Legislative auditor calls MSFA suite use ethically questionable

MinnPost file photo by Daniel Corrigan
Minnesota Legislative Auditor James Nobles

Like so many things, unethical but not illegal. MPR’s Tim Nelson reports: “The agency that runs U.S. Bank Stadium made ethically questionable use of the stadium luxury suites it controls, but its use of event tickets did not violate state law. … That’s the conclusion of a report released Tuesday by Minnesota Legislative Auditor James Nobles. … The report criticizes the five-member Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and its staff for inviting friends, family and political allies into its suites for Minnesota Vikings games, concerts and other events.”

Hmm … where do we remember reading about this? MPR’s Cody Nelson reports: “President Trump said on Monday he thinks the news media have failed at reporting terrorist attacks. … Speaking to troops at an Air Force base in Florida, the president said news organizations ‘have their reasons, and you understand that.’ … A reporter followed up later in the day and asked White House press secretary Sean Spicer for examples of a terrorist attack the news media has not reported on. Spicer promised to provide a list. … The St. Cloud, Minn., mall stabbing is on the list of purportedly underreported terror attacks.”

As long as you can still hold your latte and doughnut. The Pioneer Press’ David Montgomery reports: “Minnesota could be about to clamp down even more on mobile phone use while driving. … Several state lawmakers are proposing a ban on all cellphone use while driving, except in hands-free mode. … ‘Constituents tell us, and the data affirms, that we’re seeing more and more accidents as a result of distracted driving,’ said Rep. Frank Hornstein, the Minneapolis Democrat who’s co-authoring the bill with Champlin Republican Rep. Mark Uglem. ‘We know that we’re going to save lives and prevent injuries with this type of legislation.’ ”

Another high-profile public radio talent switch. The Growler reports: “American Public Media announced today that New York Times Magazine columnist Francis Lam will become the new host of The Splendid Table. After 21 seasons, Lynne Rossetto Kasper is retiring at the end of 2017, and will continue to contribute to the program throughout the year until her retirement. Lam will host his first show March 10. … Lam, a James Beard Award winner, has been a regular contributor and frequent guest host on The Splendid Table since 2010. He is also the former Eat columnist for The New York Times Magazine and is Editor-at-Large at Clarkson Potter, a division within Penguin Random House that is a leader in cookbook publishing. He’s also been a regular judge on Top Chef Masters.”

In other news…

More Ellison love … “Keith Ellison Is Everything Republicans Thought Obama Was. Maybe He’s Just What Democrats Need.” [Mother Jones]

… and here’s Ellison on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah. [Comedy Central]

… and another endorsement: “Gloria Steinem Endorses Keith Ellison for DNC Chair” [Variety]

DeVos confirmed as ed secretary; Franken not amused:

Any day now: “Voters await economic revival in a part of pro-Trump America” [AP]

Surgery in March: “Gov. Mark Dayton Announces Treatment Plan” [KSTP]

More of this kind of stuff please: “Minnesota mosque gets ‘thank you’ note from neighbors they don’t even know” [City Pages] 

Expect More but maybe not this much: “2-ton Target ball pulls an ‘Indiana Jones’ and rolls through parking lot” [Mashable]

Yeah, we’re pretty great: “Check Out the Winterland Beauty of the Great Northern Experience” [Eater]

Look who had a visit to Washington:

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 02/07/2017 - 01:12 pm.

    Splendid Table

    I had a feeling this was coming. Lynne Rossetto Kasper has been handing over more and more of her program time to others, and just last weekend I was thinking it was only a matter of time.

    I’ll miss her (even though she’ll still make appearances). She is truly one of those rare types that you feel like is a friend at some level, purely through her warm and welcoming personality that just shines through every time you hear her.

  2. Submitted by Nick Foreman on 02/07/2017 - 01:28 pm.

    Does Stanek do any work in his position

    As Sheriff or is he just a republican wannabe politician? He has enough problems to deal with in Hennepin county. Get back to work.

    • Submitted by Barbara Skoglund on 02/07/2017 - 04:27 pm.

      Nothing wannabe about it

      Don’t forget Stanek was in the MN House for 8 years and T-Paws Commissioner of Public Safety. Doesn’t he want to be governor? Maybe he’ll move to DC instead, we can only hope.

  3. Submitted by Henry Fischer on 02/07/2017 - 02:58 pm.

    Preesident Trump and truth telling.

    “President Trump said on Monday he thinks the news media have failed at reporting terrorist attacks.”
    His press secretary handed out a list of 78 events that allegedly got little or no attention. Upon review there were none on the list that could be called under reported. When is the last time Trump has alleged anything that weren’t false allegations. He’s clearly trying to deceive. I think the press is derelict if it’s response is to simply add a tag line that a local well reported event was on the list. Seekers of the truth should call it what is. A lie.

  4. Submitted by Bill Willy on 02/07/2017 - 04:59 pm.

    Except in hands-free mode

    Before getting too excited about all the lives that will be saved, Frank Hornstein and Mark Uglem ought to take a look at the (increasingly ancient) research that’s been done on the lack of benefits provided by making “hands-free” distracted driving the law.

    Here’s a hint from a 2014 article on the Forbes web site:

    “New findings from a National Safety Council public opinion poll indicate that 80 percent of drivers across America incorrectly believe that hands-free devices are safer than using a hand-held phone . . .

    ” ‘The problem is the brain does not truly multi-task,’ David Teater, senior director of transportation initiatives at the Council, said in a statement. ‘ Just like you can’t read a book and talk on the phone, you can’t safely operate a vehicle and talk on the phone. With some state laws focusing on hand-held bans and car makers putting hands-free technology in vehicles, no wonder people are confused.’

    “In December 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended a nation-wide ban on the use of cell phones while driving.”


    In other words, if MN lawmakers really want to make driving safer they would make it illegal for auto makers to sell vehicles with Super Distraction Traps built into their dashboards; and illegal for phone makers to sell phones that don’t have hack-proof, permanently enabled, “Shut off when moving more than 5 miles per hour,” software built into them. (They already have that feature, I hear, but the factory default setting is “off”)

    Which, of course, would make them about as re-electable as if they’d passed legislation that outlawed beer or the Vikings, so that would be a tough call.

    But, according to science, it would take something like that, or something equally “draconian” (better known as “one more anti-freedom government encroachment on my constitutional right to improve my chances of killing myself or someone else”), to remove the risk associated with driving while communicating life and death information at every moment.

  5. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 02/07/2017 - 05:36 pm.

    Taking Trump’s Bait

    It doesn’t matter that the St. Cloud attack was in fact covered by the media. What matters is that Trump has everyone talking about terrorism. Same with Kelly Ann Conway and her lie about the “Bowling Green Massacre”. It all just gins up and fans fears of terrorism.

    Look, Trump just did it again with the murder rate. It’s like the right wing hate machine that spewed forth lies about the last resident of the White House. Except this time it works in reverse,

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