Minnesota VA official accused of improper dealings in move to St. Paul

How far would you go to move to St. Paul? Allegedly, the director of the VA’s St. Paul benefits office was willing to go pretty far, according to Mark Brunswick in the Star Tribune: “The VA inspector general’s office said it has referred the case of Kimberly Graves and another VA official to the U.S. attorney for possible criminal prosecution. It also recommends that actions be taken to decide whether Graves, who remains head of the VA’s St. Paul office of the Veterans Benefits Administration, should return $129,000 in moving expenses. … ‘We determined Ms. Graves inappropriately used her position of authority for personal and financial benefit when she participated personally and substantially in creating an opportunity for her own transfer to the St. Paul [Veterans Affairs Regional Office],’ said the report released Monday.”

Normally, in a bike vs. train situation, you don’t expect the bike to win. This time might be different, as Randy Furst reports, also in the Star Tribune: “Robert Cattanach is used to mixing with the big boys. Cattanach is a partner at the prestigious Dorsey & Whitney law firm and a nationally recognized expert on cyber security. He is a former counsel to the Secretary of the Navy, and he represented the FBI and CIA as a Justice Department attorney. He is also chairman of the board of the Ordway Theater. … So Cattanach didn’t hesitate to sue BNSF, one of the nation’s largest railroad companies, over a bike accident — his own — after the company refused to pay a few thousand dollars in medical bills. For a while Cattanach even represented himself.”

Stanley Hubbard’s advice to Scott Walker: Don’t talk about abortion or social issues. That’s the local takeaway from Ashley Parker’s story in the New York Times about how big donors to political campaigns expect candidates to listen to their views: “ … ‘Donors are demanding a lot these days, man, and they want answers and they want results, and a lot of them hit the panic button a lot,’ said Theresa Kostrzewa, a Republican lobbyist and donor based in North Carolina, who is supporting former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida. ‘This is a new day. Donors consider a contribution like, “Well, wait, I just invested in you. Now I need to have my say; you need to answer to me.” ’ … Stanley S. Hubbard, the media mogul based in Minnesota, who supported Mr. Walker, said he had offered a piece of advice after an interview in which Mr. Walker discussed his views about abortion and gay marriage. ‘I suggested to him that he stay out of social issues,’ Mr. Hubbard said. ‘I told him nothing is going to happen, whether you like abortion or not — that’s your own belief, but don’t talk about that.’

The Glean

Success magazine tells the inspiring turnaround story of Minnesota’s own Andrew Zimmern: “On the afternoon of Jan. 28, 1992, Andrew Zimmern walked into a coffee shop on Manhattan’s Lower West Side. He could have come from anywhere—from the building he’d been squatting in for most of the past year, from any of the subway stations where he lurked to lift purses and tourists’ jewelry, from any of the urban caves he went to dry out or come down. … What the then-30-year-old stepped into was a roomful of friends—“20 of my nearest and dearest,” he says now—who ushered him in, told him again how much they loved him, put a one-way ticket in his hand and sent him 1,200 miles west to Minnesota.”

In other news…

We’re number one! “Minnesota leads the nation in would-be ISIL terrorists from U.S., report finds” [Star Tribune]

Minneapolis is having some success in the war against sugary drinks. [Star Tribune]

Twin Cities Marathon officials are still weighing their response to Black Lives Matter’s plan to shut down the event this weekend. [Pioneer Press]

You can get this for free six months out of the year here: “Deep freeze: Cryotherapy comes to Minneapolis” [Duluth News Tribune]

LOL: “UMN prof, author Julie Schumacher wins Thurber humor prize” [Pioneer Press]

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by jody rooney on 09/29/2015 - 12:20 pm.

    I never thought I would agree with Mr. Hubbard

    But his last comment quoted here is pretty reality based.

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 09/29/2015 - 04:56 pm.

    I’ll go farther than Mr. Hubbard

    I recommend Scott Walker stay out of politics and find something he is actually good at.

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