Posted at 12:48 AM on June 26, 2008
by Tom Scheck
MPR has a story detailing the money spent on lobbying during the first half of 2008. Here are some interesting tidbits:
467 groups spent more than $1,000 (for a total of $7,779,872).
130 groups spent more than $10,000 (for a total of $6,730,392).
14 groups spent more than $100,000.
The most spent by an individual business was Enbridge Energy Association (which lobbied the Public Utilities Commission). $252,718.
The most spent by an individual governmental unit was the city of St. Paul - $51,482.
The most spent by a union was the Minnesota Nurses Association - $182,165.
Here are the 2008 Top Spenders:
1) Minnesota Chamber (not including local chambers) - $509,777
2) Minnesota Business Partnership - $333,579
3) Minnesota Transportation Alliance (a coalition of unions and construction firms) - $323,486
4) MyWireless (a coalition of cell phone companies to fight higher cell phone taxes and increased cell phone regulation) - $291,750
5) Enbridge Energy Association - $252,718
6) Minnesotans Against Fraud and Higher Insurance Costs (lobbied against Good Faith Legislation) - $241,112
7) Coalition of Minnesota Businesses (a coalition of the MN Chamber and the MN Business Partnership) - $223,595
8) Flint Hills - $192,085
9) Marijuana Policy Project (lobbied to legalize medical marijuana) - $187,524
10) Minnesota Nurses Association - $182,165
11) AARP - $169,156
12) Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities - $162,644
13) Insurance Federation of Minnesota - $149,551
14) Education Minnesota - $116,015
15) National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (lobbied for the Mall of America expansion) - $97,593
Of the Top Ten spenders, only Minnesotans Against Fraud and Higher Insurance Costs spent fewer dollars than they did in 2007 (they spent $995,821 in 2007).
Apparently all of those Education Minnesota TV ads were not considered lobbying by the group. That's a source of some consternation by others who disclose all PR related activity.
The Minnesota Orthopaedic Society reported spending $210, 069 but their lobbyist says the number is incorrect . She says they're filing an amended report that says they spent $2169.
A poll of four battleground states by Quinnipiac University, the Wall Street Journal and the Washingtonpost.com raises real questions about whether Minnesota even deserves to be in the "battleground" category in the race for president.
The poll of voters in Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota shows Obama leading in all four states. But in Minnesota he tops John McCain by a blowout margin of 54-37.
Obama also has a big lead in Wisconsin 52-39.
The margins are closer in the other two states.
But as positive as the Minnesota poll results are for the Obama campaign, they contain troubling news for supporters of DFL U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken.
The poll shows Republican Sen. Norm Coleman leading Franken 51-41. And Coleman's lead is even bigger among independent voters 55-35.
"Sen. Obama sweeps nearly every demographic group in Minnesota, including whites and blue collar workers, to lead by 17 points, the biggest lead in the four states surveyed. At the same time, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, with overwhelming support among men and a tie among women, has a 10-point overall lead over comedian Al Franken, the Democratic challenger," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
And the poll also raises questions about the value of Gov. Tim Pawlenty as a McCain running mate.
"Most voters say it would not make any difference in their vote if Gov. Tim Pawlenty is McCain's running mate," Richards added.
The Digest is late today because we were waiting for poll results to be released.
A Quinnipiac poll shows that Minnesota may not be swinging as a Swing State when it comes to presidential politics. Democrat Barack Obama is leading John McCain by a wide margin - 54% to 37%.
It may, however, illustrate that Minnesotans are ticket splitters since GOP Sen. Norm Coleman is leading Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota's Senate Race by ten percentage points.
Pawlenty for VP watchers will take note that 56% of those polled say putting Gov. Pawlenty on the ticket won't impact their vote.
2008 Race for President
Politico says John McCain doesn't work weekends.
The netheads don't like Obama's stand on FISA.
MinnPost says the state campaign leaders for the Obama and McCain campaigns are taking different tracks.
CQ says the Senate surrogates for Obama and McCain ratchet up the rhetoric. DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is mentioned.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz talks about the meeting between House Democrats and Hillary Clinton.
Tom Steward, Norm Coleman's communications director, will become John McCain's local spokesman.
2008 Race for Senate
WCCO says Minnesota's Senate race is the most expensive in the country to date.
The Rothenberg Political Report suggests Minnesota's Senate race is headed GOP.
The Washington Post says Al Franken's campaign requested the Barack Obama or his wife make an appearance on Franken's behalf.
GOP State Rep. Laura Brod went to Washington DC to encourage the DSCC to condemn Franken's comments on rape.
Pawlenty for VP Watch
Talking Points Memo looks at a Pawlenty VP possibility. He said he's the most "boring" of the candidates.
The Wall Street Journal's political blog also has a Pawlenty profile.
The Boston Globe says Pawlenty appears to be a "presidential" VP pick.
Here's a question - Why is Pawlenty's Deputy of Chief of Staff defending Pawlenty to the Club for Growth? Their blogger (which is a must read for conservatives) writes a react to his react.
(UPDATE: I'm told Bob Schroeder no longer works in the Governor's office).
MPR took at the lobbying reports and found that business groups spent the most on lobbing in the first half of 2008.
DHS is looking for a new match to build Health Match.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says the state could see the highest voter turnout in 26 years.
The Minnesota Farm Bureau says the Legislature tackled Bovine TB in the past session.
A British magazine says Minneapolis is one of the Top 20 livable cities worldwide. MinnPost picks it up.
The foreclosure relief bill stalls in the Senate.
President Bush declares four Minnesota counties as disaster areas.
The Star Tribune takes a look at a dispute over who gets federal money from a settlement on a 19th century land deal with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson and DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar are mentioned.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz criticizes Big Oil in this op-ed.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachman goes toe to toe with New York Democrat Charlie Rangel on the AMT.
A few Minnesota organizations were on the GOP blacklist.
The fight over the Delta Queen continues. Oberstar is mentioned.
MinnPost says DFL Rep. Collin Peterson voted for the FISA bill.
St. Paul approves the 4AM bar closing with some restrictions.
A second protest group is given a permit.
Here's a list of who is protesting the RNC.
Maybe Jesse and this guy can join the "Predator Caucus" if they both get elected to the Senate. Quiz time: Which actor was the first to die in that movie? Mucho Bravo points to the first to answer!
Posted at 5:20 PM on June 26, 2008
by Tom Scheck
The National Journal has an interesting article detailing the relationship between GOP Sen. Norm Coleman and GOP operative Jeff Larson. The story says Coleman is living in Larson's Washington DC townhouse for $600 a month and hired Larson's wife to do constituent work for him. Here's the link to the story. She announced that she's leaving her post after the National Journal asked about her job.
UPDATE: Tom Steward, with Coleman's office, said Larson's wife resigned her post weeks before the National Journal asked about her position.