Mpls approves Southwest LRT, paving way for legislature to wrangle over funding

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Images via Met Council and Mulad on Flickr
A map of the Southwest LRT line's proposed route.
Today, the Minneapolis City Council followed its counterparts in Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, and St. Louis Park in approving the proposed alignment of the Southwest LRT line.

After years of city-level wrangling, the 9-3 vote (council members Barb Johnson, Cam Gordon, and Lisa Goodman voted 'no') paves the way for the drama to shift to the legislature next year, as the state still needs to figure out how to fund 10 percent of the $1.653 billion public works project, which is the most expensive in state history.

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Condo residents disappointed, but resigning themselves to SWLRT agreement


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Rep. Ron Erhardt allegedly said, "I'll blow your head off" when contacted by gun rights group

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Irony: Erhardt allegedly threatened to shoot a gun rights activist.
Each election cycle, the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance contacts the 280-plus candidates running for the Minnesota House in hopes of surveying them about their views on gun rights.

As you'd probably expect, some candidates choose not to respond to GOCRA's questionnaire. No biggie. But the organization is recommending Rep. Ron Erhardt (D-Edina) receive anger management therapy after he allegedly threatened to kill GOCRA President Andrew Rothman when he was contacted about the survey.

See also:
Keith Ellison tells Maher he wishes Democrats would come out against Second Amendment [VIDEO]


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GOP congressional candidate Torrey Westrom says 48 percent of Americans don't pay taxes [VIDEO]

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Since he didn't single out sales taxes, Westrom's remark was actually less accurate than Romney's infamous gaffe.
The defining gaffe of the 2012 presidential race came when Mitt Romney was recorded saying, "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what... These are people who pay no income tax."

Though fact-checkers determined that what Romney said at that May 17, 2012 fundraiser was technically true (most everyone pays some taxes in some form, however, even if they don't pay income taxes), the perception that Romney had essentially written off the poorer half of America was something his campaign was never able to fully recover from once the video hit the internet that September.

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GOP Rep. Torrey Westrom wants to legalize coyote hunting from planes and snowmobiles



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AFSCME raises eyebrows with anti-Johnson tweet comparing Walker's Wisconsin to hell

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AFSCME would be happy to turn Minnesota's 2014 gubernatorial election into a referendum on Scott Walker's Wisconsin.
A day after Jeff Johnson won the MNGOP gubernatorial primary, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) came out swinging.

You see, during a speech to the Southwest Metro Tea Party earlier this year, Johnson vowed to "go all Scott Walker on Minnesota" if he's elected. And AFSCME doesn't much care for what Scott Walker has done in Wisconsin.

See also:
New York Times op-ed sees MN winning over Wisconsin in battle of political ideas


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McFadden campaign on Mike's insta-flip flop: "Mike isn't a polished politician"

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McFadden instantly regretted saying he's support a tax increase under certain conditions.
On Tuesday, Mike McFadden cruised to victory in his Republican U.S. Senate primary, paving the way for him to face Al Franken this November.

But during a speech to the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce the next day, McFadden offered up the first gaffe of the general campaign.

See also:
Phyllis Kahn compares R.T. Rybak's stadium flip-flop to Nixon's views on communism


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Irony: Andy Parrish deletes racist tweet hours after chastising Chris Fields

John Croman on Twitter
I mean, should we really expect anything less from a guy who goes on national TV with no pants on?
After Chris Fields dug himself into a deep hole with a series of tasteless tweets about Robin Williams's suicide, local Republican political operative Andy Parrish saw fit to get on his high horse: But before Fields even got around to apologizing for his self-inflicted debacle, Parrish found himself apologizing for a racist tweet of his own.

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Andy Parrish apologizes for slapping MNGOP activist after allegedly calling him "cream puff"


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Hubbard Broadcasting's decision to pull anti-Stewart Mills attack ad sparks controversy

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In a speech, Mills said the notion the wealthy don't pay their fair share in taxes "is offensive for anybody who operates a business or employs people" -- i.e., him.
An attack ad supported by the House Majority PAC (HMP) portrays Republican Eighth District congressional candidate Stewart Mills as a rich dude who is "personally offended" by the notion that 1 percenters should pay substantially more in taxes than everyday folks.

But the Mills campaign says the ad takes Stewart's words out of context to make them sound worse than they really were, and late last month they issued a press release calling upon TV stations to stop airing the spot.

See also:
Congress candidate Stewart Mills profited big from Cash for Clunkers program he now decries


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Eden Prairie GOP candidate Sheila Kihne criticized for not supporting family values group

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Rep. Loon (left); Kihne (right)
While at the U of M, Kihne helped craft a budget that funded a GLBT group while leading two conservative ones out in the cold.
Twenty years ago, Sheila Kihne -- then known as Sheila Corbett -- served on the University of Minnesota's Student Services Fees Committee. The same academic year, she successfully ran to become the Minnesota Student Association president.

That's not news, obviously. But Kihne, now an Eden Prairie arch-conservative who's running in a controversial August 12 GOP primary against incumbent Rep. Jenifer Loon, has come under scrutiny from local conservatives for being involved with the student fees committee while it developed with a budget at odds with the brand of social conservatism she now espouses so forcefully.

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Eden Prairie GOP candidate Sheila Kihne once wrote cringe-worthy book about dating [VIDEO]


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Paula Overby, first transgender congressional candidate, leaves DFL in protest

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Paula Overby
Last summer, Paula Overby told us about her plans to become the first transgender person to represent Minnesota in the U.S. House. She spoke of social justice and inclusion and made it known that the DFL best encompassed those ideals.

But at the district convention, on April 26, she withdrew her nomination before the first ballots were announced. Five weeks later, she resigned from the party in protest.

See also:
Eagan's Paula Overby plans to be the state's first transgender candidate for Congress



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Star Tribune ruffles feathers by not endorsing Mike McFadden in primary election

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McFadden (left); Abeler (right)
Abeler's willingness to compromise with Dems and his record of getting things done gives him the nod over McFadden, the Strib argues.
This morning, the Star Tribune editorial board endorsed dark horse candidate Jim Abeler in the GOP U.S. Senate primary that will take place August 12.

The endorsement was somewhat surprising, as Mike McFadden has been the overwhelming favorite to emerge from the primary and move on to challenge Al Franken since he received the MNGOP endorsement a couple months ago. But the Strib editorial board "urge[s] voters to look beyond the money race and folksy TV commercials and consider Abeler's admirable record of fiscally conservative and independent-minded service to Minnesota."

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Mike McFadden scrubs negative Facebook comments, fills void with positivity from intern


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