Statewide: February 7, 2012 Archive
Presidential hopefuls vie for bragging rights in caucus
MPR News: "There are no delegates up for grabs at the Minnesota Republican Party caucuses, only bragging rights. The straw poll also is non-binding, so the results will have little to do with how Minnesota's delegates will eventually be allocated at the Republican National Convention in August."
National Journal: "When former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was campaigning for the Republican nomination, he frequently joked about hailing from the state that elected liberal icons such as Eugene McCarthy, Hubert Humphrey -- and here comes the punch line -- Al Franken, the comic-turned-senator. But running alongside the state's progressive streak is a conservative insurgency that is personified by Pawlenty's one-time rival for the White House, Rep. Michele Bachmann, and that helped the GOP in 2010 take over both chambers of the Minnesota legislature for the first time in nearly four decades. The heavy influence of the conservative and tea party movements make Minnesota's caucus on Tuesday one of Newt Gingrich's best and possibly only hope for an outright win in the month of February, which mostly features contests in states favoring Mitt Romney. Gingrich allies point to exit polls in Florida, where he lost badly to Romney but siphoned support from the most conservative voters, the strongest tea party supporters and voters who consider abortion the most important issue."
Searching for a win, Paul makes Minnesota caucuses a beachhead in Republican nominating race
Washington Post: "Ron Paul has invested days of campaigning and money for television ads ahead of caucuses in Minnesota, where he's hoping he can eke out the first win of his Republican presidential campaign."
Ron Paul, reeling from Nevada loss, enters crucial stretch
LA Times: "This is the mystery of Ron Paul, or one of them, anyway: how a 76-year-old Texas congressman who bears a slight resemblance to Mr. Magoo and sounds like he's running against Woodrow Wilson can draw some of the biggest, youngest and most ardent crowds of campaign 2012."
Rep. Paul: "Freedom Is a Young Idea"
Wall Street Journal: "'There is a good reason why young people are more open to it ... Freedom is a young idea,' Mr. Paul told a sizable crowd in St. Cloud. "Young minds are not muddled up' by conventional wisdom and the media, he added."
As campaign heads to Midwest, Romney turns his focus to Santorum
New York Times: "Even as Mitt Romney tries to fend off the continuing challenge from Newt Gingrich and focus his attention on President Obama, he is now being forced to deal with another rival."
Ron Paul rallies St. Cloud-area supporters
St Cloud Times: "Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul rallied supporters in St. Cloud on the eve of the Minnesota caucuses, urging support for a non-interventionist foreign policy and for 'sound-money' monetary policies he says would boost the middle class."
Q&A: Minnesota's precinct caucuses
MPR News: "At Minnesota's precinct caucuses today, voters begin the long process of choosing candidates who will appear on the 2012 ballot in November. Whether you're a Democrat, Republican, Independence Party-backer or Green, here's a quick guide to Minnesota's caucuses."
Also on MN Today
Minnesota Power files report on coal plants
Duluth News Tribune: "Minnesota Power filed a report with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Monday that looks at how the utility might generate electricity into a future with new federal pollution regulations and aging coal-fired generators."
Red River flows well above average despite driest winter on record
Forum of Fargo-Moorhead: "The Red River's volume of water is flowing at more than twice its long-term average this winter despite months of abnormally dry weather."
Landowners dispute snowmobile trail
Saint Cloud Times: "After her child had a near miss and her dog died, Tanya Pufahl became more vocal in the small group of residents upset about the snowmobile trail just outside her front door in Rice."
MillerCoors buys Crispin, Mpls. maker of hard cider
Star Tribune: "The Minneapolis company, launched in 2008, is the country's third-largest hard cider producer."
Minnesota storm chaser killed in Oklahoma collision with wrong-way driver
MSNBC: "Storm chaser Andy Gabrielson survived the hunt for tornadoes for more than 10 years, but driving home Saturday afternoon after two days of chasing storms in north Texas, he could not avoid a wrong-way driver on an Oklahoma highway, The Weather Channel reported."
North Dakota could receive one of six unmanned aircraft research centers mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration authorization bill passed by Congress this week.
The new centers were part of several provisions in the bill that will affect the use of unmanned aircraft.
The bill allows law enforcement agencies that meet requirements to fly very small unmanned aircraft, about four pounds or less, within 90 days of the bill being signed into law.
The bill directs the FAA to develop a comprehensive plan to integrate unmanned aircraft into the national air space within nine months, and to fully integrate unmanned aircraft into the national air space by September, 2015.
The FAA must establish the unmanned aircraft research centers within six months.
Many businesses, from oil and gas to agriculture are waiting for permission to use
unmanned aircraft for a variety of tasks.
The FAA still needs to prove unmanned aircraft can operate safely while sharing airspace with manned aircraft, a big concern for many general aviation pilots. The technology to accomplish that integration is still being developed.
MPR Photo/Conrad Wilson
On Monday, before a cheering crowd of about 600 in downtown St. Cloud, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas railed against big government, the country's foreign and monetary policies, and the importance of personal liberties. Needless to say it was an unlikely place to find love.
But sure enough, Rachel Thielman and Brent Johnson, were there on a date, celebrating.
"I'm actually just here because my boyfriend here," Thielman said, turning to her left. "It was our two-year anniversary yesterday and I knew that this would, like, completely make his life if I came along. So that's why I'm here."
Johnson's a pretty big Ron Paul fan. He likes the Republican presidential candidate's vision for the country.
"He kinda cares about the American dream," Johnson said. "I actually feel like he's the only candidate that really does."
Both Johnson and Thielman study mass communication at St. Cloud State. While Paul didn't really talk about love, the happy couple seemed to underscore the importance youth is playing in the Paul campaign.
Paul said young people are attracted to the idea of liberty and that the concept of freedom is a young idea.
"I think that is one of the reasons why young people like this idea because their minds are not muddied up with the conventional wisdom of the politicians, and the TV and the media and all the things they have learned and they're more open," Paul said. "Too often as we get older were told to conform. But I think it's a natural tendency to love liberty, whether you're two years old, or whether you're 60 years old."
So Paul said the word: Love. In his case, he was invoking love of the republic.
The happy couple in the stands may feel likewise about their country. But Johnson said having his girlfriend at the rallymade his anniversary.
"It did! It did!" Johnson said earnestly. "Big time!"
"Gosh," Thielman replied. "How embarrassing."
Posted at 4:45 PM on February 7, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN