Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann announced during CNN's GOP presidential debate that she's officially running for President.
AP profiles Bachmann.
CNN said Bachmann has a "successful debate debut."
Tidbit: Bachmann bought the e-mail list of GOPUSA to announce her official run and sent her announcement to those members.
You can watch the debate here.
MPR says Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty competed for the spotlight at the debate.
While Bachmann was throwing her hat into the ring, Tim Pawlenty decided to hang on to the ropes instead of taking a swing at Mitt Romney. Pawlenty repeatedly sidestepped questions when repeatedly asked why he characterized the federal health care law as "Obamneycare" on Sunday.
Politico quotes several GOP strategists as saying Pawlenty missed a major opportunity. They say he missed his "moment of strength. Another said GOP voters want to find someone who is willing to take the fight to President Obama and questioned whether Pawlenty would do that.
The failure to pack a punch forced Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant to do some spinning with The National Review. Pawlenty campaign manager Nick Ayers did some spinning in the Spin Room.
Conant said Pawlenty wanted the focus of the debate to be on President Obama.
Ayers said Pawlenty didn't back off from his comments.
Tidbit: The debate won't dramatically hurt Pawlenty's standing among regular voters but could hurt him in the money race as donors wonder whether Pawlenty will be strong enough to throw a punch.
The Hill says Pawlenty campaigned in New Hampshire and worked to distance himself from former President George W. Bush's policies.
The New York Times fact checks the debate.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson petitioned the Ramsey County District Court to continue services if a shutdown occurs on July 1.
Read the petition here.
Tidbit: Dayton issued a statement saying he would release his list of essential services later this week. He also hired David Lillehaug as his private counsel. Lillehaug will work pro bono.
DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler says Swanson's petition is broader than the 2005 shutdown ruling. He says the petition seeks too much power for cities, counties, state agencies and other units of government.
The Courts' role in deciding state spending is questioned.
Here's a FAQ on the potential shutdown.
Tidbit: Catharine Richert, who wrote PoliGraph while studying at the University of Minnesota, has joined MPR's political team.
The Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy will meet on Wednesday to discuss Gov. Dayton's shutdown planning.
Tidbit: As shutdown planning continues, Dayton and GOP legislative leaders have not met privately to discuss the budget since Wednesday.
Public schools are concerned about the impact of a shutdown.
MAPE is objecting to GOP Rep. Tom Hackbarth's e-mail message that compares unions to Adolf Hitler and Fidel Castro.
The Senate Ethics Committee says it will dismiss an ethics complaint against GOP Sen. Gretchen Hoffman if she apologizes in writing for her Twitter comments against DFL Sen. Barb Goodwin.
Tidbit: Goodwin says she's pleased with the Ethics Committee's action but said she also asked them to issue advice on rules surrounding Senate staffers who tweet. Goodwin says the Ethics Committee could not take action against staffers under current rules.
Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage
The Campaign Finance Board holds a hearing today to discuss what information about large donors needs to be disclosed.
Same-sex marriage supporters held a fundraiser on Monday night to raise money to defeat the amendment.
The Vikings are proposing more user fees to pay for road construction around the proposed Arden Hills site.
KSTP says unions are working to organize thousands of Minnesota daycare workers.
President Obama tells NBC News that "I would resign" if he were in the situation that Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-NY, is in.
Obama is working on moderate ways (around Congress) to spur the economy.
General Petreaus is in Washington D.C. to deliver a troop draw down recommendation in Afghanistan.
GOP Rep. John Kline offers an education reform preview in an op-ed in Politico.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she'll try to head off an amendment that would end federal ethanol subsidies.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison and DFL Rep. Tim Walz will attend a union rally in Minneapolis on Friday.
WASHINGTON - Michele Bachmann's nascent presidential campaign doesn't yet have any policy positions on its website - but it is hawking "Bachmann for President" T-shirts.
The campaign tweeted a link to an online store selling very basic T-shirts, list price $35. For those who don't want to shell out that much money, you can also buy bumper stickers for $3 and lawn signs for $15.
The site assures visitors that nothing on it was produced at government expense, but I wonder if those shirts are Made in the USA or in China?
State agencies are sending out notices to contractors, vendors and grantees telling them that the state may not be making any payments if state government shuts down on July 1.
"As you may know, the Minnesota State Legislature adjourned on May 23, 2011, without appropriating money to fund the operations of state government for the fiscal year that starts on July 1, 2011," Department of Employment and Economid Development Commissioner Mark Phillips wrote in a letter.
The Department of Corrections and the Department of Human Services made similar statements in letters to contractors.
The claim isn't exactly true. The GOP-controlled Legislature passed a complete budget, but Gov. Dayton vetoed all but one of the budget bills.
"We don't deny our budget reduced government spending," House GOP spokeswoman Jodi Boyne said. "We take issue with the level of blame being placed on the Legislature when the GOP budget kept government open, operating and providing paychecks to state employees at their current salaries for two years."
Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, issued a statement criticizing the letters.
"DEED's lie is shameful," Thompson said. "The Minnesota State Legislature adjourned on May 23, 2011, having passed the largest general fund budget in state history, which appropriated money to fund the operations of state government for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2011. It is inconceivable that the Department of Employment and Economic Development, under Gov. Dayton's direction, did not know this fact. Therefore I must assume this is a deliberate attempt by DEED to spread misinformation about the work product of the Minnesota legislature. DEED Commissioner Mark Philips should issue a new, corrected letter to contractors, vendors and grantees reflecting that truth."
Officials within Dayton's Administration stand by the claim. They say the Legislature has not passed a bill into law so no appropriations can be spent (beyond the agriculture budget bill). When asked about the GOP claims, Dayton spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci pointed to Dayton's statement at last Wednesday's news conference:
"Their responsibility was to pass a budget that I would sign," Dayton told reporters on Wednesday. "A balanced budget that was a compromise between their ideals and what they believe their mandate to be and my ideals and what I know my mandate to be. And I'm willing to meet in the middle and they're just standing there saying, 'We'll just pass our budget, our way and then we're going home.' "
Tinucci said Dayton and GOP legislative leaders are planning to meet privately tomorrow to discuss the budget impasse.
Update: Dayton spokesman Bob Hume is also distributing a Department of Employee Relations letter from 2005 that used the exact same wording. The governor at that time was Republican Tim Pawlenty. Update: The House and Senate didn't send a complete budget to Pawlenty in 2005.(1 Comments)
Posted at 3:00 PM on June 14, 2011
by Brett Neely
Filed under: U.S. Senate
An attempt to end the existing subsidy system for ethanol producers failed in the U.S. Senate today.
A motion to end debate on the amendment to an economic development bill brought by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) drew just 40 votes, 20 less than were needed to move to a formal vote. Both Minnesota Senators opposed Coburn's amendment.
Coburn's measure would have eliminated the existing 45 cent per gallon tax credit for ethanol producers and a tariff on imported ethanol.
Yesterday, DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Republican John Thune of South Dakota offered up an alternative bill to Coburn's amendment as part of a bipartisan group of corn state Senators that would establish a glide path away from the current subsidy system for ethanol producers while retaining subsidies for cellulosic ethanol and the construction of dual-fuel pumps at gas stations.
In a statement released after the vote, DFL Sen. Al Franken hailed the measure's failure.
"Ethanol is an American industry, with American jobs and economic benefits that can't get shipped overseas," said Franken. "You're never going to see a massive ethanol spill in the gulf that destroys peoples' lives and you're never going to see foreign countries gang up to restrict the supply of ethanol, driving up gas prices for Minnesota families."
The vote is also significant because it represents an intra-party spat among Republicans over whether ending tax loopholes constitutes a tax hike.
Coburn insisted that eliminating loopholes without changing tax rates was not a tax increase. A total of 34 Republicans voted in favor of ending debate on his amendment, suggesting that Coburn's position may have swayed many members of his caucus.
Three attorneys for Briggs and Morgan have filed as "attorneys of record" for eight citizens in a redistricting case. The attorneys; former MN Supreme Court Justice Eric Magnuson, Elizabeth Brama and Michael Wilhelm, all filed the paperwork this morning to say that they would represent the eight Republican citizens who have filed lawsuits both in federal and state courts.
The Republican Party of Minnesota is working with an independent group, "Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting," on redistricting efforts.
Magnuson said he's working on behalf of the eight clients listed in the legal filings and is willing to work on the issue in both state and federal court.
"I will work on both of them with the exception that I can't appear before the Minnesota Supreme Court," Magnuson said. "But we have other attorneys in our office that can do that." Magnuson left his position on the Minnesota Supreme Court last June. The Minnesota Supreme Court is asking former justices to wait three years before they appear before the Minnesota Supreme Court.
One of the citizens being represented by Magnuson, Gregg Peppin, said a lot of the litigation work has been coordinated by the Minnesota Republican Party and "Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting." He said the filing indicates that Briggs and Morgan will be working with attorney Tony Trimble on redistricting efforts for Republicans in Minnesota.
"They told me they were going to get a litigator and this confirms that," Peppin said about Magnuson's filing.
Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton confirmed that Briggs and Morgan has been hired by "Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting" but said he or other members of the MNGOP have nothing to do with the hiring. He said former MNGOP Chair Chris Georgacus is heading "Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting."
The decision to hire Briggs and Morgan sets up another battle of legal heavyweights. Magnuson, a former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice appointed by former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, represented the Minnesota Republican Party and Republican Tom Emmer in the 2010 gubernatorial recount.
Democrats have hired Washington D.C. attorney Marc Elias and Minneapolis attorney David Lillehaug to head up the DFL Party's redistricting efforts in court. Elias represented Gov. Mark Dayton in the 2010 gubernatorial recount and Sen. Al Franken in the 2008 U.S. Senate recount.
The Minnesota DFL Party has also been working with the outside group, Democratic National Redistricting Trust, on its legal efforts. That group is also being represented by Elias.
One of the reasons independent groups, and not state parties, are working on redistricting efforts is to avoid campaign contribution limits and disclosure laws. The McCain/Feingold law forbids parties from raising unlimited amounts of soft money to pay for political activity and redistricting efforts. Independent groups can raise soft money.
Republicans and Democrats in Minnesota have been lining up for a lengthy and costly court battle over how the state's political boundaries should be drawn. The courts are being asked to prepare for the possibility that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP legislative leaders won't reach agreement on a redistricting plan. Dayton vetoed the GOP-backed plan last month. The courts will take over the process if an agreement isn't reached by February 21.
A federal judge held a hearing last week on a request by several Democrats to have federal court oversee the drawing of the state's political maps. Republican attorneys have argued that redistricting matters must move through state court first.
Gov. Dayton's spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci says Dayton will file a petition with Ramsey County District Court on Wednesday that outlines what state services Dayton thinks should continue if the government shuts down on July 1. The filing will be the next step in the process of planning for a state shutdown.
The Department of Human Services notified more than 600,000 low income Minnesotans that state subsidized health insurance coverage, cash assistance, food support and child care assistance may be discontinued on July 1. The state also sent 36,000 layoff notices to state employees last week.
Dayton told reporters this afternoon that he's hoping he can reach a budget deal with GOP legislative leaders in time to avoid a shutdown but said the public has to weigh in if they're worried about a shutdown in services.
"There are going to be an enormous amount of very, very serious effects on many good people throughout the state," Dayton said. "This is, as I've been delving into it over the last couple of weeks, a terrible outcome for the state so it can be avoided."
Dayton and GOP legislative leaders are at odds over the best way to erase the state's $5 billion projected budget deficit. The two sides are $1.8 billion apart. Dayton wants to raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners to balance the budget. Republicans say they can erase the deficit through spending cuts.
County officials, state employees and other groups are facing great uncertainty when it comes to planning for the shutdown. Beltrami County Administrator Tony Murphy says he doesn't know how what county services will continue if a shutdown occurs. He's worried that the county's 6,500 residents who receive state assistance will have questions for county staff. He said a lot of residents will overwhelm his staff.
"If they can't get those questions answered at the state and they're not used to taking their questions to state employees, they'll take those questions to county offices and county employees," Murphy said. "I think our biggest concern is that we don't really have answers to their questions. We don't really know what the plans for the state for the shutdown in any level of detail."
Murphy says he's planning to put more staff at the front counters and at the county phone banks with the hopes of handling questions from concerned residents. He said, however, that fewer employees will be able to process claims and other paperwork.
It isn't certain what services will continue if state government shuts down. Dayton's petition to the court will come just two days after Attorney General Lori Swanson filed a similar petition in court. The court is expected to act quickly on the requests since the services will be shuttered on July 1.
Ramsey County Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin told MPR News that she would not assign a judge to the case on Tuesday. She suggested it was unlikely she would take any action on the case until she receives Dayton's petition.
Republican leaders have scheduled a Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy meeting to discuss Dayton's shutdown plans on Wednesday morning.
Tinucci, with Dayton's office, says she expects Dayton to meet privately with GOP legislative leaders to discuss the budget impasse. It would be the first time the two sides would meet since last Wednesday.(2 Comments)