Gov. Pawlenty appeared on Laura Ingraham's show yesterday and discussed a wide range of issues.
Pawlenty said "Yeah, we got a problem" when asked if Minnesota has an "Al Qaeda problem in Minnesota" because of the indictments of 8 Somali Minnesotans who went to fight in Somalia.
Pawlenty also discussed the situation regarding former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's decision to grant clemency to a person who allegedly shot and killed several police officers in Washington. Pawlenty said he never granted clemency during his time as governor and would not have granted clemency to the alleged shooter in Washington.
He also said he's not concerned about a recent poll in the Washington Post and defended his position on global warming.
Listen to the entire interview here.
Update: Huckabee pushes back.
DFLers in the Minnesota House want to take quick action on a bonding bill next session but Gov. Pawlenty says they should focus on other priorities. MPR, the Star Tribune and the Pi Press have stories.
Open enrollment is causing problems for the state's largest school districts.
The CDC says H1N1 is no longer widespread in Minnesota.
But clinics are told to hold the vaccine for high-risk groups.
KARE wonders if a Vikings stadium is now or never.
President Obama will release his plans on Afghanistan tonight. The Washington Post says he will send an additional 34,000 troops. You can listen to the prime-time address on MPR News.
Politico says Democrats are nervous about Obama's Afghanistan plan.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar tells the St. Cloud Times that she is wary of a troop buildup in the country.
The Treasury Department pushes mortgage firms for loan relief.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar wants Iran to release the hikers being held there.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz gave $2,196 back in office funds back to the Treasury. Update: Walz's office says the funds were from his refusal to take a salary increase not unpsent office funds.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar says the estimate on a Duluth to Minneapolis rail line is too high.
The Wall St. Journal says job cuts loom as the stimulus funding fades. Oberstar is mentioned.
Pawlenty for President Watch
Gov. Pawlenty gets 1% in a Washington Post poll of GOP voters considering 2012.
A former Republican Congressman from New Hampshire is co-hosting Pawlenty's New Hampshire fundraiser in December for New Hampshire Senate Republicans.
Pawlenty also appeared on Laura Ingraham's show yesterday (listen here). Pawlenty said "Yeah, we got a problem" when asked if Minnesota has an Al Qaeda problem in Minnesota because of the Somali issue.
He also said he never granted clemency during his time as governor and would not have granted clemency to the alleged shooter in Washington. He also said he's not concerned about a recent poll in the Washington Post and explains his position on global warming.
Conservatives rip former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee over a shooting in Washington.
Huckabee explains himself on Bill O'Reilly shows.
Seattle police shot and killed the suspect.
Time's The Page suggests
Alabama Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is eying a White House run.
2010 Race for Governor
The DFL candidates for governor differ on a sales tax expansion.
Discover Politics interviews DFLer Susan Gaertner.
2010 Race for Congress
Republican Randy Demmer will announce this morning that he's running for Congress in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District. Demmer, who lost the GOP endorsement in 2008, says he will not run for his Minnesota House seat again.
A former Crow Wing County prosecutor enters the race for Minnesota Attorney General.
Posted at 1:09 PM on December 1, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2010: Minnesota Governor
Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton is asking supporters to give $1 to his campaign for governor. In an e-mail, Dayton is calling December "A Dollar for Dayton" month. Dayton, heir to the family that founded Dayton's Department Store and Target, contributed $12 million of his own money in the 2000 election.
He told MPR in 2005 that fundraising was a major reason that he decided to not run for a second term in the U.S. Senate. Here's the e-mail he sent to supporters:
December is "A Dollar for Dayton" month! I'm asking you to please contribute One Dollar to my campaign.
Why a dollar? Because it's something everyone can do, even during these hard economic times. And because dollars, like votes, add up!
Every dollar helps our campaign to spread our message throughout Minnesota. Your dollar officially registers you as a Member of "Team Dayton" (if you're not already). There you will find other ways to get involved in our campaign and make a difference for Minnesota.
Please contribute your dollar NOW! (And ask five of your friends to do the same). THANK YOU for your support. I promise that, together, we will build A Better Minnesota!
Wishing you a joyful holiday month!
State Rep. Randy Demmer, R-Hayfield, issued a news release today announcing he'll once again run for Congress in Minnesota's 1st District.
Demmer is after the seat held by incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn. Demmer also ran in 2008 but lost his bid for the GOP endorsement. IN a phone interview, Demmer said he's disturbed and upset with the direction of Congress and what he sees as the expansion of government.
"I think we're in a period of unsustainable government growth, the likes of which we've never seen," Demmer said. "And I'm very concerned about today and I'm very concerned about the future. And I feel that I have an opportunity and or an obligation to step in and do something."
Demmer said his focus is on the Congressional race, and he will not seek re-election to the Minnesota House. Former state Rep. Allen Quist is also seeking the Republican endorsement in the 1st District.
Listen to the Demmer interview here. Listen
Update: The race for the GOP endorsement will get a bit more crowded tomorrow. MPR's Tom Scheck received a cryptic e-mail that said a "Fresh Face with Familiar Name to Announce Campaign for Congress in Minnesota's 1st District" on Wednesday morning. The Rochester Post-Bulletin speculates that it's Jim Hagedorn, son of former Congressman Tom Hagedorn.
Update: DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez released this statement on Demmer's candidacy:
"Randy Demmer is a perfect candidate for the right-wing, 'Party of No' Republicans. And now that he's running for Congress, Demmer is showing his true colors.
"As a state representative, Randy Demmer gladly accepted federal Recovery Act money for southern Minnesota. But now he is speaking out against all the jobs created by federal recovery money to gain favor with the Tea Baggers and ultra conservatives -- even calling the 7,000 teaching positions created or saved a waste. He believes the construction jobs created by highway work in Rochester were a waste; he believes the jobs created by replacing Highway 169 in St. Peter were the result of a free-for-all, and he believes that the jobs created by rebuilding the water plant in Waseca simply weren't worth it. Do voters in southern Minnesota really want a representative who opposes jobs and growth?
"Representative Walz is working to create jobs, fire up the economy and curb out-of-control health-care costs. He is focused on getting the job done and delivering for southern Minnesotans. Representative Walz has a proven record in Congress as a leader for Minnesota values, and his constituents will remember that record when they reelect him in November."
AP is reporting that President Obama announces 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, pullback to begin July 2011. Meanwhile, several Democrats in Congress are pushing for a tax to pay for the troop buildup. DFL Rep. Betty McCollum is one of those who signed on to the bill. Listen to her interview with MPR's Tom Crann here:
You can listen to President Obama's speech live tonight on MPR News stations. Coverage starts at 7pm.
Update: The White House released these excerpts of tonight's speech:
Excerpts of the President's Address to the Nation "The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 - the fastest pace possible - so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers. They will increase our ability to train competent Afghan Security Forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans can get into the fight. And they will help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans."
"Because this is an international effort, I have asked that our commitment be joined by contributions from our allies. Some have already provided additional troops, and we are confident that there will be further contributions in the days and weeks ahead. Our friends have fought and bled and died alongside us in Afghanistan. Now, we must come together to end this war successfully. For what's at stake is not simply a test of NATO's credibility - what's at stake is the security of our Allies, and the common security of the world."
"Taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011. Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground. We will continue to advise and assist Afghanistan's Security Forces to ensure that they can succeed over the long haul. But it will be clear to the Afghan government - and, more importantly, to the Afghan people - that they will ultimately be responsible for their own country."
I'm posting reaction from Minnesota's congressional delegation, etc. on President Obama's decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan (watch the speech here). I'm not sure who will provide statements, etc. (For what it's worth, here's what the members of the delegation said about Aghanistan in October.)
Statement from DFL Rep. Tim Walz:
"It is important that President Obama went through such a thorough decision-making process and talked with experts both within and outside of the Administration. His speech tonight gave us some good information about not just the troop increase, but also the mission, the plan for withdrawal and the resources necessary to finish the job.
"This speech is the first page in a new chapter on Afghanistan. I'm looking forward to the testimony of experts like General McChrystal and Secretaries Gates and Clinton before Congress as we carefully examine this new strategy. I'm also committed to continuing to engage the public on this topic and to having the Administration fill in additional details about our strategy. We as a nation need to better understand the total cost of continuing to wage war, and also the cost to our national security if we choose not to continue our efforts in Afghanistan. These are the kinds of things that I believe can be achieved by a national discussion on the topic, and I look forward to taking part in that discussion in the coming weeks and months."
Statement from GOP Rep. John Kline:
As a 25-year veteran of the Marine Corps, I remain committed to ensuring our troops have the equipment, resources, and support they need to do their jobs in the most effective manner possible. Our goal in Afghanistan remains the same - a stable country that denies the Taliban and al-Qaeda a safe haven from which to launch attacks against Afghanistan, Pakistan, or the U.S. and its allies.
"In August, General McChrystal said we're in danger of losing if we don't provide our troops with the resources they need. I don't want to send our sons and daughters - including my son, who is scheduled to return to Afghanistan early next year - into a situation we can't win. Accordingly, I have deep concerns regarding whether the President is providing sufficient U.S. forces in order to achieve success in Afghanistan while building the Afghan National Security Forces to a level that can sustain security gains achieved by U.S. and NATO troops.
"I also am concerned about any discussion of an 'exit strategy' or 'end game' that would telegraph to the Taliban and al-Qaeda the timeline necessary to run out the 'Washington clock.' Additionally, announcing a timeline for withdrawal sends a clear message to the Afghan people and the world that we are not committed to their safety.
"If we are going to risk even one more American life in this battle, we must do so with a strategy that gives us the best opportunities for success. I continue to desire safety and security for our nation and victory in Afghanistan, and look forward to hearing testimony from Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen, and General McChrystal in the coming days and weeks."
# # #
Statement from DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar:
"This was President Obama's most poignant and forceful speech to-date, he made a strong case intellectual case for expanding the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, stating clearly what the augmented force will do. He also made a compelling emotional appeal for stepping up the fight based on the attacks of September 11th. By personally addressing the cadets of West Point and acknowledging the sacrifice they are willing to make on our behalf, the President Obama demonstrated that he is aware of the profound human cost of this ongoing military engagement.
I was impressed with the fact that he laid out a timetable for withdrawal, rather than basing it on conditions under which a drawdown would occur. The later hedges the issue, while a timetable makes a commitment to accomplish the mission without delay.
But he didn't say how we will pay for it, and because of that I will have to reserve judgment until we see what specific requests he will make of Congress and what the true cost will be to the American people.
How does he propose to balance the expanded presence in Afghanistan against the desperate needs of our economy? Will an ongoing and expanded military presence in this region continue to be paid for as an off-budget, emergency expenditure, or will we identify how we will pay for it?
This is reminiscent of when President Lyndon Johnson said that we could pursue an expanded role in Viet Nam while maintaining a strong domestic economy. In the end the war in Viet Nam stifled the objectives of the Great Society. In pursuing both, we were not able to do either very well.
I have serious concerns about how we will proceed with a continued, and expanded, military presence in Afghanistan, while we move ahead with an effective domestic agenda that meets the needs of our nation during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Tonight, President Obama made a good start in addressing those concerns, but he has more work to do."
Statement from DFL Sen. Al Franken:
Franni and I have been to the funerals of thirteen service members from Minnesota in the short time I've been in office. With so many troops from Minnesota already deployed, I have been following the Obama administration's development of a new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan very closely. I am glad that the President has deliberated carefully and I will be closely examining the new strategy in the days and weeks ahead, starting with the testimony of Secretaries Gates and Clinton and Admiral Mullen this week. I go into that examination, quite frankly, skeptical about a strategy that involves a significant increase in the number of American troops. That is in no small part because I am deeply skeptical of the Afghan government. I need to be convinced that we have reliable partners in both Pakistan and Afghanistan; that the mission as outlined is achievable; that we are not making an open-ended commitment; and that there is a sensible way to pay for the war.
Statement from GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen:
"I was pleased to hear from the President tonight about his plan for the way forward in Afghanistan. On this issue, partisanship needs to be put aside, as a stable and secure Afghanistan is important not only to our national security, but to security in the entire region. We cannot allow a resurgence of Al Qaeda and the Taliban or increased instability in a nuclear-armed Pakistan.
While I support the President's goal of success in Afghanistan, I look forward to hearing additional details from Secretary Gates, General McChrystal and leading diplomats in the coming days. Above all else, we must ensure that our troops have the full resources and unwavering support they need as we move forward."
Statement from GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann:
"After several long months of deliberation, I'm pleased that the President has finally decided to follow the recommendation of our commanding officer in Afghanistan and deploy more troops to the country. As the President has said, the war in Afghanistan is a war of necessity. However, I sincerely hope that the President is truly committed to victory. While it's important to acknowledge that U.S. forces will not be in Afghanistan forever, we must not have a concrete time line for withdrawal as it will ultimately hurt our effort and energize our enemies. Clearly, it's in the vital interests of the United States to defeat the Taliban, destroy Al Queda, and establish a free, sovereign Afghanistan that can govern and look after its own people. Anything less and we're guaranteeing almost certain instability and chaos in the region. But going forward, we must be in it to win it because if we engage in this effort halfheartedly, then the war is already lost."
Statement from DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
"Tonight, the President laid out a defined strategy and mission for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. However, I remain concerned about the ability of the Afghan government to rid itself of corruption, govern effectively, and act as a credible partner in the fight against the Taliban. I look forward to hearing from Secretary of Defense Gates, Secretary of State Clinton, General McChrystal, and other military and diplomatic officials in the coming weeks on how this strategy will prevent Afghanistan from serving as a base for terrorism, the specific resources that will be necessary to carry out this mission, and the additional costs that it will require. Our troops deserve nothing less."
Statement from DFL Rep. Betty McCollum:
"Tonight, President Obama did exactly what he told the American people he would do during the campaign - make Afghanistan a priority. I support the President's commitment of additional resources to secure Afghanistan because achieving stability in that region is vital to the security of American families. After eight years of neglect by the Bush Administration, our fighting men and women will finally have the resources they need and a full U.S. commitment to success," Congresswoman McCollum said.
Last month, Congresswoman McCollum joined Appropriations Chairman David Obey as one of 10 original co-sponsors of the Share the Sacrifice Act of 2010 (H.R.4130), a bill to establish a temporary surtax to offset the costs of the Afghanistan war. About $300 billion has been spent on the conflict since 2001 and 68,000 U.S. troops are serving in Afghanistan.
McCollum said, "Achieving stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan is a national security priority that directly impacts the safety of our citizens. All additional funding necessary to achieve stability in this region should not be put on America's credit card, but paid for today. In a time of economic crisis, borrowing billions of dollars from China to pay for war in Afghanistan actually undermines our national security. Shared sacrifice means not only committing to fight a war but also committing to pay for it."