The Campaign Finance Board will announce its findings today regarding a complaint against Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher's campaign for governor. Kelliher's campaign attorney and an attorney with the DFL Party met privately with the board on Tuesday to discuss an error the campaign made by directing donors to help pay for her use of a voter file. DFL Party officials and Kelliher's campaign said Kelliher's camp relied on bad info from the DFL.
A Fox 9 News/Rasmussen poll says Norm Coleman is the strong favorite for governor among Republicans. Mark Dayton is the favorite among Democrats but Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is a close second.
Pat Anderson departs the race for governor. She said Norm Coleman's possible candidacy looms large. MPR, AP, the Pi Press, the Rochester Post-Bulletin, the Star Tribune and Forum Communications have stories.
Here's video of Anderson's announcement.
Norm Coleman released a statement on Anderson's decision.
Meanwhile, Democrat Mark Dayton's name won't appear on caucus ballots.
All of the DFL candidates for governor will attend a forum featuring Native American issues in Bemidji on Thursday.
Many of the Democrats attended a debate in Alexandria over the weekend. Here's a good rundown of what was said.
The candidates for governor were polled on their health care positions.
Under the Dome
A budget committee will meet today to talk about the deficit and the possibility for the state to borrow to meet its cash flow needs.
A committee in the senate will hold a hearing to restore funding for GAMC.
Gov. Pawlenty is asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to take quick action on his appeal of a ruling that undermines his authority to cut the budget on his own.
The judge dismissed "the other"unallotment lawsuit.
A proposal in the Minnesota House would extend health insurance to the unemployed.
The median home price in the Twin Cities has dropped.
The Vikings distribute comments from two leaders in the MN House that were slanted to signal support for a new stadium.
MnSCU trustees go on the road to gather public input.
The Obama Administration will ask Congress for an additional $33 billion to fight the wars.
He will also try to recoup lost TARP funds with a fee on banks.
Obama will also address the House GOP.
Health insurers, like UnitedHealth Group, are quietly funding opposition to Obama's health care plan.
The Massachusetts Senate race has become a proxy on the health care bill.
A bomb blast kills a physics professor in Tehran.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar writes an op-ed saying she wants some TARP funds to help small business.
The Star Tribune does a story looking at the makeup of DFL Sen. Al Franken's office. And concludes that Minnesotans and non-Minnesotans working in his office.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen will host a job fair in February.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is rated as one of America's Top 100 conservatives.
Bachmann's appearance at a national Tea Party event is closed to the press (like most of the other portions of the event). The folks known to praise the constitution must have skipped to the Second Amendment.
Agriculture won't be spared from budget cuts. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.
Peterson is also said to begin planning the overhaul of farm policy, which is due in 2012.
The MNGOP released a TV ad in support of Republican Mike Parry. A spokesman wouldn't say where the ad is running, how long it will run and the size of the buy.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Pawlenty accepts a speaking appearance at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
A strong earthquake hammers Haiti.
A Fox9/Rasmussen poll says Norm Coleman is the clear favorite for governor among Republicans. The poll found that 52 percent of those polled said they prefer Coleman. Nine percent back Republican Marty Seifert. Nine percent Republican Tom Emmer. 18 percent say they're not sure.
On the DFL side...
Mark Dayton is the favorite among DFLers. He received 32 percent support. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak received 25 percent. MN House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher received twelve percent support. 13 percent say they're not sure.
Here's the info from Fox9:
Preference for Democratic nomination for Minnesota governor Jan. 11 survey of 331 likely Democratic voters
Some other candidate 10%
Not sure 13%
Preference for Republican nomination for Minnesota governor
Jan. 11 survey of 301 likely GOP voters
Some other candidate 7%
Not sure 18%
Update: Here's more info from Rasmussen.
Gov. Pawlenty is scheduled to have a busy month raising money. To date, he has at least six fundraisers on the books in January. Here's a list of what we know:
On January 11th, Pawlenty was the featured guest at a fundraiser for David Carlson, candidate for MN Senate, on Jan. 11th.
Today, Pawlenty heads to Texas to raise money for his Freedom First PAC in Texas. His spokesman won't provide any other details on the event.
Pawlenty will hold a fundraiser for the MN Senate Republicans on
Friday, January 15th Thursday, January 21st in West St. Paul at 7:30am.
On Tuesday, January 19th, he'll hold a fundraiser for his FreedomFirst PAC at the Chambers Hotel in Minneapolis from 6 to 8pm.
two three fundraisers scheduled for Thursday, January 21st (update: see MN Senate GOP fundraiser above).
He'll be bowling for dollars with the MN House GOP at the PINZ Bowling Alley in Oakdale at 2:45pm. He will later hold another fundraiser for his FreedomFirst PAC at O'Gara's Restaurant in St. Paul at 5pm.
Pawlenty isn't just using his physical presence to raise money. He also has a splash page on his PAC's website urging supporters to contribute to Scott Brown, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.
Please send me any info if you hear of political fundraisers of any kind. We like to keep tabs on the events.
Republican Marty Seifert's campaign for governor released a list of 52 current and former lawmakers who are backing his run for governor. There are 13 current members who are backing Seifert:
Representative Paul Anderson, Starbuck Representative Bob Dettmer, Forest Lake Senator Dennis Frederickson, New Ulm Representative Steve Gottwalt, Saint Cloud Representative Bob Gunther, Fairmont Representative Doug Magnus, Slayton Representative Mark Murdock, Ottertail Representative Bud Nornes, Fergus Falls Senator Pat Pariseau, Farmington Senator Julie Rosen, Fairmont Representative Steve Smith, Mound Representative Paul Torkelson, Nelson Township Representative Torrey Westrom, Elbow Lake
Seifert is seeking the GOP endorsement against seven others (that list doesn't include Norm Coleman). You can read Seifert's news release here.
The Campaign Finance Board said Kelliher's campaign violated the prohibition on soliciting and accepting earmarked contributions. It also said the DFL Party violated the prohibition on accepting earmarked contributions. Kelliher is required to pay a fine of $9,000. The DFL Party was fined $15,000. The ruling comes one day after the board met behind closed doors to discuss a GOP complaint against Kelliher.
In November, Kelliher said her campaign made an error by directing donors to give to the DFL Party to help pay for her use of a voter database. Kelliher said she was acting on advice from a DFL Party official who later said the process is illegal. The DFL returned donations to three donors. Kelliher and the DFL Party notified the Campaign Finance Board of the error.
UPDATE: Kelliher just told me she paid the fine:
"We've corrected everything that we could do to correct that mistake and we obviously knew that we were going to face a consequence by the Campaign Finance Board. I accept that consequence. We've paid our fine and we made sure there was a new system in place so we don't have anything like this happen again."
You can read the full ruling here.
Update: Democrat Matt Entenza issued this statement through his spokeswoman:
"What we have seen in the DFL's behavior amounts to an 'inside job,' that's unfair to all the other campaigns that played by the rules. DFLers are supposed to stand up against special interests - certainly Matt Entenza has been doing that his entire career in public service. In this case, the DFL clearly favored one candidate over nine others - all of whom have given years of service to the Party. The Party leadership still has a lot of explaining to do to those candidates who have not been privy to their sweetheart treatment."
Update: Here's a statement from DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez:
"The DFL Party receives the Campaign Finance Board's ruling today in the same spirit in which we have approached this entire matter: with acknowledgment of the mistake, a desire to rectify that mistake, and willingness to accept the consequences. We appreciate the Board's acknowledgment that the Party cooperated fully in the Board's investigation, and that 'a violation ... may occur even if the participants believed that their course of conduct as permitted' under the law, as was the case here. We also appreciate the expeditious manner in which the Board investigated and ruled on this matter, so that this inadvertent error will not distract voters from the important task of choosing a governor who will address the enormous challenges that Minnesota and its citizens are facing."
Update: Here's Kelliher's statement:
"Our campaign accepts the board's findings, and we have paid the fine. "I have made certain that our campaign has systems in place that make sure no mistake like this will happen again."
Update: Here's MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton's statement:
"Today's ruling vindicates our belief that Margaret Anderson Kelliher deliberately circumvented Minnesota's campaign finance laws to benefit her campaign for governor. Along with R.T. Rybak, Kelliher is now the second DFL gubernatorial candidate to have been involved in a scheme to get around Minnesota's campaign finance laws. Kelliher and other Democrats are wrong to think they don't have to play by the rules. These sort of schemes demonstrate Kelliher does not have the judgment to lead our great state."
Politico is reporting that Gov. Pawlenty has accepted a speaking engagement to the Susan B. Anthony List:
The annual event for the group that supports anti-abortion candidates is one of the largest functions for Washington's social conservative circle each spring and represents a strong forum for Pawlenty to bolster his conservative credentials.
The SBA gala is the latest prominent GOP event that Pawlenty, who polls show is not well known outside Minnesota, plans to attend as he builds his national brand.
On Monday, Pawlenty suggested he was cutting back on his out of state travel to deal with the upcoming legislative session.