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National attention for Viking Kluwe’s split from Pioneer Press

Retailers’ “recycling” hurting liquidators; Paul Ryan on bipartisanship; PPP shows Obama up 8 in state; Opera commissions “Manchurian Candidate”; and more.

Mess with the Viking and you get stuck with the horns … . In addition to David Brauer here, the PiPress took some merciless national ripping after Vikings punter Chris Kluwe quit his blog in protest of the paper’s no-endorsement endorsement of the marriage amendment. At The Huffington Post, Jason Linkins wrote: “Kluwe, Minnesota Vikings punter and outspoken proponent of marriage equality, has resigned as a contributor to the St. Paul Pioneer Press in the wake of the paper’s editorial on the upcoming vote on Amendment 1, which, if passed, will embed inequality into the Minnesota state constitution. The Pioneer Press’ editorial likely rankled Kluwe in two ways. The editors go to great pains to criticize proponents of marriage equality. But this was the more forgivable problem. More important is the fact that they made their case in the most punk-ass, nonsensical way possible. … the salient point here is that the Pioneer Press’ editors are completely misleading their readers, by pawning off this explicitly pro-amendment/anti-marriage equality editorial as the taking of a ‘neutral’ position.” But think of the trouble they’d be in if they actually dared an opinion?

Tight times for … liquidators, says the Strib’s John Ewoldt: “The liquidation industry, an $80 billion network that gets rid of customer returns and unsold goods, is feeling a pinch as major retailers tighten their grip on inventories after the recession. Stores are hanging onto more returned goods to try to sell a second time, instead of loading them on pallets for the liquidators to haul away and sell at a discount. ‘More of those goods are now going back on the floor,’ said Tony Hofstede, president and co-owner of Event Sales Inc. in Minneapolis. ‘They never used to do that.’ “

Yeah, his name is practically synonomous with “bipartisanship.” Trip Gabriel of the New York Times covers GOP Veep candidate Paul Ryan’s Minnesota stop: “Ryan held his first rally in Minnesota in the dwindling hours of the race on Sunday, dividing remarks between criticism of President Obama for failing to lead and promising that a Romney White House would reach across the partisan chasm as the president had not. … Mr. Ryan spoke as if the bipartisan gridlock in Washington was the fault only of the president and Democrats. Yet, in the same speech in which he called the Obama administration “the most partisan White House I have ever seen,” he also praised the leadership of Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the divisive founder of the Tea Party Caucus in the House.” My, my. The Times here exercises a license the Strib may not even own.

Politico’s Alexander Burns picks up on latest polling and says: “A last wave of weekend data from the Democratic pollster shows President Obama up by varying margins in three big Democratic-leaning states that Mitt Romney is working to peel off. Contra last night’s AFF poll, PPP finds Obama ahead by 8 points in Minnesota: “Obama doesn’t have great approval numbers in the state, with 49% of voters giving him good marks to 45% who disapprove. But voters aren’t big on Romney either with 43% rating him favorably to 49% who have a negative view of him. Obama’s winning thanks in particular to large margins with women (58/39) and voters under 30 (71/27). The more interesting findings on our final Minnesota poll deal with the state’s high profile amendments to ban gay marriage and require voter identification. We find both narrowly trailing. 45% of voters say they’ll vote for the gay marriage ban, compared to 52% who are opposed to it. And 46% say they’ll support the voter ID amendment to 51% who are opposed. Public opinion has shifted against both of these measures in the last month.”

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The GleanReally? Ripping off cleaning ladies? John Welbes of the PiPress reports: “[Maria] Cruz is one of 12 workers who last year filed a federal civil lawsuit against Diversified Maintenance, which is based in Tampa, Fla. The lawsuit claims that Diversified violated federal law by bilking employees out of overtime pay. Diversified denies the allegations in the lawsuit. Diversified is a national cleaning company that has contracts with several large retailers in the Twin Cities area including Target, Best Buy, Sears and Kmart. The contractor has been sued several times, in other locations around the country, for fair labor law violations, court records show. … The case stems in part from competition among cleaning contractors trying to win large retail accounts, [workers’ attorney Adam] Hansen said. ‘This is not the way that Target treats its employees,’ Hansen said. But the system of contracting out cleaning work ‘creates this tremendous pressure to try to cheat the system to win these contracts,’ he said.” Hey, more work, lower wages = higher productivity.

Well, “Homeland” is a darn good show. Euan Kerr of MPR says The Minnesota Opera has commissioned … an opera … based on “The Manchurian Candidate.” “The Minnesota Opera is returning to the creative team behind the Pulitzer Prize winning “Silent Night” to commission an adaptation of the classic cold war thriller “The Manchurian Candidate.” Kevin Puts will compose the music for Mark Campbell’s libretto for the piece which will be premiered in May 2015. Opera officials announced the commission at a preview of ‘Doubt ‘at the Guggenheim in New York. ‘Doubt’ will receive its world premiere in St Paul in January. ‘Silent Night,’ which won Puts the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in music, and ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ [are] all part of Minnesota Opera’s New Works Initiative.” So will Angela Lansbury sing at the end?

The GOP staffer who ripped into wounded Iraq vet/retiring GOP Rep. John Kreisel last Friday for not toeing the party line on the marriage amendment? Gone the same day … The Forum papers reported: “[Bob]Koss’ remarks garnered attention within Minnesota political circles within minutes of the postings. That interest grew by Friday as some Republican activists denounced Koss’ comments and Democratic operatives suggested Koss should lose his job. By early afternoon Friday, Koss was out of his job. ‘Bob Koss is no longer employed or an employee of the Minnesota Senate,’ Senate GOP caucus spokesman Steve Sviggum said in an interview. … A Twitter photo of Koss appeared to show him sitting at a senator’s desk at the Capitol. During their Thursday night Twitter exchange, Kriesel asked him whose desk he was using. Koss was a legislative assistant for Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar.
Prior to learning Koss had been terminated, Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, said Friday he had heard about the Tweets and said his impression was that it was a sophomoric conversation and inappropriate. … Kriesel’s question drew another sharp response from Koss: ‘Answer me first toy publicity loving SOB. And your supporters are as disgusting as you.’” Exactly the bulldog mentality every campaign needs.

Another pipeline may be heading across Minnesota into Superior, Wis. Amy Dalrymple of the Forum papers says: “An Enbridge Pipelines proposal would transport Bakken crude from northwest North Dakota to Superior, Wis., expanding export capacity and increasing market opportunities. Enbridge is in the early planning stages for the Sandpiper Pipeline, which could transport about 225,000 barrels per day, said Katie Haarsager, community relations adviser for Enbridge. If it’s approved, the earliest it could go into service is late 2015 or early 2016.”

In Wisconsin, Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that GOP Senate candidate Tommy Thompson isc a little vague about the ALEC meetings he attended: “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson likes to say that he’s a politician with big, bold ideas, pointing in particular to his work on school choice and welfare reform while governor. But where do those ideas come from? Over the past month, liberal blogs and websites have been circulating an excerpt from a decade-old speech that Thompson made to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-backed group that drafts model legislation for state officials. The audio received more attention when it was included in a recent documentary by lefty journalist Bill Moyers. ‘Myself, I always loved to go to these meetings because I always found new ideas,’ Thompson said to the group. ‘And then I’d take them back to Wisconsin, disguise them a little bit, and declare that that’s mine.‘ ” I guess it’s a step up from plagiarizing Ayn Rand.