ACORN, prostitutes and tax advice If you’re a lady of the night, how do you list your occupation on the 1040 tax form? ACORN workers advised one pretend prostitute in a hidden-camera investigation that her business was “performing artist.” And that was just the beginning of the Fox News exposé and Jon Stewart’s hilarious riff on it. But seriously — the ACORN tax advice sounded downright criminal on the videotape, and the reactions have been swift. The Minnesota Independent reports that the Census Bureau said ACORN is no longer a community partner and the Senate, by an 83-7 vote, to block federal grants to ACORN.<!–more–>
A spokesman for ACORN, Scott Levenson, when asked to comment on the videotape, said: “The portrayal is false and defamatory and an attempt at gotcha journalism. This film crew tried to pull this sham at other offices and failed. ACORN wants to see the full video before commenting further.”
ACORN says it has fired the employees involved, and that the videos show a few bad apples at the organization.
However, Bertha Lewis, ACORN’s chief organizer, says that the videos were doctored. She also said O’Keefe made similar attempts to solicit information on illegal activities at several other ACORN offices around the country, but was turned away. After O’Keefe visited ACORN’s Philadelphia office, workers there called police.
Ho, hum primary in St. Paul Unsurprisingly, Mayor Chris Coleman was the leading votegetter in the St. Paul mayoral primary, trailed by sort-of-Republican Eva Ng, who will face off with him in November. The school board races came in two groups – first, for three four-year school board seats up for election in the regular cycle, and second, for the two-year seat vacated by the mid-term resignation of Tom Conlon, who moved out of state. The results for the school board races, according to the Pioneer Press:
Vallay Moua Varro and Pat Igo finished at the front of a foursome vying for a two-year seat on the school board. …
In the school board battle for the three four-year seats, the top six vote-getters advance to the general election. Street-Stewart had about 21 percent, Brodrick about 19 percent, Goldstein about 17 percent, O’Connell about 16 percent, Conner about 11 percent and Krenik about 10 percent.
Practice (DFL) voting in Minneapolis Margaret Anderson Kelliher was the big winner in a DFL Party-sponsored practice vote in Minneapolis Tuesday evening. The practice vote, held in three locations, encouraged DFLers to use ranked-choice voting to select a gubernatorial candidate. Kelliher got 55% of the votes, with R.T. Rybak garnering 45% and John Marty coming in third, according to an email from organizers. The event, which was publicized through the media, Facebook, DFL e-mails, handbills at DFL/candidate events, and word of mouth, drew about 300 voters.
Because Minneapolis will begin using Ranked Choice or Instant Runoff voting in November, the city had no primary this time around.
Want some sulphuric acid with that? Copper and nickel mining, aka sulfide metals mining, is a potential economic savior in northern Minnnesota or an environmental disaster waiting to happen, depending on whether you listen to the mining companies or the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and other defenders of clean water. How much protection do the Boundary Waters, Lake Superior and the tourist and fishing industries deserve? How much risk of discharge of sulfuric acid, mercury and heavy metals is acceptable? What is an acceptable price in acres of wetland destruction to make room for mining operations?
According to MPR, a meeting yesterday focused – again – on the dispute, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will soon release its draft Environmental Impact Statement on copper and nickel mining in northern Minnesota.
In an earlier report, MPR quoted environmentalists on specific concerns:
Daub cites a 2006 study, co-written by Butte, Montana-based mining consultant Jim Kuipers. Kuipers studied two dozen projects, comparing what they said would happen with pollutants with what actually happened.
“In nearly every case where we had mines in close proximity to surface water and ground water, we saw that there was almost a 90 percent, if not greater, probability that the predicted water quality wasn’t actually what we saw,” Kuipers said.
Of 25 mines studied, he found 76 percent violated water quality standards. [Valley]
Last year, MinnPost weighed in with an in-depth analysis of the issues and players. At that time (December, 2008), the DNR release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement was also expected “soon.” MinnPost also raised the economic issue, which remains key: “Will the plummeting metals market stop short of the level needed to financially support costly mining of low-grade ore?”