A slightly wider lead: The Strib’s Patrick Condon writes, “Gov. Mark Dayton leads Republican challenger Jeff Johnson 50 percent to 40 percent in a statewide telephone survey of likely voters conducted by Rasmussen Reports. That was enough for Rasmussen, a nationwide polling firm, to move its rating of the race from ‘Leans Democrat’ to ‘Safe Democrat.’ In its last polling of Minnesota’s governor’s race, in August, Dayton led Johnson 49 percent to 41 percent.” But then, it is a Rasmussen poll.
You probably didn’t need MPR’s Tom Scheck to tell you this. “For months, the campaign for governor has largely been about nothing, with neither major candidate offering a specific direction or broad vision for the state. Both have been reluctant to outline specifics about their plans for the next four years. … [Jeff] Johnson has called for making changes to MNsure, the state’s online health insurance exchange. But Johnson’s solution — asking the federal government to allow the state to opt out of the Affordable Care Act — is unlikely to happen.”
Far more interesting is the Wisconsin race, where the Milwaukee Journal-sentinel (which has endorsed Scott Walker twice in four years) profiles his opponent, Mary Burke. Bill Glauber writes, “Her critics have dubbed her ‘Millionaire Mary,’ seeking to portray her as a ‘rich kid’ who dabbled at this and that, including working as an executive in her family’s business, Trek Bicycle Corp. … Burke set up the steering board of the public-private partnership; raised money to fund tutors, personnel, field trips and scholarships; and ran the TOPS program for several years. She also contributed more than $300,000, mainly in the form of college scholarships. She remains deeply engaged with the program.”
As for Walker, Glauber says, “He is 46, no longer a young man in a hurry but a Republican governor in full stride. He has run a staggering number of races over the years. Counting an abandoned run for governor in 2006, this is his 13th campaign. Walker displays a hint of gravitas that often comes to those who have been through political wars and come out the other side, scarred yet victorious. In the polarized politics of Wisconsin, Walker is arguably the most beloved politician in the state. And the most loathed.”
Meanwhile: The AP writes, “[Al] Franken has steeped himself in debates like net neutrality, the idea that Internet service providers should treat all Internet traffic equally rather than moving some content faster than others. He has also led Senate hearings on so-called stalker apps, questioned big technology companies like Google, Apple and Samsung on their use of fingerprint and facial recognition technologies, and loudly criticized big mergers like ones that would link Time Warner Cable and Comcast, and AT&T and DirectTV. In doing so, he’s answered one of the main questions that greeted him when he became a senator: What policy areas would he dig in on?” He could do worse than talk about it more often.
We’re still No. 1. I’m pretty sure. The ESPN story, by Ben Goessling says, “Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson became the latest contributor to the team’s string of negative off-the-field news this season. The 30-year-old was arrested by Minneapolis police and booked into the Hennepin County jail at 3:18 a.m. on Sunday, for one count of trespassing and one count of disorderly conduct. Both charges are misdemeanors. … the Vikings have had more arrests than any other team since 2000; Johnson’s arrest is the 47th for a Vikings player since that year.”
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
The old “we won’t dignify that question with answer” pose is never good, especially from a newspaper. City Pages’ Aaron Rupar asked U of M Media Ethics prof Jane Kirtley what she thought of the big paper’s refusal to discuss that controversial anti-transgender ad it accepted. “‘From an ethical standpoint, I know any publisher that is going to run a controversial ad has a responsibility to explain to readers what their policy is,’ she tells us. ‘That’s transparency, and I’m not being judgmental about whether they should or shouldn’t have [run the ad], but I think their readers deserve an explanation.’ ‘Some people assume that this was a purely economic decision — they’re getting big bucks for a full-age ad and need the money — we don’t know [without knowing specifics of the paper’s ad policy], but I think readers have an interest in knowing the answer to that.’”
Delays moving grain by rail aren’t a serious problem up at the port of Duluth. Says the News Tribune, “However briefly, the shipping industry last week weighed in on the difficulty of getting grain to market using railways clogged with Bakken oil. ‘Though we see a liability in supply chains with rail service still struggling, momentum all around is generally positive,’ Vanta Coda, Duluth Seaway Port Authority executive director, said in a release by the American Great Lakes Ports Association. … ‘Iron ore shipments have rebounded significantly, the early autumn grain lineup looks favorable, and we’re expecting above-average movements of general cargo at our Clure Public Marine Terminal.’”
Finally, back to Wisconsin, where methane is a nearly limitless resource. Mike Tighe of the Tribune News Service says, “Gundersen Health System will check off another project on its bucket list toward energy independence Saturday when it marks the completion of its joint cow power project near Middleton, Wis. The $14 million GL Dairy Biogas Farm, a joint venture with Dane County, has been producing methane and electricity from cow manure since late last year, said Corey Zarecki, director of Envision, a Gundersen subsidiary that cultivates environmental and sustainability programs. After being tweaked for several months, the plant was ready for its unveiling ceremony [last Friday] morning in conjunction with the World Dairy Expo.” Wait until you hear what they’re going to do with the by-product of beer.