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Diocese of Winona releases list of 14 accused priests

U.S. Supreme Court turns away challenge to Minnesota law on polling-place messages; health leaders’ vacation termed ‘bad politics, bad public relations’; GOP outside group says Rep. Peterson is not ‘Minnesota Nice’; and more.

More “overlooked” priests … . The Winona Daily News reports, “The Diocese of Winona released a list today of 14 priests who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Those on the list have worked at 45 parishes in 44 cities across southern Minnesota. All but five of the priests on the list are deceased, and some have not been active in the diocese for decades. Some of the priests were suspended and then defrocked, while others left the diocese voluntarily or died before any formal action was taken. The diocese’s list contains 13 names identified by a 2004 nationwide study to determine the scope of clergy sex abuse, as well as a 14th name, one priest accused of abuse since 2004, which the diocese was ordered to release by early January.”   

Juuuuust a bit too cozy for appearance’s sake … . At KSTP-TV Stephen Tellier reports, “Sources tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the head of Minnesota’s Medicaid program was vacationing with the director of MNsure in Costa Rica at the end of November. MNsure said there’s no conflict of interest, but critics said it’s yet another issue of compromised public trust. Medicaid and MNsure are intimately intertwined, with billions of taxpayer dollars overlapping between the two programs. For eight business days at the end of November — during a crucial time for the heathcare exchange — April Todd-Malmlov, the director of MNsure, and Jim Golden, Minnesota’s Medicaid director, were on vacation together in Costa Rica. ‘This is bad politics, in addition to being bad public relations for MNsure,’ said University of Minnesota political analyst Larry Jacobs.

At MPR, Catharine Richert says, “The two are involved in the implementation of the insurance marketplace website. Todd-Malmlov oversees the day-to-day operations of MNsure. The new marketplace is also meant to help determine eligibility for people who qualify for Medcaid — or Medical Assistance, as it is called in Minnesota — and the Human Services Department and MNsure have been working closely to make sure the site is able to do that. Also, Golden has been involved in the implementation of MNsure for several years in various roles at Human Services. …”

Fargo Forum Editor Matt Von Pinnon thinks out loud on the matter of the Fargo TV reporter who walked through an elementary school to show how lax security is. “It will be interesting to see if prosecutors bring charges or if police even recommend them. After all, local police and prosecutors won’t relish the idea of pursuing the case against a local media outlet given their co-dependence on news agencies. For that same reason, the area school districts have been pretty careful to focus the issue back on their security weaknesses. The report did expose some flaws and complaining about the report’s sensational method only makes it look like shooting the messenger. …” 

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Another one of those things I had forgotten to think about … . Plugging his own book, Joe Bissen in the PiPress writes, “Minnesota’s lost golf courses — they are, one might say, history. More than 80 courses disappeared from the landscape in the first 107 years of organized golf in Minnesota. Their histories then and venues now are the subject of my new book, “Fore! Gone. Minnesota’s Lost Golf Courses, 1897-1999.’ The self-published book is scheduled to come off the press this week. By and large, Minnesota’s lost courses served their patrons well. But there were exceptions. Take (please) the municipal course built by one southern Minnesota city next to its sewage disposal plant in 1931. The two most-feared letters onsite were not ‘O.B.’ but rather ‘P.U.’ The malodorous pairing lasted a year before wafting into oblivion.”

A blow to the Supreme Regiment of Grand Regal Constitution Loving Second Amendment Abiding North Star Tea Party Patriots … . Warren Richey of the Christian Science Monitor reports, “The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case testing a Minnesota law that bans the wearing of buttons or clothing with messages that election officials deem too political to be worn within 100 feet of any polling place. The justices took the action in a one-line order without comment. It lets stand a federal appeals court decision upholding the statute. The Minnesota law seeks to prevent campaigning and electioneering by candidates and their supporters at the locations where voters are casting their ballots. But an array of conservative groups challenging the statute said it went far beyond preventing electioneering and violated the free speech rights of voters to express broader political ideas without facing government censorship.”

That swipe card fee case has a very big dollar figure attached … . Jennifer Bjorhus of the Strib says, “A federal judge has approved the historic $7.25 billion antitrust settlement between more than 8 million retailers and Visa, MasterCard and major U.S. banks. U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn blessed the accord over virulent objections of some of the country’s largest retailers and major industry associations. … The first lawsuit was filed in Minnesota in 2005 by K. Craig Wildfang, a prominent antitrust litigator at Robins, Kaplan Miller & Ciresi in Minneapolis who ultimately quarteredbacked the national settlement.”

The GleanWell, if this is as bad as it gets … . For The Hill, Cameron Joseph writes, “A GOP outside group is accusing Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) of not being ‘Minnesota nice’ in a new television ad. The ad from the American Future Fund accuses Peterson of ignoring his constituents. ‘Minnesotans work hard to get by in this economy and we deserve answers from Congressman Peterson. He’s been in Washington for decades and the choices he makes affect our lives. So where is he when we want answers’? the ad’s narrator asks. ‘Tell Collin Peterson if he’s lost his Minnesota nice, he’s been in Washington too long’. … Republicans have been targeting him in the hopes that he’ll get tired of the attacks and decide to retire.”

Hey! You can’t do that in here! “Cybersquatting” they mean. Dave Orrick of the PiPress says, “Type into a web browser. You get Cabela’s home page: Same for That might be clever, but it’s also illegal, according to St. Paul-based Gander Mountain, which on Friday sued Nebraska-based Cabela’s, its larger competitor in the outdoors retail sector, for illegal cybersquatting. In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Minneapolis, Gander accuses Cabela’s of violating federal and state statutes as well as common law. Among the allegations, Gander says Cabela’s is in violation of the federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, trademark infringement and trademark dilution. The lawsuit doesn’t specify how much money, if any, Cabela’s might be gaining from the website URLs.” There should be a clause for “Just Plain Tacky.”