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Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds block of Voter ID

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has refused to hear appeals on its voter fraud — excuse me, Voter ID legislation, meaning Voter ID will not be in effect through the recall elections. Scott Bauer of the AP writes, “The decision means the photo ID requirement will remain blocked even as recall elections against Gov. Scott Walker and five other Republicans near. The primary election for the recalls is May 8 followed by a June 5 general election. Separate Dane County circuit court judges issued temporary and permanent injunctions last month blocking the law before Wisconsin’s April 3 primary election, deeming the law an unconstitutional impairment to the right to vote. … Supporters of the law say it is needed to combat voter fraud. Critics contend that the type of voter fraud the law is meant to prevent is extremely rare, and that it is really intended to stifle turnout among groups who typically vote Democrat.”

Live and die by social media. Joy Powell of the Strib writes: “In Cottage Grove, resident Leon Moe created a website because he was dissatisfied with city spending for a $15 million City Hall and public safety building. His action touched off a wave of change in the city as a petition grew and a charter commission formed, all with the help of the Internet. Moe drew support from residents such as Kathy Lewandoski, a frequent critic of the City Council. They and a handful of other residents, upset that there was no public vote on the spending for the new building, collected more than 1,800 signatures on a petition calling for a local charter commission with the power to recall elected officials. Construction of the City Hall and public safety building is well under way.”

It is going to be one long, tough slog for whoever runs against Amy Klobuchar this year. At MPR, Matt Sepic reports: “Republican Dan Severson’s U.S. Senate campaign is reporting first quarter fundraising of $53,884 and says it ended March with a little more than $40,000 in campaign cash on hand. … Another candidate, Pete Hegseth, got into the race in March and reported much stronger fundraising of $160,000 for the first quarter and $130,000 cash on hand as of March 31. … Klobuchar’s campaign told reporters it ended the quarter with more than $5.2 million in campaign cash.”

Nearly a foot of snow fell up north last night. The Duluth News Tribune reports: “Heavy rain changed over to snow late Sunday night from north to south across the region. While the Duluth airport reported … 0.6 inches, snow totals to the north reported by the National Weather Service include 11 inches near Chisholm and Orr, 10 inches at Togo and 8 inches in Bigfork and Cook. As of 7:30 a.m. the Minnesota Department of Transportation was advising no travel on U.S. Highway 53 north of Cook, and in the Bigfork, Littlefork and International Falls areas because of heavy snow.”

The Glean

The High School Chess championship was held in Minneapolis over the weekend. A Strib report says: “Ben Gershenov, a senior at Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, N.Y., garnered top honors by winning … 6.5 points out of a possible 7. The top team came from Intermediate School 318 from Brooklyn, in New York City, featured in the documentary ‘Brooklyn Castle,’ which is screening in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Film Festival now underway. … More than 300 Minnesota youths representing 100 schools participated in the tournament, and many walked away with top prizes, McLellan said. The top Minnesota finisher in the championship division was Matthew Dahl, a St. Thomas Academy senior and a chess master. He finished in a tie for 9th through 17th place with 5.5 points out of 7.”

Don’t mess with this gal. Mara Gottfried at the PiPress  reports: “A 65-year-old woman fended off a masked, would-be robber who sprayed her in the face with pepper spray Sunday … in St. Paul. She kicked the suspect twice in the stomach, and the person ran away without getting anything, a police report said. The suspect, whose gender was unknown, was wearing a ski mask.”

My high-school shop class never got on TV. Christopher Magan of the PiPress writes: “Students in Rob Kiihn’s woodworking class at North High School in North St. Paul will soon get a chance to remind enthusiasts of home improvement television where that drive to do-it-yourself often originates. Next month, Kiihn and six of his most ‘motivated students’ will appear on an episode of “Rehab Addict.” The DIY network show follows host Nicole Curtis as she renovates historic homes in Minneapolis and Detroit. Kiihn and his students built a cover for a steam radiator that will be featured on the show. ‘She wanted to see if there were any high schools around that still had wood shop programs’, Kiihn said. ‘I think she did it to give high school programs a plug because a lot of schools are losing these programs.’ ” Yeah, really. Why bother teaching DIY? I mean, that’s what we have cheap Chinese labor for.

It’s looking worse for Minnesota apple growers. Also at the PiPress, Tom Webb says: “The amount of freeze damage isn’t fully clear yet, growers say. But early indications show considerable harm to the budding blossoms, as temperatures slid into the 20s on Monday and Tuesday nights. ‘You can see that they’re turning brown, instead of being a nice light green that they’re supposed to be,’ Ross Nelson, owner of Nelson’s Apple Farm in Webster, said Friday … Each autumn, Nelson’s farm attracts day-trippers who also come for pumpkins, Christmas trees and a corn maze. But apples are the big draw, and Nelson said he doubts he’ll have many this fall. ‘We will probably not open at all,’ he said. ‘The primary reason people come to our orchard is to pick your own.’ “

The giant St. Croix bridge will have “pedestrian walkouts” from which to enjoy the splendid view … next to four lanes of roaring traffic. Says Kevin Giles at the Strib: “The first visual evidence of a new St. Croix River bridge will appear by June when workers begin testing bedrock below the water to determine how much weight it can hold. Barges laden with heavy equipment will hover over two test sites in the bridge’s path, driving pilings equipped with sensors to measure whether piers can support thousands of tons of weight. … Data produced from the tests will help determine the final design for the bridge, the centerpiece of a $676 million project that includes extensive road building in Minnesota and Wisconsin.” 

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 04/16/2012 - 03:51 pm.

    $676 Million

    Meanwhile, the largest part of the population, the boomers, will continue downsizing and moving closer in to take advantage of public transit and in-city living, dumping big yards, long commutes and high gas prices.

    I suspect we’re building a bridge whose gargantuan size will never be needed…

    But what’s $676 million in a time of such great government surpluses?

    • Submitted by James Hamilton on 04/16/2012 - 05:12 pm.

      We can always fish off of the bridge, Gregg.

      But then, I think you’re expecting too much in the way of rational thinking when it comes to where people will choose to live. Thousands are willing to pay the price if it means their own 1/4 acre of paradise.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 04/16/2012 - 05:24 pm.

      And why

      Is MN paying more?

      • Submitted by Tom Clark on 04/16/2012 - 08:03 pm.


        Minnesota is also building new interchanges on Hwy 36 in addition to the bridge. The actual bridge costs are being split 50/50 between Minnesota and Wisconsin.

  2. Submitted by Matthew Zabka on 04/16/2012 - 05:40 pm.


    The Wisconsin SC did not “uphold” the voter ID block. It refused to hear the case. This is an awfully big error in the big, bold faced font used for the title.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 04/16/2012 - 09:20 pm.

    In the Parlance of Courts

    Refusing to hear an appeal of the rulings of lower courts IS upholding those previous rulings which did, indeed, block the Wisconsin Voter I.D. law for the time being.

    Higher courts only hear appeals of the rulings of lower courts when they believe there’s a strong chance that they will OVERTURN those lower court rulings.

    Refusing to hear an appeal means there was NO chance that they would overturn, thus in refusing to hear an appeal, they have, indeed, upheld the lower court ruling.

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