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Abortion Rights—On the Ballot or Not?

Plus gig work vs. union labor at the U, the feds keep the pillow man's phone, and election deniers want to work the polls in today's Flyover.

Mark Dixon via Flickr

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

How Secure Are MN Abortion Rights Really?

Over at MinnPost, Peter Callaghan and Walker Orenstein have a great guide to what Minnesota legislators can and can't do in terms of restricting abortion rights. Because it's confusing, right? Candidates are saying all kinds of stuff about the right to abortion in their ads. So they start with the most basic q's (Is abortion legal in MN? What does the state constitution say about it?) and move into the more complicated stuff, like what a governor could do to restrict that right and how Republican Jim Schultz might approach abortion should he win the attorney general race. Also at MinnPost today, Greta Kaul has a sortable, searchable list of every ballot question being put to Minnesotans this year.

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Over at the Minnesota Reformer, Max Nesterak goes deep on how the U of M is hiring gig workers to supplement a shortage of full-time union staff. The U is going so far as to cover the costs of flying temps in from out of state and hotel lodging. How deep does Nesterak go? Well, despite a lack of experience, he actually got hired as a temp cook—making about $2 more than the union worker who trained him. “There were only three job requirements to get hired: Be able to stand eight hours at a time; have closed-toed shoes; and be able to pass a background check,” he reports. There’s much more to the story: the effects of a tight local labor market, upcoming changes to the union pay scale, work conditions at the U. You should check out the whole story.

Mike Lindell Isn’t Getting His Phone Back Anytime Soon

Last September, My Pillow shill Mike Lindell may or may not have been ambushed by the FBI at a Hardee’s drive-thru in Mankato. Regardless of the “how,” the warrant is very real, the search did happen, and, at least for now, the public doesn’t get to know why. Believing that his constitutional rights had been violated during the incident, Lindell quickly filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota in hopes of retrieving his phone and unsealing the search warrant affidavit. This Thursday, a judge ruled against the plaintiff, as the 80-page warrant details parts of an ongoing investigation, and includes critical info on “recorded communications, confidential informants, and cooperating witnesses." The judge also concluded that it’s within the FBI’s rights to hold onto his phone.

Lindell could still have his day in court. He’s currently facing a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voter Systems and Smartmatic while prepping for his own countersuit.

Will Your Election Judge Be a Deranged Truther?

Speaking of people who lie about election results, MPR News has a great look today at how “election integrity” conspiracists are seeking to coach next week’s election judges on how to spot imagined fraud. Groups like “Olmsted County Election Integrity,” two members of which are already under investigation by Rochester police, are encouraging judges to take photos of voting machines and other documents, and even to change the name of their phone’s Wi-Fi network to impersonate that of their polling place, supposedly “to capture data being sent over that network and expose an imagined security vulnerability”—which, uh, how? (Then again, if these people don’t know how voting machines work, why expect them to understand Wi-Fi?) Some of that behavior, incidentally, might just be illegal. Anyway, that person checking your name on the list next Tuesday? They might just still believe it was mathematically impossible for Joe Biden to have been elected president despite all evidence to the contrary. Our thriving democracy!

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