voters on Tuesday soundly defeated the controversial, unworkable initiative. Instead, the Colorado-based movement, whose personhood campaign has divided even anti-abortion forces, intends to take its fight to at least six other states in 2012. North Dakota could be one of them, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see a Minnesota measure at some point. No matter where this ill-advised initiative pops up next, voters should reject it.”
A somewhat more aggressive SEC wants … quite a bit of money back from two Twin cities hedge fund managers who raked in more than $40 million moving cash to Tom Petters’ operations. David Phelps of the Strib reports: “James Fry of Long Lake, Michelle Palm of Edina and Fry’s Arrowhead Capital Management are accused of violating various sections of federal securities laws and the Investment Advisors Act. The SEC wants the two fund managers and Arrowhead permanently banned from the securities business and ordered to repay undefined ‘ill-gotten gains.’ The civil complaint says that Fry and Palm invested more than $600 million with Petters from the hedge fund and collected $42 million in fees during a 10-year relationship between Arrowhead and Petters Co. Inc. (PCI). ‘Fry and Palm presented themselves as protectors of their hedge fund investors when in fact they were facilitators of the Petters Ponzi scheme,’ said Merri Jo Gillette, director of the SEC’s Chicago regional office. ‘Arrowhead’s promises were filled with lies and deceit, and as a result investors lost more than $600 million while Fry pocketed millions in fees’. … Attorneys for Fry, Palm and Arrowhead declined to comment.” Really? Nothing to say? What do those guys bill an hour?
Julie Forster’s story at the PiPress on Andersen Windows laying off 250 says: “A continued slump in the housing market translates to another round of layoffs at Andersen Corp. The Bayport-based door and window giant said Tuesday it will [cut] 250 jobs by the end of December. Employees were told about the job cuts Monday and Tuesday in one-on-one talks and “town hall” meetings. Though the cuts will be across the nation, the majority will be in Bayport, where one of Andersen’s largest production plants is located. In production, where the majority of cuts will be made, the company will offer a buyout package before making involuntary cuts. Management and sales jobs also are being cut, said Laurie Bauer, a company spokesperson. Andersen has had repeated layoffs over the years, cutting hundreds of workers as the housing market plummeted.”