Today’s UpTake: Dayton’s Big Lead, Attacking Civil Liberties

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Today on The UpTake we offer analysis on the big lead that Democratic-Farm-Labor gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton has opened on Republican opponent Tom Emmer — according to the MPR-Humphrey poll released yesterday. The reason: the rift within the Republican party, between extremist tea partiers and moderates, is splitting the GOP — and here in Minnesota that rift is siphoning off votes to Independent (and former Republican) Tom Horner. We also have testimony from lawyers who attended Monday’s FBI raid protests in downtown Minneapolis, saying that the raids represent a serious affront to civil liberties.

Later today on The UpTake, we’ll air footage from a press conference at the state capitol by Common Cause, which will file a major campaign finance complaint, claiming that it “uncovered an elaborate scheme by three entities to hide political contributions.” We’ll also provide footage from Second Congressional District challenger Shelley Madore’s press conference in Eagan, Minn., following the Transportation Alliance Candidate Forum. Madore, who is challenging Tea Party-backed incumbent John Kline, will reportedly discuss the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “FasterBetterSafer” campaign and its alignment with her campaign message that investment in transportation is essential to our economic recovery.

Why was the scheduled gubernatorial debate at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul canceled last night? According to Kaley Taffe, president of the school’s Political Science Club: “The debate was canceled because … Tom Emmer declined our invitation and said it was because of scheduling conflicts. We got the final no from his campaign scheduler four business days before the debate was scheduled to take place (we had previously set our deadline to know by as Sept 10th to avoid putting so much more work into it if it wasn’t going to happen). After Tom Emmer declined, we informed the other campaigns and told them we still wanted to move forward with the remaining two, but Mark Dayton’s campaign got back to us and said if Emmer wasn’t attending, Dayton was also not going to attend.”

As for the reaction on campus, Taffe added: “After the final cancellation was made, students here are upset and very disappointed to see that candidates that are running for Governor were not willing to give up that one hour of their time to spend here and discuss education with the people it directly affects. Pretty much makes us wonder how much they value our ideas and opinions.”

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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