Minnesota was Raising Arizona yesterday. There have been lots of comments and discussion of the new immigration law in Arizona.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman banned city travel to Arizona because of the new law.
Race for Governor
Republican gubernatorial hopefuls Marty Seifert and Tom Emmer both support a similar crackdown in Minnesota.
The two made their comments on MPR's Midday on Wednesday. Find a link to the show here.
The MNGOP State Party Convention starts tonight. The top order of business is backing a candidate for governor on Friday.
Emmer is giving out golden tickets to his evening reception.
El Tinklenberg backs Democrat Matt Entenza's campaign.
Under the Dome
Minnesota stands to gain in light of their higher Census returns.
The House Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill that cuts $154 million in services.
The House K12 Finance committee approved the k12 bill.
Lawmakers are looking to fix the finances of Minnesota's pensions.
A bill pushes for greater disclosure on corporate political spending.
Republicans end their filibuster on the Senate financial overhaul bill.
President Obama says there's little appetite in Congress to tackle immigration this year.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar backs a bill that would improve driver safety.
Klobuchar also praises the new tarmac limits.
GOP Rep. John Kline says in an op-ed that Yucca Mountain is the best place to store nuclear waste.
MinnPost says GOP Erik Paulsen walks softly in Congress.
Rwanda's Finance Minister met with DFL Rep. Betty McCollum.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison votes for a pay raise.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson scheduled a Farm Bill hearing in Idaho on Saturday.
Republican R. Chris Barden officially announces his campaign for Minnesota Attorney General. You can watch his announcement here.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty is a skeptic of the financial overhaul bill.
The U of M Stem Cell Institute could pose a problem for Gov. Pawlenty.
Pawlenty was in California on Wednesday.
There won't be a Digest on Friday since I'll be working long hours at the convention. Check back to the blog and my twitter feed for constant updates.
Gov. Pawlenty is scheduled to co-chair a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event in Washington D.C. on Monday. The Chamber sent out a news release saying Pawlenty and six other governors will attend the event:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation (NCF) will host seven bipartisan governors - including Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty - to discuss our nation's most important challenge: creating jobs and reviving economic growth. The event comes as the Chamber intensifies its American Free Enterprise. Dream Big. campaign, a nationwide effort to spur the creation of 20 million jobs over the next decade, by engaging governors and releasing its Enterprising States study. Governor Pawlenty will discuss specific examples, also highlighted in the new study, of how Minnesota is playing a pivotal role in fostering the conditions for job growth through its diverse industry portfolio, a legacy of national leadership in education, a highly-skilled and productive workforce, a robust entrepreneurial spirit, and keen interest in innovation.
The other governors scheduled to attend include Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Tennessee, Delaware Governor JackMarkell, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, New Mexico, Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri, Texas Governor Rick Perry and West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin.
I'm told the event will be webcast here.
Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung says Pawlenty will leave on Sunday for the event and that the state will not be paying for the trip.
Meanwhile, Pawlenty spoke at the Milken Institute's Global Conference on Shaping the Future on Wednesday. The event was held in California.
DFL Sen. Al Franken and several other U.S. Senators are backing legislation that would require any corporate CEOs to appear in any political ads that they purchase. The measure would also prohibit foreign companies and government contractors from participating. Here's part of the news release:
Under the Senators' proposal, the heads of any organization sponsoring an ad--including corporate CEOs--would be required to appear during the ad, as is currently required of candidates for federal office. In cases where special interests funnel their money into shell groups, the top five organizations that have donated to the group would have to be identified on screen during any ad sponsored by that group. The CEO of the group's top funder for that particular advertisement would also be required to appear on screen to deliver a "stand by your ad" disclaimer. The DISCOLOSE Act would effectively require, for the first time, all corporations and advocacy groups that make political expenditures to establish easy-to-track campaign accounts. All donations to these accounts that exceed $1,000--as well as all expenditures funded through these accounts--would be reported within 24 hours to the Federal Election Commission once the money is spent, as well as to the public on the organization's website, and to company shareholders in their corporate filing statements. If a company or organization did not wish to establish these transparent accounts, it would be required to disclose all its donors, not just those whose contributions are earmarked for political activities. The legislation will also strengthen a candidate's ability to respond to corporate attack ads by ensuring they can purchase air time at the lowest possible rate in the same media markets where these attacks ads are airing. The bill would also make sure that private corporations don't coordinate their political activities with candidates. The legislation was developed together with the Obama administration and House leaders including U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). Van Hollen was expected to introduce the House version of the DISCLOSE Act later today with Republican cosponsors.
Update: Here's a statement from U.S. Chamber President Tom Donohue:
"What's most in need of disclosure is the real purpose behind this bill--it's nothing more than a brazen attempt to tilt the playing field in favor of the incumbent party in this fall's elections, silence constitutionally protected speech, and abridge First Amendment rights.
"It's a sad day when legislators like Rep. Van Hollen and Sen. Schumer so blatantly put politics before the people's business. With unemployment near 10% and millions of Americans out of work, Congress should be more concerned about creating jobs than protecting their own. It's no coincidence that Rep. Van Hollen is the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Sen. Schumer is immediate past chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Sen. Schumer even admits his legislation is designed to 'impact' this fall's elections 'as much as possible.'
"Stifling free speech is an abuse of the legislative process and is unconstitutional. It will not stand. Free speech does not corrupt our politics, but efforts to limit it do."
Republican gubernatorial hopefuls Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert are making their last minute pitches to delegates. Both campaigns sent e-mail messages to supporters within two minutes of each other.
Emmer wrote a note to delegates saying this weekend's endorsement convention is "history in the making." Here's part of the e-mail:
I started this campaign as the "guy from Delano," with a vision for the future of our state, and the passion and energy to reach out to voters across Minnesota. We have been steadily building our support over the last nine months and Friday I will stand before you ready to take the mantle of leadership for our party as your nominee for governor.
It has been an honor to receive the support of 28 of my legislative colleagues - the most of anyone in the race. They work with me at the Capitol every day and it is truly humbling to see them stand up and announce their public support of our campaign.
I have also appreciated the support and guidance from some of Minnesota's top conservative voices including Brian Sullivan, Rod Grams, Mary Kiffmeyer, Carol Molnau, Laura Brod and Mike Wigley. And of course I am very proud to be running with Annette Meeks - her experience and leadership ability add great strength to our team for the November election.
The most important support I've received has come from my family. Many of you have met my wife and best friend in the world Jacquie, and this weekend our seven children will join us at the convention to support their dad. They are the reason we're running for governor, and their generation - your children and ours - will be in my thoughts during each policy debate and every major decision.
The only thing left to do is to humbly ask for your vote. You worked hard and made sacrifices to be here today to make this important decision for our party and our state. With your support, I will work hard to turn our principles into action on behalf of you and the entire state of Minnesota. I will not let you down.
Seifert's e-mail notifies delegates of their Thursday night party at the convention center. He also stressed his background and electability. Here's part of his e-mail:
As the sixth son of a father with only an 8th grade education, I know firsthand the promises and opportunities our state offers. With your help, we will put Minnesota back on the path to prosperity and freedom, and ensure that our children and grandchildren enjoy the same opportunities as they grow up in Minnesota.
But first we must defeat incredible threats to our state's future. Our economy continues to falter under the heavy hand of government interventionism. Too many of our family members or neighbors are without work, or our anxious about their jobs and their future. And our very society seems to be fraying in unexpected ways.
Although Minnesota Democrats are not yet united behind one candidate for governor, they are united in one terrifying belief: that government knows best and that government is the answer to all questions.
But we Republicans know better. And that's why this is our year.
Over the course of my campaign, I have presented my vision for Minnesota to you. I believe Republicans - and all Minnesotans - are thirsty for real solutions - not just platitudes or canned talking points. It is one thing to talk about vision - it is another to clearly lay out plans and policies to address the challenging problems facing Minnesota.
I hope that I have earned your vote. I hope that I may earn your continued confidence in the future. I humbly ask for both.
The leadership of our party is a monumental responsibility. If you bestow your endorsement on me, I will be a Republican nominee and governor whom you can be proud of. I will remember my roots and I will actively listen to the wisdom of grassroots activists like you as we move our state and country back in the direction of a brighter future for us all.
Thanks again for your tireless efforts on behalf of the conservative cause and your many courtesies on the campaign trail.
Friday's endorsing convention is critical for both candidates since Emmer and Seifert say they'll drop out of the race if they don't win party backing.
Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and John McCain's running mate in 2008, is backing Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor. The two met privately when Palin was in Minnesota holding a rally and fundraiser for GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann.
Palin wrote on her Facebook page this afternoon that Emmer is "a patriotic commonsense conservative who wishes to serve for the right reasons - that's Tom Emmer, and I ask you to join me in supporting him for governor of Minnesota."
Here's the full text:
A patriotic fiscally conservative "hockey dad" who got his start in politics by serving on his local city councils is running for governor of the great state of Minnesota. His name is Tom Emmer, and I'm proud to support him.
Tom has based his campaign on three founding principles: "Honoring the Constitution, Expanding Liberty and Fostering Economic Freedom."
Coming from a working class background, Tom is known as a straight-talker who is unafraid of taking on the challenge of reining in the size and scope of government. A proud father of seven, Tom is in this race for the right reasons - to provide bold, principled leadership that will leave Minnesota fiscally stronger for the next generation. He knows that government overspending is the real obstacle to reform. Tom says, "When a family experiences a change in its income, that family adjusts its budget accordingly. If they have less money, they spend less money. This simple form of money management is completely lost on state government." It's common sense statements like that which make Tom such an attractive candidate for Minnesotans who want real reform.
A family man who wants to leave his kids a better future, a "hockey dad" who once played for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks, a patriotic commonsense conservative who wishes to serve for the right reasons - that's Tom Emmer, and I ask you to join me in supporting him for governor of Minnesota.
Please visit Tom's website here, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Let's shake things up with this straight-talking "hockey dad" and his message for reforming government.
- Sarah Palin
Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Tony Sutton said today that delegates could have a mixed reaction to Sarah Palin's endorsement of Tom Emmer.
Here's what Sutton said when told of the news:
"When people from outside of the state have gotten involved, it's tended not to be a positive thing because most people regard it as a grassroots or Minnesota decision not a top down sort of a thing. But in this case, Sarah Palin came in and had 10,000 people just one room over a couple of weeks ago. It's hard to say."
Palin's backing works well into Emmer's recent theme that he has the "momentum" in the campaign. It will be interesting to see how Marty Seifert's campaign reacts to it.
State Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Delano, says Sarah Palin's endorsement of his campaign for governor is testament to his grassroots appeal.
Palin, the former Alaska governor, announced her support of Emmer today on her Facebook Page. She called his a patriotic, fiscally conservative hockey dad who would provide bold, principled leadership. Emmer said Palin is the gold standard for grassroot activism and her support means a lot.
"I think it's like everything else we've done in this campaign," Emmer said. "It's part of our momentum. The goal obviously is to be peaking tomorrow for endorsement purposes, but more importantly to be peaking in November."
Emmer is in a tight contest for the GOP endorsement against state Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall. GOP delegates make their pick Friday in Minneapolis.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert is downplaying the potential impact of Saran Palin's endorsement of his chief rival.
The former Alaska governor announced today that she's backing Tom Emmer in the GOP endorsement battle. GOP delegates make their pick for governor tomorrow. Palin issued a statement saying Emmer would provide bold, principled leadership. Seifert says he doesn't think the announcement means much.
"I haven't talked to one delegate today that frankly cares about it, Seifert said. "Nobody has told me they're switching off my side because of it. Nice lady, but last I checked she doesn't have credentials to vote at the convention."
Emmer said Palin endorsement means a lot to him, but he's not sure how delegates will react. He called Palin the gold standard in grassroots activism.
Posted at 6:36 PM on April 29, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2010
The MNGOP State Party Convention just started. The main order of business tonight is to endorse candidates for Secretary of State, State Auditor and Attorney General.
Former Auditor Pat Anderson is seeking her old seat. She's being challenged by Jeff Witta, who works in the Auditor's Office, Long Lake Mayor Randy Gilbert and former St. Paul School Board member Tom Conlon.
The endorsement contests for Secretary of State and Attorney General should go relatively quickly since there are only one GOP candidate in each race.
State Rep. Dan Severson of Sauk Rapids is running unopposed for Secretary of State.
R. Chris Barden announced this week that he's running for Attorney General
The endorsement battle for governor will occur tomorrow.
Gov. Pawlenty said he won't feel any nostalgia when he addresses GOP delegates tomorrow morning for the final time as governor. He said he'll focus his speech on motivating Republicans to turn out for the 2010 midterms.
"I think it will be a nice opportunity to thank them for their support over the years and to reflect a little bit of what we accomplished together during the last eight years," Pawlenty said. "I'll then talk a little bit about the campaign coming up this fall and the importance of them working hard to get a Republican elected."
When asked on Monday night if his speech will be emotional, Pawlenty said no:
"I think I had my full opportunity to do what I can for Minnesota, Pawlenty said. "We're still towards the end of a legislative session so we're working toward that but this is a year of lasts. The last governor's fishing opener. The last state of the state, the last state convention, the last Minnesota Family Council thing and so I've gotten used to the kind of, it's like the farewell tour."
Part of Pawlenty's reasoning may be because he's not done running. Since June, Pawlenty has visited 25 different states, Washington D.C. and several other countries to campaign on behalf of other Republican candidates and build the infrastructure for a possible run for the White House in 2012. Pawlenty said he won't make a decision on that until January at the earliest.
Here's a key question: Will Pawlenty feel any pressure to get involved in the endorsement battle? He said on Monday that Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert both requested meetings with him. He said he'd probably talk with them but it was unlikely he'd back a candidate.
Former Republican Senator Norm Coleman is making a few calls on behalf of Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor. Emmer's campaign manager David Fitzsimmons and Emmer campaign spokesman Bill Walsh both confirmed that Coleman is making the calls to a few delegates.
"He's calling some former high level supporters of his," Fitzsimmons said.
"You can imagine in a delegate pool like this that there are a few people who are loyal to him," Walsh said.
Two Republican congressional candidates, who are challenging longtime DFL incumbents, addressed state convention delegates Thursday night in Minneapolis.
Teresa Collett is challenging Congresswoman Betty McCollum in the fourth district. Collett said she wants to help cut the federal government back to constitutional size.
"We live in a time where every single one of us has got to do what we are called to do to take this country back," Collett said.
Lee Byberg is running against Congressman Collin Peterson in the seventh district. Byberg said he was born in the United State but was raised in Norway. He said he decided to become an American citizen when he was 18.
"With America, there's no king, there's no elite, there's no social class who can tell you how far you can go," Byberg said. "Have you ever heard of the German dream, the French dream, the Italian dream or even the dream from Norway? I'll tell you they do have those dreams but it's about America."
State Rep. Dan Severson, the Republican candidate for secretary of state, says there are reasons to doubt Minnesota's 2008 U.S. Senate election.
Severson is challenging incumbent DFLer Mark Ritchie, who is seeking a second term. Severson raised questions about 2008, as well as Ritchie's own election in 2006, which he claimed was part of a wide spread effort by ACORN and other special interest groups.
"We have a major problem when those special interests are diving their hands into our political system, into our ability to elect righteous people," Severson said.
Posted at 9:22 PM on April 29, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2010
Republicans unanimously endorsed Chris Barden for Minnesota Attorney General. Barden spent the first part of his speech saying he'd remake the office of Attorney General. He said he'll represent the poor and needy as well as businesses who hire workers and provide jobs.
Barden then criticized current Attorney General Lori Swanson suggesting she cares more for the now defunct community organization.
"I will not be like the current Attorney General who seems to care more for Acorn than the rest of us."
He also ripped Swanson for declining to sue the federal government over the constitutionality of the federal health care law.
"When your lawyer fails to defend you, you fire them and get a better lawyer," Barden said.
Here's his full speech: Listen