Al Franken Grills Uber Over Privacy Policy

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Uber Press Kit
Uber stores data about where you've been and Senator Franken wants to know why

Sen. Al Franken wants some answers from Uber after a BuzzFeed story quoted one of Uber's top executives suggesting the company should dig up dirt on journalists critical of the company.

Franken, the chair of a Senate subcommittee on privacy and technology, sent a letter to Uber's CEO yesterday asking 10 pointed questions about Uber's privacy policy.

See also:
Mpls Approves Lyft/UberX Regulations; Blong Yang Casts Sole 'Nay' Vote

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Dear Wisconsin: Minnesota Wants a Divorce

Everyone thought we made such a cute couple, Wisconsin -- until you decided to go all Mississippi on our love
Dear Wisconsin:

I remember when we met at that barn dance 150 years ago. The other states were so stuck up. New York was all "Look at me!" And California was all "I like your shoes. Not." Texas got drunk on wine coolers and did what Texas always does: try to pick a fight with the smallest guy in the room.

But not you, Wisconsin.


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Minneapolis Moves to Ban E-Cigarettes in Public Buildings

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E-cigarettes will soon be regulated just like regular tobacco in Minneapolis

By the end of the year it looks like there will be no more vaping allowed in any public buildings in Minneapolis.

Yesterday a City Council committee unanimously passed a measure that would extend the state's 2007 Freedom to Breathe Act to e-cigarettes. The new ordinance would treat e-cigarette smoke exactly like cigarette smoke.

See also:
E-Cigarettes Now More Popular Than Cigarettes Among MN Teens

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Former GOP Supreme Court Candidate Sentenced to 30 Days House Arrest

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Michelle MacDonald was sentenced to a month of house arrest yesterday

Yesterday former GOP-endorsed state Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald was sentenced to 30 days house arrest and two years probation after she was convicted of several charges stemming from an April 2013 traffic stop.

The sentencing may finally put an end to the surreal saga that pitted MacDonald against embarrassed factions of prominent state Republicans.

See also: MNGOP Kicks Endorsed Candidate Michelle MacDonald out of Party's State Fair Booth


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Local Progressives Rejoice After Obama Finally Backs Net Neutrality

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Blais Alleyne
Upcoming political and legal battles will determine the internet's future

In a statement that drew nonsensical metaphors from the right and belated optimism from the left, President Obama finally publicly supported equal internet access for all yesterday.

Obama's statement set the stage for a legal and political battle newly re-elected Sen. Al Franken has repeatedly called "the First Amendment Issue of our time."

See also: The Fall of Net Neutrality: Cable's Plot to Destroy the Internet


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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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Someone From the House of Representatives Cares About City Pages

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Ron Cogswell
Somebody in here changed our Wikipedia page

The Twitter account @congress-edits is an interesting entity. It's all based on a complicated computer algorithm that, by knowing the individual internet addresses at the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, sends out a tweet whenever anybody there edits an article on the worldwide encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Pretty cool, right? While we may not know much of what Congress is doing half the time, we can at least see how our representatives and their staffers are spending their time online. Hopefully they're actually doing work and not just fooling around or changing the Wikipedia pages of their favorite baseball team.

See also:
John Kline's Descent From Patriot to the Whore of Higher Ed


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Washington "Redskins" Protestors in Minneapolis: We're Not Mascots [Video]

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Just a few of the many signs at Sunday's protest.
Thousands united towards a single cause on a chilly morning outside of TCF Bank Stadium just hours ahead of the Vikings game against Washington on November 2. But this wasn't a routine tailgating session before the big game -- this was people from all walks of life protesting against the Washington "Redskins" name.

Dan Snyder, Washington's NFL team owner, has been deaf to the arguments against the offensive name, but that didn't stop folks from descending upon the stadium in droves to voice their grievances.

See also:
Dawn Bjoraker Knows Why Native Americans Hate "Redskins" So Much


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