Campaigns gear up for Minnesota caucuses

REUTERS/Eric Miller

Lots of campaign activity as Minnesota head to caucuses Tuesday. Chelsea Clinton was back in town. WCCO-TV says, “She told WCCO Minnesota played a big role in her childhood. Two politicians, one daughter and countless campaigns, the latest of which brought her to a Minnetonka home. This was by no means her first encounter with Minnesota. ‘Minnesota’s always had a really special place in my heart because I loved going to camp in Bemidji,’ Chelsea said.”

The AP says, “Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is returning to Minnesota a day ahead of the state’s precinct caucuses on Super Tuesday. Sanders’ campaign says he will host a rally at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Monday. Sanders was in Minnesota last week for rallies in Hibbing and Rochester.”

Rachel Stassen-Berger in the PiPress writes: “Given results from the states at the front of the presidential picking line, only five Republican presidential candidates remain as Minnesota options: Real estate mogul Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. The winnowed field leaves Republicans in the state with more power – a decisive Minnesota win on Super Tuesday could give a candidate a needed boost to continue – and more heartbreak.” I keep forgetting, which one is the “choke artist” and which one wets his pants?

For the Strib Mary Jo Webster and J. Patrick Coolican look at the caucus process and say: “A political strategist looking to find out where Hillary Clinton performed best in the Minnesota caucuses when she last ran for president in 2008 will have as many questions as answers. Like, where are all the votes? Data from the Secretary of State show zero votes for any candidate in 723 DFL precincts out of 4,122 that reported results in 2008, or 18 percent. Likewise, on the Republican side, large swaths of Minnesota precincts reported no results to the state office. The explanation is simple, say current and former secretaries of state: Although results are eventually posted to the secretary of state’s website, the caucuses are not state-run elections. They are run by the parties, which means the parties will hold the official vote tallies that determine which presidential candidates win delegates to the national political conventions.”

A combo Pioneer Press/Forum News Service piece says, “Unlike the Republican candidates, who will also vie in caucuses Tuesday, the Democratic candidates have spent considerable time and treasure in Minnesota. The candidates have each visited multiple times. Both have had paid staffers in the state for months and built up armies of organizing staff, communications experts and volunteers to ply their political wares. The two remaining Democratic contestants are jousting in paid television ads on Minnesota airwaves, have opened field offices across the state and have deployed their volunteers to phones, to the doors and to the hustings. Each candidates’ campaign has spent about $200,000 in the state, according to the latest campaign finance reports, and those figures do not include the ad spending that has ramped up this month.”

An issue that should be higher on the list of campaign talking points: Steve Brandt of the Strib says, “A decade-long quest to end homelessness in Minneapolis and Hennepin County has yielded discouraging results: The number of people without homes hasn’t dropped. It has risen. There are 231 more homeless people — living in the streets, in emergency shelters or in transitional housing — in Hennepin County in the final year of the push than when it began in 2007. Last year’s count found 3,125 homeless people in the county, which accounts for two of every five homeless Minnesotans. Homeless counts also are up statewide for the same period, despite an 11 percent drop nationally.”

Cheeky Monkey is kaput. In the PiPress, Kristi Belcamino writes, “Cheeky Monkey, a popular St. Paul bistro, shuttered its doors Sunday night, saying on its website and Facebook page that it was permanently closing after seven ‘wonderful years.’ … Within moments of the announcement, disappointed customers commented on how much they loved the Selby Avenue restaurant and how sad they were about the closing.”

The Panama Canal expansion means changes in Savage. In the Strib John Reinan says, “The Dan Patch Line bridge across the Minnesota River will swing shut to carry rail traffic this spring for the first time in nearly a decade, officials said last week, and it’s being set in motion by an unlikely source: the Panama Canal. A long-awaited project to widen the canal is scheduled to be completed in May, allowing larger ships to pass through the historic link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. ‘That means bigger ships will be calling at New Orleans,’ said Mark Wegner, president of the Twin Cities & Western Railroad Co., which owns the bridge. ‘That means New Orleans will be more competitive. And that means the [Mississippi] river will be more competitive’.”

They know their rights, man! Emma Nelson of the Strib says, “An adult novelty store in Burnsville is suing the city, saying a zoning provision preventing it from selling sexually explicit DVDs is unconstitutional. North Dakota-based Enchantasys Partners 2 LLC filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday contesting an ordinance that does not allow ‘sexually oriented businesses’ to operate in certain parts of the city. … A description of the store’s proposed use that the company submitted to the city said it intended to carry items including lingerie, costumes, DVDs and ‘novelties.’ ‘We run a clean boutique-like store. It is an all age’s store,’ the description said … .”

Might need more info here. The AP says, “Authorities say a man lying in the road was struck and killed by a car in a northern Minneapolis suburb. … The 46-year-old man from St. Francis was in the southbound lanes of traffic when he was struck. He died at the scene. A 34-year-old woman from Anoka was driving the car. She was not hurt, but was taken to a hospital for an evaluation and later released. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the pedestrian was lying in the road.”

Native Lives Matter couldn’t disrupt Crashed Ice. Says MPR’s Peter Cox, “About 40 people protesting last year’s fatal shooting of Philip Quinn by St. Paul Police officers were blocked by police and told to disperse in St. Paul on Saturday. The protest, organized by Native Lives Matter, included a rally and march from Indian Mounds Park to St. Paul police headquarters. Protesters had also planned to march to the Crashed Ice event in downtown St. Paul.”

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the people at Power Line are not pleased with this Trump thing. Says John Hinderaker, struggling for an explanation: “Who ever expected honesty from Trump? But if we’ve given up on honesty, how about a minimal level of competence? Is Trump really such a fool that he can’t figure out it’s a bad idea to let the Democrats hang the Ku Klux Klan (formerly known as the militant arm of the Democratic Party) around his neck? He can’t possibly be that stupid. Can he? Or is he a Democrat, deliberately engaged in an effort to bring down the Republican Party and make Hillary Clinton, who is otherwise unelectable, our president? At this point, it is hard to tell. The alternatives are about equally plausible.”

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 02/29/2016 - 08:21 am.

    Seriously?

    Hmmm… Are the folks at Enchantasys Partners 2 LLC so badly educated that they don’t recognize a glaring error when it’s right in front of them? I have grammarian friends who would be livid over:

    “…It is an all age’s store…”

    • Submitted by richard owens on 02/29/2016 - 08:54 am.

      Good catch there, Ray.

      …but probably not as critical as that famous Fortran semi-colon in the computer program that sent a satellite off-course, into oblivion.

      I forget. Was it a missing semi-colon or just a misplaced one?

      Oh nevermind.

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