Republican candidates for governor Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert both agreed to sign "The Fiscal Responsibility Pledge" last night. The pledge, designed by
the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota Tom Emmer, aims to cut taxes, reduce state government and cut government workers. (Update: Emmer designed the pledge but it was announced at a debate at the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota debate).
Seifert's campaign, however, is criticizing Emmer for not signing a No New Taxes pledge from the Taxpayers League and for suggesting in the past that he doesn't sign pledges.
The pledge comes just one week after Emmer and Seifert criticized the other for raising supporting tax increases in the past. Here's the full release from Emmer's campaign:
Wayzata -- Tom Emmer signed a pledge today directly with the people of Minnesota to reduce taxes, reduce the state workforce and reduce regulations during his term as governor. The pledge goes beyond the traditional language from the Taxpayers League of Minnesota that only promises to hold the line on taxes. Marty Seifert added his signature to the fiscal responsibility pledge during a debate in Wayzata hosted by the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota.
"The voters need to know with certainty the next governor will not raise taxes at a time when so many families and businesses are struggling in this economy," said Emmer. "This pledge goes beyond simply holding the line on taxes - we will actually reduce the tax burden on families and businesses during our time as governor. It is the fastest way to get this economy moving again and create jobs."
Emmer and Seifert also promised to reduce the state workforce and reduce regulations that make it hard for Minnesota businesses to add jobs. The complete language of the pledge follows:
I establish this covenant with the people of Minnesota. As Governor I will:
Reduce the tax burden for citizens and employers;
Reduce the size of the state workforce; and
Reduce the number and scope of regulations that inhibit job creation and unduly burden individual freedom.
I stake my honor and integrity upon these promises to the citizens of Minnesota.
-- 30 --
Here's the full statement from Kurt Daudt, Seifert's campaign manager:
"In less than a week, Representative Emmer has made a dramatic shift from refusing to sign pledges to now writing a pledge that suits his personal convenience.
Rep. Emmer's covenant is a personal pledge, and no third party organization will hold him accountable. The Taxpayers' Protection Pledge is the "grand daddy" of pledges in Minnesota politics. It has tradition and prestige.
By signing the Taxpayers' Protection Pledge, Marty Seifert has promised to not raise taxes and Minnesotans can rest assured that an independent group will judge him accordingly."
Emmer Claims He "Never" Signs Pledges
"I won't sign pledges, never have...and I haven't signed them from day one...I don't believe that you do [need to sign pledges]...because I think you lose your credibility the second you sign a pledge...I lose the opportunity to explain why it's a bad idea..." (MGRC Candidate Forum, November 17, 2009).
Posted at 7:49 AM on April 13, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The state's cash flow may be in trouble in the fall.
A committee in the Minnesota House will discuss a bill that would raise fees on car registrations.
Lawmakers are calling for a study of tax reciprocity between Wisconsin and Minnesota.
WCCO reality checks the Twins Stadium tax.
A bill that would slow down the divorce process is moving through the Legislature.
Public defenders in southeastern Minnesota filed a grievance over workload.
Democrats are continuing their push to block Gov. Pawlenty's plan to reconfigure mental health and dental services.
The Senate voted to repeal the Legacy Amendment guidelines.
President Obama's nuclear summit produced a few results. China pledged to work with the U.S. on possible Iran sanctions and Ukraine agreed to rid itself of nuclear bomb materials.
The Senate passes a bill that would extend unemployment benefits.
GOP House Minority Leader John Boehner says repealing the federal health law is his number one priority.
The Washington Post says the federal budget deficit is smaller than last year.
SEIU's president will reportedly step down.
The White House says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not being considered for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ethanol groups start an ad campaign taking on big oil.
Former President Jimmy Carter will visit Minnesota to rehab housing.
Democrats push to require corporate campaign disclosure.
MPR looks at the list of earmark requests from Minnesota's delegation.
Minnesota's senators will get a good view of the coming Supreme Court battle.
Race for Governor
Republicans Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert pledge to cut government.
Former DNC Chair, presidential candidate and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean will campaign for Democrat R.T. Rybak this week.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison held a rally for Democrat Matt Entenza.
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher creates an Iphone app for her campaign.
The DFL releases its drop rule for the convention.
Race for Congress
The anti-Bachmann blog, Dump Bachmann, reports that GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's staff salaries increased in 2009.
Bachmann spoke to a group of Republicans in Sioux City, Iowa over the weekend.
The Independence Party endorsed Steven Wilson to run against DFL Rep. Tim Walz.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty returns to Minnesota today after attending private meetings for his PAC in New York on Monday. He'll be in Illinois and Iowa later this week.
Pawlenty completed his census over the weekend.
DFL state Rep. Erin Murphy of St. Paul and DFL state Rep. Maria Ruud are backing Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher's campaign for governor. Here's the e-mail sent by Kelliher's campaign:
In 2010, there is nothing more important for Democrats than electing a DFL governor to lead Minnesota.
We are supporting Margaret Anderson Kelliher and her campaign for governor, because she shares our values, she's an effective leader, and she can win this campaign.
Margaret has the instinct, experience and passion to lead us through the significant challenges we face in Minnesota. She has a keen eye for solving problems and she isn't interested in scoring political points or taking credit even when it's well-deserved.
Margaret has the best interests of Minnesotans in mind--not her own.
We have witnessed Margaret in action, and that's exactly why we're supporting her for governor. Margaret brings diverse coalitions of people together, cultivates an atmosphere that brings out the best in everyone, and she gets results.
We need a leader who can work in a partisan environment and be ready to govern from day one. Our next governor will have just 12 weeks to put together a budget and Margaret is the only candidate with the experience to get that done.
She is honest. She has integrity. She is the leader we need today.
Join us in supporting Margaret Anderson Kelliher's campaign for governor!
Rep. Erin Murphy & Rep. Maria Ruud
Former Senator Mark Dayton, a DFL candidate for governor, says he wants Gov. Pawlenty to reapply for a key federal education grant.
Dayton is also calling on the Republican governor to stop blaming others for the failure of state's initial application. Pawlenty wants the legislature to pass a package of school reforms, including alternative teacher licensing, before making a second application for money under the federal "Race to the Top" initiative. He's often said the state teachers union is the main hurdle to those reforms. During a Capitol news conference today, Dayton said Pawlenty should work with teachers, not against them.
"Unfortunately, Gov. Pawlenty shows every sign that he's more interested in political blame games and wooing support for his presidential aspirations from anti-public school right-wing zealots than he is with improving the quality of Minnesota's public education," Dayton said. "That must end."
Dayton said his position was not aimed at winning favor with the teachers union. Education Minnesota has not yet endorsed a candidate for governor.
Gov. Pawlenty is scheduled to meet this afternoon with legislative leaders to discuss Race to the Top and other issues.
Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung issued the following statement in response to Dayton:
Apparently Mark Dayton didn't read the actual Race to the Top reviews. They point out that important reforms, including alternative teacher licensing and improved teacher preparation, would have improved our application. These and other key reforms have been frequently proposed by Governor Pawlenty but have been stopped by the teachers union and their DFL allies every time. Minnesota finished 20th in the first round. It would be pointless to resubmit our application without first passing needed education reforms. This issue is not a Republican governor versus the teachers union issue. The Race to the Top criteria has been established by the Obama Administration and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. It's time for DFLers to stop making excuses and start passing these important, widely-supported bipartisan education reforms.
Democrat Paul Thissen's campaign for governor released a plan for education. The plan calls for increased funding for education, reduce class sizes and expanding the curriculum. You can read the full proposal here.
Former Republican Gov. Al Quie announced today that he's backing Marty Seifert's campaign for governor. Quie said he and Seifert are old friends and he thinks Seifert has the ability to be a strong governor. Quie did criticize Seifert for signing a No New Taxes pledge and reitterated the state needs more money to solve its current budget situation.