4th District GOP gives chairman the boot

Note to self: Don’t lose a GOP election in the 4th District. Frederick Melo of the PiPress says: “A bruising election, conflicting ideologies and visible infighting were just the initial signs of trouble for 4th Congressional District Republicans. After the election, the group’s chairman filed a federal complaint calling for it to be fined at least $5,000. He’s since been ousted. After seven months as chairman of the 4th Congressional District Republicans, former Roseville Mayor John Kysylyczyn was kicked out of the party post last week. Kysylyczyn characterized the vote to remove him as a split between ‘old guard’ Republicans and younger supporters of Libertarian figure Ron Paul. However, some critics said he failed to support local Republican candidates of all stripes in their political races. … Kysylyczyn, 40, said he was part of the upstart movement of Republicans interested in winning campaigns through political strategy and quantifiable data analysis, while the old guard is making their decision based upon past practice and emotion.’ “

And … another one of these … Pat Pheifer of the Strib reports: “An Eagan teenager told authorities that his mom and stepdad put him through a bizarre series of ordeals: They took away the bed and lights in his basement bedroom, covered the window from the outside with foam, made him do hundreds of pushups a day and run outdoors in the cold, and limited his access to showers, food and clean clothes, court documents said. Greg Danner, 44, and his wife, Angela M. Danner, 41, of Eagan, were each charged by summons Tuesday in Dakota County District Court with gross-misdemeanor counts of child neglect and malicious punishment of a child. … According to the criminal complaints, the boy told Eagan police last April that he had to sleep on the floor because his mom and stepdad had removed his bed and lights as a punishment. He said they ‘severely limit his showers and instruct him that he can use the shower at his dad’s house when dad has him for visitation,’ the charges said. Greg Danner, 44, admitted Tuesday that he wanted to make the boy miserable, but said ‘a lot of this is greatly exaggerated.’ “

The recount in GOP Rep. Mary Franson’s race will start today. Don Davis of the Forum papers says: “Douglas County officials begin the work at 8:30 a.m. in the courthouse in Alexandria. In Otter Tail County, the recount begins at 9 a.m. Thursday in Fergus Falls. The State Canvassing Board on Tuesday approved rules governing the House District 8B recount, as well as a state Senate recount south of the Twin Cities. Rules follow those in effect for the 2008 U.S. Senate and 2010 governor elections. House District 8B is the tightest legislative race. Republican Rep. Mary Franson leads Democratic challenger Bob Cunniff by 11 votes. Franson’s lead earlier was a single vote, but it expanded after mistakes were found that forced election officials to withdraw 35 ballots last week.”

The chief judge of the Minnesota Tax Court needs a good lawyer. Abby Simons of the Strib writes: “The state’s judicial oversight board has leveled misconduct charges against the chief judge of Minnesota Tax Court, alleging that he flouted deadlines, lied to investigators and falsified documents to cover his tracks. George W. Perez, a 15-year veteran of the tax court, is charged with four counts of violating the state Judicial Conduct Code, according to a complaint filed Tuesday by the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards. The complaint also alleges Perez secretly refused new case assignments. The charges likely will see taxpayers and Perez’s judicial colleagues on the stand to testify against him at trial.” I suppose you don’t make a lot of friends in tax court, hmm?

Good news for the for-profit college industry. The AP reports: “Republican Rep. John Kline of Minnesota is staying on as the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, giving him a rare gavel among Minnesota’s congressional delegation. GOP House Speaker John Boehner announced his picks for committee chairmen on Tuesday. The House Republican Conference is expected to vote on the recommendations on Wednesday. Kline is the only Minnesota member of Congress to head a full congressional committee.”

A $1 million embezzlement caper will cost you 26 months in the slammer. David Hanners of the PiPress writes: “Feeling imprisoned by guilt over a son-in-law’s death and a succession of childhood traumas and abuses, Cynthia Carol Jacobsen felt her only escape was through a casino door. To make a long story short, Jacobsen gambled. She fell deep in debt. She embezzled from her employer. She got caught. Jacobsen, 58, of Brooklyn Park, will now trade the psychological prison her defense lawyer claimed she had for a federal one. U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank sentenced her to 26 months behind bars Tuesday, Nov. 27, for embezzling more than $1 million from Land O’Lakes of Arden Hills, where she was a supervisor. ‘I know I have committed a very bad crime,’ Jacobsen told Frank. ‘I expect to be punished.’ “

Here’s some potential for a ’50s sci-fi movie. Katie Wielgos of the PiPress reports: “The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is teaming up with the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Forest Service to combat the emerald ash borer. Scientists are researching stingless wasps, which are predators of the destructive beetle. This research, which started in 2010, focuses on the flight distance of the stingless wasps as well as how both species tolerate cold. ‘The wasps are fussy eaters — not only do they only like EAB (the emerald ash borer), they can only eat EAB,’ said Brian Aukema, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota who studies the flight distance of wasps. ‘It’s convenient for us and other insects, not so convenient for EAB.’ … Aukema is measuring the flight distance of the predatory wasps, which he said are the size of a grain of rice. They are tethered to a tiny wire and set at a pivot point between two magnets. The wasps fly in circles as a computer calculates distance. Aukema has found that some wasps can fly 5 miles in a day.” OK, so who ties the little wires to the wasps?

The odds of losing a grille to a deer in Wisconsin are just a wee bit more in your favor. The AP says: “Thousands more deer hunters bagged a buck during this year’s traditional gun season than last’s, according to preliminary data state wildlife officials released Thursday that suggest the season was a resounding success. According to early numbers from the [Wisconsin] Department of Natural Resources, hunters registered 243,739 deer through the nine-day season that ended Sunday. That’s up 7.7 percent from 2011’s preliminary count of 226,260. The final 2012 kill totals will likely be higher; the 2011 numbers were later revised upward by about 31,000 animals. As for the all-important buck numbers, hunters killed 114,822, up 12 percent from last year. They took more in each of the state’s four regions — northern, northeastern, southern and west-central — than last year.”

St. Paul blogger John Hugh Gilmore, of “Minnesota Conservatives,” offers his readers a quick guide through the local liberal blogosphere: “[A] republican in Minnesota can learn a great deal not just about the loyal opposition but, appallingly at times, ourselves by reading some of the leading blogs on the left. Of course there is the usual agenda driven, unthinking types online but I’m speaking of those blogs that I try to regularly read which are unsentimental, mostly fact driven and simply well done. … Bluestem Prairie, written by Sally Jo Sorensen, is perhaps first on my list of liberal blogs to read to find out what fresh hell has or is happening in the republican party of Minnesota. Unfortunately, she rarely disappoints. Sorensen was previously surprised, then gratified, to learn that her blog was cited in Mary Igo’s deposition before the [Campaign Finance Board] concerning Count Them All Properly, Inc. with respect to yet another complaint brought by the laughably ‘non-partisan’ Common Cause, Minnesota. I should know because I sent Igo the Bluestem post which came up in her deposition. Full disclosure: I continue to represent Igo and the three other board of directors in that matter which is proceeding before a three judge panel of the Office of Administrative Hearings. Bluestem is consistently fact filled, aggressively partisan in the most competent way (is there anything better?) and wide-ranging in its coverage.” I’m sure Sally Jo will blurb that one …

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