This morning in the Reformer:
Breaking: Two jurors have been dismissed after they saw news of the city of Minneapolis’s $27 million settlement with the family of George Floyd and they said it altered their perceptions of the case, Max Nesterak reports.
We continue our series of interviews with lawmakers, this time freshman DFL Rep. Cedrick Frazier of New Hope.
Our Washington bureau reports vaccine “passports” are in development, with the Mayo Clinic as part of the “Vaccination Credential Initiative” along with Microsoft. These would be smartphone-based apps that would allow someone to certify that they’ve been vaccinated, good for travel and events and so forth. Potential drawbacks are access — what if you don’t have a smartphone? And privacy.
The comment period for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s car emissions rules is up and we have a guest commentary from Alli Gold Roberts of the nonprofit Ceres, who notes that companies like Clif Bar, IKEA Retail US, JLL, Lime, Lyft and Uber have all submitted comments in favor.
Also, a couple notes from yesterday: I was curious why former Rep. Rick Nolan came to us with this commentary telling President Joe Biden to make sure good jobs are part of his climate agenda. A spokesman told me Nolan and another former House member are “concerned that the climate tent is getting too small, and they don’t want to see the Biden team’s momentum heading into Paris stall out because progressives aren’t talking enough about the kind of green jobs this effort can create across all 50 states. He felt it made sense to share with Reformer readers, who are leading the conversation.”
Also yesterday, when I set up the policy choice Biden faces on the Twin Metals mine on the doorstep of the Boundary Waters, some people seemed to think I was advocating for it. I was not.
Reformer veterans may remember the first guest commentary we ran, Jan. 14, 2020, was from former Vice President Walter Mondale, who advocated against it. Not random.
Ricardo Lopez checks in with former state Sen. Matt Little, DFL-Lakeville, about chatter that he's considering a run for Dakota County attorney:
“I’ve been clear that I’m not done fighting for people that need someone in their corner. Someone unafraid to take on the toughest battles, no matter the odds. I’m going to enjoy this summer with my family and friends and will make any decisions about what’s next after that.”
Reformer contributor Tony Webster continues his public records case against the city of Minneapolis, which is what led us to receiving the 195 Minneapolis police disciplinary files that formed the basis of our story: “The Bad Cops: How Minneapolis protects its worst police officers until it’s too late.”
Tony reports that in court Monday, “I formally refused a demand the city of Minneapolis served on me for unpublished material and documents which would reveal sources for this story. I'm disappointed in the city, but thankful we have such a strong media shield law.”
A big thanks to the city of Minneapolis for drawing new attention to the story.
GOP gov speculation
The news Sunday that U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber is not running for governor after months of making moves in that direction leads to new speculation — not necessarily by anyone other than yours truly! — that U.S. Rep. Michelle Fischbach could be an interesting candidate. Why leave Congress after just one term? She may not have a choice. If Minnesota loses a congressional seat, and there’s a strong possibility of it, then the three greater Minnesota seats of Districts 6, 7 and 8 probably become two seats, setting up a GOP primary, and no one wants that. Fischbach would come into the governor’s race with a big advantage if she can lock down the delegates from CD7. She could also raise money better than, say, Senate Majority Paul Gazelka or former Sen. Scott Jensen. She ran statewide unsuccessfully once before as former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s running mate in 2018. She’s known to business types from her time in the Capitol and is married to a leader of the anti-abortion rights movement.
Also, check out this extremely strange interview with Mike Lindell in which he rules out running. (Before long he’ll be flying around on the Spruce Moose, eh “Simpsons” fans?)
Vaccine skepticism rearing its ugly head
See my Monday column on the Republican Party’s departure from science, and now the ramifications are becoming all too real, as NBC News reports:
While efforts to combat vaccine hesitancy and access have so far been mostly focused on African Americans and Latinos, recent polls suggest the largest group of Americans either hesitant about the Covid-19 vaccine or outright opposed to it are Republicans, and efforts to reach them are only in their infancy.
Moving on: This is a really good piece on the contrast between boring but competent Washington Gov. Jay Inslee vs. the brash, narcissistic Andrew Cuomo, which has manifested itself in their response to the pandemic. Savage close:
Cuomo's political success has been based on the idea that being a jerk gets political results. He says it in his own book: "Show me a person who is not controlling, and I'll show you a person who is probably not highly successful." Forty-five thousand New Yorkers and New Jerseyans would dispute this definition of "highly successful," if they were still alive.
I’m late to this but read this obituary of Rick Cardenas, an important advocate for the rights of Minnesotans with disabilities.
St. Patrick’s Day
Indulge me as I begin with some family history on St. Patrick’s Day, courtesy of the Daily Reformer Matriarch:
My great-great-great grandfather William J. Beatty is believed to have arrived in the United States in July 1865, settling in Brooklyn with his 17-year-old bride Sarah Porter. They met the previous summer at the farmer’s market in Belfast. William was a Protestant, Sarah a Catholic.
One can imagine that neither family accepted their child’s betrothed. Their journey to the United States took three months.
They had 13 children, but just three survived, and one of them died as a young adult.
Picture the foolish young love that brought them together and sent them on that arduous but exhilarating journey. And then, so much sickness and death.
I try to consider this sometimes when I find myself complaining about the gnawing, daily inconveniences of life.
Have a great day all. JPC