- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014
Clinton calls on young Minnesotans to vote

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Former President Bill Clinton headlined a get-out-the-vote rally at the University of Minnesota Friday, calling on the hundreds of college students inside the auditorium to get to the polls in November and give Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken second terms.

Clinton capped off a series of speeches from Minnesota politicians, each who delivered an urgent message: If you want Democrats in office this time next year, help break the cycle of low turnout in midterm elections.

Franken eked out a win after a lengthy recount in the 2008 election, and Dayton did the same to take the governor’s office in 2010. As the party braces for a bruising year nationally, the two Minnesota Democrats hold steady leads in public polling with less than a month before Election Day.

But Dayton and Franken aren’t letting up. The pair tailored their message to the college students inside Northrop Auditorium, emphasizing policies like a two-year tuition freeze at Minnesota’s public universities and colleges - which Dayton backed and signed in 2013 - and Franken’s proposal to allow students to refinance loan debt.

Franken called on students to help replicate the wave of young voters who were key to President Barack Obama’s 2008 election. In an emotional plea to avoid a repeat of the drop off - and disastrous year for Democrats- of 2010, Franken told a story about the late Sen. Paul Wellstone encouraging his son across the finish line at cross-country running meets and asked, “Will you be my Paul?”


Cliffs to transport iron ore pellets by truck

HIBBING, Minn. (AP) - Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. says a rail logjam is forcing the company to immediately begin using trucks to transport iron ore pellets from Hibbing Taconite to the Duluth port.

In a statement Friday, the Cleveland-based mining company said the move is a way to ensure its customers on the lower Great Lakes will have an adequate supply of pellets to maintain operations before the shipping season closes.

Cliffs chairman, president and CEO Lourenco Goncalves says the company recognizes the impact additional truck traffic will have on people who live and travel along the route. He calls it a “short-term solution.”

The Mesabi Daily News (https://bit.ly/1vcVgbE) reports Cliffs’ decision comes as northeastern Minnesota mines stockpile taconite due to insufficient rail service in recent months.



Minnesota’s tax take below projection for quarter

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota’s tax collections came in $46 million short of expectations for the last three months, state officials said in a report issued Friday that Republicans quickly worked into campaigns against the Democrats who lead government.

The Department of Minnesota Management and Budget analysis said total revenue of almost $4.3 billion for July through September was 1.1 percent below estimates laid out in a February forecast used by lawmakers in budget-setting.

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said the report is proof “Minnesotans can’t afford tax-and-spend, all-Democratic rule at the Capitol.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson said it was a sign people were making and spending less, costing the state income and sales tax money. “Mark Dayton’s economic policies are hitting Minnesotans where it hurts: their pocketbooks,” he said in a statement.

Tax collections missed marks in more months this year than they’ve been ahead of projections. But the last fiscal year ended in June with the state having $186 million more than it needed to cover expenses.


Probe: No evidence of false VA data in vet’s death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Veterans Administration reports that an internal investigation found no evidence that a Minnesota veteran’s appointment data was doctored after he died, three members of the state’s congressional delegation said Friday.

Acting VA Inspector General Richard Griffin wrote to the lawmakers that the investigation found no evidence of falsified or manipulated records in this case of former Marine Jordan Buisman.

KARE-TV reported last month that VA records showed a neurology exam for Buisman, 24, was rescheduled four days after his death. Buisman’s family believes the record was falsified to hide alleged delays in his care and has filed a wrongful death claim against the VA.

But the investigation found that Buisman, who had epilepsy, called the Minneapolis VA’s automated system, through which patients can request changes to their appointments, from his cellphone number on Nov. 26, 2012. He died later that day after having seizures. Four days later, a scheduler canceled Buisman’s neurology appointment and tentatively rescheduled it for Jan. 17, 2013, but was unaware he had died. That information had not yet been entered into the system, Griffin wrote.

In a statement Friday, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Rep. Tim Walz said Buisman still had to wait too long to get the health care he needed.

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