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Billy Graham signs on to Minnesota’s marriage amendment

Hotels switch; Chris Kluwe’s job security; football coach’s day in court; Target and Best Buy stores post-Sandy; Twins want to join plaza effort; Brodkorb’s advice; and more.

Finally … the archbishop has some high-powered company. Rose French’s Strib story says: “Evangelist Billy Graham released a statement Wednesday endorsing Minnesota’s proposed marriage amendment. Graham, whose evangelistic association was based in Minneapolis over 50 years, says he ‘wholeheartedly’ supports the amendment, up for vote Nov. 6. If approved, the measure would change the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and woman, effectively banning same-sex marriage. ‘As a former resident with strong personal and ministry ties to the North Star State, I pray that the good people of Minnesota will show their support for God’s definition of marriage, between a man and a woman,’ according to the statement.”

A couple of switches on the downtown Minneapolis hotel landscape. Janet Moore of the Strib says: “Maryland-based Chesapeake Lodging Trust said Tuesday it has acquired the 222-room Hotel Minneapolis for $46 million, or about $207,000 per room. The former Midland Bank, at 215 S. 4th St., is part of the Marriott Autograph hotel collection — unique lodging with a “boutique/lifestyle” feel. … A few blocks away, an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels Corp. bought the Comfort Suites at 425 S. 7th St. with plans to sink $20 million into renovating the structure. The hotel will ultimately be rebranded as the Hyatt Place Minneapolis Downtown by the summer of 2013.”

Hey, pal, that “children’s game” is setting taxpayers back close to $700 million. Tom Pellisero of ESPN1500 says: “[Vikings punter Chris Kluwe] laughed off the notion his off-field interests — most notable, a high-profile stance against an amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota — have anything to do with his performance but acknowledged he has received plenty of Twitter messages telling him to stick to football. ‘Generally I just ignore them,’ Kluwe said. ‘I read all of them, but I don’t really think about them. The funny thing is if you look at that argument, the basic foundation of that argument, it’s that, ‘Why don’t you worry more about a children’s game than basic human rights?‘ And yeah, I’m going to generally go with the basic human rights on that issue.’ “

Minnesota State football coach Todd Hoffner had a day in court Wednesday. Dan Nienaber of the Mankato Free Press writes: “Hoffner’s attorney, Jim Fleming, asked him if he remembered ever watching those videos again before he was suspended from his job two months later, arrested and charged with making and possessing child pornography. ‘I did not look at those videos again,’ Hoffner said. ‘Did you even remember they were on the phone’? Fleming asked. ‘I did not,’ he said. … ‘Adults should not make lewd videos of children,’ [Blue Earth County Attorney Michael] Hanson said. ‘And there’s no parental exception.’ Fleming said the progression of the case shows Hanson is the only person who considers the videos to be pornography. He also pointed out the bathroom video was included in the criminal complaint even though Hanson had told investigators it wasn’t pornography. ‘He’s the only person — the only one who can say this is child pornography,’ Fleming said. ‘This is it. Him.’ ”

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How can there be a recovery without Target? Thomas Lee of the Strib writes: “Minnesota-based retailers have reopened most of their stores in the Mid-Atlantic region, even as they continue to assess damage from Hurricane Sandy and account for all employees. Target Corp. said all but three of the 200 stores the company shuttered on Monday in states like New York, New Jersey and Virginia are now open. Ten other stores have reduced hours, mostly due to damaged lights in the parking lots. … Best Buy Co. spokeswoman Amy von Walter said about 35 stores are still closed or opening at later hours. The Richfield-based consumer electronics giant had initially closed 220 stores prior to the hurricane’s arrival on Monday. … Eden Prairie-based Supervalu Inc. closed about 170 of its East Coast stores during the height of the storm, though all but three were expected to be open by Thursday morning.”

The GleanAt the PiPress, John Shipley says: “As the Minnesota Twins prepare to rebuild their roster for 2013, the team is negotiating with Hennepin County to become a partner in developing a $79 million year-round entertainment plaza adjacent the future light-rail hub near Target Field and leading into the ballpark’s north side entrance. As planned, the plaza would open in time for the 2014 All-Star Game in Minneapolis. A partnership deal would give the Twins a financial and programming stake in the transportation hub that soon will connect the downtown North Loop neighborhood east to downtown St. Paul, south to the airport, north as far as St. Cloud and potentially southwest into some of the Twin Cities’ most affluent suburbs. The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners has received partnership bids from just two companies, both owned by the Pohlad family: the Twins and Pohlad development arm United Properties.” So what won’t the Pohlads own over there?

You haven’t hunted until you’ve hunted man … in court. David Hanners of the PiPress covers Jesse Ventura’s latest legal brawl: “Lawyers for former Gov. Jesse Ventura and the former Navy SEAL whom Ventura is suing for defamation argued competing motions to compel discovery before a federal magistrate Wednesday, Oct. 31. Neither Ventura nor the ex-special forces sniper and best-selling author, Chris Kyle, were there. Earlier this year, Kyle published his memoir, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.” Near the end of the book, he recounts an alleged 2006 incident in which he decked a mouthy Ventura with a single punch at a California bar. The book doesn’t name Ventura, referring to the deckee as “Scruff Face.” Early drafts of the chapter named Ventura, but his name was edited out from the published version, according to Ventura’s lawyers. … the defense is claiming that Ventura isn’t turning over records they’ve requested. In particular, they seek the former governor’s medical records from October 2006, when the punch is alleged to have been thrown. Ventura says he was on a blood-thinning medication at the time, and that if he’d been punched, he would’ve swelled up or bruised or bled. Ventura says the fact that none of those things happened is further proof there was no punch. Defense attorney Leita Walker said Kyle needs the medical records to verify Ventura’s claim that he was on the medication; they also want to see what other medications he was taking because they may have affected whether the site of a punch would swell or bruise.” What? SEALs bruise? Are there no real heroes anymore?

Some interesting bedtime reading, I’ll bet. Jason Stein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says: “Five Republican legislators this week settled an open records lawsuit by two liberal groups by agreeing to turn over emails from their personal accounts to and from a conservative organization that works with corporations to draft legislation. As part of the settlement, the Center for Media and Democracy in Madison and the national group Common Cause will receive $2,520 in attorney’s fees and costs from the state and the lawmakers will turn over any records from their email accounts that fit the groups’ open records request. … Common Cause and the Center for Media and Democracy have focused attention on the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that works with corporations and conservatives to write model legislation that can be introduced in state legislatures across the country. … Before the lawsuit, the lawmakers told the groups that they searched their official state accounts and turned over any emails they found there, but they would not tell the groups whether they searched their personal email accounts. In an interview earlier this month, [one of the five] described the lawsuit as a ‘political witch hunt’ and a waste of time. An email included in the lawsuit shows [another of the five]  is involved with ALEC but tries to keep it out of his state email account.” Let me guess — because it would “expose him to threats of liberal violence.”

Michael Brodkorb sees dires things for the local GOP in the coming loss by Senate candidate Kurt Bills: “So in the last week of the 2012 election cycle, I’d like to ask my Republican friends to think about what’s going to happen one week from today and understand that if we want the Republican Party to succeed in Minnesota, we need to recognize the system is broken. … We are endorsing candidates for statewide office that can’t win more than 50 percent of the vote, nor a simple plurality of the vote in a multi-candidate race. We are endorsing candidates for statewide office that can’t build the necessary grassroots campaigns needed to win on Election Day.  We are endorsing unelectable candidates, who can’t compete with the political machinery and messaging from the Minnesota DFL and their allies. … Republicans need to hit the pause button on the endorsement process and unless dramatic changes are made, we should consider not endorsing a candidate for the U.S. Senate and governor in 2014, allowing all Republican candidates to run in the primary. … To quote Ronald Reagan from 1972, the ‘person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.’ I’ll be the first to admit that in the past I have been too focused on the actions which calculate into the 20 percent allocated to the actions of the traitor and not on the 80 percent actions of a friend of the party.” Mr. Brodkorb appears to be deep in his Charles Colson phase of reparative therapy.