Republicans start their push for a constitutional amendment that outlaws mandatory union membership. They held a news conference on Thursday to announce that they were introducing a bill.
Tidbit: Union activists believe there are at least ten solid no votes in the House Republican caucus right now. Some others have approached the Speaker of the House to ask him not to allow a floor vote on the amendment.
Plans have been approved for conservation projects.
In a rare move, the state shut down a child care center.
Iron Range Democrats are seeking money to develop the Lake Vermilion park.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis will lead Gov. Dayton's group that will examine state aid to cities.
Democrats in the Minnesota Senate are pressing Republican leaders for more information about their preparations for a potential lawsuit alleging wrongful termination.
AP says former staffer Michael Brodkorb's chances of winning a lawsuit against the Senate would be slim.
Rolling Stone profiles the problems with Anoka-Hennepin schools.
The electronic pull-tab plan has a higher projected take.
U.S. officials are concerned about Israel's statements on Iran.
A Swiss bank has been indicted by the U.S. on fraud charges.
The Senate passed the STOCK act. It will also get a vote in the U.S House after GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor relented to public pressure. DFL Rep. Tim Walz is the chief backer of the bill in the House.
At a national prayer breakfast, President Obama said his politics are an extension of his religion.
The White House is proposing a plan that they say will lure jobs to the U.S.
Republicans in the House are working to repair their image.
Republicans went after Attorney General Eric Holder in a hearing.
DFL Sen. Al Franken is asking Komen to reconsider their decision regarding ending funds for Planned Parenthood.
Update: DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar also wrote a letter asking Komen to reconsider.
American Crystal Union will fight the U.S. sugar program.
The Labor Department backs off a new limit on child farm labor.
The Star Tribune reports that behind the scenes efforts to get a new Congressional map has fallen short among Minnesota's delegation. Read the last graph first. It's not happening and didn't have much chance to begin with since those who had the power to make it happen in St. Paul didn't even know about it. The courts drop the map on Feb. 21.
Race for Congress
Two people with knowledge of the endorsements say Duluth Mayor Don Ness and DFL state Rep. Tom Rukavina will back Jeff Anderson's bid for Congress today.
The DFL candidates in the 3rd District will participate in an online debate today at 11am.
Race for U.S. Senate
The GOP candidates met in Two Harbors.
Hubbard Broadcasting gave $100,000 to Karl Rove's Super PAC.
Funny men (and women) gave to Franken.
Norm Coleman and Vin Weber's Super PAC raised $130,000.
Race for President
Donald Trump backs Mitt Romney.
Romney is also working to contain his comments regarding the "poor." He said he "misspoke."
Ron Paul will campaign in Minnesota on Saturday and Monday.
Rick Santorum will be in Bemidji on Sunday.
House Speaker Kurt Zellers and GOP House Majority Leader Matt Dean will back Romney.(4 Comments)
WASHINGTON - DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar has sent her own letter to the Susan G. Komen Foundation expressing concern about the group's decision this week the end funding to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening programs.
Critics of the decision say Komen gave in to pressure from groups opposed to legal abortion that have sought to weaken Planned Parenthood's funding in the past year. Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the United States.
"I believe this decision is counter to the goals of Komen's mission of protecting women's health and I urge you to reconsider your decision," wrote Klobuchar to Komen CEO Nancy Brinker.
DFL Sen. Al Franken signed a letter sent by 25 other Democratic Senators also expressing concern that the decision was politically motivated.
Here's a copy of Klobuchar's letter.(15 Comments)
Posted at 4:46 PM on February 3, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2012
Ron Paul's campaign for president announced today that former Republican Party Chair Chris Georgacas is backing the Texas Congressman's campaign.
"In my many years in politics, I have learned that most candidates talk about small government and personal freedom, only to turn around and work for the exact opposite after election," Georgacas said in a statement. "But there is one man who is an exception to this depressing rule -- and that's Ron Paul. He has been thoroughly consistent to his principles throughout his service in Congress. What Ron Paul says exactly matches what he believes and what he does."
Georgacas was chair of the Minnesota Republican Party from 1993 to 1997. He is also an active fundraiser for Republican candidates and Republican causes. He chaired Tim Pawlenty's first campaign for governor in 2002 and Tom Emmer's unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2010.
He also directs Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting, the non-profit group that is raising money for the Republican Party's redistricting efforts in Minnesota.
A few days before the state's caucuses, Mitt Romney has announced a slate of support from Minnesota lawmakers and Republican activists.
Among them are House Speaker Kurt Zellers and House Majority Leader Matt Dean.
"This wide-ranging support shows that my message of a smaller, simpler, and smarter federal government is resonating with Minnesotans as it is with voters across the country," Romney said in a press release. I'm counting on these leaders to help me spread this message in the months to come."
Romney won the state's 2008 caucus handily with 41 percent of the vote.
Zellers said he was endorsing Romney because "he will work to improve the economy, reduce burdensome regulations and reverse economic policies that expand government rather than private sector job growth."
Here's the full list of Romney's support:
Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers
House Majority Leader Matt Dean
Senator Roger Chamberlain
Representative Kurt Daudt
Representative Dan Fabian
Representative Joe Hoppe
Representative Jennifer Loon
Representative Linda Runbeck
Representative Tim Sanders
Former Executive Director, Minnesota College Republicans Tara Anderson
Former Mayor of New Brighton and former 4th district GOP Chair Bev Aplikowski
Former National Committeewoman Evie Axdahl
Republican Activist Dirk Bak
Former Republican Candidate for Minnesota Attorney General Chris Barden
Republican Activist Andy Brehm
Republican Activist Ward Brehm
Former State Representative Laura Brod
Republican Activist Mike Campbell
Former Chairman, Republican Party of Minnesota Ron Eibensteiner
Republican Activist John Frydenlund
Republican Activist Matthew Gall
Republican Activist and co-founder, Cool Conservative Betsy Gall
Former Chairman, Minnesota College Republicans Jake Grassel
Minnesota Republican Party 4th Congressional District Officer Mary Igo
Former Minnesota Republican Party 4th Congressional District Chair Pat Igo
Small Business Owner Gary Iocco
Former Minnesota Republican Party Vice-Chairwoman Chris Jacobson
Republican Activist Greg Johnson
Minnesota Republican Party BPOU Chair Pat Kaluza
Republican Activist Matt Kirkpatrick
Republican Activist Carrie Kirkpatrick
Former State Representative Paul Kohls
Republican Activist Lisa Laliberte Belak
Vice President of Trade Marketing, General Mills Lohr LeSueur
Minnesota Republican Party 8th Congressional District Chair Ted Lovdahl
Mayor of Brooklyn Park Jeff Lunde
Republican Activist Lynn McHale
Former National Committeeman & Chairman of Romney for President Steering Committee Jack Meeks
Former Executive Director, Minnesota Republican Party Corey Miltimore
Republican Activist William Opsahl
Republican Activist Andy Post
Republican Activist Jeff Quinnell
Chairman of the BPOU Chairs Joe Salmon
Former Treasurer, College Republican National Committee and 7th Congressional District Vice Chair Chris Tiedeman
Former Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Bob Weinholzer
Former BPOU Chair Janet Weir
Former BPOU Chair Gerald Woodley
A leading anti-tax group is criticizing some of the most conservative members of the Legislature for breaking a pledge not to raise taxes.
"Why Do Politicians Break Their Promises?" was the headline of e-mail alert from the Taxpayers League of Minnesota.
The group called on its members to contact seven Republican lawmakers and ask them why they're backing legislation that would allow the state's horse tracks to operate slot machines.
The lawmakers being targeted are some of the fiercest opponents of government spending. They include Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Shakopee, Rep. Linda Runbeck, R-Circle Pines, Rep. Bob Gunther, R-Fairmont, Rep. Bob Barrett, R-Shafer, Rep. Andrea Kieffer, R-Woodbury, Rep. Branden Peterson, R-Andover and Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca.
Runbeck is a former president of the Taxpayers League. Parry is running for Congress in Minnesota's 1st District.
Taxpayers League President Phil Krinkie says it's a tax increase because the state would take a cut of the money from the machines, to pay for things like fixing the school funding shift, renovating the state Capitol building and financing a Vikings stadium. He said he's surprised lawmakers who called for holding the line on spending are now backing an expansion of gambling in Minnesota.
"There was a call from some of these very same people of 'not a penny more.' So how do you go with the math in a few months from 'not a penny more' to a couple a hundred million more?," Krinkie said.
Parry said he's surprised anyone would consider the so-called Racino legislation a tax hike. He called gambling a "voluntary activity."
"Gambling is a game of choice," Parry said. "You don't have to gamble if you don't want to. We have gambling in the state of Minnesota. This is not feeding the beast."
Krinkie said the state's tribes, which own and operate casinos in Minnesota, have given money to his organization, but he said that has nothing to do with his group's stance on the issue. He said the league is concerned about any effort to increase state spending.