At Issue - June 29: Presidential Visit, Privacy Lawsuit Dismissed and Sex Offender Program

Updated: 06/30/2014 11:29 AM
Created: 06/30/2014 9:03 AM

This week on At Issue, host Tom Hauser talks about President Barack Obama's visit to Minnesota, a privacy lawsuit that has been dismissed, the state's sex offender program, and a discussion about the mining industry in northern Minnesota:

Restaurant Owners Protest Minimum Wage Increase

Minnesota restaurant owners spoke out about the minimum wage increase, saying if it's implemented it could cost people their jobs. Raising the minimum wage could mean higher food prices, less shifts for employees, or termination if they switch to counter ordering.

President Obama's Visit

In President Obama's speech at the Lake Harriet Bandshell on Friday, he talked about a rebounding economy in the United States. President Obama admitted there was still work to do but the Republicans need to work with him. Republicans responded saying that meant a bigger government.  Obama also held a town hall meeting at Minnehaha park; his key focus was on middle class families trying to reach stability.

Ember Reichgott Junge, a former DFL State Senator talked about how Minnesota is an example of what Obama is trying to achieve nationally. Junge believes that his visit was in part to honor the work Minnesota is doing.

Annette Meeks, from the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota said she would believe he was venturing out to talk to people when he goes to Utah and Kansas.  "He doesn't go to Republican states because he knows he will get an earful. "He's talking to millionaires giving $32,000 to support Democratic candidates for congress, not exactly being in touch with average people," Meeks said.

Privacy Lawsuit Dismissed

A federal judge dismissed a case about privacy and driver's license information. Eighteen people accused officials of illegally accessing their personal information and looking up their driver's license records. The group sued more than 70 different agencies, claiming that the snooping was a response to political activism in Wabasha County. A judge ruled that these incidents were too old and outside the statute of limitations.

Sex Offender Program

There was another hearing regarding the state's sex offender program. Since 1990, only one person has been allowed out, and was sent to a halfway house. Two cases were under review this week. Attorneys for the offenders say it is unconstitutional for them to be held if they are not proven to still be dangerous to the pubic. There is no ruling yet; another hearing is set for next month.


Don Betzold, a former DFL state Senator, said the issue is about treatment, not about locking up people who have done bad things. Brian McDaniel, Republican strategist, talks about how the courts have called for our state's policies and laws to be reviewed.

They also talked about a rally in northern Minnesota that was in favor of the mining industry. McDaniel thinks that Republicans will go where jobs may be created, Republicans have a plan for jobs on the Iron Range that will greatly benefit Minnesotans.

At Issue: June 29
Photo: KSTP

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