Former Congressman Rick Nolan's 8th District Congressional campaign put out a fundraising appeal from the candidate's wife accusing outside groups of misrepresenting Nolan's position on legalized abortion.
Emily's List has reportedly poured nearly $200,000 into TV ads and campaign literature criticizing Nolan and supporting his DFL primary opponent former State Sen. Tarryl Clark. The group cites Nolan's vote in favor of the Hyde Amendment in the mid-1970s which restricted federal payments for abortion. Nolan later switched positions on the issue and voted for legislation that provided public funding for abortions.
In her fundraising appeal Mary Nolan says her husband has been fighter for women's rights for more than 30 years.
"Make no mistake - outside groups have recently been distorting Rick's record on these issues and comparing him to our current anti-choice Representative Chip Cravaack. That is why I need your help today to stand up to those who attempt to distort his record on women's healthcare issues."
Nolan, Clark and former Duluth City Council President Jeff Anderson are competing in tomorrow's DFL primary. The winner will face Cravaack in November's general election.
Posted at 3:59 PM on August 13, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2012, Campaign 2012: Minn. House Races, Campaign 2012: Minn. Senate Races, MN Legislature, Mark Dayton, State Government
House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, is criticizing the proposed state employee contracts. Gov. Dayton and the state's two largest public employee unions have agreed on new contracts that provide an across the board pay increase of 2 percent. The contracts also require employees to pay higher health insurance co-pays. Zellers appeared on conservative radio host Scott Hennen's program, where he criticized the proposal.
"When you look at how many folks out there haven't had a raise or haven't had an increase in their paycheck or maybe took a cut in their paycheck, asking for a pay increase at this point in the economy, at this point where our nation in rebuilding, I think is overstepping the bounds," Zellers said.
The legislative Subcommittee on Employee Relations met last week to discuss the contracts. The subcommittee has to act on the agreement within 30 days or the contracts will be enacted on a temporary basis. If the subcommittee, which is scheduled to meet again on August 23, rejects the contracts, they will not go into effect until the full Legislature votes on the contracts when it returns for the 2013 session. Zellers hinted that Republicans would not be inclined to support the contracts if they retain the majority.
"From a cost standpoint, we have a two year budget that we already negotiated, we've already planned out," he said. "Adding this on top of that, is an unexpected expense for that next legislative body. We still think we're going to be in the majority so you're asking us to add on to that next budget cycle."
An official with Minnesota Management and Budget says Zellers is incorrect when it comes to the cost of the contracts. He said the expected increases were already factored into the current state budget. He said agencies would have to cover any added costs within their existing budgets. MMB says it will cost the state $13 million more if the new contracts are approved.
Posted at 9:44 PM on August 13, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
It's Primary Day today. There are several Congressional and legislative races to watch.
In the Minnesota's 1st Congressional District, Republicans Mike Parry and Allen Quist are vying to challenge DFL Rep. Tim Walz in November.
In Minnesota's 8th Congressional District, Democrats Tarryl Clark, Jeff Anderson and Rick Nolan are vying to challenge GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack in November. Rick Nolan's campaign is trying to fight back on the abortion issue.
On the legislative side, watch the GOP primaries in the west metro, the DFL primaries in northeastern Minnesota and the DFL primary in Willmar.
The Vikings are also working to help lawmakers who voted for the stadium bill.
Under the Dome
Gov. Dayton will interview the four candidates for the Minnesota Supreme Court today.
MPR reports that the state of Minnesota has canceled health insurance coverage for 3,100 family members of state workers. The move came after an audit found that the individuals were not eligible for benefits. The savings, enacted in last year's budget deal, is expected to save the state $10 million.
GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers isn't a fan on the state employee contract. He said a pay raise for state workers in this economic time period is "overstepping the bounds."
A legislative committee will meet again on Thursday to discuss disaster aid for northeastern Minnesota. The Rochester Post-Bulletin says Republicans want more information on the flood relief package.
Check out MPR's Ground Level series which is examining the price of public safety in rural Minnesota.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak urges "bold reform" to Local Government Aid.
Michael Brodkorb, the fired Senate staffer who is suing the Senate for his dismissal, gets back into blogging.
U.S. farmers may lose up to $18 billion in crops this year and taxpayers might be on the hook for $10 billion of that.
The government will aid farmers and ranchers.
A House panel filed suit against Attorney General Eric Holder.
Race for Congress
Democrats are working to tie Republicans to Paul Ryan's plans for Medicare.
Amendment that Would Ban Same-Sex Marriage
Cities are weighing in on the amendment.
Race for President
President Obama blasted Paul Ryan on the Farm Bill during a campaign event in Iowa.
Ryan adopted the traditional role of attack dog for a running mate and attacked Obama at the Iowa State Fair.
Obama hit the Iowa State Fair as well. He headed for the beer tent.
Mitt Romney ducked questions on how he differs with Ryan on Medicare.
Romney hit the gym in Orlando after reports surface that he canceled an appearance because of exhaustion.
A host for a Romney fundraiser in Florida is a convicted drug dealer.
Marketplace takes a look at Ryan's business connections.
A poll found that the Paul Ryan pick is less popular than the selections of Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney.
Another poll says Ryan's favorability jumped after being picked.
Another poll found that Republicans are more engaged in 2012.
The Fix takes a look at how Ryan impacts the electoral map (or doesn't).
Romney's proposed constitutional amendment to bar people with less than three years of business experience would bar Ryan from taking office.
Romney went on Florida radio to say Ryan supports the Cuban embargo even though he voted to lift it.
The New York Times finds that a Casino Mogul's Frontman in China Is Focus of Inquiries. Sheldon Adelson is a major backer of Mitt Romney.
The Obama campaign is still on the defensive on the Priorities USA ad.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will keynote the Republican National Convention.