Republicans in the Minnesota House are expected to release a redistricting plan today that draws new lines for Minnesota's eight seats in the U.S. House.
The House passed the plan for Minnesota's 201 legislative districts on Friday.
There are fourteen days left in the legislative session and Gov. Dayton and Republicans in the Legislature are no closer to reaching a deal on the budget.
Republicans held a rally against tax hikes on Saturday. Listen to some of the speeches here.
The latest Star Tribune poll says Minnesotans are in favor of an expansion of gambling.
MPR says Minnesota's workforce is lean even before the proposed cuts.
On Friday, Republicans objected to Gov. Dayton's suggestion that their budget cuts veterans services. Dayton's team says the vague spending cuts offered from the GOP have to come from all agencies and departments.
The Senate is close to voting on a constitutional amendment that would ban same sex marriage.
AP says Republicans are looking at constitutional amendments as the budget impasse continues.
MPR says amending the constitution is easier in Minnesota than other states.
Here's a list of the proposed constitutional amendments.
The city of Minneapolis will release a plan today to keep the new Vikings stadium in that city.
MPR reports that Minneapolis has some of the highest sales, hotel, food and car rental taxes of any city that hosts an NFL team.
Dayton met with Vikings ownership on Thursday night. He's optimistic a stadium deal can get done.
The Star Tribune says Vikings owners are pledging to put more money into a new stadium.
AP says there's support for an early childhood education program that taps market forces.
The Minnesota House passed new limits on abortion but failed to get enough support to override an almost certain veto.
Gov. Dayton will be at the annual fishing opener this weekend.
Dayton met privately with the Dalai Lama over the weekend.
The judicial retention bill resurfaces.
A new study takes a look at bullying in Minnesota schools.
President Obama talked with 60 Minutes about the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden.
President Obama and his administration are increasing pressure on Pakistan.
Gas prices in the U.S. hit an average of $4 a gallon but are expected to drop.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is questioning the AT&T/T-Mobile merger.
Race for Congress
Democrat Tarryl Clark is moving to Duluth and will run in Minnesota's 8th District against GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack.
Listen to Clark's interview with MPR here.
Cravaack fired up Beltrami County Republicans on Friday night.
Race for President
Big-time GOP donors are conducting a wait and see approach to the 2012 race.
Tim Pawlenty said in Pittsburgh that he would send American troops into another country. This time it's Libya.
Pawlenty will campaign in Iowa on May 13th.
The PoliGraph says Pawlenty is right on President Obama's health care record.
The Wall St. Journal profiles Herman Cain.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann will attend the Faith and Freedom conference.
Saturday Night Live mocked Bachmann and the other "undeclared" GOP candidates.(1 Comments)
Republicans in the Minnesota House released their plan to redraw the state's congressional lines. Minnesota is keeping eight seats but the 2010 Census is forcing them to redraw the political lines.
The map protects every incumbent in Minnesota's delegation but DFL Rep. Collin Peterson swaps the 7th District with GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack's 8th District.
The proposal for the 8th stretches from northwestern Minnesota to Minnesota's Arrowhead. It runs south into Carlton County and Clay County.
The proposal for the 7th also slices the state horizontally. It includes Wilkin County and stretches across to Pine County and south into Chisago and Big Stone counties.
The 6th District continues to stretch across the northern Twin Cities suburbs and east into Stillwater. That enables GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann to keep her seat. Bachmann, is considering a run for President, has not announced whether she'll make another run for Congress.
The proposal also keeps Minneapolis and St. Paul in separate districts.
I'm told Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are likely to adopt the same map. Gov. Dayton can either veto or approve the proposal. The courts will draw the lines if an agreement between Dayton and the Legislature can't be reached by February 21st.
I'll post more later.
Here's the statewide map and a map for each district
House GOP for Minnesota's Congressional districts
A dust-up over state funding for veterans took a new twist today, when a Republican legislator questioned DFL Gov. Mark Dayton's leadership on the issue.
Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, began criticizing the administration Friday during a meeting of the State Government and Veterans conference committee. He was upset that some of Dayton's commissioners had claimed that GOP budgets would result in cuts to veterans programs and possibly force the closing of a state veterans home. Parry, who insists the budget protects veterans from any cuts, said he raised the leadership question in a letter to Dayton and during a brief meeting in the governor's office.
"I know what leadership is all about," Parry said. "I come from a long line of military family. I grew up in a military family. I served the Army national guard for eight years. I know leadership, and this is not the kind of leadership that our state needs from our governor."
Parry also accused Dayton of misleading the military and veterans community. He told reporters that the governor appeared angry during their meeting.
Dayton spokesman Bob Hume said Parry's description of the meeting and the governor's mood were wrong. Hume said Dayton tried to resolve a budget disagreement.
"They had a very pointed conversation on funding for veterans and military affairs," Hume said. "There's very little in the budget that's more important than that, which is why we offered up common ground. The fact that they chose to reject it is unfortunate."(1 Comments)
Posted at 4:08 PM on May 9, 2011
by Melanie Sommer
(by MPR's Elizabeth Dunbar)
Minnesota Legacy money in June will again go toward paying for an appearance by bestselling author Neil Gaiman, but at a fraction of what it cost to have him speak at the Stillwater Public Library last year.
Gaiman will be the main guest as a part of Minnesota Public Radio's "Wits" series on June 24 at the Fitzgerald Theater. The series features local and nationally known writers, comedians and musicians.
MPR spokesman Bill Gray said the organization offered to pay Gaiman an honorarium of $1,500 for the appearance. Gaiman accepted and had MPR make the check out to Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, Gray said.
On average, 60 percent of the cost to produce "Wits" is covered by Legacy funds, with 40 percent coming from ticket sales, he said.
The Clean Water, Land and Legacy amendment approved in 2008 sends a portion of state sales tax money to arts and cultural organizations. Minnesota Public Radio received $2.6 million in Legacy funds for the current, two-year state budget cycle. It would receive $2 million in the next two years under the current proposal at the Legislature.
Gaiman's honorarium is similar to what other guests are being offered, Gray said. Gaiman was also paid a $500 honorarium for a shorter appearance in a "Wits" show last year, he said.
Republican lawmakers last week criticized Gaiman's $45,000 speaking fee to appear at the Stillwater Public Library, complaining that it was a waste of taxpayer money. Gaiman explained in his blog that he felt the fee was justified and that he donated his portion of the fee to charity.
The Metropolitan Library Service Agency apologized for using poor judgment in using Legacy money to pay the fee, and Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, proposed cutting the agency's next Legacy grant.
Although MPR is paying Gaiman an honorarium, Gaiman said in his blog that his "Wits" appearance is part of a Harper Collins tour for the 10th anniversary reissue of his book "American Gods."
Gaiman said in an e-mail to MPR News that because the show at the Fitzgerald coincides with the tour for the "American Gods" reissue, his publisher will be paying for him to be in the Twin Cities that day.
The Congressional redistricting plan released by state House Republicans today flips DFL Congressman Collin Peterson from the 7th District to the 8th, which is currently held by freshman Republican Chip Cravaack.
Peterson would go from representing northwestern Minnesota to representing the entire northern part of the state - including the Iron Range and Duluth.
"It doesn't make any sense," Peterson told MPR News, arguing that the two regions are very different and that Republicans have drawn a highly partisan map.
While Cravaack would pick up large portions of friendly territory in what's currently GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's district, fellow DFL Congressman Tim Walz would also acquire many Republican voters.
"You know this is strictly to get Cravaack re-elected and to try to make Walz vulnerable, that's what the whole thing is about," Peterson said.
Republicans in the state House say the plan is fair and based on population shifts in the 2010 census.
"Minnesota is changing," said Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth. "Our population is changing, how we do business in the state, our economy. All of that is changing, and I think this map is reflective of those changes."
Peterson predicted that redistricting will ultimately be decided by the courts.(1 Comments)