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Norm Coleman’s anti-Rick Nolan ad deemed ‘misleading’

Catharine Richert of MPR puts the PoliGraph fact-checking microscope over an anti-Rick Nolan ad from Norm Coleman’s PAC: “ ‘In the 70s, Nolan backed a bill to replace Medicare with a European-style health program. Under Nolan’s plan, Medicare would have ended all together,’ the ad states. AAN’s facts are correct. But the ad implies that Nolan wants to take coverage away from seniors all together. That’s misleading. … Nolan has never made his support for a single-payer health care system a secret. In a questionnaire published by the Brainerd Dispatch last month, Nolan said he believes the health care system must be reformed and that public health insurance option would help lower health care costs, but that a ‘single payer national health insurance is the best long term solution.’ All that said, this ad might leave some viewers with the impression that Nolan supported a bill that would have left seniors hanging on health care coverage and that Nolan opposes Medicare. Neither is the case.”

Fraud Watch. The Strib’s Dan Browning reports: “Twin Cities developer and hotelier Jeffrey Wirth was sentenced Wednesday to 4 1/2 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $6.45 million in restitution for what prosecutors characterized as one of the largest tax fraud conspiracies ever in Minnesota. Wirth, 53, of Plymouth, took the news with aplomb. Outside of court, he smiled broadly as he hugged and shook hands with more than a dozen family members and friends who attended the sentencing in a show of support. … Wirth, the owner of the Wirth Companies in Brooklyn Center and about 30 other business entities, is best known as the developer of the Grand Lodge Hotel Waterpark in Bloomington and the Grand Rios Hotel and Water Park in Brooklyn Park. He also spent about $54 million turning the old Minneapolis Athletic Club into the luxury Grand Hotel Minneapolis. … Millions of company dollars also went into an 18,000-square-foot custom home and 15-car garage that they built on an island in St. Albans Bay on Lake Minnetonka.”

Browning also writes: “John O. Murrin III, who built a successful Twin Cities law practice around the referral service he founded called DIAL L-A-W-Y-E-R-S, was suspended by the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday over a series of verbose, “frivolous” lawsuits he filed seeking to recover his losses from a purported Ponzi scheme. … In 2007, Murrin and his wife filed a 131-page lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court against nearly 50 defendants. Judge Denise Reilly agreed with the defendants that it was so confusing as to be incomprehensible. She said the suit cited statutes that had been repealed, renumbered or never existed.” Beware the fury of a barrister bamboozled.

There’s a moose loose in southern Minnesota. Brian Ojanpa of the Mankato Free Press writes: “A moose, far astray from his northern Minnesota habitat, has been making the rounds lately in the southern part of the state — most recently in Sibley County. Sisters Karen Klenk and Vicki Mueller were driving to pick raspberries the other day when the animal was spotted in a prairie along County Road 10 about five miles from Winthrop. … Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Kurt Haroldson said moose that roam afar are most likely from northeastern Minnesota, where the state herd is concentrated. ‘Generally, it’s young bulls who do this. They just have a lot of wander in them.’ ”

Did you see the five Minnesotans on Forbes’ Richest Americans list? Google Map them for Halloween treats.

The accusation is “stalking” … by social media. Baird Helgeson of the Strib says: “The lead group backing the marriage amendment on Wednesday accused the other campaign of stalking supporters on social media. ‘For those who support the Minnesota marriage protection amendment, this is simple harassment,’ said Autumn Leva, spokeswoman for Minnesota for Marriage. ‘This latest move …. also demonstrates the type of behavior Minnesotans will see more of if marriage is ever redefined.’ The group is reacting to a recent Facebook post by a leader of Minnesotans United for All Families urging supporters to use a special program to identify and then contact their Facebook friends who might be voting in favor of the measure.”

Zombies will be allowed to make all the noise they want in St.Paul. Frederick Melo of the PiPress says: “[T]he St. Paul City Council has approved a noise variance for an all-ages zombie fest at Midway Stadium. Live bands will perform at ‘Zombie Island’ from 2 to 10 p.m. Oct. 13 at the ballpark on Energy Park Drive. The festival also will host a zombie carnival, fireworks, the world’s largest inflatable zombie (aka Phil) and an attempt to break the world record for the largest gathering of zombies. Shuttles will take pub-goers who buy $19.99 wristbands and dress as zombies between Zombie Island and bars in Minneapolis’ West Bank neighborhood.” How exactly will they tell the difference between the zombies and the usual denizens of West Bank bars?

Here’s the Strib editorializing on Mitt Romney’s “47%” fiasco: “Sounding every bit the out-of-touch multimillionaire, Romney added that it wasn’t his job to ‘worry about those people.’ If his campaign continues on its current course, that might be well be true.
When he might have been in full damage-control mode Monday, Romney could bring himself to say only that his fundraiser comments were ‘inelegant.’ And on Tuesday he suggested that it would be a great time for a national debate on dependency, entitlements and Obama’s support for ‘redistributionist’ policies. The Republican nominee seems committed to a campaign that pits classes. That’s an especially dangerous path for a candidate who has yet to prove that he understands the struggles of average Americans.” Although, if you define “average” as those living only off capital gains, he’s a lot closer.

The contrast is rather striking … David Hanners of the PiPress reports: “The same day Amy Senser asks a judge to release her from prison while she appeals her hit-and-run homicide conviction, a woman on probation for a similar crime — with eerily similar circumstances — will be trying to stay out of prison. Taylor Rose Hohmann, 22, of Plymouth, got probation for the March 2010 hit-and-run death of a Crystal man. But she has now been charged with driving while intoxicated and Hennepin County prosecutors want her probation revoked. … Hohmann is scheduled for a probation violation hearing Monday. Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman said Wednesday that his office wants her sent to prison to serve her sentence. An hour before Hohmann appears in court, a different judge will convene a hearing to decide whether Senser, wife of former Minnesota Viking-turned-restaurateur Joe Senser, should be sprung from prison while she appeals her conviction.”

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Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 09/20/2012 - 07:23 am.

    Five Forbes-List Minnesotans far beyond their native habitat or

    Which would this reader rather view…a moose who essentially looks like a lumpy deer with a nose on steroids

    …or native Minnesotans on Forbes list with their bank accounts on steroids?

    I prefer viewing the bull moose out of his native habitat who would offer a more realistic image. Bullish indeed…

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 09/20/2012 - 08:13 am.

    “a campaign that pits classes”

    Yeah. The givers versus the takers. Let’s have that debate.

    • Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 09/20/2012 - 08:43 am.


      The top two MN billionaires made their money from Carlson Companies, which has always been notorious for paying low wages to all but family members.

      Let’s see, next up is a Cargill heir. Heir is a word that means your money was given to you. Aren’t heirs “takers”?

      Zygi Wilf, who just got at least half a billion dollars of charity from MN taxpayers, isn’t on the list because he doesn’t live in MN (that’s OK, the NFL doesn’t require you to live where you own).

      So yes, let’s have that debate. Let’s hear an explanation as to what exactly billionaires have done for (and to) Minnesota, and then let’s talk about what Minnesota’s given them.

    • Submitted by James Hamilton on 09/20/2012 - 11:11 am.

      Have at it, Mr. Tester.

      Let’s start by defining your terms.

      I have to assume that you don’t mean to define “givers” as those who have never received a nickel in direct or indirect public expenditures, or “takers” as those who have never paid a nickel in taxes. There aren’t any of either.

      So, where do you want to draw the line? Shall we look at the annual net flow of dollars in one direction or the other? Shall we measure it by decades? Perhaps lifetime results?

      Are you prepared to exempt anyone from either group, on the ground that they are incapable of making any direct economic contribution? In fact, will you limit the discussion to economic contributions?

      Perhaps we should start with ourselves and our respective families. My mother received welfare benefits before I was born, while trying to raise two boys with her husband locked in a tuberculosis ward in st. Paul. Can she be excused for that? They went on to have a total of 11 children and to raise 10 of them to adulthood. Each of them are contributing members of society. I’m sorry, but I don’t have balance sheets for each of them.

      My mother and father in law did what they could, but had the misfortune to live long lives with 6th and 8th grade educations and their productive years farming in the Red River Valley. It’s entirely possble that they received more in government support than they paid in taxes, once the proceeds from the sale of their farm had been exhausted. Of course, Bill, my father in law, had the common courtesy to lay down and die after Sunday dinner, thereby avoiding any long term care costs. Alice, my mother in law, wasn’t so fortunate. She lived a very long life, suffering greatly from Alzheimer’s in her final years. She probably should have skipped the long term care and the medications that kept her alive as long as they did.

      My father, who worked long and hard after recovering from the tuberculosis, paid some dues in the Army Air Force, 1944-1946. How much credit does he get for agreeing to be locked in the ball turret of a B-24J Liberator bomber? Is that to be a lump sum or a per mission credit? Of course, he, too, outlived his productive years, wasting tens of thousands of dollars first on his cancer treatment (he was cured) and then on treating the emphysema which ultimately took his life. Sorry about that.

      One of my siblings, who has found herself jobless twice in her life after spending more than 15 years with each employer, due to mergers and re-locations, may still carry a positive balance, though I’m sure that the unemployment benefits that have kept her in her home and fed have eroded that considerably.

      Are you willing to let us be measured as a family? I’m pretty sure we can demonstrate a positive net contribution, depending upon how many generations and how wide a net we’re allowed to cast. We have dozens of aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces and others to add to the net.

      There are so many of us, you might even call us a community. Except, it seems, community members aren’t like family. Are they?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 09/20/2012 - 11:41 am.


      Yes, let’s see what we can do to further the polarization of America.

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 09/20/2012 - 12:26 pm.

      If you want to have that debate…

      …take it up with your recent college graduate kids and your SSI receiving parents and stop bothering us. They’re the biigest part of your “Takers””.

  3. Submitted by Pat Berg on 09/20/2012 - 08:21 am.

    Am eagerly awaiting . . . . .

    the announcement that WCCO will pull airings of the inaccurate ad against Nolan by the Coleman PAC . . . . . .

    Still waiting . . . . . .

    Still waiting . . . . . . .

    (Somebody get those darn crickets to shut up!)

    • Submitted by Susan McNerney on 09/20/2012 - 12:12 pm.

      You beat me to it.

      But a quibble over a $10 lunch ticket is obviously much more serious than implying a candidate wants to leave the elderly uninsured…

  4. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 09/20/2012 - 11:09 am.

    Has a revenue-producing ad ever been pulled…

    …for inaccuracy ??

    I can’t remember any, not from any publication. Help me here.

  5. Submitted by John Edwards on 09/20/2012 - 11:41 am.

    Is Poligraph still in business.

    Let’s see, left-leaning MPR, sponsors a fact checker that says ad criticizing the liberal Rep. Nolan is misleading. Credibility abounds. Even liberal MinnPost’s liberal media writer David Brauer raised questions about the credibility of such liberal “fact checkers” as Politfact and PoliGraph.

    Fact-checking fact-checkers: Politifact’s anti-GOP skew and MPR’s reconsideration
    Share on printShare on email
    By David Brauer | 02/10/11

    • Submitted by Susan McNerney on 09/20/2012 - 01:26 pm.

      Care to answer this question:

      true or false, did Nolan actually advocate leaving the elderly entirely uninsured, as the ad clearly implies? Yes or no?

  6. Submitted by Molly Redmond on 09/20/2012 - 11:48 am.

    Middle Income as defined by Mitt

    On Meet the Press , Romney defined “middle income” as “$200,000 to $250,000 and less.” The US Census Bureau defines median US income as $50,000.
    (This citation is in many places, including Sept. 14 Washington Post.) So, his remarks insinuating that 47% of US citizens are moochers off the the government fits right in with this version of the world.

    In addition to showing contempt for people like seniors on Social Security, and my sibling who’s on total military disability, Mitt’s viewpoint shows him as totally out of touch with how real people live and try to cope in this devastating economy. The drastic cuts he and Ryan foresee for the programs that assist middle and low income people are cruel and immoral–and utterly predictable.

  7. Submitted by Robert Owen on 09/20/2012 - 01:18 pm.

    Romney isn’t the only one

    That’s not really any different than Barack Obama who has set his definition for “middle class” as families with income of up to $250,000 a year. Most of the Romney “middle income” news stories make note of this.

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