The Conservative Political Action Conference says Gov. Pawlenty is confirmed to speak at the 2010 conference in February. It's one of the largest gatherings of conservative activists in the country. The conference agenda hasn't been set yet so it's not clear when Pawlenty will be speaking.
CPAC will be held just days before the National Governors Association's Winter Meetings will convene in Washington D.C.
Pawlenty spoke at CPAC's event last year. You can listen to that speech here.
The group also takes a straw poll of possible presidential candidates. Pawlenty, who has not ruled out a run for president in 2012, polled near the bottom in last year's CPAC straw poll.
(h/t Minnesota Independent)
DFL activists endorsed St. Olaf College Physics Professor Jason Engbrecht in the race to replace retiring GOP state Sen. Dick Day. Engbrecht, who is on the Faribault School Board, said he's focused on job creation, education and health care. When it comes to the state's budget problem, he said revenue and spending cuts need to both be on the table.
"As a scientist, I had to learn to accept the way the universe is and try to study it for what it is. And that's the approach we need to take when looking at our finances at the state level right now. There's a harsh reality that needs to be faced and the simple is that we can't fix the problem by raising taxes by itself. We can't fix the problem by making cuts by itself."
Engbrecht said he was in favor of "across the board" spending cuts but didn't specify a preference on how he would raise revenue/taxes.
He did make a hiccup on the issue of unemployment. He mistakenly said the state's unemployment rate is higher than the national average. That's incorrect. The national average is 10 percent. Minnesota's unemployment rate is 7.4 percent.
You can listen to my interview with him here: Listen
Side Note: Since Day is leaving his position to become a lobbyist for Racino, I called Engbrecht back to ask if he supported adding slot machines to the state's two horse tracks. He said he had "no opinion" on it but was willing to take a look at it. He added that it wasn't a key concern for his constituents.
I'm waiting for a call back from Mike Parry, the GOP endorsed candidate in SD26. I'll post the interview if/when he calls me back.
The Special Election is scheduled for January 26th. Waseca Mayor Roy Srp is also running as a member of the Independence Party.
The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce says Gov. Pawlenty will address the organization's Session Priorities dinner on Thursday, February 4th. Pawlenty will give a speech at 6:45. There will be a legislative roundtable later that evening.
There has been speculation that Gov. Pawlenty would use the dinner as his State of the State speech. An official with the Minnesota Chamber said "it's under consideration."
Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung issued this written statement when asked whether about the prospects of Pawlenty using the Chamber dinner as his annual State of the State:
"The governor is booked to speak at the Minnesota Chamber dinner on Feb. 4. He is considering delivering the State of the State Address at that time, but a final decision hasn't been made."
The event is held on the same day lawmakers convene the 2010 Legislative session.
Posted at 3:46 PM on December 29, 2009
by Mike Mulcahy
Figures released by the Federal Election Committee today show that Al Franken and Norm Coleman led the nation in fundraising during the last election cycle.
Franken raised $22.5 million and Coleman took in $19.3 million. Of course all that money bought them a 42-42 percent tie which was finally resolved in Franken's favor by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
And those figures don't include the money they raised after Election Day to pay for the recount and court case. For Franken add on about $1.9 million in post-election fundraising, while Coleman raised about $1.1 million.
DFLer Mike Ciresi also made the top 50 list for raising $4 million before he dropped out of the campaign.
Mike Parry, the GOP endorsed candidate running to replace GOP state Sen. Dick Day, says he does not support tax increases of any kind to balance the state's budget. Parry said state lawmakers need to reduce spending to erase a projected 1.2 billion dollar deficit:
"You cannot keep adding and adding and taxing. Because sooner or later the pool of money will be completely gone and then what do you do? So as in business when things get tight you take a look at every possible corner to cut to survive. And right now our state needs to survive."
Parry didn't offer specifics on where he would cut spending. He instead used the generic term "look at every portion of the state budget" when asked what cuts were on the table. When pressed, he did suggest that welfare spending is an option. Parry also said he supports adding slot machines at the state's two horse tracks. That measure is supported by Day, who is leaving his position to become a lobbyist for Racino.
Listen to my interview with Parry here: Listen
Senate District 26 Democrats yesterday endorsed St. Olaf College instructor Jason Engbrecht. Three-term Waseca Mayor Roy Srp is running on the Independence Party ticket. The special election will be held Jan. 26.