Shut outs, snubs, and CSI

MNGOP might be full of spite, Minneapolis loses a bike title, and the FBI checks out Bachmann

Just as last week's marriage equality bill-signing ceremony was about to begin, a group of MNGOP senators invoked an obscure rule to lock the Senate doors while debate was ongoing. The upshot was that some gay marriage-supporting senators weren't able to be in attendance for the historic occasion on the Capitol steps.

But reached for comment a few days later, the MNGOP senator who first proposed locking the doors, Eric Pratt of Prior Lake, said the ceremony had nothing to do it.

"There weren't many senators on the floor at the time, and I thought it was a pretty important point that we were talking about," Pratt said.

The Senate was in the midst of debating a bill to allow child care workers to take unionization votes. "I thought it was an important enough discussion that everyone who could be should be there," Pratt added.

The day after the signing ceremony, Sen. Scott Dibble blasted Pratt and other Republicans for using the locked-door tactic.

During remarks on the Senate floor, Dibble said the MNGOPers "diminished what was really a remarkable occasion."

"I just wanted to express ... an extreme sense of disappointment at what happened yesterday," he added.

Pratt said he was "completely surprised" and "caught off guard" by Dibble's comments.

"I personally thought the accusation was unfounded," Pratt said. "It had nothing to do with the celebration. A number of senators were excused to attend."

Asked whether he was aware of any instance of that rule being invoked in the past, Pratt said, "I couldn't tell you. It's my first year in the Senate and the first time I've done it," he said.

Pratt said he hadn't spoken personally with Dibble since the Senate's top gay marriage supporter put him on blast, but he said he considers the issue resolved.

Cycle Snub

Walk Score recently used Bike Score data to put together its ranking of the 10 Most Bikeable Large U.S. Cities. According to the Bike Score's latest numbers, Minneapolis is the second most bike-friendly city in the country, behind only those hippies in Boulder. Nonetheless, Walk Score left the City of Lakes out of its top 10. So what gives?

A note under Walk Score's list explains: "[T]o keep our rankings apples-to-apples the list above only includes cities with 500,000 or more residents."

In other words, our bustling metropolis is too small for the for big-city elitists at Walk Score.

"Minneapolis also deserves an honorable mention," Walk Score wrote.

Thanks a lot, jerks.

As you'd imagine, Walk Score's omission of Minneapolis stirred up controversy in the comments section. Some suggested Walk Score consider the Twin Cities as a unified metro rather than Minneapolis and St. Paul individually.

Another commenter, after pointing out that many Minnesotans "do indeed bike between the cities," suggested he had better things to do than participate in a digital argument about Walk Score's ranking:

"I am jumping onto my bike from my home in south Minneapolis, and heading for the state Capitol near downtown St. Paul, where our governor will be signing a bill for marriage equality at 5:00."

CSI: Bachmann

The Iowa Senate has been scrutinizing alleged violations of state ethics rules that occurred during the course of Michele Bachmann's ill-fated presidential campaign. But that's child's play compared to an FBI probe.

According to numerous reports, the news has gone from bad to worse for Bachmann, as her campaign is now being investigated by the FBI for potential criminal violations.

In April, former Bachmann Chief of Staff Andy Parrish testified that his former boss personally approved payments to Iowa state Sen. Ken Sorenson, but Parrish said she didn't realize they violated Iowa Senate ethics rules at the time.

The FBI is reportedly looking into that fiasco and a separate one involving the alleged theft by Sorenson of a private email list that was then used for campaign purposes, among other possible areas of investigation.

Last week, Bachmann suggested that revelations the IRS improperly targeted tea party groups for extra scrutiny during the last election cycle could lead to President Obama's impeachment. But it's now clearer than ever she threw that stone from a glass house.

 
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