Catharine Richert, here. Tom Scheck is on vacation in my home state of North Carolina (go Heels!), so I'm helping out with Daily Digest this week. Let's hope he brings us back some Cheerwine and Bojangles.
The state budget eliminates funding to help pay for honor guards at veterans funerals.
President Barack Obama spoke to the American Legion. MPR has the text of the speech and a recording.
Outside the event, about 100 protesters voiced their concerns about the war and the economy.
NewsCut estimates how much the trip cost.
Minnesota's U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones will take over as acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
He wants to tackle the "lack of stability" at the bureau.
Today Rep. Keith Ellison and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs to talk about famine in Africa.
Also today: Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers will be at the State Fair.
Al Franken is fundraising for his fellow Senator and Minnesotan, Amy Klobuchar.
The Communications Workers of America are targeting Rep. Chip Cravaack with a new direct mail campaign.
Rep. Keith Ellison wants Hamas to release an Israeli soldier.
The Race for President
Rep. Michele Bachmann's energy claims are fact-checked.
She's using a new ad strategy to target likely Republican primary voters in Iowa.
Bachmann's efforts to advance the construction of the Stillwater Bridge could be trouble for her on the campaign trail.
Former Bush speech writer Marc Thiessen wrote an interesting op-ed on why Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney isn't going after Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Bachmann will do it for him (and so will the media and the Democratic National Committee) until he absolutely has to get into the fray, Thiessen argues.
Mark Dayton wants to get the stadium deal done.
Fox 9 interviewed Rep. Paul Thissen at the State Fair. He said voters he's spoken with at the Fair aren't warm to a new Viking's Stadium that uses public money.
Posted at 2:00 PM on August 31, 2011
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: PoliGraph
While Gov. Mark Dayton tours the state to talk jobs, the Senate Republican Caucus is circulating a flier via Twitter that criticizes what they call Dayton's anti-job administration.
During the legislative session, Dayton wanted to raise taxes on the state's wealthiest, which the GOP said would discourage businesses from hiring.
To make their case, the Republicans say in the flier that, "After cutting taxes and declaring the state 'open for business,' Wisconsin created 12,900 new private-sector jobs in June. ... This represents the largest one-month gain of private-sector jobs in Wisconsin since 2003."
The Senate GOP gets its numbers right, but the job situation in Wisconsin is far more nuanced than the flier lets on.
It's true that Wisconsin added 12,900 private sector jobs in June - the largest since 2003. In fact, the state's Department of Workforce Development later increased that figure to 14,800 private sector jobs.
These numbers are seasonally adjusted, but economists in Wisconsin point out that many jobs added in June were food service and leisure positions, which tend to disappear once the weather gets colder.
Economists also highlight that in July, the previous gains in the private sector were wiped out when Wisconsin lost 12,500 jobs from nearly all the state's industries.
On the whole, Wisconsin has been gaining jobs since January, 2010, when the state had its lowest post-recession job numbers. But month-to-month numbers are all over the map.
"A big jump up followed by a big jump down means the recovery is still rickety," said Laura Dresser, associate director of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, a economics think tank.
Wisconsin's job climate reflects national trends, she said. Republican Gov. Scott Walker's administration echoed that observation when the July numbers came out.
If it were specifically Walker's policies at play, job growth would be sustained month-to-month, Dresser added.
That's precisely the point the Senate GOP's flier tries to make: Walker's new tax cuts led to job growth.
While several business-friendly, but relatively small, tax perks were adopted shortly after Walker entered office, they aren't immediate. So it's impossible to say whether they are directly related to the June jobs increase, economists say.
Still, it's possible businesses are hiring based Walker's overall tax platform, said Abdur Chowdhury, chair of the Department of Economics at Marquette University.
"The perception among the business community has been more positive," he said.
It's true that Wisconsin saw substantial job growth in June. But it lost an equal number of job losses the following month, which economists say mean one thing: much like the rest of the nation, Wisconsin's jobs climate is still a roller coaster.
As a result, the GOP flier is misleading.
Senate Republican Caucus flier on Dayton's job record, Aug. 30, 2011
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, State reports a gain of 12,900 private-sector jobs, by John Schmid, July 21, 2011
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,Wisconsin loses 12,500 private-sector jobs in July, by John Schmid, Aug. 18, 2011
The Department of Workforce Development, June Jobs Report, July 21, 2011
The Department of Workforce Development, July Jobs Report, Aug.18, 2011
Fox News, Channel 6, Governor Scott Walker signs tax cut bill, Jan. 31, 2011
FactCheck.org, Walker's Tax Cuts, by Eugene Kiely, March 4, 2011
Wisconsin Budget Project, Live by jobs report, die by jobs report, Aug. 18, 2011
Center on Wisconsin Strategy, Wisconsin saw job growth in June, but the state is still suffering, June 2011
Email exchange, Chris Van Guilder, spokesman, Senate Republican Caucus, Aug. 30, 2011
Email exchange, John Dipko, spokesman, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Aug. 31, 2011
Interview, Laura Dresser, Center on Wisconsin Strategy, Aug. 31, 2011
Interview, Abdur Chowdhury, Marquette University, Aug. 30, 2011
Interview, Andy Feldman, BadgerStat, Aug. 30, 2011
Posted at 2:45 PM on August 31, 2011
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: MN Legislature
Republican Senator Amy Koch will greet fair-goers at the Senate information booth tomorrow, Thursday, September 1 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
The Senate's booth is in the State Fair Education Building on Cosgrove Street.
Here's a complete schedule of lawmakers who will appear at the booth.
WASHINGTON - One of Capitol Hill's staunchest opponents of the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile applauded the U.S. Justice Department's announcement today that it will go to court to block the formation of a telecom behemoth.
"I have long believed that this merger would be a terrible deal for consumers, and I'm pleased the Department of Justice has taken the wise step of officially opposing it," said DFL Sen. Al Franken in a statement.
Franken is concerned that if the the merger were to go through, AT&T and Verizon would control more than 80 percent of the wireless market and would raise prices on consumers and limit innovation.
In July, Franken had asked the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission to reject the merger.
But he's taken heat from labor unions, which strongly backed his election in 2008, for his stand. AT&T is unionized and T-Mobile isn't. A merged company could increase the number of union members at a time when the labor movement is struggling.(2 Comments)