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It’ll be Bachmann vs. Graves redux in 6th

Rematch! Says Kevin Diaz in the Strib: “The expected rematch is on between Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann and DFL businessman Jim Graves, who came within a single percentage point of an upset in last November’s race for her U.S. House seat. The new Graves campaign issued a statement Thursday morning announcing that he will make another run at the four-term congresswoman, a lightning rod for Democrats who faces ethics and campaign finance allegations stemming from her 2012 presidential run. … as seen from the video her campaign released immediately upon Graves’ announcement, it is clear she is going to try to morph Graves into Obama, a target that’s better suited to her conservative base.”

For MPR, Mark Zdechlik says: “Last year the House Majority PAC spent $36 million dollars helping Democratic candidates, including $1.5 million in Minnesota’s 8th District where DFLer Rick Nolan defeated Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack. Graves will be in a stronger position for his rematch than he was in 2012, said University of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs. Bachmann’s standing has weakened because of investigations into possible ethics violations of her failed presidential campaign, according to Jacobs. Noting that two other Democrats — Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton — will be running statewide in 2014, Jacobs said get-out-the-vote efforts from their re-election campaigns could help offset the non-presidential election year drop in voter turnout that often occurs.” It all sounds so … so … “politically motivated.”

 And suddenly, like a B-movie villain no one can kill, that sales tax expansion idea is back. Brian Bakst of the AP says: “The debate over the size and reach of Minnesota’s sales tax swept back into the state Capitol on Thursday with a Senate proposal to make everything from clothing to car repairs to dating services taxable. A wide-ranging tax proposal from majority Senate Democrats would make a range of consumer services subject to the state sales tax while lowering the rate that gets charged on all purchases. Unlike a plan from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton that he later gave up on, the Senate plan steers clear of taxing most business-to-business services like accounting and consulting contracts.” “Dating services?” Really? A lot of revenue there?

How not to make friends with the cops … Tad Veznor and Mara Gottfried of the PiPress write: “A St. Paul man led police on a high-speed chase through downtown, onto freeways and back through the city’s residential areas before they arrested him at a home Wednesday evening, April 10. Police initially were called to the West Seventh neighborhood, the 700 block of Stewart Avenue, on a report of an intoxicated driver, according to a police report. The caller said the vehicle had been reported stolen and identified the driver as Matthew James McBride, 24 … Officers initially spotted the vehicle in the area of Goodrich Avenue and West Seventh Street …but the driver fled and a pursuit ensued, the report said. Police called off the chase when the man drove the wrong way down Shepard Road. Several minutes later, Minnesota State Patrol troopers spotted the car on Interstate 35E. It exited onto Roselawn Avenue north of downtown, got back on the freeway and turned onto westbound Interstate 94, eventually speeding at more than 100 mph. After a short chase, the suspect took the Snelling Avenue exit back into St. Paul, where he drove down Marshall and Grand avenues at speeds around 60 mph.”

It’s official. 2012 was a very good year for Minnesota farmers. Mike Hughlett of the Strib reports: “Minnesota farmers’ median income rose about 50 percent in 2012, anchored by crop growers who dodged the nationwide drought with a strong harvest at a time of high grain prices, according to an annual report released Thursday. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s livestock farms, though grappling with high feed costs, were still somewhat more profitable last year than in 2011, said the joint report from the University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU). Growers of corn, soybeans and other crops had a median income of $254,800 last year, up 72 percent over 2011.”

The GleanWalleye rustlers! Doug Smith of the Strib writes: “A major fish poaching scheme involving the buying and selling of hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of walleyes netted from some of northern Minnesota’s most popular lakes has been busted, authorities said Wednesday. Ten men from northern Minnesota have been indicted for allegedly netting walleyes and other fish from lakes on the Red Lake and Leech Lake Indian reservations and selling them in violation of federal, state and tribal law. The illegal activity allegedly has occurred since 2009 and was widespread.” Instead of prison time, make ’em catch Asian carp.

There’s been a 10 percent increase in STDs in our fine and proper state. The AP says: “Health officials say the number of reported cases of sexually-transmitted diseases has increased in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Health says the number of cases increased 10 percent in 2012 over the previous year. There were about 21,500 cases in 2012 compared to about 19,500 in 2011. Reportable STDs in Minnesota include chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.”

And in weather like this, donuts count as comfort food. The Strib’s Rick Nelson lists the best in town: “[T]he Twin Cities is enjoying something of a doughnut renaissance. This is no Dunkin’ Donuts-led invasion. The enthusiasm is being generated by a creativity-obsessed wave of owner-operated doughnut shops and bakeries, and by top-flight chefs demonstrating their abiding affection for this most proletariat of pastries. … At the lovable throwback that is A Baker’s Wife’s Pastry Shop, owner Gary Tolle’s just-like-Grandma-made cake doughnuts nail every detail, from the total lack of greasiness to the gently crisp and nutty brown exterior and moist, cakey interior. … The Salty Tart bakery is a deep-fryer-free zone. … Picture scoops of delicate brioche filled with decadent pastry cream, brushed in butter, baked and rolled in twinkly vanilla sugar.” See … you stop thinking of the slush …

We’re No. 5! The real estate blog Movoto has somehow decided that Minneapolis [note: NOT St. Paul] is the fifth nerdiest big city in the country: “[W]hen we recently got to talking about what some of the best cities in the U.S. are for various types of people — see our recent look at the top towns for gamers — the idea of determining where nerds (aka “my people”) would most feel at home came up. After coming up with our criteria and crunching the numbers, it was Atlanta — also Movoto’s top gamer city — that took the crown. Here’s the list …

  1. Atlanta, GA
  2. Portland, OR

  3. Seattle, WA

  4. Sacramento, CA

  5. Minneapolis, MN

  6. Boston, MA

  7. Las Vegas, NV

  8. Miami, FL

  9. San Jose, CA

  10. Denver, CO

… the criteria I’d look for when determining what makes a city nerd-friendly. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Number of annual comic book, video game, anime, and sci-fi / fantasy conventions
  • People per comic book store

  • People per video game store

  • People per traditional gaming store

  • People per computer store

  • People per bookstore

  • People per LARPing group

  • People per science museum

  • Distance to the nearest Renaissance faire.”

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 04/11/2013 - 04:18 pm.


    Brian, I’m getting a flat spot on my forehead from your commentary.

    “See … you stop thinking of the slush …”
    “Instead of prison time, make ’em catch Asian carp.”

    And, of course, the dating services comment. Let’s not be too hasty on that one though–I met my future wife at an online dating service.

  2. Submitted by Steve Sundberg on 04/11/2013 - 04:47 pm.

    Nerdiest cities

    Brian, note that the #5 name says “Minneapolis” but ST. PAUL’s Science Museum of Minnesota is highlighted in the caption. We just don’t toot our horns that much on the east side of the river. Less insecure with our stodgy old nerdiness?


  3. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 04/11/2013 - 08:14 pm.

    Thank goodness!

    Campaign season has begun. Our little four month break was getting too dull.

  4. Submitted by Eva Young on 04/11/2013 - 11:09 pm.

    Vintage Bachmann

    Always the victim of that evil Nancy Pelosi and the “Democrat Party”. Yawn.

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