Posted at 7:26 AM on October 5, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Under the Dome
Minnesota's fingerprints are all over this fascinating New York Times story that looks at e coli and the path of ground beef. The Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota based Cargill are mentioned.
A Republican lawmaker will introduce legislation today that would fund a new Vikings stadium. GOP Rep. Tom Hackbarth introduced a bill last year that would let voters decide if a Twin Cities Casino should be built and the funding be dedicated for a new stadium. Pete and Repeat are on a fence?
The House Capital Investment Committee will visit Bemidji this week to consider local projects for the bonding bill.
The U of M's Board of Regents will meet this week to approve the school's bonding bill requests.
Industry experts say many nursing homes across the country are perilously close to closing.
A funding feud over pensions in the City of Minneapolis is headed to court.
The U.S. Ag Secretary speaks at the U of M today.
National Security Adviser Jim Jones says Afghanistan is in no immediate danger of falling.
President Obama delays a meeting with the Dalai Lama.
States are concerned about Medicaid growth in the health reform bill.
A government watchdog says the federal government wasn't entirely open about the financial health of banks. That hurt public support for TARP funds.
The new U.S. Supreme Court term looks at business regulations.
GOP leaders in Congress tell the head of the RNC to back off.
Smart Politics wonders whether DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and DFL Sen. Al Franken are exceeding expectations.
The Wall St. Journal covers the medical device tax in the health reform bill. Klobuchar and Franken are mentioned.
GOP Rep. John Kline hits the Obama Administration on the unemployment report.
The Hill picks up on DFL Rep. Betty McCollum's efforts to crack down on corporations that have been convicted of felonies.
Posted at 12:20 PM on October 5, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
A Republican legislator says the state could pay for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium with the revenue from slot machines.
Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, proposed today letting voters decide whether to amend the state constitution to allow slots at Minnesota's two horse racing tracks, Canterbury Park and Running Aces. Hackbarth introduced a similar plan earlier this year to create a new metro-area casino to fund a stadium. The "racino" idea has also been tried before without success. But with the Vikings Metrodome lease ending in 2011, Hackbarth says the state is running out of time.
"We have to do something about this issue," Hackbarth said. "We have to build a stadium. And my constituents are telling me I don't want taxpayer dollars gong to build a stadium, but I also don't want to see the Vikings leave. This is a perfect solution."
Hackbarth says he has not talked talked to officials with the Vikings or the horse racing tracks about his proposal.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty raised the stadium issue Friday during his weekly radio show. He sounded sympathetic to the Vikings but offered no specific solutions.
"I think it's fair to say the Metrodome has served us well, but it's time is fading," pawlenty said. "And so we've got to figure out a way to keep the Vikings here. We value the Vikings. They're an incredibly important asset to Minnesota."
But House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapils, isn't giving the stadium issue much of a chance next year.
Kelliher, who's also a candidate for governor, says everyone wants the Vikings to do well on the field. But she doesn't think the state can do much about a stadium with a major budget deficit on the way.
"I think it probably has a very difficult time getting traction, Kelliher said. "It's kind of like a truck on bare ice at this point."
Posted at 1:22 PM on October 5, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is scheduled to speak before The Economic Club of Minnesota on 10-15-09. Here are the details from the organization:
The Economic Club of Minnesota (ECOM) will host
The Honorable Ray LaHood
U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The Hyatt Regency
The Economic Club of Minnesota was created last year by former Congressmen Mark Kennedy (R), Tim Penny (DFL) and Bill Frenzel (R). The group says it is was created to "to provide a high-profile, non-partisan platform for national and international leaders in business, government and public policy to present their ideas on how Minnesota can better compete and win in an increasingly globalized economy and how America can most effectively provide world leadership."
Posted at 3:14 PM on October 5, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Politico over the weekend that Gov. Pawlenty should run for president in 2012:
Pawlenty is "certainly going to be a player. There is every reason he should run, there is wide open field right now," Gingrich said. "He's an example that the future of the Republican Party is bright and that we have lots of talent."
Pawlenty launched his Freedom First political action committee last week and announced the support of some topflight GOP campaign talent, including many who helped President George W. Bush secure reelection in 2004.
The Minnesota governor, who announced earlier this year he would not seek a third term, has increased his public profile lately through dozens of speeches to Republican activists and a steady stream of appearances on cable TV.
Pawlenty still has a low national profile, compared to former Republican Govs. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Sarah Palin of Alaska and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. But Gingrich told POLITICO that if unemployment remains near double digits heading into 2012, the Minnesota governor "could definitely take on the president."
"We need someone who is principled, articulate and practical. And I think Pawlenty would fit all three of those," Gingrich said. "It's a long way from starting to winning, as Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney and a lot of other people can share with Pawlenty. But it's great to have him out there."
"He's going to add new energy and more excitement to the game," the former Republican House speaker of Georgia said of Pawlenty. "He's going to draw more Republicans in and make our chances in 2010 even better."
Meanwhile, one of Pawlenty's potential GOP rivals has been busy on the fundraising circuit. The Hill says former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been active raising money for his federal Political Action Committee.