Team MinnPost is handling state election coverage, so this edition of The Glean will look elsewhere for news, other than to note:
Nationally, the Republican Party had a very good night. From the New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman and Ashley Parker: “Propelled by economic dissatisfaction and anger toward the president, Republicans grabbed Democratic Senate seats in North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana and South Dakota to gain their first Senate majority since 2006. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a shrewd Republican tactician, cruised to re-election and stood poised to achieve a goal he has pursued for years — Senate majority leader.”
As Minnesotans headed to the polls, the AP was reporting, “Minnesota’s secretary of state is projecting voter turnout of 55 to 60 percent in this midterm election. Mark Ritchie’s projection would be right in line with recent history. Nearly 56 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot four years ago.”
Meanwhile next door, where Scott Walker cruised to a decisive victory, Meg Kissinger of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported early last evening, “Kevin J. Kennedy, Wisconsin’s chief election official, told the Government Accountability Board that all problems reported have been minor — like yard signs too close to polling places. Some reports are coming in of voters being asked to show identification, when none is required, and of some problems with voter registration. If Kennedy’s prediction of 2.5 million Wisconsin residents — or 56.5 percent of eligible voters — proves to be true, it would be a record for a November gubernatorial election. The record stands at 52.3 percent, set in 1962.”
As the curtain was falling on that campaign, Betsy Woodruff at Slate was writing, “What may be most notable isn’t the substance of the governor’s final pitch, but how he says it. In the waning days of Walker’s campaign, his message — delivered on a bus tour that has stopped at factories around the state and allowed him to pose with heavy machinery and blue-collar workers sporting safety goggles — has been uncharacteristically conciliatory. Forget anything on gay marriage or abortion. If you’re looking for hot takes on Ebola and ISIS, look elsewhere. Walker is probably the most on-message politician in America right now.”
Earlier, Woodruff had written, “The Wisconsin governor’s race is one of the closest in the country. And, according to conversations with top Republicans and conservative activists, it’s also the single most important. Walker is revered among national conservatives for taking on Wisconsin’s powerful public sector unions at enormous political risk. A National Review cover depicted him as Perseus slaying Medusa, and the American Spectator has already declared that if he pulls off a win on Tuesday, ‘he’s our man’ for 2016.”
The AP’s Scott Bauer says, “While Walker downplayed talk of a potential presidential run during the campaign, his victory in a state that voted for a Democratic president and U.S. Senator in 2012 will immediately shift the focus to his intentions for 2016. … Walker has spent nearly his entire adult life in politics, having first been elected in 1993 to a state Assembly seat.” Sometimes you gotta stick with that anti-gummint thing.
There’ll be some more big box real estate on the market. The Strib’s Kavita Kumar says, “On Tuesday, the Minneapolis-based retailer announced it would close 11 stores, including one in Austin, Minn. It also swatted away an investment firm trying to buy shares on the cheap and started selling tchotchkes made by 3-D printers, latching on to one of the hottest things in high-tech. The store-closing step is one that Target takes at least once a year after a financial review of its 1,800 U.S. outlets. By including the store in Austin, Target is closing a Minnesota store for the first time since 2003.”
After yesterday’s court proceedings in Texas, Ben Goessling of ESPN says, “A handful of prominent Vikings players said Tuesday they’d be excited to have Peterson back on the roster, adding that the running back wouldn’t have to do anything to regain trust in the locker room after his Sept. 12 arrest for child abuse charges led to an eight-game absence.”
Despite the inevitable news-making stories, Doug Smith of the Strib has numbers showing that hunting has gotten safer. “The odds are much greater that hunters will be hurt driving to deer camp than be injured while hunting. ‘It’s one of the safest activities you can participate in,’ said Jon Paurus, acting enforcement education program coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. More people are hurt playing football, basketball, soccer or even riding bicycles or running than are injured hunting, according to statistics compiled by federal agencies and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association.” An objective party, no doubt.
A solar plant pretty much in the middle of Minneapolis. Says Dave Shaffer for the Strib, “Itek Energy, a solar panel maker in Bellingham, Wash., says it plans to open a manufacturing plant in south Minneapolis in early 2015. Kelly Samson, a co-founder of the company, said in an interview Tuesday that the plant is planned in an existing building on the 2700 block of 31st Avenue S. Production is expected to begin in January or February, he said. … He said the plant initially will have a small number of employees, as did the Bellingham plant. After four years, that operation employs 74 workers, he said.”
A good piece by Strib columnist Jon Tevlin on one local parish thumbing its nose at the Archbishop. “A south Minneapolis church plans to bring in controversial Irish Redemptorist priest Tony Flannery to speak on Wednesday, despite warnings from Archbishop John Nienstedt. And the church’s pastor is using the words of a powerful church leader to justify it: Pope Francis. Father Mike Tegeder, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Church, has been intent on bringing in Flannery, who is on a speaking tour of the country. But the Cabrini visit will be the only time he speaks on Catholic Church property. Flannery, author of several books on religion, holds controversial positions on birth control, homosexuality and the ordination of women.”