Posted at 9:07 AM on June 6, 2008
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Democrat Al Franken limps into this weekend's DFL endorsing convention with plenty of bipartisan criticism directed at him. His old comments continue to haunt him. MPR, the Star Tribune, the Pi Press, Forum Communications and AP have stories. Franken released this statement late last night:
"I'm proud of my career as a satirist, which doesn't mean every joke I've ever told was funny, or, indeed, appropriate. I understand and regret that people have been legitimately offended by some of the things I've written. In real life, though, I've been married for 32 years. Franni and I are proud of our son and daughter. I respect women -- in both my personal and professional life. And I will work incredibly hard to represent them in the Senate -- something Norm Coleman hasn't been doing for the last six years."
Coleman responded with this statement:
"While Al Franken was joking about raping women and a host of other degrading and humiliating jokes throughout his career, I was in the Minnesota attorney general's office working to throw rapists behind bars. I was in the mayor's office working with advocates for battered women.''
The Huffington Post also interviews Franken (Don't read if you're in a rush since there's not much new in it).
Meanwhile, Mike Ciresi says all options are open.
A spokesman for Rybak says it ain't happening.
One blog also says R.T. Rybak may be considering a Senate entry.
DNC Chair Howard Dean will address convention delegates today.
Fox9 picks up on the Jesse Ventura for Senate story.
2008 Race for Congress
The Rochester Post-Bulletin picks up on a DFL commissioned poll in the 2nd that shows GOP Rep. John Kline with a big lead.
6th District DFL candidate El Tinklenberg attended a St. Cloud fundraiser last night.
Pawlenty for VP Watch
Pawlenty will be on Fox News Sunday this weekend.
The Fix says Pawlenty is tops on the VP line.
The Fix also gave Gov. Pawlenty a smooch in this profile.
The Hill says the prolonged fight among Democrats gave the GOP plenty of time to prepare. Pawlenty is mentioned.
The Wall Street Journal profiles Louisiana Gov. Bobbie Jindal.
Minnesota will lose public defenders due to budget cuts.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz and DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar will visit the Winona bridge later today.
A judicial retirement sets up a rare contested judicial race.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is calling for the Department of Transportation to investigate the FAA.
Arizona Senator Janet Napolitano is worried about losing the ability to regulate surface water in their state. Oberstar is mentioned.
The Pi Press picks up on Tom Bakk's possible run for governor.
Posted at 10:49 AM on June 6, 2008
by Tom Scheck
AP has the story:
McCain runs new ad in battleground states
WASHINGTON (AP) - John McCain is going up on the air in battleground states with a new campaign commercial in which he says: "I'm running for president to keep the country I love safe."
The Republican presidential candidate, who has been running advertisements in key states since late March, will start running the new ad Friday and Saturday in Iowa, Michigan, Colorado, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
"Only a fool or a fraud talks tough or romantically about war," McCain says in the ad. "I was shot down over Vietnam and spent five years as a POW. Some of the friends I served with never came home. I hate war. And I know how terrible its costs are."
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Here's the ad.
Posted at 3:49 PM on June 6, 2008
by Tom Scheck
The Atlanta Press is openly venting about the recent RGA meetings and the lack of access to Gov. Pawlenty. Apparently there was some miscommunication (you can decide if it was intentional or not) about talking with Pawlenty after his speech. You can read about it here. The Atlanta Journal Constitution's blog also picked up on it.
Posted at 4:03 PM on June 6, 2008
by Tom Scheck
John McCain bought nearly $150,000 worth of ads in the Twin Cities media market. The Arizona Republican bought 250 spots at five Twin Cities TV stations. They will run through the end of the month.
McCain is running the ad in Minnesota and ten other states. Here's the ad. You can read about McCain's ad buy here. You can read AP's analysis of the ad here. Here's the rundown from the McCain buy in the Twin Cities:
WCCO 50 spots at a price of $50,800
KARE 61 spots at a price of $42,331
KSTP 70 spots at a price of $26,690
KMSP (Fox9) 55 spots at a price of $21,200
WFTC (ch. 29) 14 spots at a price of $6740
McCain is holding a fundraiser (so he can run more ads) in Minneapolis on June 19th.
Posted at 4:34 PM on June 6, 2008
by Tom Scheck
A new Political Action Committee has been filed with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board. The PAC, Ron Paul Republicans, has been started by Bill Johnson of Coon Rapids and other Ron Paul supporters. Johnson said they're starting the PAC because they want to continue to get Ron Paul's message out. He said they'll support other Ron Paul like-minded people who are running for Congress, the Legislature and local positions.
"Our focus right now is to get Ron Paul like-minded people in political positions and start bringing the Republican Party back to its roots. We're trying to change the party from the inside," Johnson said.
One of those candidates, Johnson said, was Barbara Davis White. She's challenging DFL Rep. Keith Ellison in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District. Johnson said they started the PAC because they had concerns with how the Minnesota Republican Party treated Ron Paul supporters at last week's state party convention. He also complained that the nation is facing serious problems and there isn't a viable Republican candidate running for president.
"It's like we have two Democrats running for president. We want to make this the last year that we nominate a Democrat out of the Republican Party. McCain is too liberal," he said.
Johnson was careful to say that they're not courting Ron Paul supporters but Ron Paul like-minded people. He said the push to get Paul elected is fizzling out since some of the supporters already split into minor groups. Johnson said he's hopeful that the new PAC will continue to attract those who support limited constitutional government, low taxes and free markets.
"People don't turn into a Ron Paul supporter. They're Ron Paul supporters and just don't know it."
Posted at 5:06 PM on June 6, 2008
by Tom Scheck
DFL Sen. Tom Bakk issued a news release yesterday announcing the formation of an exploratory committee for the 2010 race for Governor. It detailed his history and prompted people to go to his website.
It's no coincidence that Bakk issued the release just one day before the DFL state party convention starts in Rochester. It's a good chance for him to meet and greet plenty of the hardcore DFL activists.
Bakk's announcement got us thinking about the candidates who could run for governor in 2010. We're not talking about the candidates who can win - just the candidates who may decide to run. So let's go through our handy-dandy, back of the envelope list that I created (let me know if you know of others).
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (the GOP field is cleared if he decides to run again).
Brian Sullivan (which PIM says would be the GOP front-runner if Pawlenty doesn't run)
House Minority Leader Marty Seifert
Congressman Jim Ramstad (my head still hurts after I slapped myself for not asking about this when Ramstad announced he wasn't seeking another term. At the time he said he wasn't tired of public policy but was tired of the constant commute. D'OH!).
Rep. Laura Brod
Former Rep. Charlie Weaver
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann
Sen. Geoff Michel (he didn't deny a run when he decided not to run for Ramstad's seat).
Former Sen. David Gaither
Tom Bakk (already in)
Susan Gaertner (already in)
Former DFL Sen. Mark Dayton (he's throwing a big 'ol party this weekend)
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak
Rep. Tom Rukavina
Former Rep. Doug Peterson
Former House Minority Leader Matt Entenza
Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Congressman Tim Walz
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
DFL Sen. Ellen Anderson
DFL Sen. Tarryl Clark
Rep. Joe Atkins
Sen. Steve Murphy
Private businessman Kelly Doran
Anyone else? If not, Guess away!
UPDATE: Bill Salisbury with the Pioneer Press has a story that focuses on which possible candidates are working the DFL convention. He adds State Auditor Rebecca Otto to the mix. Read it here.
Posted at 5:18 PM on June 6, 2008
by Tom Scheck
Al Franken and Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer will battle for the DFL endorsement for the U.S. Senate on Saturday. There's also some suspicion that other names could be in the mix.
We won't be blogging the event. Why? Because we'll be airing the convention live on our News and Information Stations.
That means you can listen while you're driving in the car, doing some yard work or doing some spring cleaning. If your computer is chained to your leg, you can listen to the livestream provided at MPR's main site.
Why is this better? You'll get first hand accounts from the delegates, you'll hear Franken and Nelson-Pallmeyer make their pitch to the delegates. And you'll also get Gary Eichten.