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Former Bush lawyer Painter to run for U.S. Senate as DFLer

Richard Painter
Richard Painter

This could be interesting. At MPR, Nina Moini says, “Almost two months after saying he was considering a run for U.S. Senate in Minnesota, it appears former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter has decided to enter the special election as a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate. Painter has a news conference scheduled for Monday at the Minnesota Capitol, but a Federal Election Commission filing from last week shows the self-described ‘centrist’ has registered as a DFL candidate.” 

In the Strib, Paul Walsh says, “Karin Housley, a small-business owner and suburban state senator, is the only Republican to announce plans to run for the seat. She was elected to the Legislature in 2012. Painter has said that if he runs, he would not accept donations from political action committees, super PACs or what he called ‘dark money’ groups. … He was Bush’s ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007. He is vice chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.”

Not so many candy men here. Brian Arola of The Mankato Free Press says, “Only two Minnesota doctors, none in southern Minnesota, were among the top 1,000 opioid prescribers in the federal Medicare program, according to data compiled from 2013 to 2015. With Medicare accounting for about one of every four prescriptions written in the U.S., the data provides a snapshot into possible examples of overprescribing as the opioid epidemic rages. Many of the top prescribers in the nationwide data have been charged with crimes or their licenses have been revoked, but those egregiously rampant prescription practices appear harder to come by in Minnesota.

Something to look forward to. The Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow writes: “This week’s ramp closures and detours are just a foretaste of what’s coming in mid-June. That’s when the Minnesota Department of Transportation will shut down the main ramp leading from northbound Interstate 35W into downtown Minneapolis — for four months.” 

It ain’t over yet. For KMSP-TV Cody Matz says, “While we have finally turned the corner and headed into a more spring-like pattern, our lakes are struggling to catch up.  As of Saturday afternoon, there are only five Minnesota lakes considered to be ice-free out of more than 200 that are tracked and surveyed each year.  That puts much of the state a solid three to five weeks behind our normal ice out schedule. For much of southern Minnesota and at least a few lakes in the metro, we have already broken the record for latest ice-out on record.  One of note is southwest of New Ulm, Lake Hanska is still not ice-free, beating the old record set nearly 70 years ago in the early 1950s.”

Today in big gummint. For MPR, Mark Steil says, “Minnesota’s biodiesel industry will get a boost Tuesday when a new state fuel mandate takes effect. Starting May 1, the fuel most used by truckers, No. 2 diesel, must contain at least 20 percent biodiesel — double the current requirement. Biodiesel is mostly made from soybeans, but can also be made from waste products such as used cooking oil. Many petroleum companies and truckers oppose the new mandate, saying it will increase their business costs.”

Effective as a dog whistle, though. In a Strib commentary, former Gov. Arne Carlson and former DFL Sen. Linda Berglin have this to say about Medicaid work requirements, “Every once in awhile, a proposed piece of legislation threatens to be so harmful that it warrants special attention. The bill in question essentially compels “able-bodied” people to work or lose the health care they receive through Minnesota public programs. On its face, it sounds appealing. However, not only would this proposal increase taxes and cause counties to hire more employees, it would actually make the poverty situation worse. In addition, it does not allow counties, which would have to bear the financial burden, any voice in the decision.”

As for our favorite scandal-ridden bank, CNN Money says, “Wells Fargo may face an angry crowd at its shareholder meeting Tuesday in Iowa. Investors are pushing proposals to rein in Wells Fargo, and activists are organizing protests slamming the bank for countless consumer abuses. They have a lot to complain about.”

Minnesota’s Lois Riess, the alleged killer grandma, had a court appearance in Florida. Says Michael Baun for the Ft. Myers News-Press, “The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota said Lee County and Florida authorities could have first legal crack at Riess. The Dodge sheriff’s statement said: ‘Lois Riess will be going to FL first while we continue to build the strongest case possible against her here in MN. 2nd-degree charges will be filed once we get forensic results back from the BCA. We will bring her back to MN to stand trial when FL is done.’”

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Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 04/30/2018 - 07:41 am.

    What MPR didn’t say about biodiesel

    Adding the cleaner-burning biodiesel will displace an estimated 130 million gallons of petroleum diesel, eliminate 132 tons of particulate pollution and prevent 960,860 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/30/2018 - 08:15 am.

      Because its not true?

      Like corn ethanol, once you take all the production into account, biodiesel actually produces more greenhouse gases. There’s a reason most environmental groups oppose biofuels. Unfortunately, the biofuel industry has been able to greenwash its products and convince people its products are good for the environment.

      • Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 04/30/2018 - 08:38 am.

        The U.S. Department of Energy says otherwise

        From the section on biodiesel in the DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center:

        “Life cycle analysis completed by Argonne National Laboratory found that B100 use reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 74% compared with petroleum diesel. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) reported similar values from various sources for its life cycle analysis of biodiesel.”

        • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/30/2018 - 11:01 am.


          The DOE has always supported ethanol. The calculation – as always – does not include the inputs that tips the balance against biofuels. Try some independent (and complete) research.

          Biofuels are a polluter’s dream. Maybe in the age of Trump that will go over well.

    • Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 04/30/2018 - 10:01 am.


      It’s 102 million gallons displaced, not 130.

  2. Submitted by Greg Fynboh on 04/30/2018 - 09:38 am.

    “most environmental groups”

    Pat Terry, with respect, I disagree with your assessment that ethanol and biodiesel produce more greenhouse gases (I will assume you mean more than conventional fuels). Peer reviewed study after peer reviewed study has debunked the myths that ethanol and biodiesel produce more greenhouse gas than what we were previously using for fuel. Especially when you take their production into account, they pollute less than oil exploration and refinery. I understand most environmental groups want whats good for the environment and will look at studies that will show what they want to see. It is easy to be confused because of all the studies that have been done and that have come to different conclusions, but some common sense and and a thorough understanding of the study done and you will find that, indeed, renewable fuels are better for the environment.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/30/2018 - 10:58 am.

      Completely false

      What has been debunked is the idea that there is anything green about corn ethanol. Environmental groups are not confused or just looking for what they want to hear. Many of those groups once supported biofuels until the science came in. And the science is very bad. The peer-reviewed studies – those not funded by corn groups – find that corn ethanol is worse than gasoline in terms of greenhouse gases.

      Corn ethanol also extrmely water intensive and the increaed corn production has resulted in land set aside for habitat being cultivated. It also gives you worse gas mileage and corrodes your engine.

      The environmental groups are not confused or misinformed. The studies (other than the ag funded ones) are clear. Anyone employing even a shred of common sense recognizes corn ethanol is an environmental disaster and a complete boondoggle.

    • Submitted by Robert Henderson on 04/30/2018 - 11:48 am.

      Bio fuels do further damage.

      Beyond the greenhouse gases created during production and burning, they also encouraged the farming of marginal land, which took out a lot wetlands, increased the pesticide and fertilizer runoff that fouls our water, both surface and aquifer. Loss of wetlands adds to flooding problems as well. Bio fuels were a bad deal we should stop mandating their use.

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 05/01/2018 - 09:48 pm.

        Seems a strange hill to die on

        Lithium mining isn’t exactly environmentally friendly either, but I don’t see anyone calling for an end to electric vehicle use. I get it, there’s trade offs, but at the end of the day, wetlands CAN be restored, the additional acreage can be left fallow once more. You don’t come back from drilling and open pit mines and unless you’re willing to ship your goods by rickshaw in the interim I’ll take farmers (even commercial ones) over oilmen every time.

  3. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 04/30/2018 - 11:11 am.

    Painter may be right about Trump

    but pointing out the obvious doesn’t make him a Democrat. Where’s he stand on the issues? Medicare for all, Minimum wage, Student Debt? I suspect on those things he leans Republican. No thank you, we have enough “Centrists” in the party. Hopefully my fellow DFLers don’t fall for his BS.

    • Submitted by Marci Martinson on 04/30/2018 - 12:33 pm.


      You are right. We need to hear where he stands on many, many issues. My concern is that he will split the DFL voters and cause the DFL to lose the seat to an even more conservative GOP candidate. Maybe that is his plan?

    • Submitted by Tim Walker on 04/30/2018 - 01:14 pm.

      Plus, Painter was the White House ethics lawyer under George W. Bush, whose administration first denied and then admitted to allowing the CIA to waterboard terror suspects.

      If I go hear Mr. Painter talk, I’d I’d ask him about that: What did you know and when did you know it?

      Depending on his answers, I’d then be able to understand how ethical the former “Ethics Lawyer” really is.

  4. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/02/2018 - 08:38 am.

    A Republican….

    The perfect centrist Democrat! Put him on the ballot, he’s electable! And once elected he certainly won’t support any of those silly pie in the sky unicorns like single payer, living wages, or affordable college.

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