Posted at 6:08 AM on July 12, 2012
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Daily Digest
Welcome to the Daily Digest, where a special session is scheduled for August, Bills challenges Klobuchar to more debates, the House votes on health care repeal again, and Romney gets a lukewarm reception at the NAACP conference.
Gov. Mark Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature have agreed to a special session to approve flood assistance for northeastern Minnesota.
In Minneapolis, there have been 63 unsolved murders in five years.
U.S. Senate Campaign
Rep. Kurt Bills says he's about 26 percentage points behind his opponent, Sen. Amy Klobuchar. He also wants her to agree to more debates.
The U.S. House voted for the 33rd time to repeal or defund the health care bill. As in the past, the effort is unlikely to go anywhere in the Senate.
The Minnesota delegation voted along party lines for the repeal bill.
Food stamps, not subsidies, are the focus of House farm bill debate.
The Presidential Campaign
Mitt Romney was booed during a speech to the NAACP.
BuzzFeed reports that Romney is struggling to lock in New York delegates.
Before he was his surrogate, Gov. Tim Pawlenty was a frequent critic of Romney's Massachusetts health care plan.
The AP writes that being "suitable but not a standout" makes Pawlenty a serious VP candidate.
Conservatives want Romney to be more aggressive in the general election.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney will host a fundraiser for Romney this week. It costs $30,000 a couple to attend.
The PoliGraph says a claim made by R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis mayor and prominent surrogate for President Barack Obama, is a mixed bag.
Mother Jones reports that Romney invested in Chinese firms that profited from US outsourcing.
The Obama campaign has a new ad up hitting Romney for wanting to increase taxes on middle class families.
WASHINGTON - While this year's campaign for the 6th Congressional District isn't on track to draw the record fundraising of 2010's contest between incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and DFLer Tarryl Clark, all signs do point to an expensive race.
DFL candidate and hotel owner Jim Graves reports raising $412,000 this past quarter from nearly 1,000 new contributors. But one contributor dwarfed the rest: Graves himself, who loaned his campaign $150,000 this quarter. Last quarter, Graves contributed $100,000 to his campaign, bringing his total investment in unseating Bachmann up to $250,000.
"What is clear is that momentum is building around the Jim Graves campaign," said Graves' spokesman Donald McFarland.
If elected, Graves would be one of the wealthiest members of Congress according to financial disclosure forms he filed with the U.S. House. Bachmann has pointed to Graves' wealth in fundraising emails to supporters.
"We will not be able to match his personal campaign war chest," Bachmann wrote on June 27th, "I need your immediate donation to ensure we have the resources necessary to run a winning campaign."
Still, Bachmann's campaign is hardly hurting for funds. She raised $579,000 last quarter and has $642,000 in the bank.
Posted at 1:23 PM on July 12, 2012
by Brett Neely
Filed under: U.S. House
WASHINGTON - As the election has drawn nearer and nearer, there have been more show votes and less lawmaking on Capitol Hill. But one measure that is headed to President Obama's desk this week pushed by DFL U.S. Rep. Tim Walz attempts to ease the transition from military to civilian life.
Veterans returning home from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have faced high unemployment. The most recent figures from the Labor Department peg the unemployment rate for young veterans at 9.5 percent, above the national 8.2 percent rate.
The Veteran Skills to Jobs Act introduced by Walz and California Republican Jeff Denham was approved by the House on Monday and received Senate approval on Wednesday.
The legislation ensures that vets don't have to acquire costly
statefederally-mandated professional certifications for jobs they already learned how to do while serving in the military. Walz mentioned emergency medical technicians and many technical fields as areas affected by the legislation.
"We spend $140 billion a year training soldiers," said Walz. "Let's capitalize on that investment by making sure we don't send them back to school on the GI Bill and spend more money when they're already qualified for those jobs."
A companion bill introduced by Walz and Republican Steve Stivers of Ohio that would affect state-mandated certifications for nurses, nursing assistants, EMTs and commercial drivers received approval from the House Veterans Affairs Committee Wednesday.
WASHINGTON - The money race for Congress is heating up. Hours after her DFL opponent Jim Graves reported raising more than $400,000 for his election bid, Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's announced a massive $1.7 million haul for the three months ending on June 30th.
Bachmann made the announcement on Twitter, saying, "Thank you to my supporters! You gave more than 40,000 contributions, averaging <$45. More than $1.7 million from so many is humbling."
Her official report with the Federal Election Commission won't be available until this weekend but Bachmann's fundraising was likely energized by the Supreme Court's June 28th decision upholding the health care law that Bachmann has staked her career on opposing. In the hours after the ruling, Bachmann's campaign issued fundraising appeals to conservatives who are eager to see the law repealed.
Unlike many other campaigns that are issuing their fundraising numbers ahead of this Sunday's FEC deadline, Bachmann's didn't disclose how much cash it's sitting on - a possible sign of heavy spending. Bachmann's rump presidential campaign committee continues to be saddled with more than a million dollars in debt since she ended her bid for the White House in January.(5 Comments)
Democrat Tarryl Clark reports raising
$210,302 $232,128 from April 1 through June 30, bringing her total fundraising for the 2012 cycle to more than $1 million. Clark, who is running for Congress in Minnesota's 8th District, reports raising $1,054,865 for the election cycle. She has $259,022 in the bank.
Clark started running TV ads with the hopes of boosting her name identification heading into the August primary. She's running in the DFL primary against former DFL Rep. Rick Nolan and former Duluth City Council member Jeff Anderson. Every member of the DFL delegation and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak have held fundraisers for Nolan, who has the DFL endorsement.
The winner of the August 14 primary will challenge GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack in November. It's expected to be the most competitive Congressional race in the state this cycle.
Cravaack, Nolan and Anderson have not yet released their fundraising reports yet.
(This report was updated to reflect that Clark's fundraising also included other receipts like dividends and interest that weren't contributions)
The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 announced today that it is backing Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack for Congress. In a statement, the union said its members strongly supported the 8th district congressman over the three DFL candidates running to replace him.
"Ultimately the membership decided we needed to take our partisan hats off, keep political party affiliation out of it, and make an evidence based decision," the release said.
The union noted that Cravaack supports several efforts that labor likes, including increased mineral exploration and mining in the northeastern Minnesota district. It also noted that he worked to protect union interests as well.
"When we took a look at Congressman Cravaack's term in office, it became clear that he has done a good job of staying away from partisan Washington politics, and really focusing on bread and butter issues that are important to construction workers in his district. He is not afraid to stand up to his party when he disagrees with their direction, and his votes reflect that."
The union has roughly 13,000 members in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota but the endorsement will help Cravaack make inroads into a group that traditionally supports Democrats. Cravaack is expected to face a tough reelection battle. Former Duluth City Council member Jeff Anderson, former state Sen. Tarryl Clark and former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan are all running in the DFL primary.
Here's the full statement:
Local 49 8th CD Endorsement Release
Posted at 9:48 PM on July 12, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The International Union of Operating Engineers announced that it supports GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack's reelection bid. The move will allow Cravaack to note on signs, in ads and in campaign lit that he's "Labor Endorsed" in a union friendly district.
One of Cravaack's DFL opponents, Tarryl Clark, announced that she raised more than $1 million for the campaign. She has $259k in the bank. Clark faces Rick Nolan and Jeff Anderson in the DFL Primary in August. Cravaack, Nolan and Anderson have not released their fundraising numbers yet.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann reports raising $1.7 million in the last quarter. Her campaign wouldn't say how much she has in the bank.
Bachmann's DFL opponent, Jim Graves, reported raising $400k in the last quarter. He has personally loaned his campaign $250k since he entered the race.
Under the Dome
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson tries to push forward her case against Accretive.
The DNR released their final plans for the first wolf hunt.
A new report says Asian Carp could reach all five Great Lakes.
Jobless claims hit a 4-year low.
Republican leaders may delay a vote on a bill that would cut food stamps.
The proposed cuts would affect Minnesotans.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann says the health care vote is an "appetizer."
Lawmakers are furious over a U.S. Olympic uniform that was made in China.
DFL Sen. Al Franken's campaign disclosure bill will get a vote next week.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison calls on GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann to list the sources of information that prompted her to call for a probe into whether the Muslim Brotherhood has influenced the federal government.
Syria's revolt reaches deeper into Damascus.
Race for President
Mitt Romney has some explaining to do about his tenure at Bain Capital. For months, he has said his tenure at Bain ended in 1999.
But the Boston Globe and others say documents now conflict with that statement. Why does it matter? Bain engaged in outsourcing after 1999 and would put Romney right in the middle of it.
Mother Jones is reporting that Romney used his Bermudan Company to invest in Chinese outsourcing.
Fortune Magazine says it has documents supporting Romney's claims.
Politico is reporting that some Republicans are worried about the Bain barrage.
The House GOP Campaign chief says Romney's finances are fair game.
Fact Check says there is "little new" in the Boston Globe story.
Romney released an ad earlier yesterday that said Obama was a "president that you can't trust."
CBS News interviewed President Obama. He said his biggest mistake over the first two years in office was focusing on policy as opposed to story telling.
VP Joe Biden told the NAACP that President Obama stands by his convictions.
Former VP Dick Cheney held a fundraiser for Romney on Thursday.