MPR’s story says, “Allen Scarsella, the Bloomington man convicted of shooting and wounding five men at a protest over the 2015 police killing of Jamar Clark, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison. The shooting happened Nov. 23, 2015, a little over a week after Clark was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer. … During his trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Scarsella, who is white, was motivated by racial bias to shoot the protesters, who are all black. The prosecution showed jurors a trail of racist text messages that Scarsella sent to his friends.”
It was not without controversy. The MPR trio of Matt Sepic, Cody Nelson and Brandt Williams say, “… as [Hennepin County Attorney Mike] Freeman tried telling reporters he was pleased with the sentencing, and that he had pressed the harshest charges possible, he got cut off. ‘No you did not Mike Freeman,’ said Cameron Clark, Jamar’s cousin and one of Scarsella’s victims. ‘He should’ve been hit with [attempted] murder … please don’t lie in front of these people, ’cause I could’ve been dead.’ A bullet nearly missed one of Clark’s main arteries. … ‘If that was me, I would’ve been looking at 25-30,’ said Clark, who, along with Scarsella’s other four victims, is black.”
New and imaginative ways to look even sleazier. Thomas Lee of the San Francisco Chronicle says, “Wells Fargo branches across the country deliberately targeted “undocumented immigrants” to open savings and checking accounts in order to meet aggressive sales goals, according to court documents obtained by The Chronicle. In sworn declarations obtained by Burlingame plaintiff’s attorney Joseph Cotchett, former employees describe a scheme in which Spanish-speaking colleagues would visit places they knew were frequented by immigrants (including construction sites and a 7-Eleven), drive them to a branch and persuade them to open an account. Some employees would give the immigrants $10 apiece to start an account. The events described in the declaration go back a decade.”
And not all that far out of that vein, Brian Bakst at MPR says, “Nearly a decade after the collapse of a staggering $3.7 billion fraud scheme engineered by businessman Tom Petters, Minnesota lawmakers could rewrite rules governing who must fork over money to victims. A measure contained in a wide-ranging state budget bill would limit the recovery of investment income earned by charitable or religious organizations that accepted gifts from Petters or his associates. The law change is backed by some charitable foundations confronted by claims from a court-appointed receiver.” Which reminds me, has Denny Hecker been transferred lately?
Evergreen headline #4,212. Says the Strib atop a Jim Spencer story: “Minnesota businesses think tax cut could spur investment.” The story itself says, “Minnesota’s businesses are awaiting the full details of President Trump’s tax plan, but so far they like what they see. At the core of the proposal administration officials outlined Wednesday is a plan to cut the corporate income tax rate from 35 to 15 percent. Executives said that could spur the capital investments that the president is counting on to offset the huge loss of federal revenue that will result from the tax plan.”
Why does this not surprise me at all? According to the AP, “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday that he won’t remove Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke from office over the death of an inmate who was denied water for seven days. Walker said while he has the authority to remove Clarke, he doesn’t feel it’s his job. He acknowledged that reports about the 2016 dehydration death were concerning, but said it’s up to voters to decide Clarke’s fate and judge his oversight of the jail.
Blogger Rob Levine, a reliable thorn in the side of trendy thinking on education issues, is out with his latest. Says Levine, “Charter advocates over the years have provided high-sounding notions of teacher and parent created schools, teacher-led schools, and have promised unprecedented educational innovation, achievement, and ‘accountability’. But it’s difficult to start a school – it takes money and expertise … . The charter school movement, however, is awash in money, and it has developed a pipeline for funneling that cash into new charter schools. One foundation – the Walton Family Foundation – heirs to the Walmart fortune, has started or helped to start 70 Minnesota charter schools, or 28 percent of all charter schools ever opened in the state.”
The crummy weather? It ain’t going away soon, or for long. Says MPR’s Paul Huttner, “Metro slop storm potential Monday? It’s still too early to buy the farm on this one. But several models suggest the next inbound low pressure storm Sunday into Monday may be cold enough for some (potentially heavy) sloppy snow in or close to the Twin Cities. I know.”