State Auditor Rebecca Otto sues state, counties

MinnPost file photo by Terry Gydesen
Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto

Otto sues. MPR’s Brian Bakst reports: “State Auditor Rebecca Otto has sued over a new law giving counties the ability to get private audits. … The Democratic official filed the lawsuit Thursday in Wright County District Court. Otto wants the law declared unconstitutional. … She says the law pushed primarily by Republicans but accepted by legislative Democrats last year intrudes on power vested in her office.” 

We smell a trend. The Star Tribune’s Jim Buchta writes, “Minneapolis is on the cusp of getting its third major condo project since the recession. … Developer Bob Lux said Tuesday that he will build a 40-story tower with 207 condominiums in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood just across the river from downtown Minneapolis.”

The Coen brothers would not like to thank the Academy. The Daily Beast’s Jen Yamato spoke to the filmmaking brothers: “Oscar-winning duo Joel and Ethan Coen let out matching bemused groans at the mention of the hot-button #OscarsSoWhite controversy as we discussed their latest film, the 1950s-set backstage Hollywood comedy Hail, Caesar!, during a recent stop in Beverly Hills. … ‘Diversity’s important,’ clarified Coen, who with his brother has won four Oscars and earned 10 more nominations including a Best Screenplay nod for Bridge of Spies, for which they’ll vie at this month’s 88th Academy Awards show. ‘The Oscars are not that important.’

From the photo, this monkey seems like it has things under control. Nevertheless, the Pioneer Press’ Marino Eccher reports on an objection to the World’s Toughest Rodeo, which is coming to St. Paul this weekend: “A Minnesota animal rights group is calling for ‘Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey’ — a dog-riding, sheep-herding entertainment act — to be pulled from a weekend rodeo at Xcel Energy Center, claiming the event puts the creature at serious risk and might run afoul of the state’s animal cruelty laws. … Whiplash’s owner and veterinarian say those concerns are unfounded. In spite of his name, they said, the monkey isn’t in danger and receives excellent care.”

In other news…

Medallion found. “Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt medallion found at Bald Eagle Lake” [Pioneer Press]

It’s good to own a gun shop in Minnesota: “Permits to carry a gun soar in Minnesota, with 6,000 permit holders in a month” [Star Tribune]

SCIENCE! “State, cities try to apply a little science to their road-salt use” [MPR]

Didn’t have a prayer: “Wisconsin police force pulls ‘In God We Trust’ bumper stickers from squad cars” [Forum News Service]

Now you’ve got no excuse: “Minnesota’s the best state in the country to quit smoking” [City Pages]

One-time Minnesotan and prominent activist DeRay Mckesson is running for mayor of Baltimore. [Medium]

Nice visual treatment by the New York Times detailing ISIS recruitment in the United States, a relatively big issue for the Twin Cities.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 02/04/2016 - 06:56 pm.

    So if a State official sues the State

    Does the State pay for both the prosecution and the defense?

  2. Submitted by Craig Johnson on 02/04/2016 - 08:10 pm.


    Ms. Otto is entirely justified in her concerns. The State Auditor is a Constitutional Office; its charge is to ensure that counties are prudent,honest, and not vested in the ‘good ole boys’ experience. As a property owner in Wright County, and experienced in the issues of the ‘good ole boy’ network, I have to rely on the State Auditor to – if not keep the train on the track, at least not let the train wander too far from the roadbed.

    To the issue of who pays for good government, in my experience good government is always a whole lot and a half less expensive than unchecked self aggrandizement.

    Go, Rebecca, Go.

  3. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 02/05/2016 - 01:36 pm.

    Thanks for the link to the City Pages story

    They did a nice job reporting on the ALA’s State of Tobacco Control Report. The Star Tribune and Pioneer Press? Nothing.

  4. Submitted by Ivy Chang on 02/05/2016 - 03:01 pm.

    Private audits

    Why would state legislators (public jobs) make a law for private audits of counties? Have legislators studied American government? What do these counties have to hide? Tell the legislators, Rebecca.

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