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Tom Emmer, candidate, hypes contractor in TV ad

Potential fireworks today for Minnesota Orchestra; U student Schunk presumed dead; remorse over notorious crime; Cambridge residents upset with sex-offender house; stadium developments; and more.

This is not a Jimmy Kimmel prank … I think.  Sally Jo Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie jumps on the very odd sight of a candidate for Congress playing TV pitchman for a home-remodeling company. Says Sally Jo: “Has Tom Emmer scored the ultimate product placement for his congressional campaign by appearing in a testimonial ad for a Twin Cities general contractor? Or does the ad skirt campaign funding regulations? … The ad may raise eyebrows — if not legal questions — because Emmer introduces the testimonial ad as a candidate running for congress, while standing before a yard sign.  Here’s the text of the  31-second ad:

When the storm settles, there’s only one clear choice. Integrity Exteriors and Remodelers.Hi. My name is Tom Emmer and I’m running for congress in Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District. If  you’re looking for someone to do remodeling, siding, or general construction, residential or commercial, I can tell you without qualification, you need to call the folks at Integrity Exteriors and Remodelers.  They’re the best.’”

There may be a story in Mr. Emmer’s personal finances if he needs the money this badly.

Following local coverage of the Minnesota Orchestra’s unanimous “no” vote this weekend, James Oestreich of the New York Times is saying: “[T]he stage is set for potential fireworks at noon on Monday, when the current offer expires. The new season, with programs yet to be announced, is supposed to open at the newly renovated Orchestra Hall on Friday and to include four high-profile concerts of music by Sibelius in Carnegie Hall, the first two in early November. Osmo Vanska, the orchestra’s music director, has said that for the season to begin on time and for the orchestra to be Carnegie-ready, rehearsals will have to begin this week. He has also said that if the Carnegie concerts are canceled, he will resign his position.”

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The family ofAnarae Schunk, the U of M student now presumed dead, is asking the public to help search for her body. At the PiPress, Raya Zimmerman writes: “Police believe Schunk, 20, is dead. ‘Because we do not yet have Anarae, we need to continue to search,’ the family posted on a Facebook page dedicated to finding Schunk. Burnsville police Sgt. Jeff White said Sunday that officers were not involved in the family’s search but that the police investigation continues. The family’s Facebook page included a map of an area the Schunks hoped could be searched, which included Mississippi River shoreline and Pickerel Lake in Lilydale.”

The Strib’s Pat Pheifer writes: “Family members searching for missing U student Anarae Schunk Sunday said police have found the 20-year-old’s jacket covered in blood and punctured by 18 to 20 holes investigators believe could be stab wounds. … Tyson Schunk said Sunday that police found his sister’s white jacket with a University of Minnesota logo at the apartment of Nelson’s ex-wife in South St. Paul. It was covered with blood and had 18 to 20 holes — possibly stab wounds — in it. He said his sister was seen at the apartment about 7 p.m. Sept. 21. He said the ex-wife has been arrested as well as two others people. He did not know the other people’s connection to the case.”

In the Marshall Independent, Jenny Kirk writes (in a three-part series) about remorse over one of the most notorious crimes in southwest Minnesota history: “It’s not easy to look in the mirror and be completely honest with oneself, but Steven Anderson did. It took an incredible amount of soul-searching to understand what drove him to commit a double murder and to accept responsibility for his actions on Sept. 29, 1983, he says, but Anderson, formerly known as Steven Jenkins, was able to do that. … Now 48 years old, Anderson is preparing for life outside prison walls after being put on a path toward parole by the Minnesota Commissioner of Corrections in March. Currently working through transitional phases, Anderson is expected to be released in about two years.”

The GleanA house for a half-dozen sex offenders gets on the NIMBY list pretty fast. Rupa Shenoy of MPR reports: “Many residents of Cambridge, Minn. are upset about a state plan to house civilly committed sex offenders. Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson wants to transfer six offenders with special needs from a compound in Moose Lake to a remodeled, lower-security building in the central Minnesota town. The move comes as a federal class action suit charges sex offenders committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program are held in prison-like facilities that are more restrictive than necessary.”

Worth reading is Tim Nelson’s MPR piece on the Vikings’ stadium saga: “There have been  three key developments that have changed the stadium landscape, and may be strengthening the state’s hand.

  1. First, the Falcons struck a tentative deal for a new stadium in Atlanta. The team pledged $800 million to a $1 billion stadium, and the state of Georgia offered nothing. Here in Minnesota, the state has pledged $348 million, more than a third of the cost. The Falcons deal put the stadium financing debate in a new light.

  2. The threat to move the Vikings to Los Angeles also seems to be receding. Yahoo Sports said in March that the NFL has given up on a stadium near the Staples Center, and the commissioner even suggested that the unhappy Oakland Raiders move in with the 49ers, rather than returning to Los Angeles, where they played from 1982 to 1994.

  3. The Wilfs’ legal troubles in New Jersey may have made them a less attractive partner to a new host city thinking about a billion dollar business deal with the Vikings.”

Our crack team of local negotiators did about as much research on the likelihood of the Vikes moving to L.A. as they did on e-pulltab revenues.

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Also from a few days back … Josh Moniz of the New Ulm Journal writes: “The New Ulm Actors Community Theatre’s production of ‘Inherit the Wind’ was canceled last week due to cast dropouts stemming from objections by Martin Luther College professors and local WELS members over the play’s depiction of the evolution/creationism debate. … After seeing the poster for the audition, several MLC professors raised objections about the play’s subject to the administration. Jeffrey Schone, MLC’s VP of Student Life, declined to name the objecting professors, but stated the administration similarly became concerned about being associated with the play. MLC is the college of ministry for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), which believes in creationism that teaches the Genesis story as a factual, historical account. … ‘”We felt it was not compatible with what [the school] teaches the Bible says about the universe and the world’ said Schone. ‘This is a ministerial school. People employing our students need confidence about their views.’ ” Laugh? Or cry?

Speaking of laughing … . John Hinderaker at Power Line is struggling to appear above the fray in the march to The Shutdown. He’s saying: “The House’s approach takes the pressure off Harry Reid and the Democrats, so the Dems will get what they want: a government shutdown, at least for a brief time. Democrats must be thanking their lucky stars; they desperately needed something to take voters’ attention away from Obamacare, the economy, and the many scandals and disasters of the Obama administration, and now House Republicans have given them what they wanted. It is an unfortunate, self-inflicted wound. UPDATE: Michele Bachmann explains to Byron York why Republicans shouldn’t fear a shutdown. I hope she is right, but she doesn’t explain why a one-year delay in Obamacare is the hill Republicans should fight on. It seems to me that the Republicans’ valiant but unsuccessful efforts have demonstrated that they can kill Obamacare only if they control both houses of Congress, which means that the focus should be on 2014.” If Our Favorite Congresswoman says you have nothing to fear, John, I urge you to take her at her word.