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Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden hit Minnesota to stump for Democrats

Plus: more questions about MNsure; Republican group targets state House races; a sample of the new ‘Cities 97 Sampler’; and more.

It was a busy day for visiting Democrats. While VP Joe Biden worked up north, Hillary Clinton stumped the Twin Cities. Brian Bakst’s AP story says, “Hillary Rodham Clinton urged Minnesota voters Thursday to “just look at the facts” about recent economic and social progress as they decide the re-election fates of Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken and turn back scare tactics and negative television ads. … Franken sounded a message of urgency to the student-heavy crowd, many of whom weren’t old enough to vote in his last run. ‘We are going to be relentless. We are going to be in your face every day between now and Election Day. We are going to be really obnoxious if that’s what it takes,’ Franken said with a mischievous grin.” Hey Al, no jokes, remember?

For the PiPress, Bill Salisbury kicks in, “After ticking off a long list of her achievements, [Franken] said, ‘And I would add she’s funny … truly, truly funny’. He continued, ‘Another thing Hillary and I have in common,’ and the crowd burst into laughter. ‘I tried to slip that through,’ the former comic deadpanned.”

As for Joe Biden: Steve Karnowski of the AP says, “Biden said little about [Stewart] Mills, a wealthy businessman whose family started the Mills Fleet Farm chain of stores, but criticized Republicans at length as being out of touch. He said he doesn’t question the motives of ‘the tea party guys and Rick’s opponents. … They don’t understand where we grew up. They don’t understand that the reason we have a middle class in America is because of unions,’ he said to cheers.”

Earlier, Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib reported, “With questions about the state’s health exchange and Republican campaign ads swirling, Gov. Mark Dayton dashed from a Thursday afternoon event about housing without taking questions from the waiting press. Dayton’s decision to leave the event through a side door with his staff was unexpected. His staff had indicated he would answer questions from reporters. … On Thursday, the Star Tribune reported that the Dayton administration had sought lower rates from an insurer that signed up to provide health insurance through MNsure, the state’s health exchange.” There’ll be an attack ad up on this one within 48 hours.

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The GleanOn the GOP side: Catharine Richert of MPR reports, “The conservative Minnesota Jobs Coalition is targeting vulnerable House DFLers in a six-figure television ad buy. It is the group’s first television campaign and it will target eight competitive districts, said Minnesota Jobs Coalition chairman Ben Golnik. Republicans need to win seven seats to take control of the Minnesota House. … Additional ads will focus on spending and tax increases in four suburban districts, including 42A, represented by Rep. Barb Yarusso, 56B, represented by Rep. Will Morgan, 42B which is represented by Rep. Jason Isaacson, and 36B represented by Rep. Melissa Hortman.”

The Dorothy Day Center will be getting a serious upgrade. Curtis Gilbert at MPR says, “The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency has announced more than $160 million in affordable housing grants to help fund almost 80 projects around the state. … The single largest grant award, for $19 million, went to Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis for a major renovation and expansion of the downtown St. Paul Dorothy Day Center homeless shelter.”

One lucky dude. Rob Olson at KMSP-TV says, “Eden Hanson remembers everything about how he landed in the Hennepin County Medical Center. He’s still in rough shape, but in many ways, it’s incredible that he is recovering at all. After falling nearly 60 feet, Hanson’s doctors say he will walk away — albeit with a possible compression fracture in his neck, a broken arm, six broken ribs, a sternum fracture, and a lacerated liver and spleen. ‘I wore a safety helmet,’ Hanson told Fox 9 News. ‘Doctors tell me that if I wouldn’t have worn that helmet, I don’t know if I would have made it.’” Hanson was trimming an oak tree.

MinnPost’s 7th Anniversary party

You’re invited to a festive party and silent auction on Thursday, Nov. 6, at Solera Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis.


That always popular holiday CD from Cities97 gets a preview from the PiPress’s Ross Raihala. “Ed Sheeran, Ingrid Michaelson and Neon Trees are among the acts found on this year’s ‘Cities 97 Sampler,’ which will go on sale at area Target stores starting at 8 a.m. Nov. 20. A total of 35,000 copies, priced at $25.97 each, will be available. The ‘Sampler,’ now in its 26th year, typically sells out in hours. It’s expected to raise more than $900,000, with proceeds benefiting numerous Minnesota charities.”

Wait a minute, I can get a minister certificate in about 90 seconds on the  internet. But Kevin Giles of the Strib reports, “A Washington County manager’s refusal to register an atheist seeking to solemnize marriages has led to a lawsuit contesting Minnesota law as unconstitutional. Atheists for Human Rights (AFHR) and Rodney Michael Rogers allege that state law and county policy deprived the organization and Rogers of equal protection of laws guaranteed in the 14th Amendment. Their suit also said that content-based discrimination violated the free speech clause of the First Amendment.