Jim Ragsdale of the Strib looks at new polling and reports that 53 percent of Minnesotans approve of Dayton’s job performance: “After two years of budget battles, vetoes and the longest state shutdown in Minnesota history, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is winning the popularity battle with the GOP-controlled Legislature, a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll has found. A slim majority of 53 percent of likely voters say they approve of Dayton’s job performance, while 31 percent disapprove. Another 16 percent say they are undecided. For the majority leaders of the Legislature, the poll found 51 percent disapprove of the job they are doing. Another 21 percent approve and 24 percent are undecided.” Uh … might have buried the lead there, Jim.
Related … on the personal health website Care2, Jeff Fecke goes into the tastelessness of political attacks involving Gov. Dayton’s alcohol and depression issues: “It would be nice to say that Dayton’s struggles are now a non-issue, that Minnesotans have accepted that people who battle addiction and people who suffer from depression are just like anyone else fighting a disease. It would be nice to say that, but unfortunately, at least some Minnesotans are taking a different approach. … Tom Emmer, Dayton’s opponent in the 2010 election, landed on his feet. Today, he co-anchors the morning show on KTLK-AM, a right-wing station that carries Rush Limbaugh. It would be nice to think that Emmer would still comport himself like a former state representative and gubernatorial candidate. Instead, Emmer has attacked Dayton, and not just on policy. Perhaps the nadir was ‘Crazy Dayton Eyes,’ a parody of ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ that ostensibly hit Dayton on spending. … The attacks on Dayton do not simply minimize his office, nor do they only harm his reputation. They are a slap in the face to anyone who starts their day with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, to anyone who goes to a therapist, to anyone who is dealing with a mental illness. Unfortunately, in their zeal to take Dayton down however they can, Minnesota Republicans have done a great deal to make things worse for hundreds of thousands of their constituents.”
With dawn comes a more complete understanding of Thursday’s workplace shooting in Minneapolis. The Strib team of Paul Walsh, Abby Simons and Mary Lynn Smith write: “Officially, four people and the shooter were left dead. Among them Reuven Rahamin, 61, the owner of Accent Signage Systems, 2322 Chestnut Av. W., and the suspected shooter, former employee Andrew J. Engeldinger, 36, of Minneapolis. Also, one of the dead has been identified Friday morning as Keith Basinski, 50, of Spring Lake Park, a driver for United Parcel Service. A UPS truck was still at the scene Friday morning. … Accent’s director of operations, John Souter, is now in serious condition, upgraded from critical, at Hennepin County Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said. Company production manager Eric Rivers remains in critical condition. Spokeswoman Christine Hill added Friday that she no longer has information to release about a third victim, unnamed, who had been in critical condition Thursday evening. … Mayor R.T. Rybak said he and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison recently visited Accent Signage because it was held up as a national model for exporting practices.”
The Times of Israel account of the shootings says: “Two former Israelis were among five people killed in a shooting at a Minneapolis, Minnesota sign-making business on Thursday. … Reuven Rahamim, an Israeli expat and the founder of Accent Signage Systems, was shot to death at his office in a residential neighborhood on the north side of the city, his son-in-law Chad Blumenfield said in a statement. An ‘incredibly proud husband, son, father and grandfather, has passed away in a senseless act of violence,’ Blumenfield said. ‘Other members of the Accent family tragically lost their lives as well, and we mourn their loss.’ He provided no details.”
The Vikings have chosen the architectural firm that designed stadiums for the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts. Richard Meryhew and Janet Moore of the Strib say: “[Vikings VP Lester] Bagley said HKS was the most creative of the five strong finalists and will design ‘a world-class facility.’ He said it’s premature to say whether the stadium will have a retractable roof. The decision was announced at an 8 a.m. meeting of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is working with the Vikings on developing the multi-purpose downtown Minneapolis stadium. The firm, which was one of five from around the country to bid for the job, will be paid $34 million.”
Stribber Jennifer Brooks follows Our Favorite Congresswoman around her district, getting some good quotes from constituents along the way: “Dozens of friendly faces crowded into [Keys restaurant in Forest Lake] to meet, and sometimes hug, the congresswoman. If Bachmann is in trouble in the Sixth District, there was no sign of it there. ‘She has the qualities members of Congress all aspire to have. Hopefully, she won’t have any problems,’ said Karen Morehead, a school board member from Forest Lake … ‘She listens, and she follows through,’ said Bernie Hanson, of Forest Lake. ‘She’s not afraid to say what she believes, and we have to have more of that to stand up for ourselves’ … ‘I supported her when she was running for president. She and I have very similar values,’ [Angela] Muttonen said. ‘No matter how popular or unpopular something is, she always has a reason and a rationale for trying to find out what’s going on. … She had some information, it wasn’t popular, but she stuck with it.’ ” And America needs more of that …
Mug shot of the day … John Hult of the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader reports a Minnesota man has been charged with making threats against South Dakota’s governor: “Law enforcement is looking for a Minnesota man who allegedly threatened South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard and his family. William Roman Becker, 53, of Monticello, Minn., is wanted on a two-count warrant that charges him with threatening a constitutional officer and threatening a constitutional officer’s family out of Hughes County for voicemails left Sept. 20. It is only the fourth time in 10 years that anyone has been charged with threatening an officer of the state, according to statistics from the Unified Judicial System.”
At Slate, David Weigel writes about those Norm Coleman-led ads attacking 8th District DFL challenger Rick Nolan: “Republicans cast any vote any Democrat has taken to change Medicare as a vote against Medicare — please ignore the incumbent [Chip Cravaack] Republican’s vote for the Ryan plan. The best and most misleading example of the genre is this new ad against Rick Nolan, who’s running to take back Minnesota’s sprawling iron range district, one of 2010’s surprise GOP gains. … The ‘elimination’ referred to [in the ad] is the Health Security Act, a bill introduced by rumps of liberal Democrats during the end of the Ford years and the beginning of the Carter years. It was designed to make ‘every resident of the U.S. (and every non-resident citizen when in the U.S.) eligible for covered services.’ So, yes, had it passed, Medicare would have been replaced by another system of universal coverage for the elderly. Saying Nolan wanted to ‘end’ coverage for old people is like looking at someone who prefers a 100% tax cut to a 25% tax cut, and telling voters ‘hey, that guy’s against tax cuts!’ “
Thanks to Mike McFeely of KFGO-AM radio in Fargo for tipping me to this one. Eric Burgess of the Forum papers apparently drew the short straw and the job of covering a candidate forum in Dilworth. He reports: “Fighting for rural and Greater Minnesota needs was emphasized by candidates for both the Minnesota Senate and House races at a public forum here on Wednesday evening. … Social issues, such as the upcoming Marriage Amendment, were also discussed. [Paul] Marquart said he disagreed with the amendment, which would constitutionally define marriage in Minnesota as between one man and one woman. ‘This is a huge government intrusion to our lives,’ he said. ‘It limits individual liberties and freedoms,’ [Paul] Sandman, who labeled himself ‘pro-life and pro-family,’ said if the amendment is not passed, worse things will happen in the near future. ‘There’s going to be people that want to marry their kids,’ he said. ‘It’s going to also go to pedophiles.’ ” … And then the pedophiles will want to marry turtles, and it’ll just go downhill from there.