Norm Coleman group makes $860K local media buy

Norm Coleman’s American Action Network has booked $860,000 worth of local airtime to support its candidates. Catharine Richert at MPR writes: “[T]here are at least two Minnesota districts that appear competitive at this point: the 8th Congressional District, where Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack is running for re-election and the 2nd Congressional District, where Republican Rep. John Kline is running for re-election. The U.S. House Democrats’ fundraising arm has pledged to assist Democrat Mike Obermueller, who is running against Kline. AAN is an issue advocacy group co-founded by former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, and focuses on center-right issues. The organization is tax-exempt and therefore doesn’t have to disclose its donors. But this election cycle, it has been spending heavily in regions important to the Republican party.” When did disclosure become an enemy of “free speech”?

According to a KARE-TV story, Peavey Plaza on the Nicollet Mall isn’t luring exactly the crowd its planners first imagined: “Minneapolis Police Sergeant Steven McCarty estimates that as many as 50 homeless people sleep in the plaza every night. Many more drift through at all hours of the day, using it as a makeshift bathroom. Statistics indicate that police have seen a 260 percent increase in calls for service and over a 300 percent increase in arrests at Peavey Plaza in 2012 as compared to the same time period last year. Although the majority of calls and arrests are for low level crimes like public intoxication, public urination, drinking and disorderly conduct, officers have also responded to serious crimes including criminal sexual conduct, robberies, and assaults. Police say there have also been numerous medical calls as a result of the deplorable conditions that people are currently living in at Peavey Plaza.”

Everyone has a mayfly story off the Sunday hatch down in Hastings. But you have to like Fox9’s Maury Glover, reporting … with the bugs all over his shirt: “[A] film of dead insects created a slippery surface on Highway 61 that caused a driver to lose control and collide with an oncoming vehicle shortly before midnight on Sunday. One of the drivers involved in the crash spoke with FOX 9 News. He said he was driving with his two boys when a downpour of mayflies rained down on their vehicle just before crash. No one was seriously injured in the crash. A spokesman for MnDOT said the layer of dead mayflies was 2 to 3 inches thick on top of the roadway.”

Sort of in the same vein … Stephanie Hemphill of MPR files a piece on the ongoing mystery of the deformed frogs of Ney Pond: “Minnesota made headlines around the world in 1995 when schoolchildren discovered dozens of grossly deformed frogs in a pond in south central Minnesota. Soon there were more reports of deformed frogs from around Minnesota and other places — gruesome photographs of frogs with extra legs, or missing legs, or eyes in the wrong place. People wondered if the frogs were a sign that something in the environment was wrong, which could also spell trouble for humans. Seventeen years later, scientists still have not completely solved the mystery of what caused frogs to develop those deformities. … Judy Helgen, the MPCA biologist who pushed for investigation, is telling her story in a new book, ‘Peril in the Ponds — Deformed Frogs, Politics, and a Biologist’s Quest.’ Helgen has not told her story before now.” Local author William Souder also has a book touching on the mystery.

The GleanAndrea Swensson, at MPR’s LocalCurrent blog, reports: “News came in overnight via Bob Dylan’s newsletter that his 35th studio album has a title and a release date: Tempest is coming September 11. As noted in the album’s announcement, the release of Tempest on Columbia Records will coincide with the 50th anniversary of Dylan’s first studio album, Bob Dylan, which was issued by the same label in March of 1962. Tempest was produced by Jack Frost, a pseudonym Dylan has used in recent years for self-recorded releases.”

For the moment, Minnesota farmers are looking at a bonanza, if the drought takes down yields everywhere else except here. The Western Farm Press says today: “In June, the USDA was projecting a record 166 bushels of corn per acre to be harvested this fall. That projected yield has been pushed down to 146 bushels per acre as of mid-July. AccuWeather.com agricultural meteorologists expect this figure is likely to go lower and are projecting the yield to be around 138 bushels per acre. … Central Minnesota was one of a few areas holding its own in terms of weather and expected output in the Corn Belt. … Lower yields than expected could continue to translate to higher prices per bushel. The corn futures market this week was fluctuating near the record at approximately $8 per bushel.”

Very cool … . the story at the Phys.Org site says: “See the inside of early polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s hut, visit a penguin colony and take in the wonders of the Antarctic landscape from the comfort of your own home or office with new images launched online today by Google in cooperation with the University of Minnesota’s Polar Geospatial Center. With images gathered by the Polar Geospatial Center, Google has expanded its 360-degree imagery of Antarctica giving the public an opportunity to view important and historical locations such as the South Pole Telescope, Shackleton’s hut, the Cape Royds Adélie Penguin Rookery, explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s hut, McMurdo Research Station and many other sites. ‘This is the ultimate public outreach,’ said Paul Morin, director of the National Science Foundation-funded Polar Geospatial Center in the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering. ‘These are places that nobody can visit without tremendous effort and cost. This puts the glory of Antarctica at people’s fingertips around the world so everyone can be an ‘armchair’ polar explorer.’ ”

I’m just saying my idea of a good time with pals is playing pull tabs on an iPad. Don Davis of the Forum papers says: “Minnesota charities could begin rolling out electronic pulltab and bingo games this fall, although concerns remain that could slow their acceptance. ‘This isn’t an industry that embraces change,’ Executive Director King Wilson of Allied Charities told the Minnesota Gambling Control board Monday. In an interview, Wilson said that even though state lawmakers passed a bill allowing electronic pulltab and bingo games, with some profits funding a Minnesota Vikings football stadium, ‘a lot of misunderstanding’ exists. One of charities’ concerns is how much the new devices will cost, Wilson said. Another concern is whether charities can afford to try the devices. The charitable organizations sought a cut in the taxes they pay to the state, but lawmakers approved a smaller tax cut than sought, Wilson added.” People, do you want to be “major league,” or not?

This from Monday … Doug Belden at the PiPress writes: “Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, has called a meeting of the State Government Innovation and Veterans Committee for Friday, July 20, to focus on the constitutional amendment questions on this fall’s ballot. ‘In light of recent developments, the committee expects Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and State Attorney General Lori Swanson to explain their involvement’ with the ballot questions, Parry said.” Will the senators be retaining counsel for this meeting?

An “illegal kidney transplant” in Minnesota? Christopher Snowbeck of the PiPress says: “The sentencing last week of a New York man for brokering illegal kidney transplants included a surprise revelation that one of the surgeries apparently took place in Minnesota. Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, 61, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for brokering three illegal kidney transplants in which donors were paid at least $120,000 each to donate organs. During testimony Wednesday, July 11, at a sentencing hearing for Rosenbaum, a witness said he donated his kidney at a hospital affiliated with the University of Minnesota. The U performs kidney transplants at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview in Minneapolis, but officials said federal privacy rules prevent them from saying whether the hospital was involved in the case.”

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Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/17/2012 - 02:58 pm.

    The Parry Committee

    I’m sure we can rely on Sen. Parry to run a fair, open-minded investigation that will not come to any pre-determined conclusion. They will give Secretary Ritchie and Attorney General Swanson a fair chance to explain themselves, and treat them with the respect due their positions in our state’s government.

    Now, I’m going to go outside and play with my pet unicorn.

  2. Submitted by Nick Magrino on 07/17/2012 - 03:17 pm.

    Peavey Plaza

    I’m extremely disappointed that one of the few half-decent public places in Downtown Minneapolis has basically turned into a homeless camp since we made exceptions for “occupy” protesters to set up camp there. It’s basically been just some gross, un-manned tables (that have signs spelling Peavey wrong) and tens of homeless people for at least a couple months. Also disappointed that this is just a couple blocks from the large convention hotels on the south end of Nicollet Mall. Not a very good impression for us to make on visitors.

    • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 07/18/2012 - 12:05 am.

      And you would think

      with all the “non-profits” in Minnesota and state spending on social and welfare the “homeless” would at least have a room.

  3. Submitted by Logan Foreman on 07/17/2012 - 03:57 pm.

    Why always call it

    Coleman’s group? What evidence is there for what he does, if any?

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 07/17/2012 - 04:59 pm.

    If it’s any comfort

    …and I doubt that it will be, Denver has had ongoing similar problems with its Civic Center Park, between the “City and County Building” (i.e., Mayor’s office) to the west and the state capitol to the east. I lived in the region for a dozen years, and no really satisfactory solution had been found by the time I moved here.

    Problems were very similar to what’s been described, though the homeless in Denver were inclined to keep their belongings in grocery carts, which would be problematical here during most winters.

    Indeed, it won’t, and doesn’t, make a very good impression on visitors, but actually doing something about it would cost money the city doesn’t have, and that the current legislature wouldn’t appropriate even in flush times, much less with a looming deficit on the horizon. I expect this issue to continue for some time, along with the contention that seems likely to surround it.

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