Ventura files new lawsuit against publisher of ‘American Sniper’

Illustration by Ken Avidor

He’s back: In the Star Tribune, Randy Furst writes, Former Gov. Jesse Ventura filed suit Monday against HarperCollins, the New York publisher of the book that a federal jury in St. Paul said had defamed him. In July Ventura won $1.8 million from the estate of Chris Kyle, the late Navy SEAL who wrote the bestselling memoir “American Sniper,” which included a subchapter about an alleged California bar fight between him and a man he called “Scruff Face” and later identified as Ventura. …The new lawsuit says the publicity and controversy “generated by the false and defamatory story about Ventura substantially increased sales of ‘American Sniper,’ thereby generating millions of dollars in revenues and profits for Harper Collins.”

What did Ibsen ever do for them? Euan  Kerr at MPR says, “The Guthrie Theater ended the year with a quarter million dollar surplus, in part due to a successful summer run of ‘My Fair Lady.’ ‘My Fair Lady’ was the highest grossing show in Guthrie History, selling 100 percent of available tickets. The surplus comes a year after the theater ended the 2012-13 season with a $437,000 deficit.” Next year: “Star Wars — the Musical.”

The St. Cloud Times to the legislature: Butt out of Minnesota State High School League issues. In an editorial the paper says, “This organization appears to have the support of Minnesota schools and has done an exemplary job of running the high school tournament for decades. So what business does the Legislature have in butting into its business? Some lawmakers may want to pick the issues for which they get involved. But what might determine the reasons for that involvement? Do lawmakers want to help decide if dance team is an activity or a sport? Do they want to help draw the boundaries for tournament play?” Please don’t ask them if they want to vet evolution in the textbooks.

A connection perhaps in recent abductions. Brandt Williams’ story for MPR says, “Minneapolis police officials say there’s a possible link between the abduction of a 7-year-old girl earlier this month and a previously unreported abduction of another child in October. In both cases, the kidnapper or kidnappers later released the children and both incidents occurred in the fourth precinct, which includes the city’s north side, Commander Catherine Johnson told reporters Monday.”

If you’re getting mixed messages on flu vaccines, Lorna Benson at MPR says, “The Centers for Disease Control warned earlier this month that this year’s flu vaccine could provide less protection than usual against the H3N2 subtype of influenza A that is circulating widely. That led some flu experts to say that the message is confusing. Although the vaccine is not well matched against the dominant strain of the flu this year, it still could protect people, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.”

What do they know that we don’t? Adam Belz of the Strib reports, “The Pohlad family is getting out of banking, selling the financial arm of a business portfolio for $182.5 million. UMB Financial, a company in Kansas City, Mo., will pay the family in stock for Marquette Financial Companies, which includes 13 once-troubled banks and a few lending companies based in the Southwest, plus another lending company in Minneapolis. The sale includes about 50 employees in Minneapolis and 270 total.”

We’re aware of rural Minnesota feeling slighted, but exurbia? Susan Feyder of the Strib says, “Months after blasting a Metropolitan Council transportation plan they believe neglects their needs, the Twin Cities’ five strictly suburban counties are taking their fight against the agency to a new level. The Met Council’s transportation advisory board is ‘stacked in favor of Hennepin and Ramsey counties,’ says Carver County Commissioner Randy Maluchnik, who has served on it for six years. Carver and Scott counties have just one vote each among the board’s 33, even though the two counties are expected to have the fastest growth in the metro area for the next several years.”

A clue in that I-90 rest area jewelry heist. Says Maya Rao in the Strib, “Capt. Scott Behrns said in an email today that authorities recovered one of the cases stolen during the robbery of a group returning from a jewelry trade show in Chicago. The group had stopped at a rest area just after midnight on Dec. 8 when a van pulled up, four men jumped out and smashed in the victims’ windows to grab cases of diamonds and other gems. Then they tore off. The case was found near the intersection of Olmsted County Road #7 and Highway 52 Southeast in Orion Township without any jewelry inside, though it did have jewelry display items, according to Behrns.”

Disclaimer: they didn’t survey Milwaukee! At KMSP-TV Aaron Rupar writes, “A New York Times analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer spending data indicates that residents of the Twin Cities spend way more on booze both at home and while drinking out and about than residents of other large metros. The data shows that Twin Citians spend 45 percent above than the national average on alcoholic beverages at home, while the second-place metro, San Diego, spends 30 percent more. Away from home, we spend 62 percent more on alcoholic beverages than average, while the second-place metro, Boston, spends just 40 percent above the norm.”

SFW. For KARE-TV, Jana Shortal reports, “Residents of the small town of Marine on St. Croix are once again baring it all. This marks the fourth year that residents have posed for a very revealing calendar. … It is a calendar celebrating the spirit of Scandia and Marine on St. Croix – and for the last three years it has been a fundraiser for Toni [Poletes], because as it reads on page one of this calendar — Cancer Sucks. And. It takes a village.”

City Pages Cory Zurowski isn’t giving John Kline a pass on that pension-cutting measure he slid into the spending bill. “The congressman, who receives a salary pushing $200,000 and whose government pension will amount to no less than $41,000, coxswained the GOP’s effort to cut the pensions of millions of Americans. The measure would allow pension plans, many of them hit with investment losses from the recession, to reduce the benefits they pay out to both current and future retirees. … Officials at the Pension Rights Center, a group backed by foundations and unions, worry that the Congressional move sets a precedent that could weaken the protections of single-employer pension plans and even Social Security.”

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 12/16/2014 - 07:09 am.

    Met Council

    The Met Council SHOULD be stacked in favor of Hennepin and Ramsey counties–that’s where the people are. It’s nice that the outlying counties are growing, but we shouldn’t be subsidizing their infrastructure simply because they live thirty miles from their job. The vast majority of people are in the core cities, so that’s where the vast majority of money should be spent.

    • Submitted by Tom Clark on 12/16/2014 - 08:40 am.

      It’s not stacked, actually

      As a review of the current members of the TAB shows, it’s not the case that the far suburbs are being discriminated against when it comes to the composition of the board:

      http://www.metrocouncil.org/Transportation/Planning-2/Transportation-Planning-Process/Transportation-Advisory-Board/TAB-Members.aspx?source=child

      So move along, there’s no need to gawk at this news.

    • Submitted by Joe Schweigert on 12/16/2014 - 08:44 am.

      True, but close

      The five suburban counties are about 500,000 shy of Hennepin and Ramsey combined, but both groups account for well over a million people. I think a better argument might revolve around the economy. How many people who live in the metro area depend on businesses, services or jobs found in Hennepin and Ramsey? That might be the kicker.

      • Submitted by Wayne Coppock on 12/16/2014 - 03:20 pm.

        “only half a million” is a lot in a metro with only a few million or so total. And Hennepin-Ramsey is definitely the economic engine of the state, despite what outstate legislators might think. Maybe they could merge the two counties into one supercounty and make it its own regional entity to usurp a lot of the authorities from the met council and leave the crybaby exurbs to their own devices.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 12/16/2014 - 08:24 am.

    Stacking the Met Council

    Amen to Mr. Hintz, and I also suspect that the vast majority of taxpayer dollars that fund Met Council projects come from Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, as well. When most of the people and most of the money come from identified areas, it makes sense for those areas to have the most influence on decisions.

  3. Submitted by Wayne Coppock on 12/16/2014 - 08:51 am.

    The only reason those exurban counties are going to be growing so quickly is precisely because the closer-in urban areas are subsidizing their growth and infrastructure. They’re angry that we’re not going to continue to let them freeload off of us and all the dollar signs in their eyes will evaporate when they’re expected to pay their own way.

    I’d be all for shrinking the met council to just Hennepin-Ramsey and charging a huge fee for any outlying areas that want to continue to connect to the sewer and water systems. Let them pay the full cost of their HUGE UPCOMING GROWTH and see how awesome it is then. Distribute state infrastructure dollars based on per capita formulas and see just how expensive that dispersed lifestyle really is.

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