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Capitol Chatter: Candidates handle losing differently

A look at two Republican U.S. House candidates shows different ways of handling a loss.

John Howe dealt with his third-place finish with humor.

"Character building day," he tweeted with a photo of him removing campaign signs. "Taking down signs and keeping a positive attitude."

He blamed no one and eventually said Lewis has to retain retiring U.S. Rep. John Kline's 2nd District seat for Republicans.

Amanda Lynn Hinson, on the other hand, gave no support to winner Dave Hughes. In fact, Hinson said that Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson will keep his seat in the 7th District.

"This primary, I was up against the local establishment and the endorsement," she said in a statement after Hughes beat her.

Republicans gave Hughes their endorsement, allowing him access to GOP data such as addresses of party members.

Even before complaining about Republican officials, Hinson went after the media in the western Minnesota district.

"We were up against a local printed press system that neglects to inform citizens of their right to vote with enough notice to research candidates," she said.

Her reaction contrasts with that of former state Sen. Howe in a district across the southern Twin Cities and in more rural areas south of that.

"It was nice to be in the lead for a while as the results were posted," he said.

He showed a bit of humor when discussing the last-place finisher: "Not sure if Matthew Erickson was truly running for election or trying to get a date."

Unlike Hinson, a political novice, Howe has experience in the state Senate, but lost that seat and a bid to become secretary of state.

Ventura to appeal

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura wants to go to the U.S. Supreme Court in appealing a case he lost against the estate of an author he says defamed him.

The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reports Ventura is taking the long-shot move to clear his name after a federal appeals court overturned a jury verdict that had granted Ventura $1.8 million.

"I feel I'll win again," Ventura told the newspaper. "Every time I'm the major underdog, guess who comes and makes me the favorite? The people. The people will come and take me from underdog status to victory."

The book "American Sniper" by Chris Kyle alleged that he punched and knocked down "Scruff Face" in a California bar fight after the man verbally attacked the Navy SEALs, President George W. Bush and American involvement in the Iraq war. Kyle later said Scruff Face was Ventura.

Kyle died after the book was written.

'Revamp farm bill'

A Donald Trump adviser says "we need to revamp the farm bill."

Politico reports Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said that as co-chairman of the Trump agriculture advisory committee. However, the committee has not met and taken an official position on behalf of the Republican presidential candidate.

"The farm bill was written in a time of high commodity prices; we need to revamp it," Miller said.

Miller said the advisory committee, with up to 50 "co-chairs," is just starting to look into farm policy.

"Charles Herbster, when he was introduced as the chair of the rural council at an event held during the Republican National Convention, said the campaign would be releasing more information in a week or two," Politico reported. "That was three weeks ago."

Trump and Hillary Clinton have said little about rural America in their presidential campaigns. However, Clinton has called for expanded broadband in rural areas.

Too much hospitalization

Minnesota hospital officials say mental health patients spend too much time in their facilities.

A Minnesota Hospital Association study shows one in five days mental health patients spend in hospital psychiatric units could be avoided. The main culprit, the study indicates, is the frequency of bottlenecks in the mental health system.

The patients would more appropriately be in other care settings, the hospital association says.

The study looked at 20 hospitals for a month and a half last spring.

"Behind these numbers are patients and families who are not getting the care they need in the right place at the right time," the association reported. "On any given day, 134 patients in just these 20 hospitals could have been more appropriately served in a different care setting."

Formaldehyde protection

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has implemented a law passed six years ago to protect Americans from formaldehyde emissions in composite wood products.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., was a main mover behind the legislation.

A news release she and other senators distributed said: "Following repeated calls from the lawmakers, the EPA has recently finally taken action to protect families nationwide by completing its regulatory process."

Formaldehyde is a chemical that is used in many products as an adhesive, bonding agent or solvent. Exposure to it can affect eyes, nose, and throat and in some situation can cause cancer.

The American wood industry already has dropped formaldehyde, but products made elsewhere may still contain it.

"No family should have to worry that the wood floors they walk on and their kids play on contain toxic chemicals that could make them sick," Klobuchar said.

Davis covers Minnesota government and politics for Forum News Service. Read his blog at and follow him on Twitter at @CapitolChatter.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.