AUSTIN EDITION - NOTEBOOK Flooring business cleans up after flood

This old saying is usually true: The one at home is the last leak a plumber will fix, the last roof that a contractor will patch, and the last engine that a mechanic will repair.

It is also true for floors.

Doors and Floors Inc., a flooring, window and door business in Austin, is busy doing repairs in homes and businesses damaged by the September flood.

However, Doors and Floors had 3 to 4 inches of water roll through its 4,200-square-foot business at 102 11th St. N.E. The water damaged the floor and some carpet remnants. It also caused the business to close for a few days.

"We're pretty well back to up speed," said Joel Jensen, one of the owners. "We've been taking customers first."


On Wednesday, workers finally had a moment to do some work on their own floors. Jensen estimated the damage to the business at $8,000.

Doors and Floors moved to its current location in 2003 when Jim's SuperValu grocery store began an expansion.

Jensen owns Doors and Floors with Gordon Handeland. They also have an Albert Lea location.

POLITICAL PORK: As the political battleground hits the homestretch, money for campaigning and advertising is becoming even more crucial to candidates. And some of that war chest money came from Hormel employees.

As many corporations do, Hormel Foods Corp. has its own political action committee to accept donations from employees.

For the past several political cycles, the Hormel PAC has followed one plan. It donates $5,000 each to three industry PACs: American Meat Institute, Grocery Manufacturers of America and National Food Processors Association.

That translates to $15,000, the bulk of which goes to Republican candidates, some in Minnesota. As of Oct. 19, the Hormel PAC had collected $19,400, and had $3,394 on hand after donations. This information is from the Center for Responsive Politics' Web site,

Hormel employees gave 51 donations of $200 or more in 2004-2003 to the PAC.


The three industrial PACs that accept the Hormel PAC donations divvy the money to candidates they support.

Here's how it breaks down:

American Meat Institute has doled out $126,597 this political season, 80 percent to Republican candidates and 20 percent to Democrats. In 2000, the ratio was 84 percent to Republicans and 16 percent to Democrats.

To Republican candidates in Minnesota, it gave $3,000 to Mark Kennedy, $1,500 to Gil Gutknecht and $1,000 to Norm Coleman.

The Grocery Manufacturers of America has given out $50,000, 88 percent to GOP candidates and 10 percent to Democrats. In 2000, the ratio was 89 percent Republican to 11 percent Democrat.

It gave $1,000 to Minnesota Republican John Kline.

The National Food Processors Association has given $45,500 to candidates, 87 percent to Republicans and 13 percent to Democrats. That was 89 percent to 11 percent in 2000.

It gave $2,000 to Coleman and $5,000 to President Bush.


Heard on the Street appears on Mondays. If you have questions or comments, call Business Editor Jeff Kiger at 285-7798 or send e-mail to

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