The Minnesota Supreme Court won't hear the appeal of the 35W bridge award.
WCCO picks up on the billboard campaign that says "No New Taxes means No New Bridges."
Gov. Pawlenty will appear in public service ads that will run on cable. The ads will promote energy conservation.
AP has a story on a new law that bans mercury in mascara, eye liners and skin-lightening creams.
Lawmakers talk senior care in Jackson.
Vapor testing has St. Louis Park on edge.
The Winona Daily News says lawmakers are warning of tough times ahead for education.
Local probation officers design a software program that shares criminal data.
The IRRRB gives $4.1 million to local communities for infrastructure improvements. (forgot to add the million in an earlier post - thanks for the heads up).
A final Senate vote on the Farm Bill is set for as early as Friday. The body rejected DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar's amendment limiting farm subsidies.
The Inspector General for Iraq is under investigation. GOP Sen. Norm Coleman is mentioned.
DFL U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken talked issues in Aitkin.
Franken was also spotted in DC and he was talking to a Republican (gasp!)
Norm's going viral with help from a few of his Washington friends. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that several lawmakers, including Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, appeared in a video on behalf of Coleman. It's riveting stuff. Guys reading from a teleprompter. Whoop!
Update: A dedicated reader points out that DFLer Steve Sarvi (who is running for Congress in Minnesota's 2nd) takes GOP Rep. John Kline to task for saying all federal earmarks are bad in this op-ed.
Posted at 3:08 PM on December 14, 2007
by Tom Scheck
The Pi Press says former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer has hit the airwaves touting a new group called Minnesota Majority. Kiffmeyer appeared on an ad touting the group during Gov. Pawlenty's weekly radio show.
The group's website has entries from Jeff Davis and Drew Emmer. Davis is also affiliated with Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Marriage, which worked to define marrage as one man and one woman in the constitution (i.e. ban gay marriage). You can review that group's finance reports here.
Emmer blogs at Wright County Republican.
One issue that Minnesota Majority will tackle right away is health care. They have scheduled townhall meetings on the issue for January.
Posted at 3:18 PM on December 14, 2007
by Tom Scheck
Brian Bakst with the Associated Press has a nice little story on how members of Congress will still be welcome at parties thrown by lobbyists at next year's political conventions. They can do this even though a new ethics law was crafted to limit such parties. Apparently an opinion from the House ethics panel takes some of the teeth out of the law. This opinion has infuriated ethics watchdogs. What do you think? Does the opinion go too far? Should there be limitations on these types of events at all? Should there be greater disclosure?
Posted at 3:43 PM on December 14, 2007
by Tom Scheck
Things to chew on this weekend.
Bob Whereatt (of Star Tribune fame) writes for MinnPost that all signs point to Gov. Pawlenty running for a 3rd term. Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung says Pawlenty won't decide until after the 2008 election. Whereatt suggests that Pawlenty's high approval numbers and aspirations for a higher office put him in position for another run. No one has been elected to three full consecutive terms. What do you think? Will he run again? Can he win if he does?
But will there be enough hotel rooms on the island?
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum is hopping mad at any attempts to strip federal security funding for the 2008 Republican National Convention. Her office issued a news release earlier this week in response to Rep. Roy Blunt's (R-MO) suggestion that the $50 million in convention funding wasn't an emergency since they've known about the convention for quite some time. McCollum said the GOP can take their convention somewhere else if they don't back the funding (see last line).
"...if Republican leadership eliminates this security funding I will be calling on St. Paul's mayor and city council to pull the plug on the convention. The Republicans can take their convention to Guantanamo Bay where security won't be a problem..."
Raise your hands if you remembered that Alan Keyes was running for president.
(props to anyone who got that joke).
Apparently some who get paid to cover this stuff forgot about Keyes as well. Jake Tapper and the New York Times wrote about the Keyes appearance this week. One reason for the political amnesia may be that Keyes hasn't spent much time campaigning in Iowa.
Worst Debate ever?
There wasn't a whole lot of love for the final GOP debate before the Iowa Caucuses. Charles Krauthammer called it the worst debate ever:
That was not just the worst debate of 2007, that was the worst debate in western history, and that includes the ancient Greeks. There was no record in any major European record of a debate this transcendently and crushingly dull. It was an astonishment.
Will the members of the Senate impose cloture on themselves and tell us who they back for president?
The blog has been trying to shake loose who DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar will back for president. We're interested because New York Senator Hillary Clinton, Illinois Senator Barack Obama and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards have all campaigned for Klobuchar during her 2006 Senate run.
Klobuchar will only say that she's staying out of it and will leave it to the caucus goers. Apparently she isn't the only Senator with that view. The Washington Post says most members of the Senate have been slow to endorse their colleagues. For the record, GOP Sen. Norm Coleman is backing Rudy Giuliani for president.
The eccentricities of polling in Iowa
The New York Times has an interesting story on how polling in Iowa isn't so easy or always on target.