Published February 09, 2010
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Eleven green-energy wind turbines in Minnesota, which are supposed to provide environmentally safe electricity and fight global warming, cannot operate because they are frozen stiff.
The Star-Tribune reports the machines were supposed to be spinning by Christmas, but so far have been motionless. The state's power agency says cold hydraulic fluid has turned to gel and oil lubricants are getting sluggish.
North St. Paul City Manager Wally Wysopal says, "it's been a little embarrassing to have it not turning on the windiest of days."
The company that installed the turbines, which came from California, says it was not consulted on "climate compatibility."
Now an update to a grapevine we did Friday. The democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Illinois has dropped off the ticket amid uproar over his 2005 domestic abuse arrest.
It was alleged that millionaire pawn broker and cleaning supplies company executive Scott Lee Cohen held a knife to his prostitute-girlfriend's neck. But charges were dropped after the woman failed to appear in court. A tearful Cohen announced his decision Sunday evening at a Chicago bar: "I'm someone who made mistakes in my life. And look where I am. If I let you down, I'm sorry."
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, State House Speaker Michael Madigan, and running mate Governor Pat Quinn, all Democrats, had urged Cohen to step aside.
Cohen had also been accused of abusing an ex-wife and has admitted to taking steroids.
Tax Dollars at Work
And another follow-up from grapevines past: If you were one of the more than 100 million people to watch the Super Bowl Sunday nigh you probably saw a $2.5 million census ad paid for by you.
The reviews have not been kind for the taxpayer-funded effort. Entertainment Weekly named the spot one of the five worst of the night: "How weird to hire all those funny character actors — then accidentally air an unfinished version of a commercial that left us wondering what the frak we just watched!"
The Kellogg School of Management gave it an "F" saying the ad fell flat, while the New Hampshire Union Leader called it a "super blunder."
Still, the Census Bureau is branding it a success, noting that if one percent of those watching the Super Bowl return the census survey this spring, it will save $25 million in follow-up costs. Steven Jost, Spokesman for the Census Department said, "There has been a great deal of buzz about the census ads this week which is raising awareness at just the right time."
— Fox News Channel's Megan Dumpe Kenworthy contributed to this report.