On the same day that DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar endorsed DFL state Sen. Tarryl Clark for Congress in Minnesota's 6th District, Maureen Reed announced that she's running in the primary. Here's part of the e-mail she sent to supporters:
With this in mind, I want to address the question about the DFL endorsement. After fully analyzing the situation, I have decided that if I do not receive the endorsement at the convention this spring, we will proceed to the DFL primary election.
We used thoughtful consideration to reach this conclusion since I have such a great deal of respect for the dedicated individuals in the DFL who generously give their time working to improve our state and nation. However, the Sixth District is unique in that it is more moderate and independently minded in its political leanings than the state as a whole. In fact, we conducted a poll which showed that the profile of the Democratic primary voter is more diverse in political philosophy than those who participate in the conventions.
Recent campaign results in the Sixth District show that a big-tent Democrat who appeals to independent voters has the best chance to defeat Michele Bachmann. For example, last year, President Obama won Minnesota by double digits but lost to John McCain 53% to 45% in our district. That same year in the Sixth District, Norm Coleman beat Al Franken by 16 points, and Dean Barkley ended up with 17% of the vote.
Democracy works best when more people are involved. We feel that the most democratic action we can take is to let Democrats of all stripes choose their general election candidate in a primary.
Minnesota is, in fact, a red state. It's deep in red ink. The state budget forecast says the state is facing a $1.2 billion budget deficit this session and a $5.4 billion deficit in the next two-year budget. MPR, the Star Tribune, KARE, the Pi Press and AP have stories.
Democrats in the Legislature say they want to focus on jobs.
Here's a look at the history of MN budget forecasts since 2001.
Senate DFLers want a new DEED Commissioner.
Despite budget problems, the push for a new Vikings stadium continues. A rally is scheduled at the Capitol today.
Two Minnesota gang databases draw fire.
Skeptical Democrats resign themselves to President Obama's war plan.
Obama holds a jobs summit today.
Senators place a hold on Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke's nomination. He testifies before Congress today.
Republicans say Democrat Al Franken is playing politics with his amendment that is designed to protect rape victims.
I forgot to post this one yesterday. Politico says Franken won't talk with reporters in the Capitol hall. All questions get referred to his press person.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including DFL Rep. Keith Ellison, tell Obama that he's done too little for African Americans.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson says he reached a deal with Democrat Barney Frank on a bill to impose federal regulation for the first time on the over-the-counter derivatives market.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar outlines his $100 billion transportation plan.
2010 Race for Governor
Stu Rothenberg says Minnesota is a toss-up.
Democrats Mark Dayton, Matt Entenza and Paul Thissen will speak before the RenewMN folks tonight.
Politico says Republican Norm Coleman's reemergence is drawing buzz.
DFLer R.T. Rybak visits with liberal/progressive bloggers tonight.
Democrat Matt Entenza talked economy and the environment in Frazee.
Discover Politics talks with Democrat John Marty.
2010 Race for Congress
You can listen to an interview with Hagedorn here.
A Blue Stem Prairie, which supports DFL Rep. Tim Walz, says Hagedorn scrubbed some of the more "questionable" posts from his blog. Update: I'm told that the Minnesota Independent broke the story first. I apologize for the error.
The MNGOP runs an ad ripping DFL Rep. Tim Walz for his health care vote.
Democrat Maureen Reed now says she won't abide by the DFL endorsement. CQ and MinnPost have stories. Side note, an official with SEIU says Reed did, in fact, screen with them as a part of a much larger screening process with several unions. Update: Reed's campaign takes issue with those comments.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is backing Tarryl Clark in the 6th.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Pawlenty is out of the state today in Michigan (prayer breakfast) and Chicago (PAC fundraiser).
Things got a bit tense during Pawlenty's news conference when he was challenged on his out of state travel and his political aspirations.
Tom Conlon is the third Republican to join the race for State Auditor.
Mark Dayton's campaign for governor says the former U.S. Senator will visit Minnesota 87 counties in 87 days starting in January. Here's the release:
On January 20, 2010 we will officially launch our "Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota" campaign, with a public announcement at the State Capitol.
That day will also begin our "87 Counties in 87 Days" tour throughout Minnesota. During the 87 days after January 20th, Mark will drive to every one of our state's 87 counties. He will focus on critical challenges confronting Minnesota: jobs, economic growth, education, health care, and seniors' services.
Mark will also be holding "Meet and Greet" get-togethers throughout our state. Starting next year, we will provide advance notices of these events on our website: www.markdayton.org. We invite you to stop by a location convenient for you.
An invitation has gone out saying Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be the headliner at a big dollar private fundraiser for a Minnesota conservative group when she comes to the Twin Cities next week to promote her book.
Minnesota Public Radio News has obtained a fundraising letter that says Palin will appear at the fundraiser for a group called the Freedom Club. The invitation says the fundraiser will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Bloomington after Palin's book signing at the Mall of America on Monday.
The fundraising letter says couples and individuals are asked to contribute $5,000 to attend the event. An e-mail that accompanied the fundraising letter said the event is "an opportunity to personally meet Sarah Palin, get a personal photo and get a personally signed book." The e-mail also said "fewer than 100 people will attend the event."
Midge Dean, the contact on the fundraising invitation, declined comment when asked to confirm Palin's appearance.
"I can't tell you right now, " Dean said.
Palin, who was John McCain's running mate in 2008, has been touring the country to promote her book "Going Rogue." She has been holding private events in addition to the public book signings. Several reports say she's asking for speaking fees of upwards of $100,000 to appear at the events. No word on whether the Freedom Club is paying a fee.
The Freedom Club invitation says all proceeds from the fundraiser will be dedicated to its state Political Action Committee which is geared towards helping elect Republicans to the Minnesota House.
A source with the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council says they will announce later today that the union is backing DFL State Sen. Tom Bakk for governor.
The source asked to remain anonymous because the news release hasn't been issued yet. The union is the voice for unionized construction workers in Minnesota. It has fifty thousand members.
This is Bakk's second endorsement. The Northern Central State Regional Carpenters Council are also backing him.
Here's the release:
Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council endorses Bakk for governor
The Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents 50,000 construction members across the state, has endorsed Sen. Tom Bakk for governor.
Council President Harry Melander said Bakk is hitting the nail on the head with what's happening in the economy and what's on the minds of voters with his campaign message of "jobs, jobs, jobs".
"More than any other industry in this state, construction is experiencing brutal unemployment," Melander said. "Tom knows firsthand what our members are going through, and will fight for jobs for them and their families."
A carpenter for 34 years and a former union leader, Bakk said this endorsement is very personal to him. Bakk has worked with union members and their employers to build Minnesota's homes, businesses, schools, churches, roads, and bridges all across the state.
"My Brothers and Sisters have seen how hard I've worked to improve their standard of living and allow them to retire with dignity," Bakk said. "They know I have a passion for putting people to work and understand our state needs a governor who will make job creation the top priority.
"This is a huge endorsement from a powerhouse of an organization."
Bakk said he looks forward to the Council's help in getting the word out about his experience and determination to get Minnesotans back to work. With unemployment reaching 50 percent for the construction industry, Bakk said many have a front-row seat to what is happening to Minnesota's deteriorating economy.
"I have been unemployed, and I understand that the most important thing to workers is that on Friday they have a paycheck to take care of their families' needs," Bakk said. "As chair of the Senate Tax Committee I know we need jobs to create the revenue needed so we can invest in education, health care and priorities that provide long-term prosperity. As a candidate I know we need jobs because that's what's on voters' minds. The person who connects with voters on this issue will be the next governor."
The Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council is the third union endorsement for Bakk; he was endorsed by the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters and Duluth Building and Construction Trades Council earlier this year.
Here's a rundown of which unions are backing the candidates for governor.
Tom Bakk - Northern Central State Regional Carpenters Council, The Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council, Duluth Building and Construction Trades Council
Mark Dayton - The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5
Margaret Anderson Kelliher - Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, Greater Minnesota AFSCME Council 65
Tom Rukavina - Four local steelworkers unions
R.T. Rybak - Local 120, Teamsters
Paul Thissen - Minnesota Nurses Association
DFL Rep. Tim Walz will hold another townhall on Afghanistan. Here are the details from Walz's office:
Today, Congressman Walz announced he will host his second townhall to discuss the US strategy in Afghanistan with southern Minnesotans in Mankato on Monday night. Walz, a retired Army National Guard Command Sgt Major, held his first Afghanistan townhall in Winona this October.
Who: Congressman Walz, members of the public and media
What: Townhall discussion on US strategy in Afghanistan
When: Monday, December 7th, 5:30-7pm
Where: South Central College
Conference Center B
1920 Lee Boulevard
North Mankato, MN
Posted at 4:08 PM on December 3, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Organizers for The Conservative Political Action Conference has invited Gov. Pawlenty to speak at their February event in Washington D.C. He spoke at the event last year and a source says he's expected to speak at the event again this year.
The event is one of the biggest for conservative activists in the country. They also hold a straw poll of potential presidential candidates every year. Last year, Pawlenty finished near the bottom in the poll.
Several well known politicians, including Senators Evan Bayh (IN), Tim Johnson (SD), Byron Dorgan (ND) and Kent Conrad (ND), hosted a fundraiser for Matt Entenza's campaign for governor last night in Washington D.C.
The host list also included DFL Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Earl Pomeroy, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Rep. Ron Kind and former DNC Chairs Terry McAuliffe and Joe Andrew.
Entenza spokeswoman Bridget Cusick said about eighty people attended the event.
Here's the invite.