Daily Digest: #MeToo’s impact on Minnesota voters

Here we are at Wednesday and another Digest that leads off with the latest poll results.

1. #MeToo reactions register in poll. Questions of sexual harassment and accountability have been a constant presence in 2018 politics. They resurfaced in the latest MPR News/Star Tribune Minnesota Poll when the question turned to new United States Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who testified that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were teens. Of 800 likely voters polled last week, 47 percent of women said Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation makes them more likely to vote for Democrats on Nov. 6, while 33 percent of women said it makes them want to vote Republican. (MPR News)

2. Omar, Zielinski clash in lone 5th District debate. DFL state Rep. Ilhan Omar and her Republican challenger, Jennifer Zielinski, met Tuesday for their only debate during the campaign for an open Minneapolis-area House seat, as Omar warned the country is “at a dangerous crossroads under President Donald Trump.” Omar, the front-runner to replace U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison in the heavily DFL Fifth District, said in the debate in Minnesota Public Radio’s St. Paul studio that if elected she would vote to impeach Trump, if given the chance. Zielinski, a Republican party activist who works in health care, said she did not always agree with Trump and insisted she would represent the interests of the district, which has been a safely Democratic seat since 1962. (Star Tribune)

3. Trump endorses Paulsen and rival Phillips cheers. Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen has been trying hard for months to play up differences with and keep distance from President Donald Trump during a tough re-election race, so it was a surprise when Trump endorsed the congressman’s re-election effort. The twist, which came during a late-night presidential tweet Monday, drew a more ecstatic response Tuesday from the campaign of Democratic challenger Dean Phillips than it did from Paulsen himself. “Trump is Trump. He’s going to do what he’s going to do,” Paulsen said in a telephone interview in between campaign appearances at senior centers in the 3rd Congressional District. “President Trump does not endorse moderates,” said Phillips, a businessman and first-time candidate giving Paulsen his toughest test in a decade. (MPR News)

4. DFL pushes for release of Stauber emails. The fight to disclose Pete Stauber’s emails is now in court. The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County on Tuesday, asking a judge to grant access to correspondence between Stauber and the National Republican Congressional Committee found in his county email account. Stauber, a county commissioner, is the Republican candidate in the high-profile 8th Congressional District race against Democrat Joe Radinovich and Independence Party candidate Ray “Skip” Sandman. “The public has the right to know what is in the emails Pete Stauber sent from his taxpayer funded county email account while he was on county time,” said DFL Executive Director Corey Day in a news release announcing the lawsuit. “Transparency and accountability are vital in maintaining trust in government and in our public officials, and thus far, Pete Stauber has fallen far short on both counts.” In a statement to the News Tribune, the Stauber campaign characterized the lawsuit as “politics.” (Duluth News Tribune)

5.  Council member charged over alleged threat to reporter. A Roosevelt, Minn. City Council member who allegedly threatened a reporter during a public meeting was charged with disorderly conduct Monday, said Roseau County Sheriff Steve Gust. Arlyn Stewart allegedly stood over reporter Doris Knutson, from Baudette’s weekly Northern Light Region newspaper, and berated her during an Oct. 1 meeting after she questioned the council for holding a meeting without public notification. He then immediately adjourned the meeting. He has not responded to more than a half-dozen attempts for comment or requests for assistance with open records requests. Roosevelt has been without a mayor for more than a year, and former City Clerk Alyce Siats said Stewart has unofficially stepped into the role. Gerald Landby, who is running for Roosevelt mayor, said Arlyn approached Knutson “like a grizzly bear would do a bluff charge,” according to court documents. (Pioneer Press)


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