Posted at 6:31 AM on December 13, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The Minnesota Vikings picked up some momentum on their stadium push when the weight of this weekend's snow storm forced the roof of the Metrodome to collapse. Now Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican in control of the Legislature will feel a little more weight on their shoulders in the upcoming session.
AP says Gov.-elect Mark Dayton inspected the Metrodome after the collapse. His spokeswoman says it's too earlier to say how the collapse would impact stadium negotiations.
Some groups say the collapse is further proof the Vikings need a new home.
Dayton is in New York City today to attend a fundraiser for his recount efforts. The fundraiser, which is being headlined by former President Bill Clinton, is being held at the home of financier George Soros.
On Friday, Dayton announced the key staff in his office.
The Star Tribune says Dayton's agenda faces a test.
MinnPost takes a look at what to expect with Dayton's appointments.
The Pi Press says lobbyists are adjusting the power flip at the State Capitol.
The Pi Press also takes a look at MA expansion.
The Star Tribune profiles incoming House Speaker Kurt Zellers.
Charitable gambling continues its decline.
Two more Pawlenty commissioners depart.
A little known state law could help foreclosed homeowners get their homes back.
Pro Publica, an investigative news organization, says Minnesota's reporting system that requires drug companies to report payments to doctors is riddled with errors.
Ozone rules could cost the state.
DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez and Associate Chair Donna Cassutt aren't running for another term.
The Senate is nearing a vote on the tax package.
The tax deal is angering the right as well as the left. GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is mentioned.
Bachmann says the tax cut deal shouldn't include an extension of jobless benefits.
President Obama will meet with twenty corporate chiefs this week.
DFL Sen. Al Franken says the FCC should revamp net neutrality rules.
Dakota County educators say GOP Rep. John Kline will be a powerful ally in Washington D.C.
Kline also discussed why he thinks the federal government should pull back its influence in schools.
Norm for RNC Chair Watch
Fox News says RNC Chair Michael Steele won't run for another term.
Steele will announce his plans today.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Pawlenty takes dead aim at public employee unions in a Wall St. Journal op-ed.
Politico says South Dakota Sen. John Thune will pose problems for Gov. Pawlenty in Iowa.
Posted at 12:17 PM on December 13, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Ken Martin announced today that he's running for DFL Party Chair. He's making the announcement three days after DFL Chair Brian Melendez announced he's not running for another term. Martin ran the groups that funded The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, worked on Mike Hatch's run for governor in 2006, was State Director for John Kerry's presidential run and organized efforts to raise the sales tax for the environment, the outdoors, arts and cultural programs.
Here's part of Martin's e-mail to the DFL Party's State Central Committee:
As you consider the direction of our party, please think about the qualities that our party leadership should bring to the table. In order for our party to thrive we need to have successful fundraising efforts, effective strategic messaging and communications, and widespread coalition building. We need all of our allies involved in the process - activists, volunteers, elected officials, and donors. I strongly believe that my experience demonstrates that I have the qualifications that are necessary to successfully lead this party.
Martin also announced that he has a running mate, Marge Hoffa. She's seeking the post of Associate Chair. Hoffa will help Martin's bid since she's well connected with grass roots activists.
Party activists will announce a new chair on February 5th.
Here's the full e-mail:
Posted at 2:03 PM on December 13, 2010
by Tim Pugmire
CBS in Chicago is reporting that Anne Hatch, 27, the daughter of former Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch, was found dead Sunday in her condo.
The exact cause of death was not known.
Anne Hatch and her sister Elizabeth were arrested in Chicago in 2004 following a confrontation with a police officer outside a nightclub. The sisters were later acquitted of battery, resisting arrest and criminal damage.
Mike Hatch's lawfirm colleague, Jerry Blackwell, issued this statement from the Hatch family:
Our daughter, Anne, died unexpectedly yesterday in Chicago. This is a sad and painful time for our family. Nothing in life can prepare you for the loss of a child. We are grateful for the outpouring of support and compassion we have received from so many people. We ask that our family's privacy be respected at this very difficult time.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Anne Hatch died by hanging, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office, which ruled her death a suicide.
Public Policy Polling released a poll today that asked Republicans in Minnesota about two key contests in 2012.
The poll found that 36% of those polled want GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann to challenge DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar in 2012. That's higher than Gov. Tim Pawlenty (20%), former Sen. Norm Coleman (14%), GOP Rep.-elect Chip Cravaack (7%), Tom Emmer (6%), GOP Rep. John Kline (5%), outgoing GOP state Rep. Laura Brod (4%) and GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen (2%).
The poll also finds that the Republicans polled prefer Gov. Tim Pawlenty as their choice for the nominee for President in 2012.
On the Presidential front in the state Pawlenty continues to lead but with a tepid 24%. For sake of comparison Mitt Romney polled at 47% in his home state two weeks ago. Sarah Palin is second in the state at 17%, followed by Mike Huckabee with 15%, Romney with 13%, and Newt Gingrich with 11%. Leading the second tier is Ron Paul at 9%, with John Thune at 3% and Mitch Daniels at 2%.
You can read more about the poll here.
After saying he was unhappy about a deal that would extend the Bush era tax cuts for another two years, DFL Sen. Al Franken voted to move the bill closer to a full vote.
Here's a release Franken sent out after the vote become clear:
"I don't like extending the excessive Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, I don't like the explosion in the deficit it will create, and I don't like how the President made this deal. But I would hate even more to see Minnesota families get hurt. "There's a lot in here to help create jobs and to help middle-class Minnesotans weather this recession: tax cuts for working families, a payroll tax holiday, energy tax credits, and the extension of Recovery Act initiatives that are already making a difference. And a lot of harm would come to working families if unemployment insurance isn't renewed. So I'm voting for this reluctantly and will continue to fight passionately to get our economic policies on the right track."
8th District Congressman-elect Chip Cravaack says he and other newly elected Republican members of Congress are eager to change the focus in Washington.
Speaking at a Minnesota Republican Party lunch in downtown Minneapolis, Cravaack accused Washington lawmakers of ignoring the will of the people by spending too much money and failing to focus on job creation.
My conservative freshmen and I understand the nation's focus is on issues like creating jobs, reining in spending and decreasing the national debt," Cravaack said. "It's time for priorities of the people to, once again, set the agenda in Washington."
Cravaack pledged to repeal or "de-fund" the Democratic-led health care overall. Cravaack defeated long-time DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar who is the most senior member of Minnesota's Congressional delegation.
You can listen to the full speech here: Listen
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar released a statement today on why she's supporting a bill that would extend Bush era tax cuts for another two years. The Senate got the sixty votes needed to move the bill ahead for the full vote.
Here's the release from Klobuchar:
"I am voting to move forward with this bill because we cannot afford to sock the middle class with an average $3,000 tax increase at this time. While I voted for and strongly favor allowing the tax rates for the wealthiest Americans to go back to the Clinton levels, the middle class benefits of this bill outweigh the parts I disagree with. I will continue to work to include provisions both in this bill and next year that focus on a long-term plan to responsibly reduce the deficit."