President Obama is expected to make a decision today on whether Stanley McChrystal should keep his job as the commander in Afghanistan. McChrystal criticized Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden and other members of the Administration to Rolling Stone.
CNN reports that McChyrstal submitted his resignation. The big question is whether President Obama accepts it.
Politico says McChrystal won't get a lifeline from Capitol Hill.
Obama also vowed to push forward with his gay rights agenda.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced oil spill legislation that requires companies to set up escrow accounts.
Las Vegas will get some Minnesota visitors in July. DFL Sen. Al Franken will speak to liberal bloggers in Las Vegas in July. GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann will speak to conservative bloggers in the same location the same week.
Franken's spokeswoman is leaving Franken's office to work for Emily's List.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum signs a letter to President Obama encouraging him to keep a commercial whale hunting ban in place.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison is scheduled to speak in Minneapolis to the Unitarian Universalists General Assembly.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann withdraws two requests for the St. Cloud airport. She cited the federal deficit and her party's ban on earmarks for her decision.
Bachmann defends her most recent comments on BP.
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart goes after Bachmann's claims about the oil spill fund.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson takes the lead on derivatives language for agriculture in the Wall St. bill.
All of the candidates for governor except Republican Tom Emmer will participate in a forum at the Minneapolis YWCA today.
Democrat Mark Dayton has a news conference scheduled for today to announce his plans to better help senior citizens.
At a Tuesday forum, a school tax question split the candidates for governor.
MinnPost writes about the full debate, hosted by Growth and Justice.
Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, a former candidate for governor, is backing Democrat Matt Entenza's campaign for governor.
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher says she wants a better working relationship with local governments.
KARE does a write-thru of what the DFL candidates did on Tuesday.
MinnPost writes about Republican Tom Emmer's efforts to allow the state to refuse to opt in to federal mandates unless the State Legislature and governor ok them first and an idea that would give the governor, the House Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader veto authority over which federal laws could take effect in Minnesota.
MPR profiles the I-P's Bob Anderson, who is running for Congress in Minnesota's 6th District.
Military rules stop a soldier's bid for the Minnesota House.
Under the Dome
Contract talks between the nurses and the hospitals will resume.
The U of M's Board of Regents unanimously approved the budget for the U of M.
Gov. Pawlenty officially rejects the MA opt-in.
The BWCA is getting plenty of attention. MPR reports that copper and nickel mining groups are prospecting near the federal wilderness. Meanwhile, a lawsuit has been filed to stop a cell phone tower from being built near the area.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
After a question from a reporter in Oklahoma, Gov. Pawlenty acknowledged he is personally backing Nikki Haley for governor of South Carolina and said his federal PAC will contribute to her campaign. The endorsement came on the same day as the runoff in that state where Haley won handily.
Politico reports that Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin strongly backed Haley while Pawlenty and others sat out the race.
You can also listen to Pawlenty's Monday speech to the Heritage Foundation.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz will be on MPR's Midday at 11 am.
Rob Hahn's plan to lower the deficit involves six new riverboat casinos on the Mississippi.
"The revenue to the state, cities and counties would be approximately $400 to $600 million annually," the Independence Party gubernatorial candidate said during a June 17 press conference.
Hahn's estimate isn't unreasonable, but it's on the high end.
Hahn's estimate is derived from Illinois, Iowa and Indiana gambling data, states that permit riverboat casinos. He concludes Minnesota could make an average of $428 million in new tax revenue annually.
A February 2010 report done by the Minnesota House of Representatives puts Hahn's claim in perspective. For instance, based on Illinois gambling data, the state could bring in as much as $135 million yearly if it allowed slot machines in bars.
Riverboat casinos would have more than just slot machines, so they would likely bring in more cash. But probably not as much as Hahn predicts, said Don Feeney, the Minnesota State Lottery's research and planning director. "It's not out of the question, but it's probably on the high side," said Feeney. "There are so many 'it depends' involved."
For example, a lot will depend on what type of games the casinos offer, and how many new customers they draw, Feeney said.
Furthermore, gambling in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana is different from gambling in Minnesota. Three riverboats right outside Chicago attract a lot of urban gamblers, for instance, inflating Illinois' revenue, Feeney said. And in Indiana and Iowa, riverboats get a lot of business from out of state. In Minnesota, there's no comparable place to put a boat that would draw that many gamblers across state lines, Feeney added.
Hahn's estimate isn't factually wrong, but it's high. Much will depend on where the boats are located, what kind of games they offer, and how many new customers they attract.
Hahn's claim rates an inconclusive.
Minnesota House of Representatives, House Research Bill Summary of H.F. 646, accessed June 18, 2010
The American Gaming Association, 2010 State of the States: The AGA Survey of Casino Entertainment, accessed June 18, 2010
Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department, Estimates from Gambling Expansion, Feb. 18, 2010
Rob Hahn for Governor, Riverboat Gambling Analysis, June 18, 2010
Interview, Rob Hahn, Independence Party candidate for governor, June 18, 2010
Interview, Don Feeney, Research and Planning Director, Minnesota State Lottery, June 21, 2010
Interview, Tom Barrett, Executive Director of the Gaming Control Board, June 18, 2010
The Humphrey Institute
DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton says he will voluntarily release a summary of his personal income tax information.
Dayton made the pledge today during a news conference related to senior citizen issues. State law doesn't require such a disclosure, but the U.S. Senator and heir to the Dayton department store fortune told reporters that he will make his financial information available within two weeks.
"I'll disclose a summary," Dayton said. "I'm not going to disclose the particular details. But within two weeks, I'll disclose a summary along the lines of what President Obama has disclosed and along the lines of President Bush disclosed before him, that outlines my income and the taxes paid."
Dayton said his political rivals should be held to the same standard. He's running in the August 10 DFL primary against Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Matt Entenza. Those candidates have yet to respond to Dayton's disclosure challenge.
Where the gov candidates stand on disclosing summary of income taxes
MPR's Tim Pugmire reported earlier today that Democrat Mark Dayton said he would release a summary of his income tax statements and called on the other candidates for governor to do the same. Dayton said he would release the forms within two weeks.
A spokesman for Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher said she would release her tax statements and called on the other candidates to do the same.
A spokesman for Democrat Matt Entenza says Entenza will not release the forms.
A spokesman for Republican Tom Emmer says Emmer will not release the forms.
A spokeswoman for Independence Party candidate Tom Horner
has not yet responded for a request. I'll post one when we get it. says he will consider it.
The candidates are required by law to disclose a Statement of Economic Interest with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board.
You can read the reports the candidates filed with the Campaign Finance Board by clicking on the links below:
MPR News asked the members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation and Governor Pawlenty for a reaction to President Obama's decision to accept General Stanely McChrystal's resignation as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan and replace him with General Petraeus. I'll post the statements as they come in.
DFL Sen. Al Franken:
"I fully support the President's decision. He clearly decided that General McChrystal could not continue in his position after what he did. And that's entirely appropriate. I have a lot of confidence in General Petraeus' leadership and I appreciate his willingness to take on the difficult task of carrying out our strategy in Afghanistan."
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann:
"We owe General McChrystal a deep debt of gratitude for his years of brave and faithful service to his country. Going forward, it's imperative that we keep the safety and security of our country at the forefront of our nation's priorities. I'm confident that once the Senate confirms the command of General David Petraeus, we will stay focused in our war against terrorism."
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison:
I support President Obama's decision to replace General McChrystal.
However, my primary concern remains the fate of our men and women in uniform serving in Afghanistan. Our main objective must be the safety and security of the United States, effectively fighting terrorism, and ensuring and the humanitarian and security needs of the people of Afghanistan.
I have long argued that in order to achieve peace and security in the region, we must have a civilian surge coupled with transitioning our troops out of combat missions and readying them for redeployment.
I continue to call on President Obama and General Petraeus to increase public diplomacy to ensure long term stability, and to bring our troops home from this near decade long conflict.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
"I support the President's decision. As the President noted, General McChrystal has served our country bravely and honorably, but the comments in the article crossed the line. General McChrystal was right to submit his resignation, and the President did the right thing in accepting it. I am pleased that General Petraeus has accepted this difficult assignment."
GOP Rep. John Kline:
"When I visited Afghanistan less than a month ago, I met with military leaders, civilian officials, and U.S. troops currently serving in the area. We are engaged in a critical fight against Islamist extremists, and our goal in Afghanistan remains the same - a stable country that denies the Taliban and al-Qaeda a safe haven from which to launch attacks against Afghanistan, Pakistan, or the U.S. and its allies.
"As a fellow veteran, I thank General McChrystal for his decades of decorated service and honor him for answering the call to serve in Afghanistan and around the world.
"Moving forward, I am confident General David Petraeus has proven his leadership in Iraq and is extremely well qualified for this job."
DFL Rep. Tim Walz:
Note: Walz discussed the situation before Obama's decision on Midday.
"I respect our commander-in-chief's decision, and I have full confidence in General Petraeus' ability to transition into his role smoothly and effectively. We all need to work together to ensure that our strategy is successful, and I will continue to ask the tough questions of the President and his team. Our focus now has to be making sure the brave men and women who are serving our country in harm's way have a clear mission, the support, and the leadership they need to get the job done."
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar:
"As Commander and Chief of our armed forces the President must have complete confidence in the generals who report to him. I support President Obama's decision to appoint a general who can develop and implement a successful strategy in Afghanistan, without getting distracted by the politics and personalities of Washington DC."
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen:
"Changing military commanders during a time of war is a decision that should never be taken lightly. And while the recent events that led to this decision are certainly regrettable, I have absolute confidence that General Petraeus is the right choice to lead our brave servicemen and women in Afghanistan.
The nomination of Gen. Petraeus will no doubt build on the good work that has already been done in the region."
A spokesman for Governor Pawlenty's PAC declined comment.
A spokeswoman for DFL Rep. Betty McCollum declined comment.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum:
"I support President Obama's decision. General Petraeus is an extremely capable military leader. I have full confidence in his ability to execute the President's strategy in Afghanistan."
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum announced today that she signed on to a piece of legislation that would give an independent group investigating the BP oil spill subpoena power. McCollum and 23 other Members of Congress want the "National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling" to help with the investigation.
"The National Commission needs to hold BP and all responsible parties accountable," McCollum said in a news release. "Granting the Commission the power to subpoena will allow a more thorough and transparent investigation into this disaster."
The group is expected to hold public hearings soon.
The Republican Party of Minnesota has scheduled a three day bus tour for next week that features their statewide candidates. Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer, Lieutenant Governor candidate Annette Meeks, Attorney General candidate Chris Barden, Secretary of State candidate Dan Severson and State Auditor Candidate Pat Anderson will travel to 20 different cities starting on June 30th. The cities range from Red Wing to Moorhead to Elk River. Most of the cities on the tour will be in rural Minnesota.
The three leading DFL candidates for governor: Mark Dayton, Matt Entenza and Margaret Anderson Kelliher, participated in a political forum today in Minneapolis, along with Independence Party candidate Tom Horner.
The YWCA of Minneapolis and Minnesota Women Lawyers hosted the event, which focused on issues impacting women. Questions touched on early childhood education, pay equity, health care and domestic violence.
Here's the audio: Listen
Minnesota voters won't select the next governor until November, but DFL candidate Matt Entenza says he's already preparing a transition team.
During a candidate forum today in Minneapolis, Entenza said he would soon announce the members of that team. He said Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, who announced her support of Entenza yesterday, will lead the transition effort when he's elected governor.
"We need to get to work quick," Entenza said.
Entenza is running in a competitive DFL primary on Aug. 10, against Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Mark Dayton.