Posted at 5:57 AM on December 16, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Gov.-elect Mark Dayton will meet privately with incoming Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and GOP Sen. Geoff Michel today. The three will then hold a press availability after the meeting.
Dayton told Bloomberg News that the budget decisions will be very painful.
On Wednesday, Dayton made the rounds at the U.S. Capitol.
Here's a list of advisers who have Dayton's ear.
The MN Chamber is looking for common ground with Dayton.
MMB Commissioner Steve Sviggum takes issue with claims that early enrollment in MA will be "cost neutral" for the state.
The Hasting Veterans Home leaders step down.
The Iron Range Resources will likely loan PolyMet Mine $4 million.
The U of M is confident TCF Bank Stadium will be ready for Monday night's Vikings game.
There has been another tear in the Metrodome's roof.
Gov. Pawlenty told the Forum Communications Editorial Board that the state can't lose the Vikings.
The incoming GOP Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee says the courts are nearing a constitutional crisis.
The MN Supreme Court considers emergency funding for the state's public defenders.
St. Paul won't raise its property tax levy.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie will officially sign Dayton's election certificate today.
The House passed a bill that would repeal Don't Ask/Don't Tell. The delegation split their vote 4-4.
The Senate approved the tax cut deal.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar says the middle class can't afford a tax increase.
The House will take up the tax bill on Thursday.
A national Tea Party leader is unhappy Bachmann is kept off of Ways and Means.
The Senate starts taking up the START Nuclear Treaty. The vote to proceed is one short of the two thirds needed for final ratification.
President Obama's review of the Afghan war strategy shows a July troop withdrawal is on track.
The Justice Department sues BP.
The U.S. tries to build a conspiracy case on WikiLeaks.
Republican Senators say they'll vote against their own earmarks.
The Star Tribune takes a look at the wide political divide between Bachmann and DFL Rep. Keith Ellison.
It's like the 6th District race never ended. Democrat Tarryl Clark hits back at Bachmann.
Tom Erickson, who worked for the NRCC and Gov. Pawlenty, was hired to be GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen's spokesman.
Norm for RNC Chair Watch
Coleman won't run for RNC Chair.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Pawlenty has a full schedule for a January trip to New Hampshire.
A veteran New Hampshire strategist will be in Pawlenty's corner.
The county Republican Chairs in New Jersey got an earful after one reportedly flirted with backing Pawlenty. The NJGOP Party Chair said the focus should be on legislative races.
Lillie owns a small publishing company, Lillie Suburban Newspapers. He said voters wanted experienced business people in the Legislature to help grow new jobs.
"The people that I spoke with at the doors were basically more concerned about their personal family's budget than the state budget," Lillie said. "We need to find a way to help families survive and succeed in this trying time."
Senator-elect Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, District 22
Election: Defeated DFL candidate Kevin Vickerman for seat vacated by incumbent Sen. Jim Vickerman, DFL-Tracy
Family: Married, two children
Education: BS, South Dakota State University
Magnus served in the Minnesota House for eight years. He's already been picked to lead the Senate agriculture committee. Magnus said he's someone trying to do what's good for the state.
"I think I've earned a lot or respect from both the Senate and the House, and both parties," Magnus said. "You earn that by the work you do. I think that's my reputation."
Senator-elect Jeremy R. Miller, R-Winona, District 31
Election: Defeated incumbent Sen. Sharon Erickson Ropes, DFL-Winona
Occupation: Small Business Owner
Education: AAS, Minnesota State College Southeast Technical
Miller runs his family's scrap and recycling business. At age 27, the political newcomer is one of the youngest people ever elected to the Minnesota Senate. Miller said he'll bring a fresh perspective to the State Capitol.
"Age really doesn't matter," Miller said. "I'm ready to get to work with my fellow legislators, the new governor, whoever that might be, and the people of Southeastern Minnesota."
Senator-elect Carla J. Nelson, R-Rochester, District 30
Election: Defeated incumbent Sen. Ann Lynch, DFL-Rochester
Family: Married, three children
Occupation: Insurance, financial services
Education: BE, Drake University; ME, University of Minnesota
Nelson is a former teacher who served one term in the Minnesota House. She now works for her family's financial planning business. As a state Senator, Nelson said she wants to work on education issues.
"The economic security of our state, and our future, depends on what happens in the classroom," Nelson said. "We absolutely have to do a better job of educating our kids."
(Photos courtesy of the Minnesota Senate)
PolitFact, a fact checking unit, says Gov. Pawlenty's recent Wall St. Journal editorial is filled with inaccuracies and gave it a "Pants on Fire" ranking. There's no worse ranking out there. The op-ed focused on the salary and benefits of government workers.
"Across the country, at every level of government, the pattern is the same: Unionized public employees are making more money, receiving more generous benefits, and enjoying greater job security than the working families forced to pay for it with ever-higher taxes, deficits and debt," Pawlenty wrote.
Politifact says Pawlenty's facts are wrong.
Not only did he apparently mangle the time frame, contradict his own definition of federal workers and fail to acknowledge the huge caveat of Census worker hiring, he also repeated a statistic that had been criticized as inaccurate as long as six months ago. (Another politician who got caught by PolitiFact Ohio was the incoming House Speaker, John Boehner, R-Ohio.) And in the context of his column, the job numbers comment was more than a throwaway line. The comparison of job growth he made -- which showed the size of the federal workforce going in exactly the opposite direction as it did in reality -- is a key pillar supporting the premise of his column, that government work is "the only booming 'industry' left in our economy." Pawlenty's number is so compromised that we rate his statement Pants on Fire!
The Iowa Republican Party announced today that they will hold two debates for the 2012 GOP candidates. The first debate will be held on August 11, 2011. It's scheduled two days before the Iowa Republican Straw Poll. The second debate will be held before the Iowa Caucuses which are scheduled to be held on February 6th 2012. Fox News and the Iowa GOP will co-sponsor the debate.
The announcement comes one day after a presidential debate was announced in New Hampshire. The state that holds the first presidential primary. WMUR-TV, the New Hampshire Union Leader and CNN are co-sponsoring a debate on June 7th in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Fox News and the South Carolina GOP also announced two presidential debates. The first debate will be held on May 5th in Greenville, South Carolina. The second debate will be scheduled closer to the South Carolina primary.
There is one other debate that's been announced but not yet scheduled. Politico and NBC are co-sponsoring a Spring debate at the Reagan Presidential Library. The Library will also host another debate on the eve of the Super Tuesday elections.
All of the presidential debates prompt one major question: When will the candidates actually declare their intentions? No one has formally announced their intentions yet.
Governor-elect Mark Dayton says he plans to work closely with Republicans in the coming months to try to grow jobs and boost Minnesota's economy.
DFLer Dayton made the pledge today following a private meeting with Senate GOP majority leaders about the 2011 session. Both sides say job creation is a common concern, and they hope to reach quick agreement on legislation. Dayton told reporters that he wants to streamline business regulations and speed up the response of state agencies.
"If the Legislature chooses to codify those timetables for a response, we'd work with them to make sure that they're reasonable and allow for public input, but that they also do permit businesses to get moving, get started and to expand," Dayton said.
Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch of Buffalo said she welcomed Dayton's proposal. She also said members of her caucus are open to all job-creating ideas, and they will have many of their own.
Dayton and Senate Republicans leaders also talked briefly about the prospects a new Vikings stadium bill.
Assistant GOP Senate Majority Leader Geoff Michel of Edina said the stadium issue took up about a minute and a half of the half-hour meeting. Despite last weekend's collapse of the Metrodome roof, Michel said the budget must come first.
"The picture, the photo, the You Tube is dramatic," Michel said. "But I don't think it's anymore dramatic or anymore urgent than the state of our economy. Our economy has deflated. Our state jobs picture has flatlined."
Dayton says he would support a stadium paid for through user fees, but not state tax money. He also says the project must provide an economic benefit to the state.
GOP Rep. Mark Buesgens of Jordan sent an e-mail to Republicans in control of the Minnesota House saying he's resigning his position as State Government Finance Chair.
In the e-mail to incoming GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers and incoming House Majority Leader Matt Dean, Buesgens wrote that other Republican caucus members were upset that Buesgens was picked to chair the committee.
I hereby submit my resignation from the chairmanship of State Government Finance. You and Matt need to get off to the best possible start with the caucus and have done a very good job thus far. However, it appears that naming me as a chair has created some problems that you don't need and I don't want. For me to continue on with the knowledge that there are colleagues with questions, concerns and outright hostility with this appointment is unacceptable. The best possible course of action to mend fences is for me to quickly step aside and I not only accept that, I welcome that.
Kurt, you know well that I truly live by the expression that one does not need to be a captain in order to lead. In fact, if the only way one can get folks to follow is by securing a captainship, well, that person isn't a leader at all! What I'm saying is that I do not need a title to be of some value in our caucus and I will not hold a title if there are questions, doubts or hard feelings by doing so.
Finally, I want to emphatically stress that I harbor no ill will or hard feelings. I seek only what is best for you, Matt and the entire caucus we attempt to lead our beloved state through these terribly trying times.
Buesgens is the second Republican to resign the position as chair and House Republicans haven't even gaveled in a meeting yet. They took control of the House after the November election and officially take control of the House in January.
Zellers appointed Buesgens to the post earlier this month after GOP Rep. Tom Hackbarth officially resigned his position as Chair of the House House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Committee. St. Paul Police confiscated Hackbarth's gun in November after he was seen carrying the weapon in a Planned Parenthood parking lot in St. Paul. No charges were filed.
Zellers put GOP Rep. Denny McNamara in Hackbarth's post and Buesgens in the role of Chair of the State Government Finance Committee.
Buesgens was in the news earlier year after he pleaded guilty to drunken driving. He was sentenced to serve 60 hours of community service.
Kevin Watterson, a spokesman for the House Republican Caucus, was unaware of Buesgens e-mail when he was first contacted about it earlier today. He later sent a note saying "Not yet" when asked about Buesgens. He didn't return a follow up question as to whether Zellers was asking Buesgens to reconsider his resignation.
Zellers did not return a call seeking comment.