Precinct Caucuses are on Tuesday and the candidates for governor will be working to convince the party activists that they're best able to lead the state. AP, the Pi Press and the Star Tribune have previews.
There will be a governor cattle call today. The DFL candidates will appear on MPR's Midday at 11 this morning. The Republican candidates will be on at noon.
The progressive group, Take Action Minnesota, says R.T. Rybak, Paul Thissen and Margaret Anderson Kelliher are their three "preferred candidates."
Former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams will announce today that he's backing Tom Emmer at an event in Duluth.
State Rep. Laura Brod also backed Emmer.
Five of the candidates for governor took part in a forum on Saturday that was hosted by the Mille Lacs Tea Party. Listen to the debate here.
Four of the DFL candidates, Rybak, Tom Bakk, John Marty and Susan Gaertner also talked Native American issues at a forum in the Bemidji area.
Republican Marty Seifert wants to end mandates to cities and counties.
Democrat R.T. Rybak raised $138k in 2009.
The Communications workers back Democrat Tom Rukavina for governor.
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher appeared on WCCO Sunday morning.
I-P candidate Joe Repya also appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.
Several candidates campaigned in Beltrami County.
President Obama wants to make sweeping changes to the No Child Left Behind law.
His $3.8 trillion budget proposal is headed to Congress.
He and House Republicans also made a face-to-face encounter on Friday.
He also says the deficit could jeopardize the economy.
But his budget plan would increase the deficit $100 billion.
Obama seeks $2OO million to help fund 9/11 trials.
Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson says unemployment could have hit 25% if the bank bailouts weren't passed.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar had them laughing at a National Press Club event.
GOP Rep. John Kline is mentioned in this story that looks at the decline in union workers and legislation that could change it.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum wants a hearing on cybersecurity.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison wants the Senate to pass the public option using reconciliation.
He will also meet with faith leaders today.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson wrote an op-ed saying President Obama needs to back off "a bit" on his health care plan.
A wind energy firm is considering expanding to the Twin Ports. DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is mentioned.
Under the Dome
Session starts this week so the time has come for Gov. Pawlenty and lawmakers to do less talking about the state's budget problem and act on it. Session ends in late May. The Pi Press and the Star Tribune have previews.
Schools are worried about future cuts.
House DFLers proposed a jobs plan that would help build the Mall of America expansion and other tax credits for small businesses.
Gov. Pawlenty visits northern Minnesota today.
He criticized the city of Bemidji on Friday.
The MPCA fined an ethanol plant.
Twin Cities janitors voted to authorize a strike. Talks will resume this week.
2010 Race for Congress
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann has $1 million in the bank for the 2010 election.
Democrat GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen leads the money race in the 3rd.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi contributed to DFL Rep. Tim Walz.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
The first fundraising report for Gov. Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC shows a donor list that is a who's who of business leaders.
Pawlenty says his PAC's fundraising has no impact on his decision on 2012. Watch video here.
Mitt Romney raised just under $3 million for his PAC.
Sarah Palin raised $2.1 million.
Mike Huckabee raised $800,000.
Newt Gingrich's 527 raised $6.4 million.
Pawlenty wrote an op-ed in Politico calling for a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.
Salt Lake City is a finalist to host the 2012 RNC.
Democrat Steve Kelley says his campaign for governor raised $167,249 from donors in 2009. The campaign reports having about $40,000 left in the bank. Kelley's campaign reported raising $187,249 in 2009 but his campaign manager, Carrie Lucking reports that Kelley loaned his campaign $16,400 and made an in-kind contribution of roughly $3,500. Here's the release from Kelley's campaign:
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (February 1, 2010)--Steve Kelley, candidate for Minnesota Governor, announced today that his campaign raised $187,249.26 in 2009 from over 1,200 Minnesota donors.
"I'm proud that Minnesotans are willing to make a financial commitment to transforming Minnesota into a better home," Kelley said. "It's exciting that our campaign has brought in new contributors and is not reliant on lobbyists and PAC's."
Highlights of Kelley's financial report:
· Kelley raised over $185,000 from over 1,200 Minnesota donors in 2009
· Almost half of Kelley's funds were raised in the last quarter of 2009 (45%)
· Kelley finished the year with an estimated over $40,000 cash on hand
· 1% of Kelley's contributions came from PACs
· 5% or less of Kelley's contributions came from lobbyists
Carrie Lucking, Kelley's campaign manager noted, "We still have capacity to grow. To date, we've raised over $235,000. We aren't reliant on big money. We're a campaign funded by everyday Minnesotans." She added, "I'm also proud of our final quarter and January totals because we added a significant number of new supporters and contributors. It's a fantastic springboard for the endorsement."
Democrat Susan Gaertner says her campaign for governor raised $110,000 in 2009. She didn't specify how much she has in the bank. I'm checking on cash on hand and candidate contributions and will post when I get the info.
Here's the release:
In her 2009 campaign finance report filed today, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner reported raising $110,650 for 2009 and a total of over $200,000 from over one thousand individuals since she began her campaign for governor.
Gaertner, who announced last month that she plans to run in the DFL primary, said that among her 2009 contributors were four lobbyists gave a total of $1550.00.
"People often ask me what distinguishes my campaign from others. Besides the fact that I haven't been part of the disarray at the capitol, this campaign finance report makes it pretty clear that I am not beholden to special interest and lobbyists. In this extremely dysfunctional political environment, I think we need a governor that can lead on behalf of the hard working Minnesotans who are in tough times. I will be that leader."
Here's a handy dandy updated cheat sheet of where the candidates stand in the 2009 fundraising race. Some of the candidates haven't released their full figures. Others didn't release any at all. The reports are due today.
Matt Entenza (Democrat) - raised a total of $300,000 from contributors in 2009. He also made a $10,000 contribution to the campaign and loaned the campaign $70,000. The campaign would not release his cash on hand totals.
Margaret Anderson Kelliher (Democrat) - raised a total of $254,000 from contributors in 2009. She made a direct contribution of $250 to her campaign. She has $81,000 left in the bank.
Paul Thissen (Democrat) - raised a total of $233,000 from contributors in 2009. He also loaned his campaign $20,000. He has $85,000 left in the bank.
Marty Seifert (GOP) - raised a total of $222,000 from contributors in 2009. He also loaned his campaign $20,000 and transferred $20,000 from his now defunct MN House campaign. He has $133,000 left in the bank.
Tom Bakk (Democrat) - raised a total of $208,682 in 2009 and has 137,830 cash on hand at end of '09. He did not loan his campaign any money nor contribute to his campaign.
Steve Kelley (Democrat) - The campaign raised $167,249 from donors in 2009. The campaign reports having about $40,000 left in the bank. Kelley's campaign reported raising $187,249 in 2009 but his campaign manager, Carrie Lucking reports that Kelley loaned his campaign $16,400 and made an in-kind contribution of roughly $3,500.
R.T. Rybak (Democrat) - raised a total of $138,000 in 2009. He has $25,000 left in the bank. Rybak also reports loaning his campaign $10,000 which is not included in these fundraising totals.
Tom Rukavina (Democrat) - raised a total of $135,000 in 2009. He has $60,000 left in the bank.
Susan Gaertner (Democrat) - reports raising $110,000 for her campaign in 2009. She has $4,346 on hand and made an in-kind contribution of $900.
She didn't specify cash on hand or if she gave/loaned campaign any money.
John Marty (Democrat) - reports raising $105,642 in 2009. He has $18,909 on hand.
Tom Emmer (GOP) - raised a total of roughly $105,000 from contributors in 2009. His spokesman said he loaned the campaign and gave in-kind contributions that amount to roughly $10,000. The campaign didn't release the cash on hand totals.
David Hann (GOP) - raised roughly $35,000 and has $8,254 left in the bank.
The Freedom Club PAC paid Sarah Palin $25,000 to host a fundraiser for the conservative group in December. The group reported the appearance fee in campaign finance reports that are due today.
The Freedom Club PAC helps elect Republicans to the Minnesota House. Midge Dean, who organized the fundraiser for the group, declined to say how much they paid Palin when the fundraising invitations went out.
The former Alaska governor and running mate to John McCain in 2008 has been requesting upwards of $100,000 for appearances. The Freedom Club paid Palin through the Washington Speaker's Bureau.
The Freedom Club reports raising $481,500 in 2009.
Precinct caucuses are less than a day away and two of the Republican candidates for governor are starting ramp up their attacks of one another.
Marty Seifert sent out a lit piece last week that criticized Tom Emmer for voting against an amendment that would have required Hennepin County hold a voter referendum on a sales tax increase to fund a new Twins ballpark.
In the lit piece, Seifert targets Emmer and Democrats Tom Rukavina, Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Matt Entenza for voting against an amendment that would require a referendum.
Emmer's campaign immediately responded with a campaign e-mail to supporters. In it, GOP state Rep. Mark Buesgens, how is the chair of the Emmer for Governor campaign, criticized Seifert for the lit piece and went after him for voting for the Health Impact Fee and the renewable energy mandate:
Seifert recently resorted to what unfortunately happens when campaigns get desperate: negative campaigning. First we saw a whisper campaign that was quickly stopped and condemned by their campaign. Now Seifert is attacking on the phones and through the mail to potential caucus attendees, with the first hit criticizing Tom's vote on a referendum. I'm glad Marty is criticizing Tom for standing up and taking the tough vote instead of passing the buck to the voters or another body of government. I hope he continues to attack on other issues that define their differences such as the cap and trade vote or the vote to raise the cigarette "fee."
That response prompted Seifert supporter Howard Hamilton, CEO of MicroControl, to point out that the bill including the Health Impact Fee on cigarettes also included anti-abortion legislation (the unborn child protection act).
Some chose to vote against the bill and thus cast an anti-tax but anti-life vote. Some chose to vote for the bill and cast a pro-life yet pro-tax increase vote.
Thus, those Republican activists who blast Seifert for choosing to cast a pro-life vote either don't understand the issue or choose to obfuscate the issue.
Conservative hero Congresswoman Michele Bachmann chose to vote in the same manner as Seifert. When her opponents for the Republican endorsement for Congress attacked her on the issue, Bachmann famously declared that she would vote pro-life at every turn.
(On a humorous side note, Bachmann employee Jack Tomczak blasted Seifert's vote on his Facebook page and then backtracked furiously after it was pointed out that his boss voted the same way.)
Will Emmer supporters in the Sixth District start demanding that someone attempt to wrest the GOP endorsement from Bachmann because of her vote "for" the tobacco tax?
The same holds true for 3rd District Congressman Erik Paulsen. Any Emmer supporters want to dump him from the GOP?
How about state Senator Mike Jungbauer, who has endorsed Emmer? He voted the same way in 2005. Will Emmer supporters in Senate District 48 attempt to oust him over this vote?
The two candidates are obviously working to secure undecided voters at tomorrow's precinct caucuses. Will the attacks get sharper leading up to April's convention.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty today expanded on his oft-repeated "ponzi scheme" slam of the federal budget in an opinion piece for Politico.
"Sooner or later," the governor writes, "the federal government's scheme will come crashing down, and the loss will be mammoth."
Pawlenty calls for a balanced budget amendment and for giving the president the line-item veto. He also wants the Bush tax cuts made permanent and more free trade agreements.
The governor has been making a similar pitch as he travels the country raising money for his federal political action committee.
But today he's taking some heat for his stance on another blog.
Bruce Bartlett worked in the Reagan and first Bush administrations but later wrote a blistering attack on President George W. Bush in the book Imposter. And it looks like that book was just a warm up for his slam against Pawlenty.
He calls the governor's article "grossly ill-informed," and then gives a detailed critique of the balanced budget amendment proposal.
Bartlett writes that "Pawlenty is not ready for prime time," and that Pawlenty's budget ideas are "too transparently phony even for" the tea party/Fox news crowd.
Former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams announced today that he's backing Tom Emmer for governor. Grams, who served one term before losing to Democrat Mark Dayton in 2000, said Emmer is best suited to make the right decisions regarding the state's budget.
The news conference was held today in Duluth. Grams is known in Minnesota's eighth congressional district because he made an attempt to defeat DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar in 2006.
Here's audio of today's news conference: Listen
Side note: I reported earlier that Emmer would take part in MPR's Midday debate. Emmer's campaign notified MPR News two hours before the forum that he would not participate.
Thanks to MPR's Bob Kelleher for sending the audio and photo to me.
Democrat Mark Dayton loaned his campaign for governor $570,000 in 2009. He raised a total of $72,000 from donors. Dayton's total receipts for the year are $641,821 in 2009. He has $16,772 in the bank.
Dayton said his priority in 2009 was "not on fundraising, as I am uniquely fortunate in not having to do it," he said in a news release. "I will be increasing my fundraising efforts this year and encouraging supporters to contribute a Dollar for Dayton..."
He added that he will continue "to rely on his own resources to run a winning campaign."
Dayton is also urging Gov. Pawlenty and the Legislature to "require that every dollar contributed to every candidate, candidate's committee, political party or any other entity spending money to influence the outcome of Minnesota's elections be required to report those contributions immeditately (within 24 hours) to the MN Campaign Finance Board and that they immediately be made public by the board."
During his successful run for the U.S. Senate in 2000, Dayton spent $12 million of his own money on the campaign.
Side note: Dayton's campaign hand delivers many of these news releases so we don't have electronic copies to copy and paste on the blog.
A majority of the candidates for governor filed their 2009 campaign finance reports. The only candidate who didn't file his campaign finance report or provide me with a summary page of their fundraising figures is Republican Tom Emmer.
Here's the info (note - I included total raised which includes cash contributions from individuals, lobbyists, political party units, political committees and in-kind donations. I also note where a candidate loaned the campaign money)
Tom Bakk (Democrat):
Amount raised in 2009 - $208,182
Money left in the bank at end of year - $137,330
Total spent in 2009 - $202,594
Mark Dayton (Democrat):
Amount raised in 2009 - $641,821
Money left in the bank at the end of the year - $16,772
Total spent in 2009 - $625,050
Loan to the campaign - $570,000
Matt Entenza (Democrat):
Amount raised in 2009 - $405,286
Money left in the bank at the end of the year - $73,917
Total spent in 2009 - $333,769
Loan to campaign - $70,000
Susan Gaertner (Democrat):
Amount raised in 2009 - $110,828
Money left in the bank at the end of the year - $4,347
Total spent in 2009 - $159,825
Bill Haas (Republican):
Amount raised in 2009 - $16,852
Money left in the bank at the end of the year - $3,395
Total spent in 2009 - $5,507
David Hann (Republican):
Amount raised in 2009 - $35,006
Money left in bank at end of year - $8,255
Total spent in 2009- $26,752
Steve Kelley (Democrat):
Amount raised in 2009 - $187,249
Money left in the bank at the end of the year - $39,541
Total spent in 2009 - $160,371
Loan to the campaign - $16,400
Margaret Anderson Kelliher (Democrat):
Amount raised in 2009 - $256,232
Money left in the bank at the end of the year - $79,514
Total spent in 2009 - $176,834
John Marty (Democrat):
Amount raised in 2009 - $105,895
Money left in the bank at the end of the year - $18,910
Total spent in 2009 - $126,625
Tom Rukavina (Democrat):
Amount raised in 2009 - $142,074
Money left in the bank at the end of the year - $51,767
Total spent in 2009 - $97,263
R.T. Rybak (Democrat):
Amount raised in 2009 - $167,842
Money left in the bank at the end of the year - $25,663
Total spent in 2009 - $172,100
Marty Seifert (Republican):
Amount raised in 2009 - $262,753
Money left in the bank at the end of the year - $133,072
Total spent in 2009 - $142,293
Loan to campaign - $20,000
Paul Thissen (Democrat):
Amount raised in 2009 - $253,321
Money left in the bank at the end of the year - $89,939
Total spent in 2009 - $248,126
Loan to campaign - $20,000