Posted at 7:03 AM on January 5, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Gov. Pawlenty and legislative leaders will meet on Friday to discuss the budget and upcoming legislative session.
On Monday, DFL legislative leaders didn't sound so receptive to Gov. Pawlenty's proposal for a special session.
Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller and House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher made the comments on MPR's Midday. Pogemiller also wants Pawlenty to give a budget address to the Legislature, which Pawlenty rejected through a spokesman.
MPR takes a deeper look at the budget debate.
AP says as many as 1,500 teens are homeless every night.
A Minnesota hospital settles a lawsuit over unnecessary admissions.
The National Governors Association gave Minnesota some money to fight high school dropouts.
Anoka-Hennepin teachers are near a deal.
Gov. Pawlenty is threatening schools to freeze pay or face cuts.
DFL Rep. Karla Bigham won't seek reelection.
President Obama is set to meet with his national security team. More names are also added to the terror watch list.
Tax preparers face new regulation.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann blogs about a Mayo Clinic decision to not accept Medicare payments at an Arizona facility. She warns it could be the future if the health care overhaul passes.
A Daily Beast columnist names Bachmann his "wingnut of the year."
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson visited Tennessee to discuss ag issues.
2010 Race for Governor
Here's a look at where the candidates for governor will campaign this week.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is sworn in for a third term.
Republican Norm Coleman will raise money for St. Cloud Republicans on Saturday.
DFL Sen. Tom Bakk campaigned in Grand Rapids.
The RGA and DGA report big fundraising hauls.
2010 Race for Congress
Democrat Maureen Hackett runs some radio ads.
Allen Quist, a Republican running in Minnesota's 1st, said beating Democrats in Washington is more important than defeating terrorism.
The DFL candidates in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District agree to a question and answer session on January 14th.
Politico says GOP cash woes threaten House bids.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
The Romneys will be on Fox and Friends today.
Pawlenty's PAC notes some, but not all, of the candidates it gave money to.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman stressed the need for regional solutions as he took the oath of office to begin his second term.
Former Vice-President Walter Mondale, who celebrates a birthday today, will be on MPR's Midday at 11AM.
One of the Democrats running for governor has made an early disclosure of his 2009 campaign funds.
State Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, announced today that more than 1,133 people contributed to his campaign last year. He raised over $135,000. The Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board requires candidates to report their fundraising numbers by Feb. 1. Here's Rukavina's news release:
RUKAVINA FOR GOVERNOR CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCES BETTER THAN EXPECTED 2009 NUMBERS
Virginia, MN (January 5, 2010) - Representative Tom Rukavina's campaign for Governor has announced that over 1,100 citizens have contributed to his campaign and he has raised over $135,000 in less than five months. Rukavina announced his fundraising totals a month earlier than required by the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board.
With at least 1,133 campaign donors, Rukavina has nearly equaled the efforts of fellow gubernatorial candidate House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher. Last week, in the St Paul Pioneer Press, Kelliher said she had raised money from 1200 people. "Hey, I've nearly matched her," said Rukavina. "I'm not the powerful House Speaker or the powerful Tax Committee Chair, but I'm a powerful little candidate with a refreshingly honest approach with people. That's why I am going to win."
With over $60,000 cash on hand, Rukavina added, "We have just geared up our fundraising and we expect January to be our biggest month. We'll have the resources to be very competitive at the DFL convention."
Rukavina also said, "I'm not wealthy and I've worked in the legislature for the unemployed, college students, and families earning the minimum wage. I've stood up for buying American and economic fairness. My constituents aren't the bankers or the Fortune 500 businesses. That's why I'm so proud that so many average Minnesotans have supported me on this campaign. I'm in it to win for them!"
"I can't afford a big contribution but Tom Rukavina's passionate support of progressive issues motivated me to contribute what I could afford. I know him to be a sincere, hardworking, honest person," said former State Representative Katy Olson of Sherburne. "As governor, I believe Tom will make a difference in the lives of average folks."
Details on campaign contributions and expenditures will be available later this month and will be filed with the Campaign Finance Board.
Governor Pawlenty will add to his frequent flyer miles this week. He's scheduled to attend a meeting for the Education Commission of the States meeting in the Big Easy on Wednesday and Thursday. Pawlenty, who chairs the commission, is scheduled to give the introductory speech at the meeting. Another possible 2012 contender, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has also been invited to speak.
The meeting will be a part of his public duties as governor but he'll return to New Orleans in April for politics. Pawlenty, along with a long list of 2012 candidates, is scheduled to speak at the Southern Leadership Council at that time.
Emily's List, a political action committee geared towards helping female candidates, is backing DFL state Sen. Tarryl Clark for Congress. Clark is seeking the DFL endorsement in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District against Dr. Maureen Reed. The winner will face GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann in the general election.
In a news release, Emily's List President Ellen Malcolm said Clark can attract independent voters in the GOP leaning district:
"EMILY's List is proud to support Tarryl Clark in her campaign for U.S. Congress," said Ellen R. Malcolm, President of EMILY's List. "As a State Senator, Tarryl spearheaded major bipartisan initiatives on a number of issues, including education, veterans' affairs, domestic violence, consumer protection, and affordable housing. Her strong reputation of getting things done for Minnesota families is what sets her apart from her opponents and has enabled her to be such a powerful voice for her constituents."
"Tarryl is a proven vote getter in what is traditionally rough territory for Democrats," continued Malcolm. "Her candidacy puts this district in play and gives Democrats the best shot at picking up this swing-seat in November."
After winning in a Republican-leaning state Senate district in a 2005 special election and getting re-elected in 2006, Clark was chosen by her colleagues to serve as Assistant Majority Leader, the number two leadership position in the Minnesota State Senate -- recognition that speaks to her legislative skills. With her strong record of leadership and bipartisan legislative accomplishments, Tarryl has been dubbed a "rising star" by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The backing of Emily's List will mean gobs of money for Clark. But the endorsement hasn't always garnered positive results at the ballot box for the group's candidates. Emily's List backed Ember Reichgott Junge and Patty Wetterling for Congress. They both lost those bids respectively. Update: Emily's List also backed Amy Klobuchar's successful senate run and Betty McCollum's successful run for Congress.
The backing means the 2010 race for Minnesota's 6th Congressional will be expensive. Bachmann has been a fundraising force on her own.
Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner says she'll run in the party primary. She is now the fourth DFL candidate to say they
will not may not abide by the party's endorsement. The others include Mark Dayton, Matt Entenza and Steve Kelley.
Update: A spokesman for Kelley called to clarify. She said Kelley is considering the endorsement very carefully but has not ruled out a primary run.
Here's Gaertner's news release:
(St. Paul, MN) Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner said today that her campaign for Governor now includes a DFL primary.
To be honest, I think my original plan to rely solely on the endorsement and convention process was too politically limiting. I firmly believe that an effort to expand our reach to a much larger universe of Minnesotans is the right directionespecially since some in the field have been in that mode all along.
Gaertner, who has been campaigning in the close quarters of DFL activists for over two years, said her core supporters have been urging her to consider a primary run and have convinced her that someone of her political profilean outsider with a reputation as a straight-shooting moderatecan do well in the larger primary universe.
This doesnt mean that I have given up on anyone in the DFL. Like other candidates who have stated their intention to run in a primary, I respect the party process and will continue to work to gain the support of delegates to the DFL convention. I will be working hard, however, to gain the support of the many loyal DFL voters who dont always get engaged in the caucus and convention process, Gaertner said.
Gaertner, who grew up on the Eastside of St. Paul and has lived in White Bear Lake for the last 30 years, said her reputation as an evenhanded but tough crime fighter in Minnesotas second largest jurisdiction is the kind of candidate profile that can win the general election this fall. Democrats and independent thinking Minnesotans are tired of losing, but until we give them a candidate who is a proven vote getter in the more moderate suburbs, and can appeal to independent voters in greater Minnesota, Im not confident we can be successful.
Gaertner first won the nonpartisan office of Ramsey County Attorney in 1994. She was subsequently re-elected three times, winning the city of St. Paul and strong majorities in the suburban cities that dominate Ramsey County elections.
Former DFL state Sen. Steve Kelley announced to reporters today that he will abide by the DFL endorsement for governor. The news comes just hours after Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner announced that she will not abide by the DFL endorsement and will run in a primary.
Kelley had said he would not rule out a primary run but his campaign manager supplied me with a letter that he gave to DFL State Central Committee members last month. Here's the letter:
Dear State Central Committee Member,
This week's economic forecast serves as an urgent reminder that we cannot afford to take November's election lightly. Our communities cannot afford 4 more years of political gimmicks; we're already strained by cutbacks. Our children cannot afford 4 more years of slashing school funding; they are already crammed into overcrowded classrooms. Our seniors cannot afford 4 more years of closing nursing homes; their care has already been reduced.
We must take back the governor's office in 2010!
That's why, after considerable thought, I am committed to abiding by the DFL endorsement in 2010. No one in this race has taken the party endorsement more seriously than me. No one else in this race has actually stepped aside for a DFL endorsed candidate in the past.
We can and must unite the DFL to take on our real opponents - the Republicans.
I am the candidate who is best positioned to take back the governor's office in 2010, which is why I am confident that I can earn the DFL endorsement. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result. The DFL has employed the same electoral strategy since 1994 - running a candidate who appeals to the core cities, rural Minnesotans, and the Iron Range while leaving out suburban and independent voters - and lost. It's time for the DFL to remember November when choosing their candidate for endorsement.
Amy Klobuchar and Barack Obama have demonstrated a successful Democratic strategy to win. The DFL must choose a candidate that can compete everywhere in Minnesota. Forty percent of Minnesotans, 2.2 million people, live in the suburbs. When Democrats win the suburbs, they win elections. Klobuchar and Obama won 6 of 7 counties in the Twin Cities metro and earned over fifty percent of Minnesota's votes. Unfortunately, in 2006, Tim Pawlenty won 5 of 7 suburban counties and was re-elected to 4 more harmful years as Governor of Minnesota.
Should we settle for forty percent in the Governor's race? Should we let the Independence Party steal another election from the DFL? No! That's why I am asking for your support in the 2010 Governor's race.
I will run a campaign that wins in November. I've done it before. In 1992, I took back my legislative seat after a decade long Republican hold even though 20% of the voters in my district voted for Ross Perot in that election. I've won tough votes from moderate (and not-so-moderate) Republicans in Minnetonka and Interlachen Park while maintaining an over 90% labor voting record and my progressive values.
With your help, I know we can take back the Governor's office and transform Minnesota into a better home for our children and grandchildren. Let's make 2010 the year we win the governor's office with a mandate from Minnesotans!
Thank you for your diligent work on behalf of the DFL,
Gov. Tim Pawlenty is downplaying a meeting later this week with Minnesota House and Senate leaders.
Lawmakers are facing a $1.2 billion deficit in the current two-year budget cycle. The Republican governor is scheduled to meet Friday with DFL and GOP legislative leaders to discuss the 2010 session, which begins Feb. 4. But Pawlenty told reporters today that he didn't expect the meeting to yield any dramatic breakthroughs.
"But it is part of the ongoing discussion around the challenges and opportunities that the state is facing and how we need to find some common ground to make some progress," Pawlenty said.
Pawlenty is expected to make specific recommendations for spending cuts next month as part of a supplemental budget proposal. The governor said he hasn't yet decided if he'll propose a cut for K-12 education. He's concerned about the level of pay and benefit increases in some school districts. Pawlenty also repeated that he will protect veterans and military programs from cuts.
"I don't think all things are of equal importance," Pawlenty said. "Some things are more important than others. And one thing that goes to the top of the list is supporting our members of the military and our veterans."