It's Thursday at the Daily Digest, where state officials are once again postponing mineral exploration leases, congressional progressives hone their image, and we say goodbye to a technological visionary and a civil rights leader.
The House GOP will hold a Reform 2.0 meeting in Worthington today.
Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, is raising concerns about the possible misuse of the state's Driver and Vehicle Services database.
The Obama administration wants to fast-track a high-voltage power line between Hampton, Minn. and LaCrosse, Wis.
Rep. Chip Cravaack is in Duluth a lot these days after being criticized for not being there enough.
People up north are learning that they may not own the minerals beneath their land.
Meanwhile, state officials have delayed for a second time the approval of 94 leases to explore for minerals in northeastern Minnesota.
Last year, Minnesota lost more technology jobs than the rest of the country.
The developers behind Target Field say they're ready to make another pitch for the Minnesota Vikings.
Rep. Keith Ellison is trying to turn the Congressional Progressive Caucus into a liberal version of the Republican Study Committee.
Rep. John Kline has introduced a bill that would block new union election rules. The bill comes as the GOP seeks to make unionization an election issue, the Star Tribune writes.
The PoliGraph says that Rep. Erik Paulsen's claim about three trade deals is inconclusive.
Rep. Collin Peterson is promoting a bill that would help dairy farmers.
Senate Democrats have proposed a new way to pay for President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs plan: a 5 percent surtax on millionaires.
A U.S. House committee approved legislation to allow construction of a new $700 million bridge crossing the St. Croix River near Stillwater.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar wants to make the visa process easier.
California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed child care workers to unionize. An effort to unionize child care workers is afoot in Minnesota as well.
MPR says that Dayton is still considering a union vote for child care workers.
On the Campaign Trail
In case you were still wondering, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin won't be running for president.
Rep. Michele Bachmann via Twitter: "Gov. Palin is a friend & I think the world of her. She is an important voice in our movement & has many opportunities ahead."
The latest polling numbers are here. Mitt Romney's back on top, and Bachmann's still in the single digits.
The GOP presidential candidates are framing their foreign policy positions with the economy in mind, reports the Associated Press.
Bachmann says she would reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell if she is made president.
A new poll shows that a majority of voters oppose Texas's short-lived requirement that girls get the HPV vaccine unless they got a waiver.
The numbers are starting to trickle in. Texas Gov. Rick Perry will report raising roughly $17 million in the third quarter of the fundraising cycle. And that's coming from just 22,000 donors.
With those numbers, Politico predicts Perry will be in it for a while.
Rep. Ron Paul will report more than $8 million next week from more than 100,000 supporters. Not a shabby haul.
Cravaack gets another assist from Norm Coleman's American Action Network.
Nevada has set its caucuses for Jan. 14.
A Rochester button company has a good record when it comes to predicting the winner of political elections. On track to win the GOP nomination so far? Ron Paul.
RIP Steve Jobs. I played Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego on one of these back in the day.
RIP Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, civil rights leader.(4 Comments)
Posted at 12:53 PM on October 6, 2011
by Brett Neely
Filed under: U.S. House
WASHINGTON - The president of the AFL-CIO has denounced a new bill introduced by GOP Rep. John Kline, calling it "anti-worker."
Kline, who represents Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District and is chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, has become the House Republicans' point man in a growing struggle with the National Labor Relations Board.
The GOP has harshly criticized the agency for a recent decision penalizing Boeing for building a new aircraft factory in South Carolina so as to avoid hiring additional union workers at its Seattle base.
Legislation introduced yesterday by Kline would overturn a new NLRB rule that speeds up the union election process and is the latest in a series of legislative maneuvers in the House to strike at the independent agency.
Citing the Occupy Wall Street protests taking place nationwide, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the GOP was going too far.
"Rep. Kline and anyone who supports his anti-worker bill should take a moment to listen to the people on Wall Street - not the CEOs or hedge fund managers, but rather the people standing together to protest," said Trumka in a statement. "What they'll hear is a call for action to create good jobs and end the inequalities caused by corporate greed and economic injustice."
In statement introducing his bill yesterday, Kline said the NLRB's action would weaken the economic recovery.
"While some would prefer to stand by and watch as the board harasses employers and weakens worker protections, my Republican colleagues and I are determined to hold the NLRB accountable for its job-destroying agenda," said Kline.
Kline's bill will get a hearing in the Education and Workforce Committee next week and is likely to be fast-tracked to the House floor by GOP leadership. But it's unlikely to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, is making another round of calls to her DFL counterparts in the hope of getting ideas on how the state's legislative and congressional boundaries should be drawn. Anderson, who chairs the House Redistricting Committee, sent letters to the 62 Democrats in the Minnesota House asking for advice on the maps.
Gov. Dayton vetoed the GOP redistricting plan in May. Since then, most observers predicted that a court appointed panel will have to draw the maps. But Anderson says she's still hoping the Legislature can pass a map that Dayton can sign.
"It may not be an entirely a new map, it may be adjustments to the map we have currently," Anderson said. "I'm just looking to try to come up with a plan that everybody can get behind."
Anderson admits that there may not be more that she can do to get a new set of maps signed into law but said she wants to "try everything" before the deadline to enact a new set of maps passes.
Democrats have criticized the way Republicans designed the maps and released them to the public. They say the public had no time to view and comment on the proposed maps before they started moving through the committee process. Democrats say public hearings should have been held. Anderson and others argue that the committee held 13 public hearings in several parts of the state before Republicans designed the maps.
Anderson and others also say it's Democrats who have not released a plan for the public to view. DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said they will release a map after the five-member judicial panel finishes taking public testimony.
Meanwhile, the court has issued another set of deadlines regarding redistricting. The court will hear oral arguments on Oct. 26 on what criteria should used to design the maps. The parties have to submit their motions to adopt redistricting plans by Nov. 19. Oral arguments on the plans will be on Jan. 4.
Gov. Dayton and the Legislature have until Feb. 21 to enact a new set of maps into law. The court will take over the process and draw the lines if no agreement is reached by then.(2 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Rep. Michele Bachmann introduced a bill today that would require abortion clinics to provide sound and images of a fetal heartbeat to pregnant women before they proceed with an abortion.
Bachmann has not voted in the House of Representatives since Aug. 1, and she has not introduced a bill in the lower chamber since April 8.
Bachmann will be speaking before the evangelical Values Voters Summit tomorrow evening in the nation's capital, where she's likely to point to her strong record of opposition to abortion. Most of the other GOP presidential candidates will also be speaking at the summit, which will culminate in a presidential straw poll.(3 Comments)
Some prominent Minnesota Republicans announced today that they'll work to defeat a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage.
Members of the Log Cabin Republicans and Republicans Against the Minnesota Marriage Amendment joined forces with Minnesotans United for All Families. During a news conference, former gubernatorial candidate and long-time Republican advisor Wheelock Whitney said he was donating $10,000 to the cause and urging his friends to do the same.
"There's nothing, absolutely nothing in my Republican value system that supports marriage bans in our constitution," Whitney said. "So, I strongly oppose this amendment as a lifelong Republican."
Whitney was joined by Dale Carpenter, Susan Kimberly Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, and Richard Painter.
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton says the party platform strongly supports the amendment. He downplayed the group's opposition.
"Not every Republican is going to agree with every plank in the platform," Sutton said. "However, we're going to vigorously support our platform and our position."
Sutton would not say if the party will provide financial support to the pro-amendment effort.