Wednesday’s indictment of New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez on charges “including bribery, conspiracy and false statements” acquired a Minnesota connection as news outlets, including The Atlantic and the AP, reported that the “Senator 1” mentioned in the indictment is none other than our own Sen. Amy Klobuchar. To be clear, Klobuchar is not accused of any wrongdoing — but her campaign did accept donations from Menendez and the donor he is accused of using his position to benefit, Dr. Salomon Melgen of Florida. According to Open Secrets, Klobuchar accepted donations of $1,500 and $2,500 from Melgen during her 2012 re-election campaign. Klobuchar is planning to return the gifts:
After The Atlantic brought the indictment to the attention of Klobuchar’s office, she moved quickly to distance herself from the donations. “Our campaign has never received questions from federal authorities about these contributions,” Klobuchar campaign aide Justin Buoen said. “The campaign is returning the contributions and will also be returning the contributions received from Senator Menendez’s PAC.”)
Can’t wait to read this chapter in her new memoir.
This might hurt our chances of supplying the White House turkey next Thanksgiving: A fourth Minnesota turkey farm has reported a case of bird flu, according to the Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh. The reprecussions are far-reaching here in the nation’s largest turkey-producing state: “The bird flu has led dozens of countries to stop buying turkey meat from Minnesota and other states. About 12 percent of Minnesota’s turkey production — mostly dark meat — is exported. … This is the fourth detection of H5N2 in turkey operations in Minnesota in the past five weeks. The others were in the counties of Lac qui Parle, Pope and Stearns. The number of birds destroyed in the four cases now totals about 170,000.”
Yesterday’s highly agreeable warm temperatures, combined with its high winds, have a major downside: increased fire risk. The Duluth News Tribune reports on a fire warning for northern Minnesota: “The National Weather Service in Duluth has issued a red flag warning for much of the region, because of gusty west winds and low humidity in the forecast. … The warning includes the following counties: St. Louis, Carlton, Douglas, Lake, Cook, Itasca, Aitkin, Pine and Bayfield.”
Kare 11 created a slideshow of awesome photos of last night’s lightning. It’s amazing that Minneapolis is still standing.
RedCurrent’s Juleana Enright has an interview with Twin Cities ceramic artist Meg Brown, who creates “usable art for the queer community.”
In other news…
Wondering who that person taking photos in the restaurant bathroom was? It was the Pioneer Press, making a quiz: “Can you match these Twin Cities restaurants with their bathrooms?”
Deer population recommendations released [Duluth News Tribune]
The St. Paul City Council came out in favor of driver’s licenses for all [Pioneer Press]
Bob Collins on Minnesota’s tax on dreams [MPR]
Minneapolis Park Board learns the first rule of haggling: just walk away [Star Tribune]