GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is urging the public to storm Washington D.C. this week to take a stand against the health care legislation moving through the U.S. House. Bachmann and four others have scheduled a Thursday news conference on the steps of the Capitol and is hoping that the public joins here. Here's part of the press release:
"The American people spoke loud and clear at town hall meetings all across the country throughout August. But, it would appear that Congress didn't hear a word they had to say. The Democrats' latest health care proposal unveiled late last week may be packaged a little differently, but it's the same old bad bill as before.
"This bill is a trillion-dollar, budget-busting, government takeover of our health care system. It will put bureaucrats between people and their health care. It will lead to rationed care, hurting the most vulnerable amongst us first. It will break the bank, leaving our children to pay the bill with diminished freedoms and dwindling prosperity.
"The American people need to stand up again and make sure that Congress hears them this time. Speaker Pelosi is putting her bill on fast track to a vote - and it remains to be seen if the House will even get a chance to vote on the commonsense Republican alternatives. The people need to make a House Call on Washington this week and tell their Representatives to vote no to a government take-over of one-fifth of our economy. This is gangster government at its worst.
"I urge all Americans to come to Washington this Thursday. Come and meet up with your Representative and tell them that you want to control your health care."
The Hill reports that Bachmann first raised this idea on Fox News on Friday.
Posted at 6:53 AM on November 2, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The New York Times says the White House is confident that a bill that changes health care will pass.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is a firm no on the proposed health care legislation.
The Pi Press says DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and DFL Sen. Al Franken differ on how to approach the public option.
The Washington Post says states are likely to shape health care law. Pawlenty is mentioned.
President Obama is seeking options on Afghanistan.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai's challenger drops out. That effectively gives Karzai a second term.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz talks about Afghanistan with MSNBC.
Intelligence spending increased again.
The Senate and the White House reach an agreement on reporter shield protections.
Klobuchar and MN Attorney General Lori Swanson promote anti-fraud measures.
Franken urges supporters to give to North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan.
The Huffington Post says DFL Rep. Tim Walz supports a repeal of "Don't ask, Don't tell."
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar says the White House is undercounting the transportation jobs created by the stimulus.
A Minnesota ad firm sues a Florida Congressman.
Under the Dome
The FBI will oversee the Metro Gang Strike Force replacement.
Gov. Pawlenty says he thinks they'll prevail against any lawsuits challenging his unallotment authority.
Several state lawmakers will travel to Israel.
State lawmakers want to make sure that minority and low-income workers get stimulus funding.
Minnesota farmers help the needy.
Some of the candidates running for Mayor of Minneapolis and St. Paul will debate the issues today on Midday.
2010 Race for Governor
Republican Pat Anderson officially kicks off her campaign this morning in St. Paul.
Here's a list of where the candidates will be this week.
GOP state Rep. Steve Drazkowski is backing Tom Emmer for governor.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Pawlenty is in Washington D.C. today and tomorrow to discuss education policy.
Pawlenty talks health care with the American Spectator.
Sarah Palin declines an Iowa speaking request.
State Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, announced his "Southeast Minnesota Leadership Team" today. The candidate for governor released the list during an online
news conference web chat.
"I am honored to have the support of these leaders," Seifert wrote. "This group represents a wide-range of ages, life experiences, professional backgrounds, and leadership experience."
Here's the team:
*Chuck Bradford - Mantorville, Chairman Dodge County Republicans, Deputy Chair 1st Congressional District Republicans
*Fran Bradley - Rochester, former State Representative
*Mike Falk- Albert Lea, Activist, Youth for McCain State Co-Chair 2008
*Katie Gottwalt - Mankato, Vice Chair Minnesota State-Mankato College Republicans
*Jerry Groebner - Madison Lake, Chairman Blue Earth County Republicans
*Bruce Kaskubar, Rochester, Chairman Olmstead County Republicans
*Bob Kierlin, Winona, Former State Senator, Founder of Fastenal
*Tom Kuntz - Owatonna, Mayor
*Mary Myers - Mankato, Republican National Alternate '80, '84, Local Reagan Chair
*Carla Nelson - Rochester, former State Representative
*Jerry Pappenfuss- Winona, business owner, past MN Broadcasters assoc. President
*Sean Paskach - Mankato, executive director Minnesota State-Mankato College Republicans
*Andru Peters- Lake City, Goodhue County BPOU state delegate
*Mark Piepho - Mankato, former State Representative and State Senator
*Robert F. Pierret - Mankato, longtime activist
*Aaron Pilcher- Waseca, Waseca County Activist
*Duane Quam - Byron, former Chair 1st Congressional District Republicans
*Dustin Quimby - Albert Lea, former Treasurer 1st Congressional District Republicans
*Lewis Reiman - Utica, former candidate State House
*Michelle Rifenberg- La Crescent, former State Representative, Former Deputy Chair Minnesota Republican Party
*Connie Ruth - Owatonna, former State Representative
*Howard Swenson - Nicollet, former State Representative
*Dr. Scott Wright - Rochester, former State Senate candidate
Former State Auditor Pat Anderson says she would expand the state sales tax to clothing and some services in exchange for cuts in corporate and individual income taxes. The Republican candidate for governor kicked off a 14 city tour this morning at the State Capitol to discuss her ideas for improving Minnesota. The announcement comes exactly one year before the 2010 election. Anderson said she thinks the state's tax system is one area ripe for change.
"We need to move away from taxes on productivity and towards taxes on consumption," Anderson said.
Anderson also said she opposes business subsidies like Governor Pawlenty's JOBZ initiative for rural Minnesota businesses. Anderson is one of eight Republican candidates running for governor.
You can listen to her full speech and the following news conference here: Listen
Former Republican Party Chair Chris Georgacas is contacting Republican activists to gauge interest in whether GOP businessman Brian Sullivan should enter the race for governor.
Fourth District GOP Vice Chair Bill Jungbauer, State Vice Chair representing the 4th Congressional District, Bill Jungbauer said Georgacas contacted him last week by e-mail and phone to discuss Sullivan's potential as a candidate. Jungbauer said Georgacas told him Sullivan has strong business experience.
"I believe they're feeling out support for him," Jungbauer said.
Jungbauer said he told Georgacas that he has nothing against Sullivan but is backing former State Auditor Pat Anderson.
Georgacas declined comment when contacted by MPR News. Several sources say he and former Minnesota Republican National Committeeman Jack Meeks are contacting GOP activists to gauge interest in whether there's interest in a Sullivan candidacy. Meeks did not return calls for this report. Former Minnesota Republican Party Chair Ron Carey, who has close ties to Sullivan, also declined comment.
Sullivan did not return repeated calls for comment. He announced in June that he was not going to run for governor in 2010. At the time, he said he wasn't running because he has young children and was trying to start a new business. One Republican activist, who declined to be named because he wasn't authorized by Sullivan to speak, said Sullivan is now giving it serious consideration.
"I would be more surprised if he didn't get in at this point," the activist said.
Sullivan could spend his own resources if he decides to run for governor. In 2002, he lost the GOP endorsement to Tim Pawlenty after spending $2.8 million on the contest, most of it his own money. Sullivan is also well known among GOP activists and is currently Republican National Committeeman for Minnesota.
GOP Party Chair Tony Sutton, who managed Sullivan's 2002 campaign, said he's heard discussion that Sullivan could get into the race but hasn't been privy to any of the details.
"You here rumors all of the time about different candidates," Sutton said. "I hear rumors about Brian Sullivan. I hear rumors about Norm Coleman. I hear rumors about Jim Ramstad. There are always rumors out there who may or may not be running."
There are currently eight Republicans running for governor; Pat Anderson, Leslie Davis, Rep. Tom Emmer, Bill Haas, Sen. David Hann, Phil Herwig, Sen. Michael Jungbauer and Rep. Marty Seifert .
Gov. Pawlenty announced in June that he's not running for a third term.
You can find out where Sullivan stood on the issues in 2002 here.
Posted at 3:38 PM on November 2, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
The Republican Party of Minnesota is backing candidates in four school board elections tomorrow.
GOP officials are distributing sample ballots listing their preferred candidates in the following school districts: Inver Grove Heights, St. Paul, South Washington County and West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan. They're also making financial contributions.
Partisan endorsements are rare in school districts outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul. But state GOP Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb says the practice could become more common. He says the party has been encouraging local units to endorse school board candidates.
"Local party activists sometimes choose not to endorse candidates, and that's fine," Brodkorb said. "It's a local decision. But when the locals do gather and decide to endorse, the party will step up."
The GOP is backing two candidates in Inver Grove Heights, which is the home district of state GOP Chairman Tony Sutton. His wife, Bridget Sutton currently serves on that school board but is not up for re-election this year. Brodkorb said the state party played no role in the endorsements.
A spokeswoman for the Minnesota DFL says St. Paul is the only school district with DFL-endorsed school board candidates on the ballot tomorrow.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen sent the complete health care bill to libraries in Edina, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie so his constituents can read the hard copy. Paulsen, who opposes the legislation, said he wants everyone to have a chance to review the legislation:
"With the U.S. House of Representatives expected to debate the bill and possibly vote on it as early as this week, every member of Congress needs to carefully review this bill - and I want to ensure my constituents have the same opportunity."
You can also read the bills online.
Side note: There were several hundred page Health and Human Services bills that were rushed through the Legislature during Paulsen's time as GOP House Majority Leader.
Posted at 5:22 PM on November 2, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Tomorrow is Election Day. You can find your polling place here.
MPR is also airing a special election show Tuesday night at 8pm.