Posted at 6:29 AM on January 11, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Shakopee's mayor is going to make a push to get a new Vikings stadium built in his city. A news conference is scheduled for this afternoon. The Shakopee Patch reports GOP Sen. Claire Robling and GOP Rep. Mike Beard will also attend the newser. Both have been pushing for Racino to be passed into law.
The Minnesota Vikings bring the Metrodome site into the mix but with a demand for extra costs.
KARE11 says the Vikings letter caught the University of Minnesota by surprise.
Fox9 says the Basilica and other businesses bristle at the Linden Ave. proposed site.
WCCO takes a look at when the Vikings can notify the NFL of a departure.
Under the Dome
Gov. Dayton will release his jobs plan today.
Budget officials say the state's economy is beating forecast.
The Star Tribune reports that drugs were being dealt in a Fergus Falls drug treatment facility.
KSTP says Gop Rep. Steve Smith is facing questions as to whether he had an inappropriate relationship with a staffer. Smith denies it.
The Dayton Administration is also pushing for increased access to Food Stamps.
Emergency health care recipients have been cut off this week.
A Senate committee will examine MnSCU payouts.
3M won a minor legal victory in its legal battle with the state of Minnesota.
3M says the Met Council polluted too.
Problem properties present a balancing act for cities.
GOP Sen. John Pederson calls for simpler vending rules. He made the comments after a local vendor failed to win a contract with the Department of Corrections.
Race for President
Mitt Romney won New Hampshire. Ron Paul got second. Jon Huntsman got third.
Conservative activists are now looking at South Carolina as the last best hope to defeat Romney.
Romney's campaign continues to work to ease concerns about Romney's work at Bain Capital.
Rick Perry characterizes Romney as a greedy Wall St. "vulture."
Ron Paul says he's nibbling at Romney's heels.
Race for Legislature
Democrats won big in two special legislative elections in Minneapolis.
Race for Congress
DFL state Rep. Ryan Winkler and other young professionals will hold a Thursday fundraiser for Democrat Rick Nolan. Nolan is running is aiming to challenge GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack.
Democrats are needling Cravaack on who he backed in the New Hampshire primary. Cravaack's family relocated to New Hampshire last year.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum is in Bangladesh. She recently met with the prime minister.
GOP Rep. John Kline is in Brazil with House Speaker John Boehner.
The Stillwater Bridge is still high on GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's agenda.
The U.S. Constitution will be on display at the Minnesota History Center from April 3 through July 4th.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint today with the Federal Election Commission against the Republican Party of Minnesota. The group says the Republican Party of Minnesota and its former chair Tony Sutton hid the party's debts. The complaint said the party failed to adequately report its debt even though it admitted in August that it committed the same violation in 2006.
"The Republican Party of Minnesota's FEC reports haven't reflected the party's actual financial condition for nearly a decade and make a mockery of the public's right to know," said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. "There appears to be ample evidence Mr. Sutton, repeatedly lied to FEC investigators for years to achieve the party's political goals."
Sutton resigned from the state party in early December after widespread criticism about the party's finances. Party officials announced later in the month that the Minnesota GOP could be up to $2 million in debt including $415,000 that was not previously reported.
Sloan also criticized the Federal Election Commission for failing to fully investigate the party's finances earlier.
"When CREW filed its initial complaint back in 2007 we asked the FEC to conduct a full audit of the RPM's finances, but the FEC declined," Sloan said. "If the commission had done its job, we wouldn't have to ask them to restart yet another botched investigation. Allowing such conduct to go unpunished reinforces the public's view that politics is a dirty, rigged game. The FEC continues to fail the American public."
No word yet on the Republican Party's response to the complaint, but RNC Committeeman Jeff Johnson said in December that the party would own up to its problems. He said party officials hired an attorney to work with the FEC on the problems and hoped that they wouldn't be fined because party officials brought the issue to light.
Here's a statement released by Republican Party Chair Pat Shortridge:
"As part of the Republican Party of Minnesota's internal review of party finances, which we reported to the State Central Committee and released to the media on December 31, we discovered additional party debt. Following on that disclosure, we contacted the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to self report that debt and seek guidance on how we should proceed. We are in the process of following those recommendations."
Common Cause Minnesota says the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board is also investigating the party's finances to see if there were any violations.
Gov. Mark Dayton says he has not seen Shakopee's new proposal for a Vikings stadium, but he's willing to consider it.
Dayton set a deadline for officials in Ramsey County and Minneapolis to present their finalized stadium proposals by Thursday evening. The mayor of Shakopee is now offering another stadium site, which is located near two state highways. Asked today about the late entery in the stadium sweepstakes, Dayton told reporters that he just learned about the Shakopee proposal. But Dayton said he'll consider all options.
"I don't think anything I've said would preclude that," Dyaton said. "Again, this is brand new to me, so I don't know what the -- I haven't looked at it at all. But sure, if they have a serious proposal and they want to submit it by by 5:00 tomorrow, I'd certainly be willing to look at it."
Shakopee officials are expected to outline their stadium plan late today during a Capitol news conference. The Vikings continue to prefer the Ramsey County site in Arden Hills.
An advisory panel sent a report to the state Legislature today calling for a $241 million renovation of the Minnesota Capitol Building.
Members of the capitol preservation commission did not recommend how to pay for the project. The report outlined scenarios using up to three bonding bills to cover the full cost. Republican Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem raised concerns about the estimated price tag. Senjem said he'd prefer taking an incremental approach to the needed renovations.
"In my view you ought to probably take a look at the outside shell first," Senjem said. "Let's get the thing stabilized, and beyond that let's incrementally look at the systems and find out what the priorities are. Whether it's ventilation, whether it's electric whether it's office space or whatever. Make some assessments of that, or decisions on it, and kind of incrementally move through this."
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton said the bonding proposal he'll unveil next week will not include the Capitol renovation, because that document is already at the printer. But Dayton said he hopes the Legislature considers at least part of the project during the 2012 session.
"We have to act," Dayton said. "I think it's clear that it's a public safety menace for the people who work here and the public that visits here."
Dayton said he would favor funding the renovation through no more than two bonding bills.
Posted at 1:05 PM on January 11, 2012
by Brett Neely
Filed under: U.S. House
WASHINGTON - Fourth District Congresswoman Betty McCollum is returning to the United States after a five day trip to Bangladesh where she focused on improving women's rights in the South Asian country.
According to McCollum's office, the DFL congresswoman met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Nobel Prize winner and microlending pioneer Muhammad Yunus and other dignitaries. She traveled with Ambassador Melanne Verveer, the State Department's point person for global women's issues.
This is the fourth overseas trip by McCollum in the past year. She's also visited Yemen, Israel and Tunisia.
At least one other member of Minnesota's congressional delegation is also abroad during this congressional recess. Republican Rep. John Kline is currently in South America on a delegation headed by House Speaker John Boehner.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton says he wants to give Minnesota businesses a $3,000 tax credit every time they hire some who is unemployed.
The proposal credit, which is the centerpiece of Dayton's jobs plan for the 2012 legislative session, would also apply to the hiring of veterans and recent graduates. Dayton says the plan is aimed at getting thousands of Minnesotans back to work. During a Capitol news conference today, Dayton said he also had a plan top pay for the new tax credits.
"We pay for that by closing some of the corporate loopholes to offset the $35 million price," Dyaton said. "It would put over 10,000 Minnesotans back to work, and I think that's a very good deal for Minnesota."
Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers said he supports the governor's goal but not his approach. In a news release, Zellers said Dayton's plan spends money without addressing critical reforms that businesses want, such as reduced regulations and a more competitive tax climate.