The candidates in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District engaged in a lively debate in St. Cloud on Tuesday. GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and Democrat Tarryl Clark engaged in a feisty give and take in their first showdown this election cycle.
Bachmann later told Fox News that she intends to hold Constitution classes for members of Congress.
GOP Rep. John Kline and Demorat Shelley Madore also debated on MPR's Midday.
The L.A. Times says Republicans have vowed to repeal the health care law but offer few alternatives. Kline is mentioned.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen, Democrat Jim Meffert and IP candidate Jon Oleson also took part in a Midday debate.
A conservative seniors group launches attack ads against DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar will campaign in Wisconsin for Russ Feingold.
DFL Sen. Al Franken campaigned for Harry Reid in Nevada.
Democrats have a spending edge in head to head cash.
Two of the ads run by Norm Coleman's American Action Network get pulled.
Race for Governor
The major party candidates for governor take part in a KARE11/MPR job interview tonight at Macalester College.
Last night, the three debated the issues in Mankato.
Republican Tom Emmer holds campaign rallies in Lino Lakes, North Branch, Princeton and Long Lake.
Democrat Mark Dayton takes part in an IT symposium and will visit a business in Bloomington.
IP candidate Tom Horner will hold fundraisers in Minneapolis, take part in an IT symposium and do some call-in radio programs.
The campaign fundraising reports show that Dayton spent the most among the gubernatorial candidates. Republican Tom Emmer has the most left in the bank.
IP candidate Tom Horner raised $1.2 million and has $60k left in the bank.
MN Forward raised $1.9 million.
Kwik-Trip and Anheuser-Busch gave to the DFL leaning Win Minnesota.
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota raised $5.4 million and spent $4.4 million on ads ripping Emmer.
The Vikings owners start their stadium push.
MPR says there has been little detail from the candidates on health spending.
Emmer released his fifth ad of the cycle.
Police and nurses rip an ad that's critical of Democrat Mark Dayton.
Race for Legislature
After examining the spending from the political party units, here are the legislative districts to watch. Eagan and Woodbury are getting bombarded with campaign lit this month.
KSTP takes a look at a DFL lit piece that targets Republican Chaplain Dan Hall, who is running for the Minnesota Senate against DFL Sen. John Doll. The piece includes a picture of a priest with an "Ignore the Poor button." Democrats say the piece is meant to show the Hall is a man of faith but ignored cuts to GAMC. Expect the GOP to work to link Dayton to this piece in the days ahead.
You can read the lit piece here.
Hennepin County filed voter fraud charges at the same time DFL Rep. Keith Ellison condemns efforts by a conservative group to increase the monitoring of the polls.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Pawlenty campaigns today in New Mexico for the Republican running for governor in that state.
Frum Forum asks whether Gov. Pawlenty can win over the Tea Partiers.
A new study says a global extinction crisis looms.
The Republican Party of Minnesota is ramping up its criticism of their counterparts in the DFL for issuing a campaign lit piece that questions whether a Republican candidate for the Minnesota Senate is committed to the poor. The lit piece, which is below, shows a picture of a man of the cloth with a button that says "Ignore the poor." The lit piece then questions whether Pastor Dan Hall is committed to serving the poor or the Republican Party. Hall, who is not Catholic, is challenging DFL Sen. John Doll in Senate District 40 which includes Burnsville.
Republican Party officials and several Catholic groups were swift to criticize the lit piece. A writer on the blog, The National Catholic Register, described it as "The most Anti-Catholic political ad you'll ever see."
Republican Party Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb also worked to link the lit piece to Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mark Dayton:
"My phone keeps ringing with calls from outraged people upset at @MinnesotaDFL anti-Catholic mailing funded by @Mark_Dayton's kids"
I'm trying to confirm how Brodkorb can claim that Dayton's children "funded" this particular piece of literature. Update: Brodkorb said Dayton's two sons have given $250,000 each to the DFL. Update to the Update: When I asked how those funds were earmarked for this particular lit piece, Brodkorb referenced a profile I did on Bob Perry that said Perry bankrolled the Swift Boat ads. He has yet to answer how Dayton's kids funded this particular lit piece. In reality, it's a better link to say that the DFL Senate Caucus paid for the lit piece since they transfer funds to the DFL to send out their lit in MN Senate races. The caucuses do that to save money on postage.
DFL Party spokesman Donald McFarland says the lit piece isn't mean to be anti-Catholic but show how Hall has distanced himself from the views of others in the faith community.
"The ad is part of a two-piece mailing that highlights and criticizes the policy views of Dan Hall, a preacher who is the Republican candidate for the Minnesota Senate. Some Republican bloggers have taken one image from the first piece, and claimed that the mail is somehow anti-Catholic. But the text explicitly criticizes Preacher Hall for distancing himself from policy views that have been taken by the Catholic Archdiocese, by the Lutheran Synod, and other leaders in Minnesota's faith community. Dan Hall is willing to enlist God and religion in his campaign when it helps him -- but in fact, his views hurt the poorest and sickest among us, and this mailing holds him accountable for those views."
Here's a link to the second lit piece that McFarland referenced.
Question of the Day: What do you think of this issue?
Update: The MNGOP has scheduled a news conference at 11am in which they'll call on Dayton to denounce the lit piece. GOP state Sen. Michelle Fischbach and GOP state Sen. Amy Koch will speak at the newser.
UPDATE: Democrat Mark Dayton issued this statement on the lit piece:
"I believe the brochure's picture showing a Man of the Cloth is inappropriate. I believe that it is inappropriate to bring religion into a campaign as this image and others do.
I believe the brochure's referencing Leaders of the Faith Community criticizing the damage to GAMC is appropriate. The facts are that members of Minnesota's Faith Community have been leaders in the fight to stop Governor Pawlenty from denying health care to the poorest and sickest Minnesotans."
The new federal health care law has cropped in attack ads, in speeches, and most recently in a three-way debate between the gubernatorial candidates.
Republican Tom Emmer said the law is flawed because it's a federal intrusion on state's rights. He said the law includes a lot of surprises unrelated to health care policy.
"I had somebody approach me yesterday who said, 'Do you realize that in the federal health care bill that every real estate transaction I'm going to have to pay money into the federal health care bill to pay for it,'" Emmer said in a response to a question about his take on a legal effort to overturn the law. "On every real estate transaction. What else are we going to find out over the next few weeks?"
Emmer goes wrong in his claim by saying that "every" real estate transaction will be taxed. In fact, it appears that very few Americans will be saddled with the new duty.
Emmer's staff did not respond to PoliGraph's requests for more information on this claim, but it appears Emmer's talking about an obscure provision in the law that imposes a 3.8 percent tax on money that's made from investment income, which can include rental property and home sales.
Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the tax will bring in $210 billion between 2013, when the levy kicks in, and 2019; the funds will be used to pay for Medicare.
But the tax comes with some important criteria.
First, it only applies to individuals making more than $200,000 annually and couples making more than $250,000 annually.
Further, profits on primary residences less than $250,000 for individuals and less than $500,000 for couples are already exempt from taxation.
So, for instance, a couple would have to make more than $250,000 a year and sell their home for more than $500,000 before the tax would become an issue.
It's hard to say precisely how many people will be subject to the new tax. But what is clear is that the burden will fall on a narrow sliver of the population.
In Minnesota, less than 10 percent of households make more than $200,000 annually. And the average price of a home in the state is roughly $150,000. Nationally, the conservative Tax Foundation predicts the tax will only hit the wealthiest 2 percent of families.
There's a bit of truth to Emmer's claim because there is a new tax in the health care bill that could apply to real estate transactions. But Emmer has blown the impact of the new tax way out of proportion by saying every real estate transaction will be taxed. In fact, it appears relatively few will.
That exaggeration makes this claim false.
Minnesota Public Radio News, KSTP debate, Oct. 24, 2010
Thomas, Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, accessed Oct. 26, 2010
The Joint Committee On Taxation, Technical Explanation Of the Revenue Provisions Of The "Reconciliation Act Of 2010," As Amended, In Combination With The "Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act", accessed Oct. 26, 2010
AARP, The New Health Care Law and Taxes on Home Sales, by Susan Jaffe, Oct. 11, 2010
Kaiser Family Foundation, Summary of the new health reform law, accessed Oct. 26, 2010
The Internal Revenue Service, rules for Maximum Exclusion, accessed Oct. 26, 2010
Realtor.org, September Existing Home Sales Show Another Strong Gain, Oct. 25, 2010
The Tax Foundation, Health Care Reform: How Much Does It Redistribute Income?, by
Patrick Fleenor and Gerald Prante, April 15, 2010
The Minnesota Department of Revenue, 2009 Minnesota Tax Incidence Study, accessed Oct. 26, 2010
Here's the audio from yestday's 6th District debate that featured GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, Democrat Tarryl Clark and the Independence Party's Bob Anderson: Listen
There are two more debates scheduled in this race. MPR's Midday will air a live debate at 11am tomorrow. KSTP-TV will also air a live debate during their At Issue program on Sunday at 10am.
Former GOP Gov. Al Quie is backing Republican Randy Demmer in Minnesota's 1st District. The endorsement comes three days after former GOP Gov. Arne Carlson backed DFL Rep. Tim Walz. Here's a letter that Quie, who represented Minnesota's 1st Congressional District in Congress, penned on Demmer's behalf:
The election is near and I know many of you are struggling over many races in next Tuesday's election. The person who represents you in Congress is of utmost importance, and I know Randy Demmer is a person who will serve you well. His experience will enable him to hit the ground running, but more importantly, he is a man of principle, thoughtful and courageous.
There is no question this country is in serious financial straits. Astronomical increases in our national debt are predicted far into the future. The recently enacted federal health care legislation needs immediate repair. Our agricultural communities will be devastated by the proposed cap and trade tax.
Randy Demmer understands these issues, and he has the experience and the track record that show he knows how to get things done. His wisdom and fiscal conservatism were gained through a lifetime in Southern Minnesota. He's farmed and owned small businesses. He married his high school sweetheart, a lifelong nurse. He's lived what's most important to this district.
In these trying times, Southern Minnesota needs a Representative who never wavers on individual responsibility, personal freedom and fiscal restraint - that person is Randy Demmer. He has shown these qualities over the course of a lifetime of service to his community, and that is why he has my endorsement as the public servant who will represent and serve you best.
Former First District Congressman and Minnesota Governor