October 2011 Archives

'Joe the Plumber' runs for Congress

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Samuel Wurzelbacher, perhaps better known as "Joe the Plumber," announced Tuesday night that he is running for congress in his home state of Ohio.
Wurzelbacher shot to political "stardom" during the 2008 presidential election when he challenged Barack Obama's small-business tax plan at a campaign rally. He was then frequently used as a symbol of the campaign message of Republican candidate Sen. John McCain and his running-mate Sarah Palin.
"Our current system is all about control," Wurzelbacher said, according to CNN. "It needs to be fixed."
Wurzelbacher capitalized on his nationwide recognition, making many media appearances, and writing a book.
Wurzelbach has no prior political experience, but is hoping to unseat Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the longest-serving female Democrat in the House of Representatives, to represent Ohio's 9th congressional district.
"They keep putting duct tape on [our current system]," Wurzelbacher said. "I'm not the kind of plumber that uses duct tape."

Minnesota banks get $100M for loans

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Gov. Mark Dayton announced on Wednesday a stimulus plan to give $100 million to community banks to provide loans to small businesses struggling in today's economy.
Dayton announced the plan one day after a statewide job summit that many small business owners attended.
"These funds will help break down one of the largest barriers to job growth in our state," he said, according to the Star Tribune.
According to the plan, the State Board of Investment will divide $100 million among any of the state's nearly 300 local banks that qualify. The maximum any one bank can receive is $1.5 million.
There is no guarantee that the banks will use the money for loans, but Dayton is strongly encouraging them to.
"We can't prod or force the lenders to do more," Dayton said. "But we can lead by example and encourage more active participation."

Some Cities Begin Cracking Down on 'Occupy' Protests

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Police enforcement at protests across the country has been increased after weeks of round-the-clock demonstrations.
Tuesday night, Oakland police sprayed tear gas to stop groups of protesters from reentering a City Hall plaza that had been cleared earlier that day. The protests led to more than 100 arrests and left one demonstrator with life-threatening injuries, according to the New York Times.
The crowds participated in many call-and-responce chants. "Now the whole world is watching Oakland," was shouted by many.
Arrests were also made because of stirrings at protests in San Francisco and Atlanta.
The Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City inspired many others who are fed up with the nation's current financial situation to take to streets in protests, most of which have been peaceful.

Coach Kill signs $8.4M, 7-year contract

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Head football coach Jerry Kill signed a seven-year, $8.4 million deal, securing his position until 2018.
According to the news release made Tuesday by Gopher athletic director Joel Maturi, Kill will receive an annual salary of $1.2 million, along with incentives like winning conference games or the Big Ten Championship.
"This contract represents a significant commitment to coach Kill and our belief in his vision for Gopher football," Maturi said in the release, according to the Minnesota Daily. "I am thrilled that we now have an agreement in place that has secured coach Kill as our head football coach well into the future."
Some football fans question the new deal for Kill after the Gopher's 1-6 start to the 2011 season.
Junior quarterback MarQueis Gray, who has played under multiple head coaches in his time at Minnesota, thinks the new contract will be helpful to the team in the long run.
"That's great for the younger guys," Gray said. "Having that one head coach can help the team a lot. Fortunately for Minnesota, they got that."

Tunisia held its first elections on Sunday after over-throwing its long-ruling dictator earlier this year.
Millions of Tunisians turned out to vote in the elections that are being seen by international analysts as very fair, a stark change from recent elections in the Middle East.
"They showed an Arab country can administer an election that's run well, that gives people an opportunity to choose their own destiny," said Ambassador Richard Williamson, an election monitor from the International Republican Institute, according to CNN. "It was an enormous victory for the Tunisian people."
The election was for 217 representatives for the new National Constituent Assembly that will write a new constitution and lay down the framework for a future governmental system.
There were four political parties on the ballots. Results from the election will be released Tuesday.

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