Oh, that e-pulltab revenue estimate … Tim Nelson at MPR goes to the files: “The Dayton administration seems to be of several minds regarding the role the gambling industry played in the revenue estimates for electronic pulltabs, now of such concern for the financing of the Vikings stadium. … Here’s what Gov. Mark Dayton told the Associated Press, in the wake of a story over the weekend noting that the administration’s figures were based on gambling industry estimates:… Dayton tells The Associated Press Monday he wasn’t aware of the input from an industry that stood to profit from the new games, until the Star Tribune reported it Sunday. … But the Dayton administration — in estimates made in 2011 — said its own projection of pulltab revenue was based on gambling industry estimates. Here’s the relevant passage from a letter issued by Dayton’s Department of Revenue, a fiscal note on electronic gambling. … “The Gambling Control Board estimates there would be an average of 8 machines per site, and each machine would average $250 in gross receipts per day for 364 days per year. The $250 per day is based on industry estimates from Florida.’ ” Not that anyone should be concerned of course, but remind me what Plan B is for that $300 million, I mean besides e-bingo? E-bake sales?
This was inevitable … Elizabeth Dunbar’s MPR story says: “Eden Prairie-based grocery giant Supervalu will cut about 1,100 positions from its national workforce, including about 600 in Minnesota, the company announced Tuesday. The jobs include current positions, and open jobs that will not be filled represent about 10 percent of the cuts, company spokesman Mike Siemienas said. He said store level employees, such as cashiers, stock staff and department managers, are not affected by the job cuts. ‘It’s primarily jobs at our corporate and store-support center offices,’ he said. Supervalu’s announcement follows the sale of retailers Albertson’s, Jewel, Acme and Shaws/Star Markets, as well as in-store pharmacies at Save-On and Osco.”
At Finance & Commerce, Chris Newmarker slogs through jobs data and reveals … to no one’s great surprise: “Minnesota is just 1,000 jobs short of replacing the 160,000 jobs it lost during the Great Recession. But well-paying construction and manufacturing jobs are down over the past five years while health care jobs are on the rise, according to a Finance & Commerce analysis of state jobs data. There were about 42,000 more health care jobs in Minnesota in February 2013 than there were in February 2008 — an 11 percent increase that nearly makes up for roughly 20,000 construction jobs and 31,000 manufacturing jobs lost during the same time period. … Health care’s growth may even be part of the construction industry’s turnaround story, because the changes taking place in health care are fueling building projects.” Not to overplay Steven Brill’s Time piece, but how is it that nonprofit health care providers have that kind of excess cash?
Eavesdropping on frogs and toads? Kevin Burbach at the Strib says: “You’ve heard of horse whisperers. How about frog listeners? The Department of Natural Resources is recruiting volunteers to use their ears to help survey the state’s frog and toad population. The survey, done each year since 1996, is part of a nationwide monitoring program. The 200 or so Minnesotans who participate get a CD of frog and toad calls (not ‘Rainbow Connection’), a poster of the state’s 14 species, and other information. Volunteers take to routes around Minnesota to listen in and estimate the number and kinds of amphibians in a given area.”
All-day kindergarten is getting another flirtation from the Legislature. WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler says: “Top Democratic lawmakers launched a statewide effort Monday to authorize all-day kindergarten in Minnesota. But it’s an uphill effort due to the potential cost and because some Republicans question if it’s the right place to spend classroom money. Minnesota is one of only 21 states that does not offer statewide, all-day kindergarten. But for the first time in more than a decade, there’s a strong push to make it happen.” Define “strong.”
Care for another view of Our Favorite Congresswoman’s alleged ethics problems? At The Daily Beast, John Avlon writes: “The Hindenburg. The Titanic. Michele Bachmann. Eighteen months ago, the Minnesota House member was considered an unlikely but undeniable Republican rising star, winning the Iowa straw poll that unofficially begins the primary season. Today, she is embroiled in a litany of legal proceedings related to her rolling disaster of a presidential campaign … The emergence of still another investigation tied to Bachmann’s presidential misadventure is the latest hit in what’s been a slow-motion crash for an unusually irresponsible politician who’d briefly emerged as a national figure with White House ambitions. Narrowly reelected to what had been a safe House seat after abandoning her presidential run, Bachmann returned to Congress diminished. … And even before her year in Iowa, her staff rarely stayed with her for long— she’s seen a 46 percent annual turnover rate during her time on the Hill.” Without question, she’s the object of persecution by liberal, secular, humanist socialists.
And if you think I’m kidding … Alexis Levinson at the conservative Daily Caller says: “The Bachmann camp dismissed the report as a ‘politically motivated attack’ and emphasized that the congresswoman’s actions were not the focus of the investigation. ‘Unfortunately, the disclosure of the existence of this Review is a predictable and politically motivated attack by Congresswoman Bachmann’s political adversaries in an attempt to disparage her reputation as a top-target of the DCCC and Democratic Super PACs. They are willing to do or say anything in an attempt to defeat her in 2014,’ Bachmann campaign spokesman Dan Kotman told The Daily Caller.” Did Mr. Kotman forget to simultaneously make a fund-raising appeal?
The Strib’s Thomas Lee has a boardroom picture from Best Buy: “What began as a tense standoff between Best Buy and its founder gradually evolved into an unlikely alliance between two men with enormous sway over the future of Best Buy: [Hubert] Joly as CEO and [Richard] Schulze playing the role of both outside agitator and the company’s de facto spiritual leader. On Monday, Joly and Schulze formalized their partnership with the announcement that Schulze rejoined the company as chairman emeritus and with the appointment of former executives Brad Anderson and Al Lenzmeier as Schulze’s representatives on the board of directors. But the detente between Best Buy and Schulze has as much to do with economics and strategy as Joly’s skills at diplomacy. Joly’s ‘Renew Blue’ strategy to turn around Best Buy focused heavily on fixing, not eliminating, the company’s 1,000-plus stores in North America.”
Brave woman, Olivia LaVecchia at City Pages, for reading mega-church pastor pal-of-Ms. Bachmann Mac Hammond’s blog. “Last week on his blog, Hammond wrote a post warning, ‘Without action same-sex marriage will impact all of us.’ For those who question how a union would impact anyone other than the couple getting hitched, Hammond explains:
Bills are now before our state legislature to legalize same-sex marriage and make illegal any voiced opinion opposing it. You may not think these bills will affect you, your family, or your business. To the contrary, like no other law in our state’s history, if these bills pass, there will be a devastating impact on our culture, our churches, our personal and parental rights, our public and private educational systems, our professions, and even what we tweet and post on Facebook. No Minnesotan will escape the consequences of this bill on his/her family or business. The response of every individual receiving this communication is urgent and critical.”
… And therefore requires them, morally, to respond to our fundraising appeal.