A man was charged Wednesday with murdering a 9-year-old boy and wounding the boy’s mother and another woman while, according to the authorities, shooting randomly at passing cars in Oakdale, a St. Paul suburb where the man lives. The authorities say the man, Nhan Lap Tran, 34, had a 9-millimeter pistol and about 200 rounds of ammunition when he was arrested on Monday.
The Secretary of State in Nevada has asked the State legislature to consider a voter ID law that he has proposed.
Under his proposal, which lawmakers will consider in 2013, the photos on residents’ driver’s licenses would be placed electronically with their voter registration records and in the poll books at election locations. People without any identification, but who are registered, would be required to have their pictures taken by poll workers and sign an affidavit that they are the person they represent the first time they vote.
What is surprising is that the Sec’y of State is a Democrat. And what is different about this Voter ID law is that the ID is maintained by the election officials. Hence although it is called a voter ID law, voters are spared the burden of acquiring an ID.
Miller has himself suggested that voter ID is a solution in search of a problem. And he also admits that the program will cost many millions of dollars. But the strategy is clearly to neutralize the Republican effort at voter suppression by satisfying their explicit concern for ID without satisfying their real aim to disenfranchise those who don’t really deserve to vote anyway: poor people and minorities.
Although Republicans, not Democrats, generally have championed voter ID laws, Miller said the Minnesota secretary of state, who is a Democrat, proposed the photo ID bill, and the Republican legislators opposed it.
“I am not sure why they would oppose it,” Miller said. “It suggests to me you are after something else.”
Why has Mitt Romney written off Minnesota? While Democratic candidates have gone nine-for-nine in the presidential races here since 1976, this year had seemed to present an opportunity for a GOP surge: a ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution. Poll numbers show the majority of Minnesota voters currently support the ban, with 52% of respondents in favor of defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman, and 37% against it. With the conservative base mobilizing around the issue, shouldn’t Mitt Romney benefit from higher Republican voter turnout in this blue-leaning purple state come November?
There is no indication of that so far, if the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul in late August is a barometer. The fair is a popular stop for politicians, and an electioneering battleground for issue campaigns, at the center of which is the hot-button marriage amendment. Along with the renowned assortment of deep fried foods served on sticks, also on sticks were orange paper fans urging sweaty fairgoers to “vote no” on Election Day. Green and white stickers supporting the amendment said, “Marriage: One Man, One Woman.”
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Romney, who happened to be in town for a pair of fundraisers when the fair opened on Aug. 23, skipped the conglomeration of thrill rides, animal contests and corn dogs in favor of a dinner that cost couples $50,000 each. “It’s a built-in retail opportunity to shake hands and kiss babies and all that stuff, and I was very surprised that he wasn’t there,” says Ken Martin, chairman of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party. “But I think it speaks volumes to the fact that they know they can’t win in this state.”
We need a “Minnesota” category.
From the state that gave us Al Franken, Eugene McCarthy, and Jesse Ventura—who actually appears more statesmanlike every election compared to the current crop of bozos—we bring you State Representative Kerry Gauthier, who was caught in a rest stop hooking up with a 17-y.o. boy he met on Craigslist.
The age of consent in Minnesota is the national minimum of sixteen, so as it stands there was nothing particularly illegal about the incident, excepting perhaps a misdemeanor penalty for committing a public sex act. But it is doubtful that they intended it to be observed so it’s not like he was getting children drunk and waving his penis at them, leading to them having a disturbed and dysfunctional life. Police are investigating the possibility that money traded hands, as Minnesotans are rightfully outraged when the implied sexual contract is stated so obviously, but they might have a hard time proving it in the face of their mutual denial unless Gauthier paid in advance by credit card (insert facepalm here.) So what was so crazy about this incident? S.R. Kerry Gauthier is a Democrat!
That’s right, Kerry Gauthier is neither a conservative family values republican nor a keep-gay-marriage-from-destroying-mine conservative. I don’t know what to make of this, since there is no way he is going to be able to apologize to his constituency for being a hypocrite and performing abominations before God unless he changes political parties and gets help to pray away the gay.
Why, being a confirmed bachelor, he doesn’t even have wronged wife or wrecked family. How will Minnesota ever forgive him?
A suburban Chicago woman who owned a South Side tax preparation business allegedly schemed to falsely claim more than $1 million in federal tax refunds and, together with 14 co-defendants, allegedly engaged in a related scheme using other individuals’ identities, including some tax service clients and some stolen, to fraudulently obtain more than $8.7 million from state unemployment insurance agencies in Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota. The defendants allegedly registered approximately 80 fictitious employers with the states’ unemployment insurance agencies and used the sham employers to fraudulently collect unemployment insurance benefits. The Illinois Department of Employment Security was allegedly defrauded of at least $5.95 million, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development was allegedly cheated of at least $2.4 million, and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development lost at least $342,000 as a result of the alleged fraud scheme.
The lead defendant, Jacqueline Kennedy, owned and managed ATAP Financial Enterprises Inc., ATAP Tax & Business Solutions Inc., and ATAP Tax Services Inc., (collectively, ATAP), all tax preparation businesses located at one time at 1757 West 95th St. in Chicago. Kennedy, 39, of Country Club Hills, was charged with 14 counts of mail and wire fraud, six counts of filing false claims for tax refunds, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Kennedy and 14 co-defendants were indicted together on various tax, fraud, and identity theft charges in a 60-count indictment returned yesterday by a federal grand jury, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, announced today. All 15 defendants will be ordered to appear for arraignment at a later date in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
“This indictment highlights the determination of the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General to investigate fraud against the unemployment insurance program. The defendants allegedly schemed to illegally obtain approximately $8.7 million in unemployment benefits. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and our colleagues in the Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota state workforce agencies to aggressively investigate allegations of fraudulent activities to obtain unemployment insurance benefits,” said James Vanderberg, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.
Right-to-work is a set of regulations that forbid unions from requiring membership or dues in employment contracts. In a state renowned for its support of unions (the DFL is the Democratic, Farm, and Labor Party, after all), this could be a very tough battle. It’ll be especially interesting considering our neighbors to the east, Wisconsin, and their battles with union-busting governor Scott Walker.
According to Politics in Minnesota, Minnesotans United for All Families, the coalition of groups working to defeat passage of the amendment in November, is looking to young Republicans to help achieve that goal.
A recent event sponsored by the group which featured GOP Reps. John Kriesel and Tim Kelly drew roughly 50 people. Among the organizers was Madeline Koch, who worked for former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman.
Video of Koch’s testimony before a Minnesota Senate committee hearing considering the ban went viral earlier this year.
In her testimony, Koch, 24, said the amendment would take the GOP in the wrong direction.
“I don’t believe that equal rights for same-sex couples - or anyone - is a partisan issue.”
“The need for equality and the full acceptance of GLBT people is something Minnesota’s next generation of leaders has already embraced,” Koch told senators.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is so upset by the dismissal of his airport security lawsuit that he threatened Friday to apply for dual citizenship so he can spend more time in his beloved Mexico – or run for president of what he labeled
“the Fascist States of America.”
Read more at: the Huffington Post.
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann’s failure to address a disturbing trend of teen suicides within her own congressional district does not reflect well on her White House ambitions, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi told The Advocate Thursday.
Over the past two years, nine teens have committed suicide in Minnesota’s largest school district, resulting in federal investigations, lawsuits from advocacy groups, and the morbid designation of a “suicide contagion area” by state public health officials. At least four suicide victims, as Mother Jones noted in a feature published Monday, had been reported victims of bullying because they were LGBT or perceived to be LGBT.
But Bachmann has yet to speak out on the suicides within the state’s sixth congressional district and appears to have opposed antibullying legislative efforts in the past.
Pelosi told The Advocate of Bachmann’s silence on the issue, “I would think that if she wanted to be the president of the United States, she would understand that this is a larger issue than whether someone is gay or not, but as to whether someone is harassed and bullied to the point of seeing no way out.”
“Obviously, it’s an issue bigger than Michele Bachmann’s district, so maybe we should all be speaking out about it and not just leaving it to her,” Pelosi added.
More at the link.
From Mother Jones:
The first was TJ. Then came Samantha, Aaron, Nick, and Kevin. Over the past two years, a total of nine teenagers have committed suicide in a Minnesota school district represented by Rep. Michele Bachmann—the latest in May—and many more students have attempted to take their lives. State public health officials have labeled the area a “suicide contagion area” because of the unusually high death rate.
Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied. And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman’s closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish. Bachmann, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically silent on the tragic deaths that have roiled her district—including the high school that she attended.
The anti-gay climate in the schools in Bachmann’s district has been so extreme that it has attracted the attention of the Justice Department and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
It’s a very sad and disturbing read, but an important one. We are failing our nation and our nation’s children by allowing this kind of demonization to continue.