Tonight's gubernatorial debate looks like it will be a good one because the candidates will have a bit to talk about.
Republican Tom Emmer outlined a budget plan on Tuesday that didn't provide specifics on the cuts he would make. Democrat Mark Dayton announced a major part of his tax plan doesn't raise as much as he projected.
Let's start with Emmer's plan since we've been waiting for it for several months. Emmer caps spending at $33 billion. It makes direct cuts to state government, LGA and higher education and reduces the rate of growth in Health and Human Services. Here's video of Emmer's event and reaction to it.
Here's a link to his budget plan.
Emmer will participate in a forum at the U of M's Humphrey Institute today.
Democrat Mark Dayton released a MN Department of Revenue analysis of his income tax plan and it comes in at $1.9 billion over two years. The tax hike was the centerpiece in a plan that would raise $4 million in taxes. Dayton's campaign says he needs to find more revenue or find spending cuts.
Former President Bill Clinton's fundraiser for Dayton attracted as many as 300 people. Clinton said some of the GOP candidates across the country would make "George W. Bush look like a liberal." Read the pool report of the event here.
Jaime Tincher, who ran Margaret Anderson Kelliher's unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign, will direct the DFL Party's GOTV efforts.
2010 Race for Congress
Democrat Tarryl Clark will release a new ad this morning and issue a "challenge" to GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann.
John Boehner is promising Republican Randy Demmer a spot on the House Ag Committee if he defeats DFL Rep. Tim Walz.
The primaries end with a bang. Christina O'Donnell defeats Mike Castle in Delaware.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson says his plan to lift the Cuban embargo should be voted on after Election Day.
Iran releases one of the hikers.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Pawlenty is sending a staffer to Iowa. He will also campaign in the state in October.
Seventh District congressman Collin Peterson is not your average Democrat.
The 10-term DFLer gets high marks from the National Rifle Association, plays guitar, and is more likely to be found in the halls of Congress wearing cowboy boots than Oxfords.
But a YouTube ad from Peterson's Republican opponent Lee Byberg seeks to puncture Peterson's reputation as a maverick.
"Collin Peterson knows that Minnesota's 7th District didn't support Barack Obama and his socialist agenda," states an ominous voiceover while a man lists Peterson's voting offenses on a white board. "This is why he's so careful to paint himself as a middle-of-the-road candidate... It's time to retire a lifetime politician who votes with Speaker Nancy Pelosi well over 90 percent of the time."
Byberg is correct that Peterson's recently been following the party line. But it hasn't always been that way.
This investigation will not rule on whether Obama has a socialist agenda, as the ad states; that's a matter of opinion. Instead, this PoliGraph test will focus on whether the ad gets Peterson's voting record right.
Generally speaking, Peterson's district is conservative. Voters there have supported Republicans in the last three presidential elections, although John McCain defeated Barack Obama by just three percentage points in the 7th in 2008.
Byberg's right that Peterson votes frequently with his party leaders. Of the 1,483 votes Peterson cast during this congressional session, he's voted with his party about 93.3 percent of the time, according to The Washington Post. That puts Peterson just above his party's average of 92.2 percent.
Peterson's so-called party unity score hasn't always been so high. During the 109th Congress, the last session before Democrats took over the House of Representatives, Peterson voted with his party only 78.7 percent of the time. Between 1995 and 1997, Peterson claimed a party unity score of 64 percent - the lowest of his career.
Byberg's claim is accurate: In the current session of Congress Peterson voted with his party more than 90 percent of the time.
Lee Byberg for Congress, Collin Peterson 101, accessed Sept. 14, 2010
Congressional Quarterly, Member Profile: Collin Peterson, accessed Sept. 14, 2010
The Washington Post, Votes Database: 111th Congress, accessed Sept. 14, 2010
The Washington Post, Votes Database: 109th Congress, accessed Sept. 14, 2010
The Washington Post, Votes Database: 104th Congress, accessed Sept. 14, 2010
The Wall Street Journal, In the House, It's Peterson vs. Climate Bill, by Steven Powers, June 22, 2010
Collin Peterson, Peterson Op-Ed: Amendments to Climate Change Bill Were Necessary, July 16, 2010
Congressional Quarterly, Partisanship and Presidential Support in the Bush Era, by John Cranford and Rachel Bloom, accessed Sept. 14, 2010
The MNGOP is calling on Independence Party candidate Tom Horner to submit his budget plan to be analyzed by the Minnesota Department of Revenue. The party made the request one day after Revenue officials said Mark Dayton's income tax proposal is well short of his initial projections. MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton said Horner should allow the department scrutinize his tax hikes.
"Many believe that your tax plan's math just doesn't work. I suggest that you prove your plan's honesty before attacking others' plans," Sutton wrote in a letter to Horner.
Horner is proposing to expand the sales tax to clothing and "unspecified services" while lowering the overall rate.
Update: Horner campaign spokesman Matt Lewis issued this statement this afternoon:
The Horner-Mulder Minnesota Works budget outline relies on publicly available data from the Department of Revenue and the nonpartisan Minnesota House of Representatives research department. We are confident that the estimates in the Minnesota Works budget accurately reflect the cost of the tax reforms proposed, and are pleased that experts including former Federal Reserve Senior Vice President Art Rolnick have cited the Horner-Mulder proposal as the best of the three candidates' plans. Per the agreement of the three gubernatorial candidates we have asked the Department of Revenue to confirm that those estimates are accurate and will report the findings as soon as they are available to us.
Republican Tom Emmer used his time at the U of M's Humphrey School to talk about his proposed changes to the state's K12 schools. Emmer said he wants to continue testing because he believes it's the best way to measure and improve student performance.
"What gets measured will get done," Emmer said.
Emmer also took aim at the Minnesota Miracle (where the state took over more spending of school spending) by saying it the shift wasn't solely focused on student performance. He criticized those who consider the Minnesota Miracle as the model for improving education.
"I think it shows how badly skewed our thinking is on education. The Minnesota Miracle of 1971 was not about improving the way we educate our kids. It wasn't even about improving the performance of students. The Minnesota Miracle refers to changing how we pay for education. The first shjift to more state funding and away from property taxes. In my mind, that's a pretty minor miracle. How we pay for education is not nearly as important as what kind of education our kids get for those dollars."
Emmer also said he'd like to reduce the number of state requirements on school districts. He said he wants schools teaching a large number of disadvantaged students to be able to opt out of several state and local mandates like collective bargaining. He also wants to give other school districts the right to get waivers from certain mandates.
"There are all kinds of state mandates that school districts have to operate within and they don't have a choice. I'm suggesting we give them the opportunity to say 'if we get us out from under this mandate, it's going to allow us the freedom to make certain decisions which will let us put resources in place where we think they are going to be more effective than they are right now."
During the Q and A with the Humphrey School's Larry Jacobs, Emmer also discussed the budget, federal oversight and his decision to cut spending on higher education. When a student question asked "How would you assist students so they don't graduate from college with $50,000 in debt?", Emmer responded that he understood the frustration since he did the math with seven kids but ...
"I'm reminded that I paid my own way. I paid my own my way through college and did it myself. A lot of you are doing the same thing. It took me until my early thirties to pay off the loans that I did have to take for law school. Partly it's your responsibility. I will tell you that right up front. You need to take control of your destiny. You need to be responsible for it."
Emmer added that he would like to see students be guaranteed a fixed tuition from a university for the four years that the student goes to that school. He also added that he would like to see a better marketplace to find lower interest rates to pay school.
Here's Emmer's speech: Listen
Here's the q and a with Jacobs: Listen
Posted at 10:29 PM on September 15, 2010
by Tom Scheck
The latest KSTP-TV/Survey USA poll shows Democrat Mark Dayton with a lead in the race for governor. The poll results were released during the 10pm so there's no web story yet. But KSTP's Tom Hauser tweeted some of the information.
Dayton is polling at 38%, Republican Tom Emmer is polling at 36% and the Independence Party's Tom Horner is polling at 18%. Other/undecided is polling at 9%. The margin of error is +/-3.9%.
Hauser also points out that Dayton had a 14-point lead over Emmer in August.
The poll is similar to the U of M/MPR News poll in late August that showed the race deadlocked.