The stalled Vikings stadium bill got another lease on life when Gov. Dayton and Vikings stadium supporters met to discuss options. GOP legislative leaders, in particular Speaker Kurt Zellers, still need to be convinced.
Dayton is open to asking the state's tribal leaders to pay for part of the Vikings stadium. The head of the Indian Gaming Association says a contribution is unlikely.
MPR says the revenue estimate on electronic pull-tabs is on shaky ground.
Fox 9 has a story on Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and backup QB Donovan McNabb driving cars with dealer plates - a measure that meant they didn't have to pay motor vehicle sales taxes. The state says the dealership is violating the law. The dealer admitted guilt and said they fixed it.
The Pi Press says Ramsey County continues to push the Arden Hills site.
KSTP has an advanced look at the Farmers Market site proposed by Minneapolis.
Under the Dome
Gov. Dayton hits the Governor's annual Deer Hunting Opener in Biwabik. Dayton will attend several events but he won't hunt this weekend. The governor, who did hunt at the governor's pheasant opener, said he's not a deer hunter.
The state's next Revenue Forecast will be released on December 1.
Lawmakers are criticizing the Corrections Commissioner for the parole of a convicted cop killer.
Republican lawmakers are considering a position on the Health Insurance Exchange.
3M says the Mississippi River cleanup is paying off.
Same-sex marriage debate
A year before the marriage vote, both sides are paying defense.
AIG still owes the government about $68 billion.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar's jobs bill gets filibustered.
The Farm Bill will be released soon and it will likely include $23 million in cuts. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz and Peterson signed a letter urging a large deficit-reduction.
The St. Croix Bridge backers made their case to the White House.
Greece drops its push to allow for a vote on the bailout.
Race for Congress
Republican Mike Parry officially kicked off his campaign for Congress.
The Mankato-Free Press says Allen Quist will also challenge DFL Rep. Tim Walz.
Race for President
Herman Cain continues to rise in the polls despite the scandal.
The New York Times continues to probe the allegations against Cain.
Mitt Romney offers a deficit reduction plan.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry endorsed a plan that would allow work visas for immigrants in the country illegally.
The New York Times says Rick Perry also took $1.3 million in free flights as governor.
Perry is playing defense on a recent speech he gave in New Hampshire - going so far as to say he wasn't drunk when he delivered it.
Ron Paul is in St. Cloud tomorrow.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann appears on NBC's Today show today.
A national poll has Bachmann near the bottom.
She says the Wall St. protesters to stop blaming the free market.
Bachman also warns that the U.S. is a "Banana Republic."
Bachmann pushes her jobs bill in a new video.(3 Comments)
Posted at 2:00 PM on November 4, 2011
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: PoliGraph
With jobs and the economy emerging as the defining issue of the 2012 presidential campaign, President Barack Obama is trying to make clear the nation is much better off than it was before he took office in 2009 - but that there's still a long way to go.
To highlight the nation's economic progress, and to sell his new jobs plan that he says will make the economy even better, Obama invited nine local television stations from across the country to the White House. WCCO-TV was among them.
During his brief chat with anchor Amelia Santaniello, Obama made two claims about the economy's performance during his time in office.
PoliGraph checked both of them and found that Obama's statements are basically correct.
"In the private sector, we've seen over 2 million jobs created. This year alone, over a million jobs created."
Obama's benchmark is February 2010, the nadir of employment when the nation had 106.7 million private sector jobs, according to seasonally adjusted employment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Currently, we have more than 109.5 million private sector jobs - a difference of nearly 2.8 million.
Obama's also correct that more than 1 million jobs have been added since the beginning of 2011.
Obama got his facts straight on this one, and for that, his claim is accurate.
Next, a look at Obama's claim that the economy has grown during his tenure.
Here's what he said:
"The thing I'm proudest of is having stabilized the economy, even though it's not where it needs to be. Keep in mind that when I came in office, the economy had contracted by 9 percent, which is the most since the Great Depression. By 2010, the economy had grown by 4 percent, so that was a huge reversal."
Right before Obama was sworn into office in 2009, the recession had already taken a toll on the economy. Case in point: gross domestic product had fallen by 8.9 percent in the last quarter of 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) - roughly the 9 percent Obama mentioned in his interview.
Obama is also correct that, in the first quarter of 2010, GDP had grown 3.9 percent over the last quarter of 2009.
As for the recession's historical significance, Obama's in the ballpark. PoliGraph found two instances since the Great Depression of steeper annual or quarterly GDP declines than the one in the last quarter of 2008.
But the BEA told us that the most recent recession, from start to finish, represents the most dramatic economic contraction since the government started collecting quarterly GDP data in 1947. (Before that, the government only collected annual data, which makes it difficult to measure the significance of older recessions compared to the most recent one.)
It's also important to point out that, while the economy continues to grow, its expansion has slowed some since the start of 2010. BEA attributes the deceleration to a variety of factors, including fluctuating consumer spending, struggling exports and increasing imports, and periodic dips in government spending.
All in all, Obama gets this claim correct as well.
WCCO-TV, Amelia Santaniello interviews President Barack Obama, Nov. 1, 2011
CNN, Recession officially ended in June 2009, By Chris Isidore, Sept. 20, 2010
National Bureau of Economic Research, US Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions, accessed Nov. 3, 2011
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics - CES (National), accessed Nov. 3, 2011
Bureau of Economic Analysis, Table 1.1.1. Percent Change From Preceding Period in Real Gross Domestic Product (A) (Q), accessed Nov. 3, 2011
E-mail exchange, Caroline Hughes, spokeswoman, The White House, Nov. 3, 2011
E-mail exchange, Thomas Dail, spokesman, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Nov. 3, 2011
Interview, Steve Hine, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Nov. 3, 2011
Posted at 1:16 PM on November 4, 2011
by Tom Scheck
Former Gov. Jesse Ventura held a news conference today to criticize the dismissal of his lawsuit against the Transportation Security Administration for the agency's pat downs and full body scanners at the airport. Ventura said he was outraged that the court dismissed his case. He called the judge who dismissed the case and the federal courts in general as "cowards."
"They said they don't have jurisdiction," Ventura told reporters outside of the federal courthouse in St. Paul. "Well my question is if the federal courts don't have jurisdiction over a constitutional question then who the hell does?"
Ventura said he hasn't talked with his attorney about whether he would appeal his lawsuit but he suggested it wasn't worth it.
"Why would I appeal it, I want a trial by jury," Ventura said. "If I appeal it, they'll get federally paid judges to squash it."
Ventura, who was flanked by the TV crew that shoots his conspiracy TV show, also said he's lost his patriotism. He said he'll never fly commercially again.
"I will not be treated like a criminal," Ventura said. "In our airports today, we citizens are treated like criminals. We're guilty until we're proven innocent."
Ventura also said he's going to apply for dual citizenship of Mexico, where he owns a home.
"They know that if I go to court and I'm given a jury I will win," Ventura said.
He also said he lost his patriotism and would then refer to the U.S. as the "Fascist States of America." .
"I will never stand for a national anthem again," Ventura said. "I will turn my back and raise a fist the same way Tommy Smith and John Carlos did in the '68 Olympics, Jesse Ventura will do that today."
Ventura then again teased that he could make another run for office.
"The only way that I could change it I guess would be to run for president and win it," Ventura said. "Is that what it will take?" When asked if he's running for the White House, Ventura said "I'm thinking about it. That's all though."
Ventura said he would never set foot in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport again.
Ventura also didn't forget about his past battles with the Minnesota media. He singled out WCCO's Pat Kessler and told him he'll never forgive him for the way he treated him and his family. Kessler did a story during Ventura's time as governor that his son, Tyrell, threw weekend parties at the governor's residence that caused damage to furniture and fixtures.
Here's the full audio from the news conference (Note: His criticism with Kessler occurred after the newser): Listen(54 Comments)
WASHINGTON - As an end of the year deadline draws closer, a U.S. Senate committee is set next week to consider DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar's bill to authorize a new bridge over the St. Croix River.
The bill is one of 32 agenda items under consideration at hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Nov. 10. If the bill passes through the committee, its next stop would be the Senate floor. A companion bill with identical language in the U.S. House sponsored by GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is waiting for that body's leadership to schedule time for the full chamber to consider the measure.
An act of Congress is required to authorize a new span replacing the aging Stillwater Lift Bridge because the St. Croix River is protected by the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
Klobuchar's bill has the support of fellow Minnesota Sen. Al Franken as well as Wisconsin's two Senators, Democrat Herb Kohl and Republican Ron Johnson. As such, it is likely to sail through the upper chamber once it arrives on the floor. In the House, Reps. Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison are opposed to the bill, arguing that the replacement bridge project is too large and costly.
One outstanding issue that may be resolved at the markup hearing is how to find $8 million in offsetting spending cuts or revenue increases to satisfy Congressional budget rules. The Congressional Budget Office determined last month that passing a bill authorizing a new bridge would add $8 million to the budget deficit because of earmarks applied to the project in a 2005 transportation bill.(1 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidate and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is returning to the nation's capital on Monday. But she won't be returning to Congress - the U.S. House is on recess next week. Instead, she'll be delivering a speech at the religious conservative Family Research Council.
In an email from her campaign, Bachmann says, "I will share with you my philosophy on the role of government in the lives of Americans and my thoughts on the constitutional conservative principles that would govern a Bachmann presidency."
Bachmann's return to Washington comes as her poll numbers continue to sink. The latest Washington Post/ABC poll puts her support at 4 percent nationally, down three points from a month before.
Supporters of the well-worn plan to allow slot machines at Minnesota's horse racing tracks say they want to be part of the solution for a Vikings stadium.
Sen. Al DeKruif, R-Madison Lake, delivered a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton's office today signed by 24 legislators who support racino gambling. He said another seven legislators are also confirmed supporters. DeKruif says the state's estimated share of $135 million a year could help pay back a school funding shift and pay off the bonds for a Vikings stadium. He insists that racino is not an expansion of gambling.
"It's just an alternative," DeKruif said. "So, it's an alternative going to either Iowa or Wisconsin or other neighboring states, or the Indian casinos. And it gives people an opportunity to support paying back the school shift and help potentially keeping the Vikings in town."
Racino supporters appear to be far short of the votes needed to actually pass a bill. But DeKruif said the proposal is still a work in progress, and they are trying to convince others to join the cause.
Here's the letter:1 Comments)
With MPR's Rupa Shenoy...
The five-member panel charged with redrawing the state's political boundaries issued an order today detailing the criteria they will use to draw those maps.
For the first time, the panel said the metropolitan area should be regarded as 11 counties, not seven. As a result more exurban counties could be tied into districts in suburban and urban areas.
That was an approach Republicans favored, said Elizabeth Brama who represents the Republican party on redistricting. She said it's unclear what effect the change will have.
"I don't think it's a question of one party or the other benefiting," Brama said. "I think it's more a question of just fairly representing where the people in the state of Minnesota live and how they organize themselves."
Brama said the council's decision may reflect how people in ex-urban counties formerly considered rural may now see themselves as more urban.
DFL party chair Ken Martin wasn't surprised by those changes.
"I think it's pretty pro forma and certainly establishes a lot of the same principles that were in place ten years ago," Martin said. "Again, without discussing this further with my team and being able to look at it more in detail, I can't comment any more than that. But on the surface I think it's fine. I don't think it give any party an advantage over another."
The court order also suggests that it will consider communities of interest to include "social, geographic, political, cultural, ethnic, economic or other interests." Attorneys for the DFL Party were arguing that those communities of interest are critical to redrawing the lines.
The five-member panel is tasked with creating a set of maps for the state's eight congressional districts and 201 legislative districts if Gov. Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature can't agree on a map. Dayton vetoed a GOP plan earlier this year and he suggested it's unlikely an agreement can be reached before the Feb. 21 deadline. The court will take over the process at that time.
You can read the full order here.