The effort to legalize Sunday booze sales in Minnesota gets a vote by the full House this week. Former House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, perhaps eyeing a run for governor, is now in favor, a significant switch. Opponents are resigned to defeat, though supporters and foes alike say alcohol bills can have all kinds of strange outcomes when the moment of truth arrives and the House voting board opens.
The real battle will be in the Senate, where Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, long an opponent, says he’s open to it.
Staying with vice …
A quartet of DFL lawmakers proposed legalizing marijuana for personal use last week, and based on the crowded news conference Minnesotans must be interested. I asked the Legislative Reference Library about past proposals, and they informed me that at first glance at the House Journal — which is a diary of what happens on the House floor — from 1965 through last year found no bills introduced to legalize marijuana strictly for recreational purposes.
Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, who is opposed to the idea, brushed it off, saying eight states that have legalized marijuana for personal use does not constitute a trend. Perhaps, but one in five Americans now live in a state where marijuana is legal. The movement is unlikely to stop at the Rockies.
Is it an Eames?
Rep. Gene Pelowski, DFL-Winona, used campaign money to buy an office chair for more than $1,600 in September, right when the DFL was fighting for its life in legislative elections. A few Capitol wags were sending each other photos of the Iron Throne from “Game of Thrones.”
Hope it’s comfortable, although life in the minority caucus isn’t very stressful.
A DFL source breaks down some numbers from state House races last November. Hillary Clinton won 62 House districts, but only 47 with more than 50 percent. (You need 68 House seats for majority.) In 2012, Barack Obama won 68 districts — 65 with more than 50 percent of the vote.
There are seven House districts won by both President Donald Trump and DFL House candidates, and 12 districts won by Clinton and Republican House candidates.