Analiese’s Reading 4/19
Local edition: Franken/Coleman recount update, terrorism charges dropped against RNC8, Bachmann caught in another lie, Pawlenty enjoying stimulus package photo-op, looking at Minnesota property taxes, neighborhood art awards calling for nominations, the 35W bridge collapse as jewelry, the Lake Wobegon killer, coverage of the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival, the Guthrie celebrating Tony Kushner.
If Norm Coleman Makes a Federal Case of It, What Will Happen?
Following an order issued earlier in the week by the three-judge court hearing the election contest in the Coleman-Franken dispute, most observers believe that Norm Coleman will lose his election contest before that court. Coleman has already promised an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. If he loses there, it may be off to the United States Supreme Court and then possibly even to federal district court in a new lawsuit. In this post, I explore what is likely to happen in the federal courts if Coleman continues to litigate the outcome of the Minnesota U.S. Senate race beyond the state Supreme Court.
With Votes Counted, Franken Now Leads By 312 Votes
Minnesota has just finished counting the 351 previously-rejected ballots approved by the three-judge panel as having been legally cast and rejected in error. The numbers: Al Franken 198, Norm Coleman 111, Other 42.
This means that Al Franken’s lead has increased from the 225 he had going into today, up to 312 votes out of roughly 2.9 million. We still need to wait for the judges to rule on the remaining issues, but the vote-counting during the election contest-proper is done.
Coleman: ‘We will never know who won’
“We will never know who won,” Norm Coleman said Wednesday. That’s after seven Minnesota judges — three on Monday and four in January — concluded that Al Franken won Minnesota’s 2008 election for U.S. Senate. His was a “close victory,” the Democrat conceded on Monday. But Coleman — now down by 312 votes — isn’t buying it. “Our system isn’t geared for this kind of closeness.”
Terrorism charges against RNC Eight will be dropped
The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office is preparing to drop terrorism charges against the so-called RNC Eight, according to a source close to discussions about the high-profile prosecutions. The group of activists, who have been accused of a criminal conspiracy to disrupt the Republican National Convention, will still face felony charges of criminal conspiracy to riot and damage property.
Rachel Maddow calls out Bachmann error in Strib op-ed
As we reported yesterday, Rep. Michele Bachmann has been saying that Barack Obama’s cap-and-trade plan for global warming will cost households $3,100 each year in energy costs. Only trouble is, the author of the MIT study she’s citing said last month she’s flat wrong. Now MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is calling out the Minnesota Republican for floating the falsehood in an op-ed in yesterday’s Star Tribune. Says Maddow, “Well, now the Star Tribune will have to run a correction. Very embarrassing.”
T-Paw enjoys a photo-op
Sure, Governor Pawlenty railed against the federal stimulus package for weeks as it was being considered in Congress. And admittedly, he has refused to raise the revenues necessary to properly fund out state’s operations. But that doesn’t mean he can’t take credit for the Democratic stimulus package. After all, the Governor has always relied on others to do what’s needed, while he works on racking up points with conservative special-interest groups.
So it was that yesterday, Pawlenty stood in front of a gleaming MnDOT truck to announce the construction projects that would bring thousands of jobs to Minnesota — and which, of course, he played absolutely no part in creating.
Minnesota Property Taxes by the Numbers: 2009 Edition
Since 2002, Minnesota property taxes, in general, and homeowner property taxes, in particular, have increased rapidly. The cause of the statewide growth in property taxes is not growth in local government budgets. These property tax hikes are the result of state policies that require more public costs to be borne by property taxpayers and a larger share of total property taxes to be borne by homeowners.
Nominate your favorite new (2008) public art in Minneapolis for the first MAC Awards
Is there an appealing new mural in the neighborhood where you walk your dog? Maybe you took the kids to a memorable bit of live theater in the park last summer, or were enchanted by the Heart of the Beast’s MayDay Parade.
Right now, you have a chance to show some tangible appreciation to the artists, arts advocates and private businesses who worked to make our shared spaces a bit more artful last year by nominating them for a MAC Award.
Artist transforms I-35 bridge fragments into jewelry
At the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, artist Linda Koutsky looks over the work she’s created during the past year courtesy of a scholarship program. Her collection is almost all necklaces, made with objects you might not normally associate with jewelry: pieces of bark, river stones, taconite pellets, and owl feathers.
“I kind of joke that I’m a pathological regionalist” laughed Koutsky. “I love Minnesota, and so it’s just whatever I can do to document the state.”
Two Dozen More Bodies Found In Lake Wobegon
Though local residents insist it has been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, MN, their hometown out on the edge of the prairie, state police officials descended on the small community Tuesday when another 24 corpses surfaced along its placid waterfront.
A Fan’s Notes – MSPIFF 2009: Minnesota Made
Over the next few weeks, Max Sparber will file a series of on-the-ground dispatches giving his impressions of the films, the conversations, and the vibe among filmgoers at this year’s Mpls/St Paul Int’l Film Fest (April 16-30).
Guthrie’s major celebration of all things Kushner kicks off
Who is Tony Kushner, and why is the Guthrie Theater devoting two months to a “celebration” of him?
We’re about to find out.
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