Posted at 11:03 AM on July 9, 2007
by Mike Mulcahy
Al Franken outraised both DFLer Mike Ciresi and Republican Norm Coleman in second quarter fundraising. The campaign says it expects to report collections of $1.9 million between April and June.
Coleman raised about $1.6 million and Ciresi collected $750,000 during the same period. Ciresi didn't begin raising money until May. Coleman has more cash on hand than Franken, $3.8 million compared to $2 million.
Franken's campaign put out the numbers Monday ahead of the official July 15 reporting date. In a statement Franken campaign spokesman Andy Barr said, "We made a conscious decision early on to rely on grassroots support to fund our campaign. Today, we've shown that when people come together, they can be even more powerful than the special interests and corporate PACs backing Norm Coleman. And we've shown that Al is a candidate who can bring people together around the progressive values we share."
Barr said the average contribution to the campaign in the second quarter was just over $65.
Barr's statement goes on to say the campaign received only $5,500 from PACs in the second quarter, including $5,000 from Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-Ill.) Prairie PAC and $500 from GMP Political Education League, the PAC of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics, & Allied Workers International Union. In the first quarter, Al received just $15,000 from PACs (including $5,000 from his own Midwest Values PAC), while Sen. Coleman received nearly a third of his total ($450,000) from PACs.
The war in Iraq leads the digest today. The Star Tribune says anti-war groups are targeting GOP Sen. Norm Coleman.
AP says Coleman is one of the GOP Senators who are trying to thread the political needle on Iraq and wonders if he'll be the next GOP Senator to walk away from President Bush.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz says the troop surge has failed.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann just held a conference call regarding her visit to Iraq and the Middle East. She came away "committed to securing the safety of the American people." She also said she didn't think the media is giving a complete balanced view of the situation and "the media needs to focus more on who the bad guys are." She would also only take questions from a select few reporters (AP, St. Cloud Times and KNSI).
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar says more toy inspectors are needed. She made the comments at a field hearing this morning.
Norm Coleman also writes a letter urging the U.N. Secretary General to protect a U.N. worker.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and GOP Rep. Jim Ramstad target pool safety legislation. GOP Rep. John Kline also signed on to the bill in March.
The Mankato Free Press says Walz is listening to seniors.
AP says a Farm Bill battle looms over crop subsidies.
Atheists applaud DFL Rep. Keith Ellison for calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.
Legislature and State Government
The Pi Press writes about Pat Anderson laying off herself (DOER is going bye-bye).
A "mistake" may be costly for free health care clinics.
The Rochester Post Bulletin says eleven candidates are vying for Rep. Steve Sviggum's statehouse seat. The endorsing conventions are tonight.
The paper also says Arizona Senator John McCain is raising money in Rochester.
WCCO-TV's Pat Kessler takes a look at Preston and does some interesting zip code stuff.
Al Franken's campaign reports that they raised more than $1.9 million in the second quarter.
The New York Times has an article today about voter burnout already in the presidential campaign. All the usual suspects -- from Iowa corngrowers to senior citizens in New Hampshire -- are quoted.
As predictable as the day is long, is that the media -- yep, that's us -- would roll our eyes and proclaim "it's too early" while we do stories day in and day out that give voters almost nothing on which to make a substantive decision. If this sounds familiar, it's the same technique used by the media to keep Paris Hilton in the news, even if the way they kept Paris Hilton in the news is to ask aloud "why the media insists on keeping Paris Hilton in the news?" The same people who could "just say no" couldn't.
Leave it to a blog commentor to point out that which escapes the Michael Falcone on his excellent NYT blog, "The Caucus."
I appreciate the attention on how well these candidates can organize and raise money, but as with the last two elections, this was the focus and look at the state of our nation at this point in time. It hasn’t been worse in for a long time. You have a responsibility as a news organization to bring us more than just where these candidates are travelling to, how much money they’ve raised, and the repetition of poll-figures.
Point taken. Point ignored.
The Associated Press has been running some fine campaign stories in the last week. They're analysis. And they have almost nothing to do with the issues, and everything to do with the issues at the same time.
For example, today there's one on Barack Obama. Is he ready for primetime? One could argue that 's a real issue.
But more often than not, it's not really analyzing the candidate's positions, it's analyzing the candidate's strategy, as in the piece on Rudy Giuliani.
Covering presidential politics is hard for a reason: people, for the most part, really don't care until Labor Day before the election (trust me: I'll show you the online traffic statistics for our own campaign sites over the last 10 years). And yet, there are reporters hanging all over any candidate who steps into a cornfield in Iowa or a coffee shop in New Hampshire. By the time that Labor Day comes around, however, reporters are sick of covering a presidential campaign that the main street voter is just starting to pay attention to.
So it's hard to argue that the voters are already "burned out", given that most haven't even started giving a rip yet. More likely: campaign finance reports and caucus campaigning mean nothing to these voters. That news only appeals to the political activists, who already have a horse in this race.
One of the things that has struck me, for example, as I've put together the 2008 version of Select A Candidate (which should be out later this week), is that John McCain still hasn't articulated a health care plan? Huh?
And yet, there is he on some talk show every other Sunday, and nobody presses him on why a candidate who's been running for president in one form or another for 10 years still doesn't have a vision for health care in this country?
Part of the dynamic here is that broadcast media is no longer the place to get information on issues, that's where online is eating their lunch and will continue to do so right up until the very last buyout. I stumbled across an interesting "compare the candidates" application today, by the way. WCVB in Boston has it. It's a nice start.
Posted at 5:52 PM on July 9, 2007
by Tim Pugmire
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is back from her first trip to Iraq and has a lot to say.
Unfortunately, Bachmann spent more time talking than answering questions during a conference call Monday with Minnesota reporters. She only took three questions during the 30 minute call.
You can listen to the full audio here.
Bachmann's visit seems to have reinforced her support of President Bush's policy.
"The one thing that I see is that al Qaeda doesn't show any signs of letting up, Bachmann said."
Bachmann spent time with military and government officials in Baghdad. She expressed confidence with the efforts underway and suggested more time is needed for the troop surge to work. Bachmann also wants the news media to do a better job reporting on what she views as the larger war on terror.
"For instance, the day after I left Baghdad, 26 people were killed in one suicide bombing, 130 in another, " Bachmann said. "And sometimes it's reported as though almost it's America's fault when this goes off. It's not America's fault, It's al Qaeda's fault. They are the ones who are encouraging the suicide bombings."
The first module in MPR's popular Select A Candidate application has just been released. The contest for president is the subject of this one and 18 candidates -- the most ever -- are included. I haven't added Fred Thompson yet, however. And there's a few more issues I need to toss in there -- education, for one.
There are some positions I haven't been able to find for some candidates. Ethanol, in particular, is hard to pin candidates down on, which is surprising since Iowa is a make-it-or-break-it state for some candidates. And line-item-veto is another.
In putting these together, I can tell you there's no other place -- at least on the Internet -- for getting a comparison of candidate positions in one spot. There's a few that have tried but -- and this is a reflection on the candidates -- answers -- specific answers -- are hard to come by, which is why there's so much gibberish involved. A look at ontheissues.org is a good example.
There are some sites that have tried. CNN, the New York Times are the two best I've found so far for side-by-side comparisons. But, there's little out there in the way of allowing some interactive component with the voter and, I guess, that's why Select A Candidate has been so popular.
One change from previous years. In the past, the final page has provided links to specific candidate pages with abundant amounts of information on those pages. We haven't put those together this year and I'm not entirely sure we're going to. For one thing, in the age of Google, is it really that hard learning more about a candidate once you know his/her name?