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Legislators openly miffed at cops on pot debate

Police influence on the medical marijuana debate annoys some legislators. Tom Scheck at MPR says, “Some Minnesota legislators, frustrated with their inability to make any headway against law enforcement objections to a medical marijuana bill, are expressing concern that police and prosecutors are spending too much time at the Capitol protecting and serving their own interests. … But medical marijuana isn’t the only issue that police and prosecutors are trying to influence. They also have been working on criminal forfeiture, surveillance and drug issues.”

Al Franken’s campaign against the giant Comcast/Time Warner merger has a serious campaign finance facet. Daniel Wiser at the Washington Free Beacon writes, “The potential merger’s impact on the $5.4 billion local cable advertising market, including political advertising, has been largely absent from public debate as the companies seek approval from regulators at the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission (FCC). … Other cable and satellite providers such as Verizon and DISH have outsourced their ad sales to Comcast and TWC. The combined companies could reach as many as 50 million households with ads sold as a result of these ‘rep deals.’” Why so little attention is paid to the local TV end of political money is a fascinating mystery (to me).

It’s either a case of the Governor being a cash magnet or his opponents having (much) less than rock star appeal. At Politics in Minnesota, Mike Mullen says, “At least one observation can be made following the new disclosure reports: Whichever of the five leading Republican candidates emerges as that party’s nominee, he will almost certainly enter the general election season at a significant cash disadvantage to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. The Democratic incumbent has some $733,000 in the bank, more than five times as much as his closest Republican competitor.”

Amy will soon be back on the streets … . The AP says, “The wife of former Minnesota Vikings player Joe Senser will leave a state prison this week where she has served time for a fatal hit-and-run. Amy Senser is due to be transferred from the Shakopee prison to a work release facility. She’s been approved for transfer to a jail or halfway house.”

That “rural America is dying/disappearing” meme may not have quite as much validity. In the New Ulm Journal Fritz Busch covers a conference and writes, “… while rural areas lose a high percentage of 20-24 year olds, the number of 30 to 49-year-old moving into rural areas nearly offsets the younger out-migration. … [W]hile many rural school districts have declining enrollment, certain classes — often kindergarten and the lower elementary grades — have increased numbers in recent years.”

To no one’s surprise … Rick Adelman has retired. ESPN’s story says, “The decision brings to an end to a celebrated coaching career that includes 1,042 victories, eighth on the NBA’s career list. Adelman coached Western Conference powers in Portland and Sacramento and also had stops in Golden State and Houston. …’s Marc Stein reported in March that Minnesota would have Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg — a former Wolves player and executive — and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo (who’s close to president Flip Saunders) high on their list of potential successors.”

Well … a Beatle, at least. That “big act” coming to Target Field? … Sir Paul. Jay Gabler at The Current says, “… the Minnesota Twins’ outdoor field will host a performer who would be on anyone’s list of rock ‘n’ roll all-stars: Sir Paul McCartney. The gig is a long-awaited coup for the venue, certain to excite rock and pop fans who have been waiting for the Twins’ home to host a show by a major performer who’s — no offense, Kenny Chesney — outside of the country genre. McCartney’s appearance will happen 49 years, to the month, after he played the Twins’ Met Stadium with the Beatles on August 21, 1965—the Beatles’ only Minnesota concert.” Every (now) mature, composed woman/grandmother who can prove she was at The Met in ‘65 should be given free front row seats.

Oh my … . City Pages’ Aaron Rupar reports on some very delicate sensibilities … . “Uptown Vapor Shoppe has been open at 2817 Hennepin Avenue for a year. Since day one, the business has had a sign in its window that says, ‘No Statutory Vape.’ The sign’s reference is meant to be to a store policy prohibiting minors from purchasing products. It had never been an issue until last Friday, when the Vapor Shoppe’s Facebook page was slammed by commenters decrying the sign for making light of statutory rape.” I hope the shop’s critics are as upset about our gun “laws.”

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/21/2014 - 01:49 pm.

    Self-serving, &c….

    Confiscating and selling the property of a suspect – before a conviction – was a staple of fund-raising in at least one suburban venue in years past, so I would not be surprised to see the police lobbying along those lines in St. Paul. Greed doesn’t care what kind of uniform you’re wearing.

    Re: local TV money and political campaigns… Years ago, before I lived here, there was a website with a URL something like “” Sadly, I’ve either forgotten the specifics of the URL, or the site is no longer operating, because I can’t find it today after a fairly cursory search. The point of the website was precisely that relationship between local TV and political advertising.

    One could make a very good case that TV advertising is a primary source of profit for local TV stations in election years, which accounts, in large part, for the mind-boggling cost of political campaigns in recent years. One could also make a very good case that political ads, at least for local and state candidates, ought to be broadcast for free as part of the public service commitment that local TV stations have to make in order to acquire free use of public airwaves for their broadcasts.

    As for Mr. Dayton’s cash advantage as we head into election season, if I wanted to buy access to the Governor’s office… excuse me, if I wanted to exercise my right to free speech as an American multimillionaire, knowing as I do that money equals speech… I wouldn’t sink more than $10 into any of the Republican candidates currently running for the job. Dayton – who is no sensible person’s idea of a wild-eyed liberal – is a business-friendly political moderate who actually pays attention to the job at hand. That couldn’t be said of his predecessor…

    I know, I laughed out loud as I typed that last sentence, too. Genuine public service and local TV almost never go hand-in-hand.

    “…Every (now) mature, composed woman/grandmother who can prove she was at The Met in ‘65 should be given free front row seats.” There may not be room for them all to be literally on the front row, but in principle, I absolutely agree.

    I’m sure Mrs. Senser is getting the same treatment as any other housewife would get if that other housewife ran over and killed someone on a freeway off-ramp and didn’t bother to stop.

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/21/2014 - 04:21 pm.

    All you have to do is look at what the Republican’s are offering

    Then you will see why Dayton has a cash advantage. The Republicans keep offering political extremists, no brand change, tired talking points, and candidates that won’t state their positions. Nothing to vote for, only against. They continue as the party of NO. Now the voters feel the same way about the Republicans, Absolutely NO!

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