There's an interesting AP piece picked up today on the Pioneer Press business page:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Ethanol is far from a cure-all for the nation's energy problems. It's not as environmentally friendly as some supporters claim and would supply only 12 percent of U.S. motoring fuel - even if every acre of corn were used.
A number of researchers, the latest in a report Monday, are warning about exaggerated expectations that ethanol could dramatically change America's dependence on foreign oil by shifting motorists away from gasoline.
As far as alternative fuels are concerned, biodiesel from soybeans is the better choice compared with corn-produced ethanol, University of Minnesota researchers concluded in an analysis Monday.
But "neither can replace much petroleum without impacting food supplies," the researchers concluded in the paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Of course it seems every Minnesota politician is a strong supporter of ethanol. And it's hard to argue against ethanol as an economic development tool for much of rural Minnesota. But there are some questions voters should be asking as politicians knock at your door. Here are two:
What measures beyond ethanol do you support to end U.S. dependence on foreign oil?
What happens to rural Minnesota when the ethanol boom goes bust?
Posted at 10:37 AM on July 11, 2006
by Mike Mulcahy
Gov. Pawlenty is losing another member of his administration. Here's the statement:
Governor Tim Pawlenty announced today that Commissioner Kevin Goodno of the Department of Human Services is leaving his administration effective July 25, 2006 to take a position with a Minneapolis law firm.
“Kevin has been an outstanding leader in reforming Minnesota’s mental health system, changing how the state purchases health care and in improving the lives of vulnerable children,” Governor Pawlenty said. “He has been a fantastic public servant for Minnesota. We will miss him, but wish him well.”
Before joining the Pawlenty Administration in January 2003, Goodno served as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for 12 years representing the Moorhead area. He also practiced law in Moorhead and is a former Moorhead retail business owner.
And the AP discovers he's leaving to become (gasp) a lobbyist!
Goodno said the timing of his departure doesn't have anything to do with this fall's election. He said he had to leave now to get the job with Fredrikson and Byron, and he'll be back at the Capitol next year as a lobbyist.
Posted at 11:10 AM on July 11, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The Ford Bell campaign says it will make a major announcement this afternoon at 3:30... Here's the info:
"U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Ford Bell will make a major announcement and hold a news conference this afternoon at 3:30 in room 125 of the State Capitol.
All press are strongly urged to attend." (the underlining is the campaign's emphasis)
I'm sure the Klobuchar campaign will be watching closely to see if Ford Bell is dropping his bid to challenge her in the DFL primary...
Posted at 11:54 AM on July 11, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The DFL Party issued a news release saying Ember Reichgott Junge is making false claims that she's endorsed by the DFL Party. They say she put the letters DFL on the lower corner of the billboards she put up over the weekend. Reichgott Junge is running in Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District. The Party filed a cease and desist letter saying Reichgott Junge can identify herself as "affiliated with the DFL" or a "member of the DFL Party" but the billboards violate the law. Here's a quote from Brian Melendez:
“The Minnesota DFL Party has endorsed Keith Ellison for Congress,” Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez said. “For Ms. Reichgott-Junge to stick “DFL” on her website and on her billboards misleads fifth-district voters. She didn’t even seek the DFL Party endorsement – she bypassed the process completely. She doesn’t get to pretend that she’s the DFL candidate months after we endorsed Keith Ellison.”
It appears that Melendez and the party will work hard to ensure that voters know Ellison has the party endorsement. There are at least seven candidates who intend to run in the DFL primary...
Posted at 1:02 PM on July 11, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Stephen Silberfarb, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota, says they're hosting a debate between the DFL candidates in Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District. Silberfarb says Keith Ellison, who has the DFL endorsement, former state senator Ember Reichgott Junge, former DFL state party chair Mike Erlandson and Minneapolis City Council member Paul Ostrow will debate the issues on July 25th at Temple Israel in Minneapolis at 7:30. WCCO-TV's David Scheckter will moderate.
Posted at 1:48 PM on July 11, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Not too much out there today since I wrote about the higher tax collections earlier this week.
Rachel Stassen-Berger, with the Pi Press, has a story on the senate race and the lack of television ads.
The National Journal also has a story on the salaries of those who work in the White House.
This would also be a good time to remind readers to feel free to give Mulcahy and me a heads up if you get any interesting calls/lit pieces from candidates or see any stories of interest. Your tips are always appreciated.
Posted at 5:08 PM on July 11, 2006
by Tom Scheck
He says he couldn't raise the money he needed to win. Bell took a clear stand on withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year and single payer universal health care. He said he's keeping all of his options open when it comes to politics. Bell made his announcement on his wedding anniversary. His wife quipped that this is a great anniversary because she gets her husband back.
Bell's decision clears the DFL field for Hennepin County Amy Klobuchar. It's now a foregone conclusion that the matchup will be between Amy Klobuchar and GOP Congressman Mark Kennedy. Kennedy faces a token primary fight against Apple Valley resident Harold Shudlick.