The governor's race is front and center this week. DFLers meet on Saturday to back a candidate. That means the candidates have been pulling out all of the stops to show why they're best suited to follow Gov. Pawlenty into office.
On Friday, touted endorsements from city government officials.
Democrat Mark Dayton, who is running in a primary, completed his 87 counties in 87 days tour.
Tom Daschle, the former Democratic Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, is holding Washington D.C. fundraiser for Matt Entenza today. Entenza is also running in a primary.
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean held a fundraiser for Democrat R.T. Rybak on Friday night.
Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner says she won't put her name into nomination at the convention. She's headed straight to the primary.
The Pi Press says Take Action Minnesota may play a significant role at the convention.
On the GOP side, Tom Emmer will outline his vision for government tonight.
Race for Congress
In the 4th District, Republicans back St. Thomas College professor Teresa Collett and Democrats backed DFL Rep. Betty McCollum.
Shelley Madore reversed course and says she will challenge Dan Powers in the DFL primary.
Stu Rothenberg drops Minnesota's 3rd and 6th from the competitive list.
The cash pours into the 6th District race.
Former President Bill Clinton criticizes GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's gangster government remarks.
Under the Dome
In a major development, the Star Tribune says hospitals are choosing to opt out of the GAMC deal.
Forum Communications says there are significant hurdles to passing Vikings stadium legislation this year.
Democrats are seizing on financial oversight after the Goldman Sachs was charged with fraud.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote a memo expressing concern about the long-term strategy in Iran but he backtracked on it yesterday.
The top general says U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is on track.
President Obama canceled his trip to Poland because ash from a volcano in Iceland grounded planes in Europe.
Obama also released his tax returns.
Obama orders hospitals to allow same-sex marriage visits.
He also calls for tougher financial regulations.
Five major airlines agree not to charge fees for carry-on luggage.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar met with Minnesota parents who are concerned about pending adoptions from Russia.
Klobuchar also pushes for the expansion of broadband.
The St. Cloud Times says DFL Rep. Betty McCollum wins a push to get more Medicare money to Minnesota doctors.
The federal government shifts gears to tackle homegrown terrorism. DFL Rep. Keith Ellison is mentioned.
Some Republicans worry that resistance over the census will lead to an undercount. GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is mentioned.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson rolls out a plan for the new Farm Bill.
He suggests that the cotton subsidies could be overhauled.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is mentioned in this WSJ story that discusses attempts to make it easier to organize with Federal Express.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Here's a list of Pawlenty's PAC contributions by state. There aren't many contributions from New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina on that list.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is privately mulling a 2012 run.
Mitt Romney will back Marco Rubio in Florida's U.S. Senate race. Paging Tim Pawlenty!
Texas Gov. Rick Perry tells Newsweek that he won't run for president.
George Pataki appears to be gearing up for a run.
Slate's Ed Kilgore says the GOP has a 2012 problem.
It's Patriot Day in Massachusetts. Good luck marathoners.
MPR's Midday will feature the leading DFL candidates for governor this week.
On Tuesday at 11: former state Rep. Matt Entenza, State Sen. John Marty, state Rep. Tom Rukavina and state Rep. Paul Thissen will be on the show.
On Wednesday at 11: former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will be on the show.
State Rep. Tom Emmer and state Rep. Marty Seifert will be on the program next week.
The Service Employees International Union State Council announced today that it won't back a candidate for governor this week. In a news release, SEIU officials said it will wait until after this Saturday's endorsing convention to back a candidate.
"We are firmly committed to electing a pro-working family governor in November and we are fortunate to have a large group of well-qualified candidates, any of whom will be a better governor than Marty Seifert or Tom Emmer," said Julie Schnell, president of SEIU Minnesota State Council and president of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. "The DFL candidates' commitment to working families has inspired many of our members to become involved in the political process, and we appreciate the time that they have spent getting know our members. "
The union will reconsider the endorsement after the convention and before the August primary.
SEIU is the second union to announce it was staying out of the DFL endorsement. Education Minnesota, the statewide teacher's union also said it wouldn't endorse until after the convention.
Pawlenty unveiled the reforms today in a a single bill that he wants legislators to quickly pass. The bill includes alternative licensing, pay for performance and an end to tenure. The Republican governor has made similar proposals before and the DFL-controled Legislature has rejected them. The statewide teachers union Education Minnesota has also opposed many of the proposals. But Pawlenty said the reforms are needed now to strengthen Minnesota's second application for a competitive federal grant called Race to the Top.
"We believe that given the competition that we're in, the advance of the research and the consensus around these types of things being needed for education reform and improvement in our country that they are worthy of reconsideration," Pawlenty said
A joint House-Senate hearing is scheduled Tuesday to take up the Race to the Top issues. Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville, the House education finance chair, said she's been trying to convince the union to compromise. Greiling acknowledged the union's lack of support as a factor in the state's first unsuccessful grant application. Still, she was not pleased with the governor's news conference.
"To have the governor poking the union in the eye one more time, when that's when we lost most points, is not helpful at all," Greiling said.
Posted at 4:44 PM on April 19, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2008: U.S. MN CD1, Campaign 2010, Campaign 2010: Minnesota Governor, Campaign 2010: U.S. House, Pawlenty travel, Tim Pawlenty
On Saturday, Republicans in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District endorsed state Rep. Randy Demmer to challenge DFL Rep. Tim Walz.
I'm posting the speech he gave just before he was endorsed by acclamation. Listen
Republicans Marty Seifert and Tom Emmer, who are both vying for the GOP endorsement for governor, also spoke at the event.
Here's Seifert's speech: Listen
Here's Emmer's speech: Listen
Update: Gov. Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC is backing Demmer for Congress. His spokesman, Alex Conant, says the PAC will give $2400 to Demmer's campaign.
On Friday, DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez emphasized in a press briefing that the DFL Party has had recent success in getting the endorsed candidate to the general election. The topic came up because the endorsed candidate is likely to face at least three other candidates in the August primary. Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, former Minnesota House Minority Leader Matt Entenza and Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner all say they'll run in the primary regardless of Saturday's endorsing convention.
Melendez said only one DFL endorsed candidate didn't face a primary challenge in the past 21 gubernatorial contests (Wendell Anderson in 1970). He also said the party will rally behind the endorsed candidate immediately after the endorsing convention.
"I think the people are who thinking that the party's endorsement has the same meaning now as it had in the 1980s," Melendez said. "I think they are going to be very disturbingly surprised. We back up our endorsement these days and we win."
The party also released a chart outlining how each endorsed gov candidate fared in the primary and how they did in the general election. The endorsed candidate won all but three of the primary challenges. Check it here:
Year Endorsed Won Primary Won Election # Opp. 2006 Mike Hatch Mike Hatch Tim Pawlenty 2 2002 Roger Moe Roger Moe Tim Pawlenty 1 1998 Mike Freeman Skip Humphrey Jesse Ventura 5 1994 John Marty John Marty Arne Carlson 3 1990 Rudy Perpich Rudy Perpich Arne Carlson 2 1986 Rudy Perpich Rudy Perpich Rudy Perpich 4 1982 Warren Spannaus Rudy Perpich Rudy Perpich 2 1978 Rudy Perpich Rudy Perpich Al Quie 1 1974 Wendell Anderson Wendell Anderson Wendell Anderson 1 1970 Wendell Anderson Wendell Anderson Wendell Anderson 0 1966 A.M. (Sandy) Keith Karl Rolvaag Harold LeVander 4 1962 Karl Rolvaag Karl Rolvaag Karl Rolvaag 1 1960 Orville Freeman Orville Freeman Elmer Andersen 1 1958 Orville Freeman Orville Freeman Orville Freeman 1 1956 Orville Freeman Orville Freeman Orville Freeman 3 1954 Orville Freeman Orville Freeman Orville Freeman 1 1952 Orville Freeman Orville Freeman C. Elmer Anderson 1 1950 Harry Peterson Harry Peterson Luther Youngdahl 4 1948 Charles Halstad Charles Halstad Luther Youngdahl 5 1946 Harold Barker Harold Barker Luther Youngdahl 4 1944 Byron Allen Byron Allen Edward John Thye 2
Source: Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party
Thanks to MPR's Than Tibbetts for making the chart look good on the site.
Democrat Paul Thissen's campaign for governor released a light hearted web video today to showcase that he can close the deal. In it, Thissen strikes out "unemployment" "unfair taxes" and "class sizes." Thissen is vying for the DFL endorsement for governor with a handful of other candidates.
Expect to see more endorsements, videos and other campaign announcements as Saturday's endorsement gets closer. Every campaign wants to build the appearance of momentum.
Republican Tom Emmer outlined his "first principles" speech tonight before a receptive audience of 150 people. During his roughly 30 minuts speech, Emmer says, if elected, he'll return Minnesota to the "art of constitutional government" if he's elected governor.
The state legislator from Delano said those key constitutional priorities are public safety, infrastructure and public education. Emmer also urged a dramatic overhaul of the state's social service and welfare programs - saying he'll "peel back the onion" when it comes to social service programs.
Emmer also took a shot at his key Republican rival, Marty Seifert, who released eight policy papers on issues like the state budget, transportation and education.
"You can talk about policies all day," Emmer said. "We can hire all of the experts from coast to coast and they can put out all kinds of policies for you as to how 'We're going to change this and revamp that.' But you know what? It all starts with those documents. Those founding documents. You must get back to the art of practicing constitutional government."
Emmer is vying for the Republican endorsement with fellow state legislator Marty Seifert of Marshall. Seifert's campaign manager Kurt Daudt said Emmer should have outlined how he'll accomplish his goals.
"People are looking for specifics and we haven't seen specific plans on how he wants to do these things," Daudt said. "He's talked about at times reducing the state budget by up to forty percent. Numbers that seem almost impossible. I think people want to hear specifics on how he plans to do that."
The April 30th Republican endorsing convention will be critical for both Emmer and Seifert since they both pledged to drop out of the race if they don't win party backing. Democrats will meet on Saturday to back their candidate.