Posted at 7:10 AM on October 27, 2011
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Daily Digest
Welcome to the Daily Digest, where the Vikings stadium dominates local coverage, Europe has a plan to deal with Greece's debt crisis, and Bachmann comes home for a fundraiser.
Legislators and religious groups are coming out against efforts to expand gambling to pay for the Vikings stadium.
It's unlikely the House Taxes Committee will vote for any stadium proposal that includes a tax hike.
The Pioneer Press reports that electronic pull tabs could be a funding option.
Gov. Mark Dayton would not go so far as to endorse a GOP plan to use Legacy funds to pay for the stadium.
The Minnesota Historical Society is pushing back on using Legacy funding.
The PoliGraph finds Sen. John Marty's claim claim about the cost of the Vikings stadium proposal accurate.
A five-panel judge heard arguments Wednesday about redrawing the state's political boundaries.
Dayton was on Midday.
Dayton wants to invest as much as $100 million into local banks, but his plan got a lukewarm reception.
Jennifer Vogel, who reports for our Ground Level project, writes that budget restraints are causing Minnesota's cities to fray at the edges.
A Ramsey County judge temporarily stops the state from cutting payments to care assistants.
Democrats on a special committee meant to tackle the deficit outlined a plan Wednesday similar to President Barack Obama's.
Rep. John Kline criticized President Barack Obama's new plan to reduce student loan payments for college students.
Kline is mentioned in this Bloomberg article about the advancement of a bill that would block the National Labor Relations Board from holding union elections quickly.
Lawmakers are mulling a tax holiday that could return$20 billion back to Minnesota, MPR reports.
GOP candidate Mitt Romney spoke with House Republicans, and they were impressed, according to Politico.
On the Campaign Trail
Rep. Michele Bachmann leads the pack of GOP presidential candidates in Minnesota's money race.
Bachmann planned a town hall in Minneapolis for today, but has cancelled the event. A fundraiser is still on, though.
Bachmann filed her paperwork for the New Hampshire primary.
Eric Woolson, who was managing Bachmann's communications in Iowa, will now be her campaign manager there.
A spokesman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry told Politico the candidate may not be at every debate.
Rep. Ron Paul has spent about $1 million on charter jets - more than any other candidate.
The president of a group called American Majority says Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann could damage the tea party movement as her presidential campaign shifts its focus to social issues.
On his organization's website Ned Ryun writes that Bachmann threatens to drive support away from the tea party.
"It is clear that the [Bachmann] campaign has become less about reform and more about her personal effort to stay relevant and sell books; a harsh commentary, but true. It's not about tea party values or championing real plans to solve real problems. While other campaigns are diving into the substance, the supposed tea party candidate Bachmann is sticking to thin talking points and hanging on for dear life."
The Bachmann campaign did not immediately respond to Ryun's remarks.
UPDATE: Bachmann 2012 National Campaign Manager Keith Nahigian issued the following statement in response to Ryun's assertions about Bachmann's presidential campaign.
The strength of the Tea Party is all individual's opinions are valued but the no single leader speaks for it. Mr. Ryun, who supports Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is entitled to his own opinion. And that's exactly what he is expressing. Michele Bachmann enjoys strong support from Americans across partylines and that certainly includes the Tea Party. She will continue to be a strong advocate for the values and principles reflected by the Tea Party as works toward a victory in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses as she seeks to win the Republican nomination.(5 Comments)
Posted at 1:20 PM on October 27, 2011
by Mark Zdechlik
Filed under: Michele Bachmann
Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann's 2012 presidential campaign announced Thursday it promoted Eric Woolson to manage the campaign in Iowa. Woolson helped run former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's successful 2008 Iowa caucus campaign.
Woolson signed on with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's campaign in March. Woolson initially joined the Bachmann campaign in September, a few weeks after Pawlenty dropped out.
The AFL-CIO, a coalition of more than 1,000 labor unions, has come out in favor of building a casino in downtown Minneapolis. The labor federation, which is also backing a Vikings stadium, sent out a news release earlier today saying the so-called Block E casino will benefit the state. The casino has been mentioned as a way to finance the Vikings stadium. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has suggested tapping money from the casino to pay for a new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis.
Union support could help convince skeptical Democrats to vote for the expansion of gambling. Several have said they will oppose any expansion of gambling in Minnesota.
Here's the AFL-CIO's statement:
"We need to do everything we can to get more Minnesotans back to work and our economy moving again," said Shar Knutson, President of the Minnesota AFL-CIO. "The renovation and operation of a casino at Block E will create a significant number of family-sustaining jobs many Minnesotans so desperately need."(1 Comments)
The Minnesota AFL-CIO currently supports constructing a new stadium to ensure the Vikings stay in Minnesota. The labor federation has not endorsed any specific site.
"Given the number of funding options being debated, the Block E casino option is a way to both fund the project and create jobs," added Knutson. "Working people are watching and waiting for legislators to take action on this great way to create jobs."
Several supporters of allowing the state's two horse tracks to operate slot machines are pushing to be included in the Vikings stadium discussion. Sen. Al DeKruif, R-Madison Lake, says he and other supporters of the so-called Racino bill believe the measure will pay for part of a new Vikings stadium and pay back some of the K12 school payment delay used to balance the state's budget.
"There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes," DeKruif said. "I do think there is enough money to do both, pay back the school shift and make the payments on the bonds."
Racino is one of several measures being floated to pay for a new Vikings stadium. Governor Dayton says he's listening to all ideas before he releases his plan the week of Nov. 7. DeKruif said he believes allowing slot machines at the state's horse tracks is less controversial because gambling already occurs there.
"Gambling in Minnesota - like it or not - is here to stay," DeKruif said. "It's a choice tax. It's an avenue to give the economy a shot in the arm through the construction trades, the horse industry which is a large part of our economy."
Several of DeKruif's colleagues lined up in opposition to any expansion of gambling to pay for a Vikings stadium. They argued that allowing even more gambling in Minnesota will increase addiction to gambling and crime caused by problem gamblers. They also argued it will make the state more inclined to rely on gambling expansion in the future.
"It's a tax on either the desperate or the mathematically impaired," Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, said. "And to make the state of Minnesota act like a bookie or a pit boss is simply not the role of government."
Dayton and legislative leaders will meet tomorrow morning to discuss the stadium issue.(6 Comments)
Three people with knowledge of the hire say Dayton is appointing Sen. Larry Pogemiller to run the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. The people asked not to be identified because they didn't want to step on Dayton's announcement. Dayton's spokesman, Bob Hume, wouldn't confirm the hire but said they will have an announcement on that position Friday morning.
Pogemiller has served in the Minnesota Legislature since 1980. He has held several key positions of power in the Senate including Majority Leader, Education Committee Chair and Tax Committee Chair. He could not be reached for comment about the appointment.
Pogemiller will replace Sheila Wright who resigned her position in September. The office provides students with financial aid programs and information to help them gain access to a post-secondary education.
Pogemiller's appointment means Senate Democrats have lost three long time members in the last six months. Sen. Linda Berglin retired in August to take a job with Hennepin County. Sen. Linda Scheid died in June after battling ovarian cancer for several years.
Dayton will have to call a special election to fill Pogemiller's seat.