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Campaign cash keeps flowing up to the final hour

Plus: Adrian Peterson reaches plea deal; Southwest State faculty pass Rosenstone no-confidence vote; frigid air’s on the way; and more.

You may have noticed from your e-mail that semi-hysterical appeals for money were still coming as late as last night. MPR’s Catharine Richert says, “In the 8th Congressional District, where DFL Rep. Rick Nolan is facing a challenge from Republican Stewart Mills, gun rights groups and Democrats in Washington have poured roughly $450,000 into the race since last Friday. … The Minnesota Jobs Coalition, which is levying attacks on vulnerable DFL House members, has raised an additional $60,000 in the last few days. Half of that came from the Washington, D.C.-based Republican State Leadership Committee, which has already given the group $325,000 to spend promoting Republicans running for the Minnesota House.”

The AP says,This campaign was markedly different from [Gov.] Dayton’s bid four years ago, which was so close it spilled into a recount. Dayton and [Jeff] Johnson spent far less, as did outside groups. Independence Party candidate Hannah Nicollet was far less visible than previous third-party hopefuls and polled in the single digits. Dayton, 67, is in his final campaign of a four-decade career that included stints as state auditor and U.S. senator — walking away from each after one term.”

In its final word on the campaign, WCCO-TV says, “If the top races are resolved early, Minnesota’s midterm will still have something for people who enjoy staying up late to watch election returns. It’s the battle for control of the Minnesota House — scores of races that fly under the media radar but determine the makeup of a body that may have a more direct impact on people than the glamorous federal races. This is especially true when one party controls all the levers of government, as Democrats have done since 2012. During the last two years they raised the minimum wage, legalized gay marriage and increased school spending.”

And in a bit finer detail, Jesse Marx at City Pages reports, “America, Inc., a Virginia-based Super PAC, has spent twice as much money to defeat Independence Party candidate John Denney than Denney has on hand. A review of FEC reports of independent expenditures in Minnesota’s sixth congressional district race shows that the group dropped $8,000 in early October on ‘Online/Digital Ads & Production’ against Denney. Then last Friday, it dropped another $1,250 for the same purpose. … Headed by conservative author David Bozell, America, Inc., defines itself in the typical Tea Party rhetoric: ‘personal freedom, personal responsibility, a commitment to Judeo-Christian values, and a strong national defense.’ The Super PAC has gone after candidates on both sides of the aisle, but tends to throw its support behind Republicans who share at least one thing in common: a revulsion to same-sex marriage and abortion.”

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The GleanRelated to the campaign … The Minnesota Daily editorial board would like … more money for the U. “The University of Minnesota’s biennial budget request for 2016-17 includes a $6.25 million provision for mining research. The ‘mining solutions’ initiative is part of the University’s economic and community development plan. Funding would develop ways to harness mining waste products, make mining research and information more accessible, and address the harmful health and environmental effects of mining. … The $6.25 million the University has requested for this initiative is consistent with the amounts for its other research projects and initiatives. And given the economic importance of mining for Minnesota — plus the health and environmental concerns it causes — this proposed research will be valuable not just for academic purposes, but for the whole state.”

A juicy tale of young lust from KMSP-TV’s Maury Glover: “By his own account, Cameron Clarkson’s senior year at Cretin-Derham Hall should have been the best of his life. He was captain of the football team, and with players like Seantrell Henderson, the Raiders won their second state title in 10 years. However, the All-American teenager was carrying a devastating secret, one that would eventually derail his dreams of playing college football and test his faith, both in the institution that was his home for 4 years, and in himself. … it put him on a collision course with another Cretin grad who abused her position as a substitute teacher and weight room supervisor to have a sex with the then 16-year-old boy. Gail Gagne is the granddaughter of legendary Minnesota wrestler, Vern Gagne, and the daughter of his equally famous tag team partner and son, Greg, but to the boys at Cretin, she was a young, hot teacher.” Depositions in the case have been released.

It never hurts to be wealthy and famous. ESPN’s Michele Steele reports, “Running back Adrian Peterson has reached a plea deal in his child-abuse case and is not expected to serve any jail time, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Michele Steele. Peterson will enter a plea Tuesday afternoon to a lesser charge than the felony child-abuse charge that he is currently facing, the source confirmed. The Minnesota Vikings star, who has been on the commissioner’s exempt list since being indicted in September, will enter a plea to one misdemeanor count of reckless assault, according to the source. Peterson’s plea deal was reporter earlier Tuesday by, which also reported that the plea will not include any references to family violence or violence against a minor. If Judge Kelly Case accepts the plea, Peterson will be placed on probation, pay a $2,000 fine and perform 80 hours of community service, according to”

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A Strib piece says, “Talking with reporters at Winter Park on Tuesday, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman had little to say about Peterson. ‘All I’m going to say is basically at the appropriate time, and I know you guys can appreciate this, we’ll keep all of our comments under the Adrian situation until it’s appropriate to speak,” Spielman said. … Asked when the appropriate time would be — after all, there were rumblings that Peterson was about to agree to a plea deal down in Texas that would allow him to avoid jail time — Spielman responded, ‘We’ll let everybody know.’ ”

Interesting piece from Strib sports writer Chip Scoggins on a possible Peterson return to the Vikings. “Team officials realize that a segment of fans probably never want to see Peterson in a Vikings uniform again, and that makes them nervous. At a minimum, the NFL, if permissible, should fine Peterson the amount that he has been paid while on the exempt list, which is roughly $4.8 million at present. The next step should hinge largely on Peterson’s reaction to his mistakes. … Peterson’s actions were deplorable. But there’s also a place in this world for forgiveness and redemption if — and let’s make this perfectly clear — Peterson shows genuine remorse and a true desire to make meaningful changes.” From the sound of it to date I’m not sure he even understands he did something wrong.

MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone’s popularity with faculty members is not improving. At MPR, Alex Friedrich reports, “Leaders of the faculty association at Southwest Minnesota State University yesterday joined colleagues at other campuses by passing a vote of no confidence in Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. Here’s a response from MnSCU communication chief Kim Olson: We have, once again, received notice from the media that a faculty senate has issued a vote of “no confidence” in Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. We continue to be disappointed that the faculty union leaders are employing this tactic to further their goal of stopping the critical conversations that make up Charting the Future … .”

Oh, and in case you’re enjoying the pleasant weather a little too much … . Paul Huttner at MPR writes, “All systems appear go for the strongest cold front of the fall season by Saturday. Two waves of frigid air from inside the Arctic Circle sail south toward Minnesota into early next week. Another clipper sails through with the potential for accumulating snow Sunday ahead of the colder, second arctic style front. With chilly winds and highs in the 30s this weekend, the change will get your attention. Highs in the metro may not climb out of the upper 20s by next Tuesday.” 


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