Republican Tom Emmer holds a town hall meeting today with wait staff to discuss his recent comments regarding a tip credit in Minnesota. Emmer has also proposed exempting the first $20,000 a server earns in tips. MPR looks at how politics are playing out on the issue.
The DFL Party and UNITE Here both say they'll be present at Emmer's forum today.
AP gets reaction from Emmer's plan to not tax tips.
The Pi Press takes a look at the fallout from Emmer's comments.
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher will campaign in Rochester today.
Democrat Mark Dayton will campaign in St. Paul.
Democrat Matt Entenza will campaign in Albert Lea, Mankato and St. Paul.
On Tuesday, Entenza toured an energy efficient home in Willmar.
Independence Party candidate Rob Hahn releases his budget plan.
The Star Tribune wonders whether the DFL Primary will hinge on TV ads.
Kelliher says she topped the $1 million fundraising mark.
KSTP gives the Alliance for a Better Minnesota ad a failing grade in their truth test.
2010 Race for Congress
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann shakes up her campaign staff again. Her finance adviser and her chief of staff have been replaced.
The Senate vote on Elena Kagan's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court has been delayed a week.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar confirms that she'll back Kagan.
Klobuchar also suggests biofuel tax breaks may be included in the energy bill.
It appears the Senate has the votes to pass the Wall St. overhaul bill.
A mine official seeks quick passage of a safety bill. GOP Rep. John Kline says it will drive up litigation.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson praises the new VA standards on PTSD.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty is headed to Colorado today.
One of the candidates he's backing in Colorado just apologized for plagiarism.
Pawlenty also wrote an op-ed in Politico saying President Obama should start to make sacrifices.
Pawlenty also appeared on the Dennis Miller show.
Rep. Michele Bachmann has criticized President Barack Obama for the way he's handled the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Recently, she pointed out that BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling project was actually approved by Obama's administration.
"Remember, this was under Obama's Minerals and Management Service bureau with his appointed chief of MMS who actually issued the permits and wrote all the approvals for exactly what BP did," she told WCCO reporter Pat Kessler in a June 16, 2010, interview. "This happened under President Obama's watch."
Bachmann is correct: The Obama administration gave BP the green light to start drilling.
The story of the Deepwater Horizon spill starts in 2008, when the Bush administration leased new drilling tracts in the Gulf of Mexico to several oil companies, including BP.
The following year, BP submitted an exploration plan to the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the arm of the Interior Department that oversees drilling. It stated that the company could, in the event of an oil spill, "respond, to the maximum extent practicable, to a worst-case discharge, or a substantial threat of such a discharge."
MMS then had 30 days to review the plan. During this time, MMS could have asked BP to do an extensive environmental impact review - it's technically required for some drilling projects - but the department gave BP a waiver instead.
In fact, such exemptions are common; according to an Interior Department spokesman speaking with the Washington Post, MMS issues between 250 and 400 annually for projects in the Gulf.
On April 6, 2009, MMS approved the plan.
The leasing process may have started under the previous administration, but it was Obama's officials who give the project a stamp of approval.
Bachmann's claim is accurate.
WCCO, interview with Rep. Michele Bachmann, June 16, 2010
The Minerals Management Service, Central Gulf of Mexico Sale 206 Nets $ 3.67 Billion in High Bids, August 4, 2008
BP, Initial Exploration Plan Mississippi Canyon Block 252, accessed June 30, 2010
The White House, Remarks by the President on the Gulf Oil Spill, May 27, 2010
The Washington Post, U.S. exempted BP's Gulf of Mexico drilling from environmental impact study, by Juliet Eilperin, May 5, 2010
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, accessed June 30, 2010
The Department of the Interior, Salazar Launches Safety and Environmental Protection Reforms to Toughen Oversight of Offshore Oil and Gas Operations, May 11, 2010
Interview, Richard Charter, Senior Policy Advisor, Defenders of Wildlife, June 30, 2010
Interview, Rachel Horn, spokeswoman, Rep. Michele Bachmann, June 30, 2010
Interview, Kendra Barkoff, spokeswoman, the Department of the Interior, June 30, 2010
Next week PoliGraph will start to appear more frequently and will focus on the DFL candidates for governor as the August 10 primary election approaches.
Posted at 10:57 AM on July 14, 2010
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: MN Legislature
State Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, has been hospitalized for a possible case of pneumonia.
House GOP spokesman Kevin Watterson said Seifert was admitted to Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center Tuesday after experiencing intense pain and shortness of breath. Tests showed fluid build up in Seifert's left lung. Watterson said Seifert expected to be released in the next day or two.
As of Wednesday night, Seifert was out of the hospital and resting at home.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen announced that he raised $379,862 during the second quarter of 2010. His campaign reports that the 3rd District Congressman has $1.3 million in the bank and raised $1.9 million during the 2010 cycle.
Paulsen is running against DFLer Jim Meffert. Meffert's spokeswoman says he'll release the figures tomorrow.
Republican Tom Emmer held a lively townhall forum that featured both supporters and opponents. Many in the audience were servers who criticized Emmer for his recent comments on the minimum wage and the so-called tip credit. The event ended after Robert Erickson, poured a bunch of coins on Emmer's table and said "I have a tip for you, Emmer."
Erickson later told reporters that he is unhappy with Emmer's stance on immigration.
You can listen to the entire forum here: Listen
The campaign finance reports released today show some rich irony. There are three independent groups that report raising $2.4 million and the Dayton name keeps coming up.
One of the groups, MN Forward, is being funded by a variety of Minnesota businesses. They include Target Corporation, the company founded but no longer owned by Democrat Mark Dayton's family. Target gave $150,000 in cash and in-kind donations to the group.
MN Forward says it will support businesses minded politicians, but one of the group's founders, Minnesota Business Partnership Executive Director Charlie Weaver, has indicated his support for Republican Tom Emmer. That means MN Forward, funded by Target Corporation, may be running ads ripping Mark Dayton, heir to the Dayton's Department Store fortune that created Target, if Dayton is the DFL nominee. Dayton has never worked for Target and has no ties to the company.
Brian McClung, the director of MN Forward, has this to say about the possibility that Target Corporation is funding a group that could be running ads criticizing Dayton if he's the DFL nominee:
"You know I hadn't really thought about that to be honest with you," McClung said. "I'll leave the analysis and irony to others."
Two DFL leaning PACs, Win Minnesota and The 2010 Fund, have collected $901,000 in contributions from Mark Dayton's family members. Alida Messinger is Dayton's ex-wife (and an heir to the Rockefeller family). Andrew Dayton is Mark Dayton's son. David Dayton is Mark Dayton's first cousin and Mary Lee Dayton is Mark Dayton's aunt.
Dayton released a written statement on his family members decision to give to the independent group:
"They are, of course, entirely free to contribute to whomever and whatever they choose. They do not consult with me about any of their contributions (other than to me); and I do not consult with them about any of their contributions (other than to me)."
As for the prospects of Target Corporation spending money on ads critical of Dayton, Dayton's campaign spokesman Katie Tinucci says Dayton expected it.
"Highly paid, corporate executives know that Mark means what he says and takes them seriously when he says he'll make them pay their fair share in taxes."
Tinucci also said Dayton expects to see an "onslaught of corporate money" coming into the race.