Posted at 7:37 AM on March 30, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
An MPR analysis found that the governor has been out of the state an average of more than one in every three days since the legislative session started.
The House and Senate are on the Easter/Passover break through Tuesday.
Before lawmakers left, the House and Senate sent a bill aimed at spurring economic development and a bill that cut $312 million in state spending to Gov. Pawlenty. He has signaled that he'll sign both of the pieces of legislation. MPR, the Star Tribune, the Pi Press and Forum Communications have stories.
The federal government explains why Minnesota lost Race to the Top funds.
Colleges are cutting programs and staff to cope with budget cuts.
A Minneapolis group is seeking photo ID at the polls.
President Obama will sign the final piece of the health care overhaul today.
MPR cuts through the political chatter and takes a hard look at the impact of the Medical Device tax that was recently signed into law.
There's a dispute over when guaranteed health coverage for kids starts.
The insurance industry has agreed to fix a gap in sick kids' coverage.
The U.S. is set to sell its entire stake in Citi for a hefty profit.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar pushes legislation that would target problems with online file sharing.
Race for Governor
Seven state lawmakers back Democrat R.T. Rybak.
DFL Sen. Ken Kelash backs Paul Thissen's campaign.
Race for Congress
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar backs Tarryl Clark's bid for Congress.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty will hold a town hall meeting on Facebook on Wednesday.
Pawlenty tells a New Hampshire newspaper that the U.S. shouldn't follow Massachusetts lead on health care - a direct shot at Mitt Romney.
Meanwhile, Romney campaigned in Iowa.
The Digest is taking a break until next Tuesday but we'll still be posting updates to the blog.
Gov. Pawlenty is scheduled to speak at the Chairman's Reception at the Republican Party of Wisconsin State Convention on Friday, May 21, 2010.
"The Republican Party of Wisconsin State Convention is going to be an opportunity for conservatives to come together and kick off an outstanding campaign season," Wisconsin Republican Party Chair Reince Priebus said in a news release. "I can't think of two better Republicans than Governor Pawlenty and Congressman Ryan to get participants motivated to actively spread our message of common-sense conservative solutions and fiscal restraint."
The trip will come after the legislative session is over. The constitutional deadline for the Legislature to adjourn is May 17th.
Pawlenty also appeared on NBC this morning. He talked about his recent criticism of Massachusetts health care plan, the RNC spending issue and his Facebook townhall that will feature "endorsements."
GOP state Sen. Dennis Frederickson of New Ulm announced today that he'll retire this year and won't run for a tenth term. Frederickson told the New Ulm Journal that it's been a privilege to work in the Minnesota Senate.
"It is still tremendously rewarding to serve in the Minnesota Senate, and I intend to continue working hard in the Senate until January 2011," Frederickson said. "But it is time to spend more time with my wife, Marj; fishing, hunting, canoeing the Minnesota River; and enjoying grandchildren's concerts, gymnastics, basketball and soccer games. I want to visit our beautiful state parks and trails and enjoy the outdoors,"
Frederickson is the fifth state senator to retire. Here's the full list:
(Note: I updated this list from a previous post since Tarryl Clark won the DFL endorsement for Congress in Minnesota's 6th. Republican Randy Demmer says he won't run for his House seat. Demmer is running for Congress in Minnesota's 1st District. GOP Rep. Dan Severson also says he's not running for reelection. He's seeking the GOP endorsement for Secretary of State.)
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher
DFL Rep. Karla Bigham
DFL Rep. Jeremy Kalin
DFL Rep. Cy Thao
GOP Rep. Rob Eastlund
GOP Rep. Randy Demmer
GOP Rep. Marty Seifert
GOP Rep. Dan Severson
DFL Sen. Steve Murphy
DFL Sen. Jim Vickerman
DFL Sen. Tarryl Clark
GOP Sen. Steve Dille
GOP Sen. Pat Pariseau
GOP Sen. Dennis Frederickson
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher's campaign for governor released a plan to help create jobs in Minnesota. The 10 page plan calls for investing more in education, improving the state's permitting process, focusing more on infrastructure and improving workforce training.
I asked Kelliher's campaign for a pricetag for the plan. Her campaign spokeswoman Allison Myhre says the plan is estimated to cost between $8 million and $10 million ("with more expensive proposals phased-in over time as revenue becomes available").
You can read the full report here.
Democrat John Marty will announce his running mate at a Wednesday morning news conference at the State Office Building in St. Paul. Marty's spokesman David Chang wouldn't provide any details or hints as to who it is.
Marty is the first DFL candidate for governor to announce his running mate. Republican Marty Seifert announced last month that he picked Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah as his running mate.
DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar is backing Tom Rukavina's campaign for governor. Oberstar announced on a conference call today that he's backing Rukavina because they've worked together on creating jobs for the iron ore and wood fiber industries, for community service and the needs of the Iron Range communities.
"Tom Rukavina has been a consistent solid and persistent voice for the people of northeastern Minnesota," Oberstar said. "He's seen hard times on the Iron Range and knows the value of a job."
Oberstar, from Chisholm, is the second member of Minnesota's congressional delegation to back a candidate. DFL Rep. Keith Ellison is backing Matt Entenza's campaign. DFL Rep. Betty McCollum was backing Steve Kelley, who dropped out of the race in February.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and GOP Rep. John Kline said they won't support a candidate until after the GOP endorsing convention.
Here's the conference call audio: Listen
Posted at 8:10 PM on March 30, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC is ramping up in the days leading the next campaign finance deadline. Earlier today, Pawlenty announced in an e-mail that his PAC will support Republican Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race:
It will be 8 months until Republicans and conservatives all over our country are elected and take back this country for freedom and correct the mistakes of this administration and Congress...with our help.
For my part, through this Freedom First PAC, we will support candidates who will be integral to Republican majorities in the House and Senate like Rob Portman in Ohio and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. This organization depends on contributions from those who share our mission: you.
The e-mail then directs readers to give to the PAC.
Pawlenty also appeared on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown and will appear on Fox's Greta tonight.
The governor, who appears to be ramping up for a presidential run in 2012, is also hosting a "Facebook townhall" meeting tomorrow night to announce endorsements and take questions.
All of these efforts are geared at getting Pawlenty's name in front of as many voters, particularly key Republican voters, but it also appears to be financially savvy. That's because tomorrow night is the deadline to close the books for the first quarter of 2010. Pawlenty's PAC will have to report its fundraising totals on April 15th.
Republican Marty Seifert's campaign for governor released a position paper on higher education today.
The proposal calls for greater access to online education, capping tuition to inflation, "downsize and decentralize"MnSCU and allow for the opt-out of certain student fees.
You can read it here.
The proposal follows Seifert's release of a budget plan and a health care plan. As Seifert and Tom Emmer continue to battle for delegates in the month leading up to the state party convention, it's clear Seifert is trying to distinguish himself as the "nuts and bolts"policy guy from Emmer.