Did conservative hot-button social issues sink the GOP in Edina?by Phil Picardi, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio
In the MPR News Update today, we use Edina as a microcosm to explain the Legislature's flip from Republican to Democratic control, two small and rare late-season tornadoes touch down in the Twin Cities metro, congressman-elect Rick Nolan heads back to Washington after a 32-year hiatus from Capitol Hill, and Best Buy's new boss gets ready for a grilling from investors.
LOOK AT EDINA: The political parties disagree over whether voters gave Democrats a mandate to govern -- or whether 2012 is another example of a fickle electorate. In Minnesota the answers to those questions can be found in the City of Edina, which swung solidly DFL on Election Day. One reason: Red-meat conservative social issues rubbed residents there the wrong way.
LOOK AT NOLAN: One beneficiary of the DFL swing on Election Day was Rick Nolan, who sent freshman GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack packing in the 8th Congressional District. As Nolan, he often noted that if he won, he would return to Washington with a certain amount of clout, thanks to three consecutive two-year terms that ended in the early 1980s. Now, he hopes his seniority will help him get named to the Transportation and Natural Resources committees.
LOOK AT THE IP: Control of the Legislature may have turned from the Republicans to the DFL on Nov. 6, but the state's two biggest parties weren't the only players in this year's election drama. The Independence Party -- which came to prominence with Jesse Ventura -- is back.
GOP LEADERS: After two rounds of voting, the Minnesota House Republican caucus has elected state Rep. Kurt Daudt as minority leader. "I literally do look forward to working with the DFL," Daudt said. "They have offered an olive branch and have stated that they're willing to work with us in a bipartisan fashion. And we want to take them up on that.
BRACING FOR IMPACT: Best Buy's new CEO, Hubert Joly, could be in for a severe grilling on Tuesday as he meets with analysts and investors in New York City. The company hired Joly as a transformative leader with the strategy and plan to boost the struggling retailer's sagging sales. Joly had no prior experience in retail when he joined the consumer electronics chain in September. Since then, the company's share price has fallen 14 percent.
VIKINGS ROAR: Adrian Peterson trampled the Detroit Lions down the stretch, then said again he's still not 100 percent healthy. I still can get stronger. I'm still not there, man," he insisted after the game, talking about his sketchy knee. Seriously? Peterson raced 61 yards for the game-sealing touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, finishing with 171 yards on 27 carries for the Vikings in a 34-24.
NOVEMBER TORNADOES: Power is still out for dozens of people in West St. Paul after rare November tornadoes swept through the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities on Saturday night. The National Weather Service said one tornado touched down in Burnsville, mostly between interstates 35W and 35E. Another area in West St. Paul suffered additional damage as the storm moved northeast.
D.C. STORMS: The Associated Press is now reporting that retired Gen. David Petraeus began an affair with his biographer in 2011, two months after he became CIA director. The case has brewed an uproar in Congress over FBI investigative tactics and the fact lawmakers weren't told soon enough about the probe rocking the intelligence and law enforcement establishment. Meanwhile Petraeus's wife, Holly, is said to be "furious."
VETERANS DAY: Hundreds of people marked Veterans Day in Brooklyn Park on Sunday by holding what was believed to be the first formal event to honor Hmong men who worked for the CIA during the Vietnam War. On a related note: An upcoming report is expected to show the number of homeless veterans has dropped by at least 15,000 since 2009. But there's still work to be done to reduce that number even more.
FOOD STAMP CHALLENGE: A group of religious leaders in Minnesota plans to raise awareness about hunger this week by taking a "food stamp challenge." More than a dozen Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders will eat for one week on $31.50 -- the average weekly food stamp benefit.
FLOOD AID: Also in the port city: Community leaders in Duluth are announcing a $500,000 grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation of Eden Prairie to help those still recovering from June flash floods that damaged 1,700 homes.
BERLIN THE BEAR: Remember the polar bear at the Duluth zoo that was moved to the Como Park Zoo after floods? It's been a tough adjustment. Berlin is making a strong recovery after surgery last month in St. Paul in which doctors removed a mass of dead tissue that had been causing internal bleeding.
Phil Picardi is a newscaster for MPR News, and occasionally fills in as Morning Edition host when Cathy Wurzer is away.