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On campaign’s final day, GOP hits Dayton on Ebola preparedness

Plus: Allina finds acupuncture effective for cancer patients; no more ‘Miss Saigon’ at the Ordway; Scott Walker’s graffiti won’t defile the new stadium; and more.

Gov. Mark Dayton
MinnPost photo by James NordGov. Mark Dayton

It’s never too late for a little Ebola fear-mongering. The MPR trio of Mark Zdechlik, Tim Pugmire and Tom Scheck write, “As political candidates spent much of Monday traveling the state to urge supporters to get out to vote, an ad from the state Republican Party that used the Ebola crisis to attack Gov. Mark Dayton touched a nerve. The ad, which started running today on several radio stations across the state, contends Dayton isn’t doing enough to prepare for an Ebola outbreak. It also faults the governor for not supporting a travel ban from West African countries that have seen Ebola outbreaks.”

For the AP, Brian Bakst and Kyle Potter say, “Dayton called the late-breaking ads ‘fear tactics’ while Republican challenger Jeff Johnson said the topic was fair game. The radio spots from the state Republican Party features a woman voicing worry about Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s ability to manage a potential yet unrealized health crisis and saying, ‘I’m not voting for Dayton; I’m not letting my family get put at risk.’ The commercials are a companion to full-page GOP ads that ran Sunday in many Minnesota newspapers that also raised doubts about the state’s Ebola preparedness.”

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But how then will Big Pharma get a cut? Stribber Jeremy Olson looks at an Allina report on “alternative therapies” and says, “Acupuncture, medical massage and other alternative therapies provide cancer patients significant relief from pain and anxiety, according to physicians at Allina Health in Minneapolis, raising the prospect that they could someday begin to replace the potent and addictive narcotics widely used in U.S. medicine. So-called integrative therapies reduced self-reported pain levels by 47 percent and cut anxiety levels by 56 percent for cancer patients at Allina’s Abbott Northwestern Hospital.”

First it was the cop who started the chain reaction smash-up with the Washington [Bleeps] team bus. Now this. Nicole Norfleet of the Strib says, “A St. Paul police officer was hospitalized Monday afternoon after an eastbound Green Line rail train collided with his squad car near Pascal Street and University Avenue. … The squad car had been traveling north on Pascal Street with its lights and siren on when it was struck, said Sgt. Paul Paulos, a spokesman for the St. Paul police. The officer, who was briefly knocked unconscious, was transported to Regions Hospital with neck and back pain.”

Protests have yet to eliminate the Washington football team’s name, but “Miss Saigon” is a goner. Marianne Combs at MPR reports, “A year after staging the musical ‘Miss Saigon’ in the face of heated criticism, the head of the Ordway Center for Performing Arts in St. Paul has promised not to produce the show again. Last fall, more than 200 people protested outside the Ordway at the ‘Miss Saigon’ opening. They argued that the popular musical is a racist and sexist play that romanticizes prostitution and international adoption.” I’m guessing a musical version of “Birth of a Nation” is DOA, too.

The Strib’s Rachel Stassen-Berger asked her Twitter followers for a “one tweet” description of this year’s campaign season. A sampling of the answers: “meh”; “There is an election this year?”; “Base-focused; plus purposeful distraction and condescending tone to avoid difficult issues where candidates have no solutions.”

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With Adrian Peterson likely to negotiate a plea deal over his felony child abuse case, USA Today’s Brent Schrotenboer writes of his attorney, “Here in the land of barbecue joints, strip malls and Tea Party politics, attorney Rusty Hardin is getting ready to do what he does best – ride to the rescue of another famous athlete. … The benefit of a deal to Peterson is he avoids the prospect of ugly evidence coming out at the trial — such as photos of his 4-year-old son after Peterson whipped him with a tree branch — followed by a possible jail sentence if he is convicted. For prosecutors, a plea deal avoids the possibility of Peterson being acquitted after Hardin puts on a show for his favorite kind of audience – a jury of his peers.”

At The Huffington Post, activist Alec Fisher files a post titled, “This Is What Happened When I Tried Banning Conversion Therapy in Minnesota.” He says, “It was during this time that I realized how much of a game politics really is. Having to compete for time and attention against bills that were being pushed by groups with deep pockets, pools of volunteers, and paid lobbyists created hurdles for me and Gabe (Aderhold) to tackle with limited resources. The influence of this political power structure became apparent to us once we realized how difficult it is to reach the top of the legislative priority list. Additionally, many legislators were still dealing with backlash from same-sex marriages being legalized, leading to their refusal to back another bill that could impact their bids for reelection.”

Settle down. Scott Walker’s defiling of the Vikings new sports palace has been obliterated. Tim Nelson of MPR writes, “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tried to slip a little secret cheer for his favorite NFL team into the new Vikings stadium — but it didn’t work, according to the company building the $1 billion sports facility in Minneapolis. ‘Governor Walker did sign a piece of steel that was in a fabrication shop in Wisconsin, but his signature and whatever else he wrote has been removed from that piece of steel,’ said John Wood, senior vice president for Mortenson Construction. The New York Times reported this weekend that Walker claimed to have written ‘Go Packers’ on a beam being fabricated in West Salem, Wisconsin, during a campaign visit to the River Steel factory.”

Speaking of Walker, or his people: Dave Orrick of the PiPress says, “A squirrel hunter said Monday he was trying to cope with accidentally shooting a bowhunter over the weekend in southwestern Wisconsin, mistaking the man’s movement for that of a squirrel. … [David] Devine was hunting squirrels with a semi-automatic .22-caliber rifle, a common firearm used for squirrel hunting. Devine ‘saw movement by a tree that he thought was a squirrel and fired at it,’ according to a release by the sheriff’s office, which is classifying the shooting as a ‘hunting related accident.’ ‘(Devine) then realized he had shot a bowhunter who was sitting on the ground using the tree as a back brace.’”