Posted at 7:10 AM on October 9, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman made a stunning announcement when he said he wasn't running for governor. It was widely expected that Coleman would enter the race. MPR, the Star Tribune, AP and the Pi Press have stories.
Five of the DFL candidates for governor told MPR that Matt Entenza told them he would spend whatever it takes to win the governor's race.
Entenza and the other remaining DFL candidates for governor will attend a debate today in Duluth. The union, AFSCME, is hosting the debate.
Meanwhile, five of the GOP candidates for governor will attend a debate on Saturday in Washington County.
Pat Anderson, the Former State Auditor and current GOP candidate for Governor, writes an op-ed criticizing the Star Tribune's editorial board for saying the GOP field leaves room for a moderate.
Under the Dome
Many of the Midwestern governors met in Michigan and unite to draw green business. Gov. Pawlenty was not in attendance.
Members of the House Capital Investment Committee are predicting quick action on a bonding bill.
Minnesota investigators find sexual abuse at a St. Louis Park nursing home.
More drunken driving offenders are using an interlock ignition program.
A task force says the U of M has a big revenue problem.
12 northwest Minnesota counties have been declared a disaster area.
Minnesota nurses will march on Pawlenty's office to protest his budget cuts.
Minnesota's seatbelt use his 90 percent.
DFL Rep. John Lesch has signed up with the Minnesota National Guard to be an infantryman.
The RNC 8 attorneys want the trials consolidated.
President Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
The award comes at a time when Obama is trying to decide whether to send more troops into Afghanistan.
The Washington Post says the U.S. will try to weaken not vanquish the Taliban.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz attended a White House meeting on Afghanistan.
Republicans, like GOP Rep. John Kline, wanted key Defense personnel at a classified White House briefing on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Obama will sign a bill to help U.S. Dairy farmers.
A Quinnipiac Poll says Republicans are getting their lowest grades since President Obama was elected.
The House votes to expand the definition of hate crimes. The Star Tribune says "Minnesota's House delegation was split. Voting "yes" were Democrats Ralph Ellison, Betty McCollum, Jim Oberstar, and Tim Walz and Republican Erik Paulsen. Voting "no" were Republicans Michele Bachmann and John Kline and Democrat Collin Peterson."
Democratic women in the U.S. Senate speak about health care. DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is mentioned.
Unemployment benefits have been extended for Minnesotans under a Senate bill. Klobuchar is mentioned.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz said he's open to the idea of a soda tax.
DFL Sen. Al Franken signed a letter supporting the public option in the final health bill. Klobuchar did not sign the letter.
Franken also wants to end tax breaks for drug company marketing.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen blogs about free trade.
The DNC goes after GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann over her health care claims.
Bill O'Reilly wonders whether Democrats are attacking Bachmann because of her looks.
Bachmann signed on to a letter that raises concerns that Google voice will harm rural consumers.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty was in Atlanta yesterday to attend RGA meetings.
A constitutional scholar says history is on Mitt Romney's side to win the Republican nomination.
Congress will look into the Vikings case.
Posted at 9:24 AM on October 9, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Gov. Pawlenty congratulated President Obama for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. During his weekly radio show, Pawlenty said "I think an appropriate response is to say congratulations."
"I would say regardless of the circumstances, congratulations to President Obama for winning the Nobel Prize. I know there will be some people who are saying 'Was it based on good intentions and thoughts or is it going to be based on good results?' But I think the appropriate response is when anybody wins a Nobel Prize that is a very noteworthy development and designation and I think the appropriate response is to say 'Congratulations."
Pawlenty later said on the show "I'm struggling with this" when he talking with Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle about it. Doyle said "I think it's great" that Obama won the Nobel Prize. Doyle also said he thinks Obama will be president for eight years (Irony alert that Doyle said that on Pawlenty's show since Pawlenty is a possible 2012 opponent to Obama).
Later on the show, Pawlenty said this:
"I do think the concern that is it's more about process and aspiration rather than results is a valid one but I do think overall when someone wins a Nobel Prize the appropriate response is to say 'Congratulations."
Here's the audio of Pawlenty's two statements:
Posted at 10:09 AM on October 9, 2009
by Tim Nelson
Filed under: Campaign 2008: MN Legislature
Fourth-term St. Paul DFLer John Lesch said today he's heading for Fort Benning next week to start basic training with the Minnesota National Guard.
Or the Minnesota National Guard, more properly put.
It's something he says he's always considered. (He is also a former seminarian, and once considered the Catholic priesthood.) He said his controversial and unauthorized trip to Baghdad in 2006 helped renew his interest in military service -- even though U.S. authorities weren't exactly thrilled at the time that he'd shown up uninvited in their midst in Iraq.
Still, Lesch says he's going to do it the right way this time. He's temporarily leaving his job as a St. Paul city proseuctor and going to Georgia for basic training. He plans to return to Minnesota in time for the legislative session on February 4.
While active military service in the Legislature is rare, it's not unheard of: one-time DFL Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson was a National Guard general while at the Capitol.
Lesch, though, is going in at a little lower rank. He says he'll be an E-4, one step above a private 1st class.
"I have a lot of constituents and many of my colleagues have constituents who have been activated and deployed overseas," Lesch said. "I'm going to get a different perspective about how to serve those constituents and what their needs are."
And then some, no doubt.
Posted at 3:32 PM on October 9, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
Since entering the race five months ago, Reed has said she would seek the DFL party endorsement to challenge incumbent Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. But Reed's pledge to abide by that process is now wavering. State Sen. Tarry Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, who's also running in the 6th district, has been piling up several key endorsements from organized labor. Reed says she now wants to keep her options open, including running in a primary, because she never got a shot at those union endorsements.
"We weren't even screened," Reed said. "I didn't even get a call saying we're going forward, would you like to come in Maureen and screen with us? And that's been disappointing to me. If this isn't an open and fair process here, maybe I should keep my options open."
The Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council and the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters have confirmed that Reed was not screened for endorsements that went to Clark. Officials with the Minnesota AFL-CIO and Minnesota Nurses Associations say they interviewed both DFL candidates for endorsement and Clark prevailed. Other unions have not returned phone calls.
Clark said she is focused on her campaign, not Reed's.
Posted at 3:36 PM on October 9, 2009
by Tom Scheck
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and DFL Sen. Al Franken will appear at the Minnesota State Capitol on Sunday for the unveiling of the state's flag stamp. The United States Postal Service announced the images of the fifty flag stamps in August but the official ceremony will be held in Minnesota on Sunday. Here's what the Minnesota stamp looks like:
The USPS gave this description of the stamp:
The flag design incorporates the state seal, state flower, state name, and important dates in state history. Snapshot art features a grain elevator on a riverbank with swans in the foreground.
Question of the day: Do you think the stamp represents Minnesota?
Posted at 3:54 PM on October 9, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Here's a list of who will be on the Sunday public policy shows.
This week on Almanac, Minnesota National Guard Chaplain John Morris joins us from Basra, Iraq to talk about the death of Maj.Tad Hervas earlier this week; Rep. Tom Hackbarth and Rep. Mindy Greiling debate funding for a new Vikings stadium and Macalester College President Brian Rosenberg stops by to chat about their new green building.
KSTP's At Issue:
GOP candidate for Governor Bill Haas. Political analysis and debate from Annette Meeks, Blois Olson, Cathie Hartnett and David Strom.
WCCO's Sunday Morning:
Rep. Marty Seifert
Rep. Tom Hackbarth
General Mills rep talking about Join My Village-- an on line community that empowers Americans to unlock General Mills funds to help fight poverty in Africa. Doctor talking about the H1N1 virus and what people/parents can do to watch out for it.
Capitol Report (Sundays on some PBS channels):
Julie Bartkey sits down with the Sen. Linda Scheid, Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, to discuss whether Minnesota's banking system is sound. Gambling on revenue for a new Viking stadium, Rep. Tom Hackbarth proposes a constitutional amendment that would add slots to existing race tracks, and Senator Ann Lynch details why she thinks Rochester is the best route for high speed rail.
Guest: Sen. Tom Harkin.
CBS' Face the Nation:
GUESTS: Sen. Mitch McConnell; Sen. Jack Reed; David Ignatius, Washington Post; Michael O'Hanlon, Brookings.
CNN's State of the Union:
Sen. John McCain
Fox News Sunday:
TOPIC: Eceonmy, Unemployment numbers, recovery. GUESTS: Steve, Wynn, Wynn Resorts; Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Michigan; Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana; Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moodys Economy.com.
NBC's Meet the Press:
TOPICS: Iraq, Afghanistan, Health Care; Jobs. Guests: Sen. Carl Levin; Sen. Lindsay Graham; Gen. Barry McCaffrey, fmr, Commander-in-chief, U.S. Southern Command; Gen. Richard Myers, fmr, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Ron Brownstein, National Journal; Paul Gigot, Wall Street Journal; Katty Kay, BBC; Bob Woodward, Washington Post.
Posted at 6:15 PM on October 9, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Ten of the DFL candidates for governor participated in a debate in Duluth this afternoon. The forum was hosted by AFSCME Council 5.
MN House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, state Sen. Tom Bakk, former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, former state Rep. Matt Entenza, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, former state Sen. Steve Kelley, state Sen. John Marty, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, state Rep. Tom Rukavina and state Rep. Paul Thissen all took part in the debate. None of the GOP candidates decided to attend.
You can listen to the two hour forum here:
Thanks to MPR's Bob Kelleher for getting me the audio.