Posted at 8:45 AM on October 10, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Midmorning hosts a debate between the three major party candidates for Minnesota attorney general. Live from the UBS Forum.
Jeff Johnson: Republican candidate for attorney general. He's a state representative from Plymouth.
John James: Independent party candidate for attorney general. He was state revenue commissioner under former Gov. Rudy Perpich.
Lori Swanson: DFL nominee for Minnesota attorney general. She has worked as solicitor general for current Attorney General Mike Hatch since January 2003.
Posted at 11:06 AM on October 10, 2006
by Bob Collins
Update: Apparently some blogs are reporting this is going to be broadcast tonight on MPR. See what happens when you don't read Polinaut?
I'm not supposed to tell you this because it might not work, but there's a fair chance we'll be able to stream tonight's
gubernatorial senatorial debate in Moorhead on the Web site tonight.
It will not be on MPR (the radio MPR) until Midday tomorrow, but we're trying to get something set up to allow a live online broadcast for these debates. Easily done when the radio is broadcasting 'em; not so easy when radio isn't.
But our best and brightest -- that would be the MPR operations dept. -- is on it and I'll keep you updated.
Posted at 11:12 AM on October 10, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Minnesota's Senate race leads the digest today. Democrat Amy Klobuchar, Republican Mark Kennedy and Independence Party member Robert Fitzgerald debate in Moorhead tonight at 8. I'm told it will be webcast live on mpr.org. MPR has a story saying the national parties appear to be rethinking the Minnesota Senate race.
MSNBC has a story saying the RNC, not the RNSC, is buying ads in Ohio, Missouri and Tennessee.
Illinois Senator Barack Obama held a fundraiser for Klobuchar on Monday. KARE-11 does a story on the Obama visit without having Obama in the story. The event was closed to the press.
ABC's "The Note" says several Republican senators hold a rally for Kennedy in Woodbury today.
MPR's Laura McCallum has a story that focuses on where the candidates for governor stand on jobs and the economy.
The Washington Post's "The Fix" says Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty is in a pretty good fight. They rank the governor's race as the 11th most competitive in the nation:
11. Minnesota: At the start of the cycle, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) was not on anyone's list of top targets. Young and ambitious, Pawlenty was seen as a potential national star for the GOP. He may well end up there, but state Attorney General Mike Hatch (D) is running a surprisingly competitive race against Pawlenty, benefitting from the sour mood of state voters about Republicans nationally. Hatch has spent much of the last two weeks polishing his own image, which even Democrats privately admitted needed a bit of a spit shine. Pawlenty has been trying to cast Hatch as a favoring a tax increase on middle class voters. Polling shows the race nip and tuck. (Previous ranking: 12)
Minnesota Republican Party Chair Ron Carey is quoted in a Washington Post story that says the GOP could lose between seven and thirty seats in the U.S. House. He says the Foley flap will dissipate between now and election day.
Survey USA has a poll out saying Republican Michele Bachmann still leads DFLer Patty Wetterling in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District. The poll was done between October 6th and October 8th. It's the first poll done after Wetterling started running ads addressing the Foley scandal. KSTP-TV has a story saying the Foley scandal may be helping Wetterling. She picked up ground from the previous Survey USA poll that had Bachmann up by nine percentage points.
The Star Tribune has stories on the congressional races in the 3rd and 4th districts. They have candidate profiles of GOP Congressman Jim Ramstad and DFLer Wendy Wilde in the third and DFL Congresswoman Betty McCollum and GOP challenger Obi Sium in the fourth.
The Bemidji Pioneer has a story saying Democrats in the region like the Second Amendment.
Finally, the candidates for attorney general met in a debate this morning. You can listen to the debate here.
The Minnesota E*Democracy gubernatorial debate is now underway.
Minnesota e*democracy was at the cutting edge of using online tools to cover politics. It hasn't really progressed significantly -- in terms of technology -- since then, but it's very good at getting the attention of people who are running for something.
I'm watching it but not doing much with it unless something jumps out. This is mostly because I'm not entirely convinced that the big boys are sitting in front of their computer banging out the answers. I can't imagine a campaign manager allowing that to happen. We'll see.
Maybe the next step will be live video of the candidate typing away.
The BEST part about it is issues are sure to come up that won't come up elsewhere.
Posted at 11:39 AM on October 10, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Here's the release from the Pawlenty campaign:
Straight talking Senator will visit cities across Minnesota with the Governor
(St. Paul) – Governor Tim Pawlenty’s campaign announced today that U.S. Senator John McCain will join the Governor on the campaign trail in Minnesota on Wed., November 1.
“Senator McCain is truly an American hero and one of our nation’s guiding lights,” Governor Pawlenty said. “You can't help but look at his life story and his record of courage, dedication and self-service and not be inspired. I’m honored that he’s going to spend some time with us in Minnesota in November as we enter the home stretch of the campaign.”
Senator McCain was last in Minnesota in April to campaign in support of the Governor. Governor Pawlenty and Senator McCain traveled to Iraq together in March to meet with U.S. military members and leaders from the Iraqi government.
Specific times and locations for events with Governor Pawlenty and Senator McCain on November 1 will be announced in late October.
If you didn't hear the debate on Midmorning today with the candidates for attorney general, it's now available online. It originated from the UBS Forum, the theater-like thing we have upstairs for these sorts of things, an opportunity to hear from the public and allow participants to engage "newsmakers" directly.
The questions were a little uneven... ranging from some guy who was suing the attorney general to Senate candidate Michael Cavlan who wondered why Papa John Kolstad was not included. Don't get me started and don't get me fired. My opinion on debates has been documented here before.
There was also a question asked as "what do the candidates think about full civil rights for gays?", which allowed each candidate to sputter on about how they're not in favor of discrimination. Great. The obvious question, I suppose, should have been on same-sex marriage; at least I'm guessing that's what the real question was. And what's the answer to that? "No, I won't represent the state of Minnesota in any court should it pass a ban on same-sex marriage."?
One of the problems with the debates I've heard so far is nobody -- and, yes, I'm using the term loosely -- seems to know what the heck the attorney general does . The answers from the candidates seem to be the same for every question. Fairly philosophical, stump-like dissertations. What else can you do? Talk about the fine points of friend-of-the-court briefs?
I don't envy any of the three candidates running.
One interesting moment today (about a half hour in) was a question about stem cells research. Jeff Johnson said he didn't think it was an issue in the attorney general race (like I said, what is?) but said he supports the Bush administration on the subject. Then he said Swanson has raised the issue because the people in the attorney general's office "like" wedge issues.
Then Swanson said Johnson co-authored a bill to strip the U of public funding if they got private money for stem cell research.
Johnson said, "that's not true."
Swanson cited HF2026 in the 2004 session (I can't figure out how to find a bill in a previous session and Votetracker didn't exist in '04), and we were off and running.
But then we never heard Swanson's opinion on stem cell research and John James was never given the opportunity to answer.
It was the first hint of anger on either side I've heard in the debates so far.
Posted at 5:50 PM on October 10, 2006
by Tom Scheck
ST. PAUL (AP) - A retired judge will determine whether Attorney General Mike Hatch violated any ethical rules when he made an after-hours phone call to a judge presiding over one of Hatch's lawsuits.
Former District Court Judge Lawrence Collins has been appointed as special counsel to handle two complaints against Hatch, who is the Democratic nominee for governor.
The complaints were filed separately by the state Republican Party and Ramsey County District Judge William Leary the Third.
Hatch and Leary have given conflicting accounts of Hatch's personal call to Leary during a pending debt-collection lawsuit.
Hatch says he welcomes the review.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Here's the link for the Senate debate live stream. It's a different stream than our regular news stream (or classical or current). If folks are looking for that programming, it's where it usually is. This is in addition.
Update. OK, it's over and I guess the feed was OK. Let me just give you a little glimpse into how this happened. Basically a bunch of folks who work behind the scenes here, worked their tails off. When some of us online folks heard about the our debate plans, we said, "hey, why can't we carry it live on the Web even if we're not on the radio (which, would, by the way, been hugely expensive). All we needed was a phone line that worked. The MPR operations department -- headed in this case by Steve Griffith -- made it happen and Concordia College provided access to the phone line (we paid the long distance), and voila!!
OK, OK, I know it sounds like just another day but these are the sorts of things we think are possible online when not possible on the radio, and I think we're going to try to Webcast a few more. There's a debate and political calendar on the C2006 site. Please let us know if you find it of value; it'll help at budget time. (g)
Update 8:50 p.m. - I'll get the encoded version up as soon as possible It's a little more problematic because a whole lot of the encoding process has to happen in real time.
Update 11:50 p.m. -- Audio is now encoded. You can find it on the right hand side of the page (near the top column) here.
I heard the question, I think, in one of the presidential debates in '04 and I thought it was a fabulous question. And although I didn't get a chance to hear the segment tonight in which it appeared again, Bob Reha reminded me it existed...
What one thing about your opponent do you like?
Gets to be at this time of the campaign, you get pretty tired of hearing the same old answers (can we please retire the "I've even got campaign contributions from ex-boyfriends and my husband says it's not a growth industry," NOW?), and if you spend a lot of time reading partisan blogs -- I do -- you begin to wonder whether anybody has anything nice to say about anybody else.
It's a great question.
But then again, my favorite part of a football game is after it ends and the players get together with players on the other team.
Posted at 10:53 PM on October 10, 2006
by Bob Collins
He could just be tantalizing us... again... but Doug Williams has a post at Bogus Gold. He's one of the best writers in blogland, imho.
Now if we could just get The Analyst back.
Jeff Kouba at Bachmann vs. Wetterling, brings up a question worth looking at: is the Foley scandal "over" from the point of immediate political benefit? I won't get into Jeff's analysis -- that's for Jeff to debate -- but the question is a good one. Frankly, it's one I had today.
When trying to assemble a newscast for the Current.
Face it, we're the "short attention span theater" in this country and whether you believe the news media leads the people or the people lead the news media, the fact is that scandal only lasts until the next big story.
Don't ask me to defend it; I can't. I can only tell you it's true. In fact, I know there was a "big" story out there just before the Foley incident broke, but I can't remember what it was. Oh, wait, now I can: the Wetterling "More" ad. Big stuff in local politics right up until the moment when it wasn't anymore.
And Foley? History. Replaced by North Korea nukes, which -- by the way -- will be replaced by something else pretty soon. But the Foley story has already reached the point of no understanding by the casual voter.
Want proof? Here's what the AP ran tonight:
CAPITOL HILL (AP) - Mark Foley's former chief of staff will tell what he knows to the House ethics committee later this week. He's already on record saying he sounded the alarm about Foley to House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office at least back in 2003. Hastert today says he doubts his staff covered-up anything, but says if they did, those responsible will walk the plank.
Good story, eh? Bound to bring the Republicans down in November, right? Look closer and pretend you're a "casual" news consumer. Notice something missing. Here's a hint: who the heck is Mark Foley and what is it he's supposed to have done?
Yeah, minor point. The, ummm, story. This is usually a sign that the story is now being driven by the inner-Beltway mentality. And the problem with that -- if you're a Democrat hoping to ride into office on this -- is that the inner-Beltway mentality is 12 square miles surrounded by reality.
Stories written like that aren't going to make many newscasts -- it didn't make mine.
The Foley story -- from a political "points" point of view -- is now over.
That's not to say it wasn't a good week for Democrats. It was. Patty Wetterling, in particular, was able to close a 9 point gap to a roughly 4-point.. at least on the fringes of the margin of error. But whatever bounce the Dems were likely to get from the scandal -- or at least publicity about the scandal -- they've probably already gotten. The scandal itself, is heading for the back pages.
As Stephen Colbert would say.... "moving on...."