Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack and his DFL challenger, former Congressman Rick Nolan will debate for one hour on the Cambridge campus of Anoka-Hennepin
Technical Community College Tuesday.
Medicare loomed large in their previous two debates, with Nolan accusing Cravaack of voting to turn the program over to private insurance companies and Cravaack accusing Nolan of not having a plan to keep Medicare solvent.
Cravaack and Nolan are engaged in what's believed to be one of the most competitive House races this year. Outside organizations have spent millions advertising on behalf of both sides and organizing 8th District voters .
Two years ago Cravaack defeated 18-term DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar and since that election Cravaack has been a top target of Democrats who want the 8th District seat back. They claim the 8th District is the most Democratic congressional district in the nation that's currently represented by a Republican.(2 Comments)
Posted at 6:30 AM on October 16, 2012
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Daily Digest
Welcome to the Daily Digest, where Brodkorb says he's voting against the marriage amendment, Bachmann leads Graves by 9 percentage points, and Obama and Romney debate tonight.
Michael Brodkorb, former top aid for the Senate Republicans, said the marriage amendment is on the ballot to get conservatives to the polls this year, not because of family values, WCCO reports.
Brodkorb says he's voting against the amendment.
Money from groups outside of Minnesota is flowing into the marriage amendment campaigns.
State Sen. Scott Dibble and staff from Rep. Keith Ellison's campaign were door-knocking on the marriage amendment in Southwest Minneapolis. Both oppose it.
The Koch-Brodkorb scandal is showing up on campaign literature.
Uncertainty about the voter ID amendment, visualized.
State Democrats and Republicans are battling over property taxes.
Groups trying to stop the Minnesota wolf hunt are asking the state Supreme Court to take emergency action.
The Race for Congress
A new KSTP poll show Rep. Michele Bachmann is leading her DFL opponent 50 percent to 41 percent. Nine percent of the voters in the district are undecided.
National Democrats pledged resources to Graves' campaign in the Minnesota 6th.
Graves reports bringing in $1 million during the last quarter. Bachmann made $4.5 million.
MPR looks at the latest fundraising numbers from the congressional campaigns.
Two new ads from conservative groups are targeting Rick Nolan for his voting record.
Congressman Keith Ellison's campaign will host a concert at First Ave on Oct. 28 to encourage people to vote.
Two top officials at the Minnesota Racing Commission are under investigation by Minnesota Management and Budget, KSTP reports.
The Wichita Eagle profiles the Koch Brothers, conservative donors behind Americans for Prosperity, a group that's playing a role in Minnesota's elections.
Las Vegas sets the record for number of political ads.
Negative political ads can lead to lower voter turnout, the Associated Press explains.
A newspaper in Washington State looks at some of the claims being made in the marriage debate there.
The Presidential Race
The candidates debate again tonight.
Here are a few things to watch for in the debate.
Romney raised $170 million in September, which is a lot but less than Obama's haul of $181 million.
The debate impasse is clouding the presidential race, the New York Times reports.
The Obama campaign has set up a fundraising page linked to Jill Biden's visit to Minnesota.
WASHINGTON - Hotel owner Jim Graves went deeper into his very deep pockets to fund his campaign against Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, according to federal campaign finance reports.
They show that Graves, a Democrat, drew almost $669,000 from donors between late July and Sept. 30 and he contributed an additional $270,000 for his effort to unseat Bachmann, who's running for a fourth term. Graves had previously lent his campaign $250,000. His campaign has more than $614,000 cash in the bank, compared to Bachmann's $3.5 million.
Graves received more in donations than every other U.S. House incumbent in Minnesota aside from Bachmann, who raised $4.5 million in the most recent quarter.
On Monday, national Democrats upgraded the 6th District contest, saying that Bachmann was potentially beatable.
That news was tempered by the first independent poll in the race, commissioned by KSTP, which showed Bachmann leading Graves 50 percent to 41 percent among 598 likely voters in the district. The survey has a 4.1 percent margin of error, which means that Bachmann holds a slim lead even if her support is at the low end of the margin and Graves' is at the high end.(1 Comments)
Get used to it.
Between now and Nov. 6, candidates and outside spending groups will be launching new television ads and sending out new campaign literature daily - or at least it will seem that way.
In the 8th Congressional District, where Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack and his DFL opponent Rick Nolan are tangled in one of the most competitive races in the country, House Majority PAC, a group set on putting more Democrats in the U.S. House, has launched a new ad targeting Cravaack for his votes on Medicare.
"What Happened?" plays on a theme common to ads targeting Cravaack - his votes in support of two Republican budget plans that included big changes to Medicare. It's estimated that one version of the plan would have cost future seniors several thousand more each year.
Nolan has a new ad out, too, that highlights what he would do if elected to Congress.
Across the state, voters will be getting mailers from Americans for Prosperity, a group founded by conservative donors Charles and David Koch that advocates for smaller government and lower taxes.
The $2 million direct mail effort will criticize President Barack Obama for his stance on the debt and deficit, and federal spending.
Minnesota is among nine states that will be getting the fliers, the other eight including swing states Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado. At this point, polls show Minnesota is likely to back Obama.
Nevertheless, Americas for Prosperity sees Minnesota as part of its long-term strategy to shift voters to the right. In August, the group ran more than $1 million in ads in the Twin Cities market targeting Obama's policies.
And for about a year, the group has had a local office that has weighed in on legislative races and the Vikings Stadium issue.
Posted at 3:11 PM on October 16, 2012
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Voter ID Amendment
The campaign against Minnesota's voter ID constitutional amendment is getting support from another religious organization.
Leaders of the Minnesota Council of Churches said today that they will formally oppose the ballot question and are asking members of all of the denominations they represent to do the same. Jewish Community Action, Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services are also opposing voter ID.
Bishop Peter Rogness of the Saint Paul Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the MCC board chair said during a news conference that he thinks the amendment will disenfranchise a substantial segment of the population.
"We've sought to widen the circle of who it is that is included in the phrase we the people," Rogness said. "This amendment goes in the other direction. It begins to restrict our understanding of we the people."
Still, public opinion polls have shown most Minnesotans support the proposed requirement of showing a photo identification in order to vote. The Rev. Peg Chemberlin, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Churches, said those voters need to better understand the potential impact of the amendment.
"The churches of the Minnesota Council of Churches are used to the kind of discussion and dialogue in which people don't agree. So, we think it's quite possible that there will be vigorous discussion. In fact, that's what we're calling for, vigorous debate on this amendment."
The MCC is made up of 24 church governing bodies of different denominations, which represent about one million Christians.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is dismissing the decision by Minnesota Citizen's Concerned for Life to not endorse him this year.
Peterson and his campaign declined to comment last week when MCCL decided not to endorse him. The group said Peterson lost its endorsement because he voted against efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (even though he voted against the original bill).
Republican Lee Byberg's campaign is now pointing to an online video that was captured by two people at Concordia College that features Peterson talking about MCCL's decision. In the video, Peterson dismissed MCCL's decision to not endorse anyone in the race to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District.
"The only place it got reported is MPR, and those people don't listen to MPR," Peterson said to the woman who asked about the MCCL's decision in the video. (Note: The Star Tribune also wrote about MCCL's decision).
Peterson, who has been endorsed by the MCCL in the past, also suggested that the group contained extremists on the abortion issue. Peterson is opposed to legalized abortion. He later added MCCL's decision to not endorse him "is an end to them as an organization."
"They're now a completely partisan organization," Peterson said. "When you get into that position, you're done. The NRA is smarter because they keep 60 or 70 Democrats. They went out and purposely make a partisan issue out of this. It's stupid."
Byberg's campaign swiftly rebuked Peterson's comments.
"Peterson's decades in Congress have made him arrogant," said Byberg campaign manager Liz Gorham. "Attacking MCCL for sticking to their pro-life principles is appalling. Did it ever occur to him that pro-life voters might want a pro-life Congressman? That isn't extreme, it's democracy."
Peterson's campaign spokeswoman didn't respond to questions about today's comments.
Peterson sent along this statement regarding MCCL's decision:
"I respect the right of MCCL to not endorse me or my opponent in this race. I am pro-life, and have had a 100 percent record with them. I opposed the Affordable Care Act, and have since supported removing the parts of that bill that MCCL objects to. However, their position on repealing the ACA has become partisan and political, and I don't think this should be a partisan issue.
As I've said before, we need to put aside partisanship and work together in Congress to fix what isn't working in this bill, while keeping some of the patient protection issues, like eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions, eliminating the Medicare prescription drug donut hole and allowing individuals to stay on a parent's health care plan up to age 26."