Posted at 7:30 AM on April 25, 2006
by Bob Collins
Seems like there should be a place on Polinaut -- or on Campaign 2006 -- where we can post political stuff that's going on. We do have a political calendar on the site, but it's mostly official dates of events; I'm talking about general stuff -- people in town flogging their books, or speeches etc.
MPR does have an "event" calendar, but as near as I can tell it's mostly arts & culture-type stuff and there's no way to filter out political stuff. There's got to be a more glamorous way of doing this?
What to do? While I noodle on that, maybe I'll just set up a revolving thread or something. Here are two that have been appended to various comments over the last couple of weeks. If you have more, feel free to add them here.
THE DAILY KOS GUY Markos Moulitsas Z˙niga, author of "Crashing the Gate" at the 331 Club in Minneapolis, Tuesday May 2, 6-8 p.m. At Arise Bookstore, 12-1:30 and at Louisiana Cafe in St. Paul, 7-9 a.m. on Wednesday May 3. (More). The Midmorning folks tried to book him. But no go.
CD 5 CANDIDATES - At Drinking Liberally, Drinking Liberally. Wednesday, April 26th 6-9 pm 331 Club, 13th and University in NE Minneapolis
Posted at 12:01 PM on April 25, 2006
by Bob Collins
The folks at Midday have let me know that current Libertarian-possibly-Republican candidate for governor Sue Jeffers will be on their show under their "Meet the Candidates" series, Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Apparently she has tried to have a meeting with GOP boss Ron Carey about being allowed to speak at the GOP convention; no word on that yet, however.
Add Rep. Barb Sykora to the list of legislators calling it quits. She's out in that neck of the woods that's been trending fairly moderate recently so that coud put the 33B seat in play.
Let's see, it's been a long time since I've typed this list, but here's all the soon-to-be-former legislators:
J. Johnson (R)
R. Johnson (D)
Posted at 1:06 PM on April 25, 2006
by Bob Collins
Good debate underway at this hour on the floor of the Minnesota House relative to the sales tax dedication to environment and arts funding being on the ballot in November as a constitutional question (SF 2734).
Update 12:07 pm - Republicans Phil Krinkie and Mike Charron going at it over Charron's amendment to dedicate 5 percent of the take on arts and cultural programs. And Charron's amendment eliminates non-commercial networks with more than 10 licenses from getting anything. (Hmmm...who is that aimed at?). You usually don't see Republicans firing mortars at each other on the floor.
12:18 Tom Rukavina takes over from Krinkie (there's gentle irony here somewhere) in taking Charron out for a ride. "What are you going to cut to pay for this," Rukavina asks, invoking this as a Cadillac. "We don't buy a Cadillac at my house," Charron responded. "I think we bought a little Chevy." Memo to self: swing by Charron's house on the way home and see what's parked in the driveway.
Rukavina promises a "no" vote on the whole bill.
12:20 p.m. Margaret Kelliher, House-Minority-Leader-In-Waiting, defends Charron and his amendment. I check House membership bios again to double-check party affiliations.
12:22 p.m. - Charron amendment breezes, 115-16. I think Woodbury's other rep, Karen Klinzing (Klinzing and Charron nearly always vote the same), voted against it, then voted for it. But don't quote me.Tom Rukavina votes for it. I hit my head on table.
12:24 p.m. - With down being up and up being down, and his caucus seemingly coming apart at the seams, House Majority Leader Erik Paulsen calls for a GOP caucus. He asks for 15 minutes. It'll be an hour. Heads will roll.
** Still sitting on the speaker's desk is an amendment to increase the sales tax by 3/8s of one percent -- a potential poison pill. It's from Rep. Ron Erhardt. **
1:14 p.m. - The House returns in session. I feel like grabbing popcorn.
1:17 p.m. - House Speaker Sviggum acknolwedges Erhardt's amendment (to raise the sales tax) is sitting there. He's not putting it up for discussion yet, however. Not sure why.
1:30 p.m. Dennis Ozment amends the bill so that 63.5 percent of the take is spent on fish and game programs, specifically hunter and angler access, 31.5 percent on cleaning up lakes and rivers, and here's the language of what would be on the ballot:
"Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide funding beginning July 1, 2009, to provide hunter and angler access, and for conservation to improve, enhance, or protect the state's game and fish habitat; its lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and groundwater; and its parks and trails by dedicating the sales and use tax receipts by 3/16 of one percent on taxable sales?
1:37 p.m. Rep. Jean Wagenius asks -- basically -- if we've got poor rivers and streams now, what are we waiting until 2009 for?
2 p.m. Tony Sertich moves to amend the amendment to change the start date to 2007. Coincidentally -- or maybe not -- I see that Laura McCallum has a story coming tonight that the House leadership has bottled up spending bills rather than have members debate spending increases, thus inviting an intra-party squabble. You know, like what we saw 90 minutes ago.
2:26 "Is this a tax increase," Sertich says. "No. It's a bill to put it before the voters." If I were back in college and this were a drinking game, I'd set up some rules now for what happens when someone refers to the same-sex marriage amendment.
2:28 Bottoms up! Rep. Erik Paulsen says "let's be consistent in our arguments," as he refers to the marriage amendment.
2:35 Rep. Ray Vandeveer, a Republican, says he's being swayed by Sertich's argument. Referring to the soon-to-be-crowned Twins bill, he says "at least you allow the people to vote on the tax increase," he says. Sertich responds, "I don't like referendums that much. I think it means 'lazy legislating.'" Oh, and Sertich's bill dedicates 22 percent to arts, culture, and public broadcasting. But not...well...you know who. I'm missing my stories.
2:45 Rep. Karen Klinzing's "Tax Freedom Day Press Release" arrives in my mailbox:
Minnesota's Tax Freedom Day doesn't arrive until May 3 this year. Our state has the 5th highest tax burden when all taxes are included. We will spend 123 days working to pay taxes - that's $13,890 per capita or 33.6% of income. We rank #4 for state and local tax burden, and #11 for federal tax burden. Minnesota's state and local taxes comprise 11.9% of our income.
She gets her numbers the Tax Foundation. But the 2004 Census shows Minnsota ranked at #12 for total tax burden ("Total tax burden in US dollars, includes local and federal tax.). 12th? 5th? Somebody's wrong somewhere. Maybe she's including "fees". As near as I can tell, by the way, nobody votes against taxes more often than Klinzing up there.
2:47 - Sertich's attempt to start things in 2007 loses 65-67. Sound familiar? Sounds like the hastily-called caucus move worked. Vandeveer moves to reconsider the vote since he voted on the prevailing side. I think he pushed the wrong button. They vote again. Sertich's amendment loses 67-66, which means someone got hustled out of the men's or ladies room and back onto the House floor for a vote. I decide that this is better than West Wing the year Aaron Sorkin left.
3 Charron's amendment is still in play but Erhart finally pushes his own, saying he'll probably vote for the whole deal. He gets points anytime he ends a sentence with, "aw, what the hell."
3:12 Rep. Tom Emmer (See feature) calls Rep. Erhardt "Erdahl," then says it was Freudian. That sends Polinaut to Wikipedia to figure out what's Freudian about that. Former Secretary of State and Congressman Erdahl? I don't get it but I found an old joke there.
Two psychiatrists are discussing their weekends over drinks and one of them tells the other that he now believes that Freudian slips really do exist. His friend pressed him on the matter and asked what had happened.
"Well, we were having dinner and I asked my father to pass me the mashed potatoes. Somehow it came out as 'why did you ruin my life, you sonofabitch?'"
3:18 - Rep. Marty Seifert fires a grenade by submitting an amendment that brings road construction into the beneficiary list of the bill. Out goes arts and culture. According to my watch, the debate has been going 30 minutes since a DFLer spoke. Pass the popcorn.
3:21 - Margaret Kelliher breaks the streak and suggests Seifert is running for Congress.
3:25 - Rep. Sviggum rules that Seifert's amendment is germaine to the bill. I should've taken today off to watch this at home. It's too good to be paid to watch. Seifert's the majority whip. This isn't an accident. It's an attempt to sink the whole bill. Fur's gonna fly now.
3:31 - On a 66-65 vote, Sviggum's ruling is upheld. That vote total sound familiar? OK, now we know what the caucus was all about. They take out the arts and culture, insert the roads stuff, try to get the amendment passed, then get the roads stuff out of there, and the bill becomes a "pure" natural resources bill again. Just a prediction from someone who paid $390 for a share of Yahoo! Methinks, as a casual observer, I've witnessed a masterful game of politics. If it were a polo match or something, I'm sure I'd be chortling "good chop, sir." And head to the bar. OK, I have no idea if "chop" is a polo play but I realize I don't really know any snicketty pseudo-athletic terms.
3:36 p.m. Debate now is about who "hijacked" a game and natural resources bill. Margaret Kelliher says Seifert did. Seifert says the folks who put public broadcasting and arts in the bill in the first place. Suddenly, it's back to a Republican vs. DFLer debate. Maybe Entenza should call a time out and go caucus.
3:50 p.m. It's open season on the game bill. Amendments -- apparent poison pills -- start pouring into the Speaker's chair. Mark Olson proposes an amendment for no new taxes for 7 years after the constitutional amendment is approved. Rep. Vandeveer tosses in a Taxpayer Bill of Rights and another to dedicate motor vehicle sales taxes to transit and transportation. Can an abortion amendment be far behind.
3:52 p.m. "Republican leadership just drew up a 'gotcha' provision," says Rep. Tony Sertich. If you vote against this amendment, he says, there'll be a campaign flyer in the next election that he voted against a road in his district. He says if you just turned this on on TV, you'd think we "were in the Twilight Zone." Another vote in favor of turning off the TV and turning on Polinaut.
3:55 p.m. "Gotcha!" shouts Rep. Mark Olson in what is becoming the most cantankerous debate of the session. I count
23 24 25 26 27 28 29 "gotchas" in his speech. I think, again, about a college drinking game. I begin to realize why Minnesota is a top state in binge drinking.
4:03 p.m. Erhardt withdraws his amendment, which also kills the Seifert amendment to the amendment, in the same way one sacrifices a torpedo to sink a battleship.
4:14 Olson's amendment barring tax increases for 7 years passes, he withdraws the other one. Vandeveer withdraws the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. No more amendments. Let the debate on the bill begin!
4:15 Ron Abrams takes over as Speaker. Jean Wagenius says the bill is now "too little, too late (because it begins in 2009)... fish need clean water now," she says.
4:47 Had to go do a Current newscast so I've missed a great deal but Rep. Mark Olson just referred to "casters and blasters," for hunters and fisherpeople. Olson's the one who got the amendment through guaranteeing no new taxes for seven years if the voters -- and I guess that includes casters and blasters -- approve it. He also said "gotcha" one more time, which was at least enough to get the Bee Gees tune out of my head that's been stuck there all day.
4:56 p.m. Channel 17 is bagging the coverage!!! Bagging the coverage! For what. Sesame Street? Geez. Guess I'll have to go monitor the Web. You know, this is about a provision for funding public broadcasting, you'd think Channel 17 would stick with it.
4:57 That's it. I'm not renewing my membership. They bagged out of the broadcast as Hackbarth -- at least I think it was Hackbarth -- said former Rep. Bob Lessard was probably watching this "and Sesame Street is coming on soon so I hope we can vote before that for Bob Lesar......" bingo. Plug pooled. You can't make this stuff up.
5:04 p.m. Rukavina returns to the floor to urge a "no" vote, saying the state can't create $148 to pay for the bill. He nominated it for his Bonehead Bill of the Year. "You can't just create money on trees,'" he said.
5:09 p.m. - The bill passes 78-to-55. Off to conference committee she goes. I'll have the roll call on Votetracker shortly.
Posted at 9:11 PM on April 25, 2006
by Bob Collins
6th District competitors Jim Knoblach and Phil Krinkie have ended their streak of voting the same way on the House floor at 9 (major legislation) with Krinkie voting FOR and Knoblach voting AGAINST referendum to determine whether a portion of sales tax revenue should be dedicated to hunting, fishing, arts etc... so says Votetracker.
Posted at 9:47 PM on April 25, 2006
by Bob Collins
National Journal writer Josh Kraushaar says Michele Bachmann benefits most from the agreement by GOP candidates in the 6th District to abide by the endorsement.
He also blurbs something fairly unrecognizable in a conclusion about Tinklenberg and Wetterling before saying, "Bottom line, if either convo reaches too far to the wings for its nominee, then the other party may have their opening."
Reaches too far to the wings?