Updated: 04/25/2014 10:33 PM
Created: 04/25/2014 5:29 PM WDIO.com
Republicans are blasting a Northland Congressman for a Duluth event that was scheduled to be held Friday evening but ultimately canceled.
Democrat Rick Nolan had been scheduled to hold a fundraiser at Bowery Brothers restaurant with 1960s folk singer Peter Yarrow, who had an improper relationship with a 14-year-old girl more than four decades ago. Nolan's campaign informed Eyewitness News Friday evening that the event, which was to be closed to the media, had been canceled due to a scheduling conflict.
Yarrow gained fame for songs like "Puff the Magic Dragon," and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," performing with the trio "Peter, Paul and Mary." However, the National Republican Congressional Committee is focusing on a different part of Yarrow's past in a new web ad. It slams Congressman Nolan for inviting Yarrow to be part of the event.
"Rick Nolan, putting sex offenders ahead of Minnesota families," the ad said. "Now our Congressman Rick Nolan is raising money with Yarrow, inviting him into our community."
In 1970, Yarrow admitted to taking indecent liberties with a teen girl. He was sentenced to three months in prison and was pardoned by President Jimmy Carter in 1981.
NRCC Spokesman Tyler Houlton said in a statement, "Rick Nolan should immediately cancel the fundraiser with a convicted child molester and apologize to his constituents. The fact that Rick Nolan even considered hosting an event with a child molester in the first place shows how wildly out of touch he is with Minnesota families."
A few hours before the fundraiser was scheduled to begin, Nolan told Eyewitness News that he wouldn't condemn someone for the rest of their life for a mistake made long ago.
Nolan said, "What he did some 40 years ago was wrong and it was terrible. You know, having said that, he has spent a lifetime redeeming himself doing a lot of good things for a lot of people, and I just happen to be one of those people who believes in forgiveness; believes in redemption."
We reached out Nolan's Republican challenger Stewart Mills for a comment. His campaign said "all of us expect better from Rick Nolan."
So far, Mills is the only candidate challenging Nolan in the Eighth District race, which will be on the ballot this fall.
Alleged Wisc. Bank Robber in St. Louis County Jail
A man was arrested in Duluth Saturday night after he allegedly robbed a bank in Eau Claire, Wisc. the night before. The Eau Claire Police Department responded to a bank robbery at Wells Fargo Bank in Eau Claire on Friday night.
Licenses, Deer Population Down for Wisconsin Deer Opener
The Wisconsin firearm deer hunting tradition got off to a safe start as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no reports of accidental shootings or other injuries by mid-afternoon Sunday on the opener of the state's nine-day gun deer hunt.
Northlanders Give Back in Preparation for Holiday Season
Northlanders gave back on Saturday in preparation for the holiday season. It was Family Volunteer Day at the Duluth Library, and folks participated in several friendly projects.
"By Us, For Us" Meeting to Discuss Vision for Equity in Duluth
Duluth's Native and African heritage communities came together on Saturday to share experiences and ideas at the 1st United Methodist Church. The meeting called "By Us, For Us" invited people of color, African Americans and Native Americans to come together to break bread and learn about each other culturally.
MNsure Enrollments, Renewals Approach 8,000
Minnesota's health insurance exchange says it has enrolled nearly 8,000 Minnesotans in health plans in the first week of open enrollment this fall. The deadline for enrolling in coverage that takes effect Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.