Shocker. Pretty much straight line on the Iran nuclear deal. Says Allison Sherry of the Strib: “Minnesota Republicans are generally skeptical of the tentative nuclear agreement with Iran. Democrats are generally responsive to it. A few members are holding out until they read the whole 100-page document. … Republican Rep. John Kline: ‘The agreement as presented by the Administration removes permanent sanctions and provides billions of relief for the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism in exchange for a temporary delay of Iran’s nuclear activities without any real accountability … I am greatly concerned this agreement will further instability and legitimize the Iranian regime. I will be closely reviewing the details of the agreement, however no deal is better than a bad deal.’”
Pretty much the same thing via MPR’s Tom Scheck: “Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., doesn’t like the deal. ‘The American people should be extremely concerned by the P5 + 1 Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) agreement. This deal unleashes hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief, does little to stop Iran from remaining the world’s largest exporter of terrorism, nor does it prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. My constituents can rest assured that I will vote against the JCPOA, and to override a veto, if I am not completely convinced that this deal is in the best interest of the United States and the safety and security of the American people. Today, I am not convinced.’”
At the generally liberal Mondoweiss, Medea Benjamin says: “The most compelling reason that so many elected officials will oppose the deal is the power of lobby groups and think tanks, backed by hawkish billionaires who are determined to quash a deal they see as bad for Israel. Little known to the public, here are some of the groups: … American Security Initiative: This is a new group, also bipartisan, formed in 2015 by three former senators: Norm Coleman, Evan Bayh and Saxby Chambliss. In 2014 Norm Coleman, a Republican from Minnesota, became a registered lobbyist for the repressive Saudi regime, providing the Saudis with legal services on issues including ‘policy developments involving Iran.’” Fellow’s got to make a living.
Speaking of … here’s a reality check on lobbyist spending from WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler. “Minnesota lobbyists spent nearly $70 million last year to influence state decision makers. That’s according to a new report from the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. And so far in 2015, that trend is not slowing down. Lobbyists spent $64,416,383 influencing the Minnesota Legislature in 2014, according to the report. That’s an average of $320,479 for every legislator, and more than 10 times a single lawmaker’s $31,140 annual salary.” Lobbyists are people, my friend.
And while we’re on the subject of picking up some extra cash, Katie Kather of the PiPress says, “A former Ramsey County sheriff’s deputy who was being investigated for pawning evidence has been charged. Thomas Keith Rudenick was charged by warrant Monday with felony theft and misconduct of a public officer, a gross misdemeanor. The items that Rudenick pawned between December 2014 and May 2015 were valued between $4,600 and $5,200, according to the criminal complaint. … He told investigators it was a fair statement that he confiscated jewelry from pawn shops in 2012 and then brought the jewelry home and pawned it in the spring of 2015. He also told officers that he pawned a forensic phone-data machine from the Ramsey County sheriff’s office, but that it had been given to him by a sergeant.”
The local AFL-CIO has a new boss. The AP says, “The Minnesota AFL-CIO General Board on Tuesday elected Bill McCarthy to head the state labor federation. McCarthy is currently president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, an umbrella organization of Minneapolis area local unions that he has headed since 2002. He will be sworn in Oct. 13 to succeeding retiring Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson.”
Needed: more pot users. Says Rochelle Olson in the Strib, “Minnesota’s nascent medical marijuana program saw its greatest weekly jump in participants with growth of 50 percent in the first full week of July. As of Friday, 147 patients had paid their fees, completed their paperwork and were eligible to participate in the program. That was up from the 98 patients approved at the end of the month long enrollment leading up to the July 1 legalization date.”
They’ve got the dough to buy the lawyers. Says Randy Furst in the Strib, “Toyota Motor Co. filed notice Tuesday that it plans to appeal the $11 million jury verdict handed down against the automaker in February for a 2006 crash that resulted in the deaths of three people and other injuries in St. Paul. … Toyota filed its notice of appeal with the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, setting in motion a lengthy appeals process that will include briefs being filed by both sides, followed by rejoinders, then likely a hearing on the issues.”
All we’ll need is the organ player leading a chorus of, “Norm Green sucks.” Chris Peters at CBSsports says, “NHL fans, rejoice! The Minnesota North Stars are coming back. No, not for good, but for one winter night in the cold Minnesota air, the North Stars will ride again (or at least some of them). Former North Stars players, along with Wild alumni will take on former members of the Chicago Blackhawks in an alumni game the day before the Minnesota Wild and present-day Blackhawks square off as part of the NHL Stadium Series next February … .”
From KMSP-TV, Rachel Chazin says, “Two Minnesota residents sickened recently with salmonellosis are linked to frozen raw tuna, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Tuesday. The two are part of a larger national outbreak linked to spicy tuna rolls purchased at grocery stores and workplace cafeterias. The two Minnesotans, both in their 30’s, are from the metro area and became ill on June 21 and June 30. The MDH said retail stores should not sell and consumers should not eat tuna from a specific contaminated lot distributed by Osamu Corporation in Gardena, Calif. The tuna product is packaged in frozen, vacuum-sealed bags without a brand or other name. The contaminated lot of tuna can be identified from labels on the tuna bags … .” Best to stick with Slim Jims.
This is what you call bad publicity. Matt Sepic at MPR says, “Roto Rooter is paying $100,000 dollars to settle a disability discrimination complaint from a Twin Cities veteran wounded in Iraq. According to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the plumbing company’s Plymouth office violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by firing the employee after he was wounded. The agency is not releasing his name. The veteran had suffered injuries to his back, leg, and head, but was still capable of working at Roto Rooter, said Julie Schmid, the EEOC’s acting area director.”