The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Editor's blog

August 13, 2013

News & Comment: Vikings owners legal issues. Punching right.

Many, including me, were not surprised New Jersey guys in the real estate business have legal tangles. But the recent news out of Jersey that the Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf had a judge saying nasty things about them - and ruling against them by the way - got the attention of even stoic Minnesotans.

The judge called their actions fraud and said it violated some Jersey racketeering law. The penalty will likely be a judgement awarded to the Wilf's opponents.

These are "civil" matters not "criminal" matters so that gets lost in the translation at times. Civil courts don't have the same standards of guilt as criminal courts and real estate deals are very complicated. This case was in process for some 20 years. One can intentionally "cloud a title" of a property to prevent its transfer by "mistake."

And if a judge doesn't believe you, he can call you evil. And, of course, newspapers can quote judges. Free speech. Free press.

The Vikings stadium authority, nonetheless, hired some "forensic" lawyers and accountants to see if everything smells ok with Wilf real estate deals, net worth and the ever important "material representations."

I doubt they'll find smoking guns, and if they do, it will be so complicated, it will be treated as a neutral in finalizing stadium deal. There's too much political momentum for that to fall through. But stanger things have happened.

Swinging and punching right

The surprising story of today for me was that Washington Post blogger Jen Rubin who writes the "Right turn" conservative blog for the Post took a hard swing and the conservative Heritage Foundation a few days ago and had choice words for its new leader Jim DeMint, the former U.S. senator from South Carolina.

Her piece can be found here: .

She says of Heritage and its political arm Heritage Action: "There is nothing approaching the conservative thought or scholarship one would expect of a think tank."

You might call that a good "right" cross to the jaw. There's been a lot of other hubab about Heritage and an immigration study that showed immigration reform would cost the country millions. But Rubin says its been debunked by liberal and conservative analysts.

Anyway, its good to see what you think are predictable bloggers and commentators coming out with surprising and jarring commentary against some of their own.

Add to that list the Washington Post's Kathleen Parker whose column making the case for Hillary Clinton as the next president will appear in Thursday's Free Press. It's online Wednesday night.

When we picked up Parker's column she was billed by the syndicate as a "conservative." I'd say she's a moderate conservative.



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