DFL spent big on Minnesota election

MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

Money talks, but evidently it doesn’t vote. The Star Tribune’s J. Patrick Coolican reports: “The DFL and allied groups spent heavily in their ultimately failed effort to try to win back the Minnesota House and retain the Senate in 2016, according to the final 2016 campaign disclosure reports. … Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a DFL aligned group, took in and spent $6.5 million. The DFL Senate caucus raised more than $4 million. The House DFL caucus also raised nearly $4 million. Much of the caucus money was spent by the state party, which spent nearly $10 million on the campaign, including a sophisticated voter identification and turnout operation that was overwhelmed by support — especially in greater Minnesota — for President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans down the ballot.”

Sen. Al not sitting down and taking it. The AP reports (via MPR): “Tempers flared in the usually decorous Senate as the Judiciary Committee weighed a vote on attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions. … Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota and Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas traded charges on Wednesday over previous committee testimony. … Franken said he wanted to set the record straight and complained that his integrity had been abused.”

Will this become an election issue? The Star Tribune’s Eric Roper reports: “The president of the Minneapolis City Council and two county commissioners recently chastised Council Member Alondra Cano for defying City Hall security guards during an after-hours oil pipeline gathering this fall. … Cano released a stern letter she received from the three officials, dated Dec. 30, as well as security footage on her Facebook page on Tuesday. The letter was signed by Council President Barb Johnson and Hennepin County Commissioners Jan Callison and Peter McLaughlin, who serve on the board of the joint agency that oversees City Hall. … ‘[Building] staff observed you encouraging demonstrators to remain in the building, physically touching security staff, opening locked exterior doors from within so others could gain entry, providing food to them and interfering with building staff’s directions,’ the letter said. … Cano said she released the letter and footage after learning it had been requested by a local television station.”

Activism works. The AP reports (via MPR): “Hormel Foods Corp. says it has stopped accepting hogs from a pork supplier in Oklahoma after an animal rights group released video from a farm the supplier owns there. … The company says it learned of the undercover video Tuesday and is investigating the farm owned by The Maschhoffs, one of the nation’s largest pork producers based in Carlyle, Illinois. Austin, Minnesota-based Hormel said third-party auditors would go to other Maschhoffs sites to check animal care standards.”

In other news…

Taking a post at the U: “St. Paul chamber president Matt Kramer stepping down” [Pioneer Press]

Optimistic about the future? “UnitedHealthcare hiring 100 in Duluth” [Duluth News Tribune]

Minnesota cities rank high: “Cities where Trump’s travel ban may hit the hardest, in two maps” [Marketwatch]

Huh: “Two days after TV star’s death, artist who cast Mary Tyler Moore sculpture dies” [Washington Post]

Boom: “Anderson wins third Beargrease title” [Duluth News Tribune]

New Dylan alert: “Bob Dylan releasing another collection of non-Dylan songs — a triple album” [Star Tribune]

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