Summer is always a good time for idle prognosticating. At Roll Call Colin Diersing writes about the Mike McFadden v. Al Franken Senate race. “While Democrats focus on McFadden’s background, Republicans say President Barack Obama’s shrinking popularity could give Franken the kind of problems Coleman experienced with then-President George W. Bush in 2008. A recent survey by the Democratic autodial firm Public Policy Polling showed Obama with a 44 percent approval rating in Minnesota, down from 50 percent in May of 2013. Privately, Republicans appreciate the irony.”
So whenever they say it was done in the interest of “shareholder value,” be sure to ask “which shareholders”? In Fortune, veteran columnist Allan Sloan looks at the latest high profile tax dodges — (cough Medtronic) — and writes, “I especially love a little-noticed multimillion-dollar goody that Medtronic is giving its board members and top executives. Years ago, in order to discourage inversions, Congress imposed a 15% excise tax on the value of options and restricted stock owned by top officers and board members of inverting companies. Guess what? Medtronic says it’s going to give the affected people enough money to pay the tax. … The company wouldn’t tell me how much this would cost its stockholders. So I did my own back-of-the-envelope math … you end up with $7.1 million to $11.2 million just for [CEO Omar] Ishrak.”
Also, speaking of taxes, or not so much … . The Economist has a story on the best states for small businesses. The takeaway? Regulation is far more an issue than taxes, and Minnesota’s overall climate earns it a “B” rating — whereas over in Wisconsin, where as you know, “It’s working,” the grade is … C-.
If you emphasize the money wasted in nitrogen runoff, you might get somewhere faster. At MPR, Mark Steil says, “ ‘The [Agriculture] department hasn’t moved fast enough or forcefully enough,’ said Kris Sigford, water quality director at the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. ‘Unfortunately, we have a bigger environmental problem than we had a quarter of a century ago,’ said Sigford. ‘It’s time to move from purely voluntary to regulatory, to develop some practices that actually work and require them to be employed in certain regions of the state.’ “
Voyageurs National Park’s backcountry has been closed. The AP explains, “Voyageurs National Park has closed its backcountry for about two weeks for flood damage assessment and repairs. … Park officials announced Monday that all backcountry trails and campsites have been closed. They’ve set a target date of July 21 for reopening the backcountry. Visitors may rebook backcountry reservations online starting July 21.”
Speaking of water … Paul Douglas is saying, “Although dew points have dropped into the low and mid 60s behind yesterday’s gusty cool front, there is still enough low-level moisture, instability and wind shear available for strong to severe storms. Although an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out the primary risk is straight-line winds and large hail.”
Yeah, baby! I’ll take the 1,000 inch-er. The Sioux Falls Business Journal tells its readers, “Brookings-based Daktronics Inc. will manufacture and install a major technology upgrade for the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The upgrade will include a high-definition LED, center-hung video board that will be nearly six times larger than the current one.” How many HDMI ports?
“No law enforcement experience necessary …” Camey Thibodeau of the Fairbault Daily News reports, “From now through 4 p.m. on July 11, the Minnesota State Patrol is accepting applications for state troopers. No law enforcement education or experience is required and those with a two- or four-year degree in any discipline may apply. Lt. Steven Fischer said the Minnesota State Patrol anticipates hiring 48 new troopers statewide. The State Patrol will pay for training and law enforcement education and base pay starts at $48,191.”
I have to check, but I think they have these in Wisconsin grade schools. Stribber Paul Walsh writes, “In a first for major league baseball stadiums, Target Field now has a self-serving beer station and intends to have a second one up and running in time for next week’s All-Star Game. The first station, on the third-base side along the main concourse, debuted Sunday during the Minnesota Twins’ loss to the New York Yankees. A second station will be added on the same concourse along the first-base side … .”
MPR’s Martin Moylan says, “As retail competition has stiffened, Target Corp. has been opening smaller stores in urban settings. Case in point: The company will soon open its smallest store ever near the University of Minnesota. Located at 1329 5th Street St., and at 20,000 square feet, the TargetExpress store will be about one sixth the size of a typical Target big box. The doors open July 23.” Just remember kids, those stores are dangerous. You’ll probably need a rifle.