Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib says Mitt Romney has dropped $14.6 million in Minnesota: “Obama’s campaign has spent nearly $1 million in total in the state. Although Romney has no one on payroll in Minnesota, the state has actually raked in more from the Republican. According to federal records, Romney has paid various Minnesota-based businesses $14.6 million. The reason? St. Paul-based FLS Connect, a data management and telemarketing firm which works all over the nation, has raked in $14.5 million from the Republican nominee. Jeff Larson, a longtime ally of former Sen. Norm Coleman, used to be at FLS Connect’s helm. Larson now is the chief-of-staff at the Republican National Committee.” Truly, a job creator.
We have bids for mining rights on 9,500 acres up north. Steve Karnowski of the AP writes: “Duluth Metals LLC bid on nine parcels about six to nine miles northwest of Silver Bay in Lake County; Encampment Minerals Inc. bid on 21 parcels about six to 12 miles south of Hoyt Lakes; and MMG USA Exploration LLC bid on one parcel about five miles southeast of McGregor in Aitkin County, said Kathy Lewis, assistant director of the DNR’s Division of Lands and Minerals. … Such lease auctions attracted little attention before the boom in exploration for what are believed to be vast untapped reserves of nonferrous metals south and east of Minnesota’s Iron Range. The DNR’s last lease auction, mostly for land between Ely and Isabella, prompted an angry outcry from residents and landowners that delayed the process for seven months before those leases were approved in May.”
That West Side Flats dream in St.Paul may become a reality. Frederick Melo of the PiPress writes: “With roughly $10 million of public funding in the mix, St. Paul is moving forward with a long-stalled deal with Sherman Associates to build West Side Flats, a mix of market-rate and affordable apartments across the Mississippi River from downtown. St. Paul City Council met Wednesday, Oct. 24, as the St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority and voted to approve a $35.44 million deal … The project’s first phase calls for a 178-unit apartment building with 6,185 square feet of commercial space at Fillmore Avenue and Wabasha Street. Most of the units will be market-rate, but 20 percent — or 36 units — will be affordable to households with incomes at or below 50 percent of area median income.”
The Innocence Project is parting ways with convicted murderer Kent Jones. Larry Oakes of the Strib says: “If Kent R. Jones wants to keep trying to prove he didn’t commit the 1992 rape and murder of a rural Sherburne County woman, he’ll have to do it without the Innocence Project of Minnesota. The legal watchdog organization informed state prosecutors last week that it was closing its case on Jones after new laboratory tests it arranged confirmed that semen found in Linda Jensen’s body contained a DNA profile matching that of Jones, 49, who is serving a life sentence in Stillwater prison.”
The Minnesota Supreme Court will decide whether a kid can call a doctor “a real tool.” Karnowski, again, says: “A Minnesota doctor took offense when a patient’s son posted critical remarks about him on some rate-your-doctor websites, including a comment by a nurse who purportedly called the physician “a real tool.” So Dr. David McKee had an unusually aggressive response: He sued the son for defamation. The Duluth neurologist’s improbable case has advanced all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which is weighing whether the lawsuit should go to trial. … ‘Patients now have power to affect their businesses in ways they never had,’ said Eric Goldman, a professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law who studies the issue. Health care providers are ‘evolving how to deal with patient feedback, but they’re still in the process of learning how to do that.’ ” Does the good doctor have any idea of the names the average reporter is called in the comments section every day?
In the final days of campaign season, demanding TV stations stop running opponents’ ads is becoming a trendy thing to do. Tim Pugmire of MPR covers the pro-Voter ID Dan McGrath’s complaint: “Supporters of the proposed requirement that Minnesotans show photo identification in order to vote accused opponents of using a television ad to spread ‘blatant lies.’ The anti-amendment campaign organization Our Vote Our Future launched a new 30-second television ad this week that features Alex Erickson, an Iraq war veteran from Minneapolis. In the ad, Erickson says, ‘The Voter Restriction Amendment might seem like a good idea, but when the Legislature put it on the ballot, they screwed it up. To them, military IDs aren’t valid IDs, which means this amendment takes away a basic freedom from people who gave a whole lot.’ … McGrath said he believes the ad is a clear case of false political advertising. In addition to filing the complaint, he called on Twin Cities television stations to stop airing the ad and warned that they too could be violating the law.” But not as much as those all but non-existent fraudulent voters.
In the Strib, Corey Mitchell serves up a report on the status of the 2nd District congressional race between John Kline and Mike Obermueller: “Once-a-decade redistricting earlier this year stripped the district of reliably Republican territory in Carver County while adding Democratic-leaning areas in northern Dakota County and Rice County. ‘It’s a significant shift,’ said Carleton College political science Prof. Richard Keiser, who lives in the Second District. ‘But the significance is beyond the numbers,’ Keiser said. ‘There’s increased aspirations for Democrats.’ In a district now almost evenly split in its support of the two parties, state Republicans are slightly concerned. ‘There are different dynamics at play,’ said Mark Westpfahl, chairman of the Second District Republican Party.”
Speaking of Obermueller, MPR’s PoliGraph backs him on on at least one of his claims. Says Catharine Richert: “Obermueller, who is running against Republican Rep. John Kline in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, says the budget Kline supports doesn’t add up. ‘When John Kline voted for the Republican budget, I ran the numbers,’ Obermueller said in a new ad. ‘He would make seniors pay $6,400 a year more for their Medicare benefits so millionaires can pay $265,000 a year less in taxes. John Kline’s budget ends Medicare as we know it and adds $8 trillion to the deficit.’ … By and large, Obermueller’s ad is correct. But PoliGraph quibbles with some aspects of the spot. First, Obermueller is not talking about a budget plan Kline authored, he’s talking about Ryan’s budget plan, which Kline voted for. Secondly, he mixes aspects of Ryan’s first plan, such as Medicare costs for seniors, with Ryan’s second plan, which included changes to make sure seniors don’t have to pay so much for coverage. But in the end, Kline voted for both proposals, so Obermueller’s ad leans toward accurate.” Which is something close to unprecedented in a political campaign.
The Prairie Seeds high school soccer team [from Brooklyn Park] has been disqualified from the state tournament … but not for that much-viewed brawl with Totino Grace. The Strib story says: “The Minnesota State High School League disqualified Prairie Seeds Academy from the boys’ soccer Class 1A state tournament Wednesday after an investigation of an on-field fight last week found that the team used an ineligible player during the entire 2012 season. The league said in a press release that it received information during its investigation of an altercation that broke out after the Section 5A championship soccer match between Prairie Seeds and Totino-Grace that questioned the eligibility of a Prairie Seeds player who was involved in the fight.”