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Sanders calls for ‘working class’ politics, defends Omar at Minneapolis rally

Plus: Klobuchar campaign touts momentum in polling, fundraising; O’Gara’s won’t reopen at original location; Krispy Kreme tells Minnesota entrepreneur to stop donut deliveries; snow vexes Minnesota drivers over the weekend; and more.

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ilhan Omar
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ilhan Omar shown during a campaign rally at Williams Arena on Sunday.
REUTERS/Caroline Yang

A trio of MPR reporters say, “As he looks to recapture some of his 2016 magic in Minnesota, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders is showcasing his support from a politician barely on the political scene back then. U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar joined Sanders on stage Sunday night for a campaign rally at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, before a raucous crowd of several thousand supporters. … Clasping Omar’s hand as he took the stage, Sanders devoted a slice of his 55-minute remarks to a defense of Omar, whom he argued has been vilified by Trump and others because she is a refugee and a Muslim. … Sanders made a call for a cultural healing. But he said his campaign is also built around a socioeconomic reckoning that would require the rich to pay more and the lower and middle classes to get more out of government. ”

For the Pioneer Press, J.D. Duggan and Christopher Magan report, “Doors to the event opened at 4:30 p.m. and a long line had cued up to see the pair of left-leaning firebrands. Sanders’ liberal ideals were the reason supporters like Judith Schwartzbacker came out Sunday to see the Vermont senator. She says the other top Democratic candidates are not progressive enough and Sanders is leading a revolution.…”

The Star Tribune’s J. Patrick Coolican writes, “Before the rally, Jennifer Carnahan, the chairwoman of the Republican Party in Minnesota, said Sanders and Omar were in town to ‘spread their radical proposals.’ ‘While it is clear that Omar, Sanders and the squad have taken over the Democrat Party, Minnesotans deserve their elected officials to stand up against these dangerous policies,’ she said. ‘Their extreme, socialist agenda will bankrupt America, all at the expense of middle-class families.’”

MPR’s Mark Zdechlik writes: “As Sen. Amy Klobuchar takes her Democratic presidential campaign back to New Hampshire this week, the candidate and her supporters are claiming momentum in polling and fundraising. Observers say Klobuchar still has a long way to climb to reach the top tier of 2020 Democratic candidates — but she’s well-positioned to capitalize if any of the front-runners trip up. ‘If you’re watching a horse race, she’s been one of the horses a couple of lengths behind on the outside, just waiting for the front-runners to slow down or stumble in some way,’ said Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford.”

In the Pioneer Press’ Sarah Horner and Mara Gottfried report, “As gun violence has risen in St. Paul, researchers who came to the city last year linked a large percent of it to violent street groups. For more than a year, Ramsey County and St. Paul officials have discussed the Group Violence Intervention initiative — a carrot-and-stick approach of offering services to people who want to get out of a life of violence and focusing law enforcement on the groups who won’t stop shooting. There was at least $100,000 on the table to get GVI off the ground and the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office staff wrote a grant proposal. In the end, they didn’t apply for it, although federal partners told them they were likely to get the funding. While St. Paul Police Department brass supported the idea, the mayor’s office had concerns and questions about how the model would specifically address the needs of St. Paul, according to emails from city and county staff reviewed by the Pioneer Press as well as conversations with officials involved.”

From KFGO radio in Fargo: “It didn’t take a lot of snow to create a major headache on roadways in Minnesota. The Minnesota State Patrol says that 118 crashes were reported between 6 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, on a morning when there was one-tenth of an inch of measurable snow.”

KSTP-TV reports: “O’Gara’s Bar and Grill, a St. Paul institution for more than 75 years, will not reopen its original location at Snelling and Selby avenues. According to a statement released on Sunday, O’Gara’s will not resume business at its original location, although it will continue to operate its State Fair location during the fair, special events at the fairground and at catered events. ‘It is with sadness that we share the news that we have decided not to re-open the original location,’ said Dan O’Gara, the third-generation owner.”

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The AP says,A young Minnesota entrepreneur who spotted a hole in the doughnut marketing landscape says he’s been told to put the brakes on his Krispy Kreme runs into Iowa. Jayson Gonzalez, of Champlin, Minnesota, has been making weekend trips to a Krispy Kreme store in Clive, Iowa. He’d pack his car with boxes of doughnuts, head north and deliver them to his customers around the Twin Cities. Less than a week after the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported about his road trips, Gonzalez said he got a phone call from Krispy Kreme’s Nebraska office telling him to stop selling the company’s doughnuts in Minnesota.”

Also from KSTP: “The Morrison County Sheriff Office reported a 40-foot RV trailer was stolen from Sullivan Lake sometime between late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.  According to the sheriff’s office, a grey tarp entirely covered the new Salem Villa RV trailer. The RV appeared to have been ripped from the blocks and wiring, then pulled out of the lot westbound on Logan Lane.”