Strib endorses Ellison, Cravaack, Kline

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.”

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.

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Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/29/2012 - 09:45 am.

    Tim Regan has a point,

    though not the one he thinks. The opposing sides on the marriage amendment are talking past one another: proponents base their position on religious principles, occasionally shrouded in arguments such as his, while opponents base their position on reason.

    Yes, there is a ‘slippery slope’ argument to be made here. Intellectual honesty requires that be acknowledged. It does not, however, require that opponents abandon their position or that those not yet decided (really?) cast their vote for the amendment, for a couple of reasons.

    First, Mr. Regan’s argument assumes that sexual orientation is a choice and a trivial one at best. A moment’s honest reflection, however, compels the conclusion that more is at work here than a preference. The simple fact that same-sex attraction has existed in a small segement of humanity in every known culture and in every period in history argues to the contrary. In our own society, can anyone really believe that any rational person would choose to subject himself or herself to the disdain accorded gays in popular culture and our laws? Can any reader honestly say to himself or herself, “I can choose my sexual orientation!”

    Second, civil marriage is about many things in addition to children. My 68 year old sister in law did not remarry recently in order to have children. She did so because, after the death of her first husband, she met another man she loves and to whom she wished to make a public and life long commitment. Some will say, “But she’s part of a minority who marry!” So, I would add, are gays.

    Mr. Regan’s “for the children” argument also ignores the fact that thousands of gays here in Minnesota have children and grandchildren. These children, it seems, are to be denied the legal rights of all other children with respect to those who are or choose to become their parents. Neither Mr. Reagan nor those who make this point have ever explained why these children should be sacrificed on the altar of others’ religious beliefs.

    As for the “slippery slope” Mr. Regan fears: every choice we make in our laws leads to more choices down the road. Yet, when those future choices are mere possibilities, we do not turn our backs on the conditions we face today. We address them, hopefully in a reasoned fashion consistent with the basic principles of our legal system.

    I cannot close without commenting on the derisive manner in which Mr. Regan addresses gay relationships. What is involved here is more than mere “friendship”, Mr. Regan. Neither you nor I are entitled to diminish the quality or another’s love or to designate it as somehow inferior to those with whom we have entered into loving, committed and legally sanctioned relationships. To do so is beyond arrogant.

  2. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 10/29/2012 - 10:08 am.

    Unfortunately

    Mr. Regan says, “Unfortunately, those who hold the traditional understanding of marriage are frequently accused of bigotry.” He implies that such accusations are unfounded or improper. The same way that he implies that only heterosexual couples can raise children that grow up to be “wage-earners, entrepreneurs and tillers of soil.” But if you look at Mr. Regan’s statements and the statements by others sharing his opinion, the problem is not child rearing (no matter how much they claim it is), but rather, sex. It’s obvious when they indicate that marriage provides benefits to couples in the interest of successfully raising children. This amendment (and the already existing laws) denies children raised in same sex families the same benefits. Regardless of whether gay couples can marry, they do raise children. If it really was for the children, the law would not discriminate against children in one situation over another. So, the law isn’t about the children, and the arguments that claim it is are covering up the real issue–they find the concept of same sex relations icky. Unfortunately, Mr. Regan, accusations are sometimes, as in this case, right on the mark.

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/29/2012 - 10:13 am.

    “civil marriage is about many things in addition to children”

    We may attach more to it than that, but the interests of the state in granting special rights and responsibilities to the institution lie wholly within that framework.

    Just because some people choose not to, or cannot, have children does not in any way mitigate the benefits the institution of civil marriage puts in place for children. To say otherwise would be intellectually dishonest.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/29/2012 - 11:26 am.

      Consider divorce

      If “the interests of the state in granting special rights and responsibilities to the institution lie wholly within that framework” (i.e.children), then consider the divorce of a couple who have no children.

      If the interests of the children were all the state “wholly” concerned itself with, then the state would take no interest in the specifics of the dissolution of the marriage of a childless couple.

      Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Childless couples going through a divorce are bound by all the same rules governing division of property, marital v.s. non-marital assets, actuarial accounting of the value of retirement funds, etc. as any other couple. Clearly, the state DOES take a VERY active interest in specifics having nothing to do with the presence or absence of children.

      Civil marriage is an arrangement having to do with property rights and ownership. If children exist, their interests are protected, and rightly so. But their existence is FAR from the only reason the state takes interest in when and how the union is formed and – if it ends – the details surrounding that dissolution.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 10/29/2012 - 08:03 pm.

      How does the high divorce rate

      Help those children? Your usual response is nonsense. Ask the Archbishop and give us his response.

  4. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 10/29/2012 - 10:15 am.

    To the Star Tribune: please go under, as soon as possible

    Your endorsements are largely meaningless and ignored, although you have achieved irritating – as you consistently miss the point on most issues of importance and fail utterly to inform the public.

    I guess you acribe the “…reputation as an ultra-liberal member of the 1970s Minnesota delegation” to Mr. Nolan based on the Cravaack ads, eh ??

    Add to that your ridiculous assertion that Mr. Kline, who votes the Republican party line 98% of the time, puts “,,,the country’s needs before ideology” ??

    Ths sooner you go down, and you will go down, the better !!

    And by the way, we don’t need to give Mr. Ellison a “pass” either, as though when calling a spade a spade, he had committed some kind of offense. He simply spoke plainly.

    Plain talk ?? No wonder the Star-Trib, which prefers to grease everything, issues a mock outrage !!

  5. Submitted by Jim Boyd on 10/29/2012 - 11:06 am.

    Cravaack?

    In what alternative universe is Cravaack better than Nolan? All of the important issues have become national issues, and a vote for Cravaack (or an endorsement) is a vote for the Tea Party-dominated Republican caucus in the House to continue its obstructionist, other-side-of-weird ways. Makes no sense what so ever. Probably also evidence of trade offs in editorial offices: OK, we’ll endorse Obama, but then we’ll endorse Cravaack and everyone will be happy. Nuts.

  6. Submitted by Ann Richards on 10/29/2012 - 11:53 am.

    Kline endorsement is a mistake

    Rep Kline wrote off 1/2 his constituents- unless you stand on the far far right you don’t even get a response or contact from him. He refuses to debate, he has few public meetings and only in this areas where he knows are most conservative. I lived in his area for 2 years and never saw him in public. He fought the Waltz bill to limit Congress ability to invest on inside info only until he saw it was going to pass. He still supports No Child left behind. In insists the military can not cut costs, he defends for-profit colleges and feels thay should not have to account for the federal loans they abuse. He joined the debt ceiling crowd only after the stock market spiraled down. His whole career has been on the dole, yet he sneers at the 47%. We don’t need someone who cannot work with Democrats, he has shown he cannot. He could not even make it to a Franken pot luck for goodness sake. He also has never called out Bachmaan’s crazy rhetoric- he has talked about how much he supports and admires her. Congress is broken, and he is a big part of it.

  7. Submitted by Alex Bauman on 10/29/2012 - 12:03 pm.

    Acadia seems to be doing just fine

    I try to visit businesses impacted by the Central Corridor project as much as I can, but since I don’t have a car (and thereby am unable to use and complain about the luxurious express automobile facility built between the downtowns at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars and dozens of square blocks of intact neighborhoods), it’s difficult for me to get to St Paul.

    But one business I can get to quite easily is the Acadia Cafe. I’ve noticed no change in business – it’s still standing room only on just about every weekday night, and quite full throughout the day. Small businesses may evidence all the treacle that you hear about them during campaign season, but they’re also holding this country hostage by whining about every little inconvenience the government causes them in the process of subsidizing their customers’ travel. The newspapers – presumably hoping to get these business’ ad dollars – spread the lies around. This is one of the reasons why infrastructure costs are greater in the USA than in the rest of the world by at least an order of magnitude.

    The Central Corridor is primarily a road construction project – the LRT component is an incidental aspect of a periodically necessary maintenance project on a heavily-traveled roadway. Businesses should expect that the infrastructure located nearby will sometimes need to go down for maintenance, just like their HVAC system or plumbing system. The only compensation they should expect is that their taxpayer-funded infrastructure will soon be functional again and delivering customers to them.

  8. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 10/29/2012 - 01:52 pm.

    Maybe I missed something. But to me it seemed much more important that the Star Tribune endorsed Barack Obama for a second term as President.

    Their endorsements for House seats seemed more or less pro-forma by comparison. And, for a Republican-oriented newspaper (no one who knows the last 30 to 40 years of this newspaper has failed to see that pronounced shift from liberal to conservative), it’s significant that they stay with the Democratic incumbent and also list a few of his accomplishments. Finally.

    For a better and more thorough discussion of the two presidential candidates, see this weeks New Yorker magazine (the editors there also endorsed Obama).

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