Posted at 6:38 AM on April 28, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Do you remember when there were visions of an early end to the legislative session dancing in your heads?
There are $408 million reasons why that may not happen.
State budget officials say it's extremely unlikely the state will see federal Medicaid money by May 17th. That means the state budget gap will grow by $400 million since Gov. Pawlenty and House Democrats were relying on the funds to balance the budget. MPR and AP have stories.
Gov. Pawlenty and lawmakers have a few options.
1) They could make additional cuts to fix the budget gap (likely but difficult).
2) They could leave a $408 million hole in the budget with the hopes the federal money comes through (unlikely).
3) They could raise taxes (extremely unlikely).
Democrats in the Minnesota House are already taking heat for their proposed cuts to Health and Human Services programs.
Groups are objecting to the cuts during committee testimony.
Hennepin County officially refuses to take part in the new GAMC program.
Race for the Governor
Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert, the top two Republican candidates for governor, will both appear on MPR's Midday this morning at 11.
On Tuesday, Emmer picked Annette Meeks as his running mate. She's a darling of conservative principles but has taken stands that could raise a few eyebrows among GOP delegates. For example, she's now running for a job that she wanted to eliminate in 1998. She also served on a stadium commission in 2004 that called for raising taxes without voter approval. MPR, AP, the Pi Press, Forum Communications and the Star Tribune have stories.
You can watch video of the Emmer/Meeks announcement here.
Goldman Sachs executives defend the company before a Congressional hearing.
While the financial overhaul debate intensifies, the amount of money being sent to politicians also increases.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar criticizes Wall St. in an op-ed.
President Obama urges bipartisanship on soaring deficits.
The New York Times says the financial reform issue could be a winner for Democrats.
DFL Sen. Al Franken calls for better Facebook protections.
Eric Holder may challenge Arizona's immigration law.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann declines to take a stand on the Arizona immigration law.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen wants to repeal the medical device tax.
Several state lawmakers and good government groups are pushing for the Minnesota Legislature to pass a bill that requires corporations to disclose independent expenditures.
DFL Representative Ryan Winkler of Golden Valley says he wants corporations to require contributions and political expenditures with 48 hours for all independent expenditures like TV ads. He also wants businesses to disclose that they paid for the campaign materials and require that they notify shareholders of any political spending above ten thousand dollars.
"This bill is what we should be doing at a minimum," Winkler said. "If we have to take something less at some point along the line here before the end of session in order to provide some disclosure, some transparency, some sunlight into these disclosures, it would probably be better than doing nothing."
Minnesota law currently bans corporations from spending on Minnesota races but a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling put that law into doubt. The court ruled corporations can spend an unlimited amount of money on issue advocacy. The court continues to allow a ban on direct contributions to candidates.
Here's what Winkler is calling for (via press release):
-Require disclosure of all contributions and expenditures within 48 hours for all independent expenditure groups. Any entity, including a corporation or a union, would be required to disclose all contributions and expenditures over $5,000 within 48 hours of making it. The information must be posted in real-time so that the public knows who is paying for this political speech as it occurs.
-Regulate issue ads the same way as express advocacy. The state should require disclosure of issue ads if they (1) cost more than $25,000, (2) are made in the year of an election, and (3) identify a candidate running in the election. The disclosure would include: who is paying for the ad, who is contributing to the group running it, how much was spent, what candidate was mentioned, how much was spent on each candidate mentioned, and on what medium (television ads, direct mails, etc.).
-Require the use of a disclaimer on most campaign material in Minnesota. Any campaign material must have a disclaimer statement on it that outlines what candidate or committee paid for the material. There will be an exemption for individuals engaging in campaigning that costs less than $5,000.
-Require that shareholders be notified of corporate political expenditures. The vast majority of publically traded companies make political expenditures in secret. Shareholders have rarely learned about contributions that top executives make to political action committees on behalf of the companies. Shareholders should be notified of any spending on political activities, including in-kind donations as well as contributions, membership dues or other payments to organizations that engage in political activities. The corporation would have to file a report with shareholders and the state campaign finance disclosure board if the aggregate contributions exceed $10,000. These reports must be filed electronically and within 5 business days of incurring the expense.
Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor is using a theme from Willy Wonka to court GOP delegates at this weekend's state party convention. The campaign is hand delivering chocolate bars that include a "golden ticket" that invites them to attend Emmer's Thursday night delegate reception.
Emmer's media director, Benjamin Kruse, said the campaign has been hand delivering the chocolate bars for about a month. He said representatives in each BPOU is going door to door to give them to delegate.
Kruse stressed it's the campaign's strategy to have as much person to person contact as possible. He said the Willy Wonka themed golden ticket is a good way to do it.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has ordered city departments to no longer travel to conferences in the state of Arizona. He issued the order because of a recent law that cracks down on illegal immigration in that state.
"This law sets a dangerous example for the rest of the country," Coleman said in a news release. "It will create a culture where racial profiling is acceptable, and will create a dangerous wedge between police officers and the communities they serve. We've seen what can be done through partnering with immigrant communities and its effects on issues such as domestic violence rates, violent crime, and overall community safety."Coleman also said he intends to write to the DNC and the RNC to encourage them to not choose Phoenix for the national political party conventions in 2012.
Republicans Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert squared off on MPR's Midday today. The main news is how both Seifert and Emmer support an Arizona style immigration law in Minnesota but they also discussed the state budget, tax cuts and the appropriate size of state government.
Listen to the show here:
Update: Seifert releases his policy paper on immigration.
A lawyer and psychologist from Edina says he's running for attorney general as a Republican.
R. Christopher Barden launched his campaign today (Wednesday) to challenge DFL incumbent Lori Swanson. Republicans have been critical of Swanson for not joining a lawsuit against the federal government over the health care reform law. Barden says that's one of the issues that convinced him to run for attorney general.
"Where's the legal precedent for the government mandating, coming into your home telling you that you have to buy a particular product?," Barden asked. "ether it's health care or whether it's a car or certain clothing, that's never happened before."
Barden said he was not a politician and had never before run for a major office. He later told reporters that he made un unsuccessful run for a state school board seat in Utah.
DFL party officials say Barden is a paid witness who doesn't have the background needed to be attorney general.
Former state transportation commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg is supporting Matt Entenza in his campaign for governor.
Tinklenberg is also a former mayor of Blaine. In 2008, he was the DFL candidate for congress in the 6th district, losing to incumbent Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Entenza is a DFL candidate for governor in the Aug. 10 primary election. He'll face Mark Dayton and Margaret Anderson Kelliher, who is the DFL party's endorsed candidate,
Here's what Tinklenberg had to say in an Entenza news release about the endorsement:
"Matt Entenza has a 21st century vision for Minnesota, and he understands that our transportation needs go hand-in-hand with the demands of our economy. Matt's transportation vision is one reason I believe he is the best choice for governor. But like most Minnesotans, my concerns for our state extend beyond one or two issues. Above all, I believe Matt Entenza has what it takes to lead our state in the challenging times we face. Matt has spent his life working for the values we share and overcoming challenges. He knows how to create opportunities for success - and he'll do this for our entire state. These days there's a sense that Minnesota isn't what it used to be. We can't go back, but we can make Minnesota great again. It will take a leader with vision to get the job done. That leader is Matt Entenza - and I will be working to make him our next governor."