Posted at 6:37 AM on September 13, 2012
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Daily Digest
Welcome to the Daily Digest, where the new St. Paul stadium may not make as much money as it claims, Dayton talks taxes, and violence continues in Egypt and spreads to Yemen.
The City of St. Paul wants $27 million from the state to build a new ballpark, and estimates that it will come with a $10 million benefit annually.
But MPR found that the economic benefit could be a fraction of that amount.
Gov. Mark Dayton will announce which construction projects will get a slice of $47 million in development funding.
Supporters and opponents of the voter ID amendment disagree on the costs or requiring identification at the polls.
New census data showing Minnesota's median household income improving may not be accurate, says the state's demographer.
Rural poverty is entrenched in Minnesota.
Dayton warned that opposition to higher taxes could be the "death of the country."
A new poll by a Democratic firm shows that Minnesota voters are split on the marriage amendment.
A radio ad run by Ken Tschumper, a DFL candidate for the Legislature, is the subject of an Office of Administrative Hearings complaint.
The PoliGraph says that a claim made by the Alliance for a Better Minnesota in a new ad is hard to pin down.
Conservative group Americans for Prosperity - Minnesota says the results of their State Fair poll show that Minnesotans have concerns about the new health care law.
Farmers and DFL 7th Congressional District Rep. Collin Peterson rallied in Washington for new farm bill.
The U.S. House approved a land swap in the BWCA.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius violated a federal political activity law.
The Federal Reserve is expected to announce more action to boost the economy.
Libya, Egypt and Yemen
Protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Yemen.
Meanwhile, protests continued in Cairo.
The protests in Egypt may be a bigger problem for the Obama administration than the protests in Libya, the New York Times reports.
The Obama administration suspects that Tuesday's attack on the Libyan Embassy was planned.
The New York Times looks at how and why Romney issued his critique.
The origins of the video that prompted the violence are unclear, the New York Times reports.
Rep. Keith Ellison condemned attacks on the Libyan and Egyptian U.S. Embassies.
U.S. Senate hopeful Rep. Kurt Bills wants to halt aid to Libya and Egypt.
The Presidential Campaign
Obama is becoming more reliant on big money donors, the New York Times reports.
In Wisconsin, VP candidate Paul Ryan went after the Obama administration for leaking security information.
The suburbs will be essential to win Colorado.
House Majority PAC, a political fund aimed at putting more Democrats in the U.S. House, has launched a new ad targeting 8th Congressional District GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack.
The ad, which will air in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market for two weeks, makes the case that Cravaack went to Washington and abandoned his Minnesota values.
"Chip Cravaack voted to end the current Medicare system," the ad says, and instead supported tax cuts for the wealthy.
The group intends to spend $250,000 on the spot.
It's not the first time House Majority PAC has weighed in on the 8th contest between Cravaack and his DFL opponent Rick Nolan. In August, the group along with unions SEIU and AFSCME, and a second political fund called Friends of Democracy commissioned a poll that showed Nolan with a narrow lead over Cravaack.
House Majority PAC got a head start in the 8th last year when it aired an ad making similar claims about Cravaack's record.
The Cravaack-Nolan is by far the most competitive in Minnesota this year, with the Rothenberg Political Report considering it a toss-up.
Update: Here's a statement from Ben Golnik, an adviser to Cravaack for Congress campaign -
"Over the last year and a half, out-of-state special interest groups have falsely attacked Chip Cravaack. We expect the attacks to continue, as these special interest groups desperately try to prop up the struggling campaign of former Congressman Rick Nolan. Chip Cravaack has an unprecedented record of constituent outreach, and he will continue to focus on bringing more jobs back to the 8th District by supporting pro-growth tax reform to aid small business and reducing regulatory barriers to economic growth."
Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack has agreed to participate debate his DFL opponent Rick Nolan three times before Election Day.
Cravaack's campaign says he will participate in a Duluth News Tribune/Duluth Chamber of Commerce debate on Oct. 9 at 8am at the Duluth Playhouse, a KSTP debate that will be taped on Oct. 12 but will air on Oct. 14 and a Debate Minnesota forum at Anoka-Ramsey County College in Cambridge on Oct. 16 at noon.
But officials with Nolan's campaign say they've agreed to at least four debates and will probably agree to several more. They include the KSTP debate, the debate in Cambridge and proposed debates in Virginia, MN and Duluth. The Nolan campaign has not yet agreed to the Duluth News Tribune/Duluth Chamber of Commerce debate.
Cravaack campaign officials say they won't agree to any more debates.
The number of debates, timing of the forums and the locations could be a factor in the upcoming election. Campaigns are more likely to agree to debates that have a large number of partisans in the audience or are moderated by groups that are friendly to their ideas.
Cravaack is running for re-election in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District. The campaign is expected to be competitive and is getting plenty of attention from outside interest groups. Cravaack won an upset victory over long-time DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar in 2010. The two debated twice that year.
Twin Cities religious leaders are launching a multi-faith campaign aimed at defeating the voter ID constitutional amendment.
About 50 clergy members packed a State Capitol news conference today to announce the "Faith In Democracy" campaign, which will reach out to 50,000 voters in the coming weeks. The coalition contends the proposed requirement that all eligible Minnesotans show photo identification in order to vote is a threat to democracy and would prevent thousands of eligible Minnesotans from voting. Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman of Temple Israel in Minneapolis said the amendment is unacceptable.
"People who are a part of my congregation, they will not be able to vote, and I must speak out in their defense and give a voice to them," Zimmerman said.
Rev. Jerry McAfee of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis and the Minnesota State Baptist Convention described the amendment as a step backward for people of color.
"It is my opinion that voter suppression and voter restriction is shrouded in racism, with connection to poverty as well as those in seniors communities," McAfee said. "It is sad. It is striking, and it blows my mind that this is an issue that is basically not a problem that's looking for a problem."
Voter ID supporters insist that the creation of a new provisional balloting system as part of the amendment will prevent voter disenfranchisement. They argue the requirement is needed to prevent voter fraud.
Photo: Tim Pugmire
A Republican Party organizer in St. Paul is accusing Ramsey County Elections Manager Joe Mansky of unethical conduct for his public criticism of the voter ID constitutional amendment.
Greg Copeland , chair of the St. Paul Republican City Committee, sent out a news release today detailing his concern and calling on Mansky to resign. It came the same day Mansky was scheduled to speak at an anti-amendment forum in North Minneapolis. The release said election administrators are supposed to remain neutral and non-partisan on all matters.
"We repudiate Mr. Mansky for his apparent unethical activities as an Elections Manager and call for his immediate resignation," Copeland wrote. "If a resignation is not forthcoming, we demand the Board of Ramsey County Commissioners and County Administrator Julie Kleinschmidt terminate Mr. Mansky and appoint a new Election Manager who subscribes to the basic ethical standards of conduct embraced all across America and the world to ensure election integrity."
Mansky did not immediately return a phone message.
Voter ID supporters have also had similar complaints about DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who has frequently raised concerns about the amendment and it's potential impact on the state's current voting system. Republican lawmakers took Ritchie to task during a Senate state government committee hearing in July.
The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board is standing by its decision to grant anonymity to a person who made a donation to a group working to defeat a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.
The board heard a complaint on the ruling today from Teresa Graham, who argued that there isn't clear and convincing evidence that the donor would lose his job with the Catholic Church if his name was made public. The board ruled the donor can stay anonymous but Graham argued the law should be the same for everyone. She said more than 30 other people associated with the Catholic Church contributed to groups on both sides of the ballot initiative and are identified in campaign finance reports.
"I think everybody should be treated the same," Graham told the board. "If this was a political action group that was supporting the amendment and someone came forward from the Unitarian Universalist Church, who has been very public in supporting it, and said they were concerned about losing their job, I'm not sure the outcome would be the same."
Several board members objected to Graham's comments and said they examine every issue on its merits. It's likely that Graham's complaint will be heard by the Office of Administrative Hearings.
Gary Goldsmith, executive director of the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, said individuals are entitled to privacy in some instances. He called the exception unique.
"This isn't going to be a slippery slope. We have one person in a unique position with a unique employer that feels a threat to their employment. We haven't seen others so I don't think there is a risk of this ballooning into many requests."
But Goldsmith said that the group working to pass the amendment has also inquired as to whether a possible donor could remain anonymous.
The outside group designed to help Republican Tom Emmer's gubernatorial recount in 2010 is poised to close up shop. The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board voted today to allow "Count Them All Properly, Inc." to close its campaign account and use its remaining balance to pay off a fine from the board. The group was fined $3,000 by the campaign finance board for not disclosing donors and spending. But the board agreed today to accept the $1,184 left in the group's campaign account and waive the rest of the balance.
The board fined Count Them All Properly, the Minnesota Republican Party and former Party Chair Tony Sutton for how they handled the financing of the 2010 gubernatorial recount. The board found that Sutton and the Minnesota Republican Party set up the outside group to keep donations to Emmer's recount fund out of public view. That's a violation of state campaign finance law.
Before they took the vote, Campaign Finance Board Chair Greg McCullough asked if there was any possibility that Count Them All Properly could set up another account - a worry whenever the group votes to waive or lower fines.
Campaign Finance Board Executive Director Gary Goldsmith said it was unlikely.
"I think I can guarantee these people are not going to come back," Goldsmith said to the board.
Posted at 9:53 PM on September 13, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
St. Paul and Duluth are the big winners in the DEED bonding battle. Gov. Dayton released his list of projects from the $47 million plan.
Rochester, which is represented by Senate Majority Leader and Bonding Bill Chair Dave Senjem, was shut out of the deal.
The University of Minnesota promised to freeze tuition if the state comes through with more money.
The Pi Press says an investigation found that Fairview Medical Center's collection practices violated federal law.
Count Them All Properly will close up shop.
Libya arrested four people in the U.S. embassy attacks.
There are reports that the chaos in Libya was followed by an organized ambush.
The U.S. says there is no evidence that the attacks were premeditated.
Livestock producers are getting hit hard as a result of the drought.
Minnesota gas prices hit $4 a gallon.
European officials are looking to tax the Catholic Church.
Amendment to ban Same-Sex Marriage
The Campaign Finance Board stands by its "John Doe" decision.
Several religious leaders announced their opposition to the amendment.
Voter ID supporters want Ramsey County Elections Manager Joe Mansky to step down.
The House passed a six-month spending bill.
President Obama's rep pledges additional Great Lakes restoration.
Race for Congress
GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack agreed to three debates with DFLer Rick Nolan. Nolan wants more.
Cravaack's foes are running an ad ripping him.
The DFL announced that Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will headline the party's Founders Day Dinner.
Race for U.S. Senate
Two polls show DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar with a big lead over Republican Kurt BIlls.
Race for President
President Obama leads in three key swing states.
The Romney campaign is sharpening its attack on President Obama's foreign policy.
As Romney's advisers are ramping up their attacks, Romney is dialing it back.
Romney returned to criticizing Obama on the economy.
Vice President Joe Biden played to a younger crowd in Eau Claire, WI.