Sen. Branden Petersen Helps Draw Attention to Minnesota's Contradictory Cannabis Laws

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State Sen. Branden Petersen, left, and Kurtis Hanna
Next month, activist Kurtis Hanna will speak to the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy about removing cannabis from its list of Schedule 1 narcotics.

His argument is simple: State law says cannabis has "no currently accepted medical use in the United States," but that's not true. Not only did Minnesota just approve a medical cannabis program, but more than half the United States now allows cannabis or some kind of CBD-rich oil for treatment.

See also:
Marijuana Policy Project PAC Throws Gov. Dayton Under Bus


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Why Kicking Money Out of Politics Was an Impossible Dream (This Year, Anyway)

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John Denney showing off his campaign contract

Running on a platform of campaign finance reform is admirable. But turns out it's not electable.

John Denney found out the hard way. The Independence Party candidate looking to snag Michele Bachmann's old spot on Tuesday made a unique promise to the world: He wasn't taking any money from corporations, special interests, nothing. He was going as grassroots as grassroots can be.

See also:
John Denney, Independence Party Candidate, Wants You To Sue Him If He Sells Out


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After Losing Major Party Status, Can the Independence Party Save Itself?

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Screenshot of IP gubernatorial candidate Hannah Nicollet, during an October debate

Minnesota Independence Party chairman Marc Jenkins had a rough Tuesday night.

"Right now, looking on it, last night sucked," Jenkins told us from the Independence Party headquarters yesterday morning.

Jenkins had just been dealt a bloodbath. For 20 years, his party -- the party of Gov. Jesse Ventura, U.S. Sen. Paul Barkley, and gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner -- had competed hard in the state, sharing a stage with the GOP and DFL. And yet, with no statewide candidate managing to grab enough of the vote, the party was demoted.

See also:
The Revolt of the Third-Party Candidates


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How Andy Dawkins Tried -- and Failed -- to Save the Green Party in Minnesota

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Image of Dawkins at the Green Party Convention, from Facebook

Election night in Minnesota was not a very surprising affair. While the rest of the country sat on the edge of its seat as the "GOP wave" swept in, our state ended up largely sticking with the status quo.

But one of the most interesting threadlines throughout the night was the Green Party's Andy Dawkins. The attorney general candidate had been seen as something of a savior for the Green Party, which had basically disappeared out of relevance in Minnesota. The Strib even hyped him up, saying he could "usher in a new era for the party."

See also:
The Green Party Comes to Minnesota, Fighting For New Political Life


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Minnesota GOP's Ebola Outrage Takes Over the Airwaves

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Via Chris Steller, a MNGOP mailer from last week

We didn't think the political manipulation could get much worse after we saw the Republican Party of Minnesota's ridiculous, fear-inducing Ebola mailers last week targeting Al Franken. Turns out we were dead wrong.

This week, the party has decided to head to the radio to push out another fear-mongering message, this one blasting Mark Dayton for not cutting off flights to West Africa (despite the fact that scientists and health experts don't want that).

See also:
MNGOP Slams Al Franken on Ebola, But a Bigger Question Remains...


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Franken Campaign Goes After McFadden for Selling Merch Made in China

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Franken's team views the origin of McFadden's hats as a microcosm of his politics.
-- Update at bottom --

In June, Al Franken's campaign went after Mike McFadden for having a batch of his official T-shirts made in Nicaragua. McFadden's camp said it was a one-time thing and pointed out that Mike's shirts are typically made by a Minnesota company.

But Franken's campaign workers are again making McFadden's merch an issue, as today they distributed a release pointing out that hats sold on McFadden's campaign website are apparently made in China.

See also:
Sen. Al Franken finds favor and distrust at north Minneapolis block party


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DFL Cries Foul Over Misleading MNGOP Drunk Driver Attack Ads

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All images via DFL
-- Update at bottom --

New mailers paid for by the Minnesota Republican Party allege that Democrats in the legislature are "weakening penalties for dangerous drunk drivers."

At issue is a bill signed into law earlier this year that requires people with multiple DUI convictions to use an ignition interlock device when they start driving again, thereby preventing them from even starting their cars if they are impaired. The bill was supported by MADD and approved unanimously in the Senate.

See also:
MNGOP feigns outrage over lame Al Franken cone boob video


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MNGOP Slams Al Franken on Ebola, But a Bigger Question Remains...

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via Chris Steller
Just when we thought political mailers had hit rock bottom, we find the above image floating around the internet.

It comes from the Republican Party of Minnesota, which is trying hard to make the Ebola virus a top issue for this year's Senate race against incumbent Dem Al Franken. GOP candidate Mike McFadden has argued that a ban on travel between West African countries, where the virus has already killed thousands, and the United States is the best way to contain it.

See also:
Ebola Travel Ban Becomes Divisive Issue in Franken/McFadden Race



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Rick Nolan Disses Star Tribune

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Yesterday, the Star Tribune endorsed Stewart Mills' effort to unseat Rick Nolan as the congressman for Minnesota's Eighth District.

The historically left-leaning paper's endorsement of a Republican created a bit of a stir and led some to wonder whether the Strib's new owner -- former Republican legislator Glen Taylor -- has started exerting his influence on the editorial board.

See also:
Michele Bachmann Fundraising for Stewart Mills


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Mary Franson -- Remember Her? -- Involved in Another Tight Race

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Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) has kept a much lower profile this election cycle than she did two years ago, when she said many outrageous things before winning what had to be the tightest House race in the state. (Recall that Franson went to bed on election night ahead by a single vote.)

Since Franson represents a solidly red district, the avoid-headlines strategy is probably shrewd politics, but the DFL is confident they'll take her out next Tuesday nonetheless.

See also:
Eric Harpel says scandalous lawsuit isn't meant to destroy Rep. Mary Franson's political career


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