Posted at 12:01 AM on August 3, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Gov. Dayton and other lawmakers are putting a task force together to help determine how to redevelop the Sartell paper mill. The action comes after Verso Paper won't rebuild in Sartell meaning 260 people who worked at the plant before the explosion are without work.
Gov. Dayton, DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and several GOP legislators will visit Sartell today.
The Legislature has scheduled a hearing that focuses on flood relief for northeastern Minnesota.
The latest unemployment report will be released today. Job growth figures appear to be going sideways.
President Obama will talk taxes and jobs at a morning speech.
A pile of bills has been left behind as Congress heads home to campaign.
House GOP leaders pushed through a bill to provide drought relief after abandoning the Farm Bill.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson voted for the drought relief bill. He still chastised the House GOP for failing to bring the full Farm Bill to the House floor for a vote.
DFL Rep. TIm Walz compared the drought relief bill to "patching a roof when it's raining."
A report says the drought has intensified in the Plains States.
The drought has muddied the politics of ethanol.
DFL Sen. Al Franken and DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar want President Obama to coordinate a wider plan to deal with the drought.
Airport screeners have reached a contract agreement with the federal government.
The IRS is missing billions from ID theft.
A government report says tax cheats are getting paid by Medicaid.
The Mayo Clinic settled a false billing suit with the federal government.
Special interests win at a Senate panel's attempt at tax reform.
Lawmakers complain about trackers.
A former National Security Council member writes an op-ed saying GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's comments regarding the federal government and the Muslim Brotherhood is the poison of public innuendo.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen gets a temporary promotion on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Count Them All Properly Inc. is seeking more time on a Campaign Finance Board order to file as a committee.
Race for Congress
GOP House Speaker John Boehner says he's confident of his party's chances of keeping the majority in the House.
The abortion issue enters the 8th District DFL primary battle between state Sen. Tarryl Clark and former Rep. Rick Nolan.
The political arm for Emily's List, which is backing Clark, sent out campaign mailings questioning Rick Nolan's voting record on abortion. Nolan says his views has changed since those votes.
The Mankato Free Press says Michele Bachmann's fundraiser for Allen Quist didn't raise as much money as Quist initially stated.
AP says there is big spending by GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and DFLer Jim Graves in Minnesota's 6th District.
Keith Ellison's DFL primary opponent, who lives in West Virginia, is running so he can showcase graphic anti-abortion ads on local TV.
Race for President
Americans for Prosperity, backed by the Koch Brothers, will spend $23 million in ads on 11 states through September. Minnesota is one of the states.
Ad spending in the presidential race has reached the half a billion dollar mark.
President Obama is running an ad that says Mitt Romney would raise middle class taxes to "lower his own."
Mitt Romney's image is sinking in the latest Pew Poll.
Romney released a five-point plan for the middle class.
Michael Moore says he's not sure whether he would "say I support Obama" but will vote for him.
An attempt at purging Ron Paul delegates in Maine has sparked a civil war in that state's party.
Posted at 11:06 AM on August 3, 2012
by Brett Neely
Filed under: Campaign 2012, Campaign 2012: U.S. House, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD1, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD2, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD3, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD4, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD5, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD6, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD7, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD8, Campaign 2012: U.S. Senate
WASHINGTON - Although candidates for federal office were required to file campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission just a few weeks ago to cover their 2nd quarter fundraising, they're filing more paperwork now ahead of next month's primary elections. This reporting period covers just the 25 days between the close of the old period on June 30 and July 25.
Here's where things stand:
- Incumbent U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar brought in $131,996 in July, bringing her total fundraising to date to just a shade under $8 million. The Democrat's campaign spent about $215,000 in the same period, eating slightly into her cash but leaving Klobuchar with a still-large war chest of nearly $5.4 million. About $90,000 of Klobuchar's donations came from donors who have more than $200 and from political action committees.
While the FEC deadline for posting campaign finance reports was midnight on Aug. 2, as of noon on Aug. 3, Klobuchar's likely Republican rival state Rep. Kurt Bills had not posted his fundraising figures. In an email, a campaign spokesman said he was looking into the matter.
CD 1 - Rep. Tim Walz, the DFL incumbent in this district, continues to outraise his two GOP opponents. Walz brought in $27,845 compared to $18,800 by Allan Quist and $8,890 by state Sen. Mike Parry. Walz kept his campaign spending to a modest $28,611 in July and his war chest has more $807,000 compared to nearly $118,000 for Quist and nearly $28,000 for Parry. Almost all of Walz's contributions came from donors who gave more than $200 and political action committees.
CD 2 - Incumbent Republican Rep. John Kline brought in $109,780, bringing his total raised this cycle to just over $1.8 million. Of those contributions, more than $96,000 came from donors giving more than $200 and political action committees. Kline's campaign spent more than $91,000 in the 25 days recorded in July and has more than $1.3 million in the bank for the contest this fall.
His DFL challenger, Mike Obermueller, raised $54,505 in July and has thus far brought in $275,000 since entering the race. Obermueller has $227,283 cash on hand and his campaign's operating expenses hit $41,391 during the reporting period. The Obermueller campaign has also taken on $32,500 worth of debt so far. More than $45,000 of Obermueller's contributions campaign from donors giving more than $200 and PACs.
CD 3 - Erik Paulsen, the Republican who represents western suburbs of Minneapolis, is the delegation's biggest fundraiser not named Bachmann. But Paulsen's campaign raised $54,309 in July, a relatively small total for him, bringing his total fundraising this term to more than $2.2 million. Paulsen's campaign spent a little more than $51,000 and his cash on hand is nearly $1.6 million. Almost $43,000 of Paulsen's fundraising came from large donors and PACs.
Paulsen's DFL challenger, Brian Barnes, raised $26,735, bringing his total to date to $217,000. Barnes' campaign spent more than $33,000 in July and has about $50,000 in the bank.
CD 4 - Incumbent DFLer Betty McCollum raised the least of any sitting member from Minnesota, bringing in $12,270 in July for a total to date of $658,123. Still, that's more than double what Republican-endorsed challenger Anthony Hernandez brought in, $5,700. McCollum has $170,199 cash in the bank, compared to $5,370 for Hernandez. McCollum's campaign spent more than $48,000 in July while Hernandez spent $2,506.
CD 5 - Rep. Keith Ellison, the DFL incumbent representing Minneapolis and the inner suburbs, brought in $103,890 in July and has raised more than $1.4 million since January 2011. However, Ellison's campaign spent even more, $111,370, during July, and Ellison ended the reporting period with $126,481 in the bank and no debt. Nearly $69,000 of Ellison's current fundraising came from large donors and PACs.
Republican challenger Chris Fields raised $31,126 bringing his fundraising to date to $113,886. Fields' campaign spent $13,299 and sits on $51,609 in the bank. Large donors contributed $10,600 to his campaign and no PACs gave him money.
CD 6 - Expect to see huge sums spent on this race. Incumbent Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann has a huge fundraising and cash advantage over DFL challenger Jim Graves. Two thirds of her contributions came from small donors who gave less than $200. She raised nearly $1.1 million in 25 days compared to Graves' $64,482. Bachmann also spent big, dropping nearly $700,000 in the same period compared to the $116,000 spent by Graves. Bachmann has more than $2 million in the bank while Graves has about $350,000 on hand but also has $250,000 in debt due to loans he's made his campaign.
CD 7 - Veteran DFL Rep. Collin Peterson pulled in $67,438 in July and has now raised more than $821,000 since his term started in January 2011. His campaign spent almost as much as he raised in July -- $68,057 -- and ends the period with almost exactly $800,000 in the bank. More than $57,000 of Peterson's donations came from large donors and PACs.
Lee Byberg, the Republican who hopes to replace Peterson, raised $25,677. But his campaign's $50,320 worth of spending far outstripped his fundraising and Byberg ends the period with $91,920 in the bank.
CD 8 - This is likely to be Minnesota's most contested race in the fall with Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack defending his seat for the first time after a long DFL lock on the district. Cravaack brought in $59,005 in July, bringing his total fundraising to a hair under $1.5 million. His campaign spent $39,000 and has $916,000 on hand. About $37,000 of Cravaack's fundraising came from large donors and PACs.
Former state Sen. Tarryl Clark, one of three DFLers running in a primary for the chance to compete against Cravaack, was the strongest fundraiser in the district in July. Her campaign raised $65,509 and has raised more than $1.1 million overall. But ahead of the primary, Clark's campaign is spending heavily -- $225,821 -- and she has a little less than $99,000 on hand. Thanks to Democratic grassroots funding networks, Clark raised about two thirds of her fundraising in July from small donors.
Former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, who received the DFL endorsement in the 8th District, brought in $27,618 and has raised $357,655 since entering the race. Nolan's campaign spent about $33,000 in July and has a little less than $88,000 on hand. Most of Nolan's funds came from large donors.
Former Duluth City Council President Jeff Anderson lags the other two DFL challengers, bringing in $8,031 in July for a total so far of $172,359. His campaign spent more than twice as much -- $19,285 -- in the same period, and Anderson has just $7,238 in the bank.
The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today that it is recommending four candidates for a vacancy on Minnesota's Supreme Court.
The candidates are Ramsey County District Court Judge Tanya Bransford, Minnesota Court of Appeals judges Margaret Chutich and Wilhelmina Wright and former U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug.
Lillehaug is best known for his work in DFL politics and constitutional cases. He worked on the 2008 U.S Senate recount and the 2010 gubernatorial recount. He successfully challenged Minnesota's handgun permit law and also worked on lawsuit that challenged then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty's unilateral budget cuts through a process known as unallotment in 2009.
Wright chaired the 2010 Redistricting panel that drew the state's political boundaries.
Bransford manages a block of civil, felony and property cases in Ramsey County and currently works as the presiding Juvenile Court judge.
Chutich serves as Assistant Dean at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs and also was a deputy state attorney general.
Dayton's office says the governor will make the appointment to the Supreme Court after he interviews the four candidates.
This will be Dayton's first appointment to the high court. He'll be filling a vacancy created when Justice Helen Meyer leaves. She announced her retirement earlier this year.
As former Gov. Tim Pawlenty waits to hear whether he is Mitt Romney's choice for running mate some parts of his record are showing up again in the news.
The latest example is a piece published by the Guardian in England today that resurrects a story first reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press back in 2003.
The story details nearly $60,000 Pawlenty earned from a telecommunications firm owned by a close political ally as he was running for governor the first time, money that Pawlenty did not report as income during the campaign. He later revised disclosure forms to report the money.
Democrats tell the Guardian they intend to exploit the incident if Pawlenty ends up on the GOP ticket, in part because Pawlenty then, like Romney now, refused to release his income tax returns.
St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing says she will not pursue criminal charges against former Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton. Grewing said today that it would be difficult to prove criminal wrongdoing beyond a reasonable doubt.
"While the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board did an extremely thorough job investigating this matter and assessing civil penalties, its finding of probably cause of a criminal violation does not necessarily merit a criminal prosecution. While Mr. Sutton's actions are troubling, and indeed go to the heart of what Minnesota's Campaign Finance System is created to avoid, we believe that we would not be able to prove his criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt in court."
The executive director of Common Cause Minnesota requested Grewing file criminal charges against Sutton for his actions related to a fund created to help in the 2010 gubernatorial recount. The Campaign Finance Board fined Sutton $3,000 for circumventing campaign finance laws. Sutton still faces other penalties. Common Cause also filed a complaint with the Office of Administrative Hearings to investigate Sutton, the Republican Party of Minnesota and the recount fund known as Count Them All Properly.
Here's Grewing's letter:1 Comments)
WASHINGTON - The Kurt Bills U.S. Senate campaign has been making busy lately playing up comparisons with the late Paul Wellstone's shoestring 1990 U.S. Senate campaign. Like Wellstone, one of Bills' campaign props has been a retired school bus he's taking across the state.
But according to the latest pre-primary filings the Bills campaign has made with the Federal Election Commission, that school bus, along with thousands spent on polling and consultants, has nearly emptied the campaign's already-threadbare coffers.
As of July 25, Bills, a Republican, reported having just $5,841 in the bank. His opponent, DFL U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, has more than 900 times as much cash for her campaign -- nearly $5.4 million.
Bills actually didn't have a terrible 25 days of fundraising in July. His haul was $105,113 compared to Klobuchar's $131,996. But the Bills campaign began July with just $64,681 in the bank and then spent more than $160,000.
According to the records, the campaign spent $35,000 on polling, nearly $8,000 on software to manage the campaign's finances and another $9,950 on fundraising consultants. An Ohio-based political consulting firm called The Strategy Network was paid $12,691. Direct mailings that are usually used to solicit funds cost the campaign another $8,980.
The bus has also consumed a fair share of the campaign's resources. The records list a $3,533 charge to put Bills' campaign logo on the bus. The campaign spent an additional $284.26 at a Tires Plus auto supply store for batteries, $1,268 on drivers and $361 for bus repairs.
When asked for a comment about the campaign's finances, a spokesman referred inquiries to campaign manager Mike Osskopp, who has not yet responded.
The campaign's cash situation might not be quite as dire as the FEC report shows. The filings only cover the period up until July 25. Bills visited Washington, DC that day to attend a fundraiser being held on his behalf by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and his son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). It's not clear if any contributions from that event are listed on this filing.(4 Comments)