Today’s UpTake: Mayors Endorse Dayton; MCN Debate In Duluth

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It’s high season for political endorsements in Minnesota. On Wednesday, 13 former Republican legislators endorsed Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner; yesterday the state’s chapter of the National Federation of Small Businesses (NFIB) backed the GOP’s Tom Emmer, and today, mayors, county commissioners, city council members and community leaders from across Minnesota will reportedly sing their praise for Democratic-Farm-Labor candidate Mark Dayton at a 10 a.m. press conference at the State Capitol.

At noon, or shortly thereafter, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) will hold a gubernatorial forum at its annual conference in Duluth. Keesha Gaskins, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Minnesota, will guide what’s billed as an interactive and dynamic luncheon session. And The UpTake will bring it to you live. Dayton and Horner will reportedly be there. Emmer won’t attend, however, as evidenced by his daily campaign schedule.

In commemoration of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s retirement yesterday, The UpTake posted this interview with the anti-apartheid leader and winner of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Speaking of aging heroes, Jimmy Carter was in St. Paul yesterday for Habitat for Humanity’s 27th annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. We caught up with the former president to ask him about his work, and about the solar panels that are returning to the White House for the first time since his presidency.

We also recorded the anti-torture and antiwar protests outside St. Thomas Law School in St. Paul yesterday, where “torture memo” author John Yoo was the featured speaker for a conference on “Presidential Power: Prudence or Perversion.” And here’s a morsel from the Socap 2010 conference in San Francisco earlier this week: With Firefox, technologists around the world pitched in to break the Microsoft browser monopoly and re-spark innovation on the web. Now, Mozilla is encouraging media makers to pitch in too.

In other Minnesota political news, state auditor challenger Pat Anderson’s (GOP) complaint against incumbent Rebecca Otto (DFL) has been dismissed; Governor Pawlenty announced that his last “Good Morning, Minnesota” radio broadcast will be November 12 (will he pursue other professional endeavors?); and state GOP chair Tony Sutton is under fire from the Horner gubernatorial campaign after having the audacity and distaste to call World War II veteran and former Republican state senator George Pillsbury a “quisling” for endorsing Independent candidate Horner on Wednesday. (“There’s a special place in hell for these quislings,” Sutton was quoted in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.) “Quisling” refers to Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling, a Nazi sympathizer who collaborated with the invading Germans to sell out his country during the war.

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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