Posted at 7:12 AM on September 17, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The next gubernatorial debate is tonight on TPT at 8pm. It focuses on senior issues.
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner pitches his jobs plan to a business group.
Democrat Mark Dayton was in Alexandria to speak to a gathering of county commissioners.
Race for Congress
A KSTP-TV/Survey USA poll shows GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann with a nine-point lead over Democrat Tarryl Clark.
The NRCC is putting Minnesota's 1st "in play" by elevating Republican Randy Demmer to its top "Young Gun" status. The key test will be how much money is pumped into the district from D.C.
Democrat Jim Meffert's campaign wants GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen to engage in more debates, specifically one that's open to the public. The debates on tap are a KSTP-TV sponsored debate, an MPR debate and an Edina Chamber debate.
Former President Bill Clinton also raised money for Democrat Tarryl Clark's campaign during his trip to Minnesota.
A new documentary by a conservative group will feature GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann.
Under the Dome
The Pi Press reports that DFL Sen. Mee Moua lost her home to foreclosure. She owned the home with her parents.
The Minnesota Judicial Council turned down a request by the public defenders to add some minor defenses as fines.
An audit faults MnDOT for sloppy practices.
The recession has raised the nation's poverty rate to a 15 year high.
President Obama appointed Elizabeth Warren to become a consumer rights czar. She'll oversee a financial protection bureau.
The Senate approved a bill to help small businesses.
Ethanol subsidies are in doubt.
California is bracing for a showdown over its emissions law.
Jeff Larson, an ally to Norm Coleman, filed a Senate Ethics complaint against DFL Sen. Al Franken.
GOP Rep. John Kline attended a meeting to learn about school partnerships.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
The Washington Post writes that the 2012 candidates are working to prepare for the Tea Party.
The Values Voter Summit is underway in Washington D.C.
A long list of well-known conservatives and some GOP presidential hopefuls are speaking there, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty is not among them.
In a telephone conference call from Tokyo Pawlenty called the Values Voter Summit'an "important group," and noted that he's addressed the summit before. He said he took his name out of the summit's presidential straw poll this time because he was unable to be there in person.
"We certainly appreciate the Values Voter Summit, but I wasn't able to be there because of the trade mission," he said. "And because I was unable to be there, we didn't think it would be appropriate to participate otherwise in the event. So it's fairly straight forward in that regard."
Rep. Michele Bachmann spoke at the summit today.
Bachmann's name is included in the presidential straw poll.
Update: AP reports that Bachmann requested her name be taken off the straw poll, and she will not be included.
DFL State Sen. Tarryl Clark's latest challenge to her opponent Rep. Michele Bachmann goes something like this: cut your salary and budget because I cut mine.
The challenge comes in a new Clark television ad and letter launched Sept. 15.
"When Minnesota faced a record budget deficit, I cut my legislative compensation and budget," Clark said in the ad.
In a separate letter to Bachmann on the same subject, Clark wrote, "You spend more taxpayer dollars on campaign-style mailings and radio ads than any Minnesota Member of Congress. You spend more taxpayer money on self-promoting media staff than on legislative staff."
Clark gets two of these three claims wrong.
"When Minnesota faced a record budget deficit, I cut my legislative compensation and budget."
In the 2007-2008 biennium, Clark made about $102,380, including base salary, a leadership bonus and per diem. This biennium, Clark trimmed her per diem spending by $13,316, or about 13 percent, for a total salary of $89,064. She also declined a communications budget, among other things.
"You spend more taxpayer dollars on campaign-style mailings and radio ads than any Minnesota Member of Congress."
Clark is talking about money Bachmann spends on constituent communications regarding congressional business - her "franking" privileges, which are paid for with public funds. This claim does not concern campaign mailers, which are covered by campaign coffers, not taxpayer dollars, though Clark's staff points out that some of Bachmann's fliers are fancy, full-color spreads that tout her accomplishments.
In late 2009, several articles were written about how much the delegation spends on mail after the U.S. House of Representatives published its first quarterly report on the subject. Indeed, between July 1, 2009 and Sept. 30, 2009, Bachmann spent more than any other member on franking expenses.
But there's more current data available. For the entire congressional session, which includes July 2009 through June 2010, Bachmann comes in fourth behind Reps. Erik Paulson, John Kline, and Tim Walz. During this period, Bachmann spent $171,521 of her more than $2 million budget on franking costs. Paulson, in comparison, spent $262,716 of his more than $2 million budget on constituent mail.
"You spend more taxpayer money on self-promoting media staff than on legislative staff."
Clark's also wrong that Bachmann spends more on her media staff than on her legislative staff. According to Legistorm, a website that tracks Hill staffer salaries on a quarterly basis, Bachmann has so far spent $184,989 on legislative staff this congressional session.
During the same period of time, she's spent only $174,551 on press staff. Narrowing the search to 2009 or the first two quarters of 2010, it's the same story: Bachmann spent more money on legislative staff than on press staff.
Clark has cut her own salary and budget. But the record shows that Bachman is not the biggest spender when it comes to mail. And she's never spent more on her media staff than on her legislative staff.
Tarryl Clark for Congress, "Challenge," accessed Sept. 16, 2010
Tarryl Clark for Congress, open letter to Rep. Michele Bachmann, accessed Sept. 16, 2010
Tarryl Clark for Congress, The Bachmann Agenda: Self-Promoting at Taxpayers, accessed Sept. 17, 2010
Minnesota Independent, Bachmann a member of House's million-franking club, by Chris Steller, Dec. 4, 2009
The Star Tribune, A look at the MN delegation's office expenditures, by Eric Roper, Dec. 1, 2009
The Congressional Research Office, Franking Privilege: Historical Development and Options for Change, Dec. 5, 2007
The U.S. House of Representatives, Statement of Disbursements: July 1, 2009-Dec. 31, 2009, accessed Sept. 16, 2010
The U.S. House of Representatives, Statement of Disbursements: January 1, 2010-June 30, 2010, accessed Sept. 16, 2010
The Minnesota House of Representatives, State Elected Officials' Compensation, accessed Sept. 17, 2010
Legistorm, Rep. Michele Bachmann, staff salaries, accessed Sept. 16, 2010
Rep. Michele Bachmann's legislative staff salaries, created Sept. 16, 2010
Rep. Michele Bachmann's press staff salaries, created Sept. 16, 2010
Interview, Carrie Lucking, spokeswoman, Tarryl Clark, Sept. 16, 2010
Interview, Senate Finance, Sept. 17, 2010
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich will raise money for the Minnesota Republican Party on October 6th. The MNGOP is asking donors to give $5,000 a couple. Gingrich, who is considering a run for president in 2012, will speak at the Minneapolis Marriot. Here's the invite:
State Chair Tony Sutton Governor Tim Pawlenty Congressman John Kline Congresswoman Michele Bachmann Congressman Erik Paulsen
Honorary Finance Chairs
Brad Anderson & Bob Ulrich
Invite you to Join
The Honorable Newt Gingrich
For an Exclusive Roundtable Discussion
Wednesday October 6, 2010
The Minneapolis Marriott
(Valet Parking Available)
The latest 2012 GOP poll has Gov. Pawlenty trailing five other candidates in the critical state of New Hampshire. Public Policy Polling shows Mitt Romney up big in the state with the support of 41 percent of those polled. Newt Gingrich polled at 12 percent support, Sarah Palin received 12 percent, Mike Huckabee got 10 percent and Ron Paul got 8 percent. Pawlenty polled at five percent. Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana got two percent.
PPP Pollster Tom Jensen said Romney has a dominant lead right now:
The New Hampshire primary is still almost a year and a half away but Romney's persistent dominant lead in the polling makes you wonder- if that holds is New Hampshire even going to be viewed as that relevant to the 2012 nomination contest? If his status as the rare New England Republican Presidential candidate makes it impossible for anyone else to build momentum there the state may just get written off with everyone reallocating their resources to Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, and Florida.