Posted at 6:55 AM on February 27, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Minnesota's jobless rate has hit 7.6%.
The Star Tribune says Minnesota's jobless rate is now as bad as the nation's rate.
Under the Dome
Supporters of aid to local governments begin a major push today to keep their funding at current levels. The group is holding a large news conference later this morning.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak enters the budget fray.
A bill is introduced to help the state's printing industry.
Many states are considering tax hikes and spending cuts.
President Obama released his budget plan yesterday.
The plan could cost Minnesota farmers.
Obama proposes $475 million for Great Lakes restoration.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says he was surprised when Obama mentioned Mineapolis in his speech to Congress.
The National Journal released its rankings on votes. DFL Rep. Betty McCollum has the most liberal voting record in the U.S. House.
The Hormel Institute could land some federal money. DFL Rep. Tim Walz is mentioned.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen explains why he voted against the stimulus bill.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison questions the Capitol Hill screening of a film that some argue is anti-Islamic.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann reportedly told RNC Chair Michael Steele that "You be da man!"
MinnPost takes a look at what the stimulus package offers farmers. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.
2008 Race for U.S. Senate
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Norm Coleman should concede.
Coleman, however, may be signaling support for a do-over election.
The Pi Press says some fishy looking ballots should not be taken at face value.
Good-bye Bill Holm.
Posted at 7:51 AM on February 27, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Here's the synopsis.
6. Tim Pawlenty: T-Paw is the tortoise of the 2012 race -- carefully picking his spots to speak out on the national stage, always wary of overexposure or a misstep. There are strengths and weaknesses to that strategy. On the positive side, Pawlenty avoids looking desperate or craven with three years before the election, and he has some time outside of the national spotlight to hone his message. On the negative, he seems resistant to putting together the sort of political structure -- advisers who have been through this process before, a political action committee that allows him to donate to would-be supporters in places like Iowa and New Hampshire -- that other candidates (Romney, Palin) are already building. (Previous ranking: 6)
For what it's worth, The Fix says Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is the top Republican to watch.
Posted at 12:34 PM on February 27, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Former DFL House Minority Leader Matt Entenza announced his campaign team for governor. He hired the former political director and the former fundraiser for DFL Rep. Tim Walz. He hired two staffers from Al Franken's senate campaign. He also hired the spokeswoman for Steve Sarvi, who ran for Congress in Minnesota's 2nd District. You can see the announcement on Entenza's Facebook page.
Posted at 12:49 PM on February 27, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
DFL leaders in the Minnesota House and Senate say a series of town hall meetings reinforced the need for a fair state budget solution.
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, said today that 6,500 people attended 23 hearings throughout the state, and 1,500 testified. That's on top of 3,000 suggestions submitted to the House Web site. Kelliher said the response shows Minnesotans understand the state is in a fiscal crisis and that tough choices will have to be made.
"They are most concerned about how fairness is applied in this situation," Kelliher said. "Fairness both in terms of cuts and fairness in terms of the use of the federal dollars and fairness in terms of any revenue raised. And they spoke loud and clear about this."
House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, says the data gathered from the hearings will be shared with appropriate budget committees for further discussion. Sertich said there were a lot of ideas, but not necessarily any new ones.
"Sometimes it's not even a matter of getting new ideas, Sertich said. "It's a matter of reinforcing what Minnesota's priorities are."
Republicans have suggested Democrats would use the public hearings to set the stage for proposed tax increases. Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester, the minority leader in the Minnesota Senate, said he heard from a lot of people across the state who are in financial pain and hanging on the edge.
"We don't think taxes right now are an appropriate way to balance this budget," Senjem said. But if that's what the majority caucus wants to bring forward, that's fair. Let's just bring the process forward, get it going and we can debate that."
Posted at 2:42 PM on February 27, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Sara Grewing, Chief of Staff to St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and former staffer for DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar, says there are a few Minnesotans working in the Obama Administration.
Here's her list:
Bill Burton - Deputy White House Press Secretary, former staffer to DFL Rep. Bill Luther. Burton graduated from the University of Minnesota.
Franny Starkey Sanguin - Director of Advance and Scheduling for the First Lady. She was the communications director for Terri Bonoff's campaign. She was also the scheduling and advance director for DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar's campaign in 2006.
Semonti Mustaphi - Deputy Press Secretary to the First Lady, former communications director for DFL Sen. Klobuchar. She was also press secretary for Klobuchar;s 2006 campaign.
Jessica Wright - Deputy Director of Scheduling to the President. She is the former education and health care outreach director for Klobuchar.
Elizabeth Nelson - Elizabeth Nelson is a scheduler for President Obama, former field staff on Klobuchar for Minnesota
Joe Paulsen -
Director of Scheduling for the NSAScheduling liaison between the White House and the Cabinet, the son of Minnesota state Senator Terri Bonoff. Bonoff e-mailed me the correction on Paulsen's job.
Jake Sullivan - Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Clinton, former policy staffe for Klobuchar.
Are there others?
Posted at 3:24 PM on February 27, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
Two DFL Senators are asking Gov. Tim Pawlenty to hold off on filling a vacant cabinet position as a way to save money.
Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, who chairs the higher education committee, and Sen. Richard Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, chair of the finance committee, wrote a letter to the governor suggesting he not replace Susan Heegaard as director of the Office of Higher Education.
"In light of the current budget crisis that Minnesota faces, we believe that it is imperative that we look for savings at every level," Pappas and Cohen wrote.
"Our suggestion is in no way a reflection of the quality or the importance of the work Ms. Heegaard directed: in fact we feel that she did an outstanding job in her role." However, we also believe that the office will be able to manage in the very capable hands of Acting Director Mark Misukanis."
Pawlenty announced in January that Heegaard would leave her post Feb. 5, to work for the Bush Foundation.
A spokesman for Gov. Pawlenty offered this comment:
Governor Pawlenty places a high priority on higher education accountability and reform. Minnesota businesses are depending on Minnesota colleges and universities to turn out qualified workers. That's why the Governor elevated the Office of Higher Education to a cabinet level agency during his first term.
Posted at 5:42 PM on February 27, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Gov. Pawlenty has been making the rounds in Minnesota's business community since he announced his budget plan on January 27th.
His public events schedule says he's spoken to 20 business related groups between January 28th and February 27th. They include 15 local chambers of commerce, the Independent Community Bankers, the Anoka Area Rotary Club, Enterprise MN, the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Industrial Office Properties and Silent Power (a renewable energy manufacturer). Pawlenty's busiest speaking day to business groups was on February 17th. He spoke to the Faribault, Owatonna and Winona Chambers of Commerce on that day.
Pawlenty may have some work to do if he wants to visit every local chamber before the end of session. An official with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce says they are affiliated with/work with about 130 local chambers of commerce.
As you already know, Pawlenty has proposed a bunch of business tax breaks with the hopes that it will stimulate the economy.
You can see what Pawlenty is saying to business groups here.
UPDATE: Jim Pumarlo, with the MN Chamber, says Pawlenty has another 15 visits to local chambers of commerce over the next few weeks.