It seems like everyone is catching his or her breath this morning after yesterday's attorney general developments. It all leaves a few questions, some of which will be answered, some of which may never be answered. But here are a few:
--What role did Mike Hatch play in Entenza's decision to drop out of the race, and what role will he play in the process to choose the next AG candidate? We know he had encouraged Bill Luther and Lori Swanson to get into the race. How active will he be in pushing for one over the other?
--Why was Entenza so cagey about explaining details of his opposition research into Hatch? Is there more to come out? Will other candidates have to defend the research they've done?
--Will other candidates' spouses face the same scrutiny Entenza's did, or did her success as a UnitedHealth Group executive make her unique?
--What happens to Entenza's political career? Does he make a comeback in four years? Do he and Lois Quam continue to donate large sums of money to DFL campaigns?
--Does the DFL recover from this? Better to have problems early in the campaign than late?
--Who sent that fax the other day with South Dakota checks?
Posted at 10:45 AM on July 19, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The scramble to file after Entenza dropped out of the attorney general's race leads the digest again.
All of the last minute filings and Entenza's decision overshadowed Governor Pawlenty's attempt to tout Minnesota's job growth and employment numbers.
But Pawlenty and others have to watch out for higher oil and retail prices...
Apparently Congressman Gutknecht doesn't think things are going so well in Iraq.
The filings are closed and Ron Latz and Steve Kelley are out of breath. Kelley's last minute decision to jump in the attorney general's race opened up Kelley's senate seat for Latz.
There won't be a chief or a sheriff on the ballot for Ramsey County Sheriff.
The Strib also has a story on the number of fundraisers in Minnesota.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf may think Minneapolis is a nice place after all. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will meet with reporters at 3 to discuss the meeting.
Northwest Airlines and its employees make a big push for pension relief today...
President Bush is also receiving some criticism from the right on foreign affairs..
Posted at 1:48 PM on July 19, 2006
by Mike Mulcahy
State officials say they have found a missing package containing private data on more than 50,000 individual and corporate taxpayers. They say the package was intact.
It was sent by a revenue department employee in Brainerd by certified mail on May 16 to the department's headquarters in St. Paul. The package contained three checks totaling $2,400 and a computer backup tape. On that tape are Social Security numbers and other information for 2,400 individuals, and identifying information for 48,000 businesses.
Revenue Department officials plan to release more information on the package and the departments response to the incident later this afternoon.
Posted at 1:54 PM on July 19, 2006
by Tom Scheck
What: Policy speeches from GOP, DFL, and IP gubernatorial candidates
When: 10:30–11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 25—Tim Pawlenty (GOP)
Noon–1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9—Mike Hatch (DFL)
8:30–10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 10—Peter Hutchinson (IP)
Where: Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis
Three gubernatorial candidates to give policy talks at Humphrey Institute
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (07/19/06)—Each of three gubernatorial candidates will give a major policy address at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs as part of the Candidate Forum sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance (CSPG). Gov. Tim Pawlenty (GOP), Attorney General Mike Hatch (DFL), and Peter Hutchinson (IP) will address a major policy issue of their choice, after which they will take part in an open question and answer session with the audience. All events will take place in Cowles Auditorium.
Details on each event are as follows:
Tuesday, July 25—Gov. Tim Pawlenty (GOP) will give a public policy address on “Education: Funding, Improvements, and Accountability for Results” from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 9—Attorney General Mike Hatch will speak on “Affordability and Availability of Health Care” from noon to 1:30 p.m. A complimentary light lunch will be available beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, Aug. 10—Independence Party candidate Peter Hutchinson will address “The Price of Government: Getting the Results We Need in an Age of Permanent Fiscal Crisis” from 8:30 to 10 a.m. A complimentary continental breakfast will be available starting at 8 a.m.
The candidate speeches are part of the Candidate Forum, a series of policy talks by candidates for public office. Sponsored by CSPG, the Candidate Forum is an effort to nurture substantive discussion on major issues. As part of the series, Amy Klobuchar (DFL–endorsed candidate) spoke at the Humphrey Institute in June and Mark Kennedy (GOP–endorsed candidate) will speak August 22.
All presentations are free and open to the public. No registration is required. For more information, contact Ellen Tveit at (612) 625-8330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted at 4:37 PM on July 19, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Robert Fitzgerald, the Independence Party's endorsed candidate for the U.S. Senate, sent out an e-mail to supporters today. It details the campaign's events, etc. But then I noticed this little line about the recent Minnesota Poll sponsored by the Star Tribune:
Recently, the Star Tribune conducted a poll which had us polling at three percent! This is great news! The article and poll was carried by several news media outlets across Minnesota.
Hmmm. Robert maybe you don't want to be talking about your 3% poll result as great news especially since the poll's margin of error was 3.4%
Posted at 5:19 PM on July 19, 2006
by Tom Scheck
MNPublius (i hope they forgive me for my snarky comment - it was early and there was no java pumping through the veins) has an interesting take on a Survey USA poll in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District.
The candidates in the 5th will also be debating the issues two times next week. The first debate is at the Global Marketplace (the old Sears Building) at 11AM on Monday the 24th in Minneapolis. It's hosted by KFAI Radio and Insight News.
The Second debate is hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council. It will be at Temple Israel in Minneapolis at 7PM on Tuesday, July 25th. Ellison, Minneapolis City Council member Paul Ostrow, former DFL Party Chair Mike Erlandson and former State Senator Ember Reichgott Junge have been invited to that debate.
Posted at 5:22 PM on July 19, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The Kennedy campaign sent out a news release criticizing DFLer Amy Klobuchar for raising money with Matt Entenza. We'll see if this sticks. It could go two ways: Entenza could be too toxic for candidates to be around. It could also be perceived that the GOP is piling on after the tackle.
Klobuchar Raising Money with Embattled Matt Entenza As Controversy Swirls, Klobuchar Fundraiser Is Still Planned
(St. Paul, Minnesota) - Nearly a week after news broke that Attorney General candidate Matt Entenza had done opposition research on a fellow Democrat and now Governor candidate Mike Hatch, Entenza is still slated to host a fundraiser for Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar. The fundraiser raises some serious questions about Klobcuhar’s allegiance within the DFL, which has quickly fractured between those supporting Mike Hatch and those supporting Matt Entenza.
“If Amy Klobuchar is going to raise money with Matt Entenza during the middle of this controversy, this raises serious questions,” said Heidi Frederickson, press secretary for Mark Kennedy 06. “Given today’s reports of Entenza’s wife funneling money back to the Minnesota DFL from some obscure PAC in South Dakota, Amy Klobuchar should do the right thing and not raise money with Entenza until all the evidence is out in the open.”
Today’s Pioneer Press said it received documents including, “Copies of canceled checks through which Entenza's wife, Lois Quam, gave $55,000 to two South Dakota political action committees in early 2003. The documents purport to show that much of the $55,000 went through the PACs to the South Dakota Democratic Party, then to the Minnesota DFL Party and eventually to the Minnesota House DFL campaign committee that Entenza led.” (Patrick Sweeney, “Entenza takes hits from all sides,” Pioneer Press, July 18, 2006)
“Amy Klobchar and her friends have been quick to point fingers at others when it comes to fundraising,” continued Frederickson. “Will this be another example where we need to watch what Amy Klobuchar does, not what she says?”
Posted at 5:31 PM on July 19, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The Strib's Rochelle Olson says Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and Mayor R.T. Rybak discussed real estate development options around the Metrodome.
Posted at 5:44 PM on July 19, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The MN Secretary of State's Office says James Sprangers has requested that his name be withdrawn from the ballot.
Posted at 5:47 PM on July 19, 2006
by Tom Scheck
I was walking to the gym the other day and saw a bumper sticker saying "Vote Yes for better roads and transit."
It looks like the push is on to get the public to vote for the constitutional amendment that would dedicate all of the money created from the Motor Vehicle Sales Tax be dedicated to funding highways, bridges and transit systems.
Here's the website.