Bribes, booze and baiting

I don’t ask much from this life. Only that Minnesota be blessed with the kind of political corruption roiling the waters around Manhattan this week, as Sheldon Silver, speaker of the New York Assembly since 1994 (!), was arrested and charged by tough guy prosecutor Preet Bharara for allegedly racking up millions in bribes and kickbacks.

The best we can do is the mayor of Stillwater.

For now.

Meanwhile, in the land of good government…

High of 36 today and no legislative activities, but a busy news day, so let’s get to it.

Gov. Mark Dayton is at the 2015 Children and Youth Briefing (Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel, Great River Ballroom, Saint Paul at 9). Open press. He’s with Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, commissioners, legislators, and staff throughout the day. Closed press. In the evening, he’ll drop the puck at the North Star College Cup game between the U and Minnesota State University Mankato (Xcel Energy Center.) Open press. Smith has no public events.

Liquor and learning

The push for Sunday liquor sales has a new intensity, Abby Simons reports.

Tribal school, in need of fixing, caught between state and federal efforts to fix it, reports Ricardo Lopez.

The deal on the renovated Capitol is in place, with the Senate giving up a lot, Pat Condon reports. Sen. Tom Bakk used the occasion to give a full-throated defense of the new Senate office building.

This is shaping up to be a higher ed session, reports MinnPost’s Briana Biersbach.

AP on a police/privacy question: More debate over license plate readers, usually mounted on police squad cars, that automatically scan license plates on the road and check them against a database of wanted vehicles. Debate over how long police can keep the data. Senate panel says 90 days.

AP: Abortion opponents in Minnesota want some help from GOP lawmakers, even if legislation isn’t going anywhere with Dayton as governor.

Related: Interesting story yesterday from Jen Brooks on a Minnesota abortion clinic that draws women far and wide from states with significant restrictions and no access to abortion.

Story on how House Republicans in Washington failed on their ambitious abortion agenda.

Things getting a little salty, and we’re only a couple weeks in: More fun on the House floor yesterday as Minority Leader Paul Thissen inquired as to the whereabouts of Speaker Daudt. Daudt’s signature was needed on the tax conformity bill that sped through the Legislature to extend tax breaks to Minnesotans this tax season. Daudt is in Texas at a conference of new speakers and will sign the bill when he returns Saturday. House Republicans were a bit incredulous and the DFL baiting and countered that they passed the bill last week and that it was DFL-controlled Senate that held the bill up into this week.

Washington

Rep. Keith Ellison always good material.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claims there are “no-go zones” for non-Muslims in Minneapolis. Ellison invites him to visit.

Ellison also tweeted this:

@keithellison: What if Ds take House, but lose presidency to Rs. D Speaker of House invites Raul Castro to address Congress w/ NO consultation w/ WH?

In this analogy, Israel is like Cuba.

MPR: U.S. Senate rewriting No Child Left Behind for less federally mandated testing. Minnesota Rep. John Kline will be in the middle of this on the House side.

The Times on Rep. Steve King’s upcoming Iowa Freedom Summit. The staunchly conservative King wants to play kingmaker in Iowa.

King Abdullah, who reshaped Saudi Arabia and was a huge player on the world stage, has died. The Times obit.

Really interesting piece in Politico (can’t believe I just wrote that) on predictions on the world in 2030.


you know where to find me

Tips, complaints, insider stock trading advice to patrick.coolican@startribune.com; follow me on twitter: @jpcoolican


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Push for Sunday liquor sales renewed with confidence, support

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St. Paul mayor at White House, talks up paid leave for city employees