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Somalis and DFL candidates at odds on gay-rights issues

Somali resistance to gay rights creates problems for DFL mayoral candidates in Minneapolis. Curtis Gilbert of MPR reports: “While Somali-Americans overwhelmingly vote Democratic, many appear to disagree with the party when it comes to gay rights. That tension was on display Sunday, as the party considered a dispute between a Somali city council candidate and the openly gay incumbent he’s running against. At the meeting, the party’s Constitution, Bylaws and Rules Committee upheld the party’s endorsement of Abdi Warsame, who’s running for a seat on the Minneapolis City Council. That seat is currently held by Robert Lilligren, who’s been on the council nearly a dozen years. But Lilligren lost the DFL endorsement this year to Warsame after hundreds of Somali-Americans turned out at precinct caucuses in April, and came back to the party’s convention, giving Warsame overwhelming support.”

Here’s the Strib’s Adam Belz on news that the state’s top economist, Tom Stinson, is giving up his government job: “Stinson, the state economist since 1987, is stepping down from his post at Minnesota Management and Budget. A critical adviser to budget-makers who commanded respect on both sides of the aisle, Stinson said he will devote himself to his job as a professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota. He will be replaced as state economist by Laura Kalambokidis, another economics professor at the U. Stinson said now is a good time to step down, because the economy appears to be recovering, the state is on a firm financial footing, and Kalombokidis, an excellent replacement, is available. … He has been by far the longest-tenured state economist since the position was created in 1975.”

A Minnesota storm chaser talks to Elizabeth Dunbar of MPR about colleagues killed in Oklahoma: “A veteran storm chaser killed Friday by the tornado in Oklahoma was known for being one of the more conservative in his profession, Minnesota storm chaser John Wetter said Monday. … Wetter said he is focusing on two circumstances with Friday’s storm in El Reno, Okla., that may have caught Samaras off-guard: gridlock on major roadways in the area after some broadcasters advised people to flee the storm, and the tornado making a sharp turn in direction. ‘That surprised quite a few people. That combined with not being able to correct your position may ultimately be what happened here,’ Wetter said. Tim Samaras was found buckled into his vehicle, and the tornado pulled Paul Samaras and Carl Young out of a car.”

I don’t know if I can hold my breath for 48 hours … Tom Scheck’s MPR story says: “The race to replace GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is starting to shake out. Former state Rep. Tom Emmer, who lost the 2010 race for governor to Democrat Mark Dayton, sent an e-mail to reporters this morning saying he will make an announcement Wednesday night in Delano. Emmer said last week he’s strongly considering a run to replace Bachmann now that she’s not running for re-election. At least 10 Republicans expressed interest in running for the seat after Bachmann abruptly announced last week she would step down at the end of next year. Emmer would be considered a strong candidate to win the GOP endorsement.” The two priority questions for that race are: Will you repeal Obamacare? And, do you reject the liberal hoax theory of evolution?

Speaking of … a long, but fascinating read by McKay Coppins at BuzzFeed about Our Favorite Congresswoman’s messaging guru: “[Rex] Elsass is a round, loud, cigar-smoking good ‘ol boy with a private jet; a worldview rooted, he’ll be quick to tell you, in his Christian faith; and a shameless killer instinct that has turned his company into one of the country’s most in-demand political consulting firms. The company had the rare distinction of working, serially, for two presidential candidates last year — Michele Bachmann then Newt Gingrich. Other clients include the great Right hopes of 2016: Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. One of the driving forces behind the conservative surge of 2010, when they had more than two dozen tea party clients, the Strategy Group stands poised to ride a similar wave in the upcoming elections.”

The GleanThey didn’t notice a missing $85,000 a year? The AP says: “A woman who kept the books at an Apple Valley car wash is accused of swindling $350,000. Forty-six-year-old Connie Rogers is charged in Dakota County with nine counts of felony theft by swindle. A criminal complaint says Rogers wrote excess payroll checks to herself from 2008 to 2012 while she was employed as an accountant for Paradise Car Wash. The complaint says when the manager confronted Rogers about the theft she acknowledged issuing the checks, then voiding the checks so they would not show up on her W-2 tax statements.”

Who is still buying timeshares?  Jane Friedman of the Strib writes: “Timeshare resale scams in Minnesota have ripped off consumers for quite some time, but never like this. In the past six months, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota has seen 31 complaints about supposedly local businesses that have persuaded timeshare owners to hand over thousands of dollars for fees related to selling their properties. The owners invariably find themselves stuck with the timeshare and the money gone who knows where. ‘We don’t really know why our area has been ground zero of late when it comes to these schemes,’ said BBB spokesman Dan Hendrickson. ‘But I can tell you I’ve never seen a ‘blip’ like this (and I’ve been here 11 years) — at least not locally.’ ”

Interesting business story by Justin Miller of the Strib on an Edina company making DVDs one disc at a time … “[A] growing trend among the major Hollywood studios and movie retailers offers a solution: media on-demand production, or MOD. And a Twin Cities company called Allied Vaughn is playing a major role behind the scenes. … Allied Vaughn works with the major Hollywood studios to get licensing to movie titles and then stores the films on the company’s giant servers. When a customer purchases a title from one of the roughly 200 online retailers that the company supplies, Allied Vaughn makes the DVDs one at a time.”

Wisconsin really needs to do more with all the manure it produces. The AP says: “Wisconsin has lagged behind other Midwestern states when it comes to clean energy and should do more to take advantages of the resources it has: cow manure, food waste and companies developing onsite power systems, according to a new study. The study from the Wisconsin Energy Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison noted the state’s power rates are now above the national average and the second-highest in the Midwest. It says that’s partly because utility customers are paying to expand coal-fired power plants and install pollution controls on them — even though Wisconsin has no coal reserves of its own. It also has no natural gas fields.” 

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 06/03/2013 - 03:24 pm.

    Emmer will be the Republican chance

    Not letting Emmer make it past the primary will be the Republican’s chance to prove they are serious about making meaningful changes to their party. If he wins the primary it will say their change ideas are strictly hollow rhetoric. If the republicans want to be as extreme right as Emmer is there isn’t anyway they can win because the constituency they need will once again not be included in their party. They can’t continue their war on women, minorities, and Hispanics if they want to win. It will be interesting to see if they have the leadership skills to make the correct changes. If not they are not fit to govern.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/03/2013 - 05:29 pm.

    Can anyone

    who has a chance at getting elected win a Republican primary?

  3. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 06/03/2013 - 07:27 pm.

    We will see…

    Eric Black stated that Mr. Graves “believes in civility.”

    If Emmer runs, I cannot wait to hear Mr. Graves denounce the probable rerun attack ads from the Alliance for a Better MN.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/04/2013 - 10:21 am.

      Oh, snap!

      The old “neener, neener, what about your guy” retort. Devastating.

      If Emmer runs, any of his supporters with any shame left will keep their mouths shut about civility.

  4. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 06/03/2013 - 10:13 pm.

    Fortunately Mpls. has more pressing issues for the next mayor

    There aren’t many one-issue voters in Minneapolis, just one party. It seems unlikely that gay rights will be in many voters’ top ten concerns when they go to vote.

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