Posted at 7:03 AM on October 4, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Thirty days to Election Day.
Democrat Mark Dayton and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner will debate the issues in Alexandria tonight.
Republican Tom Emmer won't attend the debate. He's campaigning in Faribault, Mankato, Albert Lea and Rochester today.
Emmer will be in Winona, Le Crescent, Red Wing and Inver Grove Heights on Tuesday.
IP candidates Tom Horner holds a news conference this morning and will then appear on MPR's Midday at 11am.
The Star Tribune takes a look at some of Horner's past clients. Horner, a former PR executive, has refused to release his full client list.
Democrat Mark Dayton will also speak at the Minnesota State Association of Letter Carriers Convention today.
Dayton appeared on WCCO's Sunday Morning.
Vice-President Joe Biden will campaign for Dayton on Tuesday.
The budget and immigration were just a few of the issues discussed at a Sunday debate that was hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council. MPR, the Star Tribune, the Pi Press and WCCO have stories.
You can listen to the debate here.
MNForward released a third ad criticizing Democrat Mark Dayton.
The Alliance for a Better MN, which is backing Dayton's bid, developed a website criticizing Horner.
The PoliGraph says Dayton's claims that reducing private contracts will save the state money is more easily said than done.
Emmer answered six questions from the Star Tribune's opinion page.
The Pi Press takes a look at where the candidates stand on energy and the environment.
Race for Congress
Expect Democrat Tarryl Clark to put pressure on GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann to commit to debates. Bachmann's staff has been vague as to which debates Bachmann will attend (How vague, you ask. Read this).
WCCO fact-checks Bachmann's stance on Social Security.
The NRA endorsed DFL Rep. Tim Walz.
The Washington Post says Republican Randy Demmer, who is challenging Walz, could be a deciding force in whether the GOP takes the House.
Demmer also wrote an op-ed in the Star Tribune.
Democrat Jim Meffert, who is challenging GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen in Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District, appeared on WCCO's Sunday Morning.
The Washington Post says interest group spending, often in secret, has skyrocketed this year.
MinnPost says the congressional elections are highlighting the debate over the federal stimulus.
State Auditor Rebecca Otto, a Democrat, released a TV ad.
GOP Supreme Court candidate Greg Wersel tests some of the new freedoms.
Under the Dome
AP says Minnesota's line of credit will cost the state $1.6 million (at least).
Gov. Pawlenty is requesting President Obama declare southern Minnesota a disaster area.
MPR takes a look at one of the longest bus rides to school.
The Attorney General's office is reportedly investigating the U.S. Navy Veteran's Association. That group has been under fire for not being a real charity and funneling donations to GOP candidates.
The U.S. issues a travel alert in Europe.
Cheap debt for corporations fails to spur the economy.
Casinos are working to make some online gambling legal.
Republicans, including GOP Rep. John Kline, says a troop cap in Afghanistan is forcing attacks on troops there.
DFL Sen. Al Franken kicked off a neighborhood revitalization project.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum also attended the kickoff.
The PBGC is finalizing a report on pensions for 160 employees of the National Steel Pellet Co. Franken, DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar are mentioned.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty raises money for State Senate candidate Karen Housley tonight. Housley is challenging DFL Sen. Katie Sieben.
Politico notes that Pawlenty is one of a handful of 2012 candidates that are lavishing praise and money on candidates for Congress.
The pioneer for In Vitro fertilization wins the Nobel Prize.
IP Candidate Tom Horner will be on MPR's Midday today at 11am.
Republican Tom Emmer will be on the show on Tuesday.
Democrat Mark Dayton will be on the show on Thursday.
On Friday, I had a confusing conversation with GOP U.S. House Rep. Michele Bachmann's spokesman, Sergio Gor, over their camp's debate plans.
Gor said they had confirmed with a few venues, but it's still not clear which ones.
Meanwhile, Bachmann's opponents, DFLer Tarryl Clark and Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson, are committing to debates.
Clark has released the debates she'll participate in.
October 12th: Debate hosted by the Stillwater Gazette, Stillwater
October 15th: Debate hosted by North Metro Television, Blaine
October 18th: Debate hosted by the Monticello Chamber of Commerce, Monticello
October 26th: Debate hosted by the Minnesota News Network, St. Cloud
October 31st: At Issue, KSTP Studios
Another debate, to be hosted by the St. Cloud Rotary and Chamber of Commerce, is still being negotiated, and other debates may also be added.
"Some of the forums have indicated that they will not hold their debate unless Bachmann participates," said Clark's spokeswoman Carrie Lucking. "However, we will participate in forums regardless of Bachmann's participation."
Over the weekend, Bob Anderson asked his opponents to list their debate schedules. "Refusing to debate is a disservice to the people of Minnesota and contradicts the principles of a free and open democracy," he said in a press release.
I renewed a request to Bachmann's camp to clarify their debate plans but haven't heard back.
The NRA announced that it's backing Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, a Democrat, for reelection. Swanson is running for a secont term against Republican Chris Barden. Here's part of the release:
"Lori Swanson's commitment to preserving our Second Amendment freedoms has earned her the NRA-PVF endorsement," said Chris W. Cox, chairman of NRA-PVF. "Gun owners and hunters in Minnesota can trust Lori Swanson to fight for their Second Amendment rights.
Lori Swanson returned positive responses to the NRA-PVF candidate questionnaire and has been a strong and vocal supporter of our right to keep and bear arms while serving as Minnesota Attorney General. She also signed the important amicus brief in the McDonald case, arguing that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that applies to all Americans.
"Lori Swanson's support for individual gun ownership rights has earned her an 'A+' rating -- the NRA-PVF's highest -- and endorsement from the NRA-PVF," Cox continued. "We ask all Minnesota gun owners, hunters and NRA members to vote Lori Swanson for Attorney General on November 2."
IP candidate Tom Horner announced a list of endorsements today. Chief among them is former GOP Speaker of the MN House Dave Jennings and former Taylor Corp. CEO Jean Taylor. Former North Dakota Gov. Allen Olson (who now lives in MN), U of M Crookston professor Jack Geller, former Minneapolis City Council member Joan Niemiec, MNDOT Commissioner Richard Braun and St. Thomas professor Fred Zimmerman also endorsed Horner.
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House, will be in town this week to raise money for Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor. Emmer's campaign is asking donors to give $1,000 to attend the luncheon. The event will be held at the Marriot City Center in Minneapolis at noon on Wednesday.
Emmer's campaign says there are no public events scheduled with Gingrich.
Update: The MNGOP says Gingrich will hold a news conference after the luncheon.
The Gingrich fundraiser will be held one day after Vice-President Joe Biden will be in Minnesota on behalf of Democrat Mark Dayton. Biden will hold a campaign rally and fundraiser for Dayton.
GOP U.S. House Rep. Michele Bachmann is participating in the "At Issue" debate with 6th District candidates at KSTP Studios on October 31st, as well as a debate on MPR's Midday program October 28th.
More details as they come in.
UPDATE: Bachmann's camp put out a press release saying they're doing three debates. The third, in addition to the two listed above, will take place October 26th in St. Cloud and is held by the Chamber Of Commerce there.
Bachmann for Congress spokesman Segio Gor released the following statement regarding debates for the 6th District race.
Congresswoman Bachmann looks forward to debating Tarryl Clark. Voters deserve a clear picture between the two candidates - a taxpayer advocate like Michele who fought against higher taxes and failed bailouts or a spender like Tarryl who never met a tax increase she didn't support.
Congresswoman Bachmann is eager to highlight the vast differences between her and her opponent. Voters deserve a clear picture of the candidates; instead Clark for Congress has only offered gimmicks and rhetoric.
MPR has not yet received confirmation of Tarryl Clark's participation in the Midday debate.
UPDATE: Clark's camp has confirmed that they'll do the Midday debate.
Republican Tom Emmer is targeting Independence Party candidate Tom Horner's past PR contracts with state government. In a news release, Emmer criticized Horner for receiving government contracts during his time at Himle Horner (read the story here). Here's the release from Emmer:
"No wonder Tom Horner wants to raise billions in new taxes and grow government at a double-digit percentage increase. Horner has milked government for millions of dollars in lucrative contracts," Emmer said at a campaign appearance in Faribault. "Tom Horner wants to maintain business-as-usual even though voters know that the status quo is not working."
The Star Tribune reported today that Tom Horner's firm Himle Horner has received millions from state and local governments to write speeches, rehab the Department of Transportation's image after the 35W bridge collapse, and for work on the Northstar commuter rail project.
"Tom Horner believes that struggling Minnesota families and businesses owe government more of their money in the worst economy in two generations to help line Mr. Horner's pockets. My perspective is different: I think government should do its most important tasks well, but we can only create jobs and keep our economy moving by making government live within its means."
Horner campaign spokesman Matt Lewis issued this statement on Emmer's critcism.Any candidate for governor who views his opponent's demonstrated ability to work with local units of government as a detriment is going to have some serious problems trying to lead the state of Minnesota.
But on a larger note, is this a game that Rep. Emmer really wants to play? Tom Horner's public clients have always been visible. Horner actually took the extraordinary step of completely divesting from his firm and relieving himself of all clients and all potential conflicts of interest.
It's more than we ask of Rep. Emmer and other sitting legislators. We don't even require that Rep. Emmer tell us which industries and clients he is representing while he is actually voting as a member of the legislature. But I don't care to get into a back and forth on who Rep. Emmer. I think Minnesotans are focused on the policies and the vision that all three candidates are offering in this election, Rep. Emmer's ideas included. And when past clients have arisen in policy discussions Tom Horner has actively volunteered that info.
Horner has a background of working with a wide range of groups from Northstar, as Rep. Emmer suggests, to the Hospitals, to Project 515 to the Chamber of Commerce, which endorsed Rep. Emmer. Mr. Horner has run a business, has been active in organizations ranging from Catholic Charities to Serve Minnesota, has run a U.S. Senate office, taught at St. Thomas and done much more. All of these experiences help shape his knowledge and ability to create coalitions around key issues facing the state.
Since he brought up the budget though, I also think that his campaign needs to address the reality that MPR's PoliGraph pointed out last week.
Emmer isn't the only one targeting Horner. The DFL Party is criticizing Horner in a new web video. They argue he's ignoring the problems facing the middle class.
Governor Pawlenty is ramping up his political efforts for Republican candidates for the Legislature. Pawlenty is scheduled to keynote a fundraiser for state Senate candidate Karin Housley tonight. Housley is challenging DFL Sen. Katie Sieben.
Thursday Friday, Pawlenty will hold a joint fundraiser for Diane Anderson, Candidate for State Representative of 38A and Ted Daley, Candidate for State Senate of 38. Anderson is challenging DFL Rep. Sandy Masin. Daley is challenging DFL Sen. Jim Carlson.
Pawlenty, who has been hitting the road on behalf of Republican candidates across the country, won't slow down in the coming week. Pawlenty is scheduled to be in Iowa on Friday and Saturday.