Democrat Mike Ciresi stepped into the race for governor on Monday and backed IP candidate Tom Horner. The attorney, and two-time candidate for the U.S. Senate, decided against backing his DFL foe in 2000. Dayton defeated Ciresi in the Primary in 2000. Ciresi is the first major Democrat to back Horner's campaign.
Dayton's running mate, Yvonne Pretter-Solon, says she's surprised by Ciresi's decision. She said Dayton held a fundraiser at Ciresi's firm recently.
Dayton campaigned in northwestern Minnesota.
DNC Chair Tim Kaine will kick off the DFL Party's GOTV efforts at the U of M.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will campaign with Annette Meeks and Randy Demmer on Saturday in Winona.
There will be other GOP rallies on Saturday to counter President Obama's visit to Minnesota.
Race for Congress
4th District GOP candidate Teresa Collett is airing ads.
The Secretary of State candidates debated the issues on Midday.
Forum Communications takes a look at the candidates running for Attorney General.
Gov. Pawlenty backed Republican AG candidate Chris Barden.
A complaint was filed against a Hastings pastor who backed Emmer from the pulpit.
Here's a list of the events of the next two weeks.
Under the Dome
Minnesota doctors defend drug payments.
Military recruiters are told to accept gay applicants.
Talks to end the war in Afghanistan involve face to face discussions with the Taliban.
Clarence Thomas's wife asked Anita Hill for an apology.
Changes to the health care law bring added stress to hospital administrators.
The remaining members of the RNC 8 plead guilty but won't get jail time.
Norm for RNC Chair Watch
Roll Call reports that former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman will run to be RNC Chair (subscription required).
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty topped Romney in Iowa donations.
Texas big-wig Bob Perry backed Pawlenty's Iowa PAC.
Minnesota's next governor will grapple with health care reform, including a new federal law that requires states to set up health insurance marketplaces.
In response to a comment made by Republican candidate Tom Emmer about increasing the competitiveness of health insurance in the state, Independence candidate Tom Horner said Minnesota needs to consider federal dollars meant to help states set up health insurance exchanges.
"Every state accepted the planning money except two: Minnesota and Alaska," Horner said. "And I think that speaks to the politics of the issue."
Horner's right: Minnesota and Alaska have so far said "no" to federal money.
The new health care law requires most people to have health insurance by 2014. But because some people don't have insurance through their jobs - and some people don't have jobs at all - the bill also requires that states set up so-called health insurance exchanges, virtual marketplaces where consumers and small businesses can shop for policies.
The idea is to make health insurance pricing more competitive. If the state fails to set up the exchange, the federal Department of Health and Human Services will run the operation.
Indeed, the health care bill has become a political flashpoint in Minnesota. In August, Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued an executive order barring state departments and agencies from applying for funding associated with the new law because he says it's an intrusion on state's rights. The executive order includes federal grants meant to help states get the exchanges off the ground.
On Sept. 30, 2010, the federal health department announced $49 million in such grants to 48 states and the District of Columbia.
Not included on the list? Minnesota and Alaska.
Horner's correct that Minnesota and Alaska are the only two states that have not applied for grants to help establish health insurance exchanges.
The UpTake, Debating at the U: MN Candidates for Governor, Oct. 15, 2010
The Christian Science Monitor, Health care reform bill 101: What's a health 'exchange'?, by Peter Grier, March 20, 2010
The Kaiser Family Foundation, Explaining Health Care Reform: Questions About Health Insurance Exchanges, April 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Pawlenty does about-face on insurance exchange idea, by Elizabeth Stawicki, October 8, 2010
Office of the Governor, Governor Pawlenty Signs Executive Order Directing State Agencies to Decline All Discretionary Participation in Obamacare, Aug. 31, 2010
HealthCare.gov, Health Insurance Exchanges: State Planning and Establishment Grants, accessed Oct. 18, 2010
HealthCare.gov, Grant Awards List, accessed Oct. 18, 2010
ECM Publishers has endorsed DFLer Tarryl Clark for Minnesota's 6th District Congressional race over GOP incumbent U.S. House Rep. Michele Bachmann and Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson.
ECM serves 6 of the largest population centers outside of St. Cloud in the 6th District.
"That makes the 2 largest 6th District newspaper circulation endorsements this week," Lucking says. The other major endorsement came from the St. Cloud Times.
Here's what ECM says:
As one of the leading figures in the Tea Party movement and founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, Rep. Bachmann has expanded her national platform even more, much to the Sixth District's loss.
Rep. Bachmann's repeated absence from the district is one reason that ECM Publishers chooses to endorse Sen. Clark for election on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The St. Cloud state senator was convincing in that she will be an advocate for people and needs of the district, not a national campaigner.
She is one of the Republican Party's top rock stars, trailing only former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in national recognition. And Rep. Bachmann is a heavy hitter, too. She has raised more than $10 million in campaign contributions this year, raking in more than $5 million in the most recent quarter. And through MICHELE PAC, she has provided endorsements and campaign contributions to 46 conservative candidates from around the country, including U.S. Senate candidates Christine O'Donnell from Delaware, Rand Paul from Kentucky and Marco Rubio in Florida.
As editors from ECM newspapers that serve the Sixth District converged as an editorial endorsement panel to screen candidates in this election, we had hoped that the incumbent would grant an interview to assist the panel in its deliberation. Repeated attempts in late August and throughout September to schedule an interview were not successful. That was disappointing and the panel had no choice but to move on.
We understand that Rep. Bachmann has been part of the House minority, Still, in the four years that she has served in Congress she has authored only one piece of legislation that became law. Still worse, she has not supported important construction projects in St. Cloud and Stillwater -- projects of great value in this district.
To her credit, Clark is no rookie to the legislative process and has been willing to work in a bipartisan arena for the betterment of the state. Sen. Clark's life experiences in teen counseling, parenting, senior citizen advocacy and work with groups like Habitat for Humanity and the Minnesota Community Action Program give her a solid foundation that will help her succeed in Washington.
She demonstrated deep understanding and knowledge of national and international issues. Raised in a conservative Republican family, she has matured to form a philosophical view that draws on her upbringing and world views today.
The editorial panel also found Bob Anderson to be an interesting candidate. After collecting 10 percent of the vote in the Sixth District race in 2008, Anderson is certainly a factor again this year. As a third-party candidate, he believes he offers a choice between Sen. Clark (too far left for the district) and Rep. Bachmann (too much of a rock star).
It is clear that many voters in the district have a deep affection for Rep. Bachmann. She's likable, independent, savvy and a candidate who has gone far from her start as a school board member in Stillwater. Where Anderson draws votes from could decide the 2010 contest.
If voters in the Sixth District truly want a representative who will put them and the district first in how the duties are performed in Washington, their vote on Nov. 2 should be for Sen. Tarryl Clark. -- An editorial from the ECM Editorial Board, ECM Publishers
Bob Lessard, a former state Senator who is best known for pushing hunting and fishing issues, has backed Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign for governor. Lessard, who served in the Minnesota Senate as a member of the DFL and the Independence Parties, said Dayton is the candidate who will best represent sportsmen's issues. The endorsement matters since Lessard backed Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and Republican Senator Norm Coleman in past elections.
Here's part of the news release:
"Mark Dayton has made the strongest commitment to hunters and anglers that I have seen from any gubernatorial candidate in my political career. Endorsing Mark is a matter of integrity. In the past, I've endorsed some Republicans because they were on the right side of the issues that matter to me and the issues that matter to sportsmen and sportswomen. In this race, Mark Dayton is on the right side of those issues-he supported the Legacy Amendment from Day One. I support Mark because he supports sportsmen and sportswomen. With him, hunters, anglers, and conservationists will have a friend in the Governor's office."
Dayton, a hunter and angler himself, said: "I am honored to receive Bob's endorsement. Bob has done so much for sportsmen and sportswomen in our state, and I look forward to working with him to ensure a better Minnesota for sportsmen, sportswomen, and future generations."
Senator Lessard has previously endorsed Governor Pawlenty and Senator Coleman, and chaired the Sportsmen for Bush campaign. Senators Lessard and Coleman campaigned together for the Legacy Amendment. This time, however, Senator Lessard does not support the Republican candidate.
"Representative Emmer opposed the Legacy Amendment, which I can understand. However, after the amendment was overwhelmingly passed, Emmer authored legislation to repeal what the voters had just voted for. Emmer claimed to change his position on the amendment when it was politically expedient after he was endorsed. It is crucial that the sportsmen and the sportswomen of this state understand that. It would be hypocritical of me to endorse a man that has worked to undo the most important legislative victory that sportsmen and sportswomen have achieved in a generation," Senator Lessard added.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced today that it will start running ads in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District. The DCCC says this ad will start running tomorrow. It criticizes Republican Randy Demmer for his "support of partially privatizing Social Security."
The DCCC's Gabby Adler wouldn't disclose the size of the buy but said "it's a significant buy that will saturate the market..."
The DCCC ad comes on the heels of two ads targeting DFL Rep. Tim Walz. The NRCC is spending $100,000 worth of ads criticizing Walz for voting for the stimulus bill.
The American Action Network, run by former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman, is also running an ad criticizing Walz for federal spending.
The Walz campaign called on Coleman to disclose the source of his donors once it became know that the ad would run. Coleman declined saying he's following the law. He also said Walz and other Democrats didn't complain when outside groups ran ads supporting them in 2006 and 2008.
A recent poll by Survey USA and KAAL-TV shows Walz leading Demmer by five percentage points. Internal polling must show the race is tight.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Gov. Pawlenty will hold a GOTV rally on October 30th for Republican Tom Emmer.
MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton said on Twitter that the three Republican governors will be in Minnesota on Emmer's behalf.
A spokesman for the Emmer campaign and a spokesman for the MNGOP says more details will follow.
Two prominent groups opposed to legalized abortion are getting heavily involved in the congressional contest in Minnesota's 8th District.
The conservative Susan B. Anthony List, a Washington D.C. based Pro-life group, reported spending $32,432 on mailers in opposition to DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar.
Meanwhile, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life is spending $9417 on mailings on behalf of Oberstar's GOP opponent, Chip Cravaack. The MCCL endorsed Cravaack last week after backing Oberstar for decades.
The Susan B. Anthony List and the MCCL both say they're backing Cravaack because of Oberstar's support for the health care reform law. They say the law would allow federal taxpayers funds to be spent on abortion. At issue is the health exchanges and whether HMOs would be allowed to offer abortion coverage even to people who receive federal subsidies. Oberstar and his campaign staffers argue that there are protections in place to ensure federal funds aren't spent on abortion (Read more about it on Politfact).
Susan B. Anthony List, which was also a strong supporter of Oberstar in the past, hinted in a March news release that it would make Oberstar's vote an issue in the upcoming election:
"Congressman Oberstar can no longer call himself 'pro-life.' He has set himself with the likes of NARAL, NOW, and Planned Parenthood, and has betrayed his pro-life principles and his constituents. Seventy-four percent of voters in the eighth district oppose taxpayer funding of abortion as part of health care reform, according to a survey commissioned by the Susan B. Anthony List this week. Fifty-six percent of Rep. Oberstar's constituents surveyed also said that they would be less likely to vote for him next Election Day if he supported healthcare with abortion funding.
The key question is whether voters will continue their practice of routinely sending Oberstar back to Washington or choose to side with the Pro Life groups who now oppose him.