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Dayton wants lawmakers to address ID issue

Plus: Columbia Heights School Board member won’t resign; Ragnar wanted $2 million; Minnesota African American Museum loses building; and more.

Gov. Mark Dayton
MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach

A special session for TSA IDs? Rachel Stassen-Berger in the PiPress says, “Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday that it makes no sense that Minnesota’s driver’s licenses do not meet federal requirements for airplane travel. He said he will ‘strongly advocate’ a change, even if it means a calling a special session. ‘I think national security requires that kind of hard ID,’ Dayton said. ‘I don’t think anyone wants to be responsible for people not getting on an airplane.’ … In 2010, the Minnesota Legislature approved and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a law banning the state from taking any action to adopt Real ID. At the time, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle joined with the American Civil Liberties Union and privacy activists in revolting against what was called ‘a de facto internal passport.’” If we give ‘em a new ID card can we at least drop the stupid shoe thing?

At MPR, Jon Collins says, “Many states were concerned about privacy and cost implications of the requirements, said state Sen. Scott Dibble, chair of the Senate’s Transportation and Public Safety Committee. In response, the Minnesota Legislature passed a law in 2009 that barred the state from complying with the federal law’s requirements. ‘The thinking was that the states band together and try to leverage their influence,’ Dibble said. ‘The concerns are absolutely still valid, but the fact of the matter is that the states did not prevail in this debate, in this negotiation with the federal government.’”

Need a new gig? What do you know about deer? Doug Smith of the Strib says, “One of the most visible positions at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is vacant. The agency is seeking a new big-game coordinator — a key post that steers deer management decisions affecting a half-million deer hunters and is a lightning rod for controversy. Leslie McInenly, who has held the job the past three years and helped set controversial deer population goals, recently was promoted to habitat team supervisor. The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and Minnesota Bowhunters Inc. are among those who have been critical of the goal-setting process.”

This is good, I think. The AP reports, “A Minnesota agency commissioner will have a voice on a new advisory council of the powerful Federal Reserve Board. Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Commissioner Mary Tingerthal was appointed Tuesday to a 15-member panel that will offer input on how federal monetary policy affects the needs of low- and middle-income consumers.”

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That pesky First Amendment thing cuts both ways. In the Strib, Beena Raghavendran writes, “As an overflow crowd chanted for his resignation, Columbia Heights School Board Member Grant Nichols sat emotionless in his seat at the board meeting Tuesday evening. Nichols, who allegedly made an anti-Muslim comment on a Facebook post, made his first public appearance since the incident occurred in order to fight calls for his resignation from Gov. Mark Dayton, the school board, parents and students.”

Or he could have bought it out of some guy’s trunk. Says Kelly Smith of the Strib, “A day or two before Brian Short shot and killed his wife, three children and himself, he bought a Remington 12-gauge shotgun from an Eden Prairie outdoors store. The information is included in search warrant documents filed in Hennepin County District Court this week as detectives continue to look for evidence in the quadruple homicide investigation. … Detectives are requesting data, text messages and other records left in the Short house. They found a receipt from the shotgun, showing it was bought from the Gander Mountain store in Eden Prairie on Sept. 6. Investigators also found two new boxes of shotgun ammunition, with eight rounds missing.”

Uh, pal … you get in the games for free. On the dumping of Ragnar, Arash Markazi at ESPN says: “Ragnar isn’t the official mascot of the Minnesota Vikings, but Joe Juranitch, who has played the bearded Viking character at home games since 1994, wanted to become one of the highest paid mascots in all of sports. Juranitch, 54, was making $1,500 per game as an independent contractor, but his deal expired in the offseason. He was seeking a contract that would pay him $20,000 per game for the next decade, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. He was essentially asking for a 10-year, $2 million contract, based on eight regular-season and two preseason games per year.” Heck, for that money I’d wear Helga braids, and nothing else.

Worse and worse. Says Erin Golden in the Strib, “Months after losing a court battle over unpaid work, the beleaguered Minnesota African American Museum has now lost the historic Minneapolis home that housed its collection. The latest chapter in a complicated, seven-year tangle of funding struggles and work disputes took less than two minutes in an auction held Tuesday at a counter in the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. Attorneys for the construction, plumbing and electrical companies that had previously won a court judgment for unpaid work at the museum joined together to purchase the property for $1.3 million: the total amount a judge found that they are owed. The group was the sole bidder at the public auction.”

That lawsuit Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick had pending against the city when he was killed? Settled. Laura Yuen at MPR says, “A whistleblower lawsuit filed by a Mendota Heights police officer who was later killed during a traffic stop will not go to trial. The wife of Officer Scott Patrick has reached a settlement with the city. Michelle Patrick and her attorneys will receive a total of $50,000. As part of the agreement, the city of Mendota Heights denies any wrongdoing. … [Patrick] accused the police chief and others of harassing him after he reported the theft of a picnic table, allegedly by two patrol officers.”

Woodbury. Kathie Kather of the PiPress reports, “Thirteen men are accused of engaging in prostitution of minors after law enforcement conducted multiple sex trafficking stings in Woodbury, starting in August 2014. Undercover officers placed ads posing as minors soliciting sex on Craigslist and Backpage. Six men were arrested when they showed up Thursday at the Red Roof Inn at 1806 Wooddale Drive. … Two of the men were netted after responding to an ad in which officers posed as a 32-year-old woman and her 14-year-old deaf daughter.”

Finally, a Walker Death Notice piece. This one from Politico’s Shane Goldmacher and Alex Isenstadt. “The Thursday call for donors came too late to keep billionaire Stanley Hubbard, who had contributed $50,000 to Walker’s super PAC, fully in the fold. Hubbard decided that while he wasn’t quite ditching Walker, he would begin hedging his bets by donating to multiple candidates. The next day, Hubbard would leave Walker a voice mail. He wanted to offer some tips. ‘What I was going to tell him is that he should get some training, some TV training. I know where to get it,’ Hubbard said in an interview. He had hoped to recommend Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute but his message went unreturned. ‘It’s the first time,’ Hubbard said of Walker, ‘he hasn’t called me back.’”