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GOP leader says State High School League needs legislative oversight

MinnPost file photo by James Nord
State Rep. Joyce Peppin

Climbing on the GOP’s to-do list for this coming session: scrutiny of the state high school league. The AP says, “A top Republican is calling for more scrutiny of the Minnesota State High School League. That follows the league’s approval last week of a policy to let transgender athletes play on the sports teams that best align with their gender identity. State Rep. Joyce Peppin of Rogers, who is set to become House majority leader next month, told a group of GOP activists Saturday that she thinks the league needs legislative oversight.” 

We’re No. 5! 24/7 WallSt’s annual assessment of the best and worst run states has been released. We did pretty well. A quartet of writers say, “Minnesota residents are among the nation’s wealthiest. A typical household reported income of $60,702 in 2013, among the highest nationwide. Similarly, the median home in Minnesota was valued at more than $180,000 that year, among the higher home values in the nation. Valuable property partly explains the state’s strong tax revenue — the state generated nearly $3,800 per capita in fiscal 2012, more than all but a handful of states. Also, Minnesota’s unemployment rate of just 5.1% in 2013 was among the nation’s lowest. Minnesota also boasts a highly educated workforce. More than 92% of adults 25 and older had attained at least a high school diploma, while 33.5% had at least a bachelor’s degree, both among the highest rates nationwide.” Wisconsin, where they have that pesky $1.8 billion projected deficit? No. 29.

A Rose would have been sweeter, but the Gophers will play on New Year’s Day. George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel says, “The things you can do with a $207-million budget. A 20,000-square- foot Plaza Deck, perfectly configured for the party crowd. Three huge LED screens, including one that is 88 feet wide and nearly four stories high. Molded plastic chair-backs and 6 extra inches of legroom. And bathrooms without those disgusting troughs. Oklahoma and Clemson, come on down. You too, Missouri and Minnesota. That’s the dance card for the two bowls coming up in a few weeks — the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 29 and the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day. Missouri and Minnesota will be first-timers here for that game. And like most folks, they should be awed by the venue. Oklahoma and Clemson have been here for bowl games as well, but the stadium should definitely have a ‘wow factor’ for fans and officials from both schools.”

Strib business columnist Neal St. Anthony echoes the message of last week’s jobs numbers. “Small business is back. Anecdotal evidence and some hard data indicate that the five-year economic recovery is being boosted, finally, by small firms that employ several to several hundred employees.”

Our Favorite Congresswoman has been talking to people other than those in the conservative echo chamber. Brett Neely of MPR reports, “[Michele] Bachmann, 58, announced her retirement from the House last year after a surprisingly close re-election campaign in the district she had represented for four terms. In an interview, Bachmann said she has no regrets. ‘I’ve given it absolutely everything for eight years and done the best I possibly could and now it’ time to start another phase’, she said. ‘I don’t look back, I look forward. I’m grateful.’ … she insists that with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the odds-on Democratic nominee, there’s a potential case to be made for another Bachmann candidacy. ‘People want to know will there be a female on the Republican side,’ Bachmann said. ‘And since I ran in 2012, people obviously wonder will I be running in 2016? There’s been no final determination made on that.’”

Speaking of the echo chamber, Jazz Shaw at the conservative Hot Air site writes of Rep. Bachmann, “Honestly, I think there’s a window of opportunity here, but it’s not as a 2016 candidate for the presidency. Ed [Morrissey a Minnesota native] and I debated this extensively in 2012 and my opinion has not been overly swayed since then. Bachmann has a lot of baggage from her headline grabbing early days which the media will always keep in the ammo bag and it’s just too easy to run her up the flagpole for the MSM barrage. She did surprisingly well in the debates last time around, but the numbers show that it was never enough to build up a national following beyond the confines of Ed’s home stomping grounds.” Would love to hear their criteria for “well”?

An eye-misting moment at yesterday’s Vikings game. In the PiPress, Brian Murphy writes, “Richard Thill survived Pearl Harbor and waited 73 years for an ovation many of his comrades would never hear. So a stubbornly long New York Jets drive and icy wind at TCF Bank Stadium could not ruin his moment. The Vikings salute military veterans during the first television timeout of the second quarter each home game. Thill was a special honoree Sunday, Dec. 7 — a solemn anniversary in U.S. history, one he hopes never fades from memory. The 91-year-old St. Paul native was introduced with a video tribute that included an interview and familiar black-and-white newsreels that showed the destruction caused by the Japanese surprise attack. With the aid of a walker, Thill stood in the east end zone, smiled broadly and waved to the crowd of 52,152, which rose to its feet and cheered in unison — ‘USA! USA!’ ‘That was outstanding, to say the least,’ Thill said later.”

The Chinese elite at the U of M. Says Josh Vergas in the PiPress, “At a new program in the University of Minnesota’s School of Kinesiology, no one gets in without either an Olympic medal or a world championship in an individual event. The first cohort of 11 elite student-athletes and coaches from China’s Beijing Sport University arrived at the U in mid-October. They’ll take classes in English as a second language and American culture and a kinesiology seminar this semester. In the spring, they’ll study nutrition, sports management and physical education instruction before returning to China to wrap up their master’s degree programs.”

Further proof of the boom times in North Dakota. Says James MacPherson of the AP, “Reported income by all North Dakotans has more than doubled to a record $30.4 billion since the infancy of the state’s oil boom in 2006, tax return filings show. Tax Department figures released to the Associated Press show the number of taxpayers in the state has jumped 37 percent since the state’s oil bonanza began, from 339,000 in 2006 to 466,000 in 2013. Just over 440,000 tax returns were filed in 2012. Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said the increase in income and the number of taxpayers contributes heavily to the state’s robust economy.” Uh, yeah … .

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Comments (17)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 12/08/2014 - 07:00 am.

    Good old GOP

    The party of less government. Except when they’re not.

  2. Submitted by Pat Berg on 12/08/2014 - 07:11 am.

    North Dakota’s “robust economy”

    I wonder how long *that* will last if OPEC maintains its downward pressure on oil prices.

    That’s the problem with having an economy so narrowly focused on just one industry. Only time will tell how well North Dakota is able to ride this out.

  3. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 12/08/2014 - 08:08 am.

    You have to remember

    Wisconsin has a Republican Gov. on a presidential run-up just like Pawlenty was. When that happens the citizens have to pay an extreme price. In our case $6,000,000,000 of deficient so Pawlenty could look presidential. Look out Wisconsin. It must be our high taxes and regulations that caused us to come in 5th. Apparently Wisconsin has less taxes and burdensome regulations causing them to come in 29th. Another hole shot in the Republican myth pool.

  4. Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 12/08/2014 - 08:14 am.

    “Valuable property…

    partly explains the state’s strong tax revenue.” What about taxes on the increase with no predictable end in sight?

  5. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 12/08/2014 - 08:27 am.

    Outside the echo chamber

    “…Bachmann said. ‘And since I ran in 2012, people obviously wonder will I be running in 2016? There’s been no final determination made on that.’” Political cartoonists all over the country hope she runs…

  6. Submitted by Thomas Anderson on 12/08/2014 - 08:42 am.

    Oversight of the MSHSL

    would obviously not be necessary had they made a different decision regarding transgender athletes.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 12/08/2014 - 09:07 am.

      As everyone predicted correctly –

      The republicans simply can not stay out the social issue arena (or out of the bedroom or out women’s health issues). Can’t wait for this leader to claim that oversight of the MSHSL is a job issue. How pathetic

    • Submitted by Joel Fischer on 12/08/2014 - 11:49 am.

      Why should the MSHSL

      make any decision other than the correct one?

      The idea that they should make the incorrect decision in order to appease religionists or politicians is ridiculous.

  7. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 12/08/2014 - 09:08 am.

    It’s Time

    To remove sports from high schools and colleges all together, save for intramural teams.

  8. Submitted by Charles Thompson on 12/08/2014 - 09:12 am.

    please michelle

    Please run for president.

  9. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 12/08/2014 - 10:21 am.

    And a comparison even bettter then MN / WI

    Is MN and Kansas. Two highly undistinguished US Senators, Mark Dayton and Sam Brownback leave their Senate jobs where they had showed no prominence or potential to return to their respective states and run for Governor. Both attain that goal and from there their paths diverge. Brownback, a true believer in the power of tax cuts, champions the mother of all state tax cuts and prepares for prosperity to break out all over. Instead a near financial collapse occurs and now Brownback, 2 weeks after narrowly winning re-election, announces tax increases are “on the table” to bail out from economic disaster. Dayton, staying true to liberal form enacts a tax increase on top earners to cover previous shortfalls and debts. Prosperity does break out all over with lower unemployment, great job news, a surplus and recognition as a state going in the right direction (based on results). Both followed their expected scripts: one failed and one succeeded. Will anyone learn from this example: NOT A CHANCE. Facts are meaningless when they conflict with ideology.

  10. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/08/2014 - 10:33 am.


    There’s “laser” focus on bread and butter rural equity we’ve come to expect from the Republicans.

  11. Submitted by Mike Worcester on 12/08/2014 - 01:11 pm.

    MSHSL Oversight?

    Can the legislature demand oversight if the MSHSL does not receive any direct legislatively-approved funding?

    Even then, what would be the nature of this “oversight”? Would it simply be in the form of an annual report? Would a legislative panel have some sort of veto authority over league decisions? (A recipe for chaos if there ever was one!)

    As it stands now, the member schools of the league provide oversight through their election of the board of directors which makes decisions for those member schools.

    Face it, Rep. Peppin was speaking to her faithful and played to that crowd. Let us see actual proposed legislation if they want to be serious about it. Otherwise, it’s all grandstanding and stoking the flames of discord at a convenient boogeyman,

  12. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 12/08/2014 - 01:23 pm.

    MSHSL Oversight

    Amen to Mike Worcester. “…it’s all grandstanding and stoking the flames of discord at a convenient boogeyman.” Perhaps it’s Ms. Peppin who needs legislative oversight. In the meantime, I like Mike’s suggestion: Let’s see what (if any) legislative proposals grow out of this pitiful show of reaction.

  13. Submitted by Sara Fleets on 12/08/2014 - 02:34 pm.

    Pay wall

    Orlando Sentinel story is behind a pay wall. Sad.

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