Minnesota's Ex-felons Can Have Guns with Silencers, But They Can't Vote

Categories: Politics

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Jason Sole
Jason Sole went from prison to having a Ph.D., but he won't be able to vote for another 11 years.

Thanks to the Minnesota Legislature, everyone can now own guns with silencers -- ex-felons are no exception -- but many still can't vote.

Minnesota had a clear shot this session at finally restoring voting rights for 47,000 people on parole or probation. But the Republican House leadership edited the measure out of a judiciary bill. When that bill eventually passed in late April, it legalized silencers to great cheers from the gun lobby.

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Chaos Reigns as Minnesota Legislators Pass Bills They Haven't Read

Categories: Politics

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The UpTake
Pleas for information on the bill up for a vote went ignored Monday night.

These are strange days in Minnesota politics. As the 2015 legislative session devolved into chaos with little to show for five months of squabbling over how to spend the state's $2 billion surplus, the House Majority passed a $110 million jobs and energy bill that most lawmakers did not actually read.

They did this in the very last minute before Monday's midnight deadline to close out the session.

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Governor Dayton, Democrats Wuss Out to Mining Interests Over Clean Water

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Governor Dayton, Democrats Wuss Out to Mining Interests Over Clean Water

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Yogi
Children are most vulnerable to water with high levels of sulfates.

Gov. Mark Dayton's administration and fellow Democrats like Rep. Carly Melin of Hibbing spun the agreement on water pollution as a compromise.

But last week's deal, which allows iron mines to continue operating without complying with current sulfate discharge limits, really amounts to capitulation to an industry that's hardly in the business of environmental stewardship.

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Essar, Minnesota's New Mining Giant, Caught Repeatedly Falsifying Pollution Records

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John Kline's "Jobs & Career" Fairs Resembled Recruiting Expos for the Likes of ITT Tech

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Dwight Burdette via Wikipedia
Congressman Kline has a thick history with the besieged for-profit college.

A year ago this week, John Kline, Minnesota's Most Reprehensible Congressman (TM), hosted a job fair at the Eagan Community Center "to assist Minnesotans with an uncertain job market."

Among the Kline invitees looking to "assist" people trying to better their lot was a disproportionate number of for-profit colleges, including DeVry University, Crown College, and ITT Tech, the Carmel, Indiana-based company whose two executives were indicted on federal fraud charges earlier this week.

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ITT Tech Execs Kevin Modany and Dan Fitzpatrick Charged with Fraud


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ITT Tech Execs Kevin Modany and Dan Fitzpatrick Charged with Fraud

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Dwight Burdette via Wikipedia
Two execs at for-profit ITT allegedly doctored the company's books to hide poor performance.

Two executives at ITT Educational Services, Inc. -- one of for-profit colleges' biggest operations with 57,000 students at more than 130 campuses in 38 states -- were charged with fraud yesterday by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Former CEO Kevin Modany and current CFO Daniel Fitzpatrick hid the company's poor performance from investors and covered up the financial fallout of two ITT-guaranteed student loan programs, according to the SEC complaint.

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John Oliver Calls Out Minnesota's Mother's Day Middle Finger to Moms

Categories: Politics

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Last Week Tonight
When unpaid maternity leave equals no maternity leave.
This Mother's Day, a gaggle of lawmakers filmed a well-intentioned -- if emotionally vapid -- shout out to their moms.

Sens. Dan Hall (R-Burnsville), Paul Gezelka (R-Nisswa), Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes), and Branden Petersen (R-Andover) put on their best suits and made some sweet remarks on camera about honoring mothers all year, but something about the message stank to political satirist John Oliver.

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Traditional Colleges Unite with For-Profit Higher Ed to Keep the Gov't Cash Flowing

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Patrickneil via Wikipedia
For-profit higher ed has an unlikely ally: America's traditional schools like Georgetown University

Entrenched snobbery has long maligned the country's traditional colleges and universities' attitude toward for-profit higher ed. But that deeply held elitism is being tossed aside since collective cash is on the line.

Inside the high-dollar K Street offices in downtown Washington, D.C., most of the groups making up the college establishment lobby have shifted course. They're now aligning themselves with career colleges as the federal government once again attempts to impose accountability rules across higher ed.

The reason for the unlikely alliance is the $150 billion feeding trough that the fed lays out annually in the form of Pell grants and student subsidized loans.

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John Kline Silent as Pressure Mounts Against His Sugar Daddy, For-Profit Colleges


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Watch Rep. Ron Erhardt's Bizarre, Prop-Laden Speech About Bird Flu

Categories: Politics

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Screenshot/The Uptake
What in the fuck was he thinking?

The bird flu is reaching crisis levels in Minnesota. Yesterday Jennie-O announced it was idling 223 workers in Faribault because of the epidemic and on Monday the largest farm yet was hit, affecting another 1.1 million chickens.

Politicians from the right and left have been going out of their way to stress that this strain of bird flu has not been transmitted to humans and it is still very safe to buy turkey. A giant turkey burger cookout was hosted at the Capitol yesterday to drive the point home.

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Willmar Residents Want City Council Member Ron Christianson Gone

Categories: Politics

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City of Willmar
Ron Christianson
A veteran Willmar city councilman of 20 years has finally made enough enemies to inspire a citizen movement bent on kicking him out of office.

At Monday night's City Council meeting, a group announced its intent to formally recall Councilman Ron Christianson.

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Minneapolis Considers Getting Rid of Lurking and Spitting Laws

Categories: Politics

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Cam Gordon (L) Chuck Olsen/Flickr, Blong Yang (R) Facebook
Non-whites make up almost three-fourths of the people arrested for lurking in Minneapolis over the last five years

Lurking is one of the weirder crimes still on the books in Minneapolis. Here's its official definition:

"No person, in any public or private place, shall lurk, lie in wait or be concealed with intent to commit any crime or unlawful act."

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Myles Thomas Puts Mpls Cops on Blast After They Write Him a Ticket For Spitting Near U of M Campus


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