Posted at 6:51 AM on April 12, 2012
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Daily Digest
Welcome to the Daily Digest, where lawyers oppose the same-sex marriage amendment, Ellison fires back at a colleague's communism accusation, and Biden praises Klobuchar at a fundraiser.
DFLers are saying state Republicans are conducting a 'do-nothing' session.
Vice President Joe Biden praised Sen. Amy Klobuchar at a fundraiser yesterday, according to the Star Tribune.
William Mitchell College of Law faculty passed a resolution Wednesday morning opposing a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage on the grounds that it would discriminate against gays and lesbians.
Twin Cities home sales and prices were up in March.
At the same time, foreclosure notices were up in the first quarter of this year compared to a year ago.
Former Best Buy CEO is being investigated for having an inappropriate relationship with a staffer.
Oak Park Heights officials are not sold on St. Croix River Crossing.
As Minnesota's construction season begins, the economy is showing signs of improvement.
It's a mixed bag on the PoliGraph for Rep. Chip Cravaack's claim about Medicare.
Florida GOP Rep. Allen West said that there are "about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party."
The House Progressive Caucus, which is co-chaired by Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison, responded saying, "When people like Rep. West have no ideals or principles, they rely on personal attacks."
Money and Politics
GOP Rep. John Kline and DFL Rep. Collin Peterson grow their campaign warchests.
Tarryl Clark raised $320k in first quarter of this year.
On the Campaign Trail
With Rick Santorum's departure from the race, evangelicals are edging toward Mitt Romney.
Romney outlined his first-day-in-office agenda.
Romney and GOP Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan are bonding over Ryan's budget proposal.
Newt Gingrich says his backers want him to stay in the race.
The Washington Post reports the so-called Buffett Rule won't do what President Barack Obama promises it will do.
This morning, the Daily Circuit will look at how young people will influence the November elections.
WASHINGTON - DFL U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum raised more than $123,000 toward her re-election campaign in the first three months of 2012. The veteran St. Paul lawmaker has more than $222,000 in the bank, her campaign said Thursday.
McCollum has raised less than other members of the Minnesota congressional delegation who have announced their figures so far.
GOP candidate Dan Flood dropped out of the race for the Republican endorsement last month, and McCollum's only rival is Republican Anthony Hernandez, who has not yet filed his fundraising paperwork. Hernandez had been competing for the GOP endorsement for the U.S. Senate race but left that contest in favor of taking on McCollum last month.
In his strongest comments to date, Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers is suggesting the Minnesota House could vote on a Vikings stadium plan before the end of session. Zellers, who has been reluctant to commit to whether the House would vote on such a plan, now says there's a likelihood it can happen. In an interview with MPR News, Zellers said the Vikings stadium bill cleared both the House Commerce Committee and the House Rules Committee in the past few weeks.
"We've said all along that if it continues to move through the process, which last week with some pretty good pace, moving through two committees in one week is a lot better pace than you've seen so far," Zellers said. "We're committed to a fair process, and if it can move along like that and continues to move along like that, I think you'll see a vote this year."
Zellers said the delay in both the House was caused by debate over whether there was a sufficient backup funding plan in place to ensure that no general fund money would go to the stadium. The more than $975 million stadium plan relies on $400 million in state funding, $150 million from the city of Minneapolis and $427 million from the Vikings. The state plan relies on money generated from allowing charities to operate electronic pull-tabs in bars and restaurants. The plan also legalizes sports-themed tip boards which would be used to give charities a tax break.
Several lawmakers, including Zellers, said they were concerned the projected annual revenue estimates from the electronic pull-tabs would never materialize. They wanted a back-up plan to ensure the state's general fund wasn't used to pay for the stadium.
The bill was changed to require other revenue sources "blink on." Those funding sources include a tax on luxury boxes, a sports-themed lottery game, an admissions tax at the stadium and reserve funds from Hennepin county sales taxes used to build Target Field.
The House Government Operations Committee is likely to hold a hearing on the bill next week. The Vikings stadium bill is currently stalled in a Senate committee but GOP leaders are working to get the bill moving.
"It's active," GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem said last week. "We're trying to thread that needle."
Gov. Dayton has been pushing for the House and Senate to vote on the bill before the end of session.
Zellers comments come as the House and Senate are on a 10-day Easter/Passover break. Lawmakers return to St. Paul on Monday with the hopes of wrapping up the session by the end of the month.
It also comes as the state's two largest business groups have ramped up their lobbying for the stadium. Lobbyists for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Business Partnership have both confirmed that they are contacting lawmakers on the stadium. Minnesota Business Partnership executive director Charlie Weaver said CEOs of EcoLab, U.S. Bancorp, Wells Fargo and General Mills have all contacted GOP leadership on the issue.
"It's not going away," Weaver said of the stadium debate. "Rep. Zellers is hearing the love of the business community for the stadium on this deal."
Weaver said the stadium also has the strong support of the state's labor unions. He said that should help deliver DFL votes to get the deal done.
House GOP leaders say they want to finish the legislative session on or before April 30 but the constitutional deadline to adjourn May 21.(2 Comments)