Posted at 6:34 AM on October 12, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The three major party candidates for governor will debate the issues for two hours of live radio today on MPR's Midmorning. The debate is expected to be lively and entertaining. It starts at 9am.
On Monday, Democrat Mark Dayton announced that he's paying back the federal government after settling a wrongful termination lawsuit with a former U.S. Senate staffer. Dayton declined to answer questions about the settlement after a debate on children's issues but said in a written statement that he was paying back the federal government for the cost of the settlement. Dayton settled the case one month after he started running for governor.
The Republican Party first raised the issue at a news conference this morning.
The candidates for governor discussed early childhood education and children's health insurance at the debate, which was sponsored by MinnPost.
You can listen to the full debate (and the disruption by protester/Emmer opponent Nick Espinosa) here: Listen
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a 2012 hopeful, will hold a rally on behalf of Emmer and the MNGOP on 10/18.
President Obama will hold his rally for Dayton at the U of M.
Politics Daily takes a look at the race.
Race for Congress
DFL Rep. Tim Walz and Republican Randy Demmer had a forceful discussion over health care, federal spending and energy policy at a debate in Mankato. MPR and The Mankato Free Press have stories. I'll post the audio of the debate on the blog later this morning.
Walz also wrote an op-ed saying tax cuts for the rich is not a Minnesota value.
MPR says immigration issues lurk, but are not discussed, in Minnesota's 6th District race.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann wrote an op-ed saying the Tea Party is good for the GOP because it's good for America.
WCCO Reality Checks Bachmann and Clark on lawmaker pay.
The CD4 Republicans ran an ad on Monday Night Football bashing DFL Rep. Betty McCollum and praising Republican Teresa Collett.
Republican Joel Demos also ran an ad last night during the game.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison is raising money off of the Demos ad.
An ag journal takes a look at how the midterms will impact the next Farm Bill. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.
Minnesota's corporate disclosure law is becoming a model for other states.
Under the Dome
Minnesota tax revenues are up in last quarter.
Two southeastern Minnesota lawmakers are asking Gov. Pawlenty to help block a wind project.
Five ethanol plants have been cited in the past year.
The union representing corrections officers says Minnesota's prisons are closer to a blowup. They cite inadequate staffing levels.
The Minnesota High Tech Association hired DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher to be the group's next president.
MnSCU's enrollment keeps climbing.
President Obama outlined a $50 billion transportation proposal.
DNC Convention Watch
Democrats in Minneapolis make their case to be the 2012 host in a new video.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty makes an effort to reach out to Christian Conservatives. The Brody File, which is broadcast on The Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, will interview Pawlenty and First Lady Mary Pawlenty today.
Sarah Palin says she won't run if conservatives indicate they want a more mainstream candidate.
She's also test driving her 2012 message.
The candidates in the race for Minnesota's 1st Congressional District debated health care reform, the federal budget deficit and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The debate, sponsored by Debate Minnesota, was held in Mankato.
Republican Randy Demmer criticized DFL Rep. Tim Walz for voting for the federal health care overhaul bill
Demmer denounced Walz's vote on the federal health care overhaul.
"There is nothing in this health care bill that will drive us to healthy living lifestyles," Demmer said. "Take care of ourselves. Its wrong and it has the wrong people in control of it and it needs to be repealed."
Walz defended his vote, saying it was better than doing nothing.
"We've made a good decision in this country," Walz said. "We've moved forward. It's not going to be perfect. It's going to continue to (be) reassessing. But we've made a step forward."
I-P candidate Steven Wilson told the crowd the bickering between the two main party candidates is why he's the best candidate to get things done.
"Both parties deserve to take responsibility because both of them had a stake in that," Wilson said. "This is something that's been going on for 20 years, that we've become addicted to debt as a nation. We're all responsible."
You can listen to the full debate here: Listen
The three candidates for governor will debate the issues on MPR's Midmorning at 9AM. We're providing a live blog of the show along with fact-checks of what they're saying:
Tarryl Clark, the DFL candidate in Minnesota's 6th District race, is challenging GOP incumbent U.S. House Rep. Michele Bachmann to participate in eight Town Hall Forums.
Clark is also asking Bachmann to show up to tonight's debate in Bachmann's hometown of Stillwater, as well as an October 18th debate in Monticello.
Bachmann's camp has agreed to three debates, all in the final week before the election.
UPDATED 11:50 AM: Sergio Gor, Bachmann's spokesman, says the following in response to the new invitations:
We have announced our debate schedule. The Congresswoman is in the district every day talking with voters. Congresswoman Bachmann has had an ongoing dialogue with her constituents for many years and continues to value voter input.
Clark points out that Bachmann is only doing one public debate that members of her district can attend.
Here's what Clark said about Bachmann on a conference call with reporters:
Is she afraid of coming and talking to me? Is she afraid of what people are going to ask her? What I hear over and over again is that she's not making herself available. And I hear this from Republicans. I hear this from Independents. I hear this from Democrats. She must be afraid of something, and I can't figure out what it is.
Clark and Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson will debate tonight in Stillwater. Bachmann's campaign has indicated she will not attend.
Clark's spokeswoman, Carrie Lucking, says Anderson is not invited to the eight new Town Hall forums the campaign is putting together.
"Voters have the opportunity to see Tarryl and Bob with one another on four different occasions. What they lack right now is the ability to see Tarryl and Congresswoman Bachmann," said Lucking.
Clark says the Town Hall forums will take place regardless of Bachmann's participation. "We want to hear from the community," Lucking said.
The first Town Hall forum will be this Thursday in Woodbury at 7 p.m.
A Rasmussen poll released yesterday shows that 49 percent of likely voters find "most political debates to be informative." The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on October 8-9, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Meanwhile, I can't recall Bachmann's last interview with local media, though she's been talking to national media. She appeared yesterday on Fox Business News. Bachmann did the interview in a studio just up the street from MPR. She has declined two MPR News interview requests in the past week.
Bachmann also appeared last week on Fox talking about U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
UPDATED 11:56 AM: Sergio Gor says "We will have an interview with a local station this week, and a local paper too."
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. a group opposed to legalized abortion, is backing Republican Chip Cravaack over DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District.
MCCL has backed Oberstar in past elections. Here's the release from MCCL:
"Chip Cravaack exemplifies everything the people of Minnesota's 8th District look for in a candidate for Congress," said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "Cravaack has a passionate dedication to uphold the constitutional right to life and to protect our country's most vulnerable citizens - the unborn."
Cravaack has made the protection of lives threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia central to his campaign. He strongly believes in the inalienable right to life from conception to natural death. Cravaack opposes the destruction of human embryos for experimentation and supports ethical adult stem cell research, which "has shown great possibilities and does not trade one life to save another," he has stated.
Cravaack and Jim Oberstar, the current 8th District congressman, differ sharply on these issues and on the Obama health care overhaul, which instituted health care rationing and taxpayer funding of abortion. Less than a month before voting for the Obama health care bill, Oberstar stated, "I will not vote for a health care bill that doesn't have the [pro-life] House abortion language in it." The House language, which would have prohibited taxpayer funded abortion, was removed from the final bill, but Oberstar abandoned his pledge and voted in favor of it. He also led an effort to lobby pro-life Democrats in the U.S. House to vote for final passage of the Obama health care bill, even though it included rationing and abortion funding.
"Jim Oberstar has turned away from the pro-life principles he used to hold in common with the citizens of the 8th District," Fischbach said. "He has walked away from the pro-life movement. For years Jim Oberstar has had a 100 percent pro-life voting record and now he has a zero percent pro-life voting record. Just as Jim Oberstar has abandoned the babies, it is time for the voters to retire Jim Oberstar."
Fortunately, voters have a strong pro-life candidate in Chip Cravaack. MCCL Federal PAC urges the people of Minnesota's 8th District to vote for Chip Cravaack. He is the candidate with the courage and conviction to protect unborn babies, senior citizens, disabled persons and everyone else who life is threatened by abortion, health care rationing and other dangers.
Update: Here's a fact-check on whether the federal health care law allows federal funding to cover abortions.
Oberstar's campaign spokesman John Schadl says voters know Oberstar opposes abortion.
"It's regrettable I think that this decision has been made but people know who Jim is and what his values are. I don't know that this is going to be a game changer. I think we'll work a little harder to just restate Jim's values."
Schadl says Oberstar worked to ensure that federal funds wouldn't be spent on abortions when Congress debated the federal health care overhaul bill earlier this year.
Two of the three candidates for the U.S. House seat in Minnesota's 6th District held a debate last night in Stillwater.
DFLer Tarryl Clark and Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson frequently took aim at incumbent GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann for not showing up, as well as for her stance on issues. The event's organizer said Bachmann never responded to the debate invitation in her home town.
About 100 people attended the debate, many of them wearing red to support Clark and the DFL.
Anderson, a Woodbury resident and dental technician with no political experience, showed wide knowledge of the debate issues. When asked how he, as a conservative, would differentiate himself from Bachmann, he drew cheers from the audience.
"Well I tell you what. If I got all that free time on Fox news and those national networks, I'd be putting out something positive, like making common sense changes to the health care plan," he said.
Clark and Anderson agreed that infrastructure projects could boost job creation and that the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy should be abolished. Anderson often nodded his head to concur with Clarks' points.
They disagreed on issues like cap and trade, as well as tax cuts.
Clark said she would not support extending Bush-era tax cuts for top earners. She says the country can't afford it.
"We were told by President Bush that if we did that, we'd see all sorts of jobs, and that just never panned out. I support extending the tax cuts for over 97 percent of our constituents here in the 6th District, which means families making up to about $250,000," she said.
Clark says she also supports closing a tax loophole for companies operating overseas.
Anderson says he would maintain the tax cuts for all income levels, a step he says is necessary in the bad economy.
He said he was disappointed to learn that Clark is challenging Bachmann to eight Town Hall forums but has not invited him.
Anderson also criticized Bachmann and Clark for spending millions of dollars on a two-year position. He said Bachmann is on a "national crusade" to raise millions of dollars for the "far-right movement."
"The 6th District needs a congressperson right here in the district, and that's my one ambition. I can represent the constituents because I'm one of them. I'm a small business owner," he said.
Meanwhile, MinnPost reports that Bachmann raised $5.4 million in the third quarter, "an amount so large it doesn't just dwarf the haul any Minnesota campaign has had in a single quarter, it's more than any House candidate here has ever raised for an entire cycle."
Reporter Derek Wallbank says:
Two Bachmann campaign officials confirmed the totals today, though spokesman Sergio Gor said the campaign would release detailed numbers, including cash-on-hand totals, Wednesday.