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Bernie Sanders draws big crowd in Minneapolis

Plus: Medicaid enrollment in Minnesota soars; lawmaker wants law to address ‘revenge porn’; Walker defends ultrasound law; and more.

Attendees listening to candidate Bernie Sanders during a May 31 rally in Minneapolis.
MinnPost photo by Kristoffer Tigue

The Bernie Sanders juggernaut rolled through Minneapolis yesterday. For MPR, Matt Sepic says, “Thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters lined up in Minneapolis Sunday morning to see the Vermont Senator who’s running for president. Sanders is seeking the Democratic nomination and drew standing ovations as he called for higher taxes on the wealthy, universal pre-Kindergarten, and solutions to climate change. … A Quinnipiac University national poll puts Sanders a distant second behind Hillary Clinton. He has 15 percent support among Democratic-leaning voters compared to Clinton’s 57 percent.” I’d like to see a poll that asks how much likely voters agree with Sanders, issue by issue.

For WCCO-TV, Rachel Slavik reports, “While he may not have the money or name recognition as Clinton, he’s hoping to build solid base of Minnesota supporters. For Sen. Sanders, that means starting early. A campaign organizer said as many as 3,000 people had RSVP’d for the event by Sunday morning. It featured an overflow crowd. … This won’t be Sanders’ only trip to Minnesota between now and the election.”

In the Strib, Patrick Coolican says, “The crowd, with some people standing outside because the hall was full, seemed unconcerned with the conventional wisdom that there is no race on the Democratic side as Hillary Clinton marches toward the nomination with a pile of money, endorsements and party faithful’s love of the Clinton name. … On Sunday, Sanders laid out an agenda in line with the Democratic base, including a major federal infrastructure program to create jobs; a harder line on trade agreements; an increase in the minimum wage; paid sick leave; a tax code with steeper levies on the rich; campaign finance reform; subsidized college for all; and a move toward a socialized health insurance system that would guarantee health care.”

Good editorial piece from the Strib on Obamacare and how to improve it on the state level. “There’s a lot to like about the innovation waivers for ACA’s proponents, too. This section of the law is not a reset button to go back to pre-ACA days. Instead, it’s a timely way to evaluate what has worked during the federal law’s rollout and then allow the states to build on this. In Minnesota, the waiver is a chance to think big and to improve on the state’s medical assistance programs with an eye toward not only improving coverage numbers but improving public health outcomes. Long-term care should be part of this conversation.”

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On the Strib’s news pages Glenn Howatt writes, “Minnesota’s Medicaid rolls have soared past the 1 million mark for the first time, driven by two years of explosive growth in government insurance programs in the wake of federal health reform. The enrollment surge — one of the largest in the country and the biggest for the state in 35 years — helped push Minnesota’s uninsured rate down to about 5 percent and has enabled more low-income families to receive regular medical care, doctors say. But it also means that Medicaid and its sister program, MinnesotaCare for the working poor, now rank among the state’s largest health insurers, which could place long-run strains on the state budget.”

The perps are way ahead of the law when it comes to “revenge porn.” Elizabeth Mohr of the PiPress says, “A recent Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling, dismissing a criminal case, said existing laws don’t address the emerging cybercrime. So state Rep. John Lesch, DFL-St. Paul, who is also a criminal prosecutor in the St. Paul City Attorney’s office, is assembling a group of attorneys, lawmakers and free-speech advocates to craft a law to deal with it. ‘Revenge porn is a specific type of crime that needs its own law,’ Lesch said Friday. ‘It can’t crawl under the parameters of a catch-all like criminal defamation or disorderly conduct’.”

Today in mongering. In fringe conservative World News Daily’s “Faith” section we have this story from Leo Hohmann. “On Friday a camera crew with the David Horowitz Freedom Center released a video posted to Robert Spencer’s blog, Jihad Watch, in which documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz captures Somali men and women on the streets of Cedar Riverside answering simple questions. … One young man with dark sunglasses and a big smile, followed by another in a plaid dress shirt, and another with long hair stuffed under a Brooklyn Nets baseball cap, all said they would prefer to live under Islamic law rather than American law. ‘I’m a Muslim. I prefer Shariah law,’ the man in the dress shirt said. ‘Shariah law, yes,’ said another. ‘Of course, yeah,’ said the one in the Nets baseball cap. Asked if most of his friends felt the same way, he responded, ‘Of course if you’re a Muslim, yeah.’”

Back in the news … the dearth of volunteer firefighters. John Enger of MPR says, “Volunteer firefighters are an aging breed, and the next generation doesn’t appear eager to answer the alarm. Nearly a third of small-town firefighters are 50 or older, according to data from the National Volunteer Fire Council. That’s double the number of older firefighters volunteering in 1987. Over the same 28-year period, volunteer numbers overall decreased by about 12 percent, said Kimberly Quiros, the group’s communications manager. It’s becoming enough of a problem that the Federal Emergency Management Agency recently gave $2.39 million to the volunteer fire council for a marketing effort targeting millennial recruits.”

Yes, alcohol was involved. Says Paul Walsh for the Strib, “An intoxicated man fell from the side of a hot tub outside a Golden Valley home and onto a fence post, impaling his thigh, authorities said Sunday. Firefighters had to cut the post to free the 30-year-old so he could be sent to the hospital with part of the wrought iron-style post still in his leg, according to police.”

Today in Scott Walker. For the AP, Kathleen Ronayne reports, “Challenged by a New Hampshire woman, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker held firm Saturday on his recent comments about ultrasounds and defended Wisconsin’s law that requires doctors to conduct them before performing abortions. … [Mary] Heslin said she typically votes Democratic but tries to attend as many candidate events as possible. She appreciated Walker’s frankness and said she plans to look up the details on Wisconsin’s ultrasound law, as well as a number of other stats Walker referenced about Wisconsin’s economy. ‘I wouldn’t back down from where I stand either, so that’s fine,’ she said. ‘I can respect that, but it’s bad when you have a stand that restricts (rights).’”

To the Governor’s defense comes Jessica Chasmar of The Washington Times. “[Radio host Dana] Loesch then asked if the governor believed the misquote stemmed from anger over the fact that he signed into law legislation that requires a transabdominal ultrasound before an abortion, to which Mr. Walker responded: ‘Oh yeah.’ ‘I think they realize, when people actually hear what’s going on and they can’t win on the left on an issue, they exaggerate things, they make things up, and they take them out of context,’ he said.” The candidate’s staff might want to bring him up to speed on the definition of “context.”