Today’s UpTake: Goodbye Rahm, Testing Campaign Finance Laws

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Today on The UpTake, you can watch this morning’s press conference from the White House where President Obama bid adieu to Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who will return to Chicago to run for mayor. Longtime confidant Pete Roush will take Rahm’s place. We also have footage of the President’s backyard barnstorming tour earlier this week from Iowa and Virginia.

Yesterday at the Minnesota State Capitol the organization Common Cause filed a complaint with the state’s campaign finance board against “Minnesota Future LLC,” a limited liability corporation which, Common Cause alleges, was formed to receive $428,000 from the Republican Governor’s Association in order run advertisements supporting Republican candidates. It seems that campaign finances laws are being put to the test in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial “Citizens United” ruling, which opened the floodgates to corporate cash in political races.

Meanwhile yesterday, Minnesota Second Congressional District Democratic challenger Shelley Madore held a press conference in Burnsville, Minn., where she touted the need for transportation funds, and criticized her opponent, Tea-Party backed Republican incumbent John Kline for opposing them. Kline continues to refuse a debate with Madore. Speaking of obstruction, Obama’s new Chair of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee, shows in this video how the GOP are holding middle-class tax cuts hostage.

This weekend, The UpTake will report on tomorrow’s public meeting at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church on health and racial equity in the Twin Cities’ central corridor — through which a new light-rail train may run and could tear up communities; a rally and press conference at Cityview Elementary school for Fong Lee, who was killed by the Minneapolis Police Department, and Sunday’s screening of “Troubled Waters,” the controversial film about industrial agriculture’s adverse impacts on the Mississippi River (the University of Minnesota had initially stopped the film from being screened). We’ll also provide live coverage of Sunday afternoon’s Jewish Community Action Minnesota governors’ debate at 4 p.m. from the Mt. Zion Synagogue in St. Paul.

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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