After tax reform, the charitable giving at U.S. Bank gets muddled

By Mike Kaszuba In the final days of 2017, President Trump and a Republican-led Congress passed a major new tax law that lowered the corporate tax rate for many U.S. businesses.  And, in what was described as a show of its appreciation, U.S. Bank said it would donate $150 million to its foundation for charitable … Continue reading After tax reform, the charitable giving at U.S. Bank gets muddled

Records: Backbiting and backtracking behind a City’s Pledge of Allegiance drama

By Mike Kaszuba Almost exactly a year ago, a controversy over whether the City of Saint Louis Park should continue reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before City Council meetings brought out everything: Red-white-and-blue clad protesters, claims that the pledge made immigrants uncomfortable, and even criticism of the city from President Trump. In the end – … Continue reading Records: Backbiting and backtracking behind a City’s Pledge of Allegiance drama

Documents: Federal regulators quickly changed course on Boundary Waters mining

By Mike Kaszuba New documents show that a year after the Trump administration took office, federal regulators were hurriedly trying to keep pace with the new U.S. president and industry supporters who wanted to revive a controversial mining project near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) in northern Minnesota. “The lifting of the [proposed withdrawal … Continue reading Documents: Federal regulators quickly changed course on Boundary Waters mining

Getting reimbursed for a Trump rally gets complicated for Minneapolis

By Mike Kaszuba More than a month after President Trump’s campaign rally at Target Center last fall, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey publicly renewed his attempt to have the campaign pay for costs associated with the event. “This is not an issue that is limited to one candidate or one party,” said Frey, a DFLer. “This is … Continue reading Getting reimbursed for a Trump rally gets complicated for Minneapolis

Records:  For years, federal regulators pushed for mining near Boundary Waters as they eyed financial royalties

By Mike Kaszuba and Matt Ehling Environmentalists and mining officials have long debated how ambitious copper-sulfide mining proposals might impact the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and other sensitive land parcels in northern Minnesota. But hundreds of documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act litigation by Public Record Media, a non-profit based in Saint … Continue reading Records:  For years, federal regulators pushed for mining near Boundary Waters as they eyed financial royalties

For the Super Bowl, the NFL gets into airport management

By Mike Kaszuba When the Super Bowl was held in Minneapolis two years ago, federal aviation officials had a unique partner to make sure private planes bringing in fans avoided a logjam at Twin Cities airports – the National Football League. The arrangement allowed for the use of an NFL reservation system as the Federal … Continue reading For the Super Bowl, the NFL gets into airport management

For St. Paul’s soccer stadium, a behind-the-scenes tussle for federal approval

By Mike Kaszuba As the plan to build a Major League Soccer stadium in Saint Paul gained momentum in 2015, a potential problem stood in the way: Would the federal government let a sports stadium be built on property that had been purchased primarily with federal transit dollars?  And would it matter that the money … Continue reading For St. Paul’s soccer stadium, a behind-the-scenes tussle for federal approval

Documents:  A surveillance project attracts “too much media attention”

By Mike Kaszuba Twice during the past two years, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given permission to a notable defense contractor to help conduct an unusual mission:  Fly a sophisticated high-altitude balloon over a six-state area – including southern Minnesota – to help the government deter drug trafficking and homeland security threats. But in early … Continue reading Documents:  A surveillance project attracts “too much media attention”

With InfraGard, the FBI gives confidential briefings to Minnesota’s business community

By Mike Kaszuba The subject of the meeting was cryptic — “Containing High-Profile Attempts to Influence: Tactics, Response, and Lessons Learned.”  The location was a facility in suburban Minneapolis operated by Cargill, the meeting host and the largest privately-held company in the United States. And the meeting’s coordinator was the local office of the Federal Bureau … Continue reading With InfraGard, the FBI gives confidential briefings to Minnesota’s business community

PRM litigation reveals DOJ records about Espionage Act, investigations of media

By Matt Ehling and Mike Kaszuba A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit initiated by non-profit organization Public Record Media (PRM) has uncovered records showing that in early 2017, Department of Justice (DOJ) officials circulated a memo outlining proposed changes to the Espionage Act – a World War I-era statute that has been used to … Continue reading PRM litigation reveals DOJ records about Espionage Act, investigations of media