Posted at 6:46 AM on August 5, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Six gubernatorial candidates from the three major parties participated in a lively debate at FarmFest on Wednesday.
You can listen to the full forum here.
Democrat Mark Dayton will be on MPR's Midday at 11.
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher kicks off her GOTV tour in St. Paul this morning and visits several parts of the state after that.
Democrat Matt Entenza campaigns in Bemidji and Duluth.
The PoliGraph says Entenza is wrong about Republican Tom Emmer's education record.
MPR's Morning Edition interviewed Independence Party candidate Rob Hahn.
The DFL Party sent out incorrect sample ballots to some voters. The ballots directed voters to the wrong polling place. Kelliher's campaign manager says she's not concerned.
Voter turnout is expected to be low at next week's primary.
Race for the Legislature
MPR takes a look at the race in Senate District 12 where GOP Sen. Paul Koering has a primary battle on his hands.
The Star Tribune takes a look at DFL Sen. Satveer Chaudhary's primary battle with former Rep. Barb Goodwin.
The Pi Press looks at the primary battle in the race to replace DFL Rep. Cy Thao.
Under the Dome
The Star Tribune says Chas Anderson, the former Assistant Commissioner at the Education Department, went from an employee to a consultant in three days. The state is investigating the contract, which was canceled.
A funding bill for the states clears a Senate hurdle. Minnesota would receive roughly $400 million.
A federal judge rejects a same sex marriage ban in California.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty speaks at FarmFest today.
Democrat Mark Dayton will be on MPR's Midday today at 11am. You can listen to it on the radio or online.
Midday will also air Wednesday's FarmFest Forum that featured six of the candidates for governor. That show is scheduled for noon.
MPR Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer interviewed Independence Party gubernatorial hopeful Tom Horner this morning. Horner says he wants to lower the state's corporate tax and the state sales tax but broaden the sales tax to clothing and personal services. You can read a story about it here.
Here's the full interview: Listen
Several members of the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group held a news conference at the State Capitol today to call for the state of Minnesota to change the state's primary date to May or June. The students argued that an August Primary makes things harder for college students to vote. In particular, students who are registered to vote in Minnesota but live in another state during the summer break may have some difficulty voting absentee.
Carleton College student Ben Hellerstein says he asked the Carlton College Dean of Students, Rice County Election officials and the Secretary of State's office couldn't tell him how a student is supposed to fill out the address on their absentee ballot. He said many students live in different residences in the Spring and Fall semester. Hellerstein says he lives at Carleton during the summer but says it's been unclear how he should advise other students.
"In my experience in just educating students as to how they can participate is practically impossible," Hellerstein said. "It's hard for me to imagine that turnout in an August primary when people are off campus and when there hasn't been a clear source of information about how people can participate, can be anywhere near as high as participation in previous years."
This is the first year that Minnesota's primary has been moved to August. It's been a source of frustration for the campaigns and political parties. As MPR's Tim Pugmire points out, turnout is expected to be low.
John Aiken, spokesman for Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, says students who don't have an established residency at the time of the primary won't be able to vote on August 10th. An official with the Minnesota Secretary of State's office was unavailable to comment. I'll post his response when it's available.
Democrat Tarryl Clark's campaign for Congress sent out a fundraising e-mail to supporters today suggesting that Bachmann is considering a run for the White House in 2012. Clark's campaign manager Zach Radvold suggested Bachmann may be a 2012 contender as a way to raise money for her campaign.
Michele Bachmann could be a presidential candidate in 2012.
Will you help us put a stop to her blind ambition by donating today?
Bachmann said she would run for president if she felt called to it, and said in another interview that it's not what she's doing "right now" - leaving the door wide open. She remarked recently to FOX News that her supporters want her to run for president. And Bachmann's multiple trips to Iowa prompted Politico to report:
"Bachmann has been receiving a little attention in conservative circles as a potential presidential candidate in 2012. And like so many other Republicans seeking a national profile, an early trip to Iowa, with its first-in-the-nation caucus, provides an opportunity to test-drive her presidential appeal."
There's no doubt that Bachmann has been working diligently to raise her national profile, recently appointing herself the head of the Tea Party in Congress and forming a national fundraising PAC to help right-wing candidates around the country. And in the past few weeks alone, Bachmann has popped up in Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Nevada.
Michele Bachmann is clearly not interested in the job she's already been elected to do...
Clark's campaign has been working furiously to show Bachmann is out of touch with Minnesota and is more interested in building her national profile. This fundraising letter is another attempt to drive that home.
Bachmann's campaign manager didn't yet respond to questions on the Clark campaign's e-mail. I'll post one if/when she responds.
Andy Parrish, Senior Adviser to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann issued this statement in response to the e-mail:
No one in Congress works as hard for their constituents as Michele Bachmann does and the people of the 6th district know it.
This is just another shameful attack on Michele.
This last year Michele Bachmann had two parents die, one of pancreatic cancer and one of alzheimer's and Tarryl Clark's shameful response was to viciously lash at Michele for missing votes while Michele was literally holding her stepmother's hand at her bedside as she passed away.
Recently, Michele was admitted to the hospital; a normal response would be of concern for the Congresswoman, but Tarryl's response again is to attack her and try to use it to raise money, Tarryl Clark is shameful.
Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel today apologized to Target employees for donating funds to a group that is backing Republican Tom Emmer's bid for governor. In the letter, Steinhafel wrote that the company will create a review of their political donations and will also bring together a group of companies to discuss ways to improve GLBT relations.
Target has been heavily criticized for donating to MN Forward, an independent expenditure group that is backing Emmer's campaign for governor. Democrats and gay rights groups called for a boycott of the group.
Here's the full letter:
Civic Activity A Message From Gregg Steinhafel, Chairman, President and CEO
Dear Target Leaders,
I have heard from many of you, and our team members, over the past week regarding Target's contribution to MN Forward, and I appreciate your engagement and candor, both of which clearly demonstrate your loyalty and passion for our company.
In situations like this, it is often difficult to find the right words, but I would like to respond with the same honesty you have shown me.
The intent of our political contribution to MN Forward was to support economic growth and job creation. While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry.
We remain fully committed to fostering an environment that supports and respects the rights and beliefs of all individuals. The diversity of our team is an important aspect of our unique culture and our success as a company, and we did not mean to disappoint you, our team or our valued guests.
Going forward, we will soon begin a strategic review and analysis of our decision-making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena. And later this fall, Target will take a leadership role in bringing together a group of companies and partner organizations for a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues.
Thank you for sharing your input and for your continued commitment to making Target an even stronger company.
Chairman, President and CEO
Campaign volunteers are planning to make nearly 300-thousand phone calls in the coming days and knock on more than 30-thousand doors on behalf of Kelliher, who has the DFL party endorsement. She's in a tight August 10th primary contest against Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza. During the rally, Kelliher said she's counting on the strength of the DFL's grassroots organization.
"When we win on Tuesday it won't be because of the ads we put up on TV," Kleliher said. "It won't be because of how many pieces of mail we sent out. No, it will be because of the hard work of people, because of the people power."
All three candidates will be traveling throughout the state in the coming days.
DFL gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza is using one of his final TV ad before the Aug. 10 primary to respond to what he describes as "attacks" from Margaret Anderson Kelliher.
Kelliher, the DFL endorsed candidate for governor, has criticized Entenza for proposing that Minnesota cuts ties to the federal No Child Left Behind law. She says the state cannot afford to lose any federal education funding. Entenza insists the state could pull out of NCLB without losing money.
Campaign manager, Dave Colling, says the ad is a positive response and lays out Entenza's position.
"These attacks have been coming not just at the debates, but they've been coming on the phones, they've been coming when folks are going out door to door, just throughout the entire campaign," Colling said. "So, we felt at this late hour, the best way to respond would be through a TV ad."
MN Forward, a new business-backed group that's using corporate donations to support political candidates, has announced its first list of favored state legislative candidates.
MN Forward plans to send out literature in support of three Republicans and three DFL candidates. Here is the list:
Senator Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka) - Senator Bonoff was chief author of Senate File 2757, a key piece of education reform that would have allowed Minnesota to offer alternative programs like Teach For America and allow mid-career professionals a pathway into the teaching profession for school districts and students struggling to close the achievement gap.
Rep. Doug Magnus (R-Slayton) - Rep. Magnus is seeking the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Jim Vickerman. Rep. Magnus has served as the ranking member on the House Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Finance Division and has been a strong voice for spending reform.
Senator Jim Metzen (DFL-South St. Paul) - As chair of the Senate Business, Industry and Jobs Committee, Senator Metzen regularly seeks the input of the business community on issues that would impact job providers. Senator Metzen also serves as President of the Minnesota Senate.
Rep. Gene Pelowski (DFL-Winona) - Rep. Pelowski broke ranks with his party and voted against a $1 billion tax increase in 2009 and against a veto override attempt on the same bill. That year he had the highest ranking on the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce scorecard of any DFL House member.
Rep. Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove) - Rep. Zellers has been a consistent supporter of job providers. He received a 100 on the Minnesota Chamber scorecard in 2010 and a 92 in 2009. He has also been an outspoken supporter of key education reforms like alternative licensure.
Doug Wardlow (R-Eagan) - Doug Wardlow is an attorney with the Minneapolis firm Parker Rosen. He was valedictorian of his Eagan High School class and received a B.A. and J.D. from Georgetown University. His campaign has focused on improving Minnesota's job climate.