Some people are interested in this election: Glenn Howatt and Chris Serres of the Strib report, “Sex offenders at a treatment center in northern Minnesota, fed up with political gridlock over their controversial program, are taking matters into their own hands: They are running for elected office. … Their goal is to elect sex offenders to as many as eight city and county offices, where they can push for more freedoms and reintegration into the community. ”
Toss another lobster on the grill. KSTP-TV’s Tom Hauser reports, “In our exclusive new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, Republican challenger Stewart Mills leads incumbent Democrat Congressman Rick Nolan 47 percent to 39 percent. Another 4 percent support Green Party candidate Ray Sandman, and 11 percent are undecided. ‘This is a shocking poll and may suggest we have Oberstar all over again,’ said University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs, referring to longtime Democratic incumbent Jim Oberstar’s loss to Chip Cravaack in 2010. … Jacobs says the 8th District is changing as the population shifts from the more liberal Iron Range part of the district to more conservative northern suburbs of the Twin Cities. Recent re-districting also moved some voters from the conservative 6th District represented by Michele Bachmann to the 8th.”
Speaking of: Emma Dumain at Roll Call tells us, “In a speech and brief question-and-answer session Wednesday morning at the Heritage Foundation — billed as one of her last public speaking engagements as a member of the House of Representatives — [Michelle Bachman] refreshed her audience on the history of the tea party movement and made a case for continuing the fight against higher taxes and bigger government. … she cited an overhaul of the tax code as a top priority. ‘You change it now. Immediately. And you either go with the flat tax, or you go with the national consumption tax. You figure it out,’ Bachmann said. ‘I’ll lead the debate. You want someone to lead the debate? I’ll lead the debate. Lead the debate and do it because guess what, folks? This isn’t working.’”
Voter ID, rejected by more voters in 2012 than tighter restrictions on gay marriage, still has appeal, at least GOP Secretary of State candidate Dan Severson thinks so. MPR’s Tim Pugmire reports, “Severson campaigned heavily [in 2010] on requiring people to show a photo ID to vote, and he still supports it. But he’s changed his approach since Minnesota voters rejected a Republican-backed photo ID constitutional amendment in 2012. He’s now advocating for a voluntary photo ID system that would put those voters in a faster line at the polling place. Many experts say it’s not a big problem, but Severson remains convinced that the current election system is vulnerable to voter fraud.”
Thank god! A mid-to-upscale dining option in Edina. In the Strib, Don Jacobson reports, “Parasole Restaurant Holdings plans a 242-seat seafood eatery on the west side of France Avenue, north of Minnesota Drive. The still-untitled spot would join Salut Bar Americain, Pittsburgh Blue, the Good Earth and Mozza Mia Pizza Pie in the restaurateur’s headquarters city. … Parasole … is touting [it] as ‘Minnesota’s next great seafood restaurant.’” Edina. No longer a culinary wasteland.
Collateral damage. The AP reports, “Two top administrators at a Catholic school in Austin have been fired after a high school teacher was charged with having sex with a minor student. The Diocese of Winona, which includes Austin, says Pacelli Catholic Schools President Jim Hamburge and Principal Mary Holtorf were fired after being put on leave last week. Former math teacher Mary Gilles was charged with six counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a 17-year-old student earlier this month. The Diocese had said the administrators’ leave didn’t have to do with the charges against the 28-year-old.” Of course.
It’s rarely good when the feds investigate. Sarah Horner of the PiPress writes, “Maplewood City Hall is the subject of a federal investigation. On Thursday, Maplewood officials declined to comment about the specifics of the FBI inquiry, other than to say the city requested the probe. ‘You want to have some investigative integrity … so we are not going to talk about the scope or what this is, but there is an investigation that we requested,’ said Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell. … Maplewood Mayor Nora Slawik said the FBI is conducting the investigation and that it involves city operations “in some capacity.”
The dark hole (and bags) of photoshopping. City Pages Aaron Rupar devotes a piece to partisan complaints about shocking, shocking! things campaigns are doing to the other guys’ pictures. “A number of local Republicans got in touch with us in recent days to express dismay about photoshopped images of MNGOP candidates that the DFL has included in attack mailers put together by the party. We were sent a DFL mailer that goes after Kirk Stensrud, a former legislator and MNGOP House candidate in an Eden Prairie-area district that should be closely contested next month. In one image, bags under Stensrud’s eyes appear to be digitally enhanced. A horror movie poster mockup also included in the mailer features an evil-looking Stensrud wielding a crowbar in a menacing manner, while a third image makes him look like a burglar.”