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GOP candidate calls Dayton a ‘pill popper’

Schulze’s Best Buy obstacle; another big marriage amendment donation; Lake Superior robots; The Onion’s Bachmann spoof taken seriously; and more.

“Edgy” GOP congressional candidate, Mike Parry took a step closer to the precipice with a shot at Gov. Dayton’s personal medical history. Says Martiga Lohn at the AP: “Republican congressional candidate Mike Parry took heat Tuesday, Aug. 7, for portraying Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton as a pill popper, with lawmakers calling for an apology and Dayton’s spokesman describing the comments as ‘vile personal attacks.’ Parry, a state senator from Waseca running in the contentious 1st District GOP primary, made the comment Monday at a Brown County Republican fundraiser. A video of Parry’s speech posted online by a New Ulm Journal reporter shows Parry saying of Dayton: ‘When you sit across from him and you watch him pop 15 to 16 pills when you’re having a meeting, it’s scary.’ Parry emphasized the importance of keeping Republican control of the Legislature. … Parry spokesman Ben Golnik said Parry stands by his comment.” … At least until he sees how it affects his fundraising.

At the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Heather Carlson writes of the Parry- Allen Quist race: “Minnesota State University, Mankato, political science professor Joseph Kunkel said the average voter isn’t tuned into this race. It’s a select group of Republicans who are paying attention and will go to the polls. Whichever candidate wins faces the daunting task of trying to unseat a three-term incumbent flush with campaign cash. ‘It’s going to be difficult. Walz is in a really good position right now,’ Kunkel said. ‘Quist and Parry are really going to have to hope the bottom falls out for the Democrats nationally and Walz starts to sink, and then they are going to be taken more seriously by national groups.’ ”

Steve Davidoff at The New York Times DealBook takes his swing at Richard Schulze’s plan to buy back Best Buy: “Mr. Schulze likely announced his bid to force the Best Buy board into considering a deal, but there’s another strategic reason for this announcement. Minnesotans, famous for their niceness, don’t seem to like hostile takeovers very much. The state has adopted some of the stricter antitakeover laws in the country. Mr. Schulze’s letter was clearly aimed at addressing the problem he confronts from one of these statutes, the Minnesota business combination act, which is adopted word-for-word in the company’s certificate of incorporation. … This statute is quite strict. It means that before any person can acquire 10 percent or more of Best Buy, the acquisition must be approved by a committee of disinterested directors. If the approval is not obtained before the threshold is passed, then the acquirer has to wait four years to squeeze out the remaining shareholders.” I did not know that.

At MPR, Lily Berger, a local product engineer, has a couple of things to say to Chick-fil-A-loving ex-Sen. Rick Santorum: “In an Aug. 1 email to your supporters about the Chick-fil-A controversy, you said: ‘What crime have they [Chick-fil-A] committed? … The leader of this privately held company, the son of its founder, said he believes in the Biblical view of the family.’ You then went on to talk about religious freedom in America. Let me tell you about what religious freedom means to me, and why I don’t support Chick-fil-A. … I am a Conservative Jew. That means I belong to the Conservative Movement of Judaism. You may not know this, but Conservative Judaism allows same-sex marriage; so do Reform Judaism and Reconstructionist Judaism — that’s three out of the four Jewish movements, which comprise the vast majority of Jews in America. So when people try to enact laws making those marriages — religiously sanctioned marriages, performed in traditional Jewish wedding ceremonies in synagogues across the country — legally invalid, this infringes on our religious freedom. Why should our Jewish marriages be defined by other people’s religions? People working to make or keep same-sex marriage illegal are working to violate my and my coreligionists’ First Amendment rights.”

The GleanAnother day, another $325K donation to the forces fighting the GOP’s anti-gay marriage initiative. Says the AP: “Michigan philanthropist has donated $325,000 to a group opposing a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Jon Stryker of Kalamazoo, Mich., gave the money to Freedom to Marry Minnesota’s political action committee on Tuesday, according to state campaign finance records. The contribution comes a day after the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign pledged to sink $1 million into four states where voters will consider same-sex marriage ballot measures.”

This is cool … According to MPR’s Dan Kraker, robots will soon be working the floor of Lake Superior: “Aiming to tap the wealth of information deep inside Lake Superior, Austin and other researchers are preparing to send two mechanical divers in the big, cold lake for a long time. They plan to test one of the divers Wednesday. Funded by a $485,000 National Science Foundation grant, the new devices, called ‘Autonomous Moored Platforms,’ will travel up and down the depths on cables anchored to the lake bottom. They’ll collect readings on water temperature, currents and a long list of other data points. In the long run they could actually save researchers money. A single day on a research vessel costs roughly $7,000. [UMD professor Jay] Austin, lead investigator on the new project at the school’s Large Lakes Observatory, said the technology will offer a view of Lake Superior science has never had before.”

Albert Hunt’s recent Bloomberg News story on two area Tea Party-fueled freshmen gets more play on the New York Times site: “Sean Duffy and Chip Cravaack are the emblematic politicians of the 2010 congressional elections: Tea Party-backed Republicans who won in heavily Democratic districts and succeeded two of the most powerful figures in the U.S. House of Representatives. … Both now face tough re-elections and have tempered their tone, reflecting the political realities facing a number of the 84 House newcomers in the Republican tide two years ago. … Mr. Cravaack, in a recent interview with The Associated Press, depicted himself as a centrist. He has cast a number of pro-labor-union votes in line with his working-class district. The conservative Club for Growth has rated him the least conservative of the four Republican House members from Minnesota. Neither congressman was willing to be interviewed.” But had Glenn Beck called …

Will you take $5 a month? According to Brian Bakst’s AP story, the state GOP has received permission to pay its various fines … on the installment plan: “The Minnesota Republican Party received permission Tuesday to pay a $26,900 fine for violating campaign disclosure laws in installments rather than a lump sum, as it struggles with its election-year finances. The state Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board approved the party’s request to pay the fine in four installments, giving the Minnesota GOP until the day before the November election to have it paid in full. The penalty stems from the 2010 governor’s race recount. Under the direction of its former chairman, the GOP set up a shell company to handle recount legal bills and steered donations there to avoid disclosure.”

I feel a certain pity for people so deep in a bubble they have no idea what The Onion is or what it does. At City Pages, Aaron Rupar writes: “Yesterday, The Onion published a probably-in-bad-taste story with this headline: “Michele Bachmann Thankful No Americans Died In Sikh Shooting.” Believe it or not, some folks took the “report” seriously and seized upon it as another reason to blast Our Favorite Congressperson. … Condemnation of Bachmann’s ‘remarks’ followed fiercely and swiftly.” Rupar includes Twitter comments. People, a little pop culture cred is a good thing. It’s not like The Onion is a Kardashian.