Target Corporation may want to reconsider its corporate logo of a bull's-eye after criticism of the company has mounted in recent weeks. CEO Gregg Steinhafel did damage control on a company donation to a group that is supporting Republican Tom Emmer. Gay rights groups are calling for a boycott of Target. CEO Gregg Steinhafel says the company's commitment to equal rights is unwavering but he and his wife gave maximum contributions to Emmer.
You can read the CEO letter to Target employees here.
Several other businesses, including Best Buy. have also contributed to MN Forward, recently filed reports say.
Under the Dome
The state of Minnesota is investigating Chas Anderson, a former high-level member of the Minnesota Department of Education who worked to get Gov. Pawlenty elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, for her role in negotiating a state contract.
Gov. Pawlenty, Adjutant General Larry Shellito and First Lady Mary Pawlenty will hold several news conferences across the state today to announce an expanded effort regarding the First Lady's Military Family Care Initiative.
3M will pay a $150,000 fine for air pollution violations.
Democrats split their votes over a supplemental war-spending bill.
DFLers Walz and Peterson join Republicans Kline, Paulsen and Bachmann to vote for the bill. DFLers McCollum, Ellison and Oberstar voted against it. Check votes here.
The measure, which gave another $59 billion for a troop surge in Afghanistan, was approved.
The House also strongly rejected a measure calling for the removal of U.S. troops from Pakistan.
The White House officially supports the campaign finance bill.
President Obama plays down the Afghanistan war leaks.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and ESPN reporter Erin Andrews push for tougher stalking laws.
Some of the damage from the BP oil spill will take years to identify experts tell a Senate panel. Klobuchar is mentioned.
Klobuchar's spokeswoman Erikka Knuti makes The Hill's Most Beautiful.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum voices concerns over talk of scrapping a study examining whether Yucca Mountain should store nuclear waste.
Local government officials warn more job and service cuts will occur if a second stimulus doesn't occur. DFL Rep. Keith Ellison is mentioned.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann says the nation faces a "disaster" over the financial reform bill.
BP is taking a $10 billion tax credit because of the oil spill. DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar isn't happy.
Race for Governor
Democrat Matt Entenza will announce his leadership team at a news conference in St. Paul this afternoon.
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher will campaign in Austin.
Democrat Mark Dayton kicks off his GOTV efforts in St. Paul's Como Park.
Republican Tom Emmer has a fundraiser scheduled in downtown Minneapolis.
IP Candidate Tom Horner holds a Twitter town hall in Mineapolis.
IP Candidate Rob Hahn announces his plan to build a new Vikings stadium.
The wide levels of fundraising means the candidates for governor will engage in various tactics to win votes.
AP says the race is helping feed the political economy.
WCCO takes a look at some of the more interesting spending items listed in the reports.
News Cut takes a look at Dayton's decision to hire a social media consultant and whether it's helping the campaign.
Emmer says he's bothered by the millions being spent.
MPR profiles Dayton.
Entenza touted renewable energy in Mankato on Tuesday.
Emmer campaigned in Bemidji.
The DFL leaning group, An Alliance for Better Minnesota, starts running an ad hitting Emmer on his push to change the state's DWI laws.
Forgot to mention this one yesterday. Gov. Pawlenty will host a major fundraiser for Emmer.
Emmer has also scheduled a statewide tour to talk taxes on Friday.
Race for Congress
None of Minnesota's congressional races cracked The Hotline's Top 40.
DFLer Jim Meffert released a new poll. He's running against GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen.
The Star Tribune states the obvious: the economy will be the top issue in the election.
2008 Race for the U.S. Senate
DFL Sen. Al Franken called the 2008 election "fair and legitimate."
DNC 2012 Watch
DNC officials are touring Charlotte.
Coleman for RNC Chair Watch
A group is lining up to oppose Norm Coleman as chair of the RNC.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
How do you wedge a White House hopeful? Ask him in Iowa whether the MN State Fair is better than the Iowa State Fair.
Gov. Pawlenty is headed to the Iowa State Fair on August 12th.
Pawlenty also plans multiple Iowa stops when he campaigns for state candidates on Sunday.
The Washington Post's Dan Balz says Pawlenty is a contender who can change the GOP's image in 2012.
Jeb Bush says he's out. Rick Santorum is getting closer to being in.
Santorum also targets Pawlenty over what Santorum characterizes as "class warfare."
South Dakota Sen. John Thune starts testing the waters.
Marcia Avner, with the MN Council of Nonprofits, is retiring.
Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm, shows Gov. Pawlenty trailing the pack in a poll of 2012 GOP hopefuls in New Hampshire.
Here are the results from the poll:
Mitt Romney - 31%
Newt Gingrich - 14%
Ron Paul - 13%
Mike Huckabee - 12%
Sarah Palin- 9%
Tim Pawlenty - 3%
Mitch Daniels - 1%
PPP also suggested that it won't include Pawlenty in every 2012 poll because his name identification isn't high enough:
We get a lot of e-mail asking us to include Tim Pawlenty in all of our 2012 Presidential polling but his numbers here are a reminder of why we aren't- yet. Pawlenty was at 3% in our New Hampshire polling in April and he's still there. He's getting a lot of attention in insider circles as he positions himself for a 2012 bid but it's not translating to the general public enough yet for him to make a real dent in the polls. Pawlenty still has plenty of time to become a serious player for the Republican nomination but his name recognition isn't to the point yet where we'd get much out of including him every month on our national 2012 poll testing match ups against Obama.
MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced today that his federal political action committee will back every one of the Republicans running for Congress in Minnesota. Pawlenty has already given the maximum contribution of $2,000 each to GOP Reps. John Kline, Erik Paulsen and Michele Bachmann and 1st District candidate Randy Demmer.
Today, Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC will also contribute $2,000 to the other GOP contenders. The contributions will go to Teresa Collett (4th District), District, Joel Demos (5th District), Lee Byberg (7th District) and Chip Cravaack (8th District).
None of the candidates are seen to mount a significant challenge to the DFL incumbents at this point but the contribution is a signal that Pawlenty is committed to electing Republicans in Minnesota.
He's traveled across the country to help elect candidates on the state and national level. His next trip is to Iowa next week.
Democrat Matt Entenza announced a leadership team of 20 different policy makers. The list includes former Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg, Ramsey County Attorney (and former gubernatorial hopeful) Susan Gaertner, former Administration Department Commissioner David Fisher, former DFL Senate Majority Leader John Hottinger and former GOP House Speaker Dave Jennings.
"One of the factors that people look into on how they'll vote for a candidate is who are they surrounding themselves with." Entenza said. "And I think particularly after the disappointments that people had with the Obama Administration, they want to know that there's a governor who has the ability to step in and get things done."
Entenza said twice during a 20 minute news conference that people were disappointed with the Obama Administration. When asked why he was referencing President Obama, Entenza said, "There's no question in the public that there is disappointment. That's part of the feedback that I get from folks."
Entenza was then asked if he was disappointed in President Obama.
"I wish more could be done," he said. "There are all sorts of reasons why more can't be done, but once again, I'm not a student of Washington D.C."
When asked what he'd like to see changed, Entenza said he said he wished he could break the logjam in the Senate.
When asked if that was Obama's fault, Entenza said "I'm not saying that at all."
Entenza is running in the DFL Primary against Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton.
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher's gubernatorial campaign is all about jobs.
Part of her plan to boost employment in Minnesota involves two $1 billion bonding bills that she says will result in a specific number of jobs over four years.
"Two $1 billion bonding bills...will have a 50,000 job effect," she told Minnesota Public Radio reporter Tom Scheck during a jobs press conference July 16, 2010.
Kelliher's estimates are reasonable, but deserve some clarification.
Bonding bills are essentially miniature stimulus packages. They're meant to fund state construction projects such as bridge and road repair. Kelliher said her proposed bonding bills would create 50,000 jobs or more during her tenure as governor.
Job creation estimates are fraught with uncertainty; they depend on many variables -- including the types of jobs created and how much those jobs will pay. Economists disagree on how useful government investment is in creating jobs. Nevertheless, Kelliher's analysis is based on sound data. Here's how the numbers break down:
• $700 million will be invested in road, bridge and building construction and in making state buildings more energy efficient, creating or saving about 19,950 jobs. This figure is based on a metric developed by Stephen Fuller, the director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University who predicts that $1 billion on non-residential construction supports approximately 28,500 jobs.
• $300 million will be invested in flood mitigation, conservation projects and asset preservation at the state's colleges and universities. Kelliher estimates the investment will create or save about 3,000 jobs. This figure is based on an estimate developed by state economist Tom Stinson who predicts that every $1 million invested in such projects results in 10 jobs.
By the end of her second year in office, the bonding effort could result in more than 45,000 jobs Kelliher spokesman Matt Swenson said.
Generally speaking, Kelliher's numbers pass muster. But both Stinson and Fuller point out that Kelliher should clarify that those jobs will be created or saved. The first bonding bill would create around 22,000 jobs. Some of those jobs likely would be temporary, others would last more than a year depending on the project. So the second bonding bill would maintain some jobs, rather than create new ones.
Kelliher's analysis is based on realistic assumptions, but she failed to point out that she's talking about 50,000 jobs created or saved in this particular claim. However, she presents a more nuanced argument on her website and Facebook page, so the claim is accurate.
Margaret for Governor, Leave No Stone Unturned: Margaret's Plan to Create Jobs and Get Minnesotans Back to Work, accessed July 28, 2010
Facebook, Margaret for Governor, accessed July 28, 2010
The St. Cloud Times, The Tale of Two Formulas, By Mark Sommerhauser, March 8, 2010
Minnesota AFL-CIO, letter to Rep. Alice Hausman, Feb. 15, 2010
Interview, Matt Swenson, spokesman, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, July 27, 2010
Interview, Stephen Fuller, Director, Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, July 28, 2010
Interview, Tom Stinson, Minnesota State Economist, July 28, 2010
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen announced in an e-mail update to supporters that he'll be hosting a town hall meeting at Southview Middle School in Edina on Monday, August 2nd. Paulsen says he'll provide an update on recent legislation in Congress and will share his initiatives.
The event starts at 7pm.
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer released a statement on a judge's ruling that blocks part of Arizona's new immigration law. Here's the statement from Emmer (via release):
Every state has the constitutional authority, even the obligation to protect it's citizens from any threat to the safety of their person or their property.
The Court in this case ignores the real constitutional question in an attempt to justify the federal government's failure to secure our borders and create a realistic, consistent, easy to understand path to citizenship. We need to encourage immigrants who still desire the freedom and opportunity the United States is supposed to offer to enter this country legally and, further, to become productive and contributing members of the community.
Posted at 10:57 PM on July 28, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher released her third ad and it focuses on her "No Stone Unturned" campaign theme.
In it, Kelliher pushes for more loans for small businesses, a focus on math and science in schools and clean energy.