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Democrats take aim at Pawlenty

Talk about Gov. Tim Pawlenty being John McCain's running mate is escalating in light of Mitt Romney's campaign suspension.

Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party took the opportunity to offer up a preview of what fellow Democrats will say if Pawlenty, McCain's national campaign co-chairman, becomes the GOP vice presidential candidate.

For instance: "Pawlenty was unable to carry Minnesota for his endorsed candidate at GOP precinct caucuses, while DFL caucus turnout dwarfed Republican turnout by close to a factor of four."

Another DFL jab reminds people that under Pawlenty's watch, his party lost control of the Minnesota House.

Finally: "With economic issues rising to the forefront of voters' concerns nationally, Pawlenty has presided over dramatic job losses and Minnesota's slide into recession."

1 suit down

Minnesota Attorney General Swanson announced that she has settled one lawsuit and filed another over annuity concerns.

She said a suit against American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co. was settled. The suit claimed the company sold older Minnesotans annuities that were not suitable for senior citizens. The settlement requires the company to sell proper products to senior citizens and sets out how to do that.

The new suit was filed in Hennepin County against AmerUs/American Investors on similar charges.

Ethanol plant impacts

Rep. Ken Tschumper, DFL-LaCrescent, announced plans to introduce legislation requiring environmental impact statements for new ethanol plants.

His proposal was released at about the same time a University of Minnesota study showed the growing of plants for fuels increases the amount of carbon dumped into the air.

Air pollution and use of water are two ethanol concerns expressed by environmentalists. Ethanol sold in the Upper Midwest is made from corn.

Helping babies

The Healthy Legacy organization warns parents about dangerous plastic baby bottles, and some state legislators plan to propose action.

The problem is bisphenol A, which is used in food and beverage containers, the organization says.

"Leaching of bisphenol A from baby bottles, especially one purchased in Minnesota, is particularly alarming," Lindsay Dahl of Healthy Legacy said. "The last thing a busy parent needs to worry about is finding a baby bottle that doesn't leach toxic additives. Safer products exist; the next logical step is to phase out BPA from baby bottles and other children's products."