Election 2008


Elections junkies read candidates’ financial filings the way teenage girls read tarot cards. After all, little contributions tend to beget bigger ones, and bigger ones produce prizefighters who can last until the conventions. With the balloting still a year off, the field of U.S. presidential candidates is already crowded: 17 Democratic and Republican hopefuls have been raising money for more than six months, and Minnesotans are lining up behind the players. New financial reports will be made public shortly, but here’s a look at the list of early local donors, selected for the size of their largess and their prominence as political activists.


Hillary Clinton

U.S. senator, New York

$364,000 raised in Minnesota

Matt Entenza & Lois Quam, former state representative; managing director, Piper Jaffray: $9,200
Mike & Ann Ciresi, DFL candidate for U.S. Senate and attorney; homemaker: $4,600
Mark Dayton, former U.S. senator: $4,600
David Lillehaug, former U.S. attorney: $1,000
Photo: Official Senate Photo

Barack Obama

U.S. senator, Illinois

$296,000 raised in Minnesota

Mike & Ann Ciresi: $4,600
John & Sage Cowles, retired newspaper publisher; dancer and choreographer: $4,600
Sam & Sylvia Kaplan, attorney; DFL activists: $4,600
Dennis Hecker, president & CEO, Walden Automotive: $2,300
Arne Tucker Carlson, son of former Republican governor: $250
Photo: Official Senate Photo

Rudy Giuliani

Former mayor, New York City

$220,000 raised in Minnesota

Karen & Stanley S. Hubbard, director; chair and CEO, Hubbard Broadcasting: $9,200
Dennis & Tamitha Hecker: $4,600
Wheelock Whitney, former owner, Minnesota Vikings: $4,600
Bahram Akradi, president and CEO, Life Time Fitness: $4,600
Brad Anderson, CEO, Best Buy: $2,300
Photo: by Jason Bedrick

John McCain

U.S. senator, Arizona

$208,000 raised in Minnesota

Rudy & Ellen Boschwitz, former U.S. senator; homemaker: $4,600
Curtis Nelson, president, Carlson Companies: $3,300
Ron Eibensteiner, former chair, Minnesota Republican Party: $2,300
Cullen Loeffler, long snapper, Minnesota Vikings: $2,300
Photo: Official Senate Photo

John Edwards

Former U.S. senator, North Carolina

$104,000 raised in Minnesota

Mike & Ann Ciresi: $4,600
Scott Benson, member, Minneapolis City Council: $1,000
Ted Mondale, former chair, Metropolitan Council: $500
Photo: JohnEdwards.com

Bill Richardson

Governor, New Mexico

$67,000 raised in Minnesota

Stanley S. Hubbard: $4,600
John Cowles: $2,300
Arvonne Fraser, DFL activist, former Humphrey Institute senior fellow: $400
Photo: BillRichardsonForPresident.com

Mitt Romney

Former governor, Massachusetts

$60,000 raised in Minnesota

Michael Crosby, real-estate developer: $2,300
John Thomson, partner, Norwest Equity Partners: $2,300
David Frauenshuh, founder and CEO, Frauenshuh: $2,000
Photo: by Abby Brack

Ron Paul

U.S. representative, Texas

$21,000 raised in Minnesota

Karl Hanson, attorney: $2,300
Christopher Hayner, landlord: $2,300
Photo: Official Congress Photo

Christopher Dodd, U.S. senator, Connecticut: $26,000 raised in Minnesota // Dennis Kucinich, U.S. representative, Ohio: $3,100 raised in Minnesota // Joe Biden, U.S. senator, Delaware: $3,100 raised in Minnesota // Mike Gravel, former U.S. senator, Alaska: $90 raised in Minnesota // Tommy Thompson, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services: $10,000 raised in Minnesota prior to Aug. withdrawal // Sam Brownback, U.S. senator, Kansas: $7,200 raised in Minnesota // Tom Tancredo, U.S. representative, Colorado: $4,100 raised in Minnesota // Mike Huckabee, former governor, Arkansas: $1,100 raised in Minnesota // Duncan Hunter, U.S. representative, California: $275 raised in Minnesota // Fred Thompson, former U.S. senator, Tennesee: Tallies not available since Sept. entry

*Individuals may contribute a legal maximum of $4,600 to a candidate’s primary-election, general-election, and legal-compliance funds. Source: Federal Election Commission, www.fec.gov


Real Estate

The housing slump has been bad news for developers and real-estate agents—but good news for those looking for new quarters—and, say, a pontoon boat.

In addition to reducing prices, sellers are starting to kick in extra goodies to lure buyers, says Steven Ladin, a broker and CEO at Ladin Ventures. “Sometimes, you have to do something a little different to separate yourself from everyone else,” he says of the incentives being offered by sellers. ¶ Ladin promises prospective buyers a sampling of Michael Vick and Lindsay Lohan merchandise with a signed purchase agreement. So far, his ads have piqued people’s interest, but they haven’t yet boosted sales. What else you can get to go with your new digs? Above is a sampling of the bait offered by sellers this fall.


Structural Integrity

In addition to finger-pointing and political grandstanding, the collapse of the 35W bridge in Minneapolis produced an outpouring of charity, a plan for a new span, and even a class at the U of M.


Dollars contributed to the Minnesota Helps: Bridge Disaster Fund, as of September 18, by nearly 1,000 local charity groups and individuals.


Amount given by Minnesota Helps to Pillsbury United Communities to assist the 52 children of Waite House who survived the tragedy. The center’s students were passengers on a school bus when the bridge
collapsed beneath them.

$250 million

Amount of emergency funds pledged by Congress to Minnesota for bridge replacement. Five-million dollars were made available in the first week to help with clean-up, recovery, and traffic rerouting.


Number of days relief crews and rescuers searched until the body of the 13th and final victim, Gregory Jolstad, of Mora, was found.


Months until a new bridge is expected to be finished. State officials are hoping to open the new span in December 2008—and are offering up to $27 million in bonuses if it is finished early.


Number of U of M students studying the effects of the collapse on the community as part of a course offered through the Urban Studies department.


An Angel in Hell

“You have accepted the worst assignment in Iraq.” That’s what Deanna Germain was told shortly after landing in Abu Ghraib in 2004. In fact, the Army reservist from Blaine had been sent to the prison’s hospital as a nurse just weeks before the prisoner-abuse scandal erupted. In Reaching Past the Wire, the new book she has authored with writer Connie Louns-bury, the 57-year-old recalls living in a jail cell (there was no other housing), daily mortar attacks, and tender exchanges with the prisoners she helped heal.

When news of the abuse broke, Germain and other staffers were among the last to know: She learned about the problems via e-mails from home. Soon, reporters and Iraqi sheiks alike were pushing their way through the hospital in search of facts—and shooting Germain disgusted looks simply because she wore an Army uniform, though none of the workers had been around during the abuses. “It was a very demoralizing time,” she says. But she could imagine how things got out of hand: It was a “lawless, Wild West” environment, she says. Even now, Germain says, the scandal’s legacy overshadows the compassion she saw: “As soon as you say, ‘I worked in Abu Ghraib,’ you can see that people think, ‘Oh, that awful place.’ I will always and forever be connected to that.”



Download This!

No longer are loon calls and long vowels the only sounds of the state. Minnesotans—even Governor Pawlenty—are jumping on the podcast bandwagon, blaring news, ruminations, and random ramblings across the Web. Here, some of the videos and voices you’ll find.


Bretton Jones and company offer opinions on various subjects du jour, from Keith Ellison to the effects of metro greening. The contributors take themselves—and their perspectives—pretty earnestly, but they deserve props for examining not only local topics, but world affairs with local impacts.


True to its URL, this podcast offers a regular dose of “Minnesota slices of life” from the perspectives of, well, Minnesotans. Topics range from big news to just-news-to-you. Says Chuck Olsen, the blog’s founder and producer, “It’s sort of like PBS meets YouTube.”


Are you a closet Trivial Pursuit lover? Your pleasure is now guiltless, thanks to Johnee Bee. Each installment of the Woodbury resident’s podcast asks a series of multiple-choice questions about a decidedly lightweight topic (like, say, bubble gum) then follows up with in-depth answers. After all, who knows when you might need to know the origin of Bazooka Joe’s name?


Loco for Local

The Star Tribune’s editorial-page editor, Susan Albright, recently stepped down after disagreements with interim publisher Chris Harte, who is pushing the paper toward a stronger local focus. What does a more provincial Strib op-ed page look like? Here are some editorials we fear we might see in the Strib’s new, navel-gazing future:

Meatless in Mpls.

Bring back free steaks with Harmon AutoGlass

Inadvisable cuts

Rybak should consider parting hair down the middle


Could our FedEx guy be a bigger schmo?


Rally Cry

Ricky Davis and Randy Foye won’t be the only ones breaking a sweat when the Timberwolves officially start their season at the Target Center this month.

Check out the 15 members of the dance team, who survived a strenuous audition process to get jobs rallying the crowd. Contrary to popular perception, though, these cheerleaders aren’t bimbos with better-than-average spelling skills. Most are students, juggling studies with twice-weekly practices. Others have day jobs: The squad includes a Best Buy employee, a designer for Target Corporation, and the owner of a media-design business. Extra credit: Pick out the Miss North Dakota crown winner. How many of the players can lay claim to that kind of fame, huh?


With a Little Help From His Nikon

Bill Carlson was ill-prepared for the British invasion. Dressed in a coat and tie and unversed in the new genre known as rock, the 17-year-old amateur shutterbug found himself at Wold-Chamberlain Field in Minneapolis on August 21, 1965, with little more than a press pass and a sense that something big was going to happen when the Beatles’ plane touched down. He was right: The Fab Four drew a crowd that broke through police lines and presented a concert at Met Stadium so clogged with adoring fans that one critic described the scene as “Shrieksville.” Carlson shot dozens of rolls of film, but the negatives gathered dust for 40 years as his career took off, taking Carlson around the globe, shooting for CNN and National Geographic and doing commercial work for American Express, Coca-Cola, and others.

This month, with a little help from his friends (a Tennessee publisher and his partner Denise Gardner, who rediscovered the photos), Carlson unveils The Beatles: A One-Night Stand in the Heartland, a collection of images from that fateful day. The Spring Park resident, now primarily a filmmaker, acknowledges that many of the snapshots are probably more meaningful to Beatles fans than they are to him. But they do represent something: the start of his fruitful career. “Photography,” Carlson says, “has been my ticket to ride.”