Daily Digest: Minnesotans remember McCain

Good morning and happy Monday. Let’s take a look at the Digest.

1. Minnesotan spent time with McCain as a POW. Duluth resident David Wheat crossed paths with U.S. Sen. John McCain over the years, beginning when they were prisoners of war in the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War. “We were shot down, both of us, in the month of October, except I was two years ahead of him,” said Wheat, a retired U.S. Navy commander. McCain, who was the GOP presidential nominee in 2008, died Saturday at the age of 81. He spent more than five years imprisoned at the “Hanoi Hilton” in North Vietnam, where Wheat spent more than seven years as a POW before coming home to Duluth in 1973. Wheat said he respected McCain, who served in Congress for 35 years. “I look at him as being a very devoted, honest individual. He didn’t agree with everybody … but he did what he, in his own mind, thought was the best answer, the best result. I think by making one of the largest efforts you can ever make — and that’s running for president of the United States — he lived by the code of honor that we had, that we practiced over there: Nobody’s going to go home early unless they’re dragged out of there or they have permission from the senior ranking officer there,” Wheat said. (Duluth News Tribune)

2. McCain remembered by Klobuchar. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Sen. John McCain came from different parties, different generations and different parts of the country. But the Minnesota Democrat and Arizona Republican became close friends during their time as Senate colleagues. Klobuchar shared remembrances of McCain on Sunday, a day after McCain died of brain cancer at age 81. “He just had this amazing ability to teach people, younger senators, first of all how to work together at home, but also how to work on the world stage,” Klobuchar said of McCain. “And he passed that torch on to so many of us.” Klobuchar went on several overseas trips with McCain after she was elected to the Senate in 2006. In 2009, she joined him on a trip that included a stop at the site of the prison in Vietnam where McCain was held captive during the Vietnam War. “When you see something like that, you are forever in awe of someone,” she recalled. (MPR News)

3. Klobuchar and her Republican opponent don’t agree on much. Klobuchar and state Rep. Jim Newberger squared off Friday in a debate at the Minnesota State Fair. They clashed on many issues, including climate change, military spending and tax cuts. Klobuchar, a former Hennepin County Attorney, made her case for reelection by saying she focuses on bread and butter issues for Minnesota. Klobuchar noted that she’s been the lead Democrat on 18 bills signed by President Trump. “You need someone that can find common ground but is also willing to be a check and balance on this administration,” she said. Newberger, a paramedic serving his third two-year term in the Minnesota House, said the state needs a conservative voice in the Senate. “If you’re in the moderate middle all the way to the conservative right you have not had a voice for almost decade,” he said. “Folks, it’s time that you had a voice. It’s time you had a senator that does something for you.” Klobuchar later took aim at Newberger on climate change. She said his denial of the problem is out of step with the Senate. “When I look at this, it is a real problem,” Klobuchar said. “You could see a starker difference between me and my opponent, where he won’t even admit that it is occurring, which is against science.” Newberger tried to clarify his position. “Do I believe in climate change? Yeah, I do. I believe in climate change,” he said. “Do I believe it’s man-made? No, I do not. Climate change, the number one factor in climate change is the sun, and we cannot change the way the sun operates.” (MPR News)

4. Crime drops in Minneapolis. Despite a recent spasm of violence, criminal activity in Minneapolis has fallen sharply from last year, newly released Police Department statistics show. Part I crimes, which include both violent and property crimes, fell 16.7 percent in 2018 compared to this time last year, from 15,275 incidents to 12,724. The data are based on raw crime numbers as of Aug. 20, which don’t account for population growth, unlike crime rates. Among violent crimes, the steepest declines were seen in robberies (down roughly 33 percent) and aggravated assaults, such as shootings and stabbings (down about 15 percent). Homicides dropped to 20 so far this year from 26 in 2017. This, all while arrests have continued to decrease. (Star Tribune)

5. Fight for state House focuses on GOP-held seats in districts won by Clinton. Insiders call them “borrowed ground” or even “rented districts.” They are the dozen or so Minnesota state House districts carried by Hillary Clinton two years ago but narrowly won by Republicans lawmakers in the same election. Now they are the focus of both parties’ attempts to control the body. With an open governor’s seat and the state Senate likely to remain in a one-seat GOP majority, the 134 House seats on the November ballot will either give the Republicans complete control of the state Legislature — or ensure that Democrats have a share of power. (MinnPost)

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