In the realm of “public embarrassments” this beats Adrian Peterson hands down. WCCO-TV’s Angela Davis reports, “Numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau reveal how many children in Minnesota are living in poverty. Fourteen percent of kids in the state of Minnesota lived in poverty in the last year. That’s about 176,000 children. The year before, there were more than 183,000 poor children.”
If you too are thinking this is one of the quietest election cycles you can remember, there’s a reason for that. Tom Scheck at MPR says, “By this time four years ago, the race for governor saw plenty of spending on advertising by groups independent of the political parties and the campaigns. In that election cycle, business groups in particular spent heavily on behalf of Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer, who lost the election to Democrat Mark Dayton. But this year, those groups haven’t been as active for Republican Jeff Johnson who aims to block Dayton from a second term. … The biggest difference this year is how much less money business groups are spending than they did in 2010.”
How did this happen? MPR’s Madeleine Baran writes, “A 25-year-old man fled a Minneapolis courtroom Thursday after being convicted of second-degree attempted murder, according to a statement from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. Michael David Henderson rushed from the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis wearing a maroon T-shirt, dark pants and ‘black dress shoes’, the statement said.”
The offspring of my people. Stribber Pamela Miller reports, “Citing evidence that students were drinking at last Friday’s homecoming game, the Edina School District on Thursday instituted new rules for students attending football games. … In a letter to parents, the district said that during a walk-through of the student section after the homecoming game, ‘we found empty beer cans and liquor-tainted plastic bottles brought into the stadium.’” Tell me those brats weren’t pouring perfectly good Chateau Latour and Boodles gin into plastic containers!
Adrian Peterson aftermath: Michael Rosenberg at Sports Illustrated seriously doubts the Vikings’ decision to suspend Peterson was all about “getting it right.” “This was about pressure, applied from the three places that matter most to Vikings ownership:
1. The NFL, which reached its yearly quota of scandal-bungling in early September, well ahead of schedule.
2. Local government. Governor Mark Dayton said publicly that the Vikings should suspend Peterson. Dayton also helped the Vikings get their new $1 billion stadium approved. Ground has already been broken on the stadium, but the Vikings didn’t want to lose their political allies. You know the old saying: Keep your friends close, and people who might give you a completely undeserved tax break closer.
Speaking of undeserved tax breaks: Dogged opponent of taxpayer giveaways Sen. John Marty has a Strib commentary on controlling our energy destiny. “But as a recent report on Minnesota’s energy policy reminds us, our energy future is a matter of choice, not fate. If we plan ahead, we can end our state’s costly reliance on fossil fuels, making it an opportunity to build a better future. This requires extensive long-term planning. Unfortunately, in politics ‘long-term’ too often means ‘the next election.’ But with virtually the entire scientific community expressing deep concerns about catastrophic impacts from human-caused climate change, it is time we develop public policy for the next generation, not the next election.” With sufficient/ample tax breaks for job creators it might get some traction … .
I know I long ago lost count. Emily Gurnon of the PiPress reports, “St. John’s Abbey and two clerics — one who worked at the Church of St. Bernard in St. Paul — were sued Thursday by men claiming they suffered sexual abuse as children. Attorney Jeff Anderson said at a news conference that the abbey in Collegeville, Minn., and the Diocese of St. Cloud made promises to two of those men 12 years ago: All abusive clergy would be taken out of ministry and closely restricted, and new policies would be put into place. But those promises were broken, Anderson said.”
Stillwater will get a new riverside park. Mary Divine of the PiPress writes, “Calling it a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for a new park in the St. Croix River Valley, Washington County and Stillwater officials announced Thursday that they have reached an agreement with the owner of one of the largest strips of privately held land along the river. The purchase of the Aiple property, 15 acres just north of downtown Stillwater, is expected to be complete by the end of the year. The purchase price is $4.3 million.”
Wait a minute, the chief of police is afraid to make a public appearance? The AP story says, “The police chief of Minneapolis has canceled her scheduled appearance at a community listening session, citing threats of disruptions. Police Chief Janee Harteau (jeh-NAY’ har-TOH’) was scheduled to appear Thursday evening at the Sabathani (sah-BATH’-uh-nee) Community Center in Minneapolis. But Harteau announced late in the afternoon she has canceled her appearance ‘in the best interest of community public safety.’” (ewed th-INK’ sheed NO’ sum KOPPS).
At City Pages, Jesse Marx pumps up Bill Maher’s campaign against Second District Rep. John Kline. Says Marx, “The retired Marine colonel from Lakeville has voted against raising the minimum wage, increased mining regulations, stem cell research, climate change research, and gay marriage. Last year, he helped shut down the government in an attempt to delay ObamaCare. But his greatest sin may be the way he approaches education issues. Kline opposed the Student Loan Forgiveness Act and authored a bill that would have raised interest rates by 2.5 percent. Turns out the Apollo Education Group is Kline’s biggest donor. The company runs the University of Phoenix, an institution where very few of the students end up completing degrees and many more end up defaulting on their loans.”