Two days ago it was Mike McFadden complaining about an Al Franken TV ad. Today it’s the state’s county attorneys complaining about a GOP mailer. Says Tim Pugmire of MPR, “Lawmakers passed a bipartisan measure last session that made it easier for some people convicted of non-violent offenses to find jobs or housing by sealing their records. Employers still have access to those such records during background checks when filling jobs that deal with children or vulnerable adults. But the state GOP is using the legislation against several House DFL incumbents, claiming they ‘made it easier for felons to hide their records and work with children in our schools.’” Close enough for election work, I guess.
Sunday’s game between the soon-to-be-Super Bowl Champion Minnesota Vikings and the Washington Name which Will Not be Uttered is drawing plenty of attention. In USA Today Erik Brady says, “With the Metrodome gone, the Vikings are renters at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Stadium. And the NFL is discovering the name controversy plays far differently on a college campus, especially in a state where 100,000 Native Americans live and the stadium includes a plaza honoring Minnesota’s 11 federally recognized tribes.”
Politically speaking, GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson cast a “nay” vote on a resolution to “call on” Washington’s owner to change the name. For MPR, Tom Scheck says, “Johnson voted today against a resolution that called on the owner of the Washington NFL team to change its name. The Hennepin County Board considered the resolution at today’s meeting. After a brief discussion, the board voted 6-1 in favor of the resolution. Johnson, who is the Republican nominee for governor, was the only member of the board to vote against it. He said he understands people are upset about the name ‘Redskins’ but doesn’t believe it’s the role of the county board to get involved in the debate over the team’s name.” I see no job creator impact, do you?
The fraud story of the day: Randy Furst of the Strib says, “The conspirators included the supervisor of a TCF Bank branch in Crystal, a teller at a Central Bank branch in Coon Rapids, a door-to-door meat salesman, and three men who used portable machines to crank out about 1,500 counterfeit checks. Together with 25 others, they conducted a massive bank fraud operation that stole or attempted to steal more than $2 million from 48 banks and check-cashing offices in Minnesota, Georgia, Oregon, Florida and North Dakota.”
It’s not too late, dark or cold to talk mosquitoes. Frederick Melo of the PiPress says, “County officials from across the metro, including a former member of the Metropolitan Council, say the city of St. Paul is taking too big a bite out of the Metropolitan Mosquito Control Commission for street improvements along the Green Line. The group of 16 county board members plan to appeal their bill, which totals $23,000 for street reconstruction and improved lighting outside their University Avenue headquarters.” If there’s one more mosquito next summer because of that tax bill … .
Paul Walsh of the Strib reports, “A 54-year-old man who has had his driver’s license pulled a half-dozen times and been caught driving drunk four times, allegedly got behind the wheel while extremely intoxicated this weekend and turned into the path of another motorist at a rural intersection, leaving his victim hospitalized with severe injuries. Bail was set at $250,000 without restrictions or $50,000 with conditions that [Brian Krautbauer] stay away from alcohol and illegal drugs.” If this guy had been caught smoking pot four times where would he be?
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Why we love Wisconsin. Paul Srubas of the Green Bay Press Gazette reports, “When Nicholas Heyrman heard that a loose dog was acting aggressively in the neighborhood, he rushed his child into the house and got his AR-15 rifle to ‘defend his property,’ police say. Heyrman then shot eight rounds at the animal from 32 feet away, missing it each time but hitting a house and a Jeep, according to police.” Clearly, a result of either too much or too little cheap beer.
Some more interesting campaign cash details. Rachel Stassen Berger and Glenn Howatt of the Strib say, “Outside groups not controlled by candidates have spent $4.8 million on the governor’s race and $6.8 million on the individual races for state House. … The lopsided spending is largely rooted in the wealth of two groups: The Alliance for a Better Minnesota and the Democratic Farmer Labor Party. Both have backing from wealthy Minnesotans, including Alida Messinger, Gov. Mark Dayton’s ex-wife, and unions. The DFL and the Alliance is responsible for $6 million of the total $11 million in spending.”
Local attorney Andy Brehm zeroes in on what he regards as the root of sky-rocketing tuition costs. In a Strib commentary he says, “According to the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, from 1987 through 2012, universities and colleges collectively have added over half a million administrators and professional employees — 87 per business day — to their bureaucracies. As economist Richard Vedder, director for the Center for College Affordability and Productivity has noted, if the ratio of nonteaching university professionals to faculty in 2010 was as it were in 1976, there would be 381,456 fewer college administrators today.”