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Competitive race against Mills leads to fundraising haul for Nolan

Health care equity: How do we get there?

Addressing the biggest barriers to meaningful reduction in health-care disparities
Oct. 21 breakfast event at Northrop sponsored by UCare

Eventbrite - Health Care Equity: How do we get there?

If money equals votes: MPR’s Brett Neely says, “A hotly contested race for the 8th District congressional seat has been a fundraising boon for DFL Rep. Rick Nolan. His campaign is set to announce that Nolan raised at least $641,000 in the three months ending Sept. 30, far exceeding past fundraising quarters. … Federal Election Commission records show that outside groups not affiliated with either campaign have spent nearly $5 million to influence the outcome.” Which is as the founding fathers would want it.

Speaking of campaign cash: Minnesota Daily columnist Camille Gallas turns up on The Huffington Post with her op-ed about Bill Maher and John Kline. “By targeting John Kline, a Republican Representative from Minnesota’s Second District, Bill Maher’s ‘Flip A District’ Challenge sheds light on why this ‘empty suit’ has stayed in office for so long, and why we should all care. … In the case of John Kline, for-profit education corporations are footing his campaign bill. The Apollo Education Group, which owns several for-profit educational institutions, is his top contributor for the 2013-2014 legislative cycle. Kline, chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, has supported laws that would increase student loans through market-based interest rates.”

Over at KSTP, Tom Hauser recaps a SurveyUSA/KSTP poll showing that Sen. Al Franken has widened his lead over Mike McFadden, with the DFL incumbent leading his Republican challenger 55 to 37 percent: “‘That is a huge gap, a gap that surely will not persist through Election Day,’ University of Minnesota political science professor Kathryn Pearson said. She was surprised by the margin, but not the fact Franken remains the clear front runner. This all along has been a race that has been rated as competitive, but not necessarily a toss-up,’ Pearson said.”

There were some winners, yes. Clare Kennedy at The Business Journal tells us, “Minnesota brewers took gold at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival in Denver for the first time in three years. Minnetonka’s Badger Hill Brewing received a gold medal in the American-Belgo-style ale category for its White IPA. St. Louis Park-based Steel Toe Brewing won a gold medal for its Wee Heavy brew, a Scotch ale it released in December. … The festival gave out 268 medals this year.” That might even be more than the ad industry.

MNsure will offer access to the Mayo Clinic … if you live in southeast Minnesota. Elizabeth Baier of MPR reports, “Southeast Minnesota residents will now have Medica plans that include Mayo Clinic as an in-network option on MNSure, the state’s online health insurance marketplace. Medica on Monday said it will begin offering a new health plan for individuals and families in 18 southern Minnesota counties. It will include access to Rochester’s Mayo Clinic as well as Mayo Clinic Health System, Northfield Hospitals and Clinics, and Winona Health.”

The GleanIn a race that’s been floating under the radar: Brandt Williams of MPR writes, “When Hennepin County voters go to the polls next month, they’ll have to choose to either return a high-profile sheriff to office or side with his experienced challenger. … Earlier this year, 88 percent of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association’s 270 members agreed to make an endorsement. Of those that did, three-fourths decided to endorse Frizell, 16 percent chose to make no endorsement and 9 percent endorsed Stanek. As of 2013, there were 340 deputies in the county.”

Deception in subscriptions you say? John Ewoldt of the Strib says, “Subscribers to the Star Tribune and other newspapers and magazines should be aware of fraudulent renewal notices being sent in the mail nationwide. Companies operating under names like Associated Publishers Network and United Publishers Network have been mailing new orders and renewal notices to subscribers from publications such as the Star Tribune, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, Wall Street Journal, the Economist and Omaha World Herald. … The BBB has had nearly 900 complaints against United Publishers Network.” Who knew there was still money in newspaper subscriptions?

Don’t bother with the Drano. Marino Eccher of the PiPress writes, “A St. Paul man wrecked the plumbing at a handful of Eagan restaurants by flushing pounds of three-inch nails down the toilet, according to criminal charges filed last week. Nicholas Leo Mullenmaster, 38, was charged Sept. 30 … . On Sept. 3, Eagan police were called to a transit station about a block from the [Subway] restaurant on a report of a similar incident. The facilities manager there said security footage showed a man entering the restroom at 12:37 a.m. on Sept. 1 and remaining inside for nearly six hours. Two to three pounds of nails had been stuffed down the toilet, causing $800 in damage. One of the plumbers who worked on the repair recovered a piece of mail from the clog, addressed to Mullenmaster, the charges said.”

Finally, support for the solution to rampant voter fraud. At The New Republic, Claire Groden writes about why Wisconsin’s gubernatorial election may hinge on a court decision: “On September 12, Wisconsin voting-rights groups began to scramble when the Seventh Circuit Court upheld the state’s voter ID law, one of the strictest in the country. … In April, when District court judge Lynn Adelman issued an injunction against the law, he estimated that 300,000 registered voters across the state lack the IDs they need to vote. The judge arrived at that estimate by comparing the testimony of two witnesses, a statistical marketing consultant, Leland Beatty, and a professor at the University of Georgia, M.V. Hood III. … Using different methodologies, the two men produced different estimates. Hood said between 4.9 percent (167,351) and 10.9 percent (368,824) of registered voters lacked ID, while Beatty estimated 9.4 percent (317,735).   Even Hood’s low-end estimate of 167,351 disenfranchised voters is enough voters to swing a tight election. Walker won in 2010 by only 124,638 votes. According to the Huffington Post Pollster, Walker is currently leading Burke 48.3 to 46.3.”

Comments (13)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/07/2014 - 06:38 am.

    “Competitive race against Mills leads to fundraising haul for Nolan”

    In other news, leftists complain of corrosive influence of fundraising hauls; wailing & tears @ 10:00.

    • Submitted by Tim Walker on 10/07/2014 - 07:11 am.

      And of course, we leftists …

      … never, ever, make a distinction between local or in-district fundraising and outside groups donating, say, 10 times as much as the locals.

      Nope, never.

    • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/07/2014 - 07:29 am.

      Just Because You Don’t Like the Way the Rules Have Been Rigged

      Doesn’t mean you forfeit the game.

      Although non-“conservatives” would prefer that “Citizen’s United” had not turned elections into something akin to requiring candidates to auction themselves off,…

      on E-bay, (or Sotheby’s?)…

      that doesn’t mean we’re not going to do what it now takes to win elections.

      (Although we know our “conservative” friends really hoped and believed we would.)

      We’ll change the rules back to a more intelligent approach as soon as we have the power and position to do so.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/07/2014 - 01:24 pm.

        Interesting obsrvation Greg. You do realize you’ll have to disappear the Supreme Court to make that happen, right?

    • Submitted by jason myron on 10/07/2014 - 07:36 am.


      “all my people are losing and I have nothing of substance to say.”

    • Submitted by Joe Musich on 10/07/2014 - 12:27 pm.

      Well it’s…

      still the Bad News Bears against the Neo Conservative wealth who and I refer to in another news piece are giving less to chairtiable causes. Soon they will he burying themselves in caskets stuffed with their hard earned cash.

    • Submitted by richard owens on 10/07/2014 - 12:59 pm.

      Could Mr. Swift think of better uses for all this money?

      Every American should complain of the corrosive influence of “bought” pols.

      When political money enables cheating, lying, and blatant attempts to destroy candidates’ reputations, it replaces informed debate on urgent public policy issues.

      A media soaked with dishonest smears, fear mongering and false framing of issues makes a free people become cynical and alienated from their duty as citizens. It creates confusion where voters require clarity.

      When cuts to education and public investment are replaced with venomous rhetoric cranked out 24/7 ad nauseum by a political “industry”, good and sincere people are chased away from the process.

      Look what money has done to your party Mr. Swift. Do you like having a handful of billionaires determining YOUR party’s future? Your COUNTRY’s future?

      No, I’m sure you don’t.

      You don’t need to be a leftist to mourn the slow killing of our democracy.

  2. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 10/07/2014 - 08:06 am.

    John Kline and a powerful industry vs. hapless students

    There was a time when students, as a political group, made a difference – a BIG difference – in matters of concern to them. Now, however, students don’t take care of themselves, politically speaking.

    If they organized themselves effectively, joined with the others who’ve graduated but now find themselves struggling under the burden of their student debt, they would have a political group that all politicians would fear.

    See “10 Fun Facts About the Student Debt Crisis” at

    The article denotes there are 40 million people with college debt, and 7 million have defaulted on those loans.

    The elderly have been very well organized by groups like AARP. The national legislature is forced to include them in their political calculations. But the students, and ex-students with college loan debt, are not well organized, and so they are not to be feared politically, at least not like the elderly.

    John Kline could easily be removed from office. But to do so, students must wake up and realize that – economically speaking – he is their mortal enemy.

    • Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/07/2014 - 11:13 am.

      Student debt stats are often misleading.

      While the average student debt load of UM graduates hovers in the $30k range, experts advise that students and their families look to graduate with a total debt of no more than one year’s expected salary in the students chosen field. That puts the UM average at slightly less than a first year elementary teacher can expect to earn (assuming employment) and at about 60% of the expected first year earnings of a mechanical engineering student. Using this rule of thumb should permit a graduate who finds employment in his or her field to retire the debt in 10 years, a reasonable time frame IMO, given the lifetime earning advantage.

      When one delves even deeper in the numbers, one learns that a substantial percentage of graduates carry less than $10k in student debt. (The exact percentage eludes me at the moment.)

      Our focus, IMO, should be on reducing front end costs and learning what it is that differentiates students whose post-graduation debt substantially exceeds the average or their expected first-year earnings.

      Obviously, the lack of job opportunities over the past 6 years will have contributed to an increased reliance on loans over this time period and the increased number of loans in default.

      Frankly, I’m less concerned about the interest rates. The difference between a 6% and a 3% loan on $30,000.00 is $900 per year in the first year and less thereafter. That’s $75 a month initially. A not insignificant difference, but not one mitigated to some extent by the current tax deduction for student loan interest.

      My sense is that the numbers skew in the other direction for graduates and/or former students of private, for profit schools. Anyone?

      • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 10/07/2014 - 07:42 pm.

        You’re right, 40% owe $10k or less

        See the College Board’s pie chart at, representing 2012 data.

        So based on the 40 million borrowers figure and the College Board’s pie chart showing distribution by debt amount, this means the distribution of pain is approximately as follows…

        …16 million with <= $10k, ...12 million with $10k - $25k, ...7.2 million with $25k - $50k, ...3.6 million with $50k - $100k, ...and 1.6 million with more than $100k. In addition, the following notes were added in the College Board analysis, show an alarming trend: "Total outstanding education debt was just over twice as large in 2012 as it had been in 2005 ($962 billion compared to $461 billion in 2012 dollars). The number of adults with education debt was 56% higher in 2012 than in 2005 (having grown from 24.8 million to 38.8 million). The average outstanding debt per borrower was 33% higher in 2012 than in 2005 (having increased from $18,600 in 2012 dollars in 2005 to $24,800)." Taken as a whole, I'd say this indicates a pretty big problem in spite of your assurances there's little to worry about. Education used to be funded by relatively massive government programs (example: NDEA) because it was seen as a terrific investment in the well-being of the country. Now it is seen as a terrific profit center, and not just for the sources of the loan capital, either - also for the colleges, who have bloated their building programs, administrative staffing (see Univ. of Minnesota), and also magnified salaries, relatively speaking, beyond anything a college professor expected some years ago. The federal and state governments have progressively off-loaded the financial support of the public institutions to the student. But back to Rep. Kline, the subject matter here. He votes against students and for his pet industry, who profit from students, every single time. The advocacy of Kline and those like him will continue until students make themselves into people to fear, politically speaking. But most college students are just passively cruising in the environment that people like Kline have created for them.

  3. Submitted by John Byrnes on 10/07/2014 - 08:17 am.

    Subhead: MNsure will offer access to the Mayo Clinic

    The subhead on the MNSure story implies that MNSure policies didn’t offer access to Mayo before. I purchased a BlueCross policy through MnSure that includes access to Mayo. I liked the fact that MNSure allowed me to pick the provider network I wanted.

  4. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 10/07/2014 - 11:25 am.

    Hearty congratulations to Camille Gallas! Her investigative piece on campaign funding, and especially how it ties in with student debt problems, is journalism of the first sort. Which we unfortunately don’t see much any more, when mainstream journalism stays close to press releases and official campaign reports and too infrequently ever look into the details.

    Of course, the Huffington Post picked this up! Rep. Kline is “an empty suit,” and we hope that the voters in his changing district vote him out. At last. Helped by information dug up by the Minnesota Daily’s young reporter, Ms. Gallas.

  5. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/07/2014 - 01:55 pm.

    Franken’s lead

    Political scientists are such a wast of space. I don’t know why anyone bothers to talk them about elections. Franken’s lead won’t last? McFadden’s running one of the most ridiculous campaigns in MN history, he’ll be lucky of if Franken doesn’t open an even wider gap by election day.

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