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GOP’s Supreme Court victories come with stinging dissents

Kiffmeyer cites 6,224 “questionable votes”; 2014 All-Star Game likely; Pohlads add car dealerships; heat returning; and more.

It’s a victory for the GOP’s Voter ID and gay marriage referendums, but the majority rulings came with some stinging dissents. At the Strib, Jim Ragsdale reports: “The Minnesota Supreme Court gave the Republican-controlled Legislature a pair of important election-year victories on Monday, ruling that proposed constitutional amendments on photo ID and same-sex marriage will go to voters in words chosen by their supporters in the Legislature. In a pair of 4-2 decisions, the court deferred to the Legislature in selecting the bold-face titles and the ballot question voters will see this November. It means the both issues will remain on the ballot and be presented to voters the way legislators wanted — not in the manner favored by DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. ‘It’s a real victory for the constitution, separation of powers and upholding the authority of the Legislature,’ said Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, author of the photo ID amendment. … In a stinging dissent, Justice Alan Page called the ballot question ‘a classic case of bait and switch,’ writing that ‘It is ironic, if not Orwellian, that in the name of ‘protecting’ the voter and preventing unspecified voting ‘fraud,’ the Legislature has resorted to a ballot question that deliberately deceives and misleads the very voters it claims must be protected.’ “

Over at the PiPress, Doug Belden writes: “In a 65-page dissent, [Justice Paul] Anderson called the question ‘inaccurate, misleading and deceptive’ and said it deprives Minnesotans of their constitutional right to knowingly consent to a constitutional amendment that will, if approved, ‘alter, modify or reform’ their government’. … On the title issue, Page said the majority opinion leaves no check on the Legislature’s ability to label questions any way it wants. ‘Under the court’s view a majority of the Legislature could propose a constitutional amendment to, say, reinstate prohibition, propose the ballot title ‘Eliminating the Personal Income Tax,’ the Secretary of State would be obliged to put the Legislature’s title on the ballot, and under the standard the court announces today, this court could do nothing to prevent it,’ Page wrote.” Don’t give them any ideas, Your Honor.

Speaking of … a couple of days back, Josh Moniz at The New Ulm Journal covered Ms. Kiffmeyer at an event. He writes: “Kiffmeyer argued that the amendment is essential to maintain the validity of final election results in the state. She was unable to source her numbers during the interview, but Kiffmeyer argued that Minnesota had the highest amount of voter fraud convictions in the country, saying there were approximately 113 voter fraud convictions resulting from the 2008 elections. She also cited that approximately 500,000 of Minnesota’s over 3 million registered voters were same-day registration voters in 2008. She said 6,224 remain unreachable and unaccounted for with problems like invalid addresses. There is no method to determine whether any of those voters were fraudulent or whether they were simply not followed up on. Kiffmeyer [said] that the simple possibility that voter fraud could exist in those number causes her serious concern. ‘It’s incredible to me, the number of people that have the expectation that they can just come in without anything and vote’, said Kiffmeyer. … She said that when she saw U.S Attorney-General Eric Holder challenging Voter ID laws in other states for conflict with respective state constitutions, she decided that a constitutional amendment was the best way to guarantee the law would not be struck down.” Well, that and the call from the ALEC.

The Glean The Twins appear set to host the 2014 All-Star game. Laura Yuen at MPR (acknowledging that Charley “Shooter” Walters at the PiPress was saying as much earlier) says: “Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is expected in Minneapolis Wednesday to announce that the Minnesota Twins will indeed host the All-Star Game in 2014. A league spokesman in New York declined to confirm or deny Selig’s travel schedule, but he confirmed that the game’s location will be named Wednesday. Three Twin Cities sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed Selig’s visit, capping weeks of speculation that the two-year-old Target Field would likely win its high-profile bid. Minneapolis hasn’t hosted the game since 1985.”

Need a (very nice) new car? David Phelps of the Strib says: “A unit of Pohlad Companies, the business conglomerate that includes the Minnesota Twins, J.B. Hudson Jewelers and United Properties, Monday upped its stake in the Twin Cities luxury automobile market with the acquisition of Audi, Porsche and Mercedes dealerships. Pohlad’s Twin Cities Automotive (TCA) announced the purchase of Carousel Audi and Porsche in Golden Valley, and Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche in Maplewood. All four dealerships are owned by LeJeune Investment Corp. Terms were not disclosed. The deal, which requires manufacturer approval, nearly doubles the number of Pohlad-owned dealerships from five to nine in Minnesota and will likely increase sales volume by 40 percent to 50 percent, said Brad Braun, TCA’s chief financial officer.”

100 degrees? Again? When will it be January? Mary Lynn Smith of the Strib says: “Another excessive heat watch is being issued for Thursday when air temperatures are expected to flirt with the 100-degree mark by the afternoon in parts of Ramsey and Hennepin counties, according to a National Weather Service. ‘It will start feeling really hot in the metro and most of Minnesota on Wednesday,’ said National Weather Service forecaster Lisa Schmit. ‘Temperatures should be in the low to mid-90s that day.’
And by Thursday, temperatures could hit 99 to 100 degrees, she said.”

MPR’s Bill Catlin tries to divine what Best Buy’s stock price means: “[T]he stock price speaks volumes about what investors think. When [former CEO Richard] Schulze revealed his proposal — it wasn’t detailed enough to call it a bona fide ‘offer’ — the share price jumped, but landed well short of the proposed minimum of $24 a share. The stock closed that day, August 6, at $19.99. The gap between the proposal and the closing price was at least $4.01. Compare that to another large recent buyout in the news. A week ago, the big health insurer, Aetna, announced an agreement to buy Coventry Health Care, a managed care company. The offer was valued at $42.08 per share. That day Coventry’s share price closed at $42.04 — a gap of just four cents. … In the case of Best Buy investors were showing considerable doubt that if they bought a share at, say $22, that Dick Schulze would pay at least $24 for that same share. The day 1 close at $19.99 suggests they were more comfortable betting that they might get around $20 for that share. You can calculate how skeptical investors are and attach a number to it, and that’s where the depth of doubt about Dick Schulze’s plans becomes apparent.”

The abrupt dismissal of well-liked Jane Minton as head of the Independent Feature Project, a local filmmakers organization, has set tongues a-wagging. Now her official explanation is out in public. Marianne Combs puts it up at MPR. Says Minton: “[I]t was clear to me that the Executive Committee wasn’t looking for solutions. It was looking for a scapegoat. It now appears that board/staff protocols may have been violated, and that a plan to oust me had been afoot for months, surfacing June 27th with that meeting called by the Executive Committee. This is not unusual. It happens in not-for-profits: a board member joins an organization out of enthusiasm and a few years down the road believes he or she could run it better. … The manner in which I was treated was heartless, cold, mean, and calculating. I know well that all businesses, nonprofits included, need to be run like businesses. But the reason some of us spend our careers working with nonprofits is HEART. What you don’t make in salary, you gain in a common mission and collegiality. This has been missing in my recent situation.” Twenty-five years would seem to have earned a better ending.

At the lefty blog (duh) leftmn, Steve Timmer has his fun with the radio duo/blogging of Tom Emmer and Bob Davis. Says Timmer: “ The duo [say]:

To date, the Republican Senate Caucus has refused to accede to the former staffer’s demands.  Now the media seems intent on reporting how much the legal dispute has cost rather than suggesting that perhaps the former staffer is blowing smoke in an effort to leverage a large settlement.  Outside of the courtroom this would be called “extortion” or “blackmail.”  [or maybe defamation]  So long as it is in the courtroom, I guess our news media assumes it is about justice.

In other words, the media should speculate about whether Brodkorb has the goods and traffic in innuendo rather than reporting factual matters such as how much the state is paying to defend against the allegations of the actions of the Senate Republican caucus. No, Bob and Tom, my friends, speculative suggesting and trafficking in innuendo is your job! If the media did it, even fewer people would listen to your show. Davis and Emmer do do (to quote Madeline Kahn) innuendo quite well:

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Is it possible that the Senate Republican Caucus has hired an attorney to defend against these claims because the claims are entirely without merit?  Is it possible that the former staffer has nothing?  Is it possible that all he has is the threat of a story that might appeal to the public’s prurient interest?  Is it possible that he is manipulating his longstanding relationships (after all, he was in charge of Communications for the Senate Republicans) with reporters and certain seedy bloggers who are unwittingly spreading hollow innuendo?

Is it possible that morning talk radio has dumber pair of hosts?”

You don’t want to know the answer to THAT question.