Posted at 6:13 AM on September 5, 2012
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Daily Digest
Welcome to the Daily Digest, where Michelle Obama and R.T. Rybak spoke at the DNC, Romney makes $100M in August, and Dayton criticizes Ryan.
Results of the annual State Fair poll show voters are split on new fireworks laws and an Internet sales tax.
Minnesota is paying $1.9 million in subsidies to state legislative races.
The Race for Congress
Rep. Tim Walz and GOP First Congressional District candidate see Steele County as key to their elections, according to an Owatonna People's Press reports.
Listen for Republicans, including U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills, to talk about the national debt reaching $16 trillion. Bills was among those who sent out a press release on the issue yesterday.
Democrats unveiled a national platform that calls for higher taxes on the wealthy and support for same-sex marriage.
The New York Times explains how the Democratic and Republican party platforms differ.
So did Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.
Hear his speech here.
Rybak has been making the rounds on cable TV, including this interview with Fox News.
Former President Bill Clinton is an important ally for Obama, particularly at this year's convention.
Gov. Mark Dayton, who is at the DNC, criticized VP candidate Paul Ryan for getting his facts wrong.
The Pioneer Press interviews some of Minnesota's DNC delegates.
Democrats say GOP nominee Mitt Romney just doesn't get it.
UnitedHealth Group has a presence at the DNC.
The Washington Post wonders whether President Barack Obama will use the DNC to outline his second term agenda, something he's not said much about so far.
The Presidential Campaign
Romney raised $100 million in August for the third consecutive month.
A super PAC backing Obama raised $10 million in August, according to Politico.
Some donors are withholding their donations until Obama takes a stand on climate change.
Rybak is quick to credit the president when he's talking about federal money given to Minneapolis.
The Daily Caller names Tim Pawlenty as a potential candidate for Secretary of State in a Romney administration.
Pull back the curtain on the 2012 Democratic National Convention with Daily Circuit senior producer Chris Dall. Today we talk about what's behind Michele Obama's Twitter surge, delegate diversity and division versus unity in the Democratic ranks. I also put your questions to Chris about the news value of the conventions.
Have a question for tomorrow's chat? Send a Tweet to @mprpolitics, or leave a comment in the section below.
(Source Google Politics & Elections)
Anti-abortion Democrats argue for more party inclusion
"'Being pro-life in the Democratic Party can be a lonely place,' former Pennsylvania Representative Kathy Dahlkemper said on Tuesday," Time.
Occupy demonstrators stage DNC sit-in
"A number of protests are being held outside the Democratic National Convention throughout the week. On Tuesday, dozens of Occupy protesters marched through Charlotte before staging a sit-in at an intersection near the convention center," Democracy Now.
Fact checking the opening night of the Democratic convention
"There were some well-worn, Pinocchio-laden statements at the convention in Charlotte," Washington Post.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. --DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is in Charlotte this week encouraging delegates to the Democratic National Convention to work hard to re-elect President Obama. Klobuchar is scheduled to visit seven state delegations this week to speak on behalf of Obama.
At an Iowa breakfast gathering this morning, Klobuchar said Obama is best suited to lead the country for another four years. She also said Republican Mitt Romney is not prepared to be president.
"Do we really want to put a guy in the White House who on his first trip as a candidate to London, his first trip internationally?," Klobuchar asked the audience. "Before he even puts two feet on the ground, he puts one foot in his mouth and creates an international incident and pisses off our ally at the Olympics? This just doesn't make sense to me. Do you know what we call that in Minnesota? We call it a Mitt-stake."
Some political bloggers say Klobuchar's speeches before delegates from early primary and caucus states indicate she might be interested in a run for president in 2016. During her Iowa speech, she focused on the Farm Bill, talked about her background and joked about Minnesota's proximity to Iowa.
"I can see Iowa from my front porch," she joked.
After the speech, Klobuchar downplayed any political ambitions, saying she likes her current job.
"It's our neighboring state of Iowa," Klobuchar said in an interview. "I think every Minnesotan has a relative in Iowa or a friend in Iowa. So if you'd ask them what states would Amy speak at, I don't think they surprised that Wisconsin and Iowa would be on the list."
Klobuchar is up for re-election in November against Republican Kurt Bills.
Here is Klobuchar's speech to the Iowa delegates: Listen
Eleven Republican state senators and a top Senate employee who were involved in printing and handing out fliers at precinct caucuses earlier this year violated state law, according to a ruling from the Office of Administrative Hearings.
The legislators, Senate Leader David Senjem, Al DeKruif, Chris Gerlach, Gretchen Hoffman, Benjamin Kruse, Ted Lillie, Claire Robling, Ray Vandeveer, Pam Wolf, Michelle Fischbach and John Pederson, will each have to pay a $75 fine.
Senate Communications Director Steve Sviggum, who drafted the fliers, will have to pay a $200 fine.
The controversy centers around fliers created for the GOP's precinct caucuses earlier this year and paid for with taxpayer dollars. The materials described some of the Senate's legislative accomplishments, outlined some of the GOP's priorities for the coming legislative session, and criticized Gov. Mark Dayton.
The fliers also included links to the Senate Republican Caucus' political website, which solicits campaign donations.
The Minnesota DFL Party subsequently asked for an investigation.
The Office of Administrative Hearings found that Sviggum and the senators violated state law because the fliers constituted campaign literature, but did not provide any information about who prepared them or how they were paid for.
The Senate Republicans say that the fliers were not campaign material and were not meant to influence the way people vote.
But the three administrative law judges who investigated the matter said that the fliers were not intended for a general audience but rather voters at precinct caucuses, "inherently political events."
"The Legislative Updates were disseminated at the precinct caucuses for the purpose of influencing voting in the coming election and constitute campaign material within the meaning of the statute," the lawyers concluded.
In a written statement, DFL chair Ken Martin said the conclusion comes as no surprise and represents an "escalating pattern of lawlessness that has come to define this Republican legislature."
Here's the entire Office of Administrative Hearings finding:5 Comments)
Posted at 5:01 PM on September 5, 2012
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: MN Legislature
In a split decision, a federal court ruled today that a Minnesota law requiring disclosure of independent corporate political donations and spending is likely unconstitutional.
The ruling from the full 8th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier decision from a three-judge panel and backed the challenge filed by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, the Taxpayers League of Minnesota and a travel agency. The court endorsed the groups' argument that the state law inhibits freedom of speech. James Bopp, a lawyer representing the groups, said it was a good decision.
"They've recognized that requiring a group to do it's political speech through a political fund, what most people think of as a PAC, is burdensome," Bopp said. "And they have struck down that burden."
The Minnesota law followed the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case known as Citizens United, which opened the door for unrestricted independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. State Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, the chief author of the law, said he thinks today's appeals court ruling went too far.
"When corporations spend money on elections, they'll have no disclosure obligations to the public," Winkler said. "I think it's really a shame that the 8th Circuit decided to go even further than the Citizens United. I think they're wrong as a matter of constitutional law, and I think over time this decision will be overturned one way or another."
The appeals court ordered the case sent back to a lower court for further proceedings.