The DFL has a cash edge in last week of campaign. MPR’s Catharine Richert says, “In the campaign’s final stretch, Gov. Mark Dayton and his top allies have about $1.34 million to spend between now and Nov. 4. That includes more than $340,000 sitting in Dayton’s campaign account, the more than $440,000 the DFL state party has to spend and more than $550,000 in the Alliance for a Better Minnesota’s coffers, a group backing Dayton and other DFL candidates, according to campaign finance reports released today. Meanwhile, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson and his supporters have about $778,000 to spend.”
To no one’s surprise the audit of the MNsure budget is not flattering to its executives. MPR’s story says, “MNsure, the state’s new online health insurance marketplace, lacked adequate control over its big marketing budget and hasn’t always complied with rules laid out by state and federal officials, or its own board, the state legislative auditor said in a report released Tuesday. … MNsure’s ex-marketing director signed off on nearly $1 million in spending beyond the original budget without first getting written OK from management.”
How much for my vintage copy of the Tijuana Brass’ “Whipped Cream and Other Delights”? In the Strib, Treehouse Records owner Mark Trehus notes the surging popularity of vinyl LPs and offers a Top 10 list. “Records by lesser-known artists that were produced in quantities of only a few hundred are among the most coveted by serious collectors today. These records were often made for a regional audience. Minnesota spawned more than its fair share of talented musicians and, in turn, desirable 7-inch and 12-inch records. Some can be worth hundreds of dollars. Maybe one or two are hiding in your attic. … 2 CA Quintet, ‘Trip Thru Hell’ LP (Candy Floss) — This St. Paul area combo’s sole, classic album is probably the kingpin of regionally produced collectibles. Although it was bootlegged and later legitimately reissued, the original artifact has a tangible aura known to make many a psychedelic record collector weak in the knees. $1,500.”
Somehow appropriate for late in the election season. According to the AP, “Experts say the brown marmorated stink bug appears to be increasing in Minnesota, but hasn’t caused any crop damage yet. The invasive pest was first detected in Minnesota in 2010. It’s been found throughout the Twin Cities area, as well as Duluth in the northeast and La Crescent in southeastern Minnesota. University of Minnesota Extension says it’s also been turning up at homes in the east-central community of Wyoming.”
Setting aside the historical fact that the party holding the White House has lost pretty much every election in their President’s second term, John Hinderaker at Power Line smells a monster wave for conservatives. “With one week to go before the election, public sentiment seems to be breaking in the Republicans’ favor. Time will tell: projections depend on turnout models, and the Democrats are making hysterical efforts to turn out their base, as well as counting on voter fraud in key states.” So here’s a question: Would you have a beer with anyone who actually believed that?
You’re invited to a festive party and silent auction on Thursday, Nov. 6, at Solera Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis.
Another shortage it’s hard to imagine. Says Peter Cox at MPR, “Contractors say cement, a key ingredient in making concrete, is in short supply because of rail and barge delivery slowdowns, cement manufacturing delays in the Midwest and demand for concrete from major local projects, including the St. Croix River bridge and the Vikings stadium. With the cold weather coming, the window for concrete construction is closing and some projects could get held over until next year if winter weather arrives early…” I’ve got a couple bags in the garage…
The World Series will end Wednesday at the latest. This means the Twins will soon be announcing their new manager. In the Strib LaVelle E. Neal writes, “Twins owner Jim Pohlad has become involved in the club’s managerial search, according to a source with knowledge of the search. The Twins planned at the outset of their search to get Pohlad more involved once a group of finalists was identified, so it is a signal that the team is close to naming their replacement for Ron Gardenhire… The Twins on Friday expressed interest in speaking with Joe Maddon, who opted out of his contract managing the Rays and became a free agent. According to the source, the Twins had not contacted Maddon as of Monday but are keeping that option open.”
In an intramural conversation MPR’s Cathy Wurzer and Catharine Richert talk about themes in this year’s campaign ads:
[Wurzer] What’s the story about the ad against Rick Nolan in the 8th District paid for by the American Action Network?
[Richert] This ad launched last week. AAN is a powerful political group based in Washington, D.C., run by former Minnesota U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, and a version of the ad is playing in competitive races all across the country. The ad covers a lot of ground. We looked at each claim about Nolan’s record individually and found most of them dodged the truth.
Obviously a sense of direction isn’t part of the criteria for hiring. Says Paul Walsh in the Strib, “A school bus with five children aboard was lost for about an hour Tuesday morning, setting off a high-tech search mission that ended with law enforcement catching up to the bewildered rookie driver and the kids in a Target parking lot. On his second day behind the wheel, the driver for Metropolitan Transportation Network was heading from Brooklyn Center to FAIR School in Crystal, when he mistakenly went off course, according to the State Patrol.” That reminds me of a friend’s daughter who set off to the movies at the Megamall and ended up halfway to Rochester.