Hello Trouble (with apologies to Buck Owens)!
Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders abruptly ended budget talks on Sunday after meeting for just over an hour. No new talks are scheduled as the clock ticks towards the government shutdown on Friday. Dayton and GOP leaders said little about budget talks over the weekend so it isn't known how much "progress" has been made on reaching a budget deal.
Tidbit: Here's a comparison of the differences on the budget.
The shutdown will close state parks and alter July 4th holiday plans.
Standard and Poors is worried about how the shutdown will impact the state's colleges and universities.
Officials are prepping for shutdown related transit disruptions.
Teachers are working to submit their renewal paperwork ahead of the shutdown.
A hearing will be held this morning on whether state money should be allocated so the state's judiciary can continue running in case of a shutdown.
GOP Sen. Sean Nienow continues to push for his "lights on" bill.
New York becomes the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Dayton was the first governor in the history of the state to take part in the Pride Festival Parade.
MPR says Minnesota's marriage amendment was a hot and confusing topic at Pride Fest.
The Washington Post writes about Minnesota's redistricting battle.
The Red Bulls are in their final weeks of training before being deployed to Iraq.
Budget talks have been suspended.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz will hold town hall meetings today that focus on the federal deficit.
GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack will hold a town hall meeting tonight in Princeton. He also has meetings scheduled in Little Falls and Ely.
GOP Rep. John Kline and GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack voted for an initiative to defund U.S. involvement in Libya.
The PoliGraph says DFL Rep. Betty McCollum is right on the cost of the war.
Ethanol's future looks cloudy in Congress.
Race for Congress
Democrat Tarryl Clark likens Cravaack to GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann in a fundraising e-mail.
Race for President
Michele Bachmann officially launches her bid for president this morning in her hometown of Waterloo, IA. She held a rally last night where she played up her Iowa roots.
The announcement comes just a day after a Des Moines Register poll said Bachmann is in a dead heat with Mitt Romney in Iowa. Tim Pawlenty is at the back of the pack.
The Washington Post says Bachmann's surge in the poll has increased scrutiny on her record.
Face the Nation's Bob Schieffer challenged Bachmann on her ability to play fast and loose with the facts.
Bachmann is refusing to accept an apology by Fox News' Chris Wallace for asking Bachmann "Are you a flake?"
The Des Moines Register Columnist Kathie Obradovich says there is good news and bad news for Minnesotans in their poll.
MPR says some see a Bachmann candidacy as a boon for Romney and President Obama.
AP has a profile of Bachmann.
The Fix calls Bachmann the frontrunner in Iowa.
Smart Politics says every sitting member of the U.S. House in the past 100 years failed in attempts to win the White House.
The Wall St. Journal says the Iowa poll is bad news for Pawlenty:
The minimal support for Mr. Pawlenty in the poll is bound to cause concern within his campaign, which is widely considered to have the best organization in Iowa and has recently picked up a series of endorsements from prominent Republicans. Long thought to be a leading contender to rival Mr. Romney in the nomination fight, Mr. Pawlenty has struggled to gain traction nationally as well as in the early nominating states.
The Fix says Romney will lead in 2nd Quarter fundraising (which ends on June 30th). The biggest question is whether Pawlenty will underperform:
Judging from early indications, this could be a tough week for the former Minnesota governor. If he is outraised by everyone listed above, there will be questions asked about whether his campaign -- which, on paper, looks quite impressive -- is catching fire. Pawlenty's weak performance at a debate in New Hampshire this month probably stunted any fundraising momentum he was hoping to build, and it didn't help that the Register poll showed him at just 6 percent, running behind the likes of Paul and former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.). The Pawlenty team insists that he will have enough money to be competitive in Iowa and New Hampshire and notes that if he wins either or both, the money will be there.
(More on Pawlenty below)
Bachmann also targeted Romney in a speech where she said the party can't support "abortion flip-flopping."
Bachmann also cites scare tactics on the negative impact of lifting the debt ceiling.
The Washington Post looks at Bachmann's leadership IQ.
The LA Times says Bachmann has had her share of government aid.
Bachmann says the federal government has increased the use of limos under President Obama. CBS says the claim isn't exactly true.
The AP says small checks are driving Bachmann's campaign.
The Weekly Standard calls Bachmann the "Queen of the Tea Party."
Pawlenty will be on The Today Show and CBS Early Morning today.
Pawlenty tells the Christian Post that his wife led him to the Lord.
Politifact says Pawlenty is confusing the debt with the deficit.
Pawlenty spoke to a group opposed to legalized abortion on Friday.
A fundraiser will be held in Atlanta for Pawlenty.
Time's Joe Klein goes after Pawlenty over his Afghanistan comments.
Pawlenty named an Iowa steering committee.
Sarah Palin will be in Iowa on Tuesday.(2 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign fired off a list of Iowa lawmakers who endorsed him campaign just two hours after Rep. Michele Bachmann formally kicked off her presidential run at a highly-publicized event in Bachmann's birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa.
Ten current legislators from both chambers of the Iowa's legislature have signed on as members of Pawlenty's camp, a development Pawlenty said "bolsters my Iowa campaign's efforts to build successful coalitions in this important state."
The two Minnesotans see Iowa as a must-win state on the path to the Republican presidential nomination but Bachmann appears to have captured the imagination of Iowans, drawing 22 percent support in a closely-watched poll, just 1 percentage point behind presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney. Pawlenty lagged far behind, registering support from just 6 percent of those polled.
Pawlenty has also upped his advertising campaign in state, launching a series of radio ads across the state today with the slogan "results, not rhetoric," which seems like a dig against Bachmann, whose legislative achievements in the U.S Congress have been scant despite her many television and tea party rally appearances.
All sides in the shutdown case presented arguments in Ramsey District Court in St. Paul on Monday, June 27, 2011. After the hearing, Frederick Knaak (second from right) talked strategy with the intervening Minnesota State Sens. Sean Neinow, Scott Newman and Roger Chamberlain. (Photo by Richard Sennott/Star Tribune, pool)
A judge is considering whether the state's judicial system should continue to be funded in the event of a government shutdown.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is asking the courts to continue funding for the judicial system if Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican controlled Legislature fail to reach a budget deal by Friday. During a hearing in Ramsey County court today, Deputy Attorney General Nate Brennaman said failing to keep the courts running would jeopardize the constitutional right to a speedy trial, endanger people's right to have lawyers and fail to make sure children are protected from abuse and violence.
"Without a functioning court system, Minnesotans constitutional rights would not be afforded," Brennman said. "The courts are the forum and the protector of Minnesotans constitutional rights."
Dayton and the Board of Public Defense support continued court funding.
But Fritz Knaak, an attorney representing four Republican senators argued that funding the courts without legislative authorization is unconstitutional.
"Let me be that quiet voice in the middle of all of the rancor of need, need, need, need and necessity and everything else that everyone knows in state government needs to do, that quiet voice that says, 'you can't. The constitution doesn't allow it. There must be an appropriation.' "
Knaak's comments were quickly rebuked by the other attorneys in the case.
"With respect to Mr. Knaak's quiet voice," Christopher Madel said. "I'll raise him the loud voice of the U.S. Supreme Court in Gideon vs. Wainwright."
That's the case that guarantees people accused of crimes who can't afford lawyers the right to counsel.
Madel, who is representing the Board of Public Defense said he can't believe the four senators are arguing the courts should not continue to be funded.
"Are we really saying that we're going to stop paying you and public defenders in this state and let these people go into a jail without any right to counsel and without any opportunity to get out and have a fair hearing in the courts?"
Knaak says the only remedy is for the governor to call the Legislature back into special session to act on the budget bills. Dayton says he won't call a special session until there's agreement on a total budget.
Dayton and the Legislature are at odds over the best way to erase a $5 billion projected budget deficit. Dayton wants to raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners. Republicans say the deficit can be erased through spending cuts.
Judge Bruce Christopherson, a retired judge from Granite Falls, is taking the request under advisement.
"I do understand that promptness is important," Christopherson told the court. "But correctness is essential."
Christopherson is hearing the case because Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin recused herself due to a possible conflict of interest.
You can listen to the hearing in two parts.1 Comments)
Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders are scheduled to meet privately at 3pm to discuss their differences on the state budget. It would be the fourth straight day that the two sides have met. They abruptly ended their meeting on Sunday after meeting for just over an hour.
State government would shut down on Friday if Dayton and GOP legislative leaders fail to reach a budget deal by Friday.
Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann formally entered the 2012 GOP nomination battle this morning, kicking off her presidential campaign from her birthplace of Waterloo, IA.
Bachmann talked about her Iowa roots and called for the return of the American dream. She pledged to bring the voice of regular Americans to the White House if she makes it that far.
"I want my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States to stand for a moment when we the people stand, once again, for independence from a government that has gotten too big and spends too much and has taken away too much of our liberties," Bachmann said.
Bachmann called for reduced federal government spending.
"Our problems, quite frankly, are today," she said. "Our problems are not tomorrow. We can't continue to rack up debt and put it on the backs of the next generation. We can't afford the unconstitutional healthcare law that will cost us too much and deliver so little."
After speaking for about 20 minutes Bachmann shook hands and posed for pictures. Her audience seemed thrilled with her speech and candidacy.
Floyd Junker, 60, of Waterloo was overcome with emotion, holding back tears as he talked about Bachmann.
"She's a straight talker. She's one of us," he said. "I just love what she's saying. It means so much to me. I'm so touched. It just seems we've been so disappointed for so many years and lied to and cheated and I'd like to think the system is straight and fair and that we'd have a chance to get a real American in there."
Bachmann will also be in New Hampshire and in South Carolina over the next two days as part of her campaign kickoff.(1 Comments)
Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders plan to meet again tomorrow to talk about the state budget. The two sides met privately for about 45 minutes today but revealed little about what was said behind closed doors. Dayton said keeping their negotiations private helps the two sides have an open dialogue. But Dayton wouldn't predict if a government shutdown can be averted by Friday's deadline.
"Either one is possible," Dayton said. "We will or we won't. I'm not going to lay odds on it but those are the two possibilities. We're committed to doing everything possible with these negotiations to avoid a shutdown."
Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers says the two sides were focusing on key budget areas like education, health care, transportation and public safety.
"We're talking about the exact same things we have been talking about," Zellers said. "Because this is a very different legislative makeup, because there are tough economic times, these are difficult budget items to work through so it's taking us a little bit longer. I think most Minnesotans would say 'Do it right. Get it right the first time and if it takes a little bit longer it's worth the while because these are such tough times."
Dayton and Republicans differ over the best way to balance the state's budget. Dayton wants to raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners to help erase a $5 billion budget deficit. Republicans say the deficit can be erased entirely through spending cuts. State government will shut down on Friday if the two sides fail to reach a budget deal.
Dayton and legislative leaders are scheduled to meet again tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock.