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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Former Best Buy CEO resigns from Mayo's board

Former Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson has resigned from Mayo Clinic's board of trustees following backlash over his contribution to a far-right group that published anti-Muslim videos during the 2016 presidential campaign.

News of Anderson's contribution to the organization, Secure America Now, first surfaced this past Thursday in a post to the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets blog. Anderson later acknowledged he made a $25,000 donation to the group during an interview with MPR News.

The videos, which were designed to stoke fears of Muslims in the lead up to the 2016 election, depict dystopian futures in which Western countries — including the U.S. and France  — are ruled under Sharia Law.

Anderson told multiple news agencies he made the contribution after meeting with Allen Roth, president of Secure Future Now. He denied having any knowledge of the videos, and said the donation was made because he shared the group's interest in protecting Israel.

“I never had any anti-Muslim desire,” Anderson said in an interview this week with the Star Tribune, noting that he was "completely shocked" when he learned of the video campaign. Anderson said he will not be donating to Secure America Now anytime in the future.

Mayo Clinic confirmed to MPR News Friday that Anderson offered his resignation as a member of Mayo Clinic's board. 

"Mayo's long history and reputation have been built on a foundation of respect for the well-being of people of all religions, races and nationalities," a Mayo spokesperson told the station. "Our commitment to diversity and inclusion are tremendous strengths of our organization."

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