Vice-President Joe Biden will be in Minneapolis this morning to raise money for Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Biden will hold the fundraiser at The Hilton in downtown Minneapolis. Donors are being asked to give from $125 per person to $25,000 with the contributions shared by Klobuchar and the DFL Party. Biden has no public events scheduled during his visit.
Klobuchar, who is in her first-term, is considered a safe bet for reelection in November but Republicans say she can be beaten because she voted in favor of the bank bailouts, the federal stimulus and the federal health care law. Three Republicans are vying for their party's endorsement to challenge Klobuchar. They are state Representative Kurt Bills, Army veteran Pete Hegseth and former state Representative Dan Severson.
This isn't the first time Biden has held a private fundraiser in the state. He held a Minneapolis fundraiser for President Obama's reelection last May.
Democrat Tarryl Clark, who is running for Congress in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District, announced today that she raised $320,971 in the first three months of the year. The campaign reports having $418,266 in the bank.
"Our very strong fundraising quarter keeps Tarryl on course to beat Chip Cravaack," said Joe Fox, Clark's campaign manager said in a statement. "With 3,100 new donors in the past three months alone, and 93% of our donors giving $100 or less at a time, it's clear that Tarryl's commitment to fighting for Minnesota's families and communities is resonating."
Clark announced last month that she will not abide by the DFL endorsement process and will run in the August primary. Duluth City Council member Jeff Anderson and former Congressman Rick Nolan are the other Democrats running in the race. Anderson also says he'll run in a primary.
The DFL nominee will take on GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack, who is currently serving in his first-term. Both political parties are targeting the northeastern Minnesota congressional district in this year's election.
Cravaack, Anderson and Nolan have not released their fundraising totals yet. The deadline is April 15.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Reps. John Kline and Collin Peterson reported strong fundraising numbers in the first three months of 2012 as both incumbents prepare for elections this November.
Kline, a Republican who represents the 2nd District and chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee, raised just shy of $1.3 million. His campaign's bank account now has just over $1 million. The two DFLers seeking their party's endorsement to run against Kline this fall have not yet filed reports with the Federal Election Commission, which are due by April 15.
Peterson, the 7th District DFLer who's the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, collected more than $561,000 and has just over $752,000 in the bank. Peterson's Republican opponent, Lee Byberg, has not yet filed his quarterly fundraising reports with the FEC.
As veteran lawmakers with powerful committee positions, both reported significant contributions from political action committees tied to companies and industries under their committees' jurisdiction. Kline's campaign raised more than $545,000 from PACs and Peterson's brought in more than $460,000.
Posted at 2:29 PM on April 11, 2012
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: PoliGraph
Rep. Chip Cravaack is worried about Medicare.
In a press release posted on his website, the 8th Congressional District Republican defended his support for a plan aimed at making changes to the way the government funds health care coverage for the elderly. Democrats oppose the plan because they say it would effectively end Medicare.
To make his point, Cravaack writes that the number of Medicare beneficiaries is rising, but the number of workers per beneficiary is declining.
In 1965, when Medicare was created "8.6 working taxpayers supported each Medicare recipient," Cravaack wrote. "In fact, by 2003, around four workers supported each recipient, and by 2010, there were less than three workers per retiree."
Cravaack's statement exaggerates the trend.
Medicare Part A, which pays for inpatient hospital services, nursing home and hospice care, and in-home care, is financed mostly through payroll taxes, so its financial stability is directly related to the number of people working.
More elderly people are living longer and Americans are having fewer children. That means Medicare Part A has more enrollees than ever before, but fewer workers to support them financially. The trend is expected to continue as more baby boomers enroll in Medicare.
But Cravaack's numbers are only partially correct. In 1966, the year after Medicare was put into place, 4.5 workers supported every Medicare beneficiary, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
In subsequent years, the ratio generally got smaller. In 2003, 3.9 workers supported every Medicare beneficiary. In 2010, that number was down to 3.4 workers.
The downward trend is expected to continue, according to CMS. By 2030, roughly 80 million seniors are expected to be enrolled in Medicare, and there will be only 2.3 workers to support each beneficiary.
The first part of Cravaack's statement is false.
Cravaack's spokesman said 8.6 workers was a typo and the press release should have said 4.6 workers, which would have been more accurate. After being alerted by PoliGraph, his campaign changed its website, and so did the organization that Cravaack initially got his information from.
The second part of his statement leans toward accurate, though he's off somewhat on the number of workers supporting each beneficiary in 2010. Cravaack's underlying argument that there are fewer workers to support an aging population, a trend that could create future financial difficulties for Medicare, is correct.
For getting the first part of his statement false and the second part nearly right, Cravaack earns a True/False for this claim.
Medicare obligations must be protected and preserved, by Rep. Chip Cravaack, April 10, 2012
Kaiser Family Foundation, Historical and Projected Number of Medicare Beneficiaries and Number of Workers Per Beneficiary, accessed April 10, 2012
The Social Security Administration, What is Medicare, accessed April 10, 2012
Reasons for the Changes in Medicare Spending over Time, accessed April 10, 2012
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, How is Medicare Funded?, accessed April 10, 2012
Historical Data, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, April 11, 2012
Historical Data, Kaiser Family Foundation, April 11, 2012
Phone interview, Michael Bars, spokesman, Rep. Chip Cravaack, April 11, 2012
WASHINGTON - Allen West has a reputation for picking fights with other members of Congress. The first-term Florida Republican called U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz "vile" and said DFL U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim, represented "the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established." Now, West has gone after the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which co-chaired by Ellison.
At an event in Florida, West told an audience, "I believe there are about 78 or 81 members of the Democrat Party that are members of the Communist Party," West said, "It's called the Congressional Progressive Caucus."
While the CPC includes the most liberal members of Congress, none belong to the Communist Party although Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, has described himself as a socialist before.
"Calling fellow Members of Congress 'communists' is reminiscent of the days when Joe McCarthy divided Americans with name-calling and modern-day witch hunts that don't advance policies to benefit people's lives," said Ellison and fellow CPC co-chair U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva in a statement.
After West's spat with Wasserman-Schultz, both sides used the incident to raise money for their campaigns. Don't be surprised if the same thing happens this time.(5 Comments)