Amy Senser’s attorney wants no talk of ‘drinking habits’

If her defense lawyer gets his way, there’ll be no talk of Amy Senser’s drinking habits at her trial this month. David Hanners of the PiPress writes: “Defense attorney Eric Nelson also seeks to keep prosecutors from using any “testimony about impairment, DWI references or other testimony that defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs” on the night she struck and killed a man. … Nelson this week asked that Hennepin County District Judge Daniel Mabley limit evidence prosecutors can introduce. He also filed a notice that he intends to call at least 20 witnesses. The list of potential defense witnesses includes Joe Senser, two chiropractors, two physicians, a dentist, an accident-reconstruction expert, a ‘human factors’ expert and an expert in cellphone technology. There are also six character witnesses, as well as the youngest two of Senser’s four daughters.”  I’m not a lawyer, nor do I even play one on TV. But that sounds like a pretty restrictive strategy.

GOP candidates trying to give a sense of “hipness” to their campaign events might be better sticking to Lee Greenwood or Ted Nugent. The AP reports that John Mellencamp has some thoughts about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker using his song “Small Towns”: “Liberal rocker John Mellencamp wants Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to know he supports collective bargaining and union rights and says Walker should be aware of that before using his song ‘Small Town’ on the campaign trail. Mellencamp’s publicist Bob Merlis told the Associated Press on Wednesday that he sent Walker’s campaign an email not asking him to stop using the song, but to inform him of Mellencamp’s beliefs. ‘He’s a very liberal person,’ Merlis said of the singer. ‘He appeared at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. His wife at the time was a delegate at large. He’s very pro-collective bargaining and the fight for a living wage.’ Merlis said he sent an email to Walker’s campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews. She did not immediately return a message to AP seeking comment. … ‘Small Town’ and ‘Pink Houses’ are two of the most frequently used Mellencamp songs by politicians, Merlis said. ‘More often than not it’s right-wing candidates who use his songs, which is somewhat paradoxical,’ Merlis said.” Kind of like T-Paw professing to be a big Bruce Springsteen fan.

The Minnesota Orchestra is in for a tough year. Graydon Royce of the Strib writes: “In concert, the band has rarely sounded better. Backstage, the Minnesota Orchestra faces a year of living dangerously. Last December, the organization reported its biggest annual deficit ever. In June, the band evacuates Orchestra Hall for a yearlong face-lift of its iconic home on Nicollet Mall. A shortened 2012-13 season opens in October in the acoustically challenged Minneapolis Convention Center. The greatest challenge comes even sooner. On Thursday, high-stakes negotiations begin on the musicians’ contract, which expires in September. Management says it must resolve ‘unsustainable fiscal practices’ by cutting costs. Musicians hear that and wonder how the organization can spend $50 million on the building project and continue touring and recording plans. Musicians’ salaries account for 48 percent of the orchestra’s $32 million budget for fiscal 2012.” And the musicians are why we attend …

What makes me think someone hadn’t really thought about putting on a show in the place? Chris Riemenschneider of the Strib reports on another music venue undergoing major alterations: “Three weeks after its overcrowded opening rock concert left fans crying foul, the Brick nightclub in downtown Minneapolis announced renovation plans Tuesday — and the relocation of four more of its sold-out concerts to other venues in the meantime. The three-story Warehouse District facility, which is run by concert industry giant AEG Live, will lower its ticket-sale capacity, add risers to improve sightlines in the balcony and install 25 new TV monitors. The club has already raised the height of its stage by a foot and started work on doubling the front entrance to four doors. While all the improvements are finished over the next two months, the club’s operators have found new homes for its biggest shows. Last week, they announced that Friday’s sold-out gig with No. 1 band fun. would relocate to Myth nightclub in Maplewood, a venue with a 3,000-person capacity.”

The great thing about moms is they’ll stand by you no matter what. Madeleine Baran and Jon Collins of MPR report: “The mother of a 17-year-old who was driving a motor home that crashed two weeks ago in Kansas said Wednesday that her son is a hero.  Five members of the Kerber family of Minnesota died after the vehicle veered off Interstate 35 and plunged into a ravine. Thirteen other people riding in the motor home were injured. Pauline Kerber said in a statement released by Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare that her son, Adam, who was driving, ‘did everything he possibly could to save 13 lives.’ Adam Kerber and his 8-year-old brother Nick are in ‘fair’ condition at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. A preliminary investigation by the Kansas Highway Patrol failed to find any mechanical problems with the vehicle.”

Need a pro-Voter ID argument? Over at MPR, Owen Riess, “author and Vietnam era vet,” writes: “I think Mark Ritchie is just playing politics. Minnesota’s secretary of state is a Democrat who opposes a voter I.D. requirement; he estimates that more than 215,000 Minnesotans lack either identification with a current address or any identification at all. Ritchie and other opponents of requiring voters to have I.D. say the rules will make voting harder for seniors, college students and people who are homeless. I spent Easter with extended family in Rochester, Minn., and I had the opportunity to talk with some senior citizens. I think Ritchie fails to realize that all of our senior citizens collect Social Security income. The Social Security Administration is making a transition away from sending checks in the regular mail. To receive Social Security income, a person will have to have a bank account that will accept direct deposits from the Social Security Administration. To get a bank account, a person has to have a valid identification card. Among the senior citizens I visited with, even those who could no longer drive had a valid state I.D. card. … The argument against producing a valid identification card at the polls is lame at best and ridiculous at its core. The proposal allows for the poor to get a free identification card. Anyone who wants to vote can get proper identification. The vast majority of Minnesotans will have no problem producing a valid I.D. at the voting booth. If the requirement eliminates any questioning of who voted and adds integrity to the process, it makes you wonder whom Ritchie and the opponents are trying to protect.”

Also at MPR, Sasha Aslainian reports that the William Mitchell Law School has voted to oppose the gay marriage amendment: “Taking a stand against the marriage amendment on the November ballot, faculty at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul voted today on a resolution to oppose the constitutional amendment that would define marriage as one man and one woman, and prohibit same sex couples from marrying. William Mitchell faculty members voted by secret ballot 24-7 in favor of a resolution that opposes what they call ‘the anti-marriage’ amendment. The resolution says the ballot initiative discriminates against gay and lesbian students, staff and faculty, and that limitations on civil rights should not be enshrined in the constitution.”

A Strib commentary, by Beverly Luther, says: “I am reminded that tax policy necessitates a closer look at the proposed state constitutional amendment defining marriage. There are 515 rights and benefits, including tax benefits, which are denied to unmarried Minnesotans in same-sex relationships due to the current state definition of marriage and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. These tax benefits will be permanently denied in Minnesota if the constitutional amendment is passed. For example, same-sex couples cannot file their income tax returns jointly or pass wealth tax-free to their partner at death the way heterosexual married couples can. Why should this concern married heterosexual Minnesotans? Because, due to legal nonrecognition of their relationships, unmarried same-sex couples (and unmarried heterosexual couples) may also qualify for certain tax advantages that married couples may not access. In some cases, unmarried couples may be paying less in taxes than they would if they were legally married. A marriage amendment will set in stone relationship nonrecognition, lack of marriage choice, and tax advantages for some Minnesota same-sex couples.”  

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s focus on the North Side as the catalyst for improving the entire city gets coverage by Maya Rao at the Strib, who writes: “Noting that the area’s disproportionate need warrants disproportionate investments, Rybak said, ‘If the city wants to grow, the key will be North Minneapolis.’ Hundreds of people crowded into the recently renovated Capri Theater on W. Broadway Avenue to hear the speech, which called for greater focus on improving safety, housing, jobs, and opportunities for youth in the North Side. … Rybak’s speech voiced dismay at last year’s Census figures that showed that the city’s population had barely changed because, while downtown and other areas gained population, more than 7,700 people left north Minneapolis in the last decade. ‘Our city can grow fast, right away … just by getting more people to move to north Minneapolis,’ the mayor said. He said the city would begin several new programs to address those challenges.”

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Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/12/2012 - 08:49 am.

    You do not a photo ID to open a bank account

    These ID claims are getting tedious. You can open a bank account in another state, online. I know because I had a customer write me a bad check once from a bank account they’d opened in Washington state. All you need a social security number which the bank can match to your name. They may ask to see a photo ID, but it’s not require.

  2. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/12/2012 - 09:03 am.

    Ooops. I was wrong about photo ID and bank accounts

    Some kind of photo ID is required to open a bank account, however a variety of IDs are allowable. The photo ID amendment in MN will not allow most of those IDs for voting. You will have to have a valid i.e. current address MN drivers license or ID in order to vote AND you need be registered. In other words, passports, military IDs, etc. will get you a regular ballot, you’ll have to vote provisionally until you can produce the valid ID. Not only that, but since same day registration will be dismantled, even if you show up with a valid ID on election day, if you not already registered to vote at that location you will get a provisional ballot, and no one know when or how THOSE ballots will be counted. When asked specifically on the house floor Kiffmeyer simply ignored the question.

    • Submitted by Mark Stromseth on 04/12/2012 - 03:11 pm.

      No, Photo ID is not required to open a bank account

      You’re mistaken. There is no such requirement. If there were, then many, many people who are customers of Bank of America (among others) would not have a bank account. But they do.

      Since you can open a bank account at any bank you choose, even out of your home state, photo ID cannot be required. I’ve done it, and none of them have ever asked for such identification.

      This is just another Republican myth that needs to die a painful death.

  3. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/12/2012 - 09:30 am.

    “All the Senior Citizens I Talked to Last Weekend Have Photo ID”

    Well, now, if that doesn’t settle the argument, nothing will.

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/12/2012 - 10:08 am.

    limitations on civil rights?

    Marriage is not a civil right. A civil right is accorded to any individual regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation and include things like the freedoms of speech, religion, the press, and movement.

    Marriage has several conditions placed upon it by the state including age, mental state, relationship to partner, gender, and in some states, physical health. I had to get a blood test.

    It is not a civil right. Civil rights don’t require a blood test.

    • Submitted by Sean Huntley on 04/12/2012 - 02:24 pm.

      According to United States Supreme Court marriage is indeed a civil right. But I guess your opinion has more legal bearing than theirs.

    • Submitted by Mark Stromseth on 04/12/2012 - 03:28 pm.

      Marriage is an Unalienable Right

      Except to you, since you don’t seem to have read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or even the Bill of Rights. You consider only what you deem appropriate in his own small mind as a civil right. You believe that that civil rights don’t require a blood test, and because you had to have one before you could get married, that means it’s a civil right.

      Tragically, that blood test had nothing to do with a right to marry; it had everything to do determining whether or not either party had a disease that could be passed on to their children. But you’re ignorant of the fact that your worldview collapses when you discover that a variety of states don’t require such blood tests to obtain a marriage license. Using your own logic, that means marriage is a civil right, which is absolutely horrifying to you.

      The fact that someone would want to deny other people the right to pursue their own happiness via marriage because they’re biased against gays or lesbians reveals the bias and hate within them. Gay marriage doesn’t affect heterosexual marriage in the slightest bit, but that’s the argument you and these other hateful people want everyone to believe.

      That says more about you than you can possibly imagine.

  5. Submitted by Nathaniel Finch on 04/12/2012 - 10:21 am.

    Senior citizens and photo IDs

    My senior citizen mother still has a valid driver’s license. However, she has to travel 25 miles to get it renewed every two years. She no longer drives out of the small town where she lives. She has to arrange to have someone make the trip with her to renew. Chances are when her license is up for renewal, it won’t get done. These days, getting to the grocery store and back is about all she can manage. Does that mean she shouldn’t be able to vote? Mary Kiffmeyer seems to think so.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/12/2012 - 12:14 pm.

      So …

      What’s the matter, Nathaniel? You can’t drive your own mother to get her license renewed? You want government to do that too?

      And by the way … you should be getting her groceries for her too.

  6. Submitted by Alex Bauman on 04/12/2012 - 11:04 am.

    Not sure the Democrats are worried about disenfranchised seniors

    I think there is another population that has a history of disenfranchisement that lacks IDs, and they may be the ones the Democrats are worried about, since they tend to vote D at a higher rate than seniors. But thanks for your opinion, guy with a motorcycle.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 04/12/2012 - 01:23 pm.

      It’s not about how they vote

      It really is about the fact that some people will not be allowed to vote that are otherwise eligible to vote. I don’t care how they vote, honestly, and neither do a lot of people who are worried about the issue. If you are ok with someone else’s rights being removed, however seemingly well-reasoned it is, don’t be surprised when there’s no one around to cover your rights when they start taking them away.

  7. Submitted by Mark Stromseth on 04/12/2012 - 03:40 pm.

    Why Amy Senser doesn’t want to talk about her drinking habits

    Because that would reveal publicly that she’s an alcoholic. When you’re drunk as a skunk, like she was that night, and you hit somebody and keep going, that’s a crime. Instead of stopping and calling for help, she left the man to die, then she cooked went home after not picking up her daughter and friends from a concert, and when they got home, she was passed out on the front porch.

    Classic alcoholic. Did Joe Senser own up to his car being in an accident as soon as he found out? Of course not. He called his attorney, and his strategy was to keep silent and let the alcohol wear off on Amy before telling the police that he “thought” his vehicle was involved in the accident; but he never said his alcoholic wife was driving the vehicle.

    This is just a classic attempt at trying to stop damning evidence from being introduced into the public record, and instead substitute other things that have no evidentiary value. Typical mindset of the sports celebrity crowd: “We’re better than you, so we deserve to get off scot free.”

    The judge should reject this request and let us see and hear the real evidence.

  8. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 04/12/2012 - 03:51 pm.

    Dennis, it’s easier for you than Nathan…

    you still live in your parents’ basement.

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