Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Michele Bachmann spent $65 per vote

Iron Range women’s advocates retrenching; forest pot farms; Catholic Church’s “marriage problem”; amendment foes broadened voter-fraud issue; Lindsey Vonn in hospital; and more.

One guess who spent more per vote than anyone else running for Congress in Minnesota this year. Catharine Richert of MPR reports: “Among the candidates vying for a spot in the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann comes out on top, having spent more than $11 million from her congressional account. She received 179,241 votes, just a little more than 50 percent of the 6th Congressional District’s support. That amounts to around $65 per vote, according to MPR News’ analysis — that’s more than any other congressional hopeful, and once again underscores how tight this race was for her compared to her prior elections in the 6th. That number is a rough figure because Bachmann’s presidential bid complicated her finances. Bachmann spent more than 7 times more than her DFL opponent Jim Graves, who spent roughly $8.70 on each vote.”

An Iron Range women’s advocate group is laying off half its staff. The Duluth News Tribune says: “Virginia-based Range Women’s Advocates has to lay off four of its eight workers after it failed to win a five-year, $500,000 state grant. In addition, one employee is retiring, meaning the group will have three paid workers. … The nonprofit advocacy organization works to meet the needs of battered individuals and their children through advocacy, prevention, and education. It serves northern St. Louis County. The group provided 1,497 services to 753 people from Jan. 1 through July 31, board chairman Robin Raplinger said. The organization is working to limit the layoffs’ impact on clients.”

Isn’t it a little late in the season for the cultivated stuff? Meg Jones of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: “Heavily armed drug traffickers from Mexico are using the only national forest in Wisconsin as their personal farms and greenhouses, growing millions of dollars in marijuana and leaving behind their garbage, poached deer carcasses, fertilizer and pesticides. For the last three summers, large marijuana operations have been discovered in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin. In each of those busts, law enforcement made numerous arrests, almost all natives of Mexico here illegally. Confiscated weapons included handguns, AK-47s and a .308-caliber rifle with ammunition magazines taped together. … In the back page of this season’s deer hunting regulations pamphlet, hunters are cautioned to be suspicious of illegal drug operations on public land and leave immediately when they see areas with abnormal cuttings or clearings, makeshift structures, gardening tools, watering cans and chemical containers.” … And how exactly does that make it different from half the population?

The GleanMinnesota gets only passing mention, but the topic of Catholic bishops and anti-gay marriage campaigns gets a look in an AP story by religion writer Rachel Zoli: “In Minnesota, voters rejected a proposal to place a ban on gay-marriage in the state constitution, a step taken in past elections in 30 other states. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the newly installed leader of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, said gay marriage opponents were outspent by gay rights groups, and bishops are grappling with how they can be more persuasive. Surveys by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life have found that the number of Americans who say they have no religion is at a high of 20 percent, while the number of former Catholics is so large that ex-Catholics collectively include more people than many denominations. ‘The election is a symptom of a much larger problem,’ Cordileone said. ‘Most people don’t understand what marriage is.’ ” Remind me — how much first-hand knowledge do Catholic bishops have on the subject?

History is written by the victors, right? Tim Pugmire at MPR has a chat with (the winning) Dan McGrath in the Voter ID fight:
Q: Do you believe you surprised the other side by not challenging the voter fraud claims?
A: That’s right. I don’t believe that proponents were prepared to talk about anything but voter fraud. Once our campaign began to gain momentum and succeed in reframing the debate away from fraud and instead around to costs and complications and consequences, they seemed ill prepared to respond. They only had one talking point, and they didn’t know how to make a midstream adjustment.”

Article continues after advertisement

And why didn’t I think of this? Mila Koumpilova’s PiPress story says: “BreAnna Fisher of the University of St. Thomas will compete in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards competition this week at the New York Stock Exchange in New York City. The only Minnesota student in the competition, Fisher will face off against 30 student entrepreneurs from 20 countries. Her startup,, allows the purchase and gift-giving of various drinks online. Fisher, who lives in North St. Paul, is an Iraq War veteran, mother and small-business owner.”

Lindsey Vonn is in the hospital. The AP says: “Lindsey Vonn has been admitted to a hospital in Vail with an undisclosed illness. The St. Paul native’s spokesman, Lewis Kay, had no other updates on the U.S. skier’s condition Monday, Nov. 12. The four-time World Cup overall champion skipped a slalom competition in Finland last weekend to prepare for upcoming races in Aspen. She also had a promotional event lined up for Friday in Vail, but had to cancel because she was sick.”

No one is snitching about that wild shoot-out at a hip-hop concert in Austin. The AP says: “Authorities continued Monday to investigate a weekend shooting outside a supper club near Austin, Minn., that wounded five people. They said they’re not getting very far because attendees at the large dance aren’t talking. … While the event was promoted as an 18-and-older hip-hop dance with no alcohol, Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi  said evidence of alcohol use was strewn about the parking lot. While the Sheriff’s Office confirmed that two guns were involved, Amazi and [Deputy Sheriff Mark] May would not say whether any weapons were recovered from the event. Amazi also said in a news release that many people said, ‘I didn’t see anything.’ [Owner Dave] Olson said he knows people have information, and he has given names of people at the event to authorities.

The Strib, by gum, wants a “full accounting” of the David Petraeus scandal: “There may be legitimate reasons why news of the Petraeus affair hit Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, like a “lightning bolt” when reporters contacted her about the investigation on Friday, only hours before news broke that Petraeus had resigned. But the nation needs to hear that explanation, as well as why news of the monthslong probe moved so slowly up the chain of command as the presidential election approached, only reaching the White House on Election Day.” I just want to be assured that if some our regular commenters here on The Glean get personal, I can count on the FBI to undertake a six-week investigation.