Good morning, and welcome to Wednesday. Here’s the Digest.
1. A Minnesota Senate staff member filed a formal complaint Tuesday against DFL Sen. Dan Schoen over an uninvited, sexually explicit photo he allegedly sent her in 2015. The woman, Ellen Anderson, made the complaint to the Senate’s human resources department and later spoke to MPR News about the SnapChat message that included a photo of a man’s genitals. A friend of Anderson, who was present when the message came through, attested to it in a separate interview. Through his lawyer, Schoen denied sending the photo to Anderson and said again he will not resign. (MPR News)
2. MinnPost reviewed 20 cases of sexual harassment allegations in state agencies and found not a single person was fired. Their look revealed a confusing, opaque and uneven system for dealing with sexual harassment by state government employees in Minnesota. The state’s five-page harassment policy doesn’t clearly outline what kind of behavior is punishable by a simple reprimand versus a suspension, for example. Instead, it’s left up to officials in a scattered and massive bureaucracy, one that includes some two dozen agencies and more than 34,000 employees. In fact, among the cases reviewed by MinnPost, the only thing that was consistent was a lack of consistency about how sexual-harassment cases were punished — and a reluctance to impose the most serious penalties on the offenders. (MinnPost)
3. It’s not just President Trump who’s at war with the news media. It turns out many Minnesotans share his views. Only 43 percent of Minnesotans trust the media to do what’s right all or most of the time. That’s a key finding from a new report by MPR News and its sister organization APM Research Lab, which surveyed 1,654 Minnesota residents in late August and early September. Across the state, the responses revealed deep skepticism of mainstream news reporting. That’s especially true in northern Minnesota, where fewer than one in three people surveyed outside of Duluth said they trust the media. Trust is lowest of all among the state’s Republicans. Only 22 percent said they trusted the media to do what was right all or most of the time, compared to 61 percent of Democrats, and 41 percent of independents. (MPR News)
4. On Super Bowl Sunday Blue Line light rails trains between Mall of America and downtown Minneapolis will be restricted to those who have tickets to the big game at U.S. Bank Stadium and a $30 light-rail “Gameday Pass.” Green Line trains will run normally between Union Depot in downtown St. Paul and Stadium Village in Minneapolis. West of Stadium Village, Green Line trains will carry only ticket holders to the stadium, and beyond to Target Field. Ticket holders and the trains themselves will undergo security screenings at Mall of America and a Stadium Village checkpoint, ride the trains without stopping to the football stadium and enter there without further screening. Metro Transit will operate station-to-station buses every 10 to 15 minutes along the light-rail lines for everybody else. (Star Tribune)
5. President Trump loomed large in the first face-off between Republicans vying for the 1st Congressional District seat. Jim Hagedorn and state Sen. Carla Nelson repeatedly pledged during their first debate Monday night to stand by the president. On display in the room was a life-size, cardboard cutout of Trump giving two thumbs up.
“I am running for Congress because just like you I am disgusted at the dysfunction that we’re seeing in Washington, D.C. It is past time for Congress to stand with our president … and start putting America first,” Nelson said. Hagedorn also emphasized his support for Trump. “I want to be a conservative reinforcement in the U.S. House of Representatives led by Republicans to partner with our president to make the big changes necessary to keep moving our nation in this right direction.” (Rochester Post Bulletin)