Posted at 8:10 AM on February 29, 2008
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Happy Leap Day!
Here are some reasons behind the deficit.
Mining and Ag are some economic bright spots.
MPR says the deficit could get worse because there is uncertainty in the economy.
Bob McFarlin, special assistant to Molnau, has been named acting commissioner.
The Star Tribune says MnDOT is set on a new path.
The MAC has paid a bunch in the prosecution of Idaho Sen. Larry Craig.
MPR says foreclosure prevention programs don't work for everyone.
U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman talks immigration with the Marshall Independent.
The Star Tribune asks when is it ok for police to check immigrant status. Pawlenty and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann are mentioned.
Congress examines payments between doctors and medical device makers. DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is mentioned.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison is in NYC today.
Democratic leaders in Congress are pushing for Farm Bill action.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar says the Delta Queen is unsafe.
The federal government proposes increasing the habitat for the lynx.
2008 U.S. Senate Race
The Fix moves the race down a notch:
6. Minnesota : Comedian Al Franken (D) continues to impress, winning the endorsement of the state's Service Employees International Union earlier this week -- a decision that further consolidates the support of organized labor behind him heading into the party convention in June. Roughly 1,400 Democratic delegates will pick between Franken, attorney Mike Ciresi and professor Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer; all three candidates have pledged to abide by the results of the convention and Franken has emerged as the clear favorite. Sen. Norm Coleman (R) is well-funded and savvy but Republicans who believe they will caricature Franken as a Hollywood liberal running as a lark would do well to take the Democrat more seriously. (Previous ranking: 5)
AP picks up on the Coleman letter to the editor flap.
The Owatonna People's Press says the Senate contest could be about character.
The Duluth News Tribune says DFL delegates will determine which U.S. Senate candidate to back at its local convention.
2008 Race for President
UPDATE: The DFL Party Chair and the DFL Associate Party Chair back Barack Obama.
Pawlenty for VP Watch
USA Today talks up Pawlenty:
The most logical road leads to Gov. Tim Pawlenty, 47, of Minnesota. He shores up McCain on age and executive experience. Pawlenty was one of McCain's earliest endorsers. Tactically, Pawlenty could concentrate on the politically and culturally similar swing states of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, which collectively have 27 electoral votes.
More VP speculation here.
2008 Race for Congress
Republican Alan Roebke writes an op-ed in the Hutchinson Leader criticizing DFL incumbent Collin Peterson.
Serious question of the day
Why did they put Leap Day in February? Why not June or September when the weather is warmer?
Posted at 8:38 AM on February 29, 2008
by Tom Scheck
This just came from the Obama Campaign:
TWO MINNESOTA SUPERDELEGATES SUPPORT BARACK OBAMA
Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez and Associate Chair Donna Cassutt Back Obama
Chicago, IL – Today, the Chair and Associate Chair of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party endorsed Barack Obama. Chair Brian Melendez and Associate Chair Donna Cassutt —to Minnesota superdelegates — backed Obama, citing his overwhelming win in the Minnesota caucuses and ability to bring new voters into the process.
Chair Brian Melendez said, “Before Super Tuesday, I decided that, as a superdelegate, I would support whichever candidate won the presidential-preference ballot in Minnesota — and Senator Obama and his campaign for change won it decisively. I also decided that I would hold off on announcing this decision in the hope that voters in other states would decide the nomination and that the superdelegates would not affect the outcome.
“Now, however, it appears that the superdelegates’ votes may affect the outcome. I am therefore announcing that I will support Senator Barack Obama for president. I have heard loud and clear the voices of the more than 214,000 enthusiastic DFLers who attended their precinct caucuses. As their elected party chair, I respect their choice, and will be pleased to honor it by casting my vote for Senator Obama at the Democratic National Convention.
“DFLers shattered all turnout records at precinct caucuses this year, braving a cold winter night, long lines, and bustling crowds. We may have supported different candidates for president this year so far, but we are all energized and ready to keep Minnesota blue this November for the ninth presidential election in a row.”
Associate Chair Donna Cassutt said, “Hope, the passion for change, and the belief in the possibilities for our great nation: the over 214,000 Minnesotans who turned out to the DFL precinct caucuses this year showed that all of these are alive and well in Minnesota. Reflecting the enthusiastic and overwhelming support for Senator Barack Obama at our caucuses, I will gladly cast my vote as a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention for Senator Obama.
“With the incredible grassroots energy and the number of folks new to the political process, I am confident that we will not only win Minnesota’s electoral votes in November, but also take back our beloved Paul Wellstone’s Senate seat and usher in a new era of common-sense, progressive politics.”
Senator Obama won the Minnesota Caucuses on February 5th with 66 percent of the vote.
Posted at 12:31 PM on February 29, 2008
by Tom Scheck
The legislative leaders will be on TPT's Almanac tonight.
Posted at 1:34 PM on February 29, 2008
by Tom Scheck
DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar made an appearance at the State Capitol today to praise the DFL-controlled Legislature for overriding Gov. Pawlenty's veto of the trnasportation bill. Oberstar, the Chair of the House Transportation Committee in Congress, said the action will give Minnesota greater access to highway funding.
"Had the Legislature not acted, the governor's veto would have marked the beginning of a long, dark decline into the grim abyss of lost productivity, reduced mobility, increased cost of logistics and diminished competitiveness for Minnesota's economy. I can say that with equal passion...
...The governor needs to emerge from his Malthusian cave and grasp the reality that the federal government is not going to provide this state with a quarter billion dollars in free money of bridge repairs in the future."
This reporter and others who will remain nameless were forced to open their trusty (and dusty) dictionaries to learn the definition of Malthusian. Funk and Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary describes Malthusian as:
Of or pertaining to the theory of T.R. Malthus that population tends to outrun its means of support, and will be checked by disaster unless restricted by sexual restraint.
Here's the Merriam Webster definition. Oberstar also said Gov. Pawlenty was conducting a "latter day Salem Witch hunt" on the eight Republicans who voted for the override. Oberstar's spokesman said he knew the focus of the news conference shifted from the funding to Oberstar's tone.
It's safe to say that Gov. Pawlenty and Oberstar have engaged in a war of words in recent weeks on transportation policy.
Gov. Pawlenty's spokesman, Brian McClung, issued these remarks to Oberstar's comments:
We’re not going to respond to Congressman Oberstar’s latest outburst in kind. We would hope that after more than four decades in Washington, he would be more inclined to statesmanlike behavior than these kinds of partisan attacks.
We’d respectfully ask Congressman Oberstar about his failure to bring his own gas tax increase plan to a vote in the committee he chairs. Accordingly, his lectures on leadership ring hollow.