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Strib endorses Ellison, Cravaack, Kline

Football coach wants porn charges dropped; Central Corridor business loans tops $2 million; Romney and/or Ryan visit possible; “Mexican-style” rodeo stopped; and more.

The Strib has endorsed Congressman Keith Ellison for re-election: “As the nation’s first Muslim elected to Congress, three-term Rep. Keith Ellison has gracefully endured vicious bloggers, thoughtless questions from talk-show hosts and paranoid accusations from a Minnesota congresswoman. Ellison failed to meet his own standards of decorum when he lost it in a recent debate with Republican challenger Chris Fields, calling the challenger a ‘lowlife scumbag’ after Fields lobbed a below-the-belt and unsubstantiated allegation about cheapskate child support. The meltdown was out of character, and Ellison quickly issued a public apology. The brouhaha reflected poorly on both candidates, but voters should give Ellison a pass this time and send him back to the U.S. House in November.” It may be the impolite crowd I run with, but most of them thought the congressman should take a little of that “low-life” attitude back to D.C. with him.

Demonstrating its “middle-of-the-road-ness,” the Strib has also endorsed Chip Cravaack for re-election: “By failing this year to run a next-generation candidate with an energetic plan for economic growth, state Democrats have made it clear that the party didn’t get the message voters sent two years ago: We’re ready for a change, and we want a candidate focused on local jobs instead of delivering federal pork, as Oberstar did so skillfully through the years. Democrat Rick Nolan, a 1970s Minnesota congressman who is challenging Cravaack, comes across more as a keep-the-federal-dollars-flowing Oberstar replacement than as a creative, fiscally minded standard-bearer for the future. … Nolan, 68, would also be an able representative, though his reputation as an ultra-liberal member of the 1970s Minnesota delegation raises questions about his own flexibility.”

Ditto … John Kline. Says the Strib: “Kline, 65, may come at things from the far right, but he also serves with a sense of stewardship. There’s no doubt that he’ll put the country’s needs before ideology — a quality in evidence when he cast a much-needed but unpopular vote to raise the debt ceiling in 2011 with the country within hours of default.” The paper offers no thoughts on Congressman Kline and the for-profit education industry.

Tim Krohn at the Mankato Free Press says the Minnesota State football coach (still) under suspicion for home video child porn wants all charges dropped: “Suspended MSU football coach Todd Hoffner is asking a judge to dismiss two felony charges of child pornography. … [His attorney, Jim] Fleming has made two previous requests to Blue Earth County prosecutors to drop the charges, after Fleming received confirmation from law enforcement that no child pornography had been found on computers taken from Hoffner’s house in Eagle Lake and following an investigation by Blue Earth County Human Services that found no evidence Hoffner’s children had been sexually abused. Three universities where Hoffner had previously coached also found no evidence of wrongdoing after reviewing computer and cellphone records from his time at those schools. Hoffner’s wife, Melodee, has said publicly the videos were not sexual and simply showed innocent family fun.”

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There were how many people in a Jetta?  Joy Powell of the Strib reports: “Eagan police said a nonfatal freeway shooting early Sunday appears to have been prompted by road rage, and they’re asking for the public’s help in finding the shooter. A 26-year-old Rosemount woman was shot in the shoulder just before 2:30 a.m. as she rode in a car that was northbound on Interstate 35E, just south of Pilot Knob Road. She was one of eight people in a Volkswagen Jetta that was entering the interstate from Cliff Road. She was in the front seat, on another passenger’s lap, with her back pressed against the front passenger window, said Sgt. Danielle Anselment, an Eagan police spokeswoman.”

Central Corridor LRT businesses have taken $2 million in loans to get through the construction phase. Frederick Melo of the PiPress writes: “From the Acadia bar in Minneapolis to Senor Wong’s in downtown St. Paul, a long list of businesses have borrowed more than $2 million from a ‘forgivable’ loan fund to survive construction of the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line. Nearly 150 small businesses have received loans from the fund, which is set up to support restaurants and retailers along the future route of the 11-mile light rail line. … The average loan is $15,700. So far, 77 businesses have received the maximum loan after documenting at least $20,000 in reduced sales.”

Heart, be still. With the latest Star Tribune poll showing the presidential race tightening in Minnesota, the AP is reporting: “A senior Republican official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to disclose private deliberations, said Sunday that the Romney team was seriously discussing sending Mitt Romney, running mate Paul Ryan or both to Minnesota during the final week.”

There’ll be no steer tailing in Hastings. Jim Adams of the Strib says: “Mexican-style rodeos, with riders yanking tails to topple steers, can no longer be held on a farm in Vermillion Township, southwest of Hastings, local officials have decreed. The township’s Board of Supervisors voted 3-0 this month to deny a conditional-use permit. They cited unsafe conditions and fencing at the horse and cattle events that once attracted more than 450 people to a rented farm at 5301 200th St. in rural Dakota County. … Neighbor Dave Quade, who rents the farm to [the Hispanic family staging the rodeos], said he also thinks the permit denial reflected discrimination. He said he didn’t see much difference between knocking a steer over by its tail and a cowboy downing a steer by twisting its neck and horns, an American rodeo event called bulldogging.” And what about the part where the clown gets gored in the butt?

The latest Strib commentary on the marriage amendment is a doozy. Says attorney Tim Regan: “It is difficult to understand, however, why unions of hearts and minds need government regulation. The state has no compelling interest in licensing friendships. A bigger problem is that if the revisionist model is right, monogamy would become superfluous, and the prohibition of incest would be impermissible. The revisionists generally dismiss this concern as a ‘scare tactic.’ It is a virtual certainty, however, that courts will inevitably be called on to strike down restrictions traditionally aimed at the protection of families. Lawyers being lawyers, we can expect litigation contending that the prohibitions against polygamy and incest are unconstitutional.” You scoff, but I tell you, they’re this close to playing the “marrying turtles” card.