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Post-primary reaction roundup

Target’s working on problems in Canada; Lakeville man arrested in long-ago Texas killing; voters in Cormorant elect a dog named Duke; nation’s corn and soybean trend isn’t good for Minnesota; and more.

In post-primary chatter …

The AP writes, “[Jeff] Johnson faces a tough campaign against Dayton, who has scored well in approval polls and enjoys a state economy that’s outperforming most of its neighbors. Dayton also can point to legislative achievements that include a minimum wage increase and legalized gay marriage. In a congressional race, Tom Emmer, who narrowly lost the 2010 governor’s race to Dayton, cruised to victory in the Republican primary for the 6th District seat being vacated by Rep. Michele Bachmann, an outspoken conservative who has called for President Barack Obama’s impeachment. Emmer, who has spent the past two years on conservative talk radio, is the favorite in Minnesota’s most conservative district.”

For The Hill, Cameron Joseph says, “[Mike] McFadden attacked Franken after his win. ‘Minnesotans feel like President Obama and Sen. Franken have done nothing but take our country in the wrong direction,’ McFadden said in a statement. ‘I believe there’s a way to get our country back onto the path of growth and prosperity. It begins with electing a problem solver who can unite this state and go to Washington to clean up the mess created by the Obama-Franken agenda.’ ”

At Roll Call Emily Cahn writes of the Sixth District race, “[Rhonda] Sivarajah never gained steam, however. She raised a paltry $4,000 between July 1 and July 23 in the lead up to the primary, compared to Emmer’s $54,000 haul. … GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney carried this district in 2012 by a 15-point margin, making it a solidly Republican seat. Minnesota’s 6th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.”

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At The National Journal, Jack Fitzpatrick writes, “Four years ago, when he was running for governor, Tom Emmer seemed like the next Michele Bachmann. A year ago, when he started his campaign, liberal media outlets said he was. But now that the Minnesotan is actually running for her seat in Congress, Emmer has changed his style. … Emmer hasn’t gotten any less conservative or changed his positions on any issues, but he has changed his approach, he said. And now Emmer doesn’t have to attract much attention. After his high-profile 2010 run and spending two years as a radio-show host, Emmer said he is more well-known and doesn’t have to prove his conservative bona fides.”

In one of its semi-regular maternal moments, the Strib editorializes in favor of a “vigorous” fall campaign. “Both of the big parties have skillful standard-bearers and the wherewithal to put the opposition to the test. Minnesotans ought to be treated to an engaging exercise in democracy in the next 12 weeks.  A good campaign is more than an audition for a public job. Done right, campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate can enlarge Minnesota’s capacity to solve shared problems and sustain a healthy society.” And let’s hope they all eat their vegetables and say their prayers at night.

Also in state politics … a mayor who’ll need neutering, distemper shots and a monthly application of Frontline. Says WCCO-TV: “Voters in Cormorant elected a dog named Duke by a landslide. The 12 people in the village each paid $1 to cast a vote. After winning, Duke got 5 hours of grooming and a new outfit. Duke will be officially sworn in on Saturday during the city’s annual fair.”

It’s a “rescue” mission in Canada. The Strib’s Kavita Kumar says, “Target Corp. this morning announced changes to its flailing Canadian operation, which lost nearly $1 billion last year, to reverse perceptions of high prices and empty shelves. … Among the changes, Target said it physically counted inventory in all stores and reset its systems, paving the way for more accurate ordering and shipping data.”

A cold case in Texas turned hot in Minnesota. Paul Walsh and Emma Nelson of the Strib report, “A 53-year-old Lakeville husband and father who has lived in the Twin Cities for roughly a quarter-century was arrested and jailed on suspicion of fatally stabbing a man in a Texas hotel more than 30 years ago.”

A couple of corn stories that have nothing to do with treadworn political blather: NPR’s John Ydstie files from Iowa. “Climate change is creating all kinds of challenges and opportunities for business. One of the sectors that feels the effects most immediately is agriculture. Already, weather patterns are making it more challenging to raise corn — even in Iowa — in the middle of the Corn Belt. … Two studies released this summer have warned that, in coming decades, climate change will threaten corn production on the western plains of Kansas and Nebraska. It will also dramatically cut yields in Corn Belt states like Iowa.”

Meanwhile … . Mark Steil at MPR says, “The nation’s farmers will haul in their biggest corn and soybean crops ever this fall — but that’s not good news for Minnesota. Farmers here expect a down year because of June’s damaging weather. The bumper crop elsewhere means corn prices won’t go high enough to make a profit. Minnesota’s projected to harvest 168 bushels an acre while Illinois and Iowa could average 20 bushels an acre more, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Agriculture Department. ‘We’re going to be buried in crop for right now,’ said Peter Georgantones, a commodity specialist with Abbott Futures.”

And from the department of bragging: The Columbia Journalism Review offers a tutorial in how to ask political candidates substantive policy questions. CJR’s case-study? MinnPost’s own Eric Black, who “offered a great example recently of how to pin down (or, at least, try mightily) a political candidate who slips and slides around important issues without specifying for voters exactly what he stands for. In this case, the candidate is Republican Mike McFadden who is running against Democratic Sen. Al Franken.”