A top aide to Governor Dayton will lead the Vikings stadium authority.
The Legislature hired an outside lawyer to join the photo ID lawsuit.
The Senate is about to get hit with another big bill from the attorney representing the Senate in the Michael Brodkorb case.
Several Minneapolis fire fighters discussed their recent injuries during a hearing at the State Capitol.
U.S. jobless claims are higher in a still-sluggish economy.
Minnesota employers cut 900 jobs in May.
The BBC wonders whether it's "game over" for Greece.
Same-sex Marriage Amendment
Groups are reacting to General Mills' opposition to the marriage amendment.
The GAO says the feds have lost $80 million looking for Medicaid fraud.
Attorney General Eric Holder floats a deal with Congress on "Fast and Furious."
MPR says some Minnesota members of Congress delayed their financial filings.
DFL Sen. Al Franken said the Farm Bill could help biomass projects in northern Minnesota.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison questions whether the National Federation of Independent Businesses is truly the voice of small business. He argues small businesses benefit from the health care law and yet the NFIB is leading the way to defeat it.
War in Afghanistan
Taylor John Baune, a Marine from Andover, was killed in Afghanistan. He was 21.
Race for Congress
There are fewer women candidates running for U.S. House in Minnesota this year.
AP says Rick Nolan is making the case for a second act in Congress.
Race for U.S. Senate
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar will attend a private fundraiser at Lockgridge Grindal Nauen at noon today.
The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association announced that they're backing Klobuchar.
Politico takes a look inside the political operations of the Koch Brothers.
Aetna, a publicly traded company, accidentally disclosed its political donations to conservative groups. One of the beneficiaries is The American Action Network which is run for former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman.
Race for President
President Obama makes an appeal to independent voters.
Obama and Mitt Romney held dueling speeches on the economy in Ohio.
AP says Romney is contradicting himself when saying it's bad for private sector employees to lose their jobs but ok for public sector job cuts.
Obama acknowledges he made a gaffe when he said the private sector is "doing fine."
President Obama raised cash in NYC with some help from celebrities.
Tim Pawlenty is scheduled to campaign with Mitt Romney this weekend. In fact, CNN says all of the VP contenders will make the rounds.(1 Comments)
Posted at 10:38 AM on June 15, 2012
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Voter ID Amendment
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says he will not defend the ballot wording for a proposed photo ID constitutional amendment when the issue goes before the Minnesota Supreme Court next month.
Ritchie, a Democrat, is named as the defendant in the lawsuit brought by the ACLU and other groups opposed to the amendment, which would require voters to show photo identification at the polls. But in a letter to Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, Ritchie said he will not be filing a brief in the case.
Ritchie has been a vocal opponent of the Republican-backed amendment. Ritchie told the court he will honor its decision on whether the ballot question is accurate and complete, but he will not take a side in the legal challenge.
A spokeswoman for Ritchie said the office would not comment on the letter or the lawsuit.
The court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on July 17.
Posted at 2:00 PM on June 15, 2012
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: PoliGraph
When DFL Party Chair Ken Martin and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak got together this week for a conference call with reporters, they stressed several points the Obama campaign has been using to attack Republican candidate Mitt Romney on his jobs record as governor of Massachusetts.
Among them was this one:
"Massachusetts dropped from 36th all the way down to 47th in job creation when he was governor," said Martin.
Martin's numbers are right, but the claim deserves some context.
Romney has made his job creation record while governor of Massachusetts a cornerstone of his campaign.
But the Obama camp, including Martin, maintains Romney wasn't as successful as he says.
Massachusetts was ranked 35th in job growth between 1998 and 2002, the four years before Romney took office, and dropped to 47th while Romney was governor, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
In the four years after Romney left office, Massachusetts ranked 11th.
So, Martin's numbers are right on. But is it fair to blame Romney for these declines?
Not exactly, say economists in Massachusetts who also followed Romney's career.
First, the 2001-2002 recession was especially hard on Massachusetts, says Andy Bagley who is director of research and public affairs for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
"We had a substantial amount of venture capital investment in a lot of internet related-type companies, so when the internet bubble burst, we lost about 200,000 jobs," Bagley said. "We were one of five states that never recovered those 200,000 jobs fully before the next recession in 2008 and 2009."
Bagley also said that a governor shouldn't be blamed completely for job losses - or completely take credit for job gains.
Jeannette Wicks-Lim, a labor economist at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst agreed and pointed out that the same dynamic is playing out on a national level. Efforts by the Obama administration can affect job growth, but those efforts can be derailed by international forces.
"The economic and political turmoil in Europe over the future of the Eurozone and the slowdown in China's economic growth, for example, legitimately fuel anxiety over the future growth in the U.S. Downturns overseas will have a negative impact on our national economy," Wicks-Lim said.
Massachusetts' ranking was far more impressive after he left office, but that was largely due to the fact that the state's workforce was far less damaged by the second recession of 2008 and 2009, Bagley explained.
While job growth in states highly reliant on housing construction and retail declined compared to other states, Massachusetts' jobs numbers remained relatively stable because the state's economy has never relied much on housing development, Bagley said.
Ultimately both sides in the campaign will try to use jobs as an issue. And these economists say that job growth wasn't exactly stellar under Romney's tenure. Jobs grew by a net 30,000 over his four years in office, which Bagley said is "nothing to campaign on."
"There's nothing in Romney's record as governor that shows that he is a job creator," said Kevin Lang, an economics professor at Boston University. "The claim 'Look at my record in Massachusetts, I know how to create jobs,' is not borne out by the data."
Martin's numbers are correct. And while it's not entirely fair to pin blame on Romney for Massachusetts' dismal jobs ranking during his tenure, economists point out that Massachusetts didn't add many jobs while Romney was governor, either.
This claim leans toward accurate.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Non-Farm Seasonally Adjusted, accessed June 14, 2012
Factcheck.org, Romney's shaky jobs claim, By Lori Robertson and Robert Farley, Jan. 5, 2012
The Wall Street Journal, Obama Camp Attacks Romney's Record in Massachusetts, By Laura Meckler, May 31, 2012
The Boston Globe, Romney's economic record, By Andrew Sum and Joseph McLaughlin, July 29, 2007
PolitiFact.com, David Axelrod repeats claim that Massachusetts under Mitt Romney ranked 47th in job growth, Sunday, June 3rd, 2012, by Louis Jacobson
Interview, Andy Bagley, Director of Research and Public Affairs, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, June 14, 2012
Interview, Kevin Lang, economics professor, Boston University, June 14, 2012
E-mail, Jeannette Wicks-Lim, labor economist, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, June 15, 2012
Posted at 4:00 PM on June 15, 2012
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Voter ID Amendment
The Minnesota Supreme Court will allow the state Legislature to defend the wording of a ballot question for a photo ID constitutional amendment.
An order issued today allows the Minnesota House and Minnesota Senate to intervene in the lawsuit filed by amendment opponents to try to remove the question from the statewide ballot. The ACLU, League of Women Voters and other groups and individuals are claiming the question has mistakes and omissions.
The order denies intervention motions from state Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, and Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, who were the chief authors of the photo ID constitutional amendment bill. An intervention motion from the group Minnesota Majority was also denied. However, the group and the two legislators are allowed to file amicus briefs.
The court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case on July 17.