Posted at 7:06 AM on February 17, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The new head of the Minneapolis fed paints a gloomy economic picture in the near future.
Arts supporters see an end-run in governor's budget plan.
Counties are also upset over the cuts.
Minneapolis is also planning to redo the budget in light of Gov. Pawlenty's budget plan.
The Minnesota Chamber asks a federal district court judge to clarify how corporations can participate in Minnesota elections now that the U.S. Supreme court cleared the way for businesses to participate.
The Legislative Auditor says public defenders are overworked.
The Minnesota Senate passes a tax break for Haiti donations.
DFL Rep. John Lesch returns to Minnesota from basic training.
Minnesota union members will rally at the Capitol today.
State Auditor Rebecca Otto says in an op-ed that the state's budget mess is pushing up property taxes.
MPR looks at how Minnesota has fared under the stimulus.
President Obama touts a nuclear loan guarantee as just a start.
52% of those polled by CNN say Obama should not be reelected.
An audit found that the U.S. Census wasted millions.
Big donors call for stricter campaign finance laws.
MPR looks at plans that call on delivering health insurance across state lines.
The Red Bulls will get their overtime pay by March 19th. GOP Rep. John Kline is mentioned.
DFL Sen. Al Franken will hold a rally for health care.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison says he thinks they will use reconciliation to pass the health care overhaul bill.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar promotes small business on a tour of Winona.
Franken was also in southern Minnesota stressing job creation.
Franken is also pushing the White House to extend the immigration status for Liberians living in the U.S.
The National Commander of the American Legion visited Mankato. DFL Rep. Tim Walz is mentioned.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum will attend a workshop that aims to prevent foreclosure.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann appeared on Fox's Hannity.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson warns that farmers need to be ready for changes to the federal farm support program.
He also said work on the Farm Bill will start earlier than usual.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is mentioned in this Wall St. Journal story on the fight to keep the Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes.
2010 Race for Governor
GOP Sen. David Hann drops his bid for governor. He isn't endorsing any of the other candidates at this time.
Six of the DFL candidates for governor participated in a forum last night at Augsburg College.
Democrat Mark Dayton campaigned in Austin.
Democrat Paul Thissen hired some of Steve Kelley's staffers.
2010 Race for Congress
DFL Rep. Tim Walz gets another GOP challenger.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
The Hill says Pawlenty plans to hold a late night fundraiser during his trip to Washington D.C. He'll be in D.C. to speak to CPAC on Friday morning and will attend NGA meetings through Tuesday morning.
Gov. Pawlenty sent a letter today to President Obama asking him to include governors in the White House health care summit. Pawlenty also touted some of the changes to Minnesota's health care system. He also called for medical malpractice reform and for the ability to sell health insurance across state lines (you can read a story by MPR on that issue here).
Pawlenty did not mention in the letter that his budget plan would cut 20,000 people off of state subsidized health insurance coverage in his letter.
You can read the letter here.
The Taxpayers League of Minnesota issued a legislative alert to its members regarding the $1 billion bonding bill moving through the Legislature. The group is asking members to contact the members who voted for the bill:
Governor Pawlenty called the House and Senate bonding bills, "unaffordable, irresponsible and filled with local projects." He has indicated he may veto the entire capital investment bill rather than just line-item vetoes.
With the state facing a $1.2 billion budget shortfall, the right thing to do is balance the budget before ringing up more pork barrel projects on the state credit card.
All 15 of these fiscally irresponsible lawmakers need to hear from you today about their vote for the liberals' bloated bonding bill.
Ask these 15 legislators to please uphold any and all of Gov. Pawlenty's vetoes!
The e-mail is targeting House members Larry Howes, Morrie Lanning, Bud Nornes, Paul Anderson, Greg Davids and Jim Abeler and Senate members Bill Ingebrigtsen, Paul Koering, Joe Gimse, Steven Dille, Dennis Frederickson, David Senjem, Gen Olson, Pat Pariseau and Michael Jungbauer.
The Taxpayers League alert follows last week's MNGOP decision to rip the Senate for passing the bill.
Gov. Pawlenty and the chairs of the House and Senate Capital Investment Committees met behind closed doors to discuss their differences on the state's bonding bill. Pawlenty is proposing a $685 million bonding bill. The House passed a bill that is just over $1 billion. The Senate passed a $1 billion bill.
After the meeting, DFL Rep. Alice Hausman said Pawlenty told them that the House and Senate bills are too big and need to be scaled back. But Hausman said he didn't give specifics.
"The dilemma is, without clear direction, you sort of end up negotiating against yourself. Unless there's a clear sense that a bill would be signed at "x size" with "x number" of items, there's not a great amount of motivation to, in a sense, negotiate with yourself."
Hausman said Pawlenty also complained that the bill included too many local projects like the Scott County Training Program and the Merit Training Program in Marshall.
When asked if Pawlenty gave them any information that they didn't know already, both Hausman and DFL Sen. Keith Langseth said no. Langseth called it a "feel good meeting" and said he was happy with the size of the Senate bill. He said Pawlenty rarely goes above his asking price in negotiations.
"The problem has been the one-man show thing. I got a 53 to 13 vote. I put a lot of Republican things in there. What he's done with the line-items then is line-item the Democratic stuff. I'm fair and he isn't."
Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung said Pawlenty called the meeting to give Hausman and Langseth direction on the bill. McClung repeated the Pawlenty Administration's stance that the bill is too large and shouldn't borrow more than $725 million. He stopped short, however, of saying whether Pawlenty would veto the bill outright or line-item veto the projects he doesn't like.
"You can't just go out and slap together a bill that spends a billion dollars or more and run around and be Santa Claus to everybody and send a bill to Gov. Pawlenty and ask him to be Scrooge."
McClung also said Pawlenty wants to see more bipartisan support for the bill (15 Republicans in the House and Senate voted for it) but didn't offer specifics when asked what "more bipartisan support" meant.
Both Langseth and Hausman hope to reach a House/Senate agreement on the bill by the end of the month.
Gov. Pawlenty will be speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. on Friday. He'll be among several possible 2012 candidates who are scheduled to speak at the conservative event.
The National Journal interviewed several CPAC insiders and party leaders to get their thoughts on the 2012 field. They think Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin will be the top competitors in the weekend's straw poll.
They also say Pawlenty has the most to prove:
"Everyone knows he's working the inside game harder than anyone, so he's got to prove he's at least a Tier 2 candidate and show people something, or else he's just another dude with a mullet."
"Pawlenty has most to gain and lose since he is dying to be the alternative and has his people and new media folks salvating to pounce on this."
"He simultaneously has the most well-organized proto-campaign at the moment and the least clear identity among conservatives. Conservatives just don't know Pawlenty as well as they know most of the others -- which means he has tremendous room to grow, but also a bigger hurdle to jump in the first place."
Here's more of the survey.
Pawlenty is scheduled to speak to the group on Friday morning at 9 o'clock Central. You can watch it live here. Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, with Americans for Tax Reform, will introduce Pawlenty.