Posted at 6:31 AM on December 11, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Some of the DFL candidates for governor are unhappy with the DFL Party over a fundraising flap that includes DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, who is also running for governor.
Kelliher received legal clearance by the DFL to direct donors to help pay for her use of the DFL voter database. The DFL now says the move is illegal id and refunded the money to contributors supporting Kelliher. Some of the candidates say the initial move shows the DFL Party is giving Kelliher preferential treatment. That's something DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez called "a cheap shot." MPR and the Pi Press have stories.
Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner shrugs off Kelliher's endorsement by Emily's List.
Under the Dome
DFLers release a plan to keep funding GAMC. Gov. Pawlenty said he has concerns about the financing of the plan. MPR, MinnPost, AP, the Pi Press, Forum Communications and the Star Tribune have stories.
The Chief Justice of Minnesota's Supreme Court is calling for more funding for the courts.
The U of M and MnSCU plan tuition hikes that could grow even larger if state budget cuts are made.
DFL Rep. Alice Hausman is concerned that negotiations could delay Central Corridor until 2014.
MnDOT officials say Northstar commuter rail is off to a good start.
Some candidates are lining up to run for GOP Sen. Dick Day's soon to be vacant senate seat.
WCCO examines Minnesota's now obscure sex laws. He pegged it to the issues surrounding Tiger Woods.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
A poll shows President Obama beating Gov. Pawlenty in a head to head match up. 64 percent of those polled don't have an opinion on Pawlenty.
Gov. Pawlenty held a conference call with reporters on Thursday to discuss his trade mission to South America. He hopes researchers in the U.S. and in South America can combine efforts on ethanol. Pawlenty said he also views Brazil as both a friend and a competitor.
Public Policy Polling says it's not just Obama who has falling poll numbers. People don't like politicians in general.
The House GOP will try to force a vote today to end TARP funding.
The amendment will come during debate over a bill that tackles the overhaul of the financial services industry. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.
The bill includes sweeping new regulations on over-the-counter derivatives.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison also wrote an op-ed promoting the bill that would overhaul the financial services industry.
DFL Sen. Al Franken is optimistic on about progress on health reform.
MPR says racial health disparities are a concern as the health bill moves forward.
Some lawmakers are moving to block the mining of prescription data.
Unions also pressure Democrats on the health insurance tax.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also reportedly softening her position on the public option.
Nebraska's Senator wants to sell war bonds to pay for the cost of the wars. DFL Rep. Betty McCollum is mentioned.
The Duluth News Tribune says DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar also backs the PolyMet mining proposal.
A Senate panel approved Klobuchar's proposal to recycle e-waste.
Federal funding would upgrade some sheriff's radios. Klobuchar is mentioned.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison wants to know about the "civilian surge" in Afghanistan.
The Hotline says GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann ranks high in their survey of congressional and political insiders that they "would like to mute."
Bachmann also urged GOP activists on a conference call to continue fighting health care.
Bachmann also took part in an event protesting the terror trial in NYC.
The House approved spending bills that dedicate millions to Minnesota projects. DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is mentioned.
2010 Race for Congress
Forum Communications throws some cold water on the NRCC's hopes that DFL Rep. Collin Peterson will retire.
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher says she
will send a letter sent a letter to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board today
Kelliher said her campaign directed three donors to give to the DFL Party to help her pay for using the party's voter database, after getting party approval to do it. Party attorneys later said the donations were illegal and returned $1,500 in contributions to the donors. She said three people, Ruth Usem, Blanche Hawkins and Rich Ginsberg contributed $500 each to the party on Kelliher's behalf. Kelliher said Ginsberg, a lobbyist for several groups including the Mille Lacs Band of the Ojibwe and Hennepin County, already gave the maximum contribution of $500 to Kelliher's campaign.
Kelliher said she will accept any penalty the Campaign Finance Board imposes on her campaign.
"We have since corrected the mistake. And I take responsibility for not having gone to, you know, directly to an attorney from the beginning of this. That process has changed on our campaign from here on out."
Here's my interview with Kelliher: Listen
But that isn't enough for Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton. He and the MNGOP filed a complaint today with the Campaign Finance Board asking them to investigate the situation.
"This scheme needs to be investigated and we think that it's important that we get to the bottom of this. I think that the speaker coming forward is the politically sensitive thing to do but this isn't over yet."
Here's Sutton's news conference: Listen
Meanwhile Republican state Representative Tom Emmer, who is also running for governor, wants Kelliher to step down as Speaker of the Minnesota House.
Kelliher's spokesman in the Speaker's office hasn't returned a call regarding Emmer's statement. Kelliher's campaign manager says Kelliher will not step down as Speaker.
Here's a look at who will be on this weekend's public policy shows:
Mayo Clinic President Dr. John Noseworthy talks health care reform... St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington explains why he is stepping down... and noted children's writer Kate Di Camillo discusses her latest book.
KSTP's At Issue:
Sen. Dick Day - talking about why he's leaving the MN Senate to pursue a racino full time. Political analysts: Sarah Janecek, Blois Olson, Cathie Hartnett and Dave Thompson.
WCCO's Sunday Morning:
We are having RT Rybak and B. Todd Jones of the U.S. Attorney's Office on for our Sunday show.
Sen. Amy Koch details her bill to allow Minnesota voters a say in capping government spending. Moderator Julie Bartkey talks with Tax Chair Tom Bakk and Lead Republican Julianne Ortman about the plan, and their concerns. Sen. Satveer Chaudhary recently attended the President's State Dinner. He describes the event, and its impact on him.
ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
Guests: National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers; House Republican Whip Eric Cantor.
CBS's Face the Nation:
Topic: "What's Next for Health Care?" Guests: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Sen. Ben Nelson, Sen. Joe Lieberman.
CNN's State of the Union with John King:
National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va)., Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).
NBC's Meet the Press:
Guests: Christina Romer, chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers; former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan; Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; Jim Cramer, host, CNBC's "Mad Money."
Fox News Sunday:
Sen. Judd Gregg, (R) New Hampshire and Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D) Missouri discuss President Obama's economic plan. Sen. James Inhofe, (R) Oklahoma and Rep. Ed Markey, (D) Massachusetts discuss The UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Republicans and Democrats running for governor have at least one common concern. They all think the federal No Child Left Behind law is a bad deal for Minnesota schools.
All seven GOP candidates say they favor opting out of the testing and accountability requirements of NCLB, even if it means losing about $230 million a year in federal education funding. Most of the 10 DFL candidates want Congress to fix the law, while the state keeps the money.
Here's what candidates had to say about opting out of NCLB:
Pat Anderson Listen
"We need to get out of No Child Left Behind."
Leslie Davis Listen
"I don't like the federal government to send mandates to the state of Minnesota telling us what to do."
Tom Emmmer Listen
"I object to the federal government having any law that tells the state of Minnesota, more importantly parents of children in the state of Minnesota, this is how your schools are going to be run."
Bill Haas Listen
"Under my administration, all mandates relating to education will be on the table."
David Hann Listen
"I don't think that it's right for the states to allow the federal government to dictate education policy for us."
Phil Herwig Listen
"Cut the ties that bind, and let's get our kids educated, which is not happening."
Marty Seifert Listen
"We have not had people that have stood up to the federal government. I'm someone willing to do that."
Tom Bakk Listen
"I think the notion of because we don't like some policy provisions or we don't like some testing requirements that we're going to pass up federal money is not very realistic."
Mark Dayton Listen
"I would do everything possible to urge the federal government to provide a waiver."
Matt Entenza Listen
"No Child Left Behind has been a disaster that is labeling all of our schools as failures when they most certainly aren't."
Susan Gaertner Listen
"The less that Washington has to do with Minnesota education the better."
Steve Kelley Listen
The first step though is to work with the president and with Congress to change No Child Left Behind so we don't lose the funding."
Margaret Anderson Kelliher Listen
"The underlying idea behind rigorous standards and accountability is the right sort of thing."
John Marty Listen
"I think we should be asking our congressional delegation, make sure we can get out of it without losing the funding."
Tom Rukavina Listen
"The federal government doesn't give us that much money for education. They give us more mandates than money."
R.T. Rybak Listen
"I think the problem with No Child Left behind is it measured a very narrow part of what we need to teach our children."
Paul Thissen Listen
"I think it is a little bit of political rhetoric to say you're just going to opt out, because there are consequences, including financial consequence to that."
DFL state Rep. Kate Knuth of New Brighton and DFL state Rep. Jeremy Kalin of North Branch are in Copenhagen, Denmark for The UN Climate Change Conference. In a news release, the two say they're hoping to urge members of Congress to start investing in renewable energy.
Knuth is traveling as a policy mentor to the Will Steger Foundation and will be a presenter at two events, including a panel discussion organized by the White House on December 17th. Kalin is the national chair of Coalition of Legislators for Energy Action Now.
"It is an honor to be participating in the world's most important and anticipated Climate Change Conference," said Rep. Knuth in a news release. "I look forward to being part of an historic event that will move us to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future, and sharing the bold steps we've already taken in Minnesota with the world."
While DFLers in control of the House are touting the trip, Republicans are having fun with it. House GOP spokesman Kevin Watterson issued this statement on his Twitter feed:
No @mnhousegop members are in Coppenhagen perpetuating climate fraud. We work to keep energy costs & taxes DOWN for families & employers.
MPR's Sasha Aslanian says the state of Minnesota has "directed all of its agencies to stop using a Texas company state officials hired to verify the identities of new employees.
State officials told MPR News that it is notifying some 500 employees that their personal data -- including names, dates of birth and socials security numbers -- may have been accessible on the company's Web site."
The state was using the company to comply with Gov. Pawlenty executive order to verify the immigration status of state employees.
You can read more of the story here.