Republican Tom Emmer announced today that Mike Veckich will lead his transition team. Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton are both working on possible transitions into the office of governor since a recount will likely delay a winner for at least several more weeks. Dayton currently leads Emmer by nearly 8,800 votes.
Vekich is the former director of the Minnesota Lottery and chaired Gov. Pawlenty's 21st Century Tax Reform Commission.
Here's the release from the Emmer campaign:
Tom Emmer today announced that Mike Vekich will serve as Director of the Emmer Transition. Vekich is the CEO of Vekich Associates, past Chair of Governor Pawlenty's 21st Century Tax Reform Commission and Interim Director of Minnesota State Lottery among his many business and public service accomplishments. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
"As the canvassing and likely recount process continues, per State Law, preparing to govern is of great importance. I am proud to announce that Mike Vekich has agreed to serve as the Director of our transition," said Representative Tom Emmer. "Mike is a distinguished businessman of the first rate who has continually stepped forward to serve the State of Minnesota in many capacities. His deep connection to our community and his unmatched understanding of Minnesota government makes him the ideal person to lead these efforts."
As Director of the Emmer Transition, Vekich will lead the efforts to form a transition team and will work closely with Lieutenant Governor Candidate Annette Meeks to expand on the Emmer budget, beginning the process of reforming and redesigning Minnesota State Government.
"I look forward to working with Representative Emmer and Annette Meeks to create the kind of administration that will get Minnesota's economy growing and put more Minnesotans to work," said Vekich. "Beginning the transition process is the responsible thing to do."
Recently, Vekich served as Chair of Minnesota's 21st Century Tax Reform Commission. The group was asked to evaluate Minnesota's tax system and recommend reforms that will promote economic growth and job creation in Minnesota. From 1996 to 2002, Vekich served as Chair for the Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and was reappointed to the board in 2010. In 2004, Governor Tim Pawlenty asked Vekich to take over as Interim Director of the troubled Minnesota State Lottery, where he restored the public's trust in the agency. His public service record parallels a successful business career. Vekich is CEO of Vekich Associates, a management advisory firm specializing in strategically refocusing organizations, creating capital for companies, and mergers and acquisitions.
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Posted at 6:54 AM on November 12, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The final county canvassing board (Itasca County) wraps up its work today, Republican Tom Emmer and the MNGOP will get a good idea of how difficult it will be to overcome Mark Dayton's nearly 8.800 vote lead.
MPR takes a look at whether Emmer can win and finds he may have to pull a rabbit out of a hat. One important note: Republicans aren't offering specifics in to their claims of voting irregularities. They say they will release the details only if and when a lawsuit is filed.
On Thursday, Emmer said he "won't be a part of" any efforts to delay Dayton from taking office. Emmer first made the comments on WCCO Radio. The host, Michelle Tafoya, gave to Emmer's campaign (audio of the interview is available at the previous link).
The MNGOP looks like it will file its first legal filing in the recount today.
The Emmer campaign announced today that Mike Vekich, who headed the Minnesota Lottery, will direct Emmer's transition team.
Dayton met with budget experts earlier this week.
Several good government groups will monitor the recount.
A KSTP-TV/Survey USA poll says IP candidate took more votes from Dayton than Emmer.
MPR News and the Humphrey Institute will review its polling methods.
Under the Dome
A KSTP investigation finds that welfare funds were used for alcohol, tobacco and other products.
MPR says the GOP welcomes new faces and ideas to the Minnesota Senate.
Forum Communications profiled incoming MN House Speaker Kurt Zellers.
Forum Communications says GOP Sen. Michelle Fischbach is ready to take over as Senate President.
The Star Tribune says the state will start require teaching applicants in 2012 to submit a video along with that resume.
Ridership for the Northstar Commuter Rail Line is five percent below projections.
The U of M will name its final candidates to become the next president of the U of M later today.
The DNR is removing old dams at a slow pace.
The DNR is also keeping tabs on the state's water supply.
The state will review retaliation claims at a Hasting Veterans Home. DFL Sen. Al Franken is mentioned.
President Obama says he's not caving on his plan to cut taxes on the middle class or his plan to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on top earners.
The GOP says there will be no compromise on their plan to extend the Bush tax cuts.
An AP poll says the public backs the GOP on their tax cutting plan but doesn't agree with efforts to repeal the federal health care law.
During a trip to Asia, President Obama failed to secure a free trade agreement with South Korea despite hopes a deal would get done.
Obama hailed the power sharing agreement in Iraq.
A Pentagon report says lifting Don't Ask, Don't Tell would do little harm.
Business Week profiled GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann.
Former GOP Sen. Rod Grams will be GOP Rep.-elect Chip Cravaack's interim Chief of Staff.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty's final weekly radio show is today.
Pawlenty took legal action against the new federal health care law. His official spokesman says no taxpayer funds were spent on the lawsuit. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson declined to file a lawsuit on the state's behalf.
He talked it up on Fox News.
Pawlenty also said during his Fox News appearance that he'll be in California next week with the RGA.
The Fix ranked Pawlenty as #3 on the top five prospective GOP nominees.
Public Policy Polling says Pawlenty is only polling at 19% in Minnesota among 2012 GOP hopefuls.
That poll prompts Nate Silver to question whether Pawlenty is top tier.
The first 2012 GOP primary debate is scheduled for Spring of 2011.
News Cut asks "Is Pawlenty overrated?"
Posted at 11:18 AM on November 12, 2010
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Tim Pawlenty has signed off his weekly radio show for the last time.
Pawlenty ended his nearly eight-year run on WCCO-AM today with his wife Mary serving as his co-host. The final program included telephone interviews with former first lady Laura Bush and fitness guru Richard Simmons. The Republican governor, who's considering a run for president in 2012, is scheduled to leave office after two terms next month.
Pawlenty, who carried on a radio tradition begun by be predecessor Jesse Ventura, told listeners that the show was always one of the highlights of his week.
"One of the most fun and different things was to be able to come here and have this discussion with Minnesota and the people of Minnesota and give them a chance to shout back at me or question back," Pawlenty said.
Pawlenty got lots of kudos from several listeners as well as station management. But one caller, identified as Ed from St. Paul, offered a considerably harsher farewell.
"I hope someday you'll realize the wrongs you've done to so many people in Minnesota," Ed said.
Attorneys for Democrat Mark Dayton are skeptical that Governor Pawlenty can stay in office after his term ends on January third. They say they're looking at possible legal avenues to get Dayton seated after the state canvassing board certifies an expected recount on December 14th. Dayton attorney Charlie Nauen says the state constitution says a governor's term runs "four years and until a successor is chosen and qualified" which he thinks will occur if Dayton wins the recount.
"The constitution says that the new governor, if you will, goes into office if that person has been "chosen and qualified," Nauen said. "On December 14th, we'll see what the numbers are, but if the numbers show that Mark Dayton has more votes, he's been chosen, certainly by the people, and he's qualified."
Pawlenty has said he will stay on as governor if a governor isn't prepared to take office. Both Emmer and the Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota says they have no intention of filing a legal challenge just to delay the matter. They say they want their concerns over possible voting irregularities cleared up. Democrats worry Emmer may drag the race into court to keep Dayton from taking office.
Meanwhile the MNGOP has filed lawsuits against elections officials in St. Louis and Pine Counties for failing to produce their data practices requests in a timely manner. You can those suits here and here.