Good morning, and welcome to Tuesday. I hope things are going well. Here’s the Digest.
1. A lawyer on Monday instructed the Minnesota House and Rep. Tony Cornish to preserve any possible evidence related to sexual harassment allegations against Cornish. The lawyer represents a lobbyist who has accused Cornish of unwanted sexual advances. It signals that both the House and Cornish could be targets of a civil lawsuit It also highlights the different strategies House and Senate leaders are taking to respond to harassment complaints, with the House ordering an independent investigation of Cornish and Senate leaders calling for the resignation of a senator in a similar situation. (MPR News)
2. A three term Minnesota state representative says she’s been the target of repeated sexual harassment at the state Capitol. Rep. Laurie Halverson, DFL- Eagan, said she’s speaking out because of what she described as routine harassment by lawmakers from both parties. “We’re not going to take it anymore,” said Halverson, who also serves as the Assistant Democratic Minority Leader in the House. Halverson says the harassment began in 2015 and has continued, “many times” ever since. She did not say who harassed her. Meanwhile, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton ordered a review of state government sexual harassment policies. (WCCO TV)
3. The results of an MPR survey of 1.600 state residents show that Minnesotans trust police more than they do any other institution including government, the health care industry and religious institutions. But levels of trust differ across racial, economic, geographical and political lines. Whites, higher income earners, non-city dwellers and Republicans expressed the highest levels of trust in police. African-Americans, members of lower-income households, city residents and Democrats were most likely to indicate distrust in law enforcement. The percentage of people living outside the city limits of St. Paul and Minneapolis who said police do the right thing “just about always” or “most of the time” was 30 points higher than among people who live within the cities. (MPR News)
4. As farmers finish up fall harvest, crop damage from dicamba is cutting into yields and profits. More than 200 Minnesota farmers say a neighbor’s use of the herbicide damaged their crops, and it could cost them about $7 million collectively. And many farmers aren’t sure if they’ll find any compensation for their loss. When applied to soybeans genetically modified to withstand it, dicamba works as an herbicide. But the problems occur when dicamba drifts to neighboring non-tolerant soybean fields. Wind may blow it off-target, or the chemical can vaporize and move. (MPR News)
5. Democrats swept the suburbs in state and local elections last week, giving Minnesota DFLers hope for capitalizing on an electoral backlash against President Trump and his agenda if it continues brewing in the lead-up to next year’s congressional elections. Congressional seats across the state are up for grabs in 2018, from the open First District that runs across southern Minnesota to the battleground Eighth District in the northeastern part of the state. But it’s the suburban swing districts south and west of the Twin Cities that are drawing some of the most intense national interest, and generating some of the most excitement among Democrats hoping to flip two prize Republican seats next year. (Star Tribune)