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Attorney, client continue ‘Catholic bashing’ in new filing

AFTERNOON EDITION ALSO: “Server farms” sprouting; more on Emmer-Hamline flap; Izzie’s expanding; 5 red-kettle surprises; Realtor in midst of Walker probe; and more.
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The Minneapolis attorney and client with, shall we say, “Catholic issues” continue to blast away. David Hanners’ PiPress story says: “A Minneapolis lawyer has responded to a judge’s threat of a hefty fine over an insult-laden legal memorandum by filing a reply loaded with even more religious slurs than the one prompting the judge’s warning. In a filing Tuesday in the bankruptcy case of the company she heads, Naomi Isaacson refers to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Nancy Dreher as ‘Popess Dreher’ and asks, ‘Who does she think she is’? She labeled U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis O’Brien a ‘dastardly Jesuit’ and called the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee a ‘mindless numbnut (who) would follow church orders with a vengeance.’ Isaacson, herself a lawyer and a former law clerk to a Hennepin County district judge, claimed the judges and trustee conspired to liquidate her company’s assets ‘for pennies’ so the proceeds could go ‘to members of the Catholic Church.’ … Isaacson, 37, of Minneapolis, did not respond to requests for an interview. She is president of Yehud-Monosson USA Inc., which owned a number of gas stations and convenience stores, including a Mobil station on the corner of Grand and Smith avenues in St. Paul. Yehud-Monosson USA is a subsidiary of the Dr. R.C. Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology, often referred to as SIST. Isaacson is also the institute’s chief executive officer. SIST is based in Shawano, Wis., a town of 8,900 located 270 miles east of St. Paul. The group’s spiritual leader is an Indian immigrant and naturalized U.S. citizen who now goes by the name Avraham Cohen. Some former members maintain the group is a cult, a claim Isaacson and others deny.” Starting a cult is my top New Year’s resolution.

It’s planting season at Minnesota’s server farms. Dan Kraker of MPR reports on a growth industry in Duluth: “This week an Iowa company begins construction on a $12 million data center in Duluth, a high-tech computer warehouse where area companies can store their data. State officials hope the development is a sign that more server farms will put down roots in Minnesota where they can rely far less on air conditioning than in other parts of the United States. For the data storage industry, the state’s frigid climate is a selling point. ‘We’ve outgrown mainly the power and cooling in these data centers,’ said Dennis Smith, Essentia’s director of technology systems. ‘As these systems get more dense, hotter, we had to do something.’ ” Now if they could just pump the excess into the central heating system.

At MPR’s OnCampus, blog Alex Friedrich follows the Tom Emmer-Hamline U tiff. He writes: “[A]s a private institution, Hamline can hire whom it wants. The situation, however, raises a few questions:

  1. What exactly constitutes an agreement? (Remember the Tubby Smith case? No written contract there, either.) It would help if Emmer showed any of the paperwork, email or formal offer (which he says exists) that would show what stage they were in.
  2. What exactly is the hiring process for non-tenured faculty, and how much of a say does (or should) the existing faculty have? Did Hamline deviate from it, as Schultz told the Oracle? Is faculty input appropriate for such a case?
  3. Should political opinions (such as Emmer’s stance on same-sex marriage) be considered when they’re not related to the subject at hand (business law)?”

Friedrich also puts up this, from Minnesota College Republicans: “ ‘This sends the wrong message to conservative students at Hamline, and any students looking to apply there’, said Ryan Lyk, Chairman of the Minnesota College Republicans. ‘Hamline University is a school that allegedly stands for diversity of opinion, but apparently that only applies if you meet the standards of the liberal activists who are already faculty. This is just another example of an educational institution attempting to insulate itself from anything that might challenge its engrained liberal beliefs of practices. Gay marriage has absolutely nothing to do with business law or Emmer’s abilities to teach it. If liberal activist David Schultz can work there, why can’t Tom?’ “

Securely in the Department of For What It Is Worth … Don Davis of the Forum papers reports: “House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, today released the legislative calendar Republicans who control the Legislature have drafted. It features a nearly week-long break in early February for precinct caucuses, after convening for the year on Jan. 24. Another week will be taken off for Easter and Passover in April before lawmakers go home for the year on April 30. That would be the earliest adjournment since 1998. … There is plenty of speculation that lawmakers will be eager to leave St. Paul as soon as possible next year because a court panel is scheduled to release new legislative and congressional district maps on Feb. 21 and legislators will want to be free to get to know their new districts. Also, they cannot raise campaign funds while the Legislature is in session.”

Izzy’s ice cream is expanding to Minneapolis. Kathie Jenkins at the PiPress writes: “Owners Jeff Sommers and Lara Hammel plan to build an ice cream factory in Minneapolis. They’ve put in an offer for a city-owned empty lot near the Guthrie Theater. If all goes according to plan, the facility will be up and running by spring 2013. ‘Choosing a premier site gives us an opportunity to sell prepackaged ice cream,” Sommers says. “And it allows us be more visible’. … This isn’t the first time Sommers and Hammel have branched across the river. In 2001, a year after opening Izzy’s in St. Paul, they opened a second store in the downtown Minneapolis Medical Arts Building. A year later, they ran an ice cream kiosk nearby at the Marshall Field’s store. They closed both a few years later. Since then, they’ve become much more cautious about expanding.”

The guy currently in jail in connection with the ongoing probe of Gov. Scott Walker’s staff, and ID’d only as “Realtor,” is in fact a past chairman of Wisconsin’s Commercial Association of Realtors. Patrick Marley of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentrinel reports: “Andrew P. Jensen Jr., a commercial real estate broker with Boerke Co. and a past chairman of the Commercial Association of Realtors-Wisconsin, was arrested Tuesday, though no charges had been filed as of Tuesday night. About six weeks ago, authorities attempted to publicly grant immunity to Jensen, as is allowed in John Doe proceedings to compel testimony. Jensen went to the state Court of Appeals because he did not want the grant of immunity to be public. … Insiders told the Journal Sentinel that Jensen was arrested after refusing to cooperate with the long-running secret investigation by Milwaukee County prosecutors. ‘What that means is he wouldn’t adopt their version of events,’ said Schott. … The arrest represents a new direction and development in the probe of Walker’s staff while he was county executive and as governor. … Sources have told the Journal Sentinel that the probe, which initially looked at campaign activity by Walker staffers, has moved in a number of directions since then. … Earlier, immunity was given to Cullen Werwie, Walker’s spokesman and a former campaign aide, and Rose Anne Dieck, a Republican operative. Walker has maintained that he is not concerned about the investigation because he has followed the high standards given to him by his parents.”

Here’s someone with Christmas spirit. Paul Walsh of the Strib reports: “The Salvation Army believes that the same person — identity unknown — has made five $1,000 donations into the charity’s red kettles since late last month at various east metro locations. In each case, the grand gestures have come in the form of 10 crisp $100 bills, tightly folded, said Salvation Army spokeswoman Annette Bauer. ‘We think this is the same person, given the fact the locations are close in proximity,’ Bauer said. The five $1,000 drops began Nov. 29 at the Cub Foods at 2100 N. Snelling Av. in Roseville. Two others followed on Dec. 2 at Rainbow Foods, 1201 W. Larpenteur Av. in Roseville, and at the Rainbow at 441 W. Hwy. 96 in Shoreview. Then came mystery donations Friday at the Wal-Mart at 3800 Silver Lake Road NE. in St. Anthony, and Sunday at a Cub at 100 W. County Road B in Maplewood.”

The New York Times’ “Room for Debate” blog has a post up from David P. Gushee, professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University, on what happened to the GOP’s evangelical candidates: “Roughly 75 percent of white evangelical Americans are aligned with the Republican Party. Ever since the rise of Jerry Falwell and the Christian Right’s strategic marriage to the Republicans, this cohort of religiously and socially conservative Protestants has become one of the G.O.P.’s major voting blocs. After three decades of influence, this bloc appears to be powerful and well-organized enough to be able to put forward what might be called organic evangelical candidates … two organic evangelical candidates emerged: Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. (Herman Cain might qualify as a third.) Both Bachmann and Perry are clearly practicing conservative evangelicals. Perry, at least, had a serious chance to become the Republican nominee. But neither he nor Bachmann proved successful in sealing the deal with their own evangelical constituency, and both failed to extend their reach much beyond that constituency. The emergence of Newt Gingrich, a thrice-married Catholic convert, and Mitt Romney, a committed Mormon, as leaders of the Republican pack does not symbolize a decline in evangelical influence. It more clearly symbolizes the failure of the two organic evangelical candidates. In the case of Gingrich, it also symbolizes the readiness of many conservative evangelicals to trade off their supposedly cherished family values for a candidate they think can win.”