Last-minute primary taunts, charges and accusations

Prior to today’s primary, Tim Pugmire at MPR says: “Republican candidates in the far western suburbs have been generating much of the heat leading up to the primary. State Rep. Connie Doepke of Orono is running for the open Senate seat in District 33, after losing a party endorsement fight. Doepke said she’s had to fend off attacks from her opponent, as well as his well-financed backers. ‘This campaign has been the dirtiest, most negative campaign I’ve ever experienced,’ Doepke said. ‘I think the thing that amazes me the most is that so much money is being poured into a campaign that’s been designed to mislead through innuendo, distortions and lies.’ But the endorsed candidate, Mound City Council member David Osmek, said it’s Doepke who’s been trying to mislead voters by claiming endorsements that she didn’t really have. Osmek said he thinks voters prefer his brand of conservatism and his commitment to cutting taxes and spending.” And here I thought Mike Parry and Allen Quist trademarked “dirtiest, most negative campaign.”

Speaking of … Martiga Lohn of the AP reports on Monday activity: “Meanwhile, Republican Mike Parry pushed to finish a tour of southern Minnesota’s 1st District, starting the day in Mankato and ending in Rochester. The state senator from Waseca has been on the defensive since he claimed last week that he saw Gov. Mark Dayton pop 15 to 16 pills in a meeting. The remark, which came after Parry made an issue of decades-old comments primary opponent Allen Quist had made about social issues, drew a spirited denial from Dayton and condemnation for Parry. Parry adviser Ben Golnik said Parry was connecting with voters on issues including the deficit and repealing the federal health care law. Quist campaign manager Julie Quist, the candidate’s wife, said the former state representative from St. Peter was doing several media interviews on Monday. She said he has remained focused on eliminating the deficit as his key campaign issue.”

And up north … Mark Zdechlik of MPR writes: “Former Congressman Rick Nolan’s 8th District Congressional campaign put out a fundraising appeal from the candidate’s wife accusing outside groups of misrepresenting Nolan’s position on legalized abortion.
Emily’s List has reportedly poured nearly $200,000 into TV ads and campaign literature criticizing Nolan and supporting his DFL primary opponent former State Sen. Tarryl Clark. The group cites Nolan’s vote in favor of the Hyde Amendment in the mid-1970s which restricted federal payments for abortion. Nolan later switched positions on the issue and voted for legislation that provided public funding for abortions.”

Not exactly breaking news … Thieves know their high-end bikes. Masako Hirsch at the Strib says: “In Minneapolis alone, more than 1,000 bikes were reported stolen since January, up 12 percent from last year. The percentage of bikes stolen in burglaries — typically from garages — rose from 25 percent in 2011 to 34 percent since January, said Doug Hicks, a crime analyst with the Minneapolis Police Department. The crime is becoming more lucrative. The average value of a stolen bike in the city was $450 in 2006, but jumped to $625 this year, Hicks said. He said he’s seen one stolen bike whose declared value was $20,000.” Twenty grand!? Pal, have you considered a used Porsche?

One of the Twin Cities’ heritage tech companies has been sold to a Japanese concern. Steve Alexander of the Strib says: “Chaska-based FSI International, one of the Twin Cities oldest computer technology companies, has come to the end of its 39-year streak of independence. Tokyo Electron Limited has made a $252.5 million tender offer for FSI, which makes computer chip manufacturing equipment. Founded in 1973 by Joel Elftmann, now retired, FSI was able to ride on the shoulders of the metro area’s big computer firms of the 1960s and ’70s — Control Data, Honeywell and Sperry Univac (now Unisys). … The stock of Chaska-based FSI International rocketed nearly 53 percent Monday after the company disclosed that Tokyo Electron Limited had made a tender offer of $6.20 per share in cash, a 53.5 percent premium over FSI’s closing stock price on Friday.”

At MPR, Sasha Aslainian checks up on various cities putting up resolutions in opposition to the GOP’s gay marriage amendment: “Last September, a Mankato resident asked the city council to consider a resolution opposing the marriage amendment, according to Mankato City Council President Mike Laven. The resident was concerned because it would ban same-sex marriage in the Minnesota Constitution. Since then, the Duluth City Council voted to oppose the amendment, followed by St. Paul, Minneapolis, seven Twin Cities suburbs, and the Iron Range town of Mountain Iron. … After watching 11 cities pass resolutions opposing the amendment, The Minnesota Family Council did alert supporters of an upcoming vote in Roseville. The Family Council asked them to keep an eye on their city councils and human rights commissions, and be ready to speak up in support of the amendment. Roseville has since delayed its vote twice. Andy Parrish with Minnesota for Marriage, the largest group supporting the amendment, said he’s not focused on mobilizing city councils, but rather, on mobilizing voters.”

The Mars rover Curiosity has parts made in … Minnesota. Stacy Becker at the Strib says: “Parts of the Mars rover, which is sending back all those wonderful pictures, were built right here. At a local machine shop. It took Andrew Tool and Machining in Plymouth about 18 months to design the processes and manufacture the parts, in an all-out brain-teaser. The shop had to allow for how various metals and designs would perform in zero gravity, at extreme temperatures, and at manufacturing precision of 50 one-millionths of an inch. (A human hair is about 4 one-thousandths of an inch.) And Andrew, like the many other machine shops in Minnesota, cannot find enough machinists to fill its jobs. What’s going on? Recently there has been a lot of attention paid to the so-called ‘skills gap.’ Some reject this idea, countering that it’s nothing but a political ploy to suit business.”

Former Sen. Dave Durenberger has some interesting thoughts on the Paul Ryan selection by Mitt Romney. In his commentary for the National Institute of Health Policy, he says: “[I]t has taken a ‘great recession’ like the one we’ve been dealing with for the last four years; plus the growing reality that for most Americans, things will never be the same as they were when it comes to job security, earned income and employment and retirement benefits, to make ‘the man with the plan’ the ‘man of the hour’ for Republicans.  Except for one fact: current polling (Pew) shows the no. 2 concern Americans express after the economy’s job security, is their distrust of people who go to Washington, D.C. and the influence that forces beyond the control of the voter have over their decisions. Voters are looking for real leaders.  People of conviction who can articulate why there is value in elected public office beyond partisan ideology.  Paul Ryan may have The Plan. … But it’s hard for voters in 85 days to whip up enthusiasm for The Plan if the guy who wants to be their president for four years can’t get them enthused about his vision for their future. … If the price of voting a known leader like Obama out of office may be four more years of the polarized politics of the last four, then I believe voters will not support Romney-Ryan.  If the price is people in Washington spending four years taking apart the health, welfare and social insurance benefits that people have worked for, the way their employers have been taking away their retirement and health care benefits, I don’t see how Romney-Ryan can succeed.”

The Internet rumor that actor Bill Murray was running around the country crashing the parties of everyday folks like you and me has enough reality to it that people are predicting he shows here today. Patrick Stephenson at City Pages says: “Are the pieces in place? You bet they are. Local party organizers Tipsy Bike have planned a “BILL MURRAY MOBILE DANCE PARTY,” on Tuesday, August 14 at 6 p.m. to begin at Gold Medal Park. Because this is Minneapolis, the number one bicycling city in America, bikes must be involved. The party will be a pedaled pub tour of Minneapolis, with an afterparty, according to Tipsy Bike organizers, ‘at a secret location with live DJs and everything’! The party center is the Tipsy Bike itself, a veritable mobile party machine that can project movies, play music, shoot out beat-synced lasers, and do karaoke. Don’t tell Murray, but event organizer tk doesn’t much care if the man himself crashes the shindig. ‘It’s all an amusing circumstance, really. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just an excuse to have a party. Whether Bill Murray shows up is beside the point,’ he says.” Somehow I kinda figured that.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 08/14/2012 - 09:13 am.

    Is Former Sen. Dave Durenberger right?

    The republicans are in good shape now with the pick of Paul Ryan. It is turning out the republicans now have two candidates that not even they care for. The republicans remain leaderless at a time when what they need is a leader to lead them out of the political wilderness they find themselves in. No leader, a failed, wrong headed ideology, and an electorate that doesn’t like their choices. Now there is a winning combination. The republicans are absolutely right their sky is falling. The only problem with that is they want everyone to suffer their misery too. With the republican desire to only work social engineering projects and to put forth ideas on how to help the country which always includes a poison pill, they find their ship sinking. The same talking points since Ronald Reagon will yield the same results George W. Bush accomplished. Have you noticed the republicans have stopped spewing Ronald Reagan’s name, at every opportunity, now that his philosophy has been proven to be an abject failure? Voters the republicans are sending you a big message. They are totally bankrupt in all respects. The choice is yours in November.

  2. Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 08/14/2012 - 12:30 pm.

    Skills Gap

    Companies don’t want to invest in training to bridge the skills gap because it costs money and there’s no assurance the worker will stay long enough to amortize that training cost.

    Workers don’t want to invest in training from public/private schools because it’s expensive (especially when you factor in lost wages while in school). If they don’t feel the job security and pay warrant the added investment, it doesn’t make sense.

    Government (oh, there’s that dirty “g” word) can make training available – with help from private industry to make sure the training is on target – but it’s pointless until those undertaking the training see a long term benefit.

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