Gov. Pawlenty may be getting lots of love from national news outlets over the past few weeks but it isn't yet resonating with voters. In New Hampshire, Pawlenty is a distant seventh among possible 2012 GOP contenders. The Granite State poll shows that 41 percent of those polled support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Pawlenty is second to last among the field of
Among likely Republican Primary voters, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the 2008 New Hampshire runner-up, has consistently been the most popular. In the most recent Granite State Poll, 41% of likely Republican Primary voters said they would vote for Romney, 12% favor 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, 11% would vote for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 9% support former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, 6% support Texas Congressman and 2008 candidate Ron Paul, 5% prefer former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, 3% favor Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, and 2% favor former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
Meanwhile, Pawlenty isn't do so well on the home front either. A MPR/U of M poll shows that his approval rating is at historic lows. You can find information on Pawlenty's approval and the 2010 governor's race here.
A new MPR/U of M poll shows former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton leading the DFL candidates in the race for governor. It also suggests Dayton has the edge in the general election in November. Gov. Pawlenty also gets historically low marks in the poll. You can read the story on the poll here.
Dayton also criticized Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL endorsed candidate for governor, for the outcome of the 2010 legislative session.
Democrat Matt Entenza will announce his running mate via twitter.
Republican Tom Emmer says it's time for the GOP to play offense.
Race for the Legislature
DFL Sen. Mee Moua's decision to retire throws the DFL field in disarray.
Anti-gay marriage ads hit the Minnesota airwaves.
Under the Dome
Gov. Pawlenty will discuss the Race to the Top application at a morning news conference. Expect him to heavily criticize Education Minnesota and the DFL controlled Legislature for not advancing his K12 proposals.
On Tuesday, Pawlenty signed the ignition interlock bill into law. It requires DWI offenders to use the device if they want to continue driving.
A judge orders 1,423 Minneapolis retirees in two pension funds to pay back $76 million.
The Vikings set a deadline on the stadium.
Pawlenty vetoed a bong water bill.
Figure this out - a long-time Senator loses a primary bid that's backed by the White House. An upstart physician defeats the candidate backed by the NRSC in Kentucky and Democrats win a special election in PA. A rubuke to the parties?
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar talks with Politico.
DFL Sen. Al Franken met with Elena Kagan.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar will chair a hearing on the oil spill.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar also wants answers on the oil spill.
Medical Device makers give an FDA official an earful at a hearing.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
A Granite State poll puts Pawlenty a distant seventh to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
WCCO Reality Checks Gov. Pawlenty's legacy.
Smart Politics looks at where Gov. Pawlenty ranks among the 2002 gov class on jobs.
Gov. Pawlenty discussed his book but won't discuss the size of the fee he's getting for it.
MPR News and the U of M's Humphrey School released a poll that focused on the 2010 race for governor and approval ratings for several statewide office holders. On the DFL side, former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton leaders MN House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and former legislator Matt Entenza in the race to win the August primary. Dayton also has a slight edge over GOP endorsed Tom Emmer in head to head match-ups. Emmer leads Kelliher and Entenza in those head to heads.
You can read the story on the poll here.
Meanwhile, Kelliher released a statement on the poll results that calls out Dayton and Entenza's personal wealth:
"While I have been at the Capitol standing up to Tim Pawlenty and radical Republicans like Tom Emmer, my opponents have been spending their own personal fortunes to get a head start in this race.
"But I know that's not how you earn the support, or the votes of Minnesotans. Paul Wellstone taught me at a young age how to organize Minnesotans around a cause, and inspire communities to achieve something better.
"That's why I am building a people powered campaign for governor. We're going to win this election door-by-door, voter-by-voter. Together with Minnesotans, we are going to win. Because this campaign is about more than one person, it's about one Minnesota.
"That's what I'm fighting for. That's how we will close the chapter on Tim Pawlenty, and build a better Minnesota."
Update: Dayton also talked about the poll results with MPR's Morning Edition.
Update: Matt Entenza's campaign sent out a statement from his campaign manager. We aren't posting it because we want our readers/listeners to know what the candidate is saying not their campaign staff. A spokeswoman for the Entenza campaign said Entenza "doesn't comment on polls."
"Tax the rich" is the mantra of Mark Dayton's campaign.
The former U.S. Senator promises to increase taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans if elected governor. To sell his plan, Dayton needs to convince voters that the richest aren't paying enough.
Here's a claim from his Web site:
"Minnesota's wealthiest citizens pay only two-thirds of their fair share of state and local taxes."
Dayton's claim is more or less correct; in terms of percentage of income, the richest Minnesotans pay less in taxes than most.
Dayton's campaign pointed to a 2009 study by the Minnesota Department of Revenue on how much residents pay in state and local taxes.
According to the report's 2011 projections, the top 1 percent of earners in the state - those making more than $480,000 a year - give between 7.7 and 8.8 percent of their income to the state. That's compared to an average 12.5 percent paid by the bottom 90 percent of households, or those making less than $136,954 annually.
After that, the math is simple: divide the average percent of income paid by the wealthiest by the average paid by everyone else, and it's exactly two-thirds.
The Dayton campaign compares the top 1 percent with the bottom 90 percent, which leaves out a swath of taxpayers, said Paul Wilson, Director of Tax Research for the revenue department.
Comparing the top 10 percent - those making more than $136,955 -- with the bottom 90 percent would show that the wealthiest pay an average of three-fourths of what most pay.
Brian Klaas, Dayton's policy director, said that their comparison aims to show how the very richest fare under Minnesota's tax structure. Indeed, social scientists say that such a comparison is commonly used to measure income inequality.
Wilson agrees with Dayton's overall analysis.
"Wealthiest is in the eye of the beholder," he said. "The basic message of the statement is correct."
As a result, Dayton's passes his first PoliGraph test.
Markdayton.org, Taxes, accessed May 12, 2010
The Minnesota Department of Revenue, 2009 Minnesota Tax Incidence Study, accessed May 12, 2010
MPR News, Fee - 'it's not a tax' - could hit smokers, by Laura McCallum, May 20, 2005
Phone interview with Paul Wilson, Director of Tax Research, Minnesota Department of Revenue, May 11, 2010
E-mail interview with Gregory Joseph, Communications Direct for Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota, April 29, 2010
Phone interview with Brian Klaas, Policy Director for Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota, May 10, 2010
Phone interview with Tim Taylor, Managing Editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, May 13, 2010
Phone interview with Lane Kenworthy, Professor of Sociology and Political Science at the University of Arizona, May 13, 2010
DFL Rep. Mary Ellen Otremba has always been a quiet member of the Minnesota House. She rarely spoke on the House floor and appeared shy around reporters. So it's no surprise that she decided to announce her retirement through a press release than in a retirement speech on the last night of session. Today, Otremba released a statement saying she's retiring:
"It has been an incredible privilege to serve the citizens of District 11B in the Minnesota House of Representatives. There is no greater honor in a democracy than to be selected by one's fellow citizens to represent them in the halls of government. I will always be grateful for the years I've had to serve in our beautiful Capitol, working to enhance the quality of life for all Minnesotans."
"Public service has been a part of my life, even before I came to the Legislature. In fact, it was my dad who brought me to my first precinct caucus. Since that day, I've never stopped working to shine a light on the wonderful things than make Greater Minnesotas quality of life so special. I will continue to advocate for the issues that matter most to rural Minnesotans - agriculture, the environment and conservation, health care, quality education and a firm commitment to protecting life from conception until natural death.
"Now I'm looking forward to spending more time with my family, especially with my two grandbabies. I'm also looking forward to having more time with all of the friends Ive made over the years who continue to be such a big part of my life. And I might even do a little sewing, too."
"I cannot say 'Thank You' often enough to the voters of Todd and Douglas for giving me and my beloved husband Ken the opportunity to be their voice in the Minnesota House. It has been a blessing and a gift."
Otremba was first elected to the Minnesota House in 1997. She won a special election after the death of her husband, Representative Ken Otremba. House DFLers say her win was the first special election victory by a DFLer in Minnesota history.
Republicans have long targeted Otremba suggesting that she was vulnerable in past election cycles but voters kept sending her back to St. Paul. It could be a prime pickup for the GOP since John McCain and Norm Coleman won the district handily.
Otremba is the 22nd member of the Legislature to retire. There are 14 House retirements and 8 retirements in the Minnesota Senate.
Here's the full list
Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud
Mee Moua, DFL-St.Paul
Debbie Johnson, R-Ham Lake
Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing
Steve Dille, R-Dassel
Pat Pariseau, R-Farmington
Jim Vickerman, DFL-Tracy
Dennis Frederickson, R-New Ulm
Karla Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove
Laura Brod, R-New Prague
Randy Demmer, R-Hayfield
Rob Eastland, R-Isanti
Tom Emmer, R-Delano
Larry Haws, DFL-St. Cloud
Jeremy Kalin, DFL-North Branch
Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis
Paul Kohls, R-Victoria
Doug Magnus, R-Slayton
Mary Ellen Otremba, DFL-Long Prairie
Marty Seifert, R-Marshall
Dan Severson, R-Sauk Rapids
Cy Thao, DFL-St. Paul