Posted at 6:59 AM on June 1, 2011
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The state of Minnesota is starting to prepare for a state government shutdown. Lay-off notices will start going out to 800 law enforcement personnel today. Another 35,000 lay-off notices will be sent on June 10.
The Department of Administration is also warning state contractors that payments will be suspended if a shutdown occurs on July 1.
Tidbit: Gov. Dayton has not met privately with GOP legislative leaders in 10 days. The last time they met as a group was on May 22.
Tidbit: Expect GOP legislative leaders to use the meetings as their bully pulpit on the budget impasse.
KSTP reports that Minnesota overpaid millions in child care payments.
The Twin Cities leads major cities in home prices drop.
An analyst says Ramsey County can afford the Vikings stadium.
House GOP lawmakers will meet with President Obama today to discuss borrowing and the federal deficit.
The House defeated a measure that would lift the debt ceiling. The move was expected. Every Republican and DFL Rep. Collin Peterson voted against the measure. Democrats Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum voted to lift it. DFL Rep. Tim Walz was absent but his spokeswoman says he would have voted for it.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in St. Paul on Tuesday. He called for faster work on a fix to No Child Left Behind.
The House Appropriations Committee voted to make cuts to farm subsidies.
Race for President
AP says there is plenty of hoopla and hype surrounding the unsettled field.
Tim Pawlenty announced this morning that he'll attend a debate in New Hampshire on June 13.
Pawlenty campaigns in Iowa again today. He campaigned in Iowa on Tuesday and had a "few hiccups" according to the Des Moines Register.
Ohio's Auditor endorsed Pawlenty.
Politico says GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann believes there is room for two Minnesotans in the race.
Bachmann made similar comments regarding Sarah Palin.
Bachmann rallied support in New Hampshire over the weekend.
Bachmann believes Mitt Romney is the front-runner.
Sarah Palin met with Donald Trump on Tuesday.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he will attend the CNN/ WMUR-TV/ New Hampshire Union Leader debate on June 13, 2011 Manchester, N.H. In announcing his participation Pawlenty said he looked forward to discussing his vision for growing the economy, cutting spending and creating jobs.
"We cannot wait to begin the campaign to defeat President Obama and discuss our records with voters. President Obama's policies have failed, and we need a new leader to tell the hard truths necessary to restore American prosperity. I look forward to sharing my vision and discussing my record in front of first-in-the-nation primary voters."Pawlenty also took part in the first debate held in early May along with Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and businessman Herman Cain. Fox News sponsored that debate which took place in Greenville, SC.
A CNN spokeswoman told Minnesota Public Radio News on Tuesday that the Network planned to release a list of debate participants later this week or next week.
A New Hampshire-based consultant to Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann told reporters Monday in Dover, N.H. that Bachmann would be participating in the debate. But Bachmann later declined to confirm that saying she did not want to "trump" the debate sponsors' announcement.
WASHINGTON -- Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann will both speak this Friday in Washington, DC at a conference sponsored by the religious conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition.
The event is yet another showcase for Republican presidential candidates. Some of the other speakers include Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain and Ron Paul, all of whom are running official or unofficial campaigns.
The group is led by former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, who's been experiencing a political comeback of late.
This is Pawlenty's second trip to Washington in a week and a half. Last week, he spoke to a crowd of mostly journalists at the libertarian Cato Institute shortly after officially kicking off his presidential campaign.
Bachmann plans to announce her presidential ambitions this month.
Less than a day after Republican Tim Pawlenty announced he's running for president, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) posted an ad that implies the former governor has no idea why he wants to be in the White House.
Toward the end of the ad, the question, "Why are you running?" flashes across the screen.
"I don't know," and "I wish I had a better answer for you."
The ad takes Pawlenty's words out of context.
Citing a May 2011 Time magazine article, the ad claims even Pawlenty doesn't know why he's running for office.
But here's the rub: the author of that article asked Pawlenty when he started considering a run for president, not why.
"When I ask Pawlenty... exactly when he decided he was up to the grand challenge of the presidency, he answers in less than grandiose terms, explaining how he'd set up a political-action committee in 2009," wrote Time reporter Michael Crowley. "I try again, saying I am curious about when he first imagined himself worthy of the history books, ready to send soldiers to their deaths and endure the national stage's harsh toll. 'I don't know,' he replies. 'I wish I had a good answer for you on that.' "
Crowley wrote on May 23 that the DNC's ad was a "distortion" of his exchange with Pawlenty.
"Although our conversation touched on Pawlenty's rationale for running, my questions were after something different," Crowely wrote. "I was curious to know when Pawlenty, whose strength and weakness is his regular-guy persona, came to think of himself as presidential material."
The ad is meant to push Pawlenty to define his candidacy, says Alec Gerlach, DNC spokesman.
"Is he running as a tea party candidate, is he running as a moderate, or is he running on his record, which is abysmal?" Gerlach said.
The DNC twists Pawlenty's words, implying he doesn't know why he wants to run for president. Pawlenty said he didn't know when he started thinking of himself as presidential material.
The claim is misleading to the point of being false.
The Democratic National Committee, Ad: Why?, May 23, 2011
YouTube, Tim Pawlenty - A Time For Truth, May 22, 2011
Time Magazine, Pawlenty Makes GOP Bid Official: Is He Too Nice for His Own Good?, Michael Crowley, May
Time: Swampland, What Pawlenty Said, by Michael Crowely, May 23, 2011
Interview, Alec Gerlach, spokesman, Democratic National Committee, May 31, 2011
Just 28 percent of Minnesota voters think former Gov. Tim Pawlenty should seek the White House, and just 14 percent think Rep. Michele Bachmann should run for president, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.
Of the Republicans surveyed, 57 percent said they thought Pawlenty should run for president. And more GOP Minnesota voters want Bachmann to run for Senate than president: 43 percent compared to 26 percent, according to the poll.
The poll shows a majority of Minnesota voters, 51 percent, approve of the way Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton is handling his job while 38 percent disapprove. Just 12 percent of Republicans said they approved of Dayton's job performance.
Less then one third of Minnesota voters, 32 percent, favor a 'cuts only' solution to the state budget problem, while 63 percent said they supported raising taxes on the state's wealthiest 2 percent of earners, according to the poll.
The state is divided on the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage: 47 percent oppose it compared to 46 percent who favor it, according to the poll.
Public Policy Polling says it contacted 1,179 Minnesota voters between May 27 and May 30 for its poll which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.(4 Comments)
The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board is fining "Bobby Thompson" $18,000 for making campaign contributions to Republican Marty Seifert's campaign for governor, the House Republican Campaign Committee and Patriot PAC. The board investigated the donations after Stillwater blogger Karl Bremer filed a complaint with the board that "Thompson" bundled contributions through a group known as the U.S. Navy Veterans Association Minnesota Chapter.
Apparently that group solicited funds to help Navy Veterans and then either kept those funds or distributed money to politicians across the country (Read the St. Petersburg Times investigation here).
The person claiming to be Thompson allegedly stole his identity from an individual in Washington.
The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board conducted an investigation into "Bobby Thompson's" contributions and found that he circumvented campaign finance laws by bundling contributions and then distributing them to candidates through fictitious names.
"There is sufficient evidence to find probable cause to believe that the individual making political contributions in Minnesota using the name "Bobby Thompson" was not, in fact, Bobby Thompson of Bellingham, Washington, the owner of the Social Security number used by the donor in Minnesota," The MN Campaign Finance Board reported in its findings.
The Board also noted that "Thompson" deliberately violated campaign finance laws by making a $1,000 contribution in the name of Maria D'Annuzio to Republican Marty Seifert's campaign for governor.
The Campaign Finance Board is fining Thompson $21,000. The only problem is that the board may have a difficult time tracking him down. Ohio's Attorney General has a warrant out for his arrest. Several other states are also investigating Thompson and the U.S. Navy Veterans Association. The IRS and the Department of Veterans Affairs are also looking into the case. Campaign Finance Board Chair Jon Scanlon says his organization will monitor the investigations and will act if "Thompson" is found.
"The Board's order will direct the Executive Director to monitor news reports and, with the assistance of the Office of the Attorney General, take action to collect these penalties in the event the location and true identity of the donor become known."
The Board did not fine Seifert's campaign, the HRCC or the Patriot PAC because the board said there was not probable cause to believe that the person claiming to be "Bobby Thomson" was not the person he purported himself to be. The board also found that there was no probable cause for Seifert's campaign treasure to accept the contributions because the board said accepting the illegal contribution was not intentional.
The union backed The Alliance for a Better Minnesota announced today that the group will run ads targeting 12 GOP lawmakers. ABM says it plans to run cable, radio and intenet ads in the 12 districts with the hopes of convincing those lawmakers to agree to Gov. Dayton's budget plan. The group is targeting lawmakers who either won in districts that have a DFL index or lawmakers who narrowly won in the 2010 election cycle.
The targets are Senator John Pederson (SD15), Senator Jeremy Miller (SD31), Senator Al DeKruif (SD25), Senator John Carlson (SD4), Senator Ben Kruse (SD47), Senator Ted Lillie (SD56), Representative King Banaian (HD15B), Representative Greg Davids (HD31B), Representative Carolyn McElfatrick (HD3B), Representative Kelby Woodard (HD25B), Representative Rich Murray (HD27A) and Representative David Hancock (HD2B).
The Coalition of MN Businesses is also running newspaper ads thanking GOP lawmakers for holding the line on state spending. The group, backed by the MN Chamber of Commerce, the Minnesota Business Partnership and ten other business groups, is running the ads in newspapers across the state.
GOP legislative leaders announced today that they intend to take aim at Governor Dayton's budget at Thursday's Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy meeting. GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers sent a letter to MMB Commissioner Jim Schowalter and Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans telling them to be prepared to discuss specifics about Dayton's budget plan.
"We would like information on plants to offset the loss of $1.8 billion in revenue in the Governor's budget due to the recent change in the administration's tax plan. Specifically, be prepared to discuss the legislature's spending reductions the Governor will agree to, or new spending reduction proposals.
On multiple occassions the Governor has indicated an interest in exempting small business from the effects (of) his tax increase plan. We are interested in knowing how this proposal changes revenue estimates for the administration's budget, and what offsets are proposed to allow small businesses to keep more of their hard-earned money."
The meeting is scheduled for 2pm on Thursday. The LCPFP has not met since September, 2010 when Democrats held majorities in both the House and Senate. DFL legislative leaders held LCPFP meetings in 2009 and 2010 to point out their budget differences with former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Dayton and GOP legislative leaders are also scheduled to meet privately on Friday morning to discuss the budget.
Here's the letter from Koch and Zellers:8 Comments)