Daily Digest: Ellison calls for House ethics probe

Good morning. A quick programming note: MPR News stations plan live coverage of Senate hearings looking into allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, expected to start at 9 a.m.. Now here's your Digest:

1. Ellison wants allegations against him investigated. Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison said Wednesday that he will ask the House Ethics Committee to investigate domestic violence allegations involving an ex-girlfriend, a claim that has become a big topic in his pursuit of Minnesota attorney general’s office. Ellison said the allegations have lingered too long. “I am taking this step now because I am innocent and eager to see this entire matter resolved,” Ellison said in the statement released by his House office rather than his campaign. (MPR News)

2.  8th District candidates debate. Less than six weeks before an election in which Republicans believe Minnesota's 8th District seat can be flipped in their favor, three candidates for the open job met in Duluth for their first debate. Republican Pete Stauber and Democrat Joe Radinovich saved their criticism for each other rather than picking at Independence Party candidate Skip Sandman. The two tangled over a number of issues, including proposed new precious metal mining. (MPR News)

3. The gubernatorial fundraising race is tight. Tim Walz and Jeff Johnson are neck-and-neck in fundraising since winning the DFL and Republican nominations for governor in the August primary election. The latest round of campaign finance reports, posted online Wednesday morning, show both Johnson, a Republican Hennepin County commissioner, and Walz, a Democratic congressman from southern Minnesota, raising $1.3 million since the last reporting deadline in late July. And both have $1 million left to spend with less than two months until the Nov. 6 election. (MPR News)

4. Husky explosion prompts call for hearings. In the wake of a close call during the Husky Energy refinery fire in Superior this spring, five Minnesota and Wisconsin members of Congress are calling on the United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to hold public hearings in the Twin Ports on the use of a highly toxic chemical at refineries. In a Sept. 26 letter, the Democratic lawmakers —  Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Rick Nolan, Sen. Tina Smith and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin — asked the board to consider hosting hearings in response to the April 26 explosion, which caused 36 injuries and the evacuation of much of Superior. Citing the Board’s investigation, the lawmakers said debris could have hit a hydrogen fluoride tank 150 feet away and called the caustic chemical a “great public risk to the Twin Ports metropolitan area.” (Duluth News Tribune)

5. Minneapolis council approves homeless camp relocation. After a week of contentious debate about the relocation of dozens of homeless people living in tents along Hiawatha Avenue, the Minneapolis City Council on Wednesday agreed to move encampment residents temporarily a few blocks east to a 1.5-acre property owned by the Red Lake Nation. The City Council's decision removes a hurdle that threatened to further prolong the process of relocating encampment residents. But the site at 2105-2109 Cedar Av. S. won't be ready until early December because three buildings on the property need to be demolished and any residual pollution must be cleaned up, according to David Frank, the city's community planning and economic development director. (Star Tribune)

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