Quite the drama down on flooded I-90. The story from KMSP-TV’s Scott Wasserman goes like this: “With water inching up to the windows, a Minnesota trooper rescued a woman from a flood-stranded car on Interstate 90 Monday night, moments before the flood waters flipped the car and swept it down a ditch. ‘Oh my gosh, I was so terrified,’ Julisa Jones told Fox 9 News by phone. ‘I was so scared I couldn’t even cry. I’ve never been that scared in my life. I really thought I was going to die.’”
The Strib’s Paul Walsh also has that story, plus … . “Luverne Fire Chief David Van Batavia said the three rescue missions in Rock County saved two women and two men. One of the men, a farmer, had to be saved twice — once from a tree and later from a nearly submerged tractor.”
The staff destroyed a serial rapist’s “fantasy logs”? Says Chris Serres in the Strib, “Personal journals in which a convicted serial rapist described his violent sexual fantasies were destroyed by staffers at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP), according to court testimony that came to light this month. Now those shredded journals, referred to as ‘fantasy logs’ are at the center of a high-profile dispute over whether the offender, Thomas Duvall, can safely be released from state custody.”
Another day, another poll, another lead for Dayton and Franken. At MPR, Catharine Richert reports, “The latest survey results from Public Policy Polling show Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken with comfortable leads over their potential opponents. According to the survey, Franken leads all of his potential Republican opponents by double digits, including his most likely challenger Mike McFadden. In that match-up, Franken has an 11 percentage point advantage with 49 percent to McFadden’s 38 percent. The news is good for Dayton, too, who has at least a 10 percentage point lead over his potential opponents.”
The Koch brothers are hitting the airwaves … . Stribber Baird Helgeson reports, “A Republican group has launch a radio advertisement targeting Gov. Mark Dayton, criticizing the state’s health insurance exchange and for a new $77 million office building for state senators and staff. The local branch of Americans for Prosperity is spending more than $100,000 to air the ad, mainly in Duluth, Mankato and Rochester. … Alliance for a Better Minnesota, the lead outside group backing Dayton and other Democrats, immediately launched a fundraising appeal after the ad was launched. ABM noted that the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch founded Americans for Prosperity and spent $122 million in the 2012 election cycle.” And there’s plenty more where that came from.
Also with remarkable regularity … another “oops” moment for Franken challenger, Mike McFadden. At City Pages Aaron Rupar writes, “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden talks a lot about the importance of jobs. For instance, in recent weeks, he’s said things like, ‘Senator [Franken] along with President Obama have waged a war on jobs in this country,’ and, ‘I’ve created jobs. That’s what I do. I have a record of 20 years of doing that, and I look forward to that conversation.’ So eyebrows were raised when McFadden’s campaign distributed shirts at the MNGOP convention in Rochester that were made in Nicaragua.” Hey, he didn’t say where he’s creating jobs!
Speaking of jobs, next door in Wisconsin, where, you know, “It’s working,” the AP’s Scott Bauer reports, “[Gov. Scott] Walker’s bid for re-election in a tight race may hinge on something he didn’t do. Before he was talking about taking on unions, Walker promised in 2010 that over four years the state would add 250,000 private sector jobs. … Although the post-recession recovery is adding jobs here, Wisconsin is lagging all but one of nine Midwestern states in that category. The mood of the electorate is uneasy.”
He’s no fan of light-rail, but he can turn a phrase. In a Strib commentary, local attorney Jonathan Mack looks at the new Green Line and sees a billion dollar folly. “Among the truest of believers, the ends always justify the means, and among self-styled urbanists and ‘sustainable growth’ acolytes, devotion to light rail takes on an almost spiritual quality. An entire system of beliefs — about where people should live, how they should travel and even what they should do with their free time — seems dependent on the notion that light rail is endowed with a catalytic quality to spur events ultimately leading to a joyful union of the future with an idealized prewar urban past.” If the Strib is still looking or a conservative columnist who can spin something other than turgid talking points they should make this guy an offer.
The thought of the current Congress “reforming” the tax code is the stuff of nightmares. But Brett Neely at MPR writes, “Members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation expressed concern Tuesday about Medtronic’s plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to Ireland as part of its $43 billion acquisition of Covidien. … Some question whether the tax bill is really all that bad or whether American companies are simply greedy. While many point to the 35 percent corporate tax rate in the United States as the reason for why all that cash is parked offshore, the real rate is nowhere near that high, notes Steven Wamhoff, legislative director of Citizens for Tax Justice, a group that’s been critical of corporate tax policies.” But for the sake of the argument, let’s pretend reality doesn’t exist.