223 Carleton alums donate $30 million

So that expensive education paid off? Jean Hopfensberger’s Strib story on a Carleton reunion that netted $30 million is kind of startling: “The alumni who celebrated their 50th class reunion at Carleton College in Northfield last month danced to Elvis hits, ate seared salmon and bison ribs, and announced a jaw-dropping donation to their alma mater. It was spelled out in placards in front of the dining room one morning: $ 30 MILLION ! ‘You could hear a gasp,’ said Bob Nelson, chairman of the Class of 1962’s fundraising committee. ‘And then there was an enthusiastic round of applause.’ The gift, made by just 223 people, set a reunion record for Minnesota colleges.”

Meanwhile, The Chairman has a new set of expenses. At MPR, Tom Scheck writes: “The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board has imposed $33,000 in fines against the Republican Party of Minnesota, the former chairman of the party and the fund created to help with the gubernatorial recount in 2010. The board found that party officials circumvented campaign finance law by creating a separate recount fund that was directed by former party Chairman Tony Sutton. … The board fined Sutton $3,000 for his actions. It also fined the Republican Party of Minnesota $26,900 and fined the fund, Count Them All Properly $3,100. It also required Count Them All Properly to register as a political fund and disclose its donors and spending by the end of the month. There won’t be much to report. Goldsmith said Bob Cummins, a major Republican donor who has pushed for the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and has given millions to Republican causes, is the only donor to the fund. He gave $30,000.” So what, Sheldon Adelson didn’t return their calls?

In a Strib commentary, retired ad exec Myles Spicer argues that Citizens United was a botch by the Supreme Court: “The influx of money at this point in our history is unfortunately combined with the changing characteristics of modern campaigning, creating a lethal mixture of money and media. With the exception of a few TV debates, political dialogue has been drowned by the massive explosion of media sound bites. This is far different from an intelligent dialogue between two reasonable but competing views on how we can best govern our nation. Indeed, most of this media blizzard is nothing more than attack ads. With the introduction of Citizen United in this milieu, the race then often is not decided at the ballot box; it frequently will be decided by fundraising.”

Brett Neely at MPR reports on fundraising statements by state candidates: “In the 8th Congressional District, former Democratic Congressman Rick Nolan reported raising $127,721 for his primary bid to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack. Since entering the race, Nolan has brought in $330,0037. Nolan’s campaign bank account has $93,435 cash on hand. Political action committees, including PACs affiliated with U.S. Sens. Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, were responsible for $37,184 of those donations. His campaign also touts the statistic that 91 percent of its contributions come from within Minnesota, a likely dig at Cravaack, whose family now lives in New Hampshire and at fellow DFL candidate Tarryl Clark, who has access to national Democratic fundraising circles such as EMILY’s List thanks to her previous campaign against Michele Bachmann.”                                           

From Friday … add Thomson Reuters to the long list of those publicly opposing the GOP’s marriage amendment. Tom Scheck at MPR says: “In an e-mail to employees, the highest two ranking executives headquartered in Minnesota (Mike Suchsland, President of Thomson Reuters Legal, and Rick King, COO, Technology) wrote that the amendment would hurt their ability to attract employees to work in Minnesota. Thomson Reuters is headquartered in New York and Westlaw, formerly West Publishing, is a subsidiary in Eagan. ‘We believe the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, if passed, would limit our ability to recruit and retain top talent,’ the e-mail said. ‘For this reason, we do not believe that the Amendment would be good for Thomson Reuters or the business community in the state.’ ”

Neal St. Anthony at the Strib will be having some interesting conversations with some of his sources. On the matter of tax cuts for job creators creating, you know, jobs, he writes: “[T]he wealthiest are not necessarily the job creators. The seven-figure paydays of the past decade have gone to investment managers, hedge fund and buyout jockeys. Their No. 1 job, as it was for Romney when he ran LBO firm Bain Capital, is making a return for investors, not adding workers. And the chief executives at many of the United States’ largest public companies are heading for their third year of record profits and paydays. In Minnesota, businesses on the Star Tribune 100 list of the largest public companies employed fewer workers in 2011 than in 2007. Leaner companies have profited hugely from higher worker productivity since 2009.” I am just … so … shocked … to read that.

I don’t think this idea would meet the same resistance in Uptown. Dan Linehan of the Mankato Free Press writes: “To organizer Cynthia Frederick, gathering several hundred women to march in the World’s Largest Bikini Parade was a fun idea for a sun-infused fundraiser. ‘It just seemed like a natural fit to be able to raise public awareness of the importance of higher vitamin D levels,’ said Frederick, owner of the Electric Beach tanning salon in Mankato. To the Madison Lake City Council, this entry in the July 28 Paddlefish Days parade is not in keeping with a family tone. ‘This parade shouldn’t have this image,’ Councilman Chuck Ries said.” What if they were slathered in zinc oxide?

The story behind the murder-suicide in an Apple Valley parking lot has a few unusual twists. Heron Marquez Estrada of the Strib reports: “On paper, Woynishet Woldemariam was the aggressor. She was the one arrested for hitting her husband, violating two orders for protection and convicted on domestic abuse charges. Over a two-year period, she was alleged to have slapped her estranged husband, Anteneh Tsegaye, spit in his face, possibly scratched him and at least once threatened to kill him while violating orders for protection he had taken against her. But on Sunday, the day after the 41-year-old woman was shot to death in an Apple Valley parking lot by Tsegaye, also 41, in what police described as ‘a straightforward murder-suicide,’ a different picture is emerging; one in which friends and acquaintances say the Ethiopian immigrant, a naturalized citizen, is the victim on a variety of cultural, judicial, emotional and physical levels. ‘She was the victim … from Day One, there is not one shred of doubt on my part,’ said Evangelina Aguilar, a former guardian ad litem in Dakota County who worked for months with the family.”

I think we want to see what’s up with Louise. The Duluth News Tribune reports: “According to a report from the Minnesota State Patrol, a 2006 Chevrolet Impala driven by Louise Ericksen, 72, of Baudette was traveling southbound on Minnesota Highway 72 in Beltrami County, about six miles north of Blackduck , just before 10:30 a.m. when the car crossed the centerline and went into the east ditch. While driving on the slope of the ditch, the car struck a no-passing sign with its driver’s side rear-door area, breaking the door window. According to the Patrol report, passenger Kendall Erickson, 15, of Baudette, was sleeping in the rear seat and as the car bounced along rough terrain in the ditch, she was ejected out the broken window. Meanwhile, the Impala got back on the road and continued southbound, with the driver and the other passenger, Ashley Ericksen, 18, also of Baudette, apparently not immediately realizing Kendall Ericksen was not in the back seat.”

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 07/16/2012 - 09:03 am.

    The “Supreme Court” is a Misnomer

    The Supreme Courts Citizens United decision is the worst decision ever rendered by a Supreme Court. It totally took our democracy away from John Q Public and put it right in the lap of the some of the wealthy. It has turned a one voter, one vote system into a two vote system for some. Some of the wealthy vote with their money, and then they vote again in November. Which vote do you think has the most impact? It has turned political campaigns into 365/24/7 events with no time left for those elected to do the work of the people. Elections are no longer determined by votes, but a running money total. If the Roberts Court is supposed to contain the best and the brightest legal minds this country has to offer then this country is in major trouble. Their decisions are not based in law, but political partisanship. It is no longer a country of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is becoming a country for the wealthy only. Unfortunately wealth and intelligence don’t go hand in hand. The so called “Job Creators” won’t be happy until they control it all.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/16/2012 - 12:46 pm.

      In a free society

      the way to combat political speech you don’t like is to encourage more of the political speech you DO like, not by having the government limit political speech altogether.

      When both sides can produce wealthy donors to contribute to buy ads for political campaigns, it’s not “partisanship.” It’s a bipartisan ruling that benefits everyone.

      More free speech is better than less free speech.

      • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 07/16/2012 - 02:06 pm.

        It isn’t about free speech

        It is all about big money corrupting our political system for the benefit of just a few rather than all Americans. When we have political polarization and the word compromise has left the system it is all about corruption aimed at helping a very fortunate few.

      • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 07/16/2012 - 03:29 pm.

        When it benefits him,

        Dennis sees things through altruistic glasses and doesn’t recognize “degrees”. If Candidate A has 2 wealthy donors and Candidate B has 100 wealthy donors, they both have wealthy donors.

  2. Submitted by James Hamilton on 07/16/2012 - 11:11 am.

    Understanding the Supreme Court’s role

    Far too many of those critical of Citizens United fail to understand the Supreme Court’s role in assessign constitutional claims. Put simply, it is not to determine whether a law is well intentioned, well designed or even that it’s benefits outweigh the harm it may do. It is simply to determine whether the law is within Congress’s authority and, if so, whether it runs afoul any express limitation on rights granted elsewhere in the Constitution.

    Too many of those who complain about the majority opinion on Citizens United do so not because the court’s legal reasoning was faulty, but because they think other, inappropriate concerns should have won the day. Many also think that the decision itself was ultimately founded on inappropriate considerations, but that’s not my purpose in writing.

    If we want the court to do the job it’s supposed to do, there’s little value and a good deal of harm in arguing for another outcome based on political considerations.

    The Supreme Court has done its job, well or badly remains to be determined. The ball’s now back in the political court, which means Congress. If you want enforceable limits placed on corporate funds, it now seems that disclosure is the only viable option. Sadly, both major parties see too much benefit in the post-Citizens United status quo. Ask your candidates what they intend to do about.it. Tell them you want the matter addressed, not two years from now, but now.

  3. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/16/2012 - 12:32 pm.

    Not the worst decision ever.

    Citizens United was wrong and will prove to have a very destructive impact on our political culture. It belongs in the list of Top Five Worst Decisions, but I think there were worse (Dred Scott, the Slaughterhouse Cases, Sweatt, Korematsu).

    • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 07/16/2012 - 03:37 pm.

      Right or wrong this is my rationale.

      The reason I said the worst decision is because Citizen United impacts all Americans directly when the political system is corrupted by big money. The cases you mentioned directly impacted a segment of the population and indirectly impacted the rest of the country. The decisions you mention sadden me to think we had to go through times like that. Unchecked, the Citizen United decision will adversely impact our political system so it directly impacts all citizens.

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