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The Capitol Note: Supreme Court case could affect Minnesota gay marriage, unionization law

1) A Supreme Court case limiting unionization will have effects on several Minnesota court cases and could help curb a law DFL lawmakers passed that would allow the unionization of home and childcare workers, the Pioneer Press reports. A number of Republican lawmakers weighed in to celebrate the ruling, including Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, who called the ruling “welcome relief for Minnesota’s small business owners and hardworking families.”

It also could have implications on Minnesota’s gay marriage law, Minnesota Public Radio reports, relating to to human rights statutes that prevent discrimination in cases of services to weddings — like photographers or bakers.

2) Hennepin County officials are reviewing a case of potential voter fraud after an attorney for Rep. Phyllis Kahn raised objections to an address in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood where hundreds of people had registered to vote claiming a mailbox store as their addresses, the Star Tribune reports.

Kahn’s opponent, Mohamud Noor, is one of the toughest she’s faced yet. Noor has been focused on mobilizing the Somali vote and ultimately was able to block Kahn’s endorsement at the Senate district convention in April. The newest allegations are part of a high-tension race that has already resulted in one woman ending up in the hospital.

3) The campaign manager for Mike McFadden’s Senate bid, Brad Herold, will take a lesser role in the campaign, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Herold engineered McFadden’s initial convention victory. It was his first political role outside of Florida.


  • The Republican Party of Minnesota will hold an official opening ceremony for its Rochester-area “Victory Center” campaign office this evening. GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson and his running mate Bill Kuisle will be on hand, as will 1st Congressional District candidate Aaron Miller. The event begins at 7:00 p.m., and is free of charge. More information here.
  • A longtime former leader of the Rochester Community and Technical College has passed on, while its next leader awaits the passing of the torch, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports. Charles Hill, a former dean and president who led the school from 1953-1982, died on Monday; the paper did not list age or cause of death. Meanwhile, today will be the first day on the job for new RCTC president Leslie McClellon, who takes over the top spot after a stint as vice president at Community College of Denver, becoming the first school president to come directly from outside the Minnesota higher education system.
  • GOP campaign operative Caitlyn Stenerson confirmed via Twitter that she had joined Kurt Zellers‘ gubernatorial campaign as a communications staffer. Stenerson previously worked on Tom Emmer‘s 6th District Congressional campaign, and was most recently a consultant at the Ainsley Shea PR firm.
  • Former Senate staffer Jennifer Berquam was appointed to the Minnesota Rural Finance Board, according to a tweet from agricultural lobbyist Thom Petersen. Berquam previously served as a committee administrator for the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Agriculture and Rural Economies Committee, and is now a project director at the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute.

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