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Bills: ‘I don’t believe there is such a thing as climate change’

Klobuchar, Bills disagree on campaign spending “problem”;  groan — next election cycle about to start; 3 million votes expected in state; Friedberg takes on Freeman; a Ticketmaster substitute; and more.

Apparently GOP Senate candidate Kurt Bills believes there are votes to be had in climate change denial. As Tom Scheck of MPR writes about its debate last night: “The hurricane that ravaged the East Coast also prompted some questions about disaster aid and the impact of climate change. Bills said the federal government should play a role in disaster cleanup, but only after the market and charitable institutions get involved. Klobuchar said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is vital. The two also disagreed over whether greenhouse gas emissions are changing the climate. ‘I don’t believe there is such a thing as climate change,’ said Bills. ‘I believe there are scientists out there who don’t believe that we are driving a massive change in our climate.’ ” And Wednesday he’ll be back to teaching our children full-time …

In Bill Salisbury’s PiPress story, he says: “The Democratic senator criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that overturned campaign finance restrictions, saying it had unleashed a tidal wave of special-interest money and negative advertising. She called for a law requiring full disclosure of donors’ names and said she favors a constitutional amendment to limit interest group roles in campaign funding. Bills, a Rosemount high school economics teacher and state legislator, agreed political money should be more transparent, but he asserted the problems are caused by ‘over-regulation by government. … If you want less money spent, we should have smaller government.’ ” And so, master, if we seek more sunshine, should we find a deeper cave?

It’s almost over. Further proof comes from the AP’s Brian Bakst, who offers readers several key election reminders: “Aside from the amendment battles and a few hot regional campaigns, Minnesota had a quiet election season. But that calm gets shattered come Wednesday, the unofficial start of the 2014 campaign. Consider the stakes: Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken, two Democrats who eked out victories, are up for re-election. So are the other three statewide officeholders, currently occupied by Democrats as well. Republicans haven’t been shut out of statewide office since 1979, so expect the scramble to start soon.” Aww, come on, man.

Another AP story says: “Minnesota’s top election official says he expects about 3 million state residents to vote by the close of polls on Tuesday. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said Monday that’s about par with voter turnout of slightly less than 80 percent in recent presidential elections. Ritchie also says he expects about 300,000 absentee ballots to be counted on Election Day after more than 235,000 absentee ballots were accepted by Monday morning.”

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Lawyer Joe Friedberg is taking his whacks at Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. Abby Simons of the Strib writes: “Hennepin County prosecutors on Monday quietly dropped sexual molestation charges against Wayzata businessman William Wanner, citing a lack of cooperation from the alleged victim on the eve of his trial. But Wanner’s attorney said the case, which nearly destroyed his client’s business and life, was the result of a three-year political witch hunt by County Attorney Mike Freeman. ‘He has all the courage of an enraged rabbit, Wanner’s attorney Joe Friedberg said Monday. ‘He’s a terrible county attorney, only topped by how bad a lawyer he was.’ ”

The GleanIf Ticketmaster died tomorrow, would anyone attend the funeral? Chris Riemenschneider of the Strib reports: “Target Center announced this morning that it will start doling out tickets through a new in-house system, AXS (axs.com), which was created by its operating company AEG Live. AXS has already been implemented locally for the AEG-owned club Mill City Nights. It will be used to sell tickets for all events at the Minneapolis arena save for Timberwolves and Lynx games, which could eventually change over to the new system, too. Now, the big question: Will AXS provide a break from the extra fees that have made Ticketmaster the most hated entity in pop music since disco? The answer is more or less a no, but Target Center reps believe it improves on the Ticketmaster model in several ways. First, AXS fees are listed as a single fee right up front. Second, AXS does not charge the oft-scorned print-at-home fee. And lastly, AXS has added some nifty do-dads to the buying process.”

They might need the extra capacity tomorrow night … Mike Hughlett’s Strib story says: “With sales brisk and production capacity tight, Summit Brewing Co. said Monday it’s accelerating a major expansion by about eight months. The $6 million expansion of Summit’s St. Paul brewery had been slated to commence in June. Instead, Summit, Minnesota’s largest craft brewer, will break ground Friday on the project, with a planned completion date in June.”

Do you know what baby sitters cost these days? Mara Gottfried of the PiPress writes: “Police arrested a 23-year-old woman who allegedly left her baby in the car while drinking in a St. Paul bar. Officers were told that Heather Marie Anderson stopped by El Alamo, 429 S. Robert St., to celebrate a friend’s birthday Sunday, Nov. 4, said Sgt. Paul Paulos, police spokesman. She brought her nearly 3-month-old daughter into the bar, but a bartender told her she couldn’t have the baby there, Paulos said. A patron saw Anderson leave with the baby and put her in her vehicle, then come back in the bar and drink at least one shot, said Howie Padilla, another police spokesman. … Officers were called about 10:05 p.m. and saw the vehicle leaving the area. They stopped it and arrested Anderson on suspicion of child endangerment. Anderson told police she’d been having a bad week, Paulos said.” … And it just got worse.

When it comes to his team, Power Line’s John Hinderaker, far from a jaded race-watcher, goes positively giddy in their physical presence. He has a post today full of fan shots of Paul Ryan at the airport Sunday. Then he says: “Ryan’s message was essentially the same one we have been hearing from Mitt Romney: optimistic themes of change, inclusion, and confidence that with the right leadership, America can escape from the disaster of the Obama years. Barack Obama can’t put on this kind of rally, and his supporters can’t match this level of enthusiasm, because they know his administration is a failure. Obama desperately tries to hang on to power with a petty, small-minded campaign. Trillions of dollars in federal spending will buy a lot of votes, but, let’s hope, not enough to overcome the idealism and energy of the Romney-Ryan campaign.” So I think in his own way John is saying, “The stimulus worked.”