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AGs from Minnesota, ten other states ask for investigation into potential price-fixing among meatpackers

Attorney General Keith Ellison
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Attorney General Keith Ellison

An AP story by Roxana Hegeman says, “The attorneys general for 11 Midwestern states urged the Justice Department on Tuesday to pursue a federal investigation into market concentration and potential price-fixing by meatpackers in the cattle industry during the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, the state attorneys general noted that the domestic beef processing market is highly concentrated, with the four largest beef processors controlling 80 percent of the industry. … The state officials criticized the disparity in the price of live cattle and the retail cost of boxed beef that is sold to consumers, arguing that it shows the market lacks fair competition. … The letter was signed by attorneys general in North Dakota, Missouri, Colorado, South Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wyoming.”

Says Torey Van Oot in the Star Tribune, “A Republican state senator questioned why leisure campgrounds remain closed while some homeless people can continue to seek shelter in tents amid the coronavirus pandemic, sparking intense criticism from Democrats. In a video posted to Twitter Tuesday, state Sen. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids, referenced a ‘nice little tent city set up here’ in St. Paul, before appealing to Gov. Tim Walz to ‘open up campgrounds in Northern Minnesota.’”

For Slate, Mark Stern reports, “The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority looked poised on Tuesday to invalidate the state’s COVID-19 safer-at-home rules limiting public gatherings and commercial activity. Its decision could instantly lift public health restrictions, forcibly reopening the state and likely accelerating the spread of COVID-19. The court’s five Republican justices appeared to have no compunction about ending social distancing rules for the rest of the state’s citizens, even as they conducted their hearing remotely on Zoom.”

For City Pages Hannah Jones writes, “Sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner Kale Severson says, he heard 37 gunshots ring out as though they were right next to his head. They weren’t, but they weren’t far. There was an incident underway outside his Irving Avenue home in north Minneapolis, as Severson wrote in a detailed account on his Facebook page on Sunday afternoon.”

The Star Tribune’s Patrick Condon writes, “U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a former presidential rival who helped Joe Biden clinch the Democratic nomination, is standing behind the former vice president against a disputed allegation of long-ago sexual misconduct. ‘He answered questions directly and has been open and transparent with the American people, and I am proud to be supporting him,’ Klobuchar said Tuesday in a prepared statement.”

KSTP-TV reports: “A Maple Grove man has been charged after authorities say he strangled his wife and buried her in the crawl space of a home. A criminal complaint states 28-year-old Joshua David Fury faces one count of second-degree murder. The body of Maria Fury was found early Saturday morning in the crawl space of a Maple Grove home.”

For the AP, Sarah Sell writes, “The US government has distributed about 130 million economic impact payments to taxpayers in less than 30 days. The IRS anticipates sending more than 150 million payments as part of a massive coronavirus rescue package. The distribution has had some hiccups, including an overwhelmed website, payments to deceased taxpayers and money sent to inactive accounts. … Payments started going out last week to Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees and veterans who aren’t required to file a tax return; these will continue through May.”

Another AP story, this by Emily Pettus, says, “A nonprofit group caught up in an embezzlement scheme in Mississippi used federal welfare money to pay former NFL quarterback Brett Favre $1.1 million for multiple speaking engagements but Favre did not show up for the events, the state auditor said Monday. … The audit says Favre Enterprises was paid $500,000 in December 2017 and $600,000 in June 2018, and he was supposed to make speeches for at least three events. … Favre, who lives in Mississippi, faces no criminal charges. … The Associated Press on Monday sent questions to Favre by text message and left a message for him with his longtime agent Bus Cook, and Favre did not immediately respond.”

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 05/06/2020 - 07:40 am.

    Sen. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids sounds like a real genius.Basically saying: “All those lucky duck homeless people get to camp out, why can’t the rest of us?” I admit we hear some real stupid things from Republicans these days but this one from Eichorn has to rank right up there with Texas Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick saying “there are more important things than living.”

    Thanks Justin for putting us on the Stupid Map.

  2. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 05/06/2020 - 10:23 am.

    The “conservative” majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court seems to be engaged in an exercise in time travel-back to the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century before “judicial restraint’ and respect for the other two branches of government became normalized. Never mind the facts the imminent threat to public health created by the current pandemic. The Slate article nails it:

    “The Wisconsin Supreme Court may be divided between conservatives and liberals. But perhaps the deeper division is between justices who respect the law and justices who will sacrifice lives on the altar of partisanship.”

    I hope I live long enough to see this pack of political hacks replaced on that court.

  3. Submitted by BK Anderson on 05/06/2020 - 12:11 pm.

    Well, Wisconsinites are about to find out what it means to have a high court packed with “conservative” activists masquerading as “Justices”. But I’m sure baselessly overturning a stay at home order in the midst of a viral pandemic will really turn the WI economy around in minutes!

    As ye sow, so shall ye reap….

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