Posted at 9:26 AM on October 17, 2006
by Bob Collins
Boy, between Midmorning and Midday, the Senate candidates are certainly wearing out the carpet in the new building. Klobuchar is on Midday todayat 11.
As for Kennedy... he blew off Midmorning a couple of weeks ago and there's an invitation out for him to appear on Midday tomorrow but his people haven't indicated "yes" or "no."
A good way to get your story out, is to tell it.
And the Weber-Penny show follows at noon. Some recorded deal from the U of M.
Posted at 10:24 AM on October 17, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Minnesota's 6th Congressional District leads the digest. I remember playing pick-up basketball in my high school years. Whenever a game got close and was hard fought, my buddy David Ramos would yell "It's on!" Well, dear Polinaut readers, "It's on in the 6th!"
The Star Tribune has a poll out saying DFLer Patty Wetterling is up eight points over Republican Michele Bachmann. I-P member John Binkowski is polling at four percent.
ABC's "The Note" says Bachmann is in DC today for a fundraiser with Karl Rove. Wetterling is holding a news conference today on embryonic stem cells. Roll Call reports that Wetterling will be appearing with Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee started running an ad criticizing Republican Michele Bachmann for voting against sex offender legislation.
So we have both national parties running ads and the national muckety mucks raising money for the candidates. Oh, you're interested in where they stand on the issues. Say hello to the AP's Martiga Lohn who covered yesterday's debate.
USA Today mentions Wetterling in a story on how Democrats are outraising the GOP in close House races.
But this Washington Post story says the GOP has an advantage.
But this Wall Street Journal story says the GOP is having trouble raising money.
GOP strategists are now saying the Dems will take control of the House and possibly the Senate.
Rothenberg political report calls the Governor's race a toss-up.
KARE-11 focuses on the MNGOP ad critical of Mike Hatch. I get the feeling the parties are trying to drive up the negatives of the candidates.
MPR has a story saying the candidates for governor are positioning themselves as crime fighters.
New York Senator Hillary Clinton is in Minneapolis today to raise money for U.S. Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar. Interested in what Clinton is going to say? Sorry, closed press. Hillary Clinton's possible 2008 presidential opponent John McCain will be in Minnesota right before the election.
Klobuchar held a news conference yesterday saying Republican Mark Kennedy's ad on her drug plan is false.
The Pi Press says the Senate race is picking up speed.
This tv station picks up on Republican Mark Kennedy's press release that criticizes Klobuchar on sugar.
Kennedy is mentioned in this story that says President Bush's unpopularity is hurting GOP candidates.
The Washington Times mentions Klobuchar in this story about a record number of women are headed to the Senate.
MPR has a story focusing on the West Metro races.
Finally, this outlet has a story on the dumbest members of Congress.
Posted at 10:47 AM on October 17, 2006
by Bob Collins
A reminder that tonight's 8th District debate in Grand Rapids will be streamed live on the Web site (you'll see a box on the right side of the main page to click. It's not the main live stream) at 8 p.m. It's not on the radio -- at least live -- but will be replayed on Midday tomorrow.
There's also a 5th District debate tonight in Minneapol, at 7 p.m. This one is not Webcast or broadcast. However, I've asked Brandt Williams, who's covering it for us, to feed the audio back to our operations department, which will encode it, tell me, and I'll post the link here and also put it on the Campaign 2006 Web site.
Posted at 12:20 PM on October 17, 2006
by Bob Collins
Laura Bush in for Bachmann next Wednesday, according to AP.
Posted at 12:25 PM on October 17, 2006
by Bob Collins
First this disclaimer, the survey is definitely not scientific... don't try this at home.. this page left intentionally blank.. blah blah blah.
Every now and then, I duck into the Select A Candidate interface to see the cumulative responses are adding it up in some areas. I'm less interested in how the candidates stack up -- it shows you who people's views align with most, not who people embrace.
But I like to see what people consider most important issues. Keep in mind, the default setting is "somewhat important," but people have to select a "radio" button to change it to, for example, "most important." Remember I reset the statistics after the primary election. Here's what people have said in the gov's race:
By the way, ignore the "death penalty" results as I just added that question yesterday, via Tim Pugmire's story.
On to the Senate race...
And just for the heck of it, I ducked in to look at how KPCC's Select A Candidate governor's race is going where issues are concerned, just to see how California folks view the issues. They're using the same program to build it we are (built by our very own I.T. genius Andy Beger, by the way), which gives me access to the data.
There you go.
Posted at 12:34 PM on October 17, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The DCCC's ad criticizing Republican Michele Bachmann can be seen here. The ad started running this morning. ABC News is reporting that White House political director Karl Rove is appearing at a Washington D.C. fundraiser for Bachmann tonight. AP is reporting that First Lady Laura Bush will be in town for Bachmann on October 25th.
A group called "Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington" has filed a complaint (see pdf) with the IRS, contending the Living Word Christian Center violated the tax code (non-profits and political campaigns) when the church's pastor personally endorsed her candidacy before Bachmann gave a speech to the assembled.
Posted at 1:07 PM on October 17, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Amy Klobuchar's campaign released a new ad today that gives the mistaken impression that Ms. Klobuchar prosecutes cases as the Hennepin County Attorney, wants to lower taxes and would help seniors with their prescription drug costs. Heidi Frederickson, press secretary for Mark Kennedy's Senate campaign released the following statement:
"It's nice to see, that after 7 ½ years as Hennepin County Attorney, Amy Klobuchar is finally in a courtroom. Unfortunately it was for an ad to advance Ms. Klobuchar's political career, not actually to prosecute criminals who have been terrorizing the innocent residents of Minneapolis.
"Likewise, Ms. Klobuchar has about as much credibility talking about taxes as she does about reducing crime. During this campaign alone, she has called for nearly $3 trillion in job-killing tax increases. Mark Kennedy is committed to getting spending under control so we can keep taxes low and continue growing jobs.
"Unfortunately for seniors, Ms. Klobuchar's record doesn't get any better. She would have opposed the Medicare Part D program that 84% of seniors are satisfied with and is saving them an average of $1,200 per year. Now she wants to change Part D by modeling it after the VA program. The problem is, less than 1 out of 5 prescription drugs approved by the FDA since 2000 are allowed by the VA system. No matter how Ms. Klobuchar tries to spin it, that's rationing drugs for our seniors and Mark Kennedy won't allow that."
# # #
I'm getting the feeling that the two U.S. Senate candidates aren't going to settle this argument anytime soon.
Posted at 1:15 PM on October 17, 2006
by Bob Collins
Rep. Mark Kennedy's folks have gotten back to the Midday producer with an answer to the offer of an hour of airtime as part of their "Meet the Candidate series."
The answer was "no," same answer that Midmorning got when they were presenting an hour with each Senate candidate a couple of weeks ago. Schedules are tough but the last time I checked with the Midmorning producer, the offer went something like this: "pick your day."
Kennedy is said to be campaigning in southern Minnesota instead.
If the Campaign 2006 Mark Kennedy page is correct (and it may not be, I don't know how it was updated in my two months' off), the last time Kennedy was on Midday (or any other call-in program on MPR) (on phone from Washington) was in March. (Listen here).
I've got Amy Klobuchar down for 6 appearances (including an MPR debate with Ford Bell) since last November. And Robert Fitzgerald down for 3 since June. None of these include the MPR State Fair debate.
Kennedy has agreed to the traditional Sunday night last debate at the Fitzgerald Theater. From the looks of it, it appears the political strategy in his camp is debates, not talk shows.
Posted at 2:03 PM on October 17, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The one race we haven't been writing about too much on Polinaut is the matchup between Republican Rod Grams and DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District. Grams has been going after Oberstar, his record and his travel for a few weeks now. Well, Oberstar has decided to hit back on Grams record.
Posted at 3:12 PM on October 17, 2006
by Bob Collins
Long-time readers of Polinaut may know that I love great writing. I don't mean great writing as "stuff that's written that I agree with" (which, I recognize at this time of year eliminates just about everything). I mean great writing as in the ability to whisk you off somewhere, make you seem like you're there, and then bring it all home with a fabulous final paragraph. I play with this concept as best I can -- which isn't all that good, frankly -- on my other blog: Stirrings from the Empty Nest.
I took my break this afternoon, which traditionally involves me escaping to the 5th floor of Polinaut's world headquarters and quietly reading through the New York Times (I get through all the local papers in the morning and it doesn't take long) for a half hour or so.
Today I read one article and thought it was written so well (especially the last paragraph), that I came back to my Dilbertian cubicle right away to tell you about it.
Partisans won't like it. But fans of the power of the written word might.
It's from a reporter named Mark Leibovich. Here.
His is an old style, now out of favor, that I try to use all the time, with nowhere near the success that Leibovich has. Take a nugget -- a seemingly insignificant nugget -- use it as a jumping-off point to tell the story, tell the story, then bring the nugget back to wrap up the story. It wasn't until I took the time off last summer that I realized I even try to do it.
In this case, it's a a 6 year old girl, a fan -- a big fan -- of Dick Cheney.
You can't make this stuff up.
Relayed to me by my editor-mate Mike Edgerly who just got off the phone with Tim Pugmire who talked to the Bachmann campaign today -- I think -- as part of a piece he's running tonight on the Star Tribune poll:
The Bachmann campaign says it has a "spy" in its midst.
Scheck relays info from Pugmire that says, "Wetterling Campaign Manager Corey Day says they fired the staffer and says the campaign didn't know about the action. He said there's no room for shenanigans in this campaign."
Here's Pugmire's interview with Andy Parrish of the Bachmann campaign.
Here's a letter Bachmann's campaign sent to Wetterling:
October 17, 2006
Our campaign has recently uncovered a set of facts that are very disturbing. These facts point to what could be a dirty trick by your campaign and may involve violations of both federal and state campaign and communications laws.
On October 16, 2006 5:09 pm, Luke Hellier of my campaign staff received an email signed by someone named Erick. What flagged this email as unusual was the sender line read “Jon Bohn” firstname.lastname@example.org. The content of the email also contained information not available to the general public at that time. The sender asked my campaign about a media survey that had not yet been made available to the general public. The sender went on to ask about my campaign strategy.
Searching our volunteer records showed a person with the similar email address using the same screen name, email@example.com, had signed up as a volunteer as Erick Johnson on October 9 at 5:37 pm. Our records show that the person asked to volunteer to help make phone calls, help with literature drops and door knocking.
Further investigation shows Jon Bohn to be a member of your paid campaign staff. Mr. Bohn has been paid by your campaign since at least September.
Patty, it appears that Mr. Bohn has attempted to gain access to our campaign and our campaign strategy. These actions beg a series of questions.
1. Did Mr. Bohn sign up to volunteer using a false identity?
2. Was Mr. Bohn attempting to gain access to our campaign strategy using a false identity?
3. If Mr. Bohn was not using an email account with his name attached to it, who was the person using his account?
4. Were any of Mr. Bohn’s activities authorized by you or senior campaign staff?
5. Who else in your campaign knew of Mr. Bohn’s actions?
6. What other information has Mr. Bohn received about our campaign using false identities that we are not aware of?
A quick review of Federal and state law shows it may be illegal to attempt to gain access to an opponent’s campaign using false identities. Other laws involving illegal use of the internet may have been broken as well.
For this reason, I am forwarding this information to the Minnesota Attorney General and the U.S. District Attorney for further review.
In addition, we are reviewing our records for any additional suspicious activities. I have attached the questionable emails and volunteer form for your review.
I know campaigns can be tough. But playing dirty tricks has no place in Minnesota politics. Please let me know what your internal investigation uncovers.
Posted at 4:39 PM on October 17, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Governor Pawlenty is asking the DFL to quit running a TV ad that says Pawlenty allowed sex offenders into a nursing home. You can view the ad here. Pawlenty's campaign spokesman Brian McClung says the campaign sent a letter to the DFL Party asking them to stop running the ad:
The DFL ad is patently false and we are calling on the DFL to stop running the ad immediately. Knowingly running a false political ad is a violation of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 211B and may result in a gross misdemeanor.
The assertions in the ad are not supported by the newspaper articles cited. In addition, the Pawlenty Administration did not send multiple sex offenders to the Concordia Care Center and no sex offender placed by the Pawlenty Administration sexually assaulted or sexually abused other residents.
DFL Party spokeswoman Jess McInstosh says the party will keep running the ad. She issued this response:
"The claims made in the ad are disturbing, yet accurate.
"During the Pawlenty administration, the Department of Corrections sent at least two convicted sex offenders from prison to be housed in nursing homes. We are not talking about elderly, infirm men who had served their sentence and returned to society before needing care. These men were in their 20's and 40's and coming straight from jail.
"One man fondled a mentally ill woman after she told him to stop and allegedly sexually assaulted her to the extent that she had to be admitted to a hospital for medical treatment. The other man engaged in such disturbing stalking behavior that he was sent back to prison for it. Both of these men were admitted to the nursing home under Governor Pawlenty's watch and the abuses happened during his administration.
"We understand why the Governor would object to this ad - it raises serious concerns about his ability and willingness to protect the Minnesotans who need it the most."
The issue will be kept alive for another day. Governor Pawlenty has scheduled a Wednesday news conference with Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion and Dru Sjodin's mother to unveil Minnesota's new non-compliant sex offender website.
Posted at 4:57 PM on October 17, 2006
by Tom Scheck
I haven't seen MNPublius publishing too much through my bloglines reader. I got this message when I went to their site:
This Account Has Been Suspended
Please contact the billing/support department as soon as possible.
UPDATE- I'm told it's a site upgrade. Thanks for letting me know.
Posted at 5:43 PM on October 17, 2006
by Tom Scheck
It's been a pretty busy day so I felt it was important to add another digest.
Minnesota sees a spike in job losses. Ordinarily, unemployment numbers don't even make the digest. But it's three weeks until election day and the numbers aren't good. Governor Pawlenty also put himself in a pickle when he touted the state's job growth during the summer. MPR, the Star Tribune and the AP have stories.
The Ap's Brian Bakst also has a look at the governor's race.
T.W. Budig says only one of the three candidates for governor supports a gas tax increase.
Budig also has a story on Pawlenty campaigning in the north metro.
Fred Frommer, with the AP, says a complaint has been filed over a pastor's endorsement of Republican Michele Bachmann in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District. The IRS says it's a big no no to endorse a candidate.
The blogs are also going crazy over the firing of a Patty Wetterling staffer (Wetterling is the DFLer running against Bachmann for those of you who just woke up from a coma). You can read the details here, here and here. The AP also has a story on the flap.
MPR's Tim Pugmire also includes it in his round-up of the day's events in the 6th.
Democrat Amy Klobuchar, who's running for the U.S. Senate, is mentioned in this story on getting single women to vote.
Klobuchar also appeared on MPR's Midday program today. You can listen here.
Republican Mark Kennedy decided not to participate in MPR's Meet the Candidates series and declined repeated invitations to appear on Midday or Midmorning.
Klobuchar will also appear at an evening fundraiser with New York Senator Hillary Clinton, Washington Senator Patty Murray and Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln. Klobuchar's folks wouldn't disclose how much the fundraiser would fetch. They said they expect 250 people.
Former Governor Arne Carlson endorses Rebecca Otto, the DFL candidate for Minnesota Auditor.
The Star Tribune also has a story on Judy Johnson/Terri Bonoff race in the west metro.