The candidates for governor will be outside of the Twin Cities metro area for all or part of the day. Democrat Mark Dayton and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner will be in Duluth to attend a MN Council of Nonprofits Conference Candidate Meeting. Republican Tom Emmer will hold campaign rallies in Lino Lakes, North Branch, Hinckley and Duluth.
All three candidates will appear at a live TV debate on Fox9 on Saturday night at 6pm.
The DFL Party will start running an ad today in support of Dayton. It will focus on Dayton's education plan.
Dayton's kids are featured in a new ad that could hit the airwaves soon.
Dayton said on MPR's Midday that he may continue the K12 school payment delay in order to balance the budget.
You can listen to his Midday appearance here.
The NFIB officially backed Emmer's bid for governor.
Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton's remarks on Wednesday about Republicans backing Horner prompted an bangry rebuke from George Pillsbury and Bill Belanger.
MPR takes a look at Horner's sales tax plan and what it's impact would be on the state's residents.
Update: Liberal blogger Karl Bremer says Emmer has been hit with a malpractice lawsuit.
Race for Congress
AP talks to long-time Democrats who are frustrated with DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar. The news outlet says it could be a real race.
DFL Sen. Al Franken campaigned for Chris Coons in Delaware.
AP does an ad watch on Republican Randy Demmer's first ad.
Republican Lee Byberg criticized DFL Rep. Collin Peterson for voting to adjourn.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen hits Democrat Jim Meffert in his second ad.
Minnesota Majority and two other conservative groups are creating voter surveillance teams with the hopes of preventing voter fraud on Election Day. Critics say it has more to do with voter suppression.
An Administrative Law Judge dismissed Republican Pat Anderson's complaitnt against Rebecca Otto, the DFL incumbent.
Under the Dome
The Minnesota Council of Health Plans, the Minnesota Hospital Association and the Minnesota Medical Association circumvented Gov. Pawlenty on submitting comments on health insurance exchanges. The group gathered the data under the Data Practices Act and sent it to the federal government themselves.
As the state buys land, counties continue to lose tax revenue.
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher outlined the flood relief process ahead of Monday's tentative special session. She made the comments in Owatonna.
The U of M prepares to ask the Legislature for a funding increase.
A Senate report says mismanaged U.S. funds are going to the Taliban and warlords in Afghanistan.
An inquiry also found that guards hired to protect U.S. bases are tied to the Taliban.
Democratic leaders are calling for an investigation of mortgage companies that may have unfairly evicted people from their homes.
Thousands of stimulus checks were sent in error.
A group is calling for DFL Rep. Keith Ellison's removal from the Congressional Task Force on Anti-Semitism.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty is headed to Iowa today.
Pawlenty announced on Thursday that his last official radio show will be on 11/12. That's a week and a half after his successor is elected.
Pawlenty will also campaign for one of the Republican gubernatorial hopefuls. He's asking supporters to pick one. Emmer is included.
Mitt Romney will hold a fundraiser for Emmer and the MNGOP later this month.
Ron Paul is headed to Iowa.
The latest Rasmussen Poll shows Democrat Mark Dayton with a slight lead over Republican Tom Emmer in Minnesota's race for governor. The poll shows Dayton polling at 40 percent. Emmer is polling at 38 percent. IP candidate Tom Horner is polling at 15 percent. Five percent of those polled are undecided. The poll's margin of error is +/-4 percentage points.
The last Rasmussen Poll showed Emmer leading Dayton 36 percent to 34 percent.
The poll surveyed 750 voters on October 6th.
Here's the poll.
From Annie Baxter:
GOP U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann attacked Democrats, food stamps, and Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner last night at an event called "Reclaiming America: The Taking Back Congress Tour."
Bachmann was joined by conservative broadcasters Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager. GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer made a guest appearance.
The event at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis was sponsored by the conservative radio station AM 1280 The Patriot and drew about 400 people, leaving many of the 1,500 seats on the main floor of Orchestra Hall empty.
The Patriot's operations manager Lee Michaels hinted at the sparse attendance. "I know there's nothing else going on downtown tonight," he quipped. The Twins were playing the Yankees at Target Field in the second game of the ALDS.
Bachmann's opponents in the 6th District House race, DFLer Tarryl Clark and Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson, have criticized Bachmann for participating in last night's event instead of attending a debate to which all three were invited.
Bachmann delivered a speech entitled "The Way Forward" in which she imagined what the country would be like if Republicans took control of Congress.
Among the agenda items is the repeal of the federal health care overhaul.
"That's just a given. I mean it's a given," Bachmann said. "And it's possible, by the way. Very possible. We lost the battle, but we will not lose the war. We will repeal 'Obamacare.'"
Bachmann said in its place, Congress should allow Americans to purchase health insurance using tax-free dollars.
Bachmann listed many other goals. She suggested that the government do the following:
--give the EPA a "full review" and have it focused only on "safe air, safe land, and safe water."
--auction off Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by whatever means necessary, including "Ebay or Craigslist."
--end federal subsidies of energy production
--cut the business tax rate from 34 percent to 9 percent.
Bachmann also took aim at U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's defense of food stamps.
CNN reports that Pelosi argued that for every dollar a person receives in food stamps, $1.79 is put back into the economy. "The U.S. Department of Agriculture cites an even higher figure of $1.84," said CNN.
"Can anyone explain how you take the money out of the private sector, you give it to inefficient government, you have the price of bureaucracy that you add to that dollar, and you push that dollar out into the market, and somehow you take a magic wand and magic beans, and you throw them at that dollar and it poofs up into $1.84?" she asked.
"It just doesn't happen. And if that does happen, then the answer to our economic doldrums is obvious: you put everyone in the country on foods stamps and you put everyone in the country on unemployment, because it would be the greatest stimulative effect that you'd ever see."
Bachmann said the only gain in the equation is money spent on bureaucracy.
Economists at the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office have however, underscored the economic benefit of such programs.
"Lower-income households are . . . more likely to be among those with the highest propensity to spend. Therefore, policies aimed at lower-income households tend to have greater stimulative effects," said the CBO.
Bachmann also had sharp words for Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner, who has proposed both spending cuts and some tax increases. She likened him to DFL candidate Mark Dayton.
"We can't let anyone tell us that Tom Horner is a pro-business Republican. This is no pro-business Republican. This is two of the same, both pro-taxing, essentially Democrats running against Tom Emmer," she said.
Fellow speaker Dennis Prager said Democrats hate Bachmann more than any other Republican. He had a theory why.
"I actually think that your being female and being as good-looking as you are is a major factor. That your intelligence and values should come in such a beautiful package disturbs liberals and the left tremendously," Prager said.
Political Hanidcapper Charlie Cook has moved his rating of Minnesota's First Congressional District from "Likely Democratic" to "Lean Democratic." DFL Rep. Tim Walz is facing a challenge from Republican Randy Demmer.
The district has been getting plenty of attention by Republicans in the past week. GOP Rep. John Kline is campaigning for Demmer today. The National Republican Congressional Committee also announced that it intends to run TV ads in the district.
Cook is also keeping Minnesota's 6th Congressional District in the "Likely Republican" column. That race features GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and Democrat Tarryl Clark.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer pledges to cut the corporate income tax if he's elected, which he argues stifle Minnesota's economy.
Here's what he had to say about the matter during a recent interview with Minnesota Public Radio's Gary Eichten:
Minnesota's corporate tax rate is "actually third highest in the country," Emmer said on Oct. 5, 2010. "When it's combined with the federal corporate tax, I believe it's the third highest in the world."
Emmer's facts are in the ballpark, but as with most things involving taxes it's more complicated than it appears on first glance.
Minnesota has a flat corporate tax rate of 9.8 percent, which Emmer wants to lower to 3 percent by 2015. He's right that the current rate is quite high compared to other states. Iowa comes in first with a 10 to 12 percent rate on corporations making more than $100,000 annually. Pennsylvania is next, followed by the District of Columbia. Minnesota comes in fourth when accounting for Iowa's two top brackets, so Emmer is close enough on his first point.
For the second part of his claim, Emmer relies on numbers produced by Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, an international group that collects and compiles data about developed countries. While their list excludes many smaller countries, it's common for experts, including the Congressional Budget Office, to use their data when comparing the U.S. corporate tax rate to other countries.
By this measure, Emmer is also correct: At a little more than 39 percent, the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Combined with Minnesota's of 9.8 percent, the state has one of the highest in the world.
Nevertheless, all these numbers deserve some context.
Experts argue that the U.S. statutory rate is misleading because the tax code contains all sorts of credits and deductions that companies take advantage of. So, it's unlikely that many businesses are actually paying the full amount. In any event, businesses frequently pass these tax costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices or employees in the form of lower wages.
Another interesting twist to this story: It's actually Minnesota's property tax that hits corporations the hardest. In 2009, businesses paid about $3.6 billion in property taxes and only $800 million in corporate income taxes, according to a study published by the Center on State Taxation.
Emmer is a little off on his numbers, but close enough to pass this test.
Minnesota Public Radio News, Midday interview with Rep. Tom Emmer, Oct. 5, 2010
Tom Emmer for Governor, The Emmer Budget Plan, accessed Oct. 7, 2010
The Tax Foundation, State Corporate Income Tax Rates, 2000-2010, accessed Oct. 7, 2010
The Tax Foundation, Facts on Minnesota's Tax Climate, accessed Oct. 8, 2010
Federation of Tax Administrators, Range of State and Corporate Income Tax Rates, accessed Oct. 7, 2010
The Congressional Budget Office, Corporate Income Tax Rates: International Comparisons, November 2005
The Council on State Taxation, Total state and local business taxes: State-by-state estimates for fiscal year 2009, March 2010
The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Putting U.S. Corporate Taxes in Perspective, by Chye-Ching Huang, Oct. 27, 2008
MinnPost.com, How does Minnesota stack up in business taxation? Pretty well, it turns out, By Sharon Schmickle, Aug. 24, 2010
MN2020, Governor Gets it Wrong on Business Taxes, by Jeff Van Wychen, accessed Oct. 7, 2010
Interview, Carl Kuhl, spokesman, Emmer for Governor, Oct. 7, 2010
Republican Tom Emmer was a surprise guest at last night's "Reclaiming America: The Taking Back Congress Tour." The event featured GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann (read more about that here) but they also gave Emmer some time to speak.
Emmer suggested the state's political climate is ripe for Republicans across the country who are pushing limited government
"Do you feel the winds behind us?" Emmer asked. "Do you feel the winds finally starting to push our message for the future?"
Emmer emphasized a familiar campaign theme: Government can't take care of the citizens. He also criticized "traditional politicians" who are taking care of their careers first. He encouraged the members audience to work to elect him and other Republicans in November.
"You have to let them know that now is the time to grab your piece of the rope and start pulling with everything you have. We have 25 days to finish climbing to the top of this hill and to take back not just Minnesota but our country for the future of our kids."
Emmer then finished his speech by targeting his Democratic opponent, Mark Dayton.
"He's running because politics is a hobby for him. He doesn't experience what you and I have experienced. He hasn't tried to raise a family under the burdens that government provides."
Here's the full speech: Listen
Thanks to MPR's Annie Baxter for the audio.
The federal government is still reviewing a request for flood relief in southern Minnesota. That means Governor Pawlenty's hopes of calling a special session on Monday will not happen. Here's the release from Pawlenty's office:
Governor Pawlenty has postponed calling a Special Session of the legislature, originally scheduled for Monday, October 11, 2010, because the federal government is still reviewing the Governor's request for a federal disaster declaration. The federal declaration is necessary in order to determine the state's share of relief.
The Governor requested the disaster declaration on October 1 as a result of flooding caused by severe storms that began on September 22 in southern Minnesota. Preliminary assessments indicate a total of $64.1 million in damage.
In order to provide prompt relief to those in need, the Governor intends to call a special session shortly after receiving the declaration.