Financial disclosure compliance/penalties pretty weak

At Politics in Minnesota, Mike Mosedale looks at the compliance record of politicians and financial disclosure. “Of the 42 candidates who have filed for constitutional offices, [Karin] Housley and Sharon Anderson — a perennial candidate who is running for attorney general — were the only ones who failed to file economic interest statements on time.  Among candidates running for the House, the compliance rate is considerably lower. According to the CFPDB website, 22 candidates — 12 Republicans and 10 Democrats, none of them current office holders — missed the deadline. … At $5 per day with a cap of $100, the late filing fee is unlikely to cause much financial angst among wayward candidates. The penalty, which has not changed since it was first enacted in the early wave of post-Watergate reforms, does not provide much incentive for timely filing … .”

Generally speaking it’s a good idea to apply due skepticism to these sorts of numbers. But the AP says, “A new report estimates that delays in railroad shipping have cost Minnesota corn, soybean and wheat farmers nearly $100 million. The report was released Thursday at a conference in Alexandria organized by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.”

As we’ve been told by professional partisans; climate change is a liberal hoax, has nothing to do with human activity and even if it is real it isn’t such a bad thing. That said, at Climate Central, a site maintained by, you know, scientists, not lawyers, there’s a slick little device for gauging the likely temperature change in 1,000 cities around the country over the next century. For example: Based on current trends Minneapolis will “achieve” the climate of a Dallas suburb, Mesquite, by the year 2100.

Bill Salisbury at the PiPress writes, “A conservative think tank is calling for placing a moratorium on future light-rail transit projects in the Twin Cities, spending more on roads and bridges and diverting more transit funding to passenger buses to spark economic growth in Minnesota. In a ‘Minnesota Policy Blueprint’ proposal to be released Thursday by the Center of the American Experiment, the authors assert that Minnesota needs to spend more money to upgrade its transportation systems and contend that it can be done without tax increases if state policymakers place a higher priority on moving goods and people.” Those money-sucking schools sure could use a haircut.

Do NOT laugh at this … . Mary Divine of the PiPress reports, “Someone broke into a sign warning drivers that Shepard Road was closed at Chestnut Street due to flooding and changed the flashing digital message to an obscene comment Tuesday night. … The obscene message — LOCAL MOMS NEED (expletive removed) — was taken down early Wednesday after someone called the city to complain, Sirek said.”

Wait a minute. How many teams are there in the league? NBC Sports preview of the coming NFL season projects our soon-to-be-Super Bowl champion Vikings as … the 27th best team in pro football. Says Mike Florio, “A playoff berth this year or next will be regarded as a bonus.  This team has the feel of a franchise on scholarship until the new stadium opens in 2016. Which puts the Vikings near the bottom of the barrel as the 2014 season approaches.” But once those personal seat licenses kick in … .

The GleanHere’s one of those stories where the meat is between the lines: Pippi Mayfield of the Forum News Services writes, “After 30-plus years of uncertainty, the Andersen family finally knows their daughter and sister, Mary, is dead. The Frazee family found out last week that Mary, who had been gone since 1981, was killed two years later in Gillette, Wyo. … When Wyoming authorities found Mary dead in a gravel pit in 1983, they had no identification, and after taking tissue samples and creating a file on her, they buried her Aug. 28, 1983. Since her contact with relatives was sporadic, the family didn’t file a missing person’s report until a couple of years later.”

How do we know this wasn’t a promotional stunt for that new “Planet of the Apes” movie?  Stribber Paul Walsh says, “Three male gorillas at the Como Zoo wandered through an unsecured door within the exhibit Thursday morning, with one of them lingering a bit longer before being the last to return to where he belonged, officials said. ‘At no time was the public, staff or animals ever in danger,’ the zoo said in releasing a detailed explanation of the trio’s wayward movements.”

“I’ve been defamed” watch. In the Strib, Randy Furst reports, “A former Navy SEAL’s accounts of a bar fight with former Gov. Jesse Ventura pushed his memoir to the top of bestseller lists, said an attorney for Ventura in a videotaped deposition of the late Chris Kyle. … publicists for Harper Collins, the book’s publisher, expressed delight that within days of the [media] interviews, the book was climbing to the top of bestseller lists at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and the New York Times.”

What next? Molten lead? Josh Wood of the AP writes, “A pipeline has leaked 1 million gallons of oil drilling saltwater into the ground at a North Dakota Indian reservation, and some of the byproduct ended up in a bay that feeds the lake that provides the reservation’s drinking water, company and tribal officials said. Cleanup at the Fort Berthold reservation site continued Thursday, two days after the leak was discovered. It was expected to last for weeks … .”


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