Gov. Dayton and DFL legislative leaders will do a statewide fly around today. The governor's office says the trip is being financed by campaign funds. They are chartering a plane instead of using the state plane.
Dayton and the GOP continued to engage in their war of words on Wednesday. Dayton continued to be aggressive in his criticism of first-term lawmakers as being 'extreme." Eight GOP senators said the criticism was unfair.
Dayton's commissioners are turning their attention to shutdown planning.
Dayton also symbolically vetoed the constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. The measure still goes on the 2012 ballot.
Dayton appeared on MPR's Morning Edition on Wednesday morning. Listen to the interview here.
The specter of the shutdown looms over government workers.
The Star Tribune says the GOP budget would slash drug treatment in prisons.
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota started running ads to support Dayton's tax plan.
The MNGOP will hold a news conference today to launch a new website "highlighting the Governor's lack of leadership in his approach to budget negotiations."
Dayton vetoed the abortion bills.
Dayton will apply for the next round of the Race to the Top education grants.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman proposed a statewide drink tax to deal with the stadium issues. The proposal was panned by the Vikings, Timberwolves, the Vikings and Ramsey County.
FEMA inspectors will begin a storm damage assessment today in north Minneapolis.
The tornado complicates north Minneapolis' foreclosures.
Senate Republican stuck together on cuts to Medicare.
The plan failed.
Lawmakers question whether President Obama is adhering to the war powers resolution in Libya.
Only 11 donors gave to Norm Coleman's American Action Network. But it still raised a lot of money. The smallest contribution was $25,000.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan will visit St. Paul on Tuesday to visit Dayton's Bluff Elementary.
DFL Sen. Al Franken asks Apple and Google to require app privacy policies.
Franken is also calling on President Obama to make a recess appointment. He wants Obama to appoint Elizabeth Warren to The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Minnesota members offered a lot of amendments to the Defense bill.
Race for Congress
Duluth City Council member Jeff Anderson announced he's running for Congress in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District.
Race for Legislature
Eagan Mayor Mike McGuire, a Democrat, will challenge state Sen. Ted Daley, R-Eagan, in 2012.
Race for President
The PoliGraph says Tim Pawlenty's claims on ethanol are misleading.
Pawlenty speaks in New Hampshire today.
Pawlenty spoke at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C.
Pawlenty says there are no sacred cows but later says he won't cut defense.
Unions criticize Pawlenty for targeting the federal workforce.
The Washington Post says Pawlenty's charges against Obama are "a pretty weak brew."
Pawlenty will be on ABC's This Week on Sunday.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann will speak in Iowa today.
MPR says Bachmann and Pawlenty already appeal to a lot of Iowa voters.
She aimed to raise $240 thousand in 24 hours.
Republican Herman Cain will speak in Minneapolis in June.
There won't be a Digest until next Wednesday.(5 Comments)
Yesterday, Rep. Michele Bachmann's political campaign launched a 24 hour fundraising effort, known in political circles as a money bomb, to raise $240,000 in order to "make Barack Obama a one-term president."
26 and a half hours after the initial fundraising email went out (it hit my inbox at 9:07 AM ET yesterday), the ticker on her campaign website reads $211,159.
While that's hardly chump change - it approaches the amount raised in three months by each of her fellow Minnesota Republican House colleagues - it is a stumble for a campaign organization geared toward maximizing small donations over the internet.
Just as I was about to publish this post, I got another email from Bachmann's campaign (11:42 AM ET), saying that she was just 22 hours into her money bomb. Maybe her clock stopped.
Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton launched a new attack on Gov. Mark Dayton's budget plan this morning, hoping to pin a possible state government shutdown on Dayton.
"That's his plan. It's been his plan since the state of the state, in which he referenced a shut down. If you look at his rhetoric in the last month, it's just all been about shut down. He's going to prove a political point, he's going to get his way on this, or so he thinks."
The party chair also called the governor "erratic and Machiavellian," returning to GOP charges against Dayton during the 2010 election campaign. Sutton as well responded to what he called personal attacks against GOP legislators: Dayton suggested some were "right wing" extremists.
"Here's a guy who's used to getting his way his entire life. He lived in a big house full of servants, never had to work a day in his life and all this kind of stuff. And when people push back on him, he's not used to it. So he starts name calling, and frankly engaging in activity that's not appropriate for the chief executive of this state."
He said the party is responding to Dayton's call for compromise with a new website, at daytonshutdown.com
Sutton denied DFL suggestions that the Republican caucus is listening more to the party than to their constituents.
"As a matter of fact, I am the servant. I am reflecting what they're talking about and helping them make their case across the state of Minnesota. That's what we're engaged in. It makes good copy, but the fact of the matter is I don't get involved in legislative matters. They're the ones that are pursuing the legislative agenda. We can express an opinion on things, but we don't get into the details or into the weeds. But the fact of the matter is that we're backing up what they're saying. The Democrats would like to say its about some party boss, or 1930s style Chicago. The fact of the matter is that these are a group of people who are
principaledprincipled, who know what's best for the state is to not raise taxes right now."
Dayton is on a fly-around across Minnesota today with other DFLers, making his case for his "meet halfway" plan. He vetoed much of the GOP budget plan earlier this week.(5 Comments)
WASHINGTON - While delivering a speech in the capital yesterday, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty side-stepped questions about whether or not he would support Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) Medicare plan.
"I think in general, the direction of it is positive, but I'm going to have my own plan, and so we're going to have some differences from his plan," Pawlenty said.
Today, while campaigning in New Hampshire, Pawlenty changed course and said he would endorse the plan, which passed the House of Representatives with near-unanimous Republican support.
The Ryan plan would effectively privatize Medicare by transforming it from a single-payer health insurance system into one that gives seniors vouchers to purchase private medical insurance. The plan would raise the eligibility age for Medicare to 67 and would not impact anyone now 55 or older.
Democrats responded gleefully to Pawlenty's embrace of the Ryan plan. In a press release, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Pawlenty's support for the plan shows that he "can't stand up to the far-right of his party" and "ignore[s] the wishes of the American people."(1 Comments)
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin is criticizing State Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton and Deputy Party Chair Michael Brodkorb for engaging in "character assassination" for what they said today about Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. Republicans argue that Dayton made things personal when he started calling Republican lawmakers "right wing extremists" who don't know how government works.
Martin said Dayton criticized Republican lawmakers for being "extremists" for refusing to compromise on the budget. He complained that Republican party officials are knowingly trying to undermine Dayton's authority as governor. He said it's unfair to call Dayton "erratic."
"They're trying to paint a caricature of him that he's not stable enough to be governor,' Martin said. "I'll tell you what, the only one who has been stable from day one is the governor. He's been consistent. He told the voters last fall what he was going to do and from day one, he's done that."
Dayton and lawmakers have until July 1 to reach a budget deal or state government will shut down.
Well, that didn't take long.
Just a day after the Legislature adjourned without a stadium deal for the Vikings, team officials were meeting with representatives from AEG, the Los Angeles outfit that's proposed Farmer's Field in L.A.
They were spotted at a downtown Minneapolis hotel. It wasn't what you think, says Vikings vice president Lester Bagley.
The meeting was with former Timbervolves VP, and now AEG CEO Tim Leiweke. His company runs the Target Center, as well as a host of other venues. The company developed LA Live, a 4 million square foot, $2.5 billion dollar downtown LA sports and entertainment complex.
"The discussion about Los Angeles was about LA Live, that sports entertainment model that they created there," Bagley said of the meeting. "We're trying to re-create that type of energy at the Arden Hills development if we can."
Bagley said AEG might well be a candidate to do that in Arden Hills themselves -- bringing LA to the Vikings, as it were, rather than the other way around.
But AEG is also the developer behind Farmers Field, a proposed NFL venue in Los Angeles. The insurance company has reportedly offered $1 billion in naming fees if AEG can bring a pair of NFL teams to the stadium.
Bagley said that the Vikings aren't looking to sunnier climes, despite the lack of action on the deal the team struck with Ramsey County. He says he's still confident Minnesota lawmakers will address the Vikings situation once the budget battle is settled.(6 Comments)
Governor Dayton has vetoed a bill that would require Minnesotans to show photo identification to vote.
Dayton said in his veto letter that the so-called Voter ID bill would be an unfunded mandate for local units of government, that it didn't receive broad bipartisan support in the Legislature and that it would violate the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act.
Supporters of the bill said it's needed to prevent fraud at the polls. Dayton said he didn't believe voter fraud was a problem in the state. He also said the Voter ID law would not prevent felons from voting illegally.
In addition to the veto, Dayton issued an executive order that would create a task force to modernize the state's election system and work on ways to prevent illegal voting.
Supporters of the photo ID requirement say they may try to get the measure on the ballot next year as a constitutional amendment.
Here's the veto letter:1 Comments)