Posted at 8:19 AM on February 20, 2008
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
A report by the Legislative Auditor throws some proverbial gasoline on the fire that is the transportation debate (cue the groans). The report says the state's bridges are in better shape than in 2002 but the roads are worse and MnDOT won't have enough money to meet basic needs. Democrats say the report is proof they need the transportation bill to pass. MPR, the Star Tribune, Forum Communications, the Pi Press and AP have stories.
Gov. Pawlenty orders a hiring freeze out of fear of a larger budget deficit. It may not make a difference in the overall budget discussions but it's a signal that the forecast will be bad. MPR, the Star Tribune, Forum Communications, the Pi Press and AP have stories.
Pawlenty calls a bus crash that killed four a "sad night for Minnesota."
A bill that targets cell phone contracts is moving through the Legislature.
The smoking "play" hits Maplewood.
WCCO says a new Minnesota divorce law may settle custodies.
A bill that would target online drug sales is proposed.
The minimum age for blood donors would drop to 16 under a bill.
Pawlenty is one of a group of governors who want Great Lakes protection passed.
MinnPost says the St. Louis County Board is skeptical of Pawlenty's park plan.
State lawmakers take another crack at consumer privacy laws.
A coalition warns that chronic disease taxes health care.
Forum Communications says the House takes on the fish disease fight.
A bill that would lower the cost of fishing license for certain anglers is proposed.
GOP Sen. Norm Coleman writes an op-ed on the economy.
Coleman is also pushing for a crackdown on offshore tax shelters.
KARE reports on the digital TV conversion. DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is mentioned.
Delta's CEO tells Klobuchar that there is no merger yet.
Klobuchar also held a global warming forum at Gustavus.
GOP Rep. Jim Ramstad, DFL Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL Rep. Keith Ellison and DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar want billions in new conservation funding in the Farm Bill.
A Farm Bill deal could come within three weeks. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.
The Hill says cotton is looking for a bailout. Peterson is mentioned.
The Wall Street Journal says federal regulators aren't worried about antitrust problems in a potential NWA deal. DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is mentioned.
Oberstar is also mentioned in this story on the gas tax.
Pawlenty for VP watch
Reuters handicaps the potential VP picks.
British bookmakers place Pawlenty at a 4 to 1 favorite to be McCain's VP.
2008 Senate Race
The UAW endorses Franken.
Posted at 10:40 AM on February 20, 2008
by Tom Scheck
GOP State Sen. Dick Day says he's bypassing the party endorsement process and will head to a primary. Here's the release:
Day Announces Primary Bid
OWATONNA – State Senator Dick Day (R-Owatonna), Republican candidate for Congress from the first district, announced today that he will bypass the formal Party endorsement process and go directly to the voters in a primary election.
“I have always believed that primary elections, in which all the voters of a district get a chance to pick their candidates for political office, are far more democratic than the current system in which Party insiders hand pick the candidates,” said Day. “The chaotic caucuses a couple weeks ago prove that the system is broken. Thousands of voters went out on a cold February night because they thought their votes meant something. They are frustrated and angry that their votes for president didn’t even count.”
Day added, “There are 375,850 voters in the First District, and the important decision about who their candidate is should not be left to 250 people meeting on a Saturday morning. Anybody who wants to pay their $100 to run for office ought to have an equal chance to make their case to voters. That’s what I plan to do, the old-fashioned way: work hard to earn your vote.”
Day, who has raised more money for his campaign than the other two Republicans in the race, will run a positive, issue-oriented campaign. He is particularly concerned with immigration, repealing No Child Left Behind, ending earmarks, controlling wasteful spending, strengthening agriculture, and lowering taxes.
“I will see you in the coffee shops and along main street, and at parades, festivals and other events throughout southern Minnesota over the coming months,” Day said. “I want to get to know you, and I want you to get to know me, so that I win your vote in the September primary.
“My Democrat opponent, Tim Walz, is the most liberal congressman we have had in southern Minnesota in generations. It is crucial that we send to Congress someone who doesn’t vote like they live in San Francisco.”
After serving four years on the Owatonna City Council and eight years on the Steele County Board, Day, a retired IBM salesman and Navy veteran, was elected to the state senate in 1990 where he was Republican leader for 10 years. He and his wife, Janet, have four children and six grandchildren.
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The other Republicans in the race, Randy Demmer and Brian Davis, say they will abide by the GOP endorsement.
Posted at 8:18 PM on February 20, 2008
by Tom Scheck
We may have a greater hint of who John McCain may pick as his running mate. Take a look at slide 5 in this slide show. Someone in the background is holding a sign that says "Favre for VP." TPaw may have some serious competition.