Welcome to the Daily Digest, where we meet Joe Forkeybolo, the DCCC chair came to town, Nolan leads Cravaack by 7 percentage points, and the presidential candidates debate foreign policy.
Meet Republican Joe Forkeybolo, otherwise known as Democratic operative Nate Dybvig.
Dybvig works for Democrats, but has used the Forkeybolo persona online to promote his clients and their concerns from a Republican perspective, at times to a largely Republican audience.
Shortly after MPR contacted Dybvig about the story, he wrote on Facebook that he had decided to put his alter ego "out to pasture."
The state's Republican legislative candidates aren't talking about the government shutdown on the campaign trail. They're talking about their bipartisan efforts with Democrats, the Associated Press reports.
The Legislature would hammer out the fine print of the Voter ID amendment.
PoliGraph looks at the new ad from Minnesota for Marriage.
Former staffers for Paul Wellstone keep his memory alive in Washington.
The Race for Congress
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Rep. Steve Israel was in town to raise money for Rick Nolan, Jim Graves and Mike Obermueller on Saturday. He sat down with MPR News for an interview.
Norm Coleman's group, American Action Network, is planning to spend an additional $500,000 on the 8th Congressional District race, where it has been boosting Rep. Chip Cravaack.
Nolan leads Cravaack by 7 percentage points in the 8th, a Star Tribune poll shows.
The Star Tribune profiles Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District race.
Rep. Michele Bachmann and Jim Graves, her opponent, differ on how to fix the deficit, the St. Cloud Times reports.
Unions are focusing more on state and local races this year.
The gun industry has thrived under President Barack Obama, according to the Associated Press.
The Presidential Campaign
Tonight, the candidates debate foreign policy.
Benghazi and the Arab Spring are cropping up in the campaign.
Obama and Mitt Romney are putting all their remaining resources, which are abundant, into battleground states.
The jobless rate has fallen in most battleground states.
Obama is still struggling in Ohio, the Washington Post reports.
Romney started the month with a $34 million advantage over Obama.
He's staffing up in Pennsylvania.
Both campaigns are looking at raising $1 billion each by Election Day, Politico reports.
Rest in Peace
George McGovern died Sunday.(3 Comments)
Posted at 8:21 AM on October 22, 2012
by Mark Zdechlik
Filed under: Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD8
DFLer Rick Nolan is accusing Republican incumbent Chip Cravaack of reneging on a deal for a 90-minute debate on the Iron Range, days before the election.
The Nolan camp put out a news release early Monday morning stating that the Cravaack campaign requested Debate Minnesota reduce the time of the final debate from 90 minutes to 60 minutes.
The Cravaack campaign says it never agreed to 90 minutes and that it planned to revisit details of Virginia debate after last week's debate in Cambridge.
The Nolan side said it will not agree to 60 minutes, that 90 minutes was the deal and that Nolan will be at the debate regardless of whether Cravaack attends.
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is calling on newspapers throughout the state to help inform voters about the two constitutional amendments on the ballot this year.
Ritchie sent a letter asking editors to dedicate space to print the actual text of the two proposed amendments, one defining marriage as between one man and one woman, and the other requiring photo identification in order to vote.
"Traveling throughout the state over the past few months I have talked to many Minnesotans who did not know that the actual language of what is being proposed by the Legislature to be added to our state's Constitution will not be printed on their ballot," Ritchie wrote. "This seems odd to many voters given the importance of the Constitution as our state's highest law."
Ritchie also noted that the Legislature used to pay to have the full text of what they were proposing printed in every newspaper. He said he will try to convince lawmakers to re-establish the practice.
"But for this year we have a problem," he said. "It is very hard to find out what is being proposed without spending quite a bit of time on the Internet."
Republicans have claimed Ritchie is inappropriately campaigning against the amendments. Two GOP senators recently filed a complaint with the Office of Administrative Hearings accusing him of multiple violations of state campaign law.(2 Comments)
The Daily Caller reported last week that Klobuchar "helped keep a multibillion-dollar Ponzi schemer out of prison in the late 1990s when she was the County Attorney in Hennepin County, Minnesota." The report also said Klobuchar had enough evidence to prosecute Tom Petters but declined to prosecute.
"Senator Klobuchar did not ask her county attorney staff or law enforcement to refrain from investigating or prosecuting Tom Petters," Klobuchar campaign spokesman Linden Zakula said in a prepared statement. "She was not presented with evidence for prosecution of charges against him."
Zakula released the statement after her Republican opponent, state Rep. Kurt Bills, criticized her for saying "no comment" to the initial story.
The Daily Caller story focuses on Petters, who was convicted of 20 felony counts including money laundering, conspiracy and fraud. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison for setting up a ponzi scheme that defrauded millions of dollars from investors.
In a statement released today, Bills also wanted to know why Klobuchar didn't prosecute Petters in 1999, demanded to know where additional evidence went and why she contributed political contributions from Petters to charity instead of returning the money to the victims of Petters crimes.
"As our Senator, Amy Klobuchar has often called for accountability in others. It is time she provides her constituents with the same," Bills said in a statement.
Zakula said Klobuchar first gave the donations from Petters to a charity but later returned
the additional money to the trustee for the victims after the investigation was concluded.
Klobuchar isn't the only candidate linked to Petters. He gave to the Minnesota Republican Party, the DFL Party, former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar, former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann.
Many of those politicians and parties gave the contributions to charity or gave the money back to those swindled by Petters.
Update: The Hennepin County Attorney's Office released this statement about the case:
On April 22, 1998, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office filed a charge of Theft by Swindle over $35,000 against Richard Hettler. Later, he also was charged with a felony non-support of a child and defeating security on a personalty.
In January 1999, Hettler pleaded guilty to the theft by swindle and the felony non-support charges and the defeating security on personalty was dropped. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison in February 1999.
At no time was the Hennepin County Attorney's Office presented by any law enforcement agency a case against Tom Petters.