Internal police politics are always full contact. Dave Chanen of the Strib is saying, “A group of high-ranking Minneapolis police officers is suing Chief Janeé Harteau, claiming she pushed for their retirement after demotions and later reassigned them to inferior positions. … In place of the captain positions, she created five ‘commander’ slots that gave her the ability to appoint whomever she wanted. Traditionally, captain jobs had gone through open selection and were subject to civil service regulation.”
“Misleading to the point of being false” is MPR’s PoliGraph verdict on that controversial Al Franken ad ripping Mike McFadden for being responsible for a shuttered Montana paper mill. Says Catharine Richert, “The Franken ad implies that McFadden advised Smurfit-Stone on the bankruptcy process and that he’s responsible for the 417 layoffs at the Frenchtown Smurfit-Stone mill. While the fact that Smurfit-Stone was listed as Lazard Middle Management’s client until recently raises some questions, McFadden’s fingerprints aren’t on the project otherwise.”
The drip, drip, drip long ago became Niagara-like. Madeleine Baran’s latest for MPR on the archdiocese and archbishop’s woes says: “Hundreds of pages of legal documents released Monday provide more evidence that Archbishop John Nienstedt gave false testimony about a Twin Cities priest who pleaded guilty in 1983 to sexually assaulting a child. Nienstedt in April had claimed under oath that he first learned of the Rev. Gilbert Gustafson’s criminal conviction within the previous six months. The latest documents show the archbishop received yearly monitoring reports on Gustafson that mentioned the priest’s criminal conviction from 2009 to 2013.”
We’re only #2! The Hill rates the 50 states on a grade from most liberal to most conservative. We got beat by Washington. The staff-produced piece says, “The Hill looked at voting trends and history in all 50 states to find the most secure Republican and Democratic strongholds, and which states appear to be up for grabs. Factoring into the analysis are votes in recent presidential elections, the breakdown of congressional delegations, the parties of the past three governors and control of the state legislatures. … The country is split between red states in the West and South — with Idaho and Kansas on the red side with Alabama — and blue states on the coasts and in the Midwest. Minnesota and Oregon join Washington at the blue end of the spectrum.”
Arsenic. Great. Jana Shortal at KARE-TV says, “If you use well water and you have not had it tested for arsenic, you should, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Hydrologist Supervisor Mike Convery said today the department is seeing arsenic show up in wells at a decent rate. ‘About ten percent of the wells we are finding in the state do exceed the drinking water standard for arsenic,’ Convery said.”
Rest easy. We have an Ebola monitoring plan. MPR’s Lorna Benson has a handy Q & A on the new rules. “Some health care workers who return to Minnesota after treating Ebola patients in West Africa will be confined to their homes for 21 days — the longest period of time Ebola can incubate in a person. … Unlike quarantine policies applied to health care workers in some other states, Minnesota’s home confinement policy will apply primarily to travelers who had a known exposure to Ebola.” I suppose this means we won’t be getting any 24/7 close-ups from Wolf Blitzer.
Consider the source. CSPnet.com, “The Source for Convenience Store and Fuel News” says, “A coalition of Minnesota’s retailers, service stations, wholesales, grocers and convenience stores released a new study showing the devastating effects the state’s 2013 tobacco tax has had on Minnesota retailers and their employees. In 2013 the Minnesota Legislature passed a 130 percent increase in the cigarette excise tax and also increased the tax on other tobacco products from 70 percent of the wholesale price to 95 percent of the wholesale price. Retailers had braced for some hardship, but they did not predict just how dramatic the impacts would be.” A lot of dioxin workers lost jobs when we cracked down on that stuff, too.
You’re invited to a festive party and silent auction on Thursday, Nov. 6, at Solera Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis.
There is a race for attorney general, and Tim Pugmire of MPR thinks it might generate some news on Saturday. “A televised debate the Saturday before Election Day is the only time Swanson will face her two major party challengers. Her re-election strategy, so far, has been to avoid debating them or responding to their criticism. That’s kept the race for Minnesota’s top legal officer among the quietest of this year’s statewide campaigns.”
Need cash? Remember this zip code: 55391. The Strib’s Rachel Stassen Berger says, “Wayzata, with an average income of more than $100,000 a year — twice the state average — is a hot spot for big-ticket candidates. Many of Dayton’s relatives live there, as do two major, long-standing political donors: DFL businessman Vance Opperman and Republican businessman Bill Cooper. And while Wayzata leans Republican, Dayton has had more success harvesting contributions there. Campaign reports show that the governor brought in $116,000 from Wayzata, while Johnson collected $91,000.” Think of it as “The People’s Zip Code.”
Not so distantly related: The Strib editorial board likes the cut of Stewart Mills’ jib. “One charge relentlessly leveled at Mills is that he is the beneficiary of inherited wealth through his family’s Fleet Farm empire. But we doubt that many Minnesotans really consider such a background a disqualification from public office.”