It's a quiet day in the race for governor as far as campaigning goes. Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer have no public events scheduled. IP candidate Tom Horner will campaign on the Iron Range and in Grand Rapids.
Vice-President Joe Biden will hold a rally for Democrat Mark Dayton. The event will be held at Macalester College on Thursday morning.
Dayton also released two new TV ads.
During a campaign stop in Willmar, Republican Tom Emmer downplayed the polls showing Dayton with a lead.
Emmer addressed pocketbook issues in Morris.
The PoliGraph says Independence Party candidate Tom Horner's claim about the budget is accurate.
WCCO Reality Check's ABM's ad ripping Emmer on K12.
Race for Congress
MPR says economic concerns weigh heavily in the race for Minnesota's 6th Congressional District (between GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and Democrat Tarryl Clark).
The New York Times quotes a Republican in Minnesota saying they're concerned that Democrats will redristrict Bachmann out of a seat.
Bachmann's latest ad also mentions that she voted against the Wall St. bailout. Politico notes the bill passed under President Bush.
Democrat Jim Oberstar and Republican Chip Cravaack will debate the issues on October 19th.
Some Democratic donors are cutting support.
Under the Dome
Gov. Pawlenty said there's a lot of work ahead for the people who live in flood damaged areas in southern Minnesota.
DFL Sen. Al Franken wants the Treasury Department to investigate foreclosure irregularities.
Franken misidentified a Senator's state while presiding over the Senate.
Bachmann suggests a federal settlement with black farmers is "rife with fraud."
A vote on DFL Rep. Collin Peterson's Cuba bill has been postponed.
Congress will stay out of Coast Guard Academy picks. DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is mentioned.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty is in New Hampshire today.
Several of Gov. Pawlenty's key donors are funding Pawlenty's PACs in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Gov. Pawlenty signed a deal with a speakers bureau.
An MPR News/Humphrey Institute poll says President Obama could struggle in Minnesota in 2012.
GOP U.S. House Rep. Michele Bachmann will be headlining an event today held by Smart Girl Politics, which calls itself the "home on the Internet for conservative women and grassroots activism." The group is holding its second aunnual Smart Girl Summit.
Sergio Gor, Bachmann's spokesperson, says Bachmann will address the following topics: "the Tea Party movement, the importance of the upcoming elections and the difference women have made and continue to make."
Gor notes that Bachmann will be flying back to Minnesota tonight.
Bachmann is featured in the current edition of Newsweek, in an article about "mama grizzlies"-- a term Sarah Palin had used to describe herself during her 2008 vice presidential bid. Here's a snippet about Bachmann from the article:
Like Palin, Bachmann lives out her pro-life views convincingly. Over the years she has cared for 23 foster children--in addition to five of her own. "Four [foster kids] at a time were the most we had," she told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2007. "There were times I thought, I'm so tired, I'll never get conditioner in my hair again." As a state legislator, Bachmann pushed for anti--abortion initiatives, such as the 2005 Positive Alternatives Act, which has provided some $2.4 million in state Department of Health grants to programs that encourage and assist women in carrying their pregnancies to term and caring for their babies. (For her part, Whitman wonders how legislating against abortion jibes with the grizzlies' small-government arguments: "We can agree or disagree on the role of government in our personal life, but a less intrusive government is not in your bedroom.")
The article concludes with some sharp words about the "mama grizzlies."
Fundamentally, the mama-grizzly phenomenon is not really a movement or even a political term that represents a fully coherent set of ideas. It's mostly a marketing tool, meant to draw attention to Americans' broad dissatisfaction with the way things are. Fair enough. Many people are dissatisfied, and they want to vent and they want to change Washington. But in the wild, real mama grizzlies are known to be aggressive, irrational, and mean. The issues facing the country are complex, and bears are not.
The three major party candidates for governor will make individual appearances on MPR's Midday next week.
Indepence Party candidate Tom Horner will be on the show on Monday at 11am.
Republican Tom Emmer will be on the show on Tuesday at 11am.
Democrat Mark Dayton will be on the show on Thursday.
The conservative Cato Institute has released grades for the governors across the country. The analysis found that Gov. Pawlenty's approach to taxes and spending is in line with Cato. Pawlenty was one of four governors who received top marks. The others are Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D). Here's what Cato said about Pawlenty:
In his first few years in office, Governor Pawlenty backed tax increases on corporations and cigarette consumers. However, the governor has changed course in recent years, consistently supporting tax cuts and opposing tax increases. In 2008, he vetoed a large gasoline tax increase. In 2009, he twice vetoed giant tax packages passed by the legislature, which included increases in the top personal income tax rate and increased taxes on gasoline, beer, wine, and liquor. In 2010, he again vetoed an income tax rate increase. Pawlenty has also proposed substantial business tax cuts to make the state more competitive, and he wants the corporate tax rate reduced from 9.9 percent to 4.8 percent. Under Pawlenty, state general fund spending rose 22 percent between FY03 and FY08, which was less than the average state increase. The governor's proposed spending for FY11 is down 10 percent from the FY08 peak. Pawlenty has proposed a constitutional amendment to limit annual growth in the state's general fund spending over the long term.
Pawlenty's potential 2012 rivals for president received lower marks. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels received a B rating. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour received a C rating.
Officials at the Minnesota Department of Revenue are saying Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner has not submitted his budget plan for review, but that Horner's campaign contacted them to see if the tax plan would work.
At the most recent debate last week, Horner said he submitted his budget plan for a review...
Horner: "We're going to take medical services off of the table. We won't tax those. We won't tax prescription drugs or medical devices and the numbers do add up.
Republican Tom Emmer: No they don't.
Horner: The Revenue Department says they did.
Emmer: They have not and you have to be honest about it.
Horner: I'm just curious as to where your information is that the Department of Revenue has said my numbers don't add up because the Department of Revenue told me that the numbers do add up.
Emmer: Well put it out there. We've asked and haven't been given anything that supports that.
Horner: Tom, That's just not true, you know that's not true.
Emmer: What we have been shown is that you have to make much broader attempt.
Horner: That's just a blatant lie."
But Revenue spokeswoman Kit Borgman says Horner's team "generally discussed their proposal" with Revenue Department Research Director Paul Wilson but didn't submit the plan for a review. Horner is proposing to expand the sales tax to clothing and unspecified services and lower the tax rate. He says his tax plan would raise $2.15 billion.
Borgman says Wilson said that the "general idea about broadening the sales tax and lowering it can get him where to where he wants to go." But Borgman said Wilson couldn't provide greater detail on whether Horner's numbers work because Horner hasn't specified which services he would tax.
Borgman said Wilson offered to review the budget plan, but Horner's team declined. (Update: Borgman said Horner's team didn't ask for a total analysis of their plan. "He said they didn't ask him to bless their numbers so to speak or estimate the impact," Borgman said. "Because he (Wilson) said it would be impossible anyway because they didn't have enough detail.")
Democrat Mark Dayton has repeatedly criticized Horner for not offering specifics as to which services he would tax.
Horner's campaign is the only major party campaign that hasn't submitted its plan to the revenue department for analysis. Dayton was forced to revise his plan after the department found it wouldn't raise as much money as he projected. Republican Tom Emmer submitted his plan to cut taxes to the revenue department for review, but Emmer is not proposing a tax increase. He has outlined general areas where he will reduce spending to balance the books. Emmer, however, has not said how he would specifically reduce spending in each category of the budget.
Horner just told MPR News that Revenue Department officials confirmed that his plan has the capacity to raise $1.3 billion from his sales tax plan. But he admits that there is more work to be done to identify "the services that make sense."
Horner also said that he won't expand the sales tax to business to business services, food, medical services and medical purchases and equipment. Horner said he's open to expanding the sales tax to all other consumer services.
"What the Department of Revenue has said is 'Consumer services, clothing, reduce the rate by one percent, is there a potential of $1.3 billion there? Yes.' And so, yes, I do acknowledge that everything is on the table. It doesn't mean we're going to end up with everyuthing on the table it does mean we do have to evaluate everything to reach a final judgement. That's going to take more people involved. It's going to take more resources. It's going to economic modeling. We want to make sure that we're doing this in a way that build the economy of Minnesota not in a way that gets us to November 2nd (Election Day)."
Update: Tom Emmer released this statement:
"Today we learned that Tom Horner has not in fact had his massive sales tax increase analyzed by the Minnesota Department of Revenue, contradicting what he stated only days ago. As a result, Minnesotans must ask themselves, what else is Tom Horner hiding from us?
"Tom Horner has clearly shown his intentions to grow government spending in an irresponsible way. He has no way to pay for that unsustainable growth except through massive sales tax increases. Those sales tax increases will crush Minnesota families by taxing everything from clothing and garage sales to baby formula. At least Senator Dayton had the intellectual honesty to admit that he can't balance the budget even with enormous income tax increases.
"My two opponents are fighting for the bragging right of who will tax Minnesotans more and who can promise more with no way to pay for it. In contrast, I am the only candidate proposing an honest, balanced budget and calling for government to live within its means."
The Minnesota Association of REALTORS Political Action Committee and the Builders Association of Minnesota Political Action Committee have made a joint endorsement of Independence Party candidate Tom Horner for governor.
A news release from the two organizations today called the endorsement historic.
"This is the first time Minnesota's housing industry has come together to endorse a gubernatorial candidate," said Jerry Teeson, Vice Chair of the REALTORS PAC. "We need a governor who has a realistic vision to rebuild private economy and create jobs. Tom Horner is the best candidate to tackle today's problems and move our economy forward towards a promising future."
DFL candidate for governor Mark Dayton is asking the federal government to give Minnesota an extension to apply for health care grants.
Dayton made the request today in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. In the letter, Dayton wrote that "extensions would enable Minnesota's next governor to make informed decisions about all of these grant opportunities and would prevent the loss of important federal funds for our state."
Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued an executive order a month ago preventing all state departments and agencies from applying for money available through the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Republican governor also said he would try to block what he views as an intrusive federal mandate whenever possible during his final months in office.
Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has received an award from U.S. English Inc., which describes itself as "the nation's oldest, largest citizens' action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States."
Bachmann received an "A for English Award" based on the U.S. English scorecard. That record includes co-sponsoring the English Language Unity Act, which promotes English as the official language.
It appears that the bill had at least 134 co-sponsors this year.
The three major party candidates for governor will travel to Greater Minnesota on Friday.
Republican Tom Emmer starts his day off by speaking to the Chamber of Commerce in Eden Prairie. He'll then head hold campaign rallies in Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes and Park Rapids.
Democrat Mark Dayton will spend the day in Duluth. He's scheduled to speak before the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees 2010 Conference at 4pm.
The Independence Party's Tom Horner will also be in Duluth Friday morning. He's scheduled to be on KDAL Radio at 6:20AM and is scheduled to meet with officials in the Minnesota Forest Products industry and will also greet attendees at the Duluth Rotary Club.