Today’s UpTake: Commerce Secretary in Town: Arizona-Style Immigration Bill in House?

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Fresh off a statewide tour yesterday to sell his budget initiative to out-state Minnesotans (we caught him at the Duluth airport, and just after he landed at Holman Field in St. Paul), Governor Mark Dayton will host U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Chairman Fred Hochberg of the Export-Import Bank and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak (who lauded Dayton for reigning in property taxes) today at the University of Minnesota’s McNamara Alumni Center. This is the first stop for Secretary Locke’s New Markets, New Jobs tour, which aims to help small and medium-sized businesses expand by increasing export opportunities and allowing for economic growth and new jobs. You can count on The UpTake for live coverage. And we’ve heard rumors that an Arizona-style anti-immigration bill will be introduced in the State House of Representatives tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Speaking of extreme legislation from outside of Minnesota’s borders, over 10,000 demonstrators stormed the Wisconsin State Capitol yesterday to protest new GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s war on unions; and over on our other border, a Republican-led attack on abortion providers has advanced in the South Dakota legislature. St. Paul witnessed its own labor tour de force yesterday, as hundreds of union workers and families turned out in the Capitol Rotunda and told the legislature to “tax the rich.” Meanwhile, outside on the Capitol steps, Minnesota college students demanded a tuition freeze. On a brighter note, 25-year-old Hibbing native Carly Melin made a triumphant appearance at the State Capitol yesterday, less than 24 hours after winning a House seat in the 5B special election.

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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