Under the Dome
The Pi Press says Xcel Energy wanted rate hikes to cover perks and travel. Attorney General Lori Swanson, a Democrat, objected to the idea.
Gov. Pawlenty opposes a proposed tax on medical device makers on the federal level.
Minnesota Republicans push for a health care amendment that would allow Minnesotans to refuse to participate in government health care if it passes.
A man brought two guns to the Obama rally in Minneapolis.
President Obama calls for greater international coordination to contain the current financial markets.
Mayo's top boss addresses the future of health care.
GOP Rep. John Kline will hold a town hall forum on health care on Friday.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann said "Thank God for Joe Wilson." Here's the video.
The Senate votes to deny funds for ACORN.
Labor cheers the tire tariffs.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar writes in an op-ed that the Recovery Act helped the economy.
Minnesota state Senator Mike Jungbauer, a Republican candidate for governor, was bitten by a bat.
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher will officially announce her campaign for governor on Wednesday.
A GOP CPA from Minnetonka is running for State Auditor.
2008 Race for U.S. Senate
The panel that decided the recount trial won an award.
Posted at 2:39 PM on September 15, 2009
by Tom Scheck
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and DFL Sen. Al Franken are pushing to remove a "fee" on medical device manufacturers in his Committee's health care reform bill. The action comes just one day after Gov. Tim Pawlenty raised the issue in a letter to Klobuchar and Franken. Here's the release from Klobuchar's office:
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Dick Lugar (R-MN) and Al Franken (D-MN) today called on Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus to reconsider the proposed fee on medical device manufacturers in his Committee's health care reform bill.
In the letter, the Senators say that the provision would harm economic development and health care innovation nationwide as well as in states like Minnesota and Indiana. They also point out that even without the proposed tax, the medical device industry will be impacted by health reform proposals.
"While we support efforts to ensure that any health care reform bill does not add to our country's deficit, this industry should not be forced to pay more than its fair share," said the Senators in today's letter.
Posted at 3:02 PM on September 15, 2009
by Tom Scheck
GOP state Rep. Tom Emmer of Delano agreed to pay $750 to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board after the board found that the owner of a sign company put up billboards on Emmer's behalf during the last two election cycles. The board found that it could have been a campaign finance violation after the owner of the company said it discussed the matter with Emmer's campaign manager in 2006. Campaign Finance Board executive director Gary Goldsmith said Emmer agreed to pay the penalty but is not admitting any wrongdoing.
"If you look at the conciliation agreement, you'll see that the Emmer Committee has agreed to notify its staff members of the conditions under which an inadvertent conversation in which an independent expenditure could become a contribution without even knowing it happened."
Emmer, who is a candidate for governor, said he's paying the fine because "he has a campaign to run." He said he never saw the signs. He also said his campaign manager didn't recall having a conversation about the signs let alone directed the sign be put up. Emmer said he disagrees with the board's findings but is moving on from the issue.
"Rather than getting caught up in a protracted battle, I agreed to a compromised settlement with no admission of liability because obviously I dispute the findings if there be a violation. But with the small amount that they're talking about it's better to put it behind us."
Emmer said he also hoped that the Legislature can address this issue so candidates are not held responsible for minor conversations that their campaign staff or volunteers have on their behalf.
Meanwhile, GOP state Sen. David Hann's campaign agreed to pay a penalty for accepting more than the maximum allowed from a registered lobbyist and a political committee. Hann is also running for governor.
The Campaign Finance Board also ordered a group called Progressive Majority to pay $1,025 for making payments to the DFL Party and Women Winning Minnesota without filing the proper paperwork.
Posted at 5:16 PM on September 15, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Minnesota's Congressional delegation voted down party lines on a vote to admonish GOP Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina. Wilson shouted "You lie" during President Obama's health care speech to Congress last week. The House passed the resolution of disapproval 240-179.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz, DFL Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL Rep. Keith Ellison, DFL Rep. Collin Peterson and DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar voted for the measure.
GOP Rep. John Kline, GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann voted against the measure.
Here's the Roll Call.
Posted at 5:54 PM on September 15, 2009
by Tom Scheck
The House DFL Caucus announced today that MN House Majority Leader Tony Sertich has been elected to serve ast the Minnesota House DFL Caucus Campaign Chair for the 2010 election cycle. The announcement isn't a surprise since House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher will have her hands full in the coming months. Kelliher will officially announce her campaign for governor tomorrow morning in Mankato.
Sertich will now have a greater say over candidate recruitment, fundraising and which candidates receive financial support from the caucus. He's also well positioned to become the next House Speaker if Kelliher's aspirations come true.
That being said, newly elected House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers is hoping the mid-terms favor the GOP and propels him to the Speaker's chair.
Posted at 6:02 PM on September 15, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Gov. Pawlenty and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann are both scheduled to speak at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. Bachmann is scheduled to attend a "national health care townhall" on Friday afternoon. Pawlenty is scheduled to speak on Friday night. Here's the schedule.
Meanwhile, the DNC is ripping Pawlenty in a new web video.