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.
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota was the biggest spender in last year's race for governor. The group, which is backed by labor unions, Native American Tribes, wealthy DFL donors and the Democratic Governor's Association, spent $5.7 million in the race.
That spending eclipsed two outside groups that were working to elect Republican Tom Emmer. Minnesota's Future, funded mostly by the Republican Governor's Association, spent $1.4 million on the race. MN Forward, a group backed by businesses like Target and Best Buy, spent almost $1.8 million.(1 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty and Gov.-elect Mark Dayton met behind closed doors today to discuss Pawlenty's transition to power. The Republican governor and the Democrat elected to succeed him met one day after the race for governor ended. The two had a cordial meeting and refrained from the criticism they aimed at each other during the campaign.
"While we do disagree on matters" Dayton said. "We understand that's the greatness and the strength of our democracy. Countries that only have one political party or one leader to choose from, they have far worse governments than we are so privileged to have in this country."
The meeting is a pivot in power to the next governor. Pawlenty said he instructed his staff to make themselves available to Dayton and his staff.
"Whatever Gov.-elect Dayton needs, we're going to get it to him promptly and professionally and fully as we can," Pawlenty said.
Dayton made his first hire of his administration. He announced that MnDOT Commissioner Tom Sorel will remain in that job.
Gov.-elect Mark Dayton says he's humbled that he'll be the next governor of the state of Minnesota. Dayton struck a cooperative tone throughout his comments but reemphasized his plea to make taxes fairer in Minnesota. Dayton has said during the campaign that he wants to raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners to balance the state's budget.
Here's the full speech and the q and a with reporters: Listen
Here's the audio from Republican Tom Emmer's concession speech: Listen
Republican Tom Emmer will concede the governor's race to Democrat Mark Dayton tomorrow. A person with knowledge of Emmer's plans says Emmer will make the announcement at 10:30 in his hometown of Delano.
Democrat Mark Dayton's spokeswoman Katherine Tinucci said they have no comment at this point.
"We have not heard from the Emmer campaign this evening," Tinucci said.
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton tonight issued the following statement regarding today's ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court.
"While we are disappointed in today's decision from the Minnesota Supreme Court, we will continue to take this process one day at a time. As the next step in this legally mandated recount, we look forward to tomorrow's State Canvassing Board meeting."
Dayton Recount Director Ken Martin issued a statement on the Supreme Court opinion:
"We thank the Supreme Court for issuing this opinion in a timely manner as we wrap up the last step in the election and recount process this week. The Court deserves a great deal of credit for considering and resolving this matter so rapidly, thoughtfully, and decisively.
The Court's opinion makes it clear that Minnesotan election officials across the state acted appropriately by utilizing official voter receipts to reconcile precinct returns and to ensure that this election was accurate, transparent and reliable. This also makes it clear that any effort to file a legal contest on this matter would lose in court.
We look forward to the rapid conclusion of the Canvassing Board process and prompt certification of the results of the 2010 gubernatorial election."
Attorneys for Republican Tom Emmer have withdrawn the vast majority of challenges to ballots they made last week during the recount of votes in the governor's race.
The State Canvassing board now has just 181 ballots to review, 91 from Democrat Mark Dayton's side, 90 from Emmer's side.
The number dropped dramatically after Emmer withdrew 671 challenges and Dayton pulled back 88.
And there are fewer than 30 other ballots still contested by Emmer even though local officials called the challenges frivolous. The board has not yet decided whether it will look at those.
Even if Emmer won all of his challenges, including the ones ruled frivolous, he would remain more than 8,500 votes behind Dayton in unofficial results.
The canvassing board is set to begin ruling on ballot challenges tomorrow. It had set aside three days for the task, but likely won't need that much time, since so many ballot challenges have been withdrawn.
The board ruled on more than 1,300 challenges in four days during the 2008 Senate recount.
The Minnesota Supreme Court issued the reasoning behind its decision to deny Republican Tom Emmer's petition to force counties to reconcile the number of voters with the numbers of votes cast on Election Day.
The court quickly denied Emmer's petition a few weeks ago but didn't offer the reasoning behind it. The court issued an eighteen page opinion explaining why Emmer's push to require elections officials to count the number of ballots with the number of voter signatures should not be granted.
The opinion said "Minnesota's election laws have not relied exclusively on documents signed by voters to determine the number of ballots to be counted in the election." The opinion added "It is clear the legislature intended to permit..either signatures..or voter's receipts..to count ballots."
The opinion, which was written by multiple judges anonymously, makes it more difficult for Emmer to sue on this issue. He said last week that he was waiting for the opinion before he decided to sue in court.
The ruling also comes one day before the State Canvassing Board will review several hundred ballots that were flagged by the campaigns in the recount. Democrat Mark Dayton is expected to be declared the winner when the recount is over.
A new poll by Public Policy Polling say 68% of those polled think Democrat Mark Dayton was the rightful winner in Minnesota's race for governor. The same number also think Republican Tom Emmer should quit the race.
The protracted fight over who won the Governor's race isn't doing Emmer's image any favors. 49% of voters in the state have an unfavorable opinion of him to only 37% with a positive one. It's no surprise that Democrats are pretty universally negative toward Emmer, giving him a 4/86 favorability rating. But independents are overwhelmingly negative as well with only 30% saying they have a positive opinion of him.
"Tom Emmer is likely hurting his future political prospects by drawing out the race for Governor," said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. "Voters in the state, including many who voted for him, think that Mark Dayton was the rightful winner of the election."
The poll comes just one day before the State Canvassing Board meets to review any disputed ballots that were flagged by the campaigns during the recount. Emmer says he wants to let the process take it's course. He is also waiting for an updated Statewide Voter Registration System and a MN Supreme Court opinion on why his petition to match the number of ballots with the number of signatures on the Election Night roster.
You can read the full results here.
There's a bit more political catnip coming tomorrow. PPP says it will release a poll looking at the 2012 Senate race.(2 Comments)
Former GOP Gov. Al Quie says he laughed heartily when he heard GOP delegates effectively voted on Saturday to ban him and seventeen other Republicans from the party for two years because they endorsed IP candidate Tom Horner's campaign for governor.
"If you want to be a Republican you continue to be a Republican," Quie said. "Which I will continue to do."
Quie told MPR's Morning Edition that he will remain a Republican but expressed concern over where Republican Emmer stood on certain issues.
"it was a tough struggle for me," he said on backing Horner over Emmer.
Quie says his family has a long history of being a Republican. He said his grandfather supported Abe Lincoln and his father backed Hoover. Quie says the decision won't have an impact on him because he he usually attends precinct caucuses but asks not to be elected as a delegate so other people can serve.
Here's the full interview: Listen(6 Comments)
Delegates at today's Republican Party State Central Committee approved a 2-year party ban on 18 high profile Republicans who supported Independence Party candidate Tom Horner. The list includes former GOP governors Al Quie and Arne Carlson and former US Senator Dave Durenberger.
On a 59 to 55 vote, the motion would forbid them from being Republican delegates or attending the Republican National Convention in 2012. Supporters of the motion say it would hold people accountable for calling themselves Republicans yet supporting a rival candidate.
Delegate Jim Newberger of Becker says Democrat Mark Dayton may not be leading the recount if the endorsements for Horner didn't occur.
"These people, their money and their influence, possibly cost us 8,000 votes," Newberger said. "These are some big names. But it's time for the Republican Party to grow a spine. Either you're a Republican or you're not."
But other delegates said the motion would make the party look vindictive. Jen De Journett of Maple Grove, says the proposal would make the party look bad.
"Even if we pass this motion, we can't exactly take away a former governor's title," she said. "We can't vote people out who may or may not live in this state and we're going to look like a bunch of goofballs."
Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton says the motion will be difficult to enforce but he said he understands the frustration of Republicans who think Horner could have cost Emmer the election. Sutton, who caught fire during the campaign for calling Republicans backing Horner as "Quislings," said he doesn't think the motion will hurt the party's image.
"I get frustrated because a lot of people on that list only come out and say they're Republicans when the want to stick it to Republicans," Sutton said. "The rest of the time they say they're an independent or a Democrat and support nothing but Democrats.
Dayton led Emmer by nearly 8,800 votes before the recount started. The State Canvassing Board is scheduled to review disputed ballots next week but it appears Dayton will continue to hold a lead regardless of the outcome of the challenged ballots.
Here's the full list:
Here's the audio of the debate: Listen
Republican Tom Emmer also addressed the convention. You can listen to his speech here: Listen
"We must know what the Supreme Court's reasoning is in denying our petition and we must also know the updated Statewide Voter Registration System looks like so we can make a determination of how many potential extra ballots exist and whether that number would be material to the outcome of the governor's race."
The Minnesota Supreme Court is expected to issue an opinion on the reconciliation issue, but he hasn't seen one yet. Emmer says there were tens of thousands of unmatched ballots and voters during the 2008 Senate race recount. Emmer trailed Democrat Mark Dayton by about 88-hundred votes prior to the recount.
You can read the full story on his newser here.
MPR web guru Than Tibbetts captured many of the challenged ballots and put them on MPR's website. You can take a look at them and decide whether the ballot is a vote for Democrat Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer or other. You can also write comments on each ballot.
Check it out here.
The Minnesota Secretary of State's office reports that Republican Tom Emmer's campaign has filed 2,839 frivolous challenges through the first four days of the recount. A large majority of those frivolous challenges challenges were in Hennepin County. Emmer's team filed 2113 frivolous challenges in that county alone. Emmer said earlier today that he plans to withdraw many of those challenges if his campaign is able to review them.
Although the recount is not over, it's nearly impossible for Emmer to win the recount. The total number of Emmer's frivolous and legitimate ballots challenges is 3573. That means he's still 5197 votes short of catching Dayton if you look at Dayton's lead before the recount started.
Dayton's campaign has announced it will withdraw all of their frivolous challenges. Here's the Secretary of State report:
The latest recount results show Democrat Mark Dayton continuing to lead Republican Tom Emmer but the numbers are 70 votes fewer than Election Night results. But those results don't show the high number of ballots challenged by Emmer's campaign.
Emmer has challenged 735 ballots. Dayton challenged 175 ballots.
All but two counties have finished their work. Ramsey County is expected to finish on Friday. Hennepin County is expected to finish on Monday.
Democrat Mark Dayton held a news conference today to discuss the Revenue Forecast that shows a projected budget deficit of $6.2 billion. Dayton called it a "serious challenge" and said the state's fiscal situation shows the need for the next governor to be seated on January 3rd.
"These enormous challenges make it even more imperative that the next elected governor take office on January 3rd as Minnesota's constitution provides so he and his administration's budget team and agency heads will have enough time to present a balanced, responsible budget."
Dayton says he's sticking with his income tax plan and said every other option, including expanding gambling, needs to be on the table. He said he met with former finance commissioners and other budget experts to discuss ways to fix the deficit, but says his plans are still in the hypothetical stage. He offered few specifics.
Dayton, who led Republican Tom Emmer by 8,770 votes before the recount started, says he's spending every waking moment worrying about the state budget and a possible transition to the governor.
GOP leaders in the Minnesota House and Senate say they won't support a tax increase of any kind.
Republican Tom Emmer declined to talk to reporters today about the recount or the $6.2 billion budget deficit. He later released this statement on the revenue forecast:
"There are positive signs in this forecast: 14,000 new jobs, 5% increase in revenue, no need for additional unallottments or short-term borrowing. What this forecast shows is exactly what we discussed throughout the campaign, we cannot sustain government growth of 27.5%. Government must live within its means and control spending in order to drive Minnesota's economic engine forward.(1 Comments)
"Gov. Pawlenty has relentlessly worked to control growth but was thwarted at every turn by the DFL legislature--a legislature that lost their majority because of their reluctance to make structural changes to our budget and instead simply kicked the can down the road," said Representative Tom Emmer
Democrat Mark Dayton said today that former President Bill Clinton will headline a fundraiser in New York City on December 13th to help Dayton pay for the recount. Dayton said the event will be held at the home of financier George Soros. Dayton also said he's is trying to schedule a fundraiser for December 15th that will be hosted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and others. Dayton says that fundraiser will go to his campaign. Dayton's recount director says Dayton raised more than $1 million to date for the campaign's recount efforts.
Dayton says he believes he's leading Republican Tom Emmer by about 9,000 votes after three days of counting ballots. He says he's confident he'll be the winner of the race once the recount is over.
Dayton made the comments after he was briefed on the budget situation.
Republican Tom Emmer refused to answer any questions from reporters after he was briefed on the state budget on Thursday morning.(3 Comments)
After the third day of counting ballots, Democrat Mark Dayton picked up three votes on Republican Tom Emmer when you compare the latest Secretary of State recount results to Election Night totals. 84 percent of the ballots cast on Election Night have been recounted.
Emmer's team has also challenged four times as many ballots as Dayton's team. Emmer made 679 legitimate ballot challenges. Dayton made 163 ballot challenges.
All but five counties have finished the recount. The remaining counties are Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Dakota and St. Louis.
The State Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss the number of frivolous challenges being made by the campaigns and whether the five member board should review them. Elections officials say Emmer is making most of the frivolous challenges.
State Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton sharply criticized Hennepin County Elections Manager Rachel Smith today. Here's what he said:
"After overseeing an unprecedented 400,000 vote error on election night, Hennepin County Elections Manager Rachel Smith today tried to change the rules in the middle of game to advance the interests of Mark Dayton. Instead of serving as a neutral referee like Ramsey County Elections Manager Joe Mansky, Smith has repeatedly inserted herself into the action by siding with the Dayton campaign on a host of issues, including her attempt today to arbitrarily change the recount schedule. Smith also unsuccessfully tried to change the rules by expanding the number of tables and changing the 'sign in' rules for challenged ballots to discourage Emmer observers from lodging challenges. Smith's maneuvering sends a chilling signal to all Minnesotans who believe in fair play for all sides. Instead of expediting the recount, Smith's machinations have only served to slow things down. As the advocates for Tom Emmer's interests in this process, we will not be intimidated by Smith."
Smith has been saying it's the Emmer side that has been slowing down the recount by frivolously objecting to ballots that are clearly votes for Dayton.
The Dayton campaign put out its estimate of what's happening.
In Minneapolis City (about 6% of the state vote) the Emmer campaign has 1,256 frivolous challenges so far, or 59% of their statewide frivolous challenges. Overall, the rate of frivolous challenges continues to be a bit higher, but solely due to challenges in selected Minneapolis precincts. Precinct 6-2 alone had 81 total challenges and several other precincts have had 30 or more challenges.
UPDATE: Rachel Smith said this when asked about Sutton's statement:
"I don't work for either one of the parties. I'm here for the citizens of Hennepin County and we're trying to do a big job as fairly and expeditiously as we can to meet the guidelines that we were given. "
Hennepin County Elections Manager Rachel Smith says she wants to add more counting tables to the governor's race recount. Smith says she wants to add three or four more counting tables to the 25 tables already in place. She says she wants to make the move because of a dramatic increse in ballot challenges from the Emmer campaign.
Smith says Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's office gave her permission to add more tables.
Republican Tom Emmer's campaign objected to the move. Emmer attorney Tony Trimble says he would go to court to intervene if table are added. He says they can't add tables unless they have inspectors from each campaign available. He says the Emmer campaign planned to have inspectors at 25 tables.
Update: Smith backed down and said they won't add tables or extend the hours of the recount. She says she doesn't want to be taken to court.
With nearly 70 percent of the ballots recount in Minnesota's race for governor, Democrat Mark Dayton has lost 37 votes to Republican Tom Emmer. But Emmer's campaign has challenged more than four time the number of ballots challenged by Dayton's team.
The results, released by the Secretary of State, show that Emmer lost one vote when comparing the results to Election Night. Dayton lost 38 votes.
Emmer's campaign challenged 597 ballots. Dayton's team challenged 143 ballots.
Election Night totals show Dayton with a lead of 8,770 votes over Emmer.
Hennepin County Elections Manager Rachel Smith says Republican Tom Emmer's campaign has challenged 927 ballots in her county during the first two days of the recount. She says 894 of those ballot challenges were deemed frivolous.
Smith says Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign lodged 25 challenges - 13 of which were deemed frivolous.
Smith says Emmer's campaign made 103 challenges to ballots in a precinct in Dinkytown neighborhood in Minneapolis. She said every challenge in that precinct was considered frivolous and she wonders why Emmer's team is mounting as many challenges as they are.
"These are legitimately marked ballots," Smith said of ballots cast for Dayton. "These are ballots that there is a filled in oval. There is nothing there."
Smith says each ballot challenge is slowing the process of the recount down whether the challenges are deemed frivolous or legitimate. She said she asked an attorney for Emmer's campaign to withdraw or review some of the challenges but she said he refused.
Emmer campaign attorney Tony Trimble defended the campaign tactic.
"Our strategy is to challenge ballots and challenge as many as we can if, in the eye of the challenger, there's a question about the voter intent, pure and simple. So if there's more today than yesterday, that's a coincidence. Tomorrow there may be more tomorrow than today even."
Smith says they will finish the recount by Monday no matter what.
From MPR's Madeleine Baran:
In Ramsey County, the second day of the recount ended with 67 new ballot challenges, including 56 from Emmer's campaign and 11 from Dayton's.
Some had predicted a flurry of new challenges from Emmer's team, driven by Ramsey County Election Manager Joe Mansky's decision not to deem any challenges frivolous. Mansky said Monday that he will send every challenged ballot to the State Canvassing Board.
Instead, the number of ballot challenges was up only slightly over Monday's figures.
"Maybe the only unusual thing about today was how normal it was and how regular the process was," Mansky said, speaking after the recount ended Tuesday.
Monday's recount in Ramsey County yielded 48 ballot challenges from Emmer's team and 7 from Dayton's. Mansky attributed some of Tuesday's slight increase to an earlier start time. Ramsey County started at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, a half hour earlier than Monday, and was able to count about 1,000 more ballots as a result, he said.
He expects the county will finish its recount on Friday.
An attorney for Republican Tom Emmer is asking the five member State Canvassing Board to review every ballot challenged in the recount. Eric Magnuson asked the State Canvassing Board to require local elections officials to make copies of every challenged ballot for the campaigns.
Magnuson is making the request after the Board decided to allow local elections officials to deem certain challenges "frivolous" and set them aside for possible review by the board. Magnuson says failing to make copies of the ballots available so they can decide which ballots should be presented to the board for review. The Canvassing Board makes the final determination when it comes to voter intent on challenged ballots.
The board is scheduled to hold a tentative check-in meeting on Friday to discuss the issue.
Here's the letter:
Democrat Mark Dayton is headed to Washington D.C. today to attend the Democratic Governors Association's Winter Meeting and Holiday Party. Dayton is making the trip even though he hasn't been declared the winner in Minnesota's race for governor. Dayton currently leads Republican Tom Emmer by nearly 8,800 votes.
Dayton's spokeswoman says Dayton will be in Washington D.C. on Tuesday and Wednesday. He will fly back to Minnesota on Wednesday evening.
Update: Here's an updated quote from Dayton (via release):
"Although Minnesota's election has not yet been decided, I am still delighted to be invited to meet with Governors from around the country to learn about their initiatives in their respective states. Although the recount is still underway in Minnesota, I am working with my Transition staff to prepare a new administration. If, at the end of the recount, my election is certified and I am elected Governor, I will be ready to lead on January 3rd. Attending the DGA's Annual Meeting provides a worthwhile opportunity to share ideas and learn from other Governors what we can do in Minnesota to put people back to work and balance the state budget in a fair and responsible way."
The results from the first day of the recount show Democrat Mark Dayton picking up votes in the race for governor.
The Secretary of State's results show Dayton picking up 20 votes from the ballots recounted compared to the ballots counted on Election Night. Emmer lost four votes.
The results also show Emmer's campaign is challenging ballots at a more than three to one rate than Dayton's team. Emmer challenged 281 ballots. Dayton challenged 86 ballots.
44.65 percent of the vote has been recounted. 56 counties have finished their work. Most of them are rural counties.
One side note: Renville County didn't report its results in time but Renville County Auditor Larry Jacobs says Emmer picked up one vote from his Election Night totals. He also says Emmer's campaign legitimately challenged one ballot.
Renville County Auditor Larry Jacobs says Republican Tom Emmer's campaign challenged 423 ballots in his county - all but one of those challenges were deemed frivolous. Jacobs says the Emmer Attorney in that county was almost apologetic for the number of challenges being made in Renville County but said she was instructed to challenge any ballot that had writing on it.
"She was instructed that they would challenge any ballot with writing on it. And I said to her 'Well, we have all of these local races and anybody with a write-in has writing on it.' And she just told me that that's what she was instructed to do and that's what she will do."
Jacobs says Democrat Mark Dayton's team didn't challenge any ballots in his county.
Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton was unapologetic for the number of challenges being made by Emmer throughout the state.
"We ask our people to make valid challenges but we also ask them to be very aggressive because you only get one bite of the apple. You only get to look at these votes once and once they're done completing counting a precinct you don't get another chance. So when in doubt, challenge, is what we tell people so that the lawyers and the canvassing board can make that determination."
Dayton recount director Ken Martin says the Dayton campaign isn't being as aggressive as Emmer when it comes to challenges. One reason is that Dayton is leading by 8,770 votes.
"We're not in the same position as Tom Emmer. We don't need to go out and challenge every ballot. What we need to do is sit back and make sure we're advocates for Mark Dayton, that we respect this process. We don't need to go out there and make up ground and try to challenge every ballot."
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says he'll release the total number of frivolous challenges later this week.(4 Comments)
A hand recount of 2.1 million ballots is underway in Minnesota's disputed race for governor. Local elections officials started the recount at 9 o'clock this morning. Campaign officials for Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer are watching the recount and may challenge any ballots where they think voter intent is unclear.
One change in this year's election versus the 2008 U.S. Senate recount is that local elections officials can determine whether such challenges are frivolous. But Ramsey County Elections Manager Joe Mansky said this morning that he won't deem any challenges frivolous and will send every challenged ballot to the State Canvassing Board.
"My preference then is to let them see every challenged ballot so if you challenge them I'm not going to challenge you. I will send over anything you want them to take a look at. That's ok with me."
Democrat Mark Dayton currently leads Republican Tom Emmer by more than 8,700 votes.
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's office incorrectly reported vote totals for Republican Tom Emmer in Fillmore County on the State Canvassing Report. The report, which is submitted to the five member State Canvassing Board, stated that Emmer received 3647 votes in Fillmore Count, not 3648 votes. I noticed the error when I was compiling a document in preparation for the recount.
John Aiken, a spokesman for the Secretary of State's office, said there was a transcription error when they were reporting the figures. He pointed to the Secretary of State's website to show the correct number for Fillmore County.
"The mistake was on the document," Aiken said. "It was a transcription error, not a count error."
Aiken said the office intends to look into why there was a transcription error in Fillmore County on Monday. He emphasized Democrat Mark Dayton continues to lead Emmer by 8770 votes, a small enough margin to trigger an automatic recount.
The figures on the State Canvassing Board report are important because they provide a baseline heading into Monday's recount.
Elections officials across the state will start hand counting every ballot to determine a winner in the race for governor. The recount is required by state law.
MPR's Jess Mador contributed to this report.
The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board approved a request today that would allow Minnesota political funds to give unlimited amounts of money to the recount teams for Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer. But the board ruled that the committees have to disclose those donations to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board.
The Board held an emergency meeting today after Dayton's attorney requested an opinion on whether Dayton's recount committee can accept funds from political committees. The board's ruling also allows Dayton and Emmer to donate any funds from their campaign committees to their recount committees.
The ruling means the public will now have an idea if political committees are giving to the recount committees.
An earlier board ruling said Dayton and Emmer can set up recount committees outside of the jurisdiction of the Campaign Finance Board. That means the candidates can raise unlimited funds for the recount and won't have to disclose where the money comes from.
Dayton currently leads Emmer by 8770 votes. The recount starts on Monday.
Dayton has set up a 527 political fund for the recount and said he will disclose his donations. Emmer's team hasn't said how they'll accept funds to pay for the recount but it appears he's working with the Republican Party of Minnesota. Emmer has said he'll follow the law, which means he doesn't have to disclose anything.
Republican Tom Emmer appeared on MPR's Morning Edition this morning. He declined to say that yesterday's Supreme Court ruling was a "setback." He is also continuing to push the concern that there are more ballots cast than voters registered. When asked if the State Canvassing Board would allow Emmer's request to require reconcile ballots with signatures, Emmer replied "I wouldn't expect the canvassing board to do something different."
Recount watchers should also take note that Emmer was asked whether he was looking at filing a possible legal challenge to the recount. He declined to answer it specifically but said he wants to see what happens with the updated State Voter Registration System (SVRS).
You can listen to the full interview with MPR's Cathy Wurzer here: Listen(2 Comments)
It took the Minnesota Supreme Court an hour and a half to issue a ruling. Here's the ruling.
For those wondering, the recount in Minnesota's race for governor will still move forward. The State Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet tomorrow to order the recount. The hand recount will start on November 29th. Emmer's legal team has argued that they will request the State Canvassing Board to match the number of signatures with the number of ballots cast. That was the same argument they made to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Update: Here's a statement from Dayton's team:
"We're very pleased with the prompt decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court. We look forward to tomorrow's state canvassing board meeting and the certification of the election results, which currently show Mark Dayton with an unofficial 8,770-vote victory in the governor's race.
"Minnesota's election went through a thorough process of review, both during the county canvassing and also during the post election reviews - neither of which showed any indication of problems. Again, Minnesota's elections have a clean bill of health.
"Since it looks likely that the race will go to automatic recount, we are preparing for an orderly recount process that will certify the winner of this election on December 14 and seat a new governor on January 3. We fully expect that Governor to be Mark Dayton."
Update: Here's a statement from MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton:
"We appreciate the Minnesota Supreme Court expediting this important matter. While we strongly disagree with the court's ruling, we look forward to getting the legislatively mandated recount underway starting Monday. We will continue to work to ensure that Minnesota election law is followed, that the most basic right of our election system of one person, one vote is upheld. It is critical that our election laws are followed so that Minnesotans have confidence in the ultimate outcome of this election,"
Update: Here's the full audio of the hearing: Listen
The Minnesota Supreme Court is again weighing into a statewide election. Two years ago, the court was faced with a legal battle over the outcome of a U.S. Senate race. This year, the court is being asked to wade into a governor's race that has Democrat Mark Dayton with a 8,755 vote lead over Republican Tom Emmer. That lead is expected to grow by 8,770 after the Secretary of State's office submits the post election review results done by local elections officials.
Today, five members of the Minnesota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on an Emmer motion asking the court to require local elections officials to ensure that the number of ballots cast on Election Day squares up with the numbers of signatures on voter rolls. Emmer's attorneys want to know that there aren't more ballots cast than voters. They say state law requires local elections officials to do the so-called "reconciliation" on Election Night. On KTLK-FM this morning, Emmer said local elections officials should not have advised elections judges to forego the counting on Election Night.
"They've decided not to do this reconciliation process which is this at the end of the night, if you had 100 people sign in to your voter roll and you had 125 ballots, you're supposed to have 100 ballots so you're supposed to randomly pull out 25 so you have 100 and 100 so everybody's vote counts."
Local elections officials in Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka counties say there are instances where there have been more votes than voters. But they say it has more to do with human error than voter fraud. They say casting aside any ballots will wrongly disenfranchise voters.
Dayton's attorneys have said the Emmer motion has more to do with delaying the outcome of the election than ensure every vote is cast.
Five justices are scheduled to hear the motion; Chief Justice Lorie Gildea and Justices Alan Page, Chris Dietzen, Helen Meyer and G. Barry Anderson. Two of the justices have recused themselves because they will sit on the State Canvassing Board and may have to judge if any contested ballots in the recount.
I'll live blog today's hearing. I don't have the fancy software so you'll have to hit the refresh button.
Let the liveblog begin....
For those wondering, Gildea, G. Barry Anderson, Dietzen and Stras (recused) have been appointed to the bench by Governor Pawlenty.
Governor Ventura appointed Helen Meyer.
Governor Arne Carlson appointed Paul Anderson (recused).
Justice Alan Page was elected to his seat.
Diane Bratvold, with Briggs and Morgan, is expected to argue the case on behalf of Republican Tom Emmer. Attorneys Tony Trimble and Matt Haapojaa and former MN Supreme Court Justice Sam Hanson will also appear on the behalf of Emmer and the MNGOP.
Marc Elias (of 2008 recount fame), Charles Nauen and David Lillehaug are present on behalf of Dayton's team.
Solicitor General Alan Gilbert will appear on behalf of Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. Attorneys for Ramsey, Hennepin and Anoka Counties have also submitted briefs but I'm not sure if they'll address the court.
Diane Bratvold is addressing the court. Bratvold says the voter signatures, not voter receipts, should detail total number of ballots.
Alan Page question: As I understand the process used today mean "voter receipts" and "voter certificates" don't exist.
Justice Dietzen: Are you contendin that voter certificate and election register are terms that are clear on their face or not?
The Emmer campaign argues that the law requires them the letter of the law should be followed. Dayton campaign argues it's outdated and should rely on receipts..
Isn't it true that if we go back to 1978 that election register is something that election judges did....
Dietzen is questioning whether voter signatures were required or not. Bratvold says she's not sure. She does say signatures should be counted. Dietzen says polling place roster can be substituted with register and receipts. "That seems plausible to me," Dietzen said.
Gildea questioning as to why the issue shouldn't be ambigious since law calls for a "signed voter certificate" instead of signed polling roster. Bratvold says law requires the count of signatures.
Justice Meyer: What if an elections worker counted voters by hashmarks instead of counting the voter signatures. Bratvold says it would be ad hoc.
Justice Page: What is the practical effect of what you're asking here. Shouldn't it add up.
Bratvold: We know that's not true. We know there are excess ballots that's why it's important that the number of votes cast should be the same as the number of voters.
G Barry Anderson: Aren't we really arguing over form over substance here: Doesn't it allow for the counting voter receipts?
Bratvold: We are not arguing over form over substance. We want to know that ballots and number of voters square up. It's vital for this court to determine that.
Meyer interrupts Bratvold that she's overstating that local elections officials aren't following law and following SOS rule.
Gildea: If we conclude that the rule is consistent with the statute, can you privail?
Bratvold: Are petition is premised on how voter's votes will be counted.
We're really deep in the legal weeds here.
Bratvold's time has expired.
Alan Gilbert is up.
Gilbert says Emmer can't have it both ways. G. Barry Anderson says there are circumstances where there are overages. Election officials say the voters are diminous.
That seems to me in direct violation of the statute," Anderson said. "Shouldn't that be a matter of concern."
Gilbert says throwing the votes aside would disenfranchise that voter. Anderson says by including them it would saturate the pool of votes for those who did vote.
Dietzen is also pursuing this issue. Alan Gilbert says the voter outcome would be diminous (spelling error - sorry)..
Justice Page: the rulemaking authority seems to focus on the devoloping registration system and not on counting votes after the election. Where does the authority come?
Gilbert: The rule was enacted because of a change in a statutory provision with a new election registration system.
Gildea: that doesn't change whether SOS has the authority to interpret the rule. How does this have to do with counting afterwards.
Gilbert: What happened with registration system is that people got a voter receipt so voter certificate never existed. They provided for alternatives.
Gilbert: This rule has been in place for thirty years. He argues the SOS rule should be interpreted as a law. Justice Page interrupts and say until it's challenged and invalidated in court.
Justice G. Barry Anderson: The voter guide provided for counting of the signatures on the roster. Gilbert replies that's true but also says SOS also sent out a rule to count voter receipts.
Gilbert time is up. Marc Elias speaking on behalf of Dayton team.
Press corps shivers when Elias introduces himself. After effect of '08.
Elias says it's much easier to count the votes this way. Says MN learned from its mistakes.
Elias says the time to challenge the voting process is before the election - not after the ballots have been opened.
Gildea: What are we to do with election guide which says "count the signatures on the roster."
Isn't that what petitioner wanted this.
Helen Meyer: Is it your position that counting the voting receipts is the same as counting signatures on the roster?
Gildea: Is it your position law is ambigious or unambigous.
Elias: I believe it's out of date.
Dietzen: Can this court literally enforce it when election register doesn't exist?
Elias: that's why rulemaking and administrative authority exists.
Elias says the question overage. He says there are times when the two numbers won't match and it's bc the election officials know why it is. Disabled person may not be able to sign a register. Two ballots were back to back and voted on one side and the back of the other side.
Dietzen: It seems to me your policy arguments run headway into statute. Excess ballots should be removed. That didn't occur here.
Elias: The question is whether there is an excess. He said "if a discripency cannot be explained."
Elias done. Bratvold is back up with rebuttal. She says state law requires voter signatures.
Justice Page: Could you explain why that doesn't answer this question that the receipt is proof of the voter's right to vote. Bratvold: It is proof of the right to vote but it's not proof of the proper count.
Bratvold: the counting of votes means that votes not be diluted. The proper number of votes should square with roster.
Arguments over. Gildea says they'll issue an opinion.
Republcan Tom Emmer was on KTLK's Chris Baker show this morning to discuss the recount and his legal push to require local election officials to match up voter rolls with actual ballots. Emmer said local elections officials have not hand counted the number of ballots with the number of signatures on the voter rolls on Election Night.
"They've decided not to do this reconciliation process which is this at the end of the night, if you had 100 people sign in to your voter roll and you had 125 ballots, you're supposed to have 100 ballots so you're supposed to randomly pull out 25 so you have 100 and 100 so everybody's vote counts."
Emmer also said he wants the Statewide Voter Registration System to be updated by December 15th. Local elections officials are required to submit the updated list by that date but can get an extension. For example, the data practices requests and the U.S. Senate recount prompted many to ask for an extension in 2008.
You can listen to the full discussion here.
Emmer is also scheduled to be on MPR's Morning Edition tomorrow morning.
Democrat Mark Dayton is scheduled to meet with DFL Sen. Tom Bakk and DFL Rep. Paul Thissen this afternoon to discuss the upcoming session. Dayton's campaign announced that he'll meet with the minority leaders in the MN House and MN Senate to discuss the legislative priorities for the next session.
Dayton's spokeswoman says Dayton hopes to meet with Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Republican Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch in the near future.
Local elections officials have submitted their post election reviews to the Secretary of State's office and they show Democrat Mark Dayton picking up 15 votes on Republican Tom Emmer. County election officials are required to do hand count reviews of a few random precincts to ensure that the election machines are operating correctly.
The reviews show that Dayton gained 18 votes during the post election review. Emmer gained three votes. The new results mean Dayton will lead Emmer by 8770 votes after the State Canvassing Board meeting on Tuesday - a small enough margin to trigger an automatic recount.
The reviews show Dayton picked up three votes in Hennepin County and eleven votes in St. Louis County. Dayton also picked up three votes in Sherburne County and one vote each in Isanti, Mower and Rice Counties. He lost one vote each in Crow Wing and Fillmore Counties.
Emmer lost two votes in Hennepin County. He also lost one vote each in Dakota and Anoka Counties. He picked up one vote each in Dodge, Isanti, Lake of the Woods, Olmsted, St. Louis, Scott and Stearns Counties.
The results have not been added to the Secretary of State's website yet A spokesman for Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says the results will be combined when the State Canvassing Board meets on Tuesday. The results are unofficial.
And the totals could change once again depending on what the Supreme Court orders after it hears oral arguments on a GOP petition this afternoon.
Here is post election review document (provided by the Secretary of State's office).(5 Comments)
The Minnesota Supreme Court will hold oral arguments today on Republican Tom Emmer's motion to step in before the recount. The arguments start at 2:30.
Mark Dayton today added a familiar name to his recount legal team: Mark Elias, who helped DFLer Al Franken win the 2008 Senate recount.
Dayton's team also filed a response to the GOP petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court. They accuse the Republicans of raising an 11th hour effort to "disrupt and delay the State Canvassing Board certification process through the unwarranted disenfranchisement of voters."
Read their documents here. The arguments start on page 15.
In the first of several court documents expected to be filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court today, Ramsey County has responded to Tom Emmer and the Minnesota Republican Party's call for the court to order counties to "reconcile" their election night vote totals.
Ramsey County asks the court to dismiss the GOP petition, saying Republicans are trying to "disenfranchise Minnesota voters," that their argument is "flawed in its reliance on outdated terminology," and that the "evidence presented does not support a claim of any 'error' or 'omission.'"
Here is the document filed by the county.
Anoka County also weighs in, essentially agreeing with Ramsey County. Here's their document.
Hennepin County has also responded. They say they did reconcile votes and voters and the court should deny the GOP petition.
Democrat Mark Dayton characterized Republican Tom Emmer's court attempts as "desperate" during an interview on MPR's Morning Edition. Dayton also told MPR's Cathy Wurzer that he didn't plan on announcing any new commissioners until he has an election certificate in hand.
As for, Emmer's petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court and a request to the State Canvassing Board to change the recount rules, Dayton said Emmer and the Republican Party know they're way behind.
"They know they're way behind," Dayton said. "It's just throwing spit balls at the wall to see which ones will stick."
Dayton currently leads Emmer by nearly 8,800 votes.
Here's the full interview:
Republican Tom Emmer will be on TPT's Almanac tonight.
Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor is asking the Minnesota Secretary of State and the State Canvassing Board to revise the rules regarding a statewide recount.
The Emmer campaign wants the State Canvassing Board to be the sole decision maker on any challenged ballots in the statewide recount which is scheduled to start on November 29th.
One of the major changes proposed from 2008 by DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is to give local election officials the ability to determine whether challenged ballots are out of line. The Emmer campaign says the State Canvassing Board, not local election officials, should determine whether ballot challenges are frivolous. They also want local officials to match up the number of ballots with the number of signatures on voter logs. The Emmer campaign asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to weigh in on that matter.
The court has scheduled Monday afternoon for possible oral arguments in that matter. Democrat Mark Dayton unofficially leads Emmer by nearly 8,800 votes.
Here's the request to the State Canvassing Board. It was written by former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson.
The race for governor hasn't been decided yet in Minnesota but that isn't stopping Democrat Mark Dayton from moving forward with his transition. Dayton's campaign announced today that it has created a website that "explains the mission and vision" for his administraiton.
The website takes suggestions and also has a page specifically for people interested in joining his administration.
This is all contingent on Dayton actually winning the race for governor. He currently leads Republican Tom Emmer by nearly 8,800 votes - a small enough margin to trigger an automatic recount.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has set a schedule for Republican Tom Emmer's motion in Minnesota's yet to be decided governor's race. Emmer wants the court to weigh in on Election Night voting procedures before a statewide hand recount is set to begin.
The court ordered that legal filings should be filed by Friday afternoon. The court also set aside oral arguments for Monday afternoon if the arguments are needed. Here's the order:
Democrat Mark Dayton is questioning why Republican Tom Emmer and the Minnesota Republican Party are asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to step in before a hand recount in the race for governor. Dayton currently leads Emmer by nearly 8,800 votes but Emmer filed an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court asking the court to delay the recount until a review is done to ensure that no more votes were cast than voters signed in on Election Day. On Fargo's KFGO-AM this morning, Dayton says the Republicans are trying to change the rules of the game after it's been played.
"I'm not a lawyer and I'm trying to figure out what they?re doing but I?m an old hockey player and it's sort of like you can lose the game 6 to 4 and then you ask the judge to throw all ten goals into the lottery and you pull out six of them and hope that those are yours rather than the other teams. It seems strange to me but I just live here."
The Republican Party has asked for the Minnesota Supreme Court to act on their request quickly. The State Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to certify the election and order a recount.
Dayton also discussed his transition team and how he'll work with the GOP controlled Legislature.
Here's Dayton's appearance on KFGO-AM with host Joel Heitkamp: Listen
I'm told Dayton will appear on MPR's Morning Edition tomorrow to discuss his transition plans. Republican Tom Emmer is scheduled to appear on TPT's Almanac on Friday night.(7 Comments)
Tom Emmer's campaign and the Minnesota Republican Party today filed a petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court that could result in some votes being thrown out in the contested race for governor.
The GOP alleges that there is evidence that some election judges failed to reconcile the number of registered voters who signed in on Election Day with the number of votes cast in their precincts. State Republican Party chair Tony Sutton says under state law if there are more votes than voters in a precinct, the excess votes have to be thrown out.
"Phantom votes have no place in the final count," Sutton said. "There is a clear statutory remedy that must be followed, namely that excess phantom votes are removed from the certified vote count."
DFLer Mark Dayton's recount director Ken Martin says the move is a sign of desperation on the part of Emmer and the Republicans.
"There are six days now until the state canvassing board meets. In the 11th hour the Republican Party decides to introduce essentially a Hail Mary pass here, to delay the process that's going to occur."
Dayton currently leads Emmer unofficially by more than 87-hundred votes. If the court agrees with the GOP, it would likely shrink the pool of votes that would be included in a likely recount.
Here's the GOP filing.
I'll post video of the newsers once it's embedded.
Democrat Mark Dayton is trying to get off on the right foot with some of the committee chairs that will be analyzing his budget plan in the Minnesota Legislature. This morning, Republicans in the Minnesota House and Minnesota Senate released their list of committee chairs.
Dayton issued an advisory complimenting them. The release also says he plans on meeting with legislative leaders in both parties in the "coming days." Here's the release:
St. Paul- As House and Senate Republicans announce new committee chairs and the Caucuses elect new leadership, Mark Dayton released the following statement:
"I congratulate the new Committee Chairs in both the Minnesota House and Senate, and the newly elected leadership in the Caucuses. Minnesotans are counting on all of us to work together to address the serious challenges before us, and, should I be declared the winner on December 14, my Administration will stand ready to work with the new leadership in the State Legislature to serve the people of Minnesota."
Dayton is arranging meetings with the legislative leadership of both parties in the upcoming days.
Republican Tom Emmer's campaign says it has reached an agreement with elections officials in St. Louis and Pine Counties over the Emmer campaign's Data Practices Request. Here's the release from the Emmer campaign:
Emmer for Governor and officials from Pine and St. Louis County have reached tentative agreements on production of the information requested by Emmer for Governor, which was the subject of recently filed litigation. The parties will work cooperatively to complete the production as expeditiously and economically possible. In light of these developments, Emmer for Governor has agreed to hold the litigation in abeyance for now, and not seek any action by the court at this time.
"We are only interested in getting the information we are entitled to under the law, not winning a lawsuit. The parties expect the bulk of the requested information to be produced by the end of this week," Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton said in announcing the tentative agreements with Pine and St. Louis counties regarding recently filed data practices requests.
Hennepin County Elections Director Rachel Smith says the county has finished its post election review and Democrat Mark Dayton picked up five votes on Republican Tom Emmer. Smith says county elections officials did a hand recount of 14,000 ballots to ensure that the voting machines on Election Night were accurate. Smith says the review found that Dayton picked up three votes and Emmer lost two votes in the state's most populous county.
"There were a couple of precincts that had a jammed ballot," Smith said. "The other thing we found that there were some voter intent issues to decide so we saw one or two ballots where the voter had marked below the target or had yes next to the candidate rather than filling in the oval completely."
Smith says the post election review also showed that county elections officials are prepared for a possible hand recount of all of the ballots in the race for governor. The State Canvassing Board will meet next week to order the recount, which is scheduled to start at sites throughout the state on November 29th.(1 Comments)
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has released the recount dates for the governor's race and the three legislative races that are still outstanding.
The recount for the governor's race is scheduled to start at the same time in every county across the state: 9AM on 11/29 (see more specifics here).
The recount for House District 15B (The open seat in St. Cloud), House District 25B (the seat currently held by DFL Rep. David Bly) and 27A (currently held by DFL Rep. Robin Brown) will also start at 9am on 11/29. Full details on those recounts can be found here.
Local elections officials across the state are conducting post-election reviews to ensure that voting equipment counted accurately on Election Day. Minnesota's second largest county by population, Ramsey County, reports no changes from their vote totals.
Ramsey County Elections Director Joe Mansky says the county conducted hand recounts of five precincts and found no change from their election night totals. He predicts that means there should be little changes if a statewide recount of the governor's election continues.
"People were better at completley filling in the target this year," Mansky said. You may remember that two years ago we were seeing more marks that were not exactly what the voting system was looking for. More marks outside of the target. And just from what we saw from today, we may be seeing a lot less of that this year. That may well be the people paying attention to what was going on two years ago."
Democrat Mark Dayton currently leads Republican Tom Emmer by nearly 8,800 votes - a small enough margin to trigger an automatic recount.
Attorneys for Democrat Mark Dayton are skeptical that Governor Pawlenty can stay in office after his term ends on January third. They say they're looking at possible legal avenues to get Dayton seated after the state canvassing board certifies an expected recount on December 14th. Dayton attorney Charlie Nauen says the state constitution says a governor's term runs "four years and until a successor is chosen and qualified" which he thinks will occur if Dayton wins the recount.
"The constitution says that the new governor, if you will, goes into office if that person has been "chosen and qualified," Nauen said. "On December 14th, we'll see what the numbers are, but if the numbers show that Mark Dayton has more votes, he's been chosen, certainly by the people, and he's qualified."
Pawlenty has said he will stay on as governor if a governor isn't prepared to take office. Both Emmer and the Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota says they have no intention of filing a legal challenge just to delay the matter. They say they want their concerns over possible voting irregularities cleared up. Democrats worry Emmer may drag the race into court to keep Dayton from taking office.
Meanwhile the MNGOP has filed lawsuits against elections officials in St. Louis and Pine Counties for failing to produce their data practices requests in a timely manner. You can those suits here and here.
Republican Tom Emmer announced today that Mike Veckich will lead his transition team. Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton are both working on possible transitions into the office of governor since a recount will likely delay a winner for at least several more weeks. Dayton currently leads Emmer by nearly 8,800 votes.
Vekich is the former director of the Minnesota Lottery and chaired Gov. Pawlenty's 21st Century Tax Reform Commission.
Here's the release from the Emmer campaign:
Tom Emmer today announced that Mike Vekich will serve as Director of the Emmer Transition. Vekich is the CEO of Vekich Associates, past Chair of Governor Pawlenty's 21st Century Tax Reform Commission and Interim Director of Minnesota State Lottery among his many business and public service accomplishments. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
"As the canvassing and likely recount process continues, per State Law, preparing to govern is of great importance. I am proud to announce that Mike Vekich has agreed to serve as the Director of our transition," said Representative Tom Emmer. "Mike is a distinguished businessman of the first rate who has continually stepped forward to serve the State of Minnesota in many capacities. His deep connection to our community and his unmatched understanding of Minnesota government makes him the ideal person to lead these efforts."
As Director of the Emmer Transition, Vekich will lead the efforts to form a transition team and will work closely with Lieutenant Governor Candidate Annette Meeks to expand on the Emmer budget, beginning the process of reforming and redesigning Minnesota State Government.
"I look forward to working with Representative Emmer and Annette Meeks to create the kind of administration that will get Minnesota's economy growing and put more Minnesotans to work," said Vekich. "Beginning the transition process is the responsible thing to do."
Recently, Vekich served as Chair of Minnesota's 21st Century Tax Reform Commission. The group was asked to evaluate Minnesota's tax system and recommend reforms that will promote economic growth and job creation in Minnesota. From 1996 to 2002, Vekich served as Chair for the Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and was reappointed to the board in 2010. In 2004, Governor Tim Pawlenty asked Vekich to take over as Interim Director of the troubled Minnesota State Lottery, where he restored the public's trust in the agency. His public service record parallels a successful business career. Vekich is CEO of Vekich Associates, a management advisory firm specializing in strategically refocusing organizations, creating capital for companies, and mergers and acquisitions.
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Republican Tom Emmer says he won't support any efforts to keep Democrat Mark Dayton from taking office - but he is still raising questions about possible voting irregularities on Election Day. Emmer told MPR News that he thinks it's "entirely improper" to drag out the election if the upcoming recount of nearly 2.2 million votes doesn't go his way. Dayton currently leads Emmer by nearly 8,800 votes leaving some to question whether Emmer can make up the difference.
Some Democrats have said they think it's impossible for Emmer to close the gap in a recount and they fear he may file a frivolous lawsuit to delay Dayton from taking office. Emmer says he would not agree to delaying tactics just to keep Republicans in power.
"I will not be a part of that," Emmer said. "This process is going to be handled according the letter of the law. I am ultimately in charge and I will not participate in using the law just to delay things. If there are honest issues that have to be addressed, we'll have to wait and see. But at this point, we're not asking for anything. The law is being applied the way it's written."
Emmer made his comments right before Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton and the party's attorney, Michael Toner, were to give a presentation on the party's recount efforts to the Republican Party of Minnesota Elephant Club. Roughly seventy Republican donors were expected to attend the private event.
The fundraiser and comments by Emmer and other Republican Party officials regarding voting irregularities have Democrats concerned that Republicans are more concerned with delaying the election to keep Dayton from taking office. Dayton campaign spokeswoman Denise Cardinal says GOP claims of voting irregularities aren't backed up with proof or are overblown.
"There have been no major problems, as indicated by the county canvassing process and the auditing underway," Cardinal said. "To insinuate, as he did, that there are 'multiple machine malfunctions' is to try and undermine an election system that has proven itself time and again. Minnesota's elections were proven when under the microscope in the past, are doing well so far this year - and it's the very system that elected Republican majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, a decision by voters we're sure he agrees with."
Earlier in the day, Emmer did his first one on one interview with WCCO's Michelle Tafoya, who gave $120 to his campaign earlier this year. During that interview, Emmer emphasize that he's "in charge" a change when it comes to any decision regarding an election conteset. That's a change from comments he made arlier in the week. On Tuesday, Emmer told reporters that he had input in the decision as to whether a lawsuit would be filed to contest the outcome of the election.
You can listen to the full WCCO interview here: Listen(1 Comments)
Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign announced today that he met with top budget experts on Wednesday. Dayton met with several former Finance Commissioners. The group included John Gunyou, who served under GOP Gov. Arne Carlson), Peggy Ingison, who served under Gov. Pawlenty, Jay Kiedrowski, who served under Gov. Rudy Perpich and Pam Wheelock, who served under Gov. Ventura.
Minnesota is facing a nearly $6 billion projected budget deficit which the next governor (dayton or Republican Tom Emmer) will have to make a top priority.
Dayton released this statement about the meeting:
"Governor Perpich had a quote in his office that said 'none of us is as smart as all of us,' and it will take all of us coming together to solve the budget deficit we're currently facing. As we wait for the results of the election to be confirmed I will continue to prepare for the task ahead, and welcome ideas from all corners of the state. The election is now over and it is incumbent upon all of us to put politics aside and do what is in the best interest of the people of Minnesota."
Here's a press release just issued by MPR News and the Humphrey Institute:
Minnesota Public Radio and the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs announced today that they will undertake a thorough review of the methodology used in polls conducted during the 2010 election season. The process will include an internal review of the poll by the Humphrey Institute and an independent audit that will be made public. The independent audit will be conducted by Frank Newport, the editor and chief of Gallup.
MPR and the Humphrey Institute partnered this year to conduct four polls leading up to Election Day. The final poll, based on interviewing begun nearly two weeks before Election Day, showed results significantly different from the final election tally. This issue will be examined along with the raw data from other polls to determine whether there is a methodological reason for the difference, or whether external events account for the difference.
"We are committed to a transparent review of our polling methodology because we value the importance of continuous improvement in our efforts," said Professor Larry Jacobs, director of the Humphrey Institute's Center for the Study of Politics and Government. "If a shortcoming is identified, we will fix it. If not, we will have third-party verification that our methods are sound."
"The review of polling methodology is a necessary step in continuing to provide Minnesotans with the unbiased information they need to make informed decisions," said Chris Worthington, MPR's managing director of News.
Dean Brian Atwood of the Humphrey Institute added, "I welcome the opportunity to conduct this self analysis and peer review, a regular process for any academic institution. Professor Jacobs is an internationally recognized expert in this field. He is a professional who looks critically at his own work, as well as at polls conducted by others. We are committed to maintaining a very high standard."
Democrat Mark Dayton met privately this afternoon to talk about a possible transition. Dayton is leading Republican Tom Emmer by an unofficial margin of more than 8,700 votes, which is a small enough margin to likely trigger an automatic recount in the governor's race. Dayton said after his hour long meeting with the governor that Pawlenty was gracious and offered his top revenue and finance staff so Dayton could start crafting a budget if he's elected governor.
"If I am elected and have a certificate, I expect this to be a very smooth transition as it should be for the benefit of the people of Minnesota."
Dayton said again he is confident his lead will hold, but he isn't presuming anything. Emmer and the state Republican Party today hired former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson to handle any litigation involving the recount. Emmer said there is a legal process for counting the votes and he will let it play out before making any decisions about any other steps to take.
For his part, Dayton said it appears Emmer and the MNGOP are preparing for a lengthy court battle. He says he believes the issue should be settled once the statewide, hand recount is complete in December.
"I believe under present circumstances and all known facts that should be the conclusion. And whichever side is on the losing side there has an incumbent responsibility to the people of Minnesota to accept that outcome, to honor that outcome, to not cast undue aspersions on that outcome because this is about Minnesota."
Dayton also said he intends to disclose all of the funds he raises to fund the recount. Republican Tom Emmer said he and the Republican Party will follow the law. The Campaign Finance Board announced that candidates and political parties don't have to disclose donations and can accepted unlimited amounts of money from outside groups.
Republican Tom Emmer says he's going to let the legal process involving a statewide recount of last week's gubernatorial election run its course. But Emmer isn't saying how far he'll push the issue and didn't give a definitive answer about who will make that decision. Emmer talked with reporters today for the first time since Election Night. He refused to say whether he thinks he can make up Democrat Mark Dayton's unofficial lead of nearly 8,800 votes but says outstanding issues remain.
"Since 10AM last Wednesday, we have done nothing but close the gap. I don't know what's going to happen. All I know is that at the end of the day, Minnesotans need to to have confidence that this was done in a fair, open and honest manner. That every vote was counted and this was the outcome that they expected. That the legal process that is in place was followed."
Meanwhile, the state Republican Party announced today that former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson will be the chief litigator for the Republican Party and the Emmer campaign.
Side note: Emmer used the term "process" 44 times in his nearly twenty minute news conference.(3 Comments)
Republican Tom Emmer has kept an extremely low profile. He was in Canada over the weekend to watch his son's hockey game. Reporters were not informed of his meeting today with Gov. Pawlenty until Emmer left the State Capitol. Here's the two sentence statement that Emmer campaign spokesman Carl Kuhl released about the meeting several hours after it was finished.
"Governor Pawlenty and Tom Emmer had a productive meeting this morning to discuss transition. They were joined by members of the Pawlenty Administration and a senior advisor to Representative Emmer."
But Emmer's campaign issued an e-mail to supporters asking for a financial contribution to fund the MNGOP's recount efforts.
After over 16 months of campaigning, Election Day has now passed. Jacquie and I can't express enough what an honor and a privilege it has been to run for governor. We have campaigned on a positive message of government living within its means, lower taxes, and job creation. The response we received has been overwhelming, and we appreciate all the support.
As the certification and potential recount process begins, allow us one last opportunity to thank you for the hard work, dedication, time, treasure and effort you have put into this campaign.
My family and I are blessed to have the support of so many throughout this great state.If you wish to volunteer your time or make a donation to assist the recount efforts, please contact the Republican Party of Minnesota.
Should we prevail, I look forward to the privilege of serving all Minnesotans as we move our great state in a positive direction.
Democrat Mark Dayton is scheduled to meet with Governor Pawlenty tomorrow at 4pm.(2 Comments)
Democrat Mark Dayton has announced his transition team despite the fact that the race for governor will go to a recount.
Former campaign manager Dana Anderson will be the Transition Chief of Staff. Former campaign spokeswoman Katie Tinucci will serve as spokeswoman for the transition efforts. The transition team leadership will include several high ranking Democrats including Tina Smith and Lee Sheehy. Here's the release from Dayton:
St. Paul-Today, Mark Dayton released the following statement announcing the leadership of his transition team:
"To begin an unofficial transition for the strong possibility of becoming Governor on January 3, 2011, I have asked Tina Smith and Lee Sheehy to serve as Transition Co-Chairs. State Senator Yvonne Prettner Solon will be centrally involved in the Transition. Ruth Orrick and Michele Kelm-Helgen will serve as Senior Advisors, with others to be named shortly.
Dana Anderson will be the Transition Chief of Staff, and Katharine Tinucci will serve as the Transition Communications Director."
About the transition team leadership:
Tina Smith has served as Chief of Staff for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and as Senior Advisor for Metropolitan Council Chair Ted Mondale during the Ventura Administration. Smith was an executive with Planned Parenthood and has served as a board member for numerous nonprofit organizations including the Guthrie Theater, The Nature Conservancy, and Growth and Justice.
Lee Sheehy's public service includes serving as Chief of Staff to Senator Amy Klobuchar, head of economic development and planning for the City of Minneapolis, and Chief Deputy Attorney General for Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey III.
Ruth Orrick is a business consultant and former executive at Thomson West. She previously served as DFL Party Chair.
Michele Kelm-Helgen served as Chief of Staff for the Minnesota State Senate from 2006-present. Previous job experience includes management of a government relations firm and working as the Sales and Marketing Director for City Venture, a division of Control Data Corporation (now Ceridian). Michele previously was a member and chair of the Eastern Carver County School Board.
Republican Tom Emmer's spokesman Carl Kuhl says Emmer is in Neepawa, Manitoba this weekend to watch his son's hockey game. Kuhl says Emmer left on Friday to take his son back to Canada, will watch the hockey game today and will return to Minnesota on Sunday.
Emmer is making the trip at a time when election officials are gearing up for a statewide recount. Democrat Mark Dayton leads Emmer by 8,775 votes. Emmer has not made any public comments since Election Night.
Meanwhile, the spokeswoman for Democrat Mark Dayton's recount team says they had 51 staff members observing county canvassing on Friday.
Local elections officials are required to submit their reports to the Secretary of State by Friday, November 12th. The State Canvassing Board is expected to accept the results on Tuesday, November 23rd. An automatic recount will be ordered if the margin is less than one half of one percent of the total votes cast in that election.
Democrat Mark Dayton says he thinks any likely recount in the governor's race should be finished by the middle of December. Dayton currently leads Republican Tom Emmer by just over 87-hundred votes in unofficial results, a small enough margin to trigger an automatic recount. On MPR's Midday program, Dayton says he's working on two tracks at this point. He's preparing to take office as governor and has also assembled a team to monitor the recount.
"It's sort of like having one foot driving the car the way you're not supposed to. One foot on the gas pedal and the other on the brake. On the one hand, the clock is ticking. I believe strongly that the next governor, whether it's Representative Emmer or myself that the next governor should take office on January 3rd and there's no reason that that should not occur."
The Republican Party of Minnesota has been reaching out to activists to see whether they saw voting irregularities or had their absentee ballots rejected. Emmer has not spoken to the media since Election Night.
Here's the full interview: Listen
Meanwhile, the Secretary of State has released a schedule for the recount:
Initial meeting of the State Canvassing Board: November 23, 2010: 10 a.m. Room 10, State Office Building, St. Paul Tasks: certification of election results determination of the need for any automatic recounts designation of state recount official adoption of a recount plan
Recount begins at locations around the state:
November 29, 2010 9 a.m.
(Locations to be decided)
Deadline for deputy recount officials to finish sorting the ballots:
December 7, 2010
State Canvassing Board meetings:
December 8, 2010 9 a.m.
December 9, 2010 9 a.m.
December 10, 2010 1 p.m.
(Location to be decided)
certification of any recounts in state House races
determination of challenged ballots in the gubernatorial recount
State Canvassing Board meeting:
December 14, 2010 (time and location to be decided)
certification of gubernatorial election
Governor Tim Pawlenty is moving ahead with the transition to a new administration, even though he doesn't know who will lead it. Pawlenty said today that he will meet separately and privately next week with Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer, whose race for governor appears headed for a recount.
Pawlenty might have to stay in office longer if the winner isn't declared prior to Jan. 3. But he says he hopes that won't be necessary:
"I earnestly, genuinely sincerely hope this is resolved by Jan. 3. It is not in anyone's best interest to have this spill over and have a holdover situation. I hope that doesn't happen but in the unlikely event that it does I will fulfill the responsibilities as required by the constitution. Not because I want to, but because I am required to."
Pawlenty said he has instructed his cabinet to work with both would-be governors. The new governor has until mid-February to propose a two-year budget that erases a projected 6 billion dollar deficit.
Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Tom Hanson says the next budget forecast will be released on December 2nd.
Democrat Mark Dayton is assembling a recount team that will include Democratic strategist Ken Martin and attorney Charles Nauen.
Martin, who worked with Mike Hatch's 2006 election, will head up the recount team. Martin also chaired the independent expenditure groups, Win Minnesota and the 2010 Fund, that funded The Alliance for a Better Minnesota.
Charlie Nauen, with Lockridge Grindal Nauen, will head up the legal efforts.
The Dayton campaign is still working to hire a communications staffer to head up the recount efforts.
I'm told the Dayton campaign will announce the full team later today.
Update: Here's the release from the Dayton campaign:
Dayton Assembles Experienced Team for Recount Possibility
Saint Paul - Mark Dayton, who received the most votes in Tuesday's Minnesota Governor's race, announced today the leadership team assembled to monitor the official certification of the election and prepare for a potential recount.
Director is Ken Martin, who has deep campaign experience in Minnesota including the successful 2008 legacy amendment campaign, which garnered more statewide votes than any other effort in Minnesota history. Martin just went on leave from his position as Executive Director of Win Minnesota.
Chief Counsel to the effort is Charlie Nauen, of Lockridge Grindal Nauen, who has experience with statewide recount efforts and Minnesota Election law. He represented the Franken campaign in St. Louis County and other matters during the 2008 Senate Recount.
Working closely with Nauen on the legal team is former U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug of Fredrikson & Byron who played a key role in the 2008 recount seating U.S. Senator Al Franken.
Press inquiries should be sent to Communications Director of the team, Denise Cardinal, who has taken leave from Alliance for a Better Minnesota to assist in the effort.
Down by 9,057 votes with all precincts reporting, Republican governor candidate Tom Emmer just put out this statement:
With nearly 100% of precincts reporting, this race is still too close to call. The margin that currently separates Senator Dayton and me is currently within the automatic recount trigger. There is a process in law that will ensure that we arrive at a conclusive result, ensuring that all valid votes are counted and the will of the voters is met.
Separately, Gov. Tim Pawlenty also noted, "there is a process in place to provide the people of Minnesota with a final result as quickly as fairness and the law allows."
MPR reporter Tim Nelson has put together an excellent list of frequently asked questions and answers on a recount.(1 Comments)
Posted at 12:22 PM on November 3, 2010
by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Campaign 2010: Minnesota Governor
With all precincts reporting, the Associated Press says DFL-er Mark Dayton holds a 9,057 lead over Republican Tom Emmer.
Here are the AP totals:
Mark Dayton 918,351 43.7%
Tom Emmer 909,294 43.2%
Tom Horner 251,300 12.0%
MPR's Elizabeth Dunbar has a deeper story online about the coming recount, which will likely start Nov. 29.
Republicans have taken control of the Minnesota Legislature in sweeping fashion. Republicans have picked up sixteen seats and now hold a 37-30 majority. Republicans have picked up at least 24 seats but there could be an additional two seats that turn GOP. Three of those races are probably going to an automatic recount. Carol Lewis lost by 28 votes. David Bly lost by 30 votes. Robin Brown lost by 75 votes.
In all, 32 incumbents lost on Tuesday. Every single one of them is a member of the DFL Party.
Here's the list of incumbents who went down:
HOUSE --- 19 total:
- Dave Olin, of Thief River Falls (district 1a)
- Bernard Lieder, of Crookston (district 1b)
- Tim Faust, of Hinckley (district 8b)
- Al Doty, of Royalton (district 12b)
- Al Juhnke, of Willmar (district 13b)
- Gail Kulick Jackson, of Milaca (district 16a)
- David Bly, of Northfield (district 25b)
- Robin Brown, of Moscow Township (district 27a)
- Andy Welti, of Plainview (district 30b)
- Phil Sterner, of Rosemount (district 37b)
- Sandra Masin, of Eagan (district 38a)
- Mike Obermueller, of Eagan (district 38b)
- Will Morgan, of Burnsville (district 40a)
- Paul Rosenthal, of Edina (district 41b)
- Maria Ruud (pronounced 'rude'), of Minnetonka (district 42a)
- Jerry Newton, of Coon Rapids (district 49b)
- Paul Gardner, of Shoreview (district 53a)
- Julie Bunn, of Lake Elmo (district 56a)
- Marsha Swails, of Woodbury (district 56b)
SENATE - 13 total:
- Mary Olson, of Bemidji (district 4)
- Dan Skogen, of Hewitt (district 10)
- Lisa Fobbe, of Zimmerman (district 16)
- Rick Olseen, of Harris (district 17)
- Kevin Dahle, of Northfield (district 25)
- Ann Lynch, of Rochester (district 30)
- Sharon Erickson Ropes, of Winona (district 31)
- Jim Carlson, of Eagan (district 38)
- John Doll, of Burnsville (district 40)
- Leo Foley, of Coon Rapids (district 47)
- Don Betzold, of Fridley (district 51)
- Sandy Rummel, of White Bear Lake (district 53)
- Kathy Saltzman, of Woodbury (district 56)
The word that makes many Minnesotans shudder is likely to pop back up in Minnesota's poltiical circles. Democrat Mark Dayton has about a nine thousand vote lead over Republican Tom Emmer. If the margin is one half of one percent of the total votes cast in that race, an automatic recount occurs. It looks like that's the case in Minnesota's race for governor.
Republicans are gearing up for a recount. The Republican Party has scheduled a 10am news conference to discuss the recount. Earlier this morning, MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton said he was preparing to meet with attorneys to discuss their efforts.
"We're going to be very vigilant, if there is a recount, as to the process of that recount. We're going to be very aggressive in making sure that the procedures are being followed correctly."
If a recount occurs, it will be the second statewide recount in the past two years. The recount in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race took eight months to resolve. Democrat Al Franken won that race.
Things are winding down now. Thanks to the Humphrey Institute's Larry Jacobs for his insight.
He took one more run through the data and leaves us with these few key thoughts:
-- Republican Tom Emmer so far is trailing Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's 2006 share of the vote while Independence Party candidate Tom Horner is running ahead of Peter Hutchinson, the Independence Party candidate from 2006.
-- So far, Republicans are running the table in State House races.
"This would suggest that voters are splitting their ballots -- casting votes for Horner as governor and then casting ballot for Republican for State House," says Jacobs.
Check in Wednesday morning to see if that holds.
The last time the Democrats controlled the governor's office and the GOP held at least one chamber was 1985-1986, notes Jacobs. Rudy Perpich was governor, the Senate was DFL and House was Republican.
This is our last post of the night. Much obliged for your thoughts and insights.
Posted at 11:29 PM on November 2, 2010
by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Campaign 2010: Minnesota Governor
Hennepin County has corrected data on their website and the result is that DFL-er Mark Dayton's still holds a strong lead over Republican Tom Emmer.
Hennepin over-reported votes in some districts earlier this evening and posted incorrect data on its website indicating a huge vote lead for Dayton over Emmer.
When the fix was made, the vote gap for Dayton fell. Overall, though, it doesn't appear to have reduced Dayton's overall proportional lead in the county, says the Humphrey Institute's Larry Jacobs.
Fixed data shows Dayton with 51 percent, Emmer with 35 percent and Independence Party candidate Tom horner at 12 percent in Hennepin County.
Compare that to 2006, when 51 percent in the county voted for Democrat Mike Hatch, 41 percent voted for Tim Pawlenty and about 7.5 percent for Independence Party candidate Peter Hutchinsno.
Comparing the two elections, "it looks like five percent of Emmer's support seems to have slid to Horner," adds Jacobs.
We're still waiting for Hennepin County to fix some tabulating problems on their website.
Still, the patterns are strong enough to indicate that Independence Party candidate Tom Horner is drawing significant numbers of votes away from Republican Tom Emmer, says the Humphrey Institute's Larry Jacobs.
Horner support is holding steady at 12% and it looks as if he is holding GOP support. Largest MN county -- Hennepin -- shows about 51% for Dayton, 35% for Emmer and 12% for Horner.
Emmer support about 5 points lower than Pawlenty in 2006 while Horner is almost 5 points higher than Hutchinson; Dayton's share is the same.
At this stage, Horner is 8 points ahead of 2006 Independence Party candidate Peter Hutchinson in key GOP county of Dakota; Emmer's 45% is trailing Pawlenty share of 52%
Stay tuned. And post below and tell us what you're seeing tonight in your part of Minnesota.(3 Comments)
As we track the Minnesota governor's race into the night, the Humphrey Institute's Larry Jacobs notes that Republican Tom Emmer is currently trailing the pace that incumbent Republican Tim Pawlenty set in 2006 in Anoka and Dakota counties -- key GOP areas.
It's possible that Independence Party candidate Tom Horner is drawing off Republican votes, he adds. "It's not that the Democrat (Mark Dayton) is getting more votes, it's that Emmer is getting fewer votes."
Jacobs says Emmer has struggled to unify his GOP base but appeared to be making progress in the run-up to election.
Returns so far tonight, though, show Emmer trailing Pawlenty's share by five percentage points or more in Hennepin, Dakota and Anoka counties, he adds.
Anoka County is certainly on the mind of Minnesota GOP chief Tony Sutton.
"We have to win Anoka County and win it decisively," Sutton said about 20 minutes ago. "To win the governor's race, I think that's the bellwether county at least in the last several governor's elections. It's important that we win that county and win it decisively tonight."(1 Comments)
MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton says he'll be watching results from Anoka County very closely tonight. He said Tom Emmer will need to do well there if he hopes to be elected governor.
"We have to win Anoka County and win it decisively." Sutton said. "To win the governor's race, I think that's the bellwether county at least in the last several governor's elections. It's important that we win that county and win it decisively tonight."
Sutton also said he thinks the rest of Minnesota's 6th Congressional District and western Minnesota will be key to an Emmer victory.
Posted at 9:23 PM on November 2, 2010
by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Campaign 2010: Minnesota Governor
DFL-er Mark Dayton is up by about 100,000 in the most recent voting data, but don't read too much into that.
The early Dayton lead reflects big leads from the metro area where 82 percent of precincts in Hennepin County and 52 percent in Ramsey County have already reported.
"This is expected hard core Dayton strength," says the Humphrey Institute's Larry Jacobs. "He's up about 100,000 but it's because his (geographical) strength is reporting. You expect him to be up by 100,000."
MPR's Jon Gordon interviews Humphrey Institute's Larry Jacobs on the Minnesota governor's race and a look at the state's congressional races. Worth your time.
Stay tuned. And post below and tell us what you're seeing tonight in your part of Minnesota.
Democrats say they're cautiously optimistic that Mark Dayton will win the race for governor.
Republicans say they're thinking Tom Emmer will win by two percentage points. Republican Tom Emmer's campaign manager Cullen Sheehan says it's good for them if voter turnout is below 65 percent.
Officials with both parties say they expect their respective candidates to do well in Minnesota's 1st, 7th and 8th Congressional Districts.
Everyone says, however, that it's going to be close. That means we could be waiting for results from Minnesota's 8th Congressional District again. Just like in the August primary. Just like in the 2008 U.S. Senate race.
Both parties are extremely confident. That means someone will be extremely disappointed in about six hours.
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says he now expects voter turnout to be 62 percent.
"We had very strong morning turnout," said Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. If turnout continues at that pace, the state likely would exceed his earlier prediction of a 60 percent turnout.
"We could exceed 2.1 to 2.2 million voters," he said.
The polls are scheduled to close at 8pm tonight. MPR's live coverage will start at 7pm with a focus on Minnesota's returns at 8pm.
The race for governor is expected to be close. In fact, operatives from both parties say the race may come down to who has the better Get Out the Vote operation. Here's a look at what to watch for on Election Day.
1) Will the L tell? Gov. Pawlenty won Minnesota's 1st Congressional District by 6 percentage points in 2006. He won the 7th Congressional District by 9 percentage points. Polling is showing that Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer are running about even in that portion of the state (the so-called L). Dayton will have the advantage if he does well here and holds his own among DFL strongholds.
2) What's the word in the 3rd? Independence Party candidate Tom Horner is expected to have his best showing in the 3rd Congressional District which includes the western Twin Cities suburbs. Gov. Pawlenty won the district by 12 percentage points four years ago. This district is made up mostly of moderate Republicans and it will be a bellwether as to whether Horner convinced those Republicans to go with him instead of Emmer. It will be a long night for Dayton and Horner if Emmer performs well here.
3) Does Cravaack have Emmer's back? Minnesota's 8th Congressional District has been a DFL stronghold for decades. It's been a rainmaker for DFL candidates. But this year, DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is facing the toughest test of his political life. Republican Chip Cravaack is giving Oberstar a solid challenge. Watch to see whether those Cravaack voters pull the trigger for the Republican ticket or split their ballot and go for Dayton. If it's the former, Emmer will have a solid night. He doesn't have to win this district but outperform past Republican candidates.
4) Will the GOP wreck it in the 6th and 2nd? Republicans historically do well in Minnesota's 2nd and 6th Congressional Districts (southern, eastern and northern Twin Cities suburbs, northern Twin Cities exurbs like Ham Lake and Elk River and St. Cloud). Pawlenty has made it rain in these areas. He won the 6th by 19 percentage points in 2006. He won the 2nd by 16 percentage points. Emmer needs to do that well in order to keep pace. If he does better than that it could be a tough night for Horner and Dayton.
5) Do Democrats have the blues from watching the news? One major concern in DFL circles is whether Democrats sit this election out. It's going to be a tough night for Democrats across the country and some are worried that could prompt Democrats in Minnesota to sit out the race. If that happens, Republicans will rack up huge wins in both the governor's race and in the Legislature. The DFL Party has spent a lot of time and money on Get Out the Vote efforts to ensure that their core voters turn out and vote. We'll see if that happens on Election Day.
6) Will they put on their coats and get out to vote? Minnesotans tend to vote in fewer numbers in off year elections. The key question is how big of a drop-off will occur this year and where does it come from? Traditionally college students and lower income voters tend to stay home during the Midterms. If they turn out in big numbers it will bode well for Dayton. If they don't, it bodes well for Emmer. I'm told it's good news for Dayton if total voter turnout is 60 percent or higher. It's good news for Emmer if total turnout is below 60 percent.
7) How many end up in Horner's corner? IP candidate Tom Horner has been doing a whole lot of work trying to convince middle of the road voters to choose him over the "extreme candidates" in the DFL and GOP. We'll get a good sense of whether that pitch is working if he does well in the 3rd Congressional District. Another place to watch is Anoka County which helped Jesse Ventura "shock the world" in 1998.
8) Can you surmise that there will be a GOP surprise? The GOP needs to pick up a couple of surprise victories in order to take the Minnesota House and Senate. Political insiders say a few seats to watch include DFL Rep. Loren Solberg of Grand Rapids and DFL Rep. Ann Lenczewski of Bloomington. Both candidates are the top budget and tax experts in the Minnesota House. Voters unhappy with government spending could choose to throw these candidates out. If that's the case, it will be a long night for the DFL.
On the Senate side, DFL Sen. Katie Sieben is facing a strong challenge from Republican Karin Housley. Housley spent $10,000 of her own money on her campaign and is a well known name in South St. Paul (she's married to hockey great Phil Housley). I'm told she's working tirelessly to win a seat that leans DFL. It makes one wonder why Sieben was spending her Thursday before Election Day staffing Mark Dayton's trip to Ely and the Iron Range. Another race to watch if DFL Sen. Keith Langseth's reelection.
9) Will there be a GOP hiccup by a few DFL pick-ups? The DFL is playing defense on plenty of races this year but they are also hoping to pick up a few seats. In the House, they're bullish on Ted Winter returning to the Legislature. He's running in the open seat that's being vacated by GOP Rep. Doug Magnus (who's running for DFL Sen. Jim Vickerman's open seat). Another race to watch is GOP Rep. Laura's Brod's open seat. Democrats hope Mick McGuire can upset Republican Gleen Gruenhagen there.
On the Senate side, Democrats are hoping that they can pick up former Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson's old seat. Republican Joe Gimse defeated Johnson in 2006 but his business has been plagued with financial problems. It could be sweet revenge for Mike Kennedy, the DFL Senate political director who spent a lot of time and money defending Johnson in 2006.
10) Will reaction from the Church leave the DFL in the lurch? The Republican Party and conservative interest groups have been working to portray the DFL Party as "anti-Catholic" after the party sent out a lit piece targeting Republican Pastor Dan Hall. The DFL Party Chair insists the mailers aren't "anti-Catholic" but anti-candidate.
Over the past week, the GOP has been actively pushing the idea on Twitter, the blogs and other places. The strategy will have worked if St. Cloud, New Ulm and Duluth vote for the GOP in higher margins than in years past. The key question is whether the DFL Party is forced to say their prayers over the lit piece or if the the GOP is trying to throw a Hail Mary in the hopes of getting more Republicans elected.(3 Comments)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he's ready to turn over his office to a new governor, whoever it might be.
Pawlenty's strong preference is Republican Tom Emmer, but he told reporters today that his staff is also prepared to make a smooth transition for DFLer Mark Dayton or Independence Party candidate Tom Horner.
"You've got to trust the people of Minnesota to make a good decision," Pawlenty said. "I believe they will, and whatever that decision is my administration will work to make sure the transition is smooth and professional and constructive. We've been planning for that for many months."
Pawlenty said the new governor-elect will have temporary office space in the Centennial Building to begin working on the transition. He's instructed all of his commissioners prepare transition summaries for their successors.
Public Policy Polling released a poll tonight that showed Democrat Mark Dayton with a lead of just three percentage points heading into Election Day. The poll found Dayton had support of 43 percent of those polled. 40 percent of those polled are supporting Republican Tom Emmer. 15 percent of those polled are supporting the Independence Party's Tom Horner.
Pollster Tom Jensen wrote on his blog that Minnesota's contest is turning into a base election where turnout for the two political parties will make the difference:
Neither Dayton nor Emmer really has any crossover appeal. Only 6% of Democrats are planning to vote for Emmer and just 5% of Republicans are for Dayton. That makes the state of this race pretty easy to spell out. Minnesota's a Democratic state so if the Democratic candidate wins all the Democrats and the Republican candidate wins all the Republicans and the independents split pretty evenly the Democratic candidate's going to win. That's where the contest stands right now so Emmer will have to make up some ground in the final days if he's going to pull this one out.
One other interesting tidbit is that Gov. Pawlenty may be a drag on Emmer. Pawlenty's approval rating in the poll is 43 percent. Fifty percent of those polled disapprove of the job he's doing. Just 23 percent of those polled are supportive of the idea of Pawlenty making a run for the White House in 2012.
The polling firm surveyed 2,058 likely Minnesota voters between October 27th and October 29th. The Margin of error is +/-2.2 percent.
You can read the full poll here.
About 2,000 people attended a Get Out the Vote Rally in Blaine this afternoon
Christie, hailed in conservative circles for his fiscal record in New Jersey, told the audience that they need to work hard on Get Out the Vote Efforts.
"You do not let me down" Christie said. "Because I'm telling you that if you people let me down I'm going to go Jersey on you."
Emmer told the audience not to believe the polls that say Democrat Mark Dayton is winning. He told the audience that their work over the next few days could determine whether he's governor.
"It is time over the next two days to grab a hold of that rope and to make sure that we leave nothing to chance," Emmer said. "Let's make those last phone calls. Let's knock on those last doors. Let's put up those signs that we still might have in the office or the garage."
Here's Emmer's speech: Listen
Here's Christie's speech: Listen
Emmer, Democrat Mark Dayton and the Independence Party's Tom Horner will participate in the final debate of the 2010 election. MPR News will air the live debate on Sunday afternoon at 4 o'clock.
IP candidate Tom Horner is campaigning throughout the Twin Cities metro area today with the hopes of picking up steam as Election Day gets closer. Horner took part in a Rally to Restore Sanity at the State Capitol today. Horner told an audience of about 100 people that he's the candidate who will be a moderate voice in the governor's office.
"First of all I would ask you, as the sign says up there says, 'stop being afraid.' Vote for the person you think is going to be the best governor. Vote for the person you believe is going to take Minnesota into a better future. Vote for the person who's going to be open to the new ideas, to new ways of thinking of things. I hope you think that's me, but I really hope you turn out and vote on Tuesday."
Here's Horner's speech: Listen
Democrat Mark Dayton is hitting a few DFL Get Out the Vote rallies with the hopes of motivating supporters to put in a little extra effort before Election Day. Roughly fifty people attended an event at DFL Rep. Alice Hausman's home in St. Paul earlier this morning. Dayton told supporters that they should expect the race to be close.
"Your work on our behalf will make all of the difference. You hold this election in your hands with your work on our behalf today. I always assumed it would be a close election. I always assumed that and it all comes down to who votes next Tuesday."
You can listen to Dayton's speech to DFL activists here: Listen
After more than two dozen debates, DFLer Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and the Independence Party's Tom Horner appeared for the last time together on TV before Election Day. The final debate is Sunday afternoon on MPR.
Dayton criticized Emmer's cuts-alone approach to erasing a projected $5.8 billion state budget deficit as a recipe for local property tax increases. He said Emmer's reductions in health and human services would have human consequences.
"We're talking about people here," Dayton said. "This is about people who get personal care attendants, people who are able to stay at home, people who need to be in nursing homes who are literally kept alive through that kind of care. This is about people, and we do have a growing aging population."
Emmer accused Dayton of making spending promises that he can't keep and being too cozy with labor unions. Emmer said his own plan to reshape state government would include the possible privatization of some current services, but he didn't offer specifics.
"Our state government should not be taking citizens taxpayer dollars and then getting into business to compete with its private citizens," Emmer said. "That should not happen, and it is happening. If there's something a private citizen can do, government should not be doing that function."
Horner, who's running a distant third in the polls, slammed both frontrunners. The IP candidate accused Dayton of being disingenuous in his plan to tax the rich.
"When you say your tax proposal will only effect 8 percent of small business, true," Horner said. "How many jobs will it affect? Ninety percent of the small business jobs in Minnesota. Your killing jobs, that's what your doing. That's what your tax proposal does."
Horner repeatedly argued that his centrist approach is the only way to move Minnesota forward.
Here's the Almanac audio in three parts:
Part 1 Listen
Part 2 Listen
Part 3 Listen
The Minnesota DFL Party is going after Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner's tax plan.
An ad posted on the party's website claims that his proposal to lower the deficit will "raise taxes on every middle-class Minnesotan," by taxing items used by students and babies, essentials such as heating oil and water - even prizes at the state fair.
It's true that Horner would have to tax many new items to lower the deficit. Trouble is, he hasn't said what.
Horner says he wants to lower the sales tax rate by 1 percent. At the same time, he wants to expand the base to some things that are exempt from taxation, such as clothing and services.
All told, Horner aims to bring in $1.3 billion per biennium in new revenue. According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, Horner has to expand the sales tax base by at least 34 percent to make that much cash. While he's got some wiggle room in how he structures the plan - for instance, groceries, prescription drugs, medical devices, business-to-business services, and other things Horner's said he won't tax, could remain exempt - it's true that he'll have to expand the sales tax base quite a bit to make $1.3 billion.
That said, Horner hasn't detailed his plan, and that's why the DFL ad is misleading.
It lists myriad things, such as school text books ($47.6 million in new revenue after the 1 percent reduction in the overall sales tax), residential heating oil ($240.5 million in new revenue) and baby products ($854,000 in new revenue), that Horner would have to tax to come up with the cash - none of which Horner has said specifically he would tax.
Further, many of the items featured in the ad would generate very little revenue; for instance, taxing automatic fire sprinklers would bring in about $512,400 - less than one percent of the $1.3 billion Horner pledges to raise. Additionally, the revenue department generally considers such items business purchases, which Horner says he won't tax.
The broader point of the ad is that Horner's tax plan would unfairly hurt the middle class. And the conventional wisdom is that sales taxes hit lower income earners harder.
But again, a lot depends on what Horner decides to tax, according to Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. If the plan includes clothes or food that many people, rich or poor, buy, the sales tax becomes more regressive. If it's items that wealthier people buy, the tax is more progressive, he said.
And while Horner has said he will tax clothes, he's pledged to adopt a tax holiday, give a tax credit or keep purchases under $100 tax-free to ensure middle and lower income Minnesotans aren't burdened by the levy. That fact is left out of the DFL ad.
It's true that Horner wants expand the sales tax, and it's likely many things that are not taxed now will be taxed in the future if he becomes governor. However, the DFL ad is misleading on two points: it assumes that Horner will tax things he hasn't said he would tax. Further, it fails to mention that Horner has a plan to make the sale tax less burdensome for middle-and-lower income Minnesotans.
This PoliGraph test is inconclusive.
The Minnesota DFL, Tom Horner's "Clear Vision": Raising Taxes on the Middle Class, accessed Oct. 28, 2010
Tom Horner for Governor, Minnesota Works: The Horner-Mulder Budget, accessed Oct. 28, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Horner's tax plan typical in most of U.S., by Mark Zdechlik, Oct. 8, 2010
The Minnesota Department of Revenue, Sales Tax Base Broadening and Rate Reduction, Sept. 27, 2010
The Minnesota Department of Revenue, State of Minnesota Tax Expenditure Budget: Fiscal Years 2010-2013, February 2010.
The Uneasy Case for Extending the Sales Tax to Services, by Kirk J. Stark, University of California, Los Angeles - School of Law, March 24, 2003
Matt Lewis, spokesman, Tom Horner, Oct. 28, 2010
Kristen Sosanie, spokeswoman, Minnesota DFL, Oct. 28, 2010
Roberton Williams, senior fellow, The Urban Institute, Oct. 28, 2010
Morgan Holcomb, law professor, Hamline University, Oct. 28, 2010
Roughly 800 people attended a DFL rally in Virginia, MN tonight. The group showed up to see Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mark Dayton, DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar, state legislators representing the Iron Range and DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar. The event was organized as a Get Out the Vote rally for DFL candidates.
Oberstar, who is engaged in a tough reelection fight with Republican Chip Cravaack, didn't back away from any of his votes. In fact, he praised the stimulus and said it was a major factor in why the taconite mines on the Iron Range are hiring again. He also repeated his support for Social Security and defended his vote for the health care bill.
"We just passed the biggest health insurance reform in the history of this country in this Congress and we're not going to let the Republicans take it away from us," Oberstar shouted.
Dayton told the audience that he'll work to ensure that the state's schools are funded and will work to keep college tuition affordable. He said his plan to tax Minnesota's top earners is better than the sales tax expansion proposed by the Independence Party's Tom Horner or the cuts Republican Tom Emmer will need to do if he doesn't raise taxes.
"These are going to be hard times. There's no easy way to balance a $6 billion deficit. But there are right and wrong ways. There are better and worse ways," Dayton said.
Both Dayton and Oberstar are relying on heavy turnout in northern Minnesota and the Iron Range. DFL candidates who have not performed well in this part of the state rarely win statewide.
Here's Oberstar's speech: Listen
Here's Dayton's speech: Listen(3 Comments)
A KSTP-TV/Survey USA poll shows a dead heat between Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer. The poll, taken between October 24th and October 27th, shows Dayton leading Emmer by one percentage point. Dayton received 39 percent support from those polled. Emmer received 38 percent support. IP candidate Tom Horner received support from 13 percent of those polled.
Here's the full methodology.(4 Comments)
Republican candidate Tom Emmer is insisting that the race for governor is a dead heat between him and DFLer Mark Dayton.
Emmer's campaign released some internal poll numbers today to try to back up the claim. The internal poll had both Emmer and Dayton at 40 percent, with Independence Party candidate Tom Horner at 13 percent. Additional data was not provided. The Emmer campaign is also trying to discredit the results of a new Minnesota Public Radio/Humphrey Institute poll that shows Dayton ahead by 12 percentage points.
Here's the campaign news release:
In past election cycles, results from the MPR/Humphrey Institute have been wrong and have given voters across the state bad information. The most recent poll released today by MPR and the Humphrey Institute follows this dramatically wrong yet predictable pattern.(2 Comments)
To make sure voters have more accurate and statistically reliable information about the Minnesota Governor's race, the Emmer Campaign today is releasing results from its own internal poll conducted on October 24th and 25th by Public Opinion Strategies. The poll of 500 likely voters shows the race for Governor tied: Dayton 40, Emmer 40, Horner 13. The poll has margin of error +/-4.38% and is more in line with recent results from Survey USA and Rasmussen and in stark contrast to the ridiculous polling done by the Star Tribune and MPR.
"All polls are snapshots in time," said Cullen Sheehan, Emmer Campaign Manager. "The new MPR/Humphrey Institute results are an unfortunately predictable snapshot in absurdity. The HHH poll's track record rivals only television weather forecasters for accuracy. Four years ago this same poll predicted that Mike Hatch would beat Tim Pawlenty by six percentage points. Minnesota should be as confident in this poll's prediction as Governor Hatch was during the last gubernatorial campaign."
The new federal health care law has cropped in attack ads, in speeches, and most recently in a three-way debate between the gubernatorial candidates.
Republican Tom Emmer said the law is flawed because it's a federal intrusion on state's rights. He said the law includes a lot of surprises unrelated to health care policy.
"I had somebody approach me yesterday who said, 'Do you realize that in the federal health care bill that every real estate transaction I'm going to have to pay money into the federal health care bill to pay for it,'" Emmer said in a response to a question about his take on a legal effort to overturn the law. "On every real estate transaction. What else are we going to find out over the next few weeks?"
Emmer goes wrong in his claim by saying that "every" real estate transaction will be taxed. In fact, it appears that very few Americans will be saddled with the new duty.
Emmer's staff did not respond to PoliGraph's requests for more information on this claim, but it appears Emmer's talking about an obscure provision in the law that imposes a 3.8 percent tax on money that's made from investment income, which can include rental property and home sales.
Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the tax will bring in $210 billion between 2013, when the levy kicks in, and 2019; the funds will be used to pay for Medicare.
But the tax comes with some important criteria.
First, it only applies to individuals making more than $200,000 annually and couples making more than $250,000 annually.
Further, profits on primary residences less than $250,000 for individuals and less than $500,000 for couples are already exempt from taxation.
So, for instance, a couple would have to make more than $250,000 a year and sell their home for more than $500,000 before the tax would become an issue.
It's hard to say precisely how many people will be subject to the new tax. But what is clear is that the burden will fall on a narrow sliver of the population.
In Minnesota, less than 10 percent of households make more than $200,000 annually. And the average price of a home in the state is roughly $150,000. Nationally, the conservative Tax Foundation predicts the tax will only hit the wealthiest 2 percent of families.
There's a bit of truth to Emmer's claim because there is a new tax in the health care bill that could apply to real estate transactions. But Emmer has blown the impact of the new tax way out of proportion by saying every real estate transaction will be taxed. In fact, it appears relatively few will.
That exaggeration makes this claim false.
Minnesota Public Radio News, KSTP debate, Oct. 24, 2010
Thomas, Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, accessed Oct. 26, 2010
The Joint Committee On Taxation, Technical Explanation Of the Revenue Provisions Of The "Reconciliation Act Of 2010," As Amended, In Combination With The "Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act", accessed Oct. 26, 2010
AARP, The New Health Care Law and Taxes on Home Sales, by Susan Jaffe, Oct. 11, 2010
Kaiser Family Foundation, Summary of the new health reform law, accessed Oct. 26, 2010
The Internal Revenue Service, rules for Maximum Exclusion, accessed Oct. 26, 2010
Realtor.org, September Existing Home Sales Show Another Strong Gain, Oct. 25, 2010
The Tax Foundation, Health Care Reform: How Much Does It Redistribute Income?, by
Patrick Fleenor and Gerald Prante, April 15, 2010
The Minnesota Department of Revenue, 2009 Minnesota Tax Incidence Study, accessed Oct. 26, 2010
The Republican Party of Minnesota is ramping up its criticism of their counterparts in the DFL for issuing a campaign lit piece that questions whether a Republican candidate for the Minnesota Senate is committed to the poor. The lit piece, which is below, shows a picture of a man of the cloth with a button that says "Ignore the poor." The lit piece then questions whether Pastor Dan Hall is committed to serving the poor or the Republican Party. Hall, who is not Catholic, is challenging DFL Sen. John Doll in Senate District 40 which includes Burnsville.
Republican Party officials and several Catholic groups were swift to criticize the lit piece. A writer on the blog, The National Catholic Register, described it as "The most Anti-Catholic political ad you'll ever see."
Republican Party Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb also worked to link the lit piece to Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mark Dayton:
"My phone keeps ringing with calls from outraged people upset at @MinnesotaDFL anti-Catholic mailing funded by @Mark_Dayton's kids"
I'm trying to confirm how Brodkorb can claim that Dayton's children "funded" this particular piece of literature. Update: Brodkorb said Dayton's two sons have given $250,000 each to the DFL. Update to the Update: When I asked how those funds were earmarked for this particular lit piece, Brodkorb referenced a profile I did on Bob Perry that said Perry bankrolled the Swift Boat ads. He has yet to answer how Dayton's kids funded this particular lit piece. In reality, it's a better link to say that the DFL Senate Caucus paid for the lit piece since they transfer funds to the DFL to send out their lit in MN Senate races. The caucuses do that to save money on postage.
DFL Party spokesman Donald McFarland says the lit piece isn't mean to be anti-Catholic but show how Hall has distanced himself from the views of others in the faith community.
"The ad is part of a two-piece mailing that highlights and criticizes the policy views of Dan Hall, a preacher who is the Republican candidate for the Minnesota Senate. Some Republican bloggers have taken one image from the first piece, and claimed that the mail is somehow anti-Catholic. But the text explicitly criticizes Preacher Hall for distancing himself from policy views that have been taken by the Catholic Archdiocese, by the Lutheran Synod, and other leaders in Minnesota's faith community. Dan Hall is willing to enlist God and religion in his campaign when it helps him -- but in fact, his views hurt the poorest and sickest among us, and this mailing holds him accountable for those views."
Here's a link to the second lit piece that McFarland referenced.
Question of the Day: What do you think of this issue?
Update: The MNGOP has scheduled a news conference at 11am in which they'll call on Dayton to denounce the lit piece. GOP state Sen. Michelle Fischbach and GOP state Sen. Amy Koch will speak at the newser.
UPDATE: Democrat Mark Dayton issued this statement on the lit piece:
"I believe the brochure's picture showing a Man of the Cloth is inappropriate. I believe that it is inappropriate to bring religion into a campaign as this image and others do.
I believe the brochure's referencing Leaders of the Faith Community criticizing the damage to GAMC is appropriate. The facts are that members of Minnesota's Faith Community have been leaders in the fight to stop Governor Pawlenty from denying health care to the poorest and sickest Minnesotans."
Some nurses and police officers aren't pleased that a business-backed group is portraying their professions in a TV ad against DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton.
The commercial from the group MN Forward features a police officer from an unidentified department named Dave, who says he and his nurse wife would be hit by Dayton's proposed income tax increase on top earners.
The Minnesota Nurses Association and Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis issued a this joint statement today calling the ad misleading and defending Dayton:
"Nurses and police officers are the heart of the middle class in Minnesota, and we endorsed Mark Dayton for governor because he is the only candidate who will protect them and all middle-class Minnesotans. No matter their spin, Mark's two opponents cannot hide the fact that they will raise taxes on our members and the middle class by imposing higher regressive sales and property taxes. Mark Dayton is the only candidate who understands that nurses and police officers are at a breaking point and simply cannot pay any more. Mark is the only candidate who won't make middle-class Minnesotans pick up more of the state's revenue burden."(3 Comments)
MN Forward, a group mostly funded by corporate money, reports raising $1.9 million in 2010. The group, which was heavily criticized along with Target Corporation for supporting Republican Tom Emmer, spent $1.3 million of those funds working to elect Emmer. Hubbard Broadcasting, Federated Insurance and Davisco Foods, a subsidiary of Cambria, gave $150,000 each to the group. Rosen's Diversified, which is the company owned by State Sen. Julie Rosen and her husband, gave $160,000 to the group.
A lot of attention has been given to the corporations that have been giving to groups supporting Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor. But two companies gave money to Win Minnesota, a group working to elect Democrat Mark Dayton. Kwik-Trip gave $25,000 to Win Minnesota. Anheuser Busch gave $10,000 to the group.
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, which is funded by wealthy Democratic donors, the Democratic Governors Association, labor unions and Native American Tribes reported raising close to $5.4 million. The group spent $4.4 million of that on ads criticizing Republican Tom Emmer.
Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign for governor reported raising $4.4 million. His campaign finance report shows that he spent $4.2 million and has $256,124 left in the bank. Dayton, who spent $3.3 million of his own money on the campaign through the DFL Primary, loaned his campaign $590,000 since then.
Tom Horner's Independence Party campaign for governor says Horner raised more than $1 million since the pre-primary campaign finance reporting period in July. That put's Horner's 2010 total at more than $1.2 million. According to the Horner campaign, as of October 18th, it had nearly $60,000 cash-on-hand.
Update: Here's a link to Horner's full report. He spent $710k on ads.(2 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty is scheduled to make campaign stops in Texas, New Mexico, Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota and Iowa in the final week of the campaign.
Pawlenty will be campaigning mostly on behalf of the Republican candidates for governor. Some of the events are closed fundraisers (Texas and Louisiana ). Other events are rallies for candidates (NM, OH, PA, IA).
Pawlenty, who campaigned for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer over the past two days, will attend a rally for Emmer on Saturday in Blaine. He will also spend the Monday before Election Day campaigning for Emmer.
Results of a new St. Cloud State University survey show DFL Mark Dayton with a 10 percentage point lead in the race for governor.
Dayton had the support of 40 percent of likely voters, followed by Republican Tom Emmer at 30 percent and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner at 19 percent. Five percent were undecided.
The statewide survey interviewed 628 Minnesotans between October 10 to October 21. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.
DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton has postponed several campaign appearances today due to illness.
A campaign spokeswoman says Dayton has laryngitis. He was scheduled to tour a solar energy company in Bloomington and an organic dairy farm near Altura. Dayton also had a fundraiser tonight in Rochester.
Dayton is expected to be back in action Tuesday for some media interviews and the next gubernatorial debate in Mankato.
KSTP-TV and the League of Women Voters held a live televised debate tonight on the Campus of Metro State University in St. Paul. Democrat Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and the IP's Mark Dayton offered their different visions on the state budget, education spending and health care.
The most aggressive candidate was Horner. Part of the reason may be that he appears to be losing steam as Election Day gets closer.
Today's Minnesota poll showed Horner with 13% support. That's down from a high of 18%.
Horner took time to criticize Emmer and Dayton with the hopes that he stands out among undecided voters and those who are soft in their support of Emmer and Dayton.
Horner took a shot at Dayton's record:
"I think if they know anything about you Senator, it's that in 35 years you've never met a promise that you won't make if it satisfies a special interest group."
And Emmer for mischaracterizing his positions:
"It's this listening problem that you have where you pretend that you know more than anybody else and then you talk to the rest of the public as if what you're saying is the gospel. That's where you get stuck by putting your stake in the ground and you won't move. that's not what we need right now."
After the debate, Horner said he wasn't ramping up his criticism too dramatically but indicated that he has serious work to do in the final days of the campaign:
"There are so many Dayton supporters who aren't enamored with Senator Dayton but are so fearful of a Governor Emmer and there are so many Emmer supporters who are fearful of a Governor Dayton. Those are Horner supporters if I can get them over the fear and get them to vote the future."
You can listen to the full debate here: Listen
Gov. Tim Pawlenty hit the campaign trail today for Republican Tom Emmer's gubernatorial campaign. Pawlenty and Emmer appeared at a GOP Rally today in St. Louis Park.
Pawlenty told the audience that his work to keep taxes low, to improve the state's education system and his efforts to improve the state's business climate.
Pawlenty said he thought about a Governor Dayton and told the audience of 200 people "Are you kidding me."
Both Pawlenty and Emmer used the event as a way to encourage Republicans to turn out the vote by making phone calls on behalf of Republican candidates.
Here's the audio: Listen
President Obama offered a defense of his party's policies, including healthcare overhaul and Wall Street reform during a campaign stop at the University of Minnesota. He told the audience that voting for Republicans would be voting to slide backwards and undo the economic progress Democrats had made.
Obama was in the Twin Cities to raise money for Minnesota Democrats running for Congress and to hold a campaign event for Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign for governor. Obama said Dayton was the only candidate capable of delivering change.
"So I need you to keep fighting, I need to you to keep working, I need you to keep believing. And if you knock on some doors again, if you make some phone calls again, if you talk to your neighbors again, then I promise you we won't just win this election, we won't just have Mark as governor, but you and I together, we are going to restore the american dream."
You can listen to President Obama's speech here: Listen
All of the candidates will attend different campaign events today. They will then take part in a live televised debate at 6pm on KSTP-TV.
Republican Tom Emmer is sharpening his criticism of Democrat Mark Dayton on the campaign trail. During a campaign rally today in Woodbury, Emmer relied on his platform of redesigning and limiting the size of government. But he also criticized Dayton for using his family fortunes to seek political office.
"What has Senator Dayton done with the great wealth that has been bestowed upon him?" Emmer asked. "He's offered to run for office for the last thirty years."
Emmer also said Dayton doesn't have the right "life experience" that the state needs right now. Emmer was joined by GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton.
Here's the audio of Bachmann and Emmer: Listen
I'll post the audio from President Obama's rally once it becomes available.(3 Comments)
Health care issues took center stage today in Rochester, where the three-major party candidates for governor met for their latest debate.
The hour-long event was sponsored by the Rochester chamber of commerce.
DFL candidate Mark Dayton said if he's elected, he would reverse Gov. Tim Pawlenty's policy and quickly authorize Minnesota's participation in an expanded federal Medicaid program. Pawlenty has blocked efforts to bring in the available federal Medicaid money. Independence Party candidate.
Tom Horner said he too would seek the federal money. But Republican Tom Emmer said he agreed with Pawlenty's decision. Emmer also said he wants to eliminate the health care provider tax that currently pays for the state-subsidized MinnesotaCare coverage.
The candidates for governor will be active on the campaign trail this weekend.
Democrat Mark Dayton will go hunting with DFL Rep. Collin Peterson in Montevideo on Saturday morning. He will then return to the Twin Cities to attend President Obama's rally at the University of Minnesota and will attend a private fundraiser after the event.
On Sunday, Dayton will attend two church services in North Minneapolis with DFL Rep. Bobby Jo Champion.
Republican Tom Emmer will hold several campaign rallies on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, he'll hold a rally with GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann in Woodbury at 11:30, a rally with GOP Rep. John Kline in Burnsville at 1pm, a rally in Chanhassen at 2:30 and a rally with GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen in Minnetonka at 4:30.
On Sunday, Emmer will attend a rally with Gov. Pawlenty in St. Louis Park at 2:30.
IP candidate Tom Horner will go to a tailgate before the University of Minnesota football game.
On Sunday, Horner will attend a Latino candidate forum in Minneapolis at 2:30pm.
All three candidate will attend KSTP's live gubernatorial debate at 6pm on Sunday night.(2 Comments)
Two of the statewide candidates for political office will be on the hunt for votes this weekend. They'll also be on the hunt for critters.
Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign is headed to Montevideo on Saturday morning to go pheasant hunting with DFL Rep. Collin Peterson. A campaign staffer says Dayton and Peterson have scheduled their hunt a little earlier than usual so Dayton can make it back for President Obama's rally at the University of Minnesota.
Republican Secretary of State candidate Dan Severson is going squirrel hunting with Hmong Community leaders at the Wattercot Farm in St. Cloud at 8AM. Update: Severson will hunt with clan leaders Toua Zeng Lo, Leng Pha, Chu Chang and Sia Lo.
Severson will host a lunch after the hunt.
Former Gov. Jesse Ventura told the St. Paul Pioneer Press today that he's backing IP candidate Tom Horner's campaign for governor. Ventura, who is a member of the IP, served as governor from 1999-2003. His victory in the 1998 election completely surprised the world.
"I urge people -- if they truly want change, it's in their power -- shock the world again." Vote Tom Horner in as governor," Ventura told the newspaper.
MPR's Tim Pugmire reports that Horner says Ventura will campaign with him between now and Election Daty.
The latest Rasmussen poll shows Democrat Mark Dayton with a three point lead over Republican Tom Emmer. Support for IP candidate Tom Horner also appears to be dropping.
Dayton received support from 44 percent of those polled. Emmer received support from 41 percent of those poll. IP candidate Tom Horner received 10 percent support.
The poll surveyed 750 likely voters on October 20th. The margin of error is +/-4%.
The poll also found that Gov. Pawlenty's approval/disapproval is locked at 49%.
Fifty percent of those polled approve of the job President Obama is doing. 49% disapprove.
Here's the full poll.(2 Comments)
Not a gubernatorial debate goes by without some discussion of government aid to cities and schools.
DFL hopeful Mark Dayton raised the issue during a debate at the University of Minnesota on Oct. 15, 2010, saying state aid cuts are forcing property taxes up.
"For every dollar you cut in local government aids or in school aid from the state, property taxes go up by 67 cents," he said. "That's why property taxes in Minnesota under Gov. Pawlenty have gone from $4 billion to $7 billion."
Dayton's correct that the correlation between cuts in government aid and increasing property taxes is strong. However, it's worth pointing out that there are other reasons school and local property taxes are on the rise.
First, Dayton says that property taxes increase by 67 cents for every dollar the state cuts in aid.
Generally speaking, this is true, though it's important to note that this is a rule of thumb employed by the Minnesota Department of Revenue when estimating how cuts in state aid will interfere with tax revenue, not the law of the land. Eric Willette, who directs property tax research at the revenue department, says recent estimates have been on the high end because many cities are choosing not to raise property taxes in light of the ongoing recession.
The same trend is evident when it comes to per pupil school aid. Based on Department of Education data, when accounting for inflation, per pupil funding has declined by about $1,300 since 2003, and property taxes have increased by about $870 - a two-thirds increase in taxes.
Further, Dayton points out property taxes have increased from $4 billion to $7 billion in recent years. This is also true. Since Pawlenty took office in 2003, local and school property taxes have increased by about that much. (State property taxes have increased over the years, but not dramatically.)
Dayton's underlying point, that a rise in property taxes is the direct result of cuts to state aid, is fuzzier.
By all accounts, the cuts are a major contributor. However, there are other factors at play.
In counties, for instance, property taxes have been on the rise because the state has shifted some of the costs associated with taking care of the Medicaid patients and the mentally disabled to counties, says Keith Carlson, executive director of the Minnesota Inter-County Association.
Meanwhile, cities and towns are grappling with higher health care costs, home foreclosures that erode the tax base, and relatively high energy costs meaning it costs more for police and fire departments to fuel their patrol cars and fire trucks.
Generally, Dayton's claims are correct. It's true that for every dollar that's cut in state aid, property taxes tend to increase by about 67 cents. And these cuts have driven increases in property taxes.
That said, it's important to put this trend in context: The recession, foreclosures, and higher gas prices have all contributed to this increase as well.
All in all, Dayton's claim passes the PoliGraph test.
The UpTake, Gubernatorial Debate at the University of Minnesota, Oct. 15, 2010
Minnesota Department of Revenue, Price of Government: State and Local Government Revenues are Forecast Through 2013, accessed Oct. 19, 2010
State of Minnesota: Office of the State Auditor, Minnesota City Finances, 2008 Revenues, Expenditures, and Debt, Dec. 31, 2008
Minnesota2020, When It Comes to School Finances, No News is Not Good News, by Jeff Van Wychen, Aug. 23, 2010
Interview, Eric Willette, Property Tax Research Director, Minnesota Department of Revenue, Oct. 19, 2010
Interview, Keith Carlson, Executive Director, Minnesota Inter-County Association, Oct. 19, 2010
Interview, Gary Carlson, Director of Intergovernmental Relations, League of Minnesota Cities Oct. 19, 2010
Interview, Jeff Van Wychen, Minnesota2020, Oct. 20, 2010(4 Comments)
The Republican Governor's Association is putting a big marker on Tom Emmer's campaign in the final weeks of the campaign. The group is giving $1 million to Minnesota's Future, an independent expenditure group, according to the fund's spokesman Chris Tiedeman. Minnesota's Future is running ads criticizing Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign.
"We believe Tom Emmer is going to win but we're going to close the election right and get that message to the voters," Tiedeman said.
Tiedeman said the money will be used for ads on TV, radio, the internet and other social media.
The donation comes on top of the $830,000 the RGA has already given to Minnesota's Future.
The RGA isn't the only group to give to Minnesota's Future in the final weeks of the campaign. Hubbard Broadcasting, which owns KSTP-TV, wrote a $25,000 check to the group as well.
Meanwhile, The Democratic Governor's Association has given $1.5 million to Win Minnesota through 10/5(reports here and here). That group is then giving a bulk of the funds to The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, which is running ads criticizing Emmer.
DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton is promising teachers that if elected, he will work with them, not against them.
Dayton spoke today at the annual Education Minnesota professional conference in St. Paul. The statewide teachers union, has had an especially rocky relationship with Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has often accused the union of blocking important education reforms, including new approaches to licensing and tenure. The union is backing Dayton for governor.
Dayton told teachers that he understands education is about the magic they bring to the classroom.
"It's so absurd to be talking about education with teachers somehow the obstacle or the adversary," Dayton said. "Education happens with you, through you, because of you. And I want the state of Minnesota to be an ally."
In his introduction of Dayton. Education Minnesota President Tom Dooher offered a vigorous defense of his union and a sometimes stinging indictment of its critics. Using the parlance of the No Child Left Behind Law, Dooher took immediate aim at Pawlenty.
"After eight years of patient effort, we have come to the conclusion that Tim Pawlenty has failed to make adequate yearly progress as our governor for Minnesota, Dooher said. "We recommend he be reassigned for immediate remediation."
Here's audio of Dooher: Listen
Here's audio of Dayton: Listen
Former GOP Gov. Al Quie announced today that he's supporting the Independence Party's Tom Horner in the race for governor. Quie is the second former Republican governor to support Horner's campaign. Arne Carlson is also backing Horner. Quie says he likes Horner's budget plan, his plan to improve the achievement gap in schools and his plan to invest in infrastructure. He said Horner will do a better job for the state than Republican Tom Emmer or Democrat Mark Dayton.
"Now as I look at the candidates for governor," Quie said. "I look at their solutions and I come down on the side of Tom Horner."
Horner has been peeling away support from Emmer's Republican base. Several former legislators and at least one Republican mayor say they're backing Horner because they consider Emmer's budget plan "too extreme." Quie said he was prepared for criticism from his Republican colleagues.
"If a person who votes for a Republican who is now running as an Independent and if that makes him a RINO (Republican In Name Only), I plead guilty. What I tell all of the candidates in the Republican Party is that you're not electing the Republican Party, you're electing a person."
Quie was backing Marty Seifert before he lost the GOP endorsement to Emmer.
Quie's endorsement now means two of the three living Republican governors in Minnesota are backing Horner's campaign. The announcement comes just days before Republcan Governor Tim Pawlenty will hit the campaign trail for Emmer.
MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton says he's disappointed by Quie's endorsement of Horner. Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton said Quie's endorsement doesn't represent the vast majority of Republicans.
Gov. Pawlenty stayed on the sidelines of the race for governor for several months after Tom Emmer won the GOP endorsement. But he's ramping up his efforts in the remaining days of the campaign. It's already been announced that Pawlenty will appear at a campaign rally on the Saturday before Election Day.
Today, the Emmer campaign announced Pawlenty will campaign with Emmer on Sunday and Monday in St. Louis Park, Rochester and Eagan.
Here's the schedule:
Sunday, October 24th, 2010
Saint Louis Park
3:00 pm (2:30 pm Doors)
Saint Louis Park Recreation Center
3700 Monterey Drive
Monday, October 25th, 2010
(8:00 am Doors)
Ramada Hotel and Conference Center
Royal Room C
1517 16th Street SW
(10:30 am Doors) Aerospace Manufacturing, Inc.
1045 Gemini Road
DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez says Pawlenty's sinking popularity will likely do more to hurt Emmer than help. The outgoing Republican governor is scheduled to campaign with Emmer Sunday and Monday. Melendez says Emmer's connection to Pawlenty will likely cost him independent votes.
"Obviously DFLers have always disliked Tim Pawlenty, and Tim Pawlenty's unfavorable ratings have been going up lately, so that's got to be coming from independents, which leaves me to think that tying Tim Pawlenty around your neck is not the best strategy two weeks out."
But state Republican party chairman Tony Sutton says voters like the idea of Emmer continuing Pawlenty's policies. He says the governor's campaign assistance should help Emmer peak on Election Day.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Gov. Pawlenty will hold a GOTV rally on October 30th for Republican Tom Emmer.
MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton said on Twitter that the three Republican governors will be in Minnesota on Emmer's behalf.
A spokesman for the Emmer campaign and a spokesman for the MNGOP says more details will follow.
Bob Lessard, a former state Senator who is best known for pushing hunting and fishing issues, has backed Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign for governor. Lessard, who served in the Minnesota Senate as a member of the DFL and the Independence Parties, said Dayton is the candidate who will best represent sportsmen's issues. The endorsement matters since Lessard backed Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and Republican Senator Norm Coleman in past elections.
Here's part of the news release:
"Mark Dayton has made the strongest commitment to hunters and anglers that I have seen from any gubernatorial candidate in my political career. Endorsing Mark is a matter of integrity. In the past, I've endorsed some Republicans because they were on the right side of the issues that matter to me and the issues that matter to sportsmen and sportswomen. In this race, Mark Dayton is on the right side of those issues-he supported the Legacy Amendment from Day One. I support Mark because he supports sportsmen and sportswomen. With him, hunters, anglers, and conservationists will have a friend in the Governor's office."
Dayton, a hunter and angler himself, said: "I am honored to receive Bob's endorsement. Bob has done so much for sportsmen and sportswomen in our state, and I look forward to working with him to ensure a better Minnesota for sportsmen, sportswomen, and future generations."
Senator Lessard has previously endorsed Governor Pawlenty and Senator Coleman, and chaired the Sportsmen for Bush campaign. Senators Lessard and Coleman campaigned together for the Legacy Amendment. This time, however, Senator Lessard does not support the Republican candidate.
"Representative Emmer opposed the Legacy Amendment, which I can understand. However, after the amendment was overwhelmingly passed, Emmer authored legislation to repeal what the voters had just voted for. Emmer claimed to change his position on the amendment when it was politically expedient after he was endorsed. It is crucial that the sportsmen and the sportswomen of this state understand that. It would be hypocritical of me to endorse a man that has worked to undo the most important legislative victory that sportsmen and sportswomen have achieved in a generation," Senator Lessard added.
Minnesota's next governor will grapple with health care reform, including a new federal law that requires states to set up health insurance marketplaces.
In response to a comment made by Republican candidate Tom Emmer about increasing the competitiveness of health insurance in the state, Independence candidate Tom Horner said Minnesota needs to consider federal dollars meant to help states set up health insurance exchanges.
"Every state accepted the planning money except two: Minnesota and Alaska," Horner said. "And I think that speaks to the politics of the issue."
Horner's right: Minnesota and Alaska have so far said "no" to federal money.
The new health care law requires most people to have health insurance by 2014. But because some people don't have insurance through their jobs - and some people don't have jobs at all - the bill also requires that states set up so-called health insurance exchanges, virtual marketplaces where consumers and small businesses can shop for policies.
The idea is to make health insurance pricing more competitive. If the state fails to set up the exchange, the federal Department of Health and Human Services will run the operation.
Indeed, the health care bill has become a political flashpoint in Minnesota. In August, Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued an executive order barring state departments and agencies from applying for funding associated with the new law because he says it's an intrusion on state's rights. The executive order includes federal grants meant to help states get the exchanges off the ground.
On Sept. 30, 2010, the federal health department announced $49 million in such grants to 48 states and the District of Columbia.
Not included on the list? Minnesota and Alaska.
Horner's correct that Minnesota and Alaska are the only two states that have not applied for grants to help establish health insurance exchanges.
The UpTake, Debating at the U: MN Candidates for Governor, Oct. 15, 2010
The Christian Science Monitor, Health care reform bill 101: What's a health 'exchange'?, by Peter Grier, March 20, 2010
The Kaiser Family Foundation, Explaining Health Care Reform: Questions About Health Insurance Exchanges, April 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Pawlenty does about-face on insurance exchange idea, by Elizabeth Stawicki, October 8, 2010
Office of the Governor, Governor Pawlenty Signs Executive Order Directing State Agencies to Decline All Discretionary Participation in Obamacare, Aug. 31, 2010
HealthCare.gov, Health Insurance Exchanges: State Planning and Establishment Grants, accessed Oct. 18, 2010
HealthCare.gov, Grant Awards List, accessed Oct. 18, 2010
One of the candidates who may challenge President Obama in 2012 will be in Minnesota on Saturday. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will campaign with his former staffer, Lt. Gov. Candidate Annette Meeks and 1st District Republican candidate Randy Demmer on Saturday. The three will campaign at Winona State University on Saturday morning at 8am.
DNC Chair Tim Kaine will be in Minnesota to kick off the party's Get Out the Vote efforts. Kaine will appear at the U of M with DFL Rep. Keith Ellison and DFL Associate Chair Donna Cassutt to kick off the party's canvassing efforts at the U of M. The event will be held at Tony's Diner at 3pm.
Longtime Democrat Mike Ciresi is endorsing Independence Party candidate Tom Horner for governor.
Ciresi ran twice as a Democrat for U.S. Senate. The first time was in 2000 when he lost in the primary to Mark Dayton. The second time was in 2008 when he dropped out of the race before the DFL state convention where Al Franken was endorsed.
Horner, a former Republican strategist and public relations executive, has attracted the support of a number of former Republican elected officials, including Gov. Arne Carlson. Ciresi is the first well known Democrat to publicly back Horner.
Some polls have suggested Horner is drawing more support from Republicans than Democrats.
Horner has been campaigning on a message that DFLer Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer represent political extremes and that he offers a middle ground approach to government.
Although Ciresi endorsed Horner for governor, Ciresi says he remains a Democrat and that he is supporting many Democrats this year. Ciresi said choosing to endorse Horner was an easy decision for him.
"The issues that I feel most passionately about education, health care and job growth are the issues that I think Tom speaks with greater clarity than Mark Dayton," Ciresi said. "This is not a slight against Mark Dayton he's a decent and great Minnesotan in my judgement, but Tom is the most qualified to lead this state."
Ciresi said he thinks Horner will win the election and that Horner will be able to bring together people from all over the political spectrum.
Posted at 10:57 AM on October 19, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2010, Campaign 2010: Minnesota Governor, Campaign 2010: U.S. House, Campaign 2010: U.S. MN CD2, Campaign 2010: U.S. MN CD3, Campaign 2010: U.S. MN CD4, Campaign 2010: U.S. MN CD5, Campaign 2010: U.S. MN CD6, Campaign 2010: U.S. MN CD7, Campaign 2010: U.S. MN CD8, MN Legislature
There are two weeks left until Election Day and most of the candidates will be making their final push to win their respective races.
I put together a handy dandy cheat sheet so you know the schedule for debates, candidate appearances and other notable events.
This schedule is subject to change but it should give you a good idea of what's happening in the final two weeks. Please let me know if I missed anything.
MPR's Midday hosts a Secretary of State debate between DFL incumbent Mark Ritchie and Republican Dan Severson on Midday at 11
IP candidate Tom Horner has presser at 2pm to announce an endorsement.
Democrat Mark Dayton campaigns in Northwest Minnesota with DFL Rep. Collin Peterson
Dayton speech at 11AM at MEA
Republican Tom Emmer campaigns in Monticello and St. Cloud
League of Women Voters host a 4th Congressional District candidate debate at Wilder Foundation Auditorium.
Rochester Chamber of Commerce hosts a gubernatorial debate at 11:30 am
Horner campaigns in Red Wing and Rochester
Emmer campaigns in southern MN
Debate Minnesota hosts an 8th District Congressional candidate debate between DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar and Republican Chip Cravaack in Grand Rapids.
Dayton goes pheasant hunting with DFL Rep. Collin Peterson in Montevideo
President Obama holds a rally at U of M for Dayton
KSTP-TV/League of Women Voters host a Gubernatorial debates at Metro State University in St. Paul at 6pm.
MPR's Midday hosts a 4th Congressional debate between DFL Rep. Betty McCollum and Republican Teresa Collett
MPR's Midday hosts a 5th Congressional debate between DFL Rep. Keith Ellison, Republican Joel Demos, and the IP's Tom Schrunk
MN Campaign Finance Board releases finance reports for state candidates and state PACs
Debate Minnesota hosts a Gubernatorial debate in Mankato at 7pm.
St. Cloud Chamber hosts a 6th District candidate debate.
Midday hosts a 2nd District Congressional debate between GOP Rep. John Kline and Democrat Shelley Madore. candidates debate on Midday.
Midday hosts a 3rd District Congressional debate that features GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen, Democrat Jim Meffert and the IP's Jon Oleson.
KARE and MPR conducts a "job interview" with gubernatorial candidates at Macalaster College at 6:30pm.
Edina Chamber hosts a 3rd District candidate debate at Interlachen Country Club at 11:30.
Midday hosts a 7th Congressional District debate between DFL Rep. Collin Peterson and Republican Lee Byberg.
Midday hosts a 6th Congressional District debate featuring GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, Democrat Tarryl Clark and the IP's Bob Anderson.
Midday hosts a State Auditor debate featuring DFL incumbent Rebecca Otto and Republican Pat Anderson.
MN Chamber's Manufacturing Summit will feature a Lt. Gov. candidate debate featuring Republican Annette Meeks, the IP's Jim Mulder and Democrat Yvonne Prettner-Solon.
TPT's Almanac features the candidates for governor.
Midday will feature the four Legislative leaders, DFL Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, Republican Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem, DFL House Majority Leader Tony Sertich and Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers to discuss the race for Legislature.
MPR hosts the final gubernatorial debate at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.
A few hundred people gather at the Ramada in Bloomington to listen to Mitt Romney talk about the shift in the nation's political climate. Romney is the latest Republican heavyweight to visit Minnesota on behalf of Emmer. The others included RNC Chair Michael Steele, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Romney also headlined a $500 per person fundraiser for Emmer. The rally was meant to energize GOP faithful to work harder to get their supporters to the polls.
Romney, a likely 2012 candidate, is visiting the home state of Gov. Pawlenty, who may also run for president. Pawlenty said earlier in the day that he hoped to attend the rally.
Romney won't be the only big name to visit Minnesota in the final weeks of the campaign. President Obama will headline a rally for Democrat Mark Dayton at the University of Minnesota campus on Saturday.
Here's the audio from Romney and Emmer: Listen
Thanks to MPR's Mark Zdechlik for supplying me with the audio..
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will hold a rally for Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor. Romney is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser for Emmer before the rally. Here are the details of the rally:
Who: Governor Mitt Romney, gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer and lt. governor candidate Annette Meeks
What: Governor Mitt Romney will rally with gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer and lt. governor candidate Annette Meeks. Other Republican candidates and Party leaders will also speak.
Where: Ramada Mall of America, 2300 East American Boulevard, Bloomington
When: 7:30 PM (Doors open to the public at 7:00 PM), Monday, October 18, 2010
Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign released more information about next Saturday's Obama rally. Here it is:
St. Paul-President Obama will travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to headline a rally for Democratic-Farmer-Labor party gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton on Saturday, October 23, 2010. The rally will be the kick-off of the DFL's Get Out the Vote campaign on behalf of Mark Dayton and his Lieutenant Governor running mate Yvonne Prettner Solon, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Attorney General Lori Swanson, and State Auditor Rebecca Otto. The event will be held at Northrop Mall at the University of Minnesota and will begin at 1PM. For updates please sign-up at dfl.org.
The Minnesota Republican Party released an ad that features Gov. Tim Pawlenty praising Tom Emmer's plan for Minnesota. In the ad, Pawlenty ripped Democrat Mark Dayton's income tax hike and IP candidate Tom Horner's sales tax to clothing. Pawlenty said in the ad that Emmer is the only candidate to hold the line on tax hikes.
Here's a link to the ad.
The latest KSTP-TV/Survey USA poll shows Democrat Mark Dayton leading Republican Tom Emmer by five percentage points. Dayton received 42 percent support from those polled. Emmer received 37 percent support. IP candidate Tom Horner received 14 percent support. Seven percent of those polled say they're undecided. The margin of error is +/-3.7%.
Dayton slightly increased his lead from the Survey USA poll taken in September showed Dayton leading Emmer by two percentage points.
Here's the link to the latest poll.
The Minnesota Hospitals Political Action Committee announced today that it's backing the Independence Party's Tom Horner in the race for governor. The PAC rarely backs a candidate in the governor's race but MN Hospital Association President Lawrence Massa said the state's deep budget problems and the health care changes that lie ahead prompted them to take a side in the race.
It's not a huge surprise that Horner received the backing of the hospital PAC. Horner did public relations work for several hospitals when he owned the PR firm Himle Horner. He also kept the hospitals as his client when he sold his ownership in the firm because the hospitals were dealing with a nurse's strike over the summer.
For his part, Horner praised the endorsement.
"For more than two decades I helped local hospitals have meaningful conversations about strengthening the state's health care system and the important role that hospitals play in delivering that care," said Horner. "We need a governor who understands the challenges facing health care. My professional work and my volunteer work have provided me with a unique understanding of those challenges."
This is the second health care related endorsement for Horner. He also received the backing of the Minnesota Medical Association.
The three candidates for governor will debate the issues on MPR's Midmorning at 9AM. We're providing a live blog of the show along with fact-checks of what they're saying:
The three major party candidates discussed children's issues at a debate this afternoon in St. Paul. The debate, sponsored by MinnPost, allowed the candidates to outline their vision for early childhood education and children's health care.
The candidates did discuss specifics but also resorted their criticisms of their opponents.
Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner criticized Dayton for his numerous runs for political office. Dayton shot back that his work as a state agency head and U.S. Senate makes him more qualified to be governor.
Emmer criticized Horner for not having the Minnesota Department of Revenue review his budget plan. Horner said they did (which isn't exactly true).
Dayton criticized Emmer for constantly ripping government yet wanting to be in charge of it. Emmer said he's running because too many politicians ignore middle class issues.
You can read my story on the debate here.
You can listen to the full debate here: Listen
The biggest news of the day came after the debate when Dayton declined to answer questions about his settlement with a former staffer.
Dayton announced in a written statement that he was paying the U.S. Treasury back for the undisclosed amount of the settlement.
The Republican Party first raised the issue at a news conference this morning.
The three candidates will appear on MPR's Midmorning for a two hour gubernatorial debate tomorrow at 9.
Republican Party of Minnesota Chair Tony Sutton says former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be in Minnesota next week for a fundraiser and a rally.
Sutton says Romney will be Minnesota on Monday, October 18th. Sutton says the location for the rally has not yet been determined.
Over the weekend the Mark Dayton's campaign for governor announced that President Obama is going to be in Minnesota on Saturday, October 23rd for a DFL get out the vote rally.
The DFL hasn't confirmed details of Obama's visit, but the Minnesota Daily is reporting that the Obama rally will be on the U of M campus.(2 Comments)
Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued a statement today that took dead aim at the Independence Party's Tom Horner but it may have more to do with Republican Tom Emmer's support among the GOP base.
1) Pawlenty has vocally supported Emmer's candidacy since Emmer received the endorsement in May.
2) Pawlenty has raised money for Emmer's campaign.
3) Polling has showed that Horner is eating into Emmer's base.
Why send out a statement like this unless there's concern that some Republicans are indicating that they won't back Emmer.
Here's the statement from Pawlenty (followed by a statement from Horner's campaign):
"Voters in Minnesota have a choice this fall: Either elect a new governor who will create jobs by rejecting tax hikes and out-of-control spending, or elect someone who will raise taxes and stop job creation.
"Nobody understands the danger of raising taxes better than Republicans, which is why my party is so energized in Minnesota and across the nation. Republicans of all stripes - moderate, conservative, and libertarian - agree with Tom Emmer's central principles: government must live within its means; we cannot raise taxes if we want to preserve existing jobs and create new jobs; and government must be reformed.
"I've known Tom Horner for 30 years, and while he's a decent man, his proposals to raise billions in new taxes and allow government to grow unsustainably will take Minnesota in the wrong direction. Any Republican who votes for Tom Horner is not only helping Mark Dayton become governor, but casting a vote to undo the tax and spending cuts we've fought so hard for over the last 8 years.
"These are challenging times for our country and state. If you are concerned about your future, about creating jobs, and moving our state forward, Tom Horner and Mark Dayton represent the same wrong choice. Tom Emmer is the only candidate for governor who will fight to ensure we create jobs in Minnesota and enjoy a better future."
Here's a statement from Horner spokesman Matt Lewis:
Gov. Pawlenty is a decent person, but his policies have left Minnesota with job creation that has lagged the nation during much of the last decade, in good years and bad. That's not a record Minnesota can afford in the next four years. The most telling part of the endorsement, though, is that the Republican nominee hasn't been able to secure the endorsement of a Republican governor until little more than three weeks left in the campaign. It speaks volumes about the reluctance of Gov. Pawlenty to jeopardize his national ambitions by tying himself to a gubernatorial candidate who increasingly is the choice only of Palin-Bachmann Republicans. We need to offer a vision that speaks to all Minnesotans to create new jobs in the private sector, to invest in our future, and to truly reform rather than continue to kick the can down the road.(3 Comments)
The three candidates battled over the budget, huffed over higher education and argued over anti-bullying legislation. The debate sponsored by Fox9 News and hosted at Hamline University, was broadcast on live TV. Miss it there? You can listen to it here:
FYI - I'll post a link to my story once it's live on the web.
Here's the story.
Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign says President Obama will hold a campaign rally for Dayton and other DFL candidates on October 23rd. The campaign says the rally will be in Minneapolis but other details aren't available yet.
Here's the release from Dayton's campaign:
President Obama will travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to headline a rally for Democratic-Farmer-Labor party gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton on Saturday, October 23, 2010. The rally will be the kick-off of the DFL's Get Out the Vote campaign on behalf of Mark Dayton and his Lieutenant Governor running mate Yvonne Prettner Solon, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Attorney General Lori Swanson, and State Auditor Rebecca Otto.
Details of the event will be forthcoming.
Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are also holding a private fundraiser in Minneapolis for the political arm of the Democrats in the U.S. House (DCCC) that evening..(2 Comments)
Republican Tom Emmer was a surprise guest at last night's "Reclaiming America: The Taking Back Congress Tour." The event featured GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann (read more about that here) but they also gave Emmer some time to speak.
Emmer suggested the state's political climate is ripe for Republicans across the country who are pushing limited government
"Do you feel the winds behind us?" Emmer asked. "Do you feel the winds finally starting to push our message for the future?"
Emmer emphasized a familiar campaign theme: Government can't take care of the citizens. He also criticized "traditional politicians" who are taking care of their careers first. He encouraged the members audience to work to elect him and other Republicans in November.
"You have to let them know that now is the time to grab your piece of the rope and start pulling with everything you have. We have 25 days to finish climbing to the top of this hill and to take back not just Minnesota but our country for the future of our kids."
Emmer then finished his speech by targeting his Democratic opponent, Mark Dayton.
"He's running because politics is a hobby for him. He doesn't experience what you and I have experienced. He hasn't tried to raise a family under the burdens that government provides."
Here's the full speech: Listen
Thanks to MPR's Annie Baxter for the audio.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer pledges to cut the corporate income tax if he's elected, which he argues stifle Minnesota's economy.
Here's what he had to say about the matter during a recent interview with Minnesota Public Radio's Gary Eichten:
Minnesota's corporate tax rate is "actually third highest in the country," Emmer said on Oct. 5, 2010. "When it's combined with the federal corporate tax, I believe it's the third highest in the world."
Emmer's facts are in the ballpark, but as with most things involving taxes it's more complicated than it appears on first glance.
Minnesota has a flat corporate tax rate of 9.8 percent, which Emmer wants to lower to 3 percent by 2015. He's right that the current rate is quite high compared to other states. Iowa comes in first with a 10 to 12 percent rate on corporations making more than $100,000 annually. Pennsylvania is next, followed by the District of Columbia. Minnesota comes in fourth when accounting for Iowa's two top brackets, so Emmer is close enough on his first point.
For the second part of his claim, Emmer relies on numbers produced by Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, an international group that collects and compiles data about developed countries. While their list excludes many smaller countries, it's common for experts, including the Congressional Budget Office, to use their data when comparing the U.S. corporate tax rate to other countries.
By this measure, Emmer is also correct: At a little more than 39 percent, the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Combined with Minnesota's of 9.8 percent, the state has one of the highest in the world.
Nevertheless, all these numbers deserve some context.
Experts argue that the U.S. statutory rate is misleading because the tax code contains all sorts of credits and deductions that companies take advantage of. So, it's unlikely that many businesses are actually paying the full amount. In any event, businesses frequently pass these tax costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices or employees in the form of lower wages.
Another interesting twist to this story: It's actually Minnesota's property tax that hits corporations the hardest. In 2009, businesses paid about $3.6 billion in property taxes and only $800 million in corporate income taxes, according to a study published by the Center on State Taxation.
Emmer is a little off on his numbers, but close enough to pass this test.
Minnesota Public Radio News, Midday interview with Rep. Tom Emmer, Oct. 5, 2010
Tom Emmer for Governor, The Emmer Budget Plan, accessed Oct. 7, 2010
The Tax Foundation, State Corporate Income Tax Rates, 2000-2010, accessed Oct. 7, 2010
The Tax Foundation, Facts on Minnesota's Tax Climate, accessed Oct. 8, 2010
Federation of Tax Administrators, Range of State and Corporate Income Tax Rates, accessed Oct. 7, 2010
The Congressional Budget Office, Corporate Income Tax Rates: International Comparisons, November 2005
The Council on State Taxation, Total state and local business taxes: State-by-state estimates for fiscal year 2009, March 2010
The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Putting U.S. Corporate Taxes in Perspective, by Chye-Ching Huang, Oct. 27, 2008
MinnPost.com, How does Minnesota stack up in business taxation? Pretty well, it turns out, By Sharon Schmickle, Aug. 24, 2010
MN2020, Governor Gets it Wrong on Business Taxes, by Jeff Van Wychen, accessed Oct. 7, 2010
Interview, Carl Kuhl, spokesman, Emmer for Governor, Oct. 7, 2010
The latest Rasmussen Poll shows Democrat Mark Dayton with a slight lead over Republican Tom Emmer in Minnesota's race for governor. The poll shows Dayton polling at 40 percent. Emmer is polling at 38 percent. IP candidate Tom Horner is polling at 15 percent. Five percent of those polled are undecided. The poll's margin of error is +/-4 percentage points.
The last Rasmussen Poll showed Emmer leading Dayton 36 percent to 34 percent.
The poll surveyed 750 voters on October 6th.
Here's the poll.
The Minnesota Chapter of the National Federation of Businesses officially endorsed Republican Tom Emmer's bid for governor. NFIB state director Mike Hickey says Emmer's budget plan is the best plan for his 13,000 small business members.
"When you compare the three candidates in the race, Tom Emmer is the clear choice for small business and in our view will be the candidate that will best foster an improved economy and badly needed job growth in Minnesota"
Emmer said he was pleased to receive the endorsement and then targeted his opponents Democrat Mark Dayton and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner. Emmer has pledged to not raise taxes if elected. He said Dayton and Horner would both raise taxes, which in turn, would then limit job growth.
Emmer again criticized Dayton for failing to put together a full budget plan. The centerpiece of Dayton's budget balancing plan is an income tax hike on Minnesota's top earners. He also would create a new Twin Cities casino and relies on reducing the state's private contracts. He said there's still about a $1 billion budget hole. He said he would find additional spending cuts or delay paying back the $1.4 billion school payment delay.
Emmer said Dayton should outline how he'll close the gap and he pressed reporters to push him on it.
"He has said he has a plan but he's not willing to share it," Emmer said. So clearly, I am to take from that that he's keeping it a secret other that or he's saying he doesnt' have a plan. It's either one or the other."
Posted at 3:45 PM on October 7, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2010, Campaign 2010: Minnesota Governor, Campaign 2010: U.S. MN CD2, Campaign 2010: U.S. MN CD3, Campaign 2010: U.S. MN CD6, Tim Pawlenty
Mitt Romney, a possible presidential candidate and former governor of Massachusetts, will be in Minnesota on October 18th to raise money for the Minnesota Republican Party. The invitation is asking couples to give $5,000 to attend a VIP reception that features Romney. The event will be held at the Sheraton Bloomington.
The co-hosts of the event include Gov. Pawlenty (who will likely be running against Romney in the presidential race), GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen, GOP Rep. John Kline and former Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson and former Target CEO Robert Ulrich.
Here's the invite.
Update: Romney will also raise money for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer.
Two of the former Republican state legislators who are backing Independence Party candidate Tom Horner in the race for governor say they're offended by a comment made by a state GOP leader.
George Pillsbury and Bill Belanger detailed their concerned today in a letter today to Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton. Yesterday, Sutton described Pillsbury, Belanger and the other former GOP legislators supporting Horner as "quislings." He also said there was a "special place in hell" for them. Quisling is a term for traitor and comes from the name of a Norwegian politician who collaborated with the Nazis.
"Those of us who support Horner and his centrist view of governance have nothing in common with Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling," Pillsbury and Belanger wrote. "We proudly wore the uniforms of our nation, one of us as a Marine Lieutenant in the Philippines during World War II, one of us a few years later in Korea as an Army Corporal. For you to besmirch that service is demeaning."
Here's the complete letter:
As veterans of the United States military and former state legislators, we were highly offended to pick up our morning Star Tribune newspaper and read that you were accusing us of being traitors to our country for supporting Tom Horner for governor. ("There's a special place in hell for these quislings.")
Those of us who support Horner and his centrist view of governance have nothing in common with Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling, a Nazi sympathizer who collaborated with the Germans to enslave millions of his countrymen during the Second World War. We proudly wore the uniforms of our nation, one of us as a Marine Lieutenant in the Philippines during World War II, one of us a few years later in Korea as an Army Corporal. For you to besmirch that service is demeaning.
We support Tom Horner for governor precisely because we care so much about our state and our nation. We sought elective office after our years of military service because we care about our country and its future. We did not believe our service ended when we were discharged. For decades, we have continued to volunteer in our communities to make our society stronger.
We are supporting Tom Horner for governor because we believe his moderate, centrist view of government is precisely what Minnesota needs right now. We are concerned that Sutton's candidate, Tom Emmer, is too far to the right, and that Mark Dayton, the Democrat, is too far to the left. We believe it is best for all concerned to have a governor who can work with both political parties, to do what's right and not worry about who gets the credit.
We went to war to defend the Constitution, which included fighting for your right of free speech, so you are free to say whatever you want. We would appreciate it if, in the future, you were more careful not to criticize American veterans just because you disagree with our choice of candidates.
First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corp (ret)
Veteran of World War II
Former State Senator, Wayzata
Corporal, United States Army (ret)
Veteran of the Korean War
Former State Senator, Bloomington
Sutton told the Associated Press that he did not intend a Nazi comparison. He said he used the word as a common term for traitor. A day earlier, Sutton was asking DFL candidate Mark Dayton to denounce Vice President Joe Biden for suggesting he wanted to strangle Republicans. The remark came at a Dayton fundraiser in St. Paul.
"If I hear one more Republican tell me about balancing the budget, I am going to strangle them," Biden said. "To the press, that's a figure of speech."(1 Comments)
DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez said the DFL Party will start running TV ads in the Twin Cities metro area tomorrow supporting Democrat Mark Dayton. Melendez couldn't characterize the size of the TV buy but said it would be a positive message regarding Dayton's plans for schools.
He said the ad won't criticize Republican Tom Emmer because he believes Dayton is winning the race.
Gingrich became speaker after Republicans won control of the House in the 1994 midterm election. He's predicting a similar shift in power this year. Following a private fundraiser for Emmer at a downtown Minneapolis hotel, Gingrich told reporters that he thinks voters are angrier than in 1994, and he thinks GOP candidates are better. He also said Emmer's tax-cutting, job-creating message will resonate with voters.
Gingrich was introduced by Emmer's lieutenant governor running mate, Annette Meeks, who once worked on the congressman's staff. Eighth District GOP congressional candidate Chip Cravaack also took part in the news conference.
A spokesman for the Emmer campaign said 200 people attended the fundraiser. Donors were asked to give $1,000 to attend.
Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden was in St. Paul raising money for DFL candidate Mark Dayton. DFL State Chair Brian Melendez responded to the Gingrich visit with the following statement:
"Tom Emmer has consistently shown how out of touch he is with everyday Minnesotans, so it's no surprise that he is now aligning himself with someone as radical as Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich has paraded around the country as a bombastic fearmonger trying to scare American voters into supporting his party's failed policies. He has denounced unemployment benefits, railed against unions, advocated the elimination of food stamps and endorsed the idea of privatizing social security - all measures that would hurt middle-class Minnesotans. As Minnesota voters look for a way forward and a more prosperous future, Tom Emmer's alliance with yet another extreme, failed leader proves he has nothing more to offer than harsh ideology and failed policies."
Here's the audio of the Gingrich news conference: Listen
This afternoon at a State Capitol news conference Tom Horner's Independence Party campaign for governor introduced a group of former Republican state lawmakers who are supporting Horner over GOP candidate Tom Emmer.
Thirteen are now publicly behind Horner's campaign. Former State Sen. George Pillsbury was among those on hand for the news conference. So too was former State Rep. Dave Bishop of Rochester who didn't have nice things to say about Emmer or DFL candidate Mark Dayton.
"Mark Dayton has succeed in my mind in two things," Bishop said, "being rated the United States' worst senator by Time Magazine and in using his money and family name to defeat the DFL endorsed candidate Margaret Kelliher."
Bishop then said he could not support Emmer, calling Emmer "too far to the right."
Bishop said he once heard Emmer say something about his mouth sometimes not being connected to his brain. "I don't think we can trust somebody who represents the right wing of the party and who has his brain sometimes disconnected from his mouth," Bishop concluded.
At a press conference with former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, Emmer downplayed the Horner endorsements.
"You're talking about people that disavowed in some cases even being Republicans," he said. "Yes, at one time they were Republicans in the state of Minnesota within our party, but some of them actually ran for endorsement as Democrats and have openly supported the current Obama administration."
The full list of former GOP legislators supporting Horner:
- Peggy Leppik, former state representative, Golden Valley
- Neil Peterson, former mayor and state representative from Bloomington
- George Pillsbury, former state senator, Wayzata, Lake Minnetonka
- Bill Belanger, former state senator, Bloomington
- Dennis Ozment, former state representative, Rosemount
- Roger Scherer, former state representative, Brooklyn Center; current member, Metropolitan Council
- David Jennings, former state representative, Martin and Watonwan Counties
- Ed Oliver, former state senator, Deephaven
- Lynne Osterman, former state representative, New Hope
- Dave Bishop, former state representative, Rochester
- Bill Schreiber, former state representative, Brooklyn Park; former House Minority Leader
- Art Seaberg, former state representative, South St. Paul
- Rod Searle, former state representative, Waseca; former Speaker of the House(5 Comments)
MN Forward, a group backing business-friendly candidates, is airing a new ad attacking Mark Dayton's tax plan.
"Dayton will raise job killing taxes by $5 billion," says a voice over in the ad, which features wailing children clearly upset by Dayton's tax plan. "That's more than $2,300 in new taxes per Minnesota family."
Dry your tears, kids. These claims are false.
MN Forward spokesman Brian McClung points to an article written by Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Pugmire last June, when Dayton was still vying to win the DFL primary. At the time, Dayton hadn't released many details about his tax plan, only that he was going to raise taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans and that he wanted to raise $5 billion to cover the state's deficit.
Since then, Dayton has changed his tax proposal because his first wouldn't have raised enough money. Now, Dayton wants to increase the income tax rate on the state's wealthiest to 10.95 percent, which will bring in about $1.9 billion over two years.
All told, Dayton plans to raise about $3.7 billion by raising taxes, closing corporate tax loopholes and building a state-owned casino at the Mall of America, and save about $1.2 billion by trimming government spending.
So, MN Forward is using old data to root its claim. But even if it was true, would it mean "more than $2,300 in new taxes per Minnesota family?"
McClung said MN Forward came up with that figure by dividing $5 billion by the more than 2.1 million households in the state. The math works out, but it's grossly misleading because it implies that every family would pay $2,300 in new taxes, which is false; Dayton's plan - past and present - only targets a sliver of the state's population.
The MN Forward ad uses old data to make false claims. It fails the PoliGraph test.
MN Forward, "Still Sad?", Oct. 2, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, DFL candidates for governor trade barbs over taxes, June 9, 2010
Mark Dayton for Governor, Taxes & Budget Plan, accessed Oct. 4, 2010
Minnesota Department of Administration, Minnesota population estimates: number and characteristics of the current population, accessed Oct. 5, 2010
Minnesota Department of Revenue, 2009 Tax Incidence Study, accessed Oct. 4, 2010
Interview, Brian McClung, Oct. 2, 2010(3 Comments)
Here's the pool report from the Vice-President Joe Biden's private fundraiser for Democrat Mark Dayton:
Vice President Biden spoke for about a half-hour to about 350 people Wednesday at a luncheon on the second floor of the Crowne Plaza - St. Paul Riverfront.
Tickets for the sold-out event were $150 each.
Visitors were greeted by a jazz duo that played piano and saxophone after they passed through the security screening.
Most of the attendees wore Dayton/Prettner Solon buttons. One attendee entered with sleeping a baby wrapped in a sling. One man wore a suit coat and a Minnesota Vikings baseball cap. Attendees included: U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Al Franken, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher.
The menu: baby greens topped with apples, golden raisins, pineapple and candied almonds; parmesan crusted chicken with roasted pepper and sundried tomato cream; garlic and rosemary roasted red potatoes; fresh seasonal vegetables; fresh-baked cookies and dessert bars.
Loud applause and whopping for former VP Walter Mondale, who kicked off the event.
"We are thrilled that the vice president is here because good things happen when Joe Biden is here."
Mondale said the last time Biden was in Minnesota, he was campaigning for President Obama "and it worked."
"Now he's back in Minnesota to support Mark Dayton's candidacy for governor. And that's going to work, too."
Mondale praised Dayton for his public career.
"I have admired his open and solid campaign."
Mondale said "we are slipping in almost every category" and "Mark understands that."
"He's the only candidate with a fundamental commitment to education," Mondale said.
Mondale said Dayton's the only candidate who has a budget that protects the middle class.
"We are here to help Mark Dayton be our governor," Mondale said.
Mondale joked that he's had long interest in the vice presidency.
"Joe Biden is truly a great vice president."
"He's truly helping the country and our president, at home and abroad," Mondale said.
"He's a strong, seasoned voice," he said. "He knows the Congress and the nation."
Biden has made the office a "powerful force for justice and decency in America," Mondale said.
"Minnesota loves Mark Dayton and Joe Biden," he said.
Mondale introduced Dayton, which prompted more than a minute of applause and whooping.
"It's a tremendous honor for me to be standing between two vice presidents," Dayton said. "I am just an unemployed guy looking for a job."
He acknowledged Yvonne Prettner Solon, prompting more applause.
"The best thing that happened to me in this campaign was when she agreed to undertake this great adventure with me," Dayton said.
Dayton said Biden extended a helping hand to him in when he arrived in the Senate.
Dayton then thanked all the attendees.
"I want you to know how important your support is to Yvonne and me," Dayton said. "In the past, I've been able to do virtually all the fundraising looking in the mirror. It was easy. I never turned myself down."
Dayton praised Biden's wife, Jill, for leading a summit on community colleges back in Washington.
"The nation is better for her work today and Minnesotans are better for his presence today," Dayton said.
Biden took the podium as the crowd cheered, "Joe! Joe! Joe!"
"Mark, thank you for your introduction," Biden said.
Biden talked about getting to the Senate at age 29 and first meeting Mondale.
"Fritz is a guy who never, ever, lost his moral compass," he said. "People always listened to him and they still listen to him."
Biden said he initially turned down Obama to be vice president.
But as he considered it, the second guy he called was Mondale to ask him about the job.
"Your help and personal friendship has been invaluable," Biden said to Mondale.
At about 13 minutes into the speeches, a woman stood up in the back and asked Biden to speak up.
"Alright then," he said. "I am sorry."
Another man stood up. "Vice president, how well do you know Bruce Vento?"
"There are some things I don't admit to," Biden joked.
"I am here to give you're a simple message," Biden said. "To paraphrase the great philosopher Samuel Clemens, 'Reports of the death of the Democratic Party have been greatly exaggerated.'"
The crowd applauded.
"The fact of the matter is the people of Minnesota, the people of the United States, were absolutely devastated by the eight years of neglect, eight years of a policy that masqueraded as a vision, which was little more than a Ponzi scheme, that Wall Street was conducting. For eight years, all that happened was we piled up debt, we generated losses for the middle class, and the end result was, when we came into office, we inherited, before I a chance to turn on the computer in the office -- Fritz, your old office - we were handed a bill for $1.3 trillion, a projected deficit of $8 trillion for the next 10 years, if we did nothing."
"The last six months of the Bush administration we lost 3 million jobs, before I lowered my hand on that cold January day, we lost 740,000 jobs that month, we lost 40,000 before the month ended, and another 3.5 million before could get our economic package in place."
He said housing prices had plummeted for 23 months in a row.
"Americans were in really tough shape," he said.
"Ladies and gentleman, we knew we had to act, we knew we had to act boldly," he said. "And we knew the things were going to have to ask our colleagues in the Senate and the House to do would not be popular."
"But we acted and we stabilized the financial system," he said.
He said they didn't do it to save the wealthy but to save the pension funds that would have gone under had these banks failed.
"We moved and started the recovery act, which actually no one doubts now," he said.
He said the act created 3.5 million jobs, including 60,000 in Minnesota.
"We demanded, unlike the last administration, full reorganization at the automobile companies and helped them through bankruptcy."
The year before Obama took office, auto manufacturers shed 435,000 jobs, he said. Since they've come out of bankruptcy, they've added 63,000 jobs.
"For the first time in two decades, the American automobile industry is growing."
He said by investing in roads and bridges, they've built critical infrastructure.
He said they've provided tax breaks to the engine of economic growth, small businesses.
He said financial reform will prevent banks from acting like hedge fund. He noted that the administration has clamped down on credit card companies, many that punished people who paid their bills on time.
He talked about health care.
"We went out and passed a health care bill that will continue to need work," he said. "Ladies and gentleman, what we passed is now only becoming apparent to the American people."
"Ladies and gentleman, we've begin to turn things around," he said. "Finally, finally things are being able to move."
"It's not so much about what we did, it's about what we have to do from here on," he said.
"We know what we have to do the next few years, the kind of things Mark wants to do as governor," he said.
He listed priorities like investing in green energy grants, giving tax breaks to the middle class and better education for our children.
He talked about improving tax breaks for people who have kids in college to ease the financial burden.
"So many of our children area graduating with debt they cannot sustain," said Biden, who noted that he sold his home help his three college-age students pay nearly $300,000 in college costs.
"The truth is, people shouldn't be put in those positions," he said.
"Ladies and gentleman, if nations out produce us, out educate us, they are going to out compete us," he said.
"We know how to create jobs," he said. "And we know how to balance the budget."
Biden turned his focus to Republicans.
"If I hear one more Republican tell me about balancing the budget, I am going to strangle them," he said. "To the press, that's a figure of speech."
He said George W. Bush left a $1.3 trillion deficit.
"So I like to remind my Republican friends that we know how to balance the budget," he said. "The last one to do that was William Jefferson Clinton."
He also criticized Republicans' new "Pledge to America."
He said it will increase the debt $1 trillion dollars.
"These guys have absolutely no credibility, no credibility on debt," he said.
"Folks, look, we've seen this movie before. We've seen this movie. We know how it ends," Biden said. "Look, you got a guy here running for governor in this state who also knows how it ended."
He said Pawlenty has "eviscerated" education. "How are we going to lead the world in the 21st century without education?"
Biden reminded the audience of what a former mayor of Boston said. "Don't compare me to the almighty," he recalled. "Compare me to the alternative."
Of the upcoming election....
Biden recounted an anecdote from former President Bill Clinton, who says: "If this is a referendum on people's anger, we will lose," Biden recounted. "People have a right to be angry."
He said for people working, we are in a recession. For people out of work, it's a depression.
"People going to bed staring at the ceiling at night wondering how in God's name they are going to provide for their families," he said.
Biden said to lose a job is a loss of dignity for many. "So many families in this state have been deprived of the dignity and the respect they deserve."
"So folks, they have a reason to be angry," he said. "We have got to make sure we make this a choice, not a referendum."
"I am absolutely convinced if we make it a choice, and we fight back, we will do very, very well," he said.
He predicted Democrats will do better in the upcoming election than some pundits expect.
"We are going to keep the House of Representatives," he said.
Biden also took a shot at Republicans.
"This is not your father's Republican Party," he said. "This is the party of repeal and repeat. This is the Republican Tea Party. These are not the same brand of cat you are dealing with."
"If we don't bring this case to the American people in the next three weeks, shame on us," he said.
"This is going to come down to a ground game," he said. "If we organizer our voters, we will do very well. If we don't, we won't."
"I've never been as optimistic as I am right now," he said. "We are on the right track."
"Please five us people like Mark," he said. "Give us governors in states who understand what the needs of average people are."
"Thank for you being about to elect Mark Dayton as the next governor of state of Minnesota," he said, ending his comments.
Democrat Mark Dayton says he doesn't have a "secret plan to raise taxes" and says accusations that he does are "ridiculous."
Dayton made the comments today
Dayton, who already proposed increasing income taxes on Minnesota's top earners, said he has no secret plan to raise taxes more.
"If there is, it's a secret to me too," Dayton said. "Absolutely not. It's just ridiculous. Representative Emmer up until now has been pretty forthright with his conduct. I hope that doesn't change but to me it's a sign of his desperation."
Dayton said his plan to erase the projected budget deficit is still about $1 billion short. He said in the past that he'll look for more revenue (taxes) or spending cuts to plug the gap.
Now, he says he'll work to find the savings in cuts alone. If he can't make up the difference in cuts, Dayton said he would delay paying part of a $1.4 billion school funding shift.
"As a fallback position, if necessary, I'll have to delay repaying some of the $1.4 billion shift. I'm going to find the savings with additional cuts and administrative services and if not, I've said what the fallback position is and none of it involves raising taxes."
Dayton has said in the past that he wants to pay back the school shift in full over the next two years. Both Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner have said they'll delay repaying the school shift until 2014.
Vice President Joe Biden was in St. Paul today firing up supporters of DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton and also helping to raise some money.
At a Macalester College rally, Biden spent most of his 40-minute speech defending the Obama administration's efforts to turn around the economy. He then urged the crowd to help elect Dayton by going out and telling other voters the truth about Democrats.
Afterwards, Biden headlined a private Dayton fundraiser at a downtown St. Paul hotel. About 300 people attended, with tickets ranging from $150 to $2,000.
Here's audio of the Biden rally speech: Listen
MPR's Midmorning will feature the three major party candidates for governor on Tuesday, October 12th. Democrat Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner will appear that morning with Midmorning host Kerri Miller.
The special two hour show starts at 9am. MPR's lead producer says all three candidates are confirmed to attend.(1 Comments)
Republican Tom Emmer was on MPR's Midday this morning and has opened up a new line of criticism on Democrat Mark Dayton. Emmer said Dayton is withholding details of his budget balancing plan until after the election. He's also suggesting Dayton's plan to increase income taxes will be broader than he's now proposing.
"There aren't enough details and what Sen. Dayton is now suggesting is that we should all just wait until after the election," Emmer said. "Much like we've been hearing out of Washington, we should wait until after the election, after we pass whatever it is to find out whatever is in it. I think people have to ask these hard questions right now. If your budget is billions of dollars short, how far are you going to go?"
Emmer isn't the only one suggesting Dayton will hike taxes on all Minnesotans. The corporate backed PAC, Minnesota Forward, is running an ad suggesting Dayton will hike income taxes on everyone/
"Dayton will raise job-killing taxes by $5 billion," the ad says. "That's more than $2,300 in new taxes per Minnesota family."
MN Forward spokesman Brian McClung acknowledged to WCCO that the tax would be "per family" not every family.
Dayton has called for increasing the income tax rate on Minnesota's top earners -- single filers with an after tax income of $130,000 a year and joint filers earning $150,000 a year (after taxes). He also admitted his budget balancing plan is $1 billion short and is looking for additional cuts or revenue to make up the difference.
Dayton spokeswoman Katie Tinucci says it's unfair for Emmer to suggest Dayton will extend his income tax hike to others. She said he's never proposed what Emmer is suggesting.
"Mark Dayton has always been honest with Minnesota Voters and he has promised to make taxes fair in Minnesota again," Tinucci said. "He's the only candidate who has promised to protect the middle class from carrying a heavier tax burden."
Tinucci says Emmer's budget plan would result in higher property taxes because he's making significant cuts to LGA. She said IP candidate Tom Horner's proposal to lower the sales tax rate but extend it to services and clothing would unfairly hit lower and middle income Minnesotans.
Republican Tom Emmer is targeting Independence Party candidate Tom Horner's past PR contracts with state government. In a news release, Emmer criticized Horner for receiving government contracts during his time at Himle Horner (read the story here). Here's the release from Emmer:
"No wonder Tom Horner wants to raise billions in new taxes and grow government at a double-digit percentage increase. Horner has milked government for millions of dollars in lucrative contracts," Emmer said at a campaign appearance in Faribault. "Tom Horner wants to maintain business-as-usual even though voters know that the status quo is not working."
The Star Tribune reported today that Tom Horner's firm Himle Horner has received millions from state and local governments to write speeches, rehab the Department of Transportation's image after the 35W bridge collapse, and for work on the Northstar commuter rail project.
"Tom Horner believes that struggling Minnesota families and businesses owe government more of their money in the worst economy in two generations to help line Mr. Horner's pockets. My perspective is different: I think government should do its most important tasks well, but we can only create jobs and keep our economy moving by making government live within its means."
Horner campaign spokesman Matt Lewis issued this statement on Emmer's critcism.Any candidate for governor who views his opponent's demonstrated ability to work with local units of government as a detriment is going to have some serious problems trying to lead the state of Minnesota.
But on a larger note, is this a game that Rep. Emmer really wants to play? Tom Horner's public clients have always been visible. Horner actually took the extraordinary step of completely divesting from his firm and relieving himself of all clients and all potential conflicts of interest.
It's more than we ask of Rep. Emmer and other sitting legislators. We don't even require that Rep. Emmer tell us which industries and clients he is representing while he is actually voting as a member of the legislature. But I don't care to get into a back and forth on who Rep. Emmer. I think Minnesotans are focused on the policies and the vision that all three candidates are offering in this election, Rep. Emmer's ideas included. And when past clients have arisen in policy discussions Tom Horner has actively volunteered that info.
Horner has a background of working with a wide range of groups from Northstar, as Rep. Emmer suggests, to the Hospitals, to Project 515 to the Chamber of Commerce, which endorsed Rep. Emmer. Mr. Horner has run a business, has been active in organizations ranging from Catholic Charities to Serve Minnesota, has run a U.S. Senate office, taught at St. Thomas and done much more. All of these experiences help shape his knowledge and ability to create coalitions around key issues facing the state.
Since he brought up the budget though, I also think that his campaign needs to address the reality that MPR's PoliGraph pointed out last week.
Emmer isn't the only one targeting Horner. The DFL Party is criticizing Horner in a new web video. They argue he's ignoring the problems facing the middle class.
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House, will be in town this week to raise money for Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor. Emmer's campaign is asking donors to give $1,000 to attend the luncheon. The event will be held at the Marriot City Center in Minneapolis at noon on Wednesday.
Emmer's campaign says there are no public events scheduled with Gingrich.
Update: The MNGOP says Gingrich will hold a news conference after the luncheon.
The Gingrich fundraiser will be held one day after Vice-President Joe Biden will be in Minnesota on behalf of Democrat Mark Dayton. Biden will hold a campaign rally and fundraiser for Dayton.
IP candidate Tom Horner announced a list of endorsements today. Chief among them is former GOP Speaker of the MN House Dave Jennings and former Taylor Corp. CEO Jean Taylor. Former North Dakota Gov. Allen Olson (who now lives in MN), U of M Crookston professor Jack Geller, former Minneapolis City Council member Joan Niemiec, MNDOT Commissioner Richard Braun and St. Thomas professor Fred Zimmerman also endorsed Horner.(1 Comments)
IP Candidate Tom Horner will be on MPR's Midday today at 11am.
Republican Tom Emmer will be on the show on Tuesday.
Democrat Mark Dayton will be on the show on Thursday.
DFLer Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner also hit on all the usual issues during the 90 minute event at Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul. The Jewish Community Relations Council and a dozen other groups sponsored the debate, which drew a big audience. One organizer said the crowd was about 1,000.
Here's the debate audio: Listen
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer spoke this morning in Eden Prairie. During his remarks to a joint meeting of the area Chambers of Commerce, Emmer defended his budget plan and criticized the proposals Democrat Mark Dayton Independence Party candidate Tom Horner have put forth.
"I'm a kid from Minnesota. I have Minnesota values," Emmer said. "When did it become extreme to believe that there's right and there's a wrong? When did it become extreme to believe that people should be responsible for their own behavior and that there should be consequences and rewards? When did that become extreme? It's not. That's what I believe the majority, the vast majority of people in this state and this country agree with. That is mainstream."
Emmer also answered a few questions, including one about polls showing him trailing Dayton the governor's race. Emmer said the only poll that counts will be on Nov. 2.
Following Emmer's speech in Eden Prairie, he is headed to northwestern Minnesota for a string of appearances.
Here's the speech:
Part of Mark Dayton's revised budget plan involves dramatic reductions in how much the government spends on private sector contracts.
"State agencies spent over $850 million on outsourced professional and technical services during the 2008-09 biennium," Dayton's plan states. "Cutting this outsourcing in half would thus save $425 million."
Dayton's correct that the state spends about that much on outsourcing annually. But is it realistic to slice spending in half?
During the last biennium, the state spent more than $862 million on private sector contracts - or roughly $431 million each year - according to data pulled from the Minnesota Management and Budget website. This money was spent on a range of services, including road and bridge repair, computer programming, correctional facility management and payroll administration. So, Dayton's figures are in the ballpark.
Dayton hasn't detailed the contracts he'd like to cut, but his staff points to a recent study done by the Wisconsin Legislature that found outsourcing waste and says a similar Minnesota assessment could show that some projects are unnecessary.
Even so, making these cuts may be easier said than done because many contracts provide the state with essential services. In fact, the state requires that agencies or departments prove that "no current state employee is able and available to perform the services called for by the contract" before putting a project up for bid.
Some of the most substantial private sector contracting occurs at the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Between 2008 and 2009, MnDOT spent more than $120 million on contracts to rebuild roads and bridges, and is slated to spend about $73 million in 2010.
The state relies heavily on the private sector for road construction. Firms bid competitively on contracts to repair bridges and roads in the state, and the winning bidder hires workers to do the actual repairs. According to David Semerad, Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota, upwards of 20,000 people are hired for these jobs in a typical road construction year.
According to government data, here's a sampling of other essential contracts:
• A contract between the Department of Corrections and Correctional Medical Services, a company that provides medical, psychiatric, and pharmaceutical services to the state's 10 prison facilities, care required by the state. Between 2008 and 2009, the corrections department spent $46 million on the contract.
• A contract between Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and US Bank to process credit card-based payment by students of tuition and fees, which cost roughly $3.5 million in the last biennium. According to Linda Kohl, a spokeswoman for MnSCU, such contracts are standard at many higher education institutions. "We use a contract because US Bank has far more expertise in student private banking data issues than we do," she said.
• An $8.2 million contract between the Department of Employment and Economic Development and Bearingpoint Inc (now Delloite Consulting) to maintain the state's unemployment benefits website. The site is where people go to file for the benefits, and is the only fully automated system in the country, according to department spokeswoman Kirsten Morell.
Dayton's correct that the state spends approximately $850 million per biennium on outsourcing. And cutting such activity in half could save the state more than $400 million.
But in practice, Dayton's plan appears difficult to implement. Many of the state's contracts provide essential services that the state would still have to supply one way or another. Further, Minnesota law requires departments and agencies prove no state workers can take on these tasks before they contract with a firm.
Dayton's claim is inconclusive.
Mark Dayton for Governor, Mark Dayton's Revised Budget Plan, Sept. 21, 2010
Dayton campaign fact sheet on outsourcing
Minnesota Management and Budget, contractor spending 2008, created Sept. 29, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, contractors spending 2009, created Sept. 29, 2010
Correctional Medical Services, Locations: Minnesota, accessed Sept. 30, 2010
The Pew Center on the States, States Buying Smarter: Lessons Learned from Minnesota and Virginia, May 2010
Minnesota Office of the Revisor Statutes, 16C.08 Professional or Technical Services, accessed Sept. 30, 2010
The Milkwaukee Sentinal Journal, Use of outsourcing by state soars, audit shows, By Patrick Marley, May 12, 2009
Interview, Katharine Tinucci, spokeswoman, Mark Dayton, Sept. 28, 2010
Interview, David Semerad, Chief Financial Officer, Associated General Contractors of
Minnesota, Sept. 30, 2010
Interview, Shari Burt, Communications Director, Minnesota Department of Corrections, Sept. 30, 2010
Interview, Linda Kohl, Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Sept. 30, 2010
Interview, Kirsten Morell, spokeswoman, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Sept. 30, 2010
The three major party candidates for governor will travel to Greater Minnesota on Friday.
Republican Tom Emmer starts his day off by speaking to the Chamber of Commerce in Eden Prairie. He'll then head hold campaign rallies in Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes and Park Rapids.
Democrat Mark Dayton will spend the day in Duluth. He's scheduled to speak before the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees 2010 Conference at 4pm.
The Independence Party's Tom Horner will also be in Duluth Friday morning. He's scheduled to be on KDAL Radio at 6:20AM and is scheduled to meet with officials in the Minnesota Forest Products industry and will also greet attendees at the Duluth Rotary Club.
DFL candidate for governor Mark Dayton is asking the federal government to give Minnesota an extension to apply for health care grants.
Dayton made the request today in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. In the letter, Dayton wrote that "extensions would enable Minnesota's next governor to make informed decisions about all of these grant opportunities and would prevent the loss of important federal funds for our state."
Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued an executive order a month ago preventing all state departments and agencies from applying for money available through the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Republican governor also said he would try to block what he views as an intrusive federal mandate whenever possible during his final months in office.
The Minnesota Association of REALTORS Political Action Committee and the Builders Association of Minnesota Political Action Committee have made a joint endorsement of Independence Party candidate Tom Horner for governor.
A news release from the two organizations today called the endorsement historic.
"This is the first time Minnesota's housing industry has come together to endorse a gubernatorial candidate," said Jerry Teeson, Vice Chair of the REALTORS PAC. "We need a governor who has a realistic vision to rebuild private economy and create jobs. Tom Horner is the best candidate to tackle today's problems and move our economy forward towards a promising future."
Officials at the Minnesota Department of Revenue are saying Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner has not submitted his budget plan for review, but that Horner's campaign contacted them to see if the tax plan would work.
At the most recent debate last week, Horner said he submitted his budget plan for a review...
Horner: "We're going to take medical services off of the table. We won't tax those. We won't tax prescription drugs or medical devices and the numbers do add up.
Republican Tom Emmer: No they don't.
Horner: The Revenue Department says they did.
Emmer: They have not and you have to be honest about it.
Horner: I'm just curious as to where your information is that the Department of Revenue has said my numbers don't add up because the Department of Revenue told me that the numbers do add up.
Emmer: Well put it out there. We've asked and haven't been given anything that supports that.
Horner: Tom, That's just not true, you know that's not true.
Emmer: What we have been shown is that you have to make much broader attempt.
Horner: That's just a blatant lie."
But Revenue spokeswoman Kit Borgman says Horner's team "generally discussed their proposal" with Revenue Department Research Director Paul Wilson but didn't submit the plan for a review. Horner is proposing to expand the sales tax to clothing and unspecified services and lower the tax rate. He says his tax plan would raise $2.15 billion.
Borgman says Wilson said that the "general idea about broadening the sales tax and lowering it can get him where to where he wants to go." But Borgman said Wilson couldn't provide greater detail on whether Horner's numbers work because Horner hasn't specified which services he would tax.
Borgman said Wilson offered to review the budget plan, but Horner's team declined. (Update: Borgman said Horner's team didn't ask for a total analysis of their plan. "He said they didn't ask him to bless their numbers so to speak or estimate the impact," Borgman said. "Because he (Wilson) said it would be impossible anyway because they didn't have enough detail.")
Democrat Mark Dayton has repeatedly criticized Horner for not offering specifics as to which services he would tax.
Horner's campaign is the only major party campaign that hasn't submitted its plan to the revenue department for analysis. Dayton was forced to revise his plan after the department found it wouldn't raise as much money as he projected. Republican Tom Emmer submitted his plan to cut taxes to the revenue department for review, but Emmer is not proposing a tax increase. He has outlined general areas where he will reduce spending to balance the books. Emmer, however, has not said how he would specifically reduce spending in each category of the budget.
Horner just told MPR News that Revenue Department officials confirmed that his plan has the capacity to raise $1.3 billion from his sales tax plan. But he admits that there is more work to be done to identify "the services that make sense."
Horner also said that he won't expand the sales tax to business to business services, food, medical services and medical purchases and equipment. Horner said he's open to expanding the sales tax to all other consumer services.
"What the Department of Revenue has said is 'Consumer services, clothing, reduce the rate by one percent, is there a potential of $1.3 billion there? Yes.' And so, yes, I do acknowledge that everything is on the table. It doesn't mean we're going to end up with everyuthing on the table it does mean we do have to evaluate everything to reach a final judgement. That's going to take more people involved. It's going to take more resources. It's going to economic modeling. We want to make sure that we're doing this in a way that build the economy of Minnesota not in a way that gets us to November 2nd (Election Day)."
Update: Tom Emmer released this statement:
"Today we learned that Tom Horner has not in fact had his massive sales tax increase analyzed by the Minnesota Department of Revenue, contradicting what he stated only days ago. As a result, Minnesotans must ask themselves, what else is Tom Horner hiding from us?
"Tom Horner has clearly shown his intentions to grow government spending in an irresponsible way. He has no way to pay for that unsustainable growth except through massive sales tax increases. Those sales tax increases will crush Minnesota families by taxing everything from clothing and garage sales to baby formula. At least Senator Dayton had the intellectual honesty to admit that he can't balance the budget even with enormous income tax increases.
"My two opponents are fighting for the bragging right of who will tax Minnesotans more and who can promise more with no way to pay for it. In contrast, I am the only candidate proposing an honest, balanced budget and calling for government to live within its means."
The three major party candidates for governor will make individual appearances on MPR's Midday next week.
Indepence Party candidate Tom Horner will be on the show on Monday at 11am.
Republican Tom Emmer will be on the show on Tuesday at 11am.
Democrat Mark Dayton will be on the show on Thursday.
Minnesota's next governor will face a major problem when he takes office: the deficit.
For his part, Independent Tom Horner says that, despite projected increases in revenue, the state won't have any extra cash.
"We don't have $2 billion extra," he said during the Sept. 7, 2010, debate in Duluth in response to his opponent Republican Tom Emmer's claim that the state will be working with a revenue surplus next year. "[The state] already spent it."
Horner's claim is on the money.
It's true that the state will have more cash in the next biennium. According to Management and Budget, revenues are projected to increase from nearly $31 billion to about $33 billion - roughly a 7 percent increase.
But revenue only tells one side of the story, as Horner points out.
In the next biennium, spending is slated to increase to $38.7 billion, leaving a gap between revenue and expenditures of roughly $5.8 billion, otherwise known as the deficit. Republican Emmer has outlined a budget plan that cuts real and projected spending growth but hasn't detailed how he would account for a growing demand for state services.
There are two key pots of money being moved around that make these budget contortions even trickier. In this biennium, the state got about $2 billion in federal stimulus funding that helped pay for education and health care. The one-time cash transfer effectively allowed the state to spend more without drawing down general funds in the current fiscal year.
This funding disappears in the next biennium, but is nevertheless included in projected spending for the state. And it's unlikely that lawmakers are going to find an additional $2 billion to fill the hole.
Add to that the $1.4 billion the state is obliged by law to repay schools in the next biennium, and the deficit begins to take shape. (Emmer and Horner have both said they will push back payment to the 2014-2015 biennium.) The rest of the deficit reflects recent cuts made to balance the budget and cost increases associated with a growing, aging population.
Though revenue is going up in the next biennium, Horner says that the state won't really have an extra $2 billion extra to play with. And he's correct: that federal funding disappears in the next budget cycle.
This claim is accurate.
Duluth debate, Sept. 7, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, Price of Government, May 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, General Fund Balance Analysis: End of 2010
Legislative Sessions, accessed Sept. 28, 2010
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, That deficit is a demon, and Emmer doesn't want to face it, by Lori Sturdevant, Aug. 28, 2010
Minnesota 2020, Emmer's Faux Claims on Revenue, Spending Growth, by Jeff Van Wychen, Sept. 15, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Tax increases in Dayton, Horner budget plans; Emmer downplaying deficit, by Tom Scheck, Sept. 1, 2010
Interview, Tom Horner, Sept. 28, 2010
Interview, Bill Marx, Minnesota House of Representatives Chief Financial Analyst, Sept. 29, 2010
Interview, Jay Kiedrowski, Senior Fellow, the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Sept. 28, 2010
Interview, Curt Yoakum, spokesman, Minnesota Management and Budget, Sept. 28, 2010(1 Comments)
Democrat Mark Dayton's campaing spokeswoman Katie Tinucci says Vice-President Joe Biden will hold a campaign rally for Dayton at Macalester College. Tinucci and a spokeswoman at Macalester say they'll release more details on the event soon. Biden will also hold a fundraising luncheon for Dayton on October 5th.
Biden's appearance at Macalaster follows the White House's recent push to get college students motivated to vote in November. Several DFL strategists, including Jeff Blodgett, have suggested Democrats need to motivate voters who turn out during presidential elections but don't vote during the mid-term elections. College students are a key part of that group.
Update: The campaign says the event will be held at the Leonard Center Field House from 9AM-11:30 on the Macalester Campus. More info can be found here.(1 Comments)
Minnesota's three major-party candidates for governor get back to the business of debating Sunday. Oct. 3, during a Jewish Community-sponsored event.
The debate is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. at Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul. A news release today from the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas said the debate will focus on the "changing face of Minnesota," with particular emphasis on "the role of international trade in improving Minnesota's economy, the challenges and opportunities of immigration to Minnesota, and the increasing responsibilities of our National Guard."
DFLer Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner have debated more than a dozen times since the primary election. But this week there were no debates scheduled.
Dayton, who recently won the AFL-CIO endorsement, touched on several key union issues, including jobs and public employee pensions. When it comes to state government's role in job creations, Dayton said there's a big difference between him and Republican candidate Tom Emmer.
"I've got an opponent who believes that government should do nothing at all," Dayton said. "Well if you don't believe in government, then don't try to run it."
Here's the audio of the speech: Listen
A minor party candidate for governor is proposing the creation of a state currency.
Ken Pentel, who's running as a Ecology Democracy Party candidate, announced a new money plan today that he said would an effective tool for stabilizing the economy.
"By creating a Minnesota currency, we would take responsibility where the federal government has not by allowing the people to have greater control and power over the monetary system at a community level," Pentel wrote." Interest free loans could be made which would in turn create less debt and allow the borrower less burden over the course of time. And most important, it would counter one of the key drivers of ecological overshoot."
Pentel has run previous campaigns for governor under the Green Party banner.
The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund has announced its endorsement of Republican candidate Tom Emmer in Minnesota's contest for governor.
The NRA-PVF issued a news release today highlighting Emmer's voting record in the Minnesota House on measure protecting gun owners.
"Tom Emmer has earned the NRA-PVF endorsement for his solid pro-gun record," said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the NRA-PVF. "His commitment to preserving our Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage makes Tom Emmer the clear choice for Minnesota gun owners."
The origanization said Emmer earned an "A+" rating. In comparison, DFL candidate Mark Dayton received an "F" rating, based on his voting record in the U.S. Senate.(1 Comments)
A new study based on projected Census population figures shows Minnesota will likely keep all eight of its current U-S house seats.
The 435 U-S house seats are divided between states based on population. Last year, estimates projected Minnesota to lose a congressional seat to Missouri. But Kimball Brace of Virginia-based Election Data Services says the new estimates show Missouri will instead likely lose a seat to Minnesota.
And Brace says that's a fortunate finding for Minnesota.
"When you're in a losing situation you have less members pushing your kind of issues that may be important to members of your state. And it becomes more difficult to have the kind of issues that you think are important brought up by congress and passed in terms of legislative initiatives."
Brace cautions that we won't know for sure if Minnesota will keep all its seats until final Census numbers come out in late December.
"The addition of the military overseas could have an impact," he said. "Particularly in your state where there's not a lot of military overseas from Minnesota."
(H/T Rupa Shenoy)
If Republican Tom Emmer's elected governor, he says he'll restructure the way the state parcels out money to cities to eliminate what he says has been wasteful spending in the local government aid program.
To help sell his platform, Emmer frequently points out that aid isn't spread evenly among Minnesota communities.
"I don't know how many of your viewers understand that only about half the cities in this state get any local government aid and frankly only a handful get the lion's share," he said during a debate Sept. 17, 2010.
It's a claim that he reiterated during a debate in St. Cloud Sept. 21, and that appears on part of his campaign website called EmmerTruth, meant to refute misinformation about the platform.
There's little truth to this Emmer claim.
Emmer's campaign said it could not back-up his claim that only half the cities in the state get aid. In fact, most do. This year, 85 percent of communities - or 727 out of 854 communities -- will get local government aid after unallotment cuts, according to data supplied by the Minnesota State Legislature House Research Department, which tracks these payments annually.
Emmer's second point, that a handful of communities get the most money, is more complicated. This year, the state will give out $426,535,440 in local government aid. Nearly half of that - about $200 million - goes to 14 cities, including Duluth, Minneapolis, St. Cloud, St. Paul, and Winona.
However, Emmer's statement glosses over some important context. Local Government Aid was created to help towns with limited tax bases provide services to its residents. Funding is doled out based on a city's fiscal needs and its ability to pay for them, as well as other factors, including population. So on one hand, it makes sense that large cities, like St. Paul or Minneapolis, would be getting a lot of money.
But dollar amounts don't reveal much. To really understand how the state is spending the cash, it makes more sense to look at aid per capita. By this measure, some of the state's smallest towns are getting the most money per person. For instance, Leonidas, population 57, got $35,240 this year, which breaks down to about $618 per person. By comparison, Minneapolis, population 390,000, got $63,986,731 in local government aid - or about $164 per person.
Emmer's claim is fraught with inaccuracies. He's wrong that only half of Minnesota communities are getting aid. It's far more than that. And while Minneapolis and St. Paul come out on top in terms of dollars of aid, it's the smallest cities in the state that are getting the most aid per person - precisely the aim of the local government aid program.
This claim is false.
The UpTake, transcript of the TPT Almanac debate, Sept. 17, 2010
Emmer for Governor, EmmerTruth: Tom Emmer Wants to Reform, Not Eliminate, Local Government Aid, accessed Sept. 23, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, City officials gloomily expect cuts to local government aid, by Dan Olson, Sept. 17, 2010
Minnesota2020, Phony LGA Statistics at AARP Debate, by Jeff Van Wychen, Sept. 21, 2010
Minnesota House Research Department, Governor's December 2008 City Aid and Credit Cuts and Payments, Dec. 19, 2008
Minnesota House Research Department, 2009-2011 LGA certified and paid amounts, after the 2010 session, June 11, 2010
The Minnesota Department of Revenue, Final City Unallotment: 2009, accessed Sept. 23, 2010
The League of Minnesota Cities, Local Government Aid 101: 2009 Distribution & Beyond, updated April 2010
LGA payments by amount
LGA payments by per capita amount
Interview, Carl Kuhl, Emmer for Governor, Sept. 23, 2010
Interview, Lena Gould, Policy Analyst, League of Minnesota Cities
Interview, Jeff Van Wychen, fellow, Minnesota 2020, Sept. 23, 2010
Interview, Pat Dalton, House Research Department, Sept. 23, 2010(9 Comments)
A new poll released by Rasmussen Reports shows Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer in a dead heat. The poll, taken on September 22nd, shows Emmer with the support of 42 percent of those polled. Dayton has the support of 41 percent of those polled. The Independence Party's Tom Horner received nine percent support. Two percent of those polled are undecided. The margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points. (Note: The poll includes leaners).
Update: A closer look at the poll shows a different set of numbers when you take away the leaners. Emmer edges Dayton 36% to 34%, and Horner receives the support of 18 percent of those polled.
You can read the full results here.(5 Comments)
From MPR's Tom Weber:
The three major party candidates debated education-related issues during a debate Thursday evening at the studios of Twin Cities Public Television in downtown St. Paul.
There wasn't much new ground covered over what Democrat Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and the Independence Party's Tom Horner had previously said about education (this wasn't their first 'education only' debate, after all), but they renewed their pledges to all increase funding for early childhood education.
On matters of the state budget, Emmer and Horner would not start paying back a $1.4 billion payment delay to schools until after the upcoming biennium; Dayton says he still wants to include the payback in his first budget, even though his newest budget proposal (released this week) still has a deficit.
The forum, sponsored by the Minneapolis Foundation, was moderated by MPR Morning Edition and TPT's Almanac host Cathy Wurzer. It was broadcast and webcast live and set before a studio audience that amounted to a 'who's who' of education leaders in the Twin Cities - including Minneapolis Schools superintendent Bernadeia Johnson; Minneapolis school board member Tom Madden; former Federal Reserve VP Art Rolnick, DFL state representative Carlos Mariani; and Curt Johnson, a former chief of staff to Gov. Arne Carlson and current partner at Education Evolving.
You can listen to the full debate here: Listen
DFLer Mark Dayton's gubernatorial campaign has sent out an invitation for a fundraiser with Vice President Joe Biden on Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The exact location in St. Paul hasn't chosen yet, but the lunch will be expensive.
The cheapest ticket ("Young Professional") is $150. The most expensive ("Luncheon Chair") is $2,000. The other levels are $250, $500 and $1,000.(1 Comments)
Dayton stood outside a St. Paul elementary school today to highlight a proposal ranging from lower class sizes to classroom technology upgrades. But with the state facing a projected $5.8 billion budget deficit, Dayton said the funding for his education plan is still a work in progress.
"It does involve committing additional resources, which is the reason that I am committed also to raising revenues progressively, so that we can restore our commitment to out children," Dayton said.
Dayton said his immediate priority for schools is to maintain the funding levels already in statute, and payback a school-funding shift, if possible.
A state Republican party official dismissed the proposal as a big promise with no money behind it.
GOP Rep. Mark Buesgens has resigned as a consultant to the Minnesota Republican Party. Minnesota GOP spokesman Mark Drake confirmed that Buesgens resigned his position today. Buesgens has been charged with three misdemeanors after being arrested Saturday in Wright County for suspected DWI. He was arrested for drunk driving on Saturday night.
Buesgens has served as the campaign manager for Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor. Emmer's campaign says Buesgens left the campaign on September 12th and went to work for the MNGOP as a consultant.
AP reports that Buesgens is not resigning his seat in the Legislature and he still his re-election bid still has the backing of the Republican Party.
The DWI arrest and his decision to leave the party aren't the only problems for Buesgens.
The Star Tribune was the first to report that Buesgens is facing foreclosure proceedings on his home.
Update: AP reports that the Sheriffs sale of his home has been called off.(3 Comments)
The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Leadership PAC announced today that is was backing Republican Tom Emmer's bid for governor. The board announced the endorsement after it held private screenings with Emmer and IP candidate Tom Horner. The Chamber news release says Democrat Mark Dayton declined to be screened for the endorsement.
"Tom Emmer is the candidate who best meets our criteria and will make an outstanding governor," said Steve McCulloch in a news release. McCulloch of St. Louis Park is a member of the Minnesota Chamber Leadership Fund Political Action Committee. "Emmer is the candidate who best represents the Minnesota Chamber's pro-business, pro-jobs agenda and is most electable. His message will resonate with all Minnesotans, because it's common-sense, especially during a challenging economy."
The PAC Board said it was impressed with how Emmer would address the state's projected $5.8 billion budget deficit. Emmer has released a list of spending targets but failed to outline specific cuts.
McCulloch also criticized Dayton's approach to balancing the budget. Dayton suggested raising income taxes on Minnesota's top earners to fix part of the state's budget deficit.
"Minnesota cannot afford a Mark Dayton Administration," he said. "The business community is unified in stopping his agenda of tax increases that would put all businesses at a disadvantage in today's global marketplace and, as a result, cripple Minnesota's economy just when a shot in the arm is needed."
The Chamber's decision doesn't come as a huge surprise considering Chamber President David Olson has already formed a PAC that has endorsed Emmer's campaign. MN Forward has run ads criticizing Dayton and praising Emmer.
Update: Horner released this statement on the Chamber's decision:
"It's disappointing, but not surprising that the Minnesota Chamber would endorse the Republican-endorsed candidate," Horner said. "They have been doing that for decades.
"The Chamber and its political action committee have invested significant resources in Emmer's candidacy, and it would be astonishing if they walked away from their chosen candidate a month before the election," he said.
"I am pleased that we are giving the Chamber and other organizations a lot to think about and that many, like the Minnesota Medical Political Action Committee, an affiliate of the Minnesota Medical Association, and individual business leaders are stepping forward, putting Minnesota's long-term interests first, and endorsing Tom Horner."
The Republican Govermor's Association has entered Minnesota's governor's race in a big way. Minnesota's Future, an independent expenditure group, reports that the RGA donated $428,000 to it. The report, which hasn't been posted online yet, was given to MPR by the organizers of Minnesota's Future. That group has been running ads criticizing Democrat Mark Dayton's record on taxes.
The RGA isn't the only national group involved in the race. The Democratic Governor's Association gave $250,000 to Win Minnesota, which funneled the money to The Alliance for a Better Minnesota. ABM has been running ads criticizing Republcan Tom Emmer.
A new mailer from the Minnesota AFL-CIO links Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer to the I-35W bridge collapse.
The mailer, which features a picture of a truck and school bus tumbling toward the Mississippi River as the bridge crumbled, says, "Emmer voted three times against funds that would have repaired broken infrastructure across Minnesota, including the I-35 bridge. He even voted against the final attempt to rebuild infrastructure before the bridge collapsed."
The labor union mailer also states that, "Emmer was one of only ten representatives that voted against efforts to compensate victims of the bridge collapse" and that "Emmer opposed a $6.6 billion plan to rebuild roads, bridges, and transit throughout Minnesota even after the I-35 bridge collapse."
For the most part, these claims are true.
"Emmer voted three times against funds that would have repaired broken infrastructure across Minnesota, including the I-35 bridge. He even voted against the final attempt to rebuild infrastructure before the bridge collapsed."
Emmer voted against the 2007 transportation funding bill three times: the House version passed in March, a merged House and Senate version in May; and an unsuccessful effort to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto of the legislation.
But there are a few important caveats to this claim. First, Emmer's opposition to the transportation bill wasn't the reason it failed. House leaders needed 90 members to override Pawlenty's veto, but only secured 83.
It's also crucial to note that there was no specific provision in the bill to update the I-35W bridge, as the AFL-CIO's claim implies. However, it would have expanded the trunk highway fund and bonds, which cover bridge repair - precisely the sources of money that might have allowed the Minnesota Department of Transportation to renovate or replace the bridge sooner.
For several years, the I-35W bridge had been on MnDOT's "Budget Buster" list, meaning it needed replacement or repair within 10 years. But according to MnDOT documents, overhauling the bridge was postponed due to funding woes.
"Emmer was one of only ten representatives that voted against efforts to compensate victims of the bridge collapse."
This claim is also true. Emmer was among a handful of members who voted against a bill that set up a $40 million compensation fund for survivors of the bridge collapse. Like his fellow Republicans, Emmer questioned whether the state could afford the fund in lean times, and he objected to a provision that allows the fund to be used to pay damages to victims of future disasters.
"Emmer opposed a $6.6 billion plan to rebuild roads, bridges, and transit throughout Minnesota even after the I-35 bridge collapse."
The final vote in question came in February, 2008. The bill, a direct result of the collapse, provided funding for road and bridge repairs and money meant specifically for the I-35W bridge. Emmer voted against this bill as well.
For the most part, the AFL-CIO mailer is correct. On three occasions, Emmer voted against legislation having to do with the bridge collapse or general bridge repair in the state, though it's important to note that the 2007 transportation funding bill did not specify repairs to the I-35W bridge.
Minnesota State Legislature, Actions on HF 946: The 2007 Omnibus Transportation Bill, accessed Sept. 21, 2010
Minnesota State Legislature, House Journal: March 24, 2007, p. 2016, accessed Sept. 21, 2010
Minnesota State Legislature, House Journal: May 14, 2007, p. 6640, accessed Sept. 21, 2010
Minnesota State Legislature, House Journal May 21, 2010, p. 7571, accessed Sept. 21, 2010
Minnesota House of Representatives Research, Summary: HF 946, May 11, 2007
The Minnesota State Legislature, Investigative Report to Joint Committee to Investigate the I-35W Bridge Collapse, Gray, Plant, Mooty, May 2008
MN2020, 451 Minnesota Bridges "Functionally Obsolete" By Conrad deFiebre, Aug. 2, 2007
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, House OKs $40 million for bridge survivors, by Pat Doyle, Feb. 29, 2008
The Minnesota State Legislature, Actions on HF 2553, accessed Sept. 21, 2010
The Minnesota State Legislature, House Journal May 5, 2008, p. 11270, accessed Sept. 21, 2010
The Minnesota State Legislature, Action on HF2800, accessed Sept. 21, 2010
The Minnesota State Legislature, House Journal Feb 21, 2008, p. 7884, accessed Sept. 21, 2010
Interview, Chris Shields, Communications Director, Minnesota AFL-CIO, Sept. 21, 2010
Interview, Margaret Donahoe, Executive Director, Minnesota Transportation Alliance, Sept. 2, 2010(3 Comments)
DFLer Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner faced off again Tuesday, during a gubernatorial debate sponsored by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.
As usual, most of the attention was on the state budget, including aspects of Dayton's revised budget proposal, which he released earlier in the day.
Here's the debate in three parts:
Part 1 Listen
Part 2 Listen
Part 3 Listen
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota reports spending $2.8 million running advertising on Google, Facebook and TV criticizing Republican Tom Emmer. The latest campaign finance report shows ABM received $2.9 million since the start of the year and spent $2.9 million.
The group received contributions Win MN, the Campaign 2010 Fund. Those groups received funds from wealthy DFL donors like Alida Messinger (Democrat Mark Dayton's ex-wife) and Vance Opperman and several labor unions like SEIU, Education MN and the Minnesota Nurses. The Human Rights Campaign also gave 110k to those groups.
You can read ABM's latest report here.
3M gave $100,000 to MN Forward, a coalition of Minnesota busineses aimed at electing business friendly candidates. The groups latest campaign finance report shows 3M was one of 17 businesses that gave to the group.
MN Forward reports raising $1.358 million since the start of the year. The group spent $856,449. The group reports spending $300k on ads criticizing Democrat Mark Dayton and $348k on ads in support of Republican Tom Emmer.
You can read the full report here.
Tom Horner with the Independence Party has been getting plenty of attention lately. In the past two days, the Republican Party of Minnesota and the DFL Party are starting to take aim at Horner.
On Monday, the Republican Party announced it created a website characterizing Horner as a liberal. Phil Krinkie, with The Taxpayers League of Minnesota (which is backing Republican Tom Emmer), wrote an e-mail to supporters suggesting Horner has little chance of winning.
The DFL Party is also starting taking aim at Horner. On Monday, the DFL Party's Kristin Sosanie sent an e-mail to reporters saying Horner "would rather cut taxes for big business than fund Minnesota's public schools."
Today, Sosanie sent an e-mail calling Horner and Republican candidate Tom Emmer as "The Republican Toms":
The middle class is at the breaking point and simply cannot pay any more. Our public schools cannot afford another four years of misguided Republican policies. Minnesota needs a governor who is fundamentally committed to standing up for the middle class by fighting for regular Minnesotans and supporting education. That's not Tom Emmer or Tom Horner.
A political insider told me last week that the GOP and DFL won't start paying attention to Horner until he started polling above 15 percent. A recent Survey USA poll released last showed Horner polling at 18 percent.(1 Comments)
Democrat Mark Dayton's new budget plan takes aim at "predatory credit card companies" and MnSCU employees who are earning more than the governor.
But the plan is still $1 billion short of erasing the projected budget deficit of $5.8 billion. Dayton's campaign spokeswoman Katie Tinucci says Dayton will continue to look for new revenue or spending cuts to balance the budget. She said the "worst case scenario" is that Dayton wouldn't immediately pay back the entire $1.2 billion payment delay to K12 schools.
Dayton released the updated budget plan today after a revenue department analysis found his earlier plan didn't raise nearly as much money as he had hoped.
The revised plan isn't dramatically different from his first proposal, but it does attach some specific dollar figures to his earlier ideas and contain a few new wrinkles.
The key differences are a tax on credit card companies that charge interest rates that are higher than 15 percent and a 5 percent pay cut for MnSCU employees who earn more than the governor (roughly $120,000 per year).
Dayton says his primary goal is still tax fairness.
"I am the only candidate who will not raise taxes on the middle class. We cannot ask them to pay more," Dayton said.
"My opponents will force them to pay more to stay in their homes and every time they buy clothes for their kids. My plan will emphasize our greatest job creation engine, education, and asks those who are most able to help put Minnesota back on a path to prosperity and keep it a great place to live."
It should be noted that IP candidate Tom Horner acknowledged to me that his budget plan is roughly $1 billion short on specifics. Republican Tom Emmer has offered a budget framework but has not detailed where the cuts would come from. You can read that story here.(1 Comments)
The Minnesota Medical Association's Political Action Committee, MEDPAC, has endorsed the Independence Party's Tom Horner for governor. The PAC announced the endorsement this morning in a news release.
The PAC says Horner's support for adopting the MA expansion and his approach to balancing the budget are two of the reasons why the members are supporting him. The group also said Horner's pledge to increase the cigarette tax is also a factor.
"Tom Horner will be an outstanding governor for Minnesota's physicians, patients, and larger medical community," said Dr. Michael Tedford, chair of MEDPAC and an otolaryngologist from Minneapolis. "His deep knowledge of the health care community, as well as his balanced approach to solving the problems facing our state, will serve Minnesotans well as we seek smart, affordable, comprehensive solutions to our health care concerns."
"The issues of access to affordable, quality health care demand a leader who is willing to work with all stakeholders, and with members of all political parties. Horner is that leader," Tedford said.
GOP Rep. Mark Buesgens released this statement today after reports surfaced today that Wright County Sheriffs deputy arrested Buesgens on Saturday night for allegedly driving drunk.
Here's the statement:
"On September 18 I was arrested in Wright County on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. I fully cooperated with law enforcement in every respect. Tests revealed my blood alcohol content was over the legal limit, and I've been charged with a misdemeanor impaired driving offense. Because the legal case is pending, I've been advised to not comment further on the incident's specifics.(1 Comments)
"However, I do want to say that I am very sorry and that I greatly regret my actions and how they have disappointed my family, friends and constituents. I have taken immediate, pro-active steps to address this issue, including scheduling a chemical health evaluation with a certified professional. I will immediately undertake any recommendations made in the evaluation, and I have already made arrangements to start a recovery program.
"I am fully and completely committed to doing everything possible to ensure that these serious issues are addressed appropriately and effectively. I cannot overstate my gratitude for the public's understanding, support and prayers during this difficult time for me and
The Associated Press is reporting that the former manager of Republican Tom Emmer's gubernatorial campaign, David Fitzsimmons, was arrested for drunk driving shortly after stepping down from that job back in May.
Fitzsimmons was arrested for DWI in Hennepin County on May 16, but he was not convicted. The revelation about Fitzsimmons followed today's earlier news that state Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan, was arrested for DWI Saturday in Wright County. Buesgens was Emmer's campaign chairman until about a week ago.
Emmer had his own DWI issues in 1981 and 1991.(20 Comments)
Over the noon hour Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner was at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute, delivering a speech about education reform and then answering questions on the topic.
Horner called for more spending on early childhood education, and more accountability for students, teachers and administrators. Horner said the current model for public education is out-of-date and not as effective as it should be.
MPR will broadcast Horner's entire conversation with Larry Jacobs tomorrow at noon on Midday, but if you want to hear it sooner here it is.
State Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan, was arrested over the weekend for allegedly driving drunk.
WCCO TV reports that a Wright County deputy stopped Buesgens Saturday night after seeing the six-term legislator driving in a ditch near Maple Lake. The report said Buesgens' blood alcohol content was 0.16, twice the legal limit.
Buesgens confirmed the arrest, but he told MPR News that he could not comment further until after a meeting with his lawyer.
Buesgens is running for re-election in House District 35B. He also
serves served as chairman of Republican candidate Tom Emmer's gubernatorial campaign.
A spokesman for Emmer says Buesgens' last day employed by the campaign was September 12, when moved over to the state party.
Tom Emmer released this statement:
"Mark made a serious mistake in judgment. I am thankful that he did not hurt others or himself. Driving under the influence is not acceptable. Mark is a friend. He is a good man. We will help him and his family in any way possible. They are in my thoughts and prayers."
Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign spokeswoman says the campaign will release an updated budget plan tomorrow morning. The campaign has been crunching the numbers after the MN Department of Revenue released an analysis that Dayton's proposed income tax hike on Minnesota's top earners wouldn't generate the money he predicted.
Republican Tom Emmer released a budget plan that relies on spending cuts to erase a $5.8 billion budget deficit. Emmer is also advocating for business tax cuts. Emmer has released a list of targets but hasn't specified which programs he would cut.
The Independence Party's Tom Horner says he would reduce the state's sales tax rate by a percent but would expand the sales tax to clothing and unspecified services. Horner is also calling for billions of dollars in spending cuts.
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich will raise money for the Minnesota Republican Party on October 6th. The MNGOP is asking donors to give $5,000 a couple. Gingrich, who is considering a run for president in 2012, will speak at the Minneapolis Marriot. Here's the invite:
State Chair Tony Sutton Governor Tim Pawlenty Congressman John Kline Congresswoman Michele Bachmann Congressman Erik Paulsen(5 Comments)
Honorary Finance Chairs
Brad Anderson & Bob Ulrich
Invite you to Join
The Honorable Newt Gingrich
For an Exclusive Roundtable Discussion
Wednesday October 6, 2010
The Minneapolis Marriott
(Valet Parking Available)
The Values Voter Summit is underway in Washington D.C.
A long list of well-known conservatives and some GOP presidential hopefuls are speaking there, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty is not among them.
In a telephone conference call from Tokyo Pawlenty called the Values Voter Summit'an "important group," and noted that he's addressed the summit before. He said he took his name out of the summit's presidential straw poll this time because he was unable to be there in person.
"We certainly appreciate the Values Voter Summit, but I wasn't able to be there because of the trade mission," he said. "And because I was unable to be there, we didn't think it would be appropriate to participate otherwise in the event. So it's fairly straight forward in that regard."
Rep. Michele Bachmann spoke at the summit today.
Bachmann's name is included in the presidential straw poll.
Update: AP reports that Bachmann requested her name be taken off the straw poll, and she will not be included.(3 Comments)
The candidates for governor meet again Friday night to debate live on Twin Cities Public Television at 8 p.m. in a forum sponsored by AARP.
And on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. they'll debate again at the Radisson Hotel in St. Cloud, in a forum sponsored by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. The St. Cloud Times reports the debate will be during a regular meeting of St. Cloud Rotary Club, which starts at noon.
It's getting a little hard to keep track of all these, so if you know of any others that are scheduled let us know.
If you missed the gubernatorial debate sponsored by the Citizens League, the LEAD Project and BringMeTheNews and have been kicking yourself all day, here it is:
Speaking at a South Lake-Excelsior Chamber of Commerce meeting over the noon hour Thursday, Tom Horner reiterated proposals he says could help turnaround the bleak jobs picture in Minnesota.
Here are the key points of Horner's five-point 'Minnesota Works' job plan:
--Phase out the corporate tax. (He would cut it by 20 percent starting in the 2012-13 biennium).
--Spend $120 million more on education, from early childhood to post-secondary.
--Spend $30 million more in state funds for research at post-secondary schools and create $145 million "Innovation Fund"
--Enact a $400 million bonding bill to improve roads and bridges.
Horner, Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer meet for their 12th debate Friday night on Twin Cities Public Television.
Republican Tom Emmer used his time at the U of M's Humphrey School to talk about his proposed changes to the state's K12 schools. Emmer said he wants to continue testing because he believes it's the best way to measure and improve student performance.
"What gets measured will get done," Emmer said.
Emmer also took aim at the Minnesota Miracle (where the state took over more spending of school spending) by saying it the shift wasn't solely focused on student performance. He criticized those who consider the Minnesota Miracle as the model for improving education.
"I think it shows how badly skewed our thinking is on education. The Minnesota Miracle of 1971 was not about improving the way we educate our kids. It wasn't even about improving the performance of students. The Minnesota Miracle refers to changing how we pay for education. The first shjift to more state funding and away from property taxes. In my mind, that's a pretty minor miracle. How we pay for education is not nearly as important as what kind of education our kids get for those dollars."
Emmer also said he'd like to reduce the number of state requirements on school districts. He said he wants schools teaching a large number of disadvantaged students to be able to opt out of several state and local mandates like collective bargaining. He also wants to give other school districts the right to get waivers from certain mandates.
"There are all kinds of state mandates that school districts have to operate within and they don't have a choice. I'm suggesting we give them the opportunity to say 'if we get us out from under this mandate, it's going to allow us the freedom to make certain decisions which will let us put resources in place where we think they are going to be more effective than they are right now."
During the Q and A with the Humphrey School's Larry Jacobs, Emmer also discussed the budget, federal oversight and his decision to cut spending on higher education. When a student question asked "How would you assist students so they don't graduate from college with $50,000 in debt?", Emmer responded that he understood the frustration since he did the math with seven kids but ...
"I'm reminded that I paid my own way. I paid my own my way through college and did it myself. A lot of you are doing the same thing. It took me until my early thirties to pay off the loans that I did have to take for law school. Partly it's your responsibility. I will tell you that right up front. You need to take control of your destiny. You need to be responsible for it."
Emmer added that he would like to see students be guaranteed a fixed tuition from a university for the four years that the student goes to that school. He also added that he would like to see a better marketplace to find lower interest rates to pay school.
Here's Emmer's speech: Listen
Here's the q and a with Jacobs: Listen
The MNGOP is calling on Independence Party candidate Tom Horner to submit his budget plan to be analyzed by the Minnesota Department of Revenue. The party made the request one day after Revenue officials said Mark Dayton's income tax proposal is well short of his initial projections. MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton said Horner should allow the department scrutinize his tax hikes.
"Many believe that your tax plan's math just doesn't work. I suggest that you prove your plan's honesty before attacking others' plans," Sutton wrote in a letter to Horner.
Horner is proposing to expand the sales tax to clothing and "unspecified services" while lowering the overall rate.
Update: Horner campaign spokesman Matt Lewis issued this statement this afternoon:
The Horner-Mulder Minnesota Works budget outline relies on publicly available data from the Department of Revenue and the nonpartisan Minnesota House of Representatives research department. We are confident that the estimates in the Minnesota Works budget accurately reflect the cost of the tax reforms proposed, and are pleased that experts including former Federal Reserve Senior Vice President Art Rolnick have cited the Horner-Mulder proposal as the best of the three candidates' plans. Per the agreement of the three gubernatorial candidates we have asked the Department of Revenue to confirm that those estimates are accurate and will report the findings as soon as they are available to us.
Former President Bill Clinton's fundraiser for Democat Mark Dayton's gubernatorial bid attracted between 250 to 300 people. Here's the pool report filed by AP's Brian Bakst:
I was escorted into the room at 9:10 p.m. Dozens of people were walking around a Graves 601 hotel ballroom as a band played on a stage set up to the side of the room. At the head of the room, was a podium flanked by Minnesota and U.S. flags.
"Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow," an anthem of Clinton's runs for president, played just before he entered the room about 9:20 p.m. He took the stage along with Democratic nominee Mark Dayton, his running mate Yvonne Prettner Solon and Dayton's two sons. All four stood on stage as Clinton spoke.
Among those in attendance, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Several state legislators were also in attendance. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie left before Clinton arrived. Two Democrats Dayton beat in the August primary were also on hand, Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Matt Entenza.
Party staffers said President Clinton stood for VIP photos before he delivered his remarks. Between 250 and 300 people were expected for the event, paying anywhere from $100 to $1,000 each. Some of the proceeds were going to Dayton's campaign and other money was flowing to the state party. Officials wouldn't give an estimate of the amount raised.
Dayton spoke only briefly ahead of Clinton, introducing the former president. "You're not here to hear about me. You're here to hear a great man, a great leader, former President of the United States, Bill Clinton."
Clinton took to the podium, where he spoke for about 35 minutes, some from notes and some off the cuff.
Clinton opened by commenting on his family's friendship with Dayton, who served with former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Clinton spent much of his time talking about the need to give Democrats more time to get the country past its economic problems, which he said were lingering from the administration that preceded the one in place now. He made light of the tea party and its bearing on Republican politics, suggesting party elders wouldn't fit into today's party.
"A lot of their candidates today, they make him look like a liberal," Clinton said of former Republican President George W. Bush.
"It used to be that Republicans were evidence-based, not dogma-based," Clinton said. "They have thrown all that overboard. This is about dogma and big special interest under the guise of the tea party."
"There's a lot of voter anger out there and that anger is legitimate. Millions of Americans feel disempowered," Clinton said.
"To those voters, we should honor their anger. Tell them we're mad too. But the question is when you're mad what do you do with your anger. You have to channel it to something positive? ... Honor the anger but tell people not to let it cloud their judgment."
Clinton ran down Dayton's biography and pronounced him more than qualified for the job he's after.
"I feel like I know this man. He has a good heart and he has a good mind and what he'll do is predictable."
Of Tom Emmer, whom Clinton didn't refer to by name: "Near as I can tell, he wants to get rid of government."
Clinton finished speaking just before 10 p.m. and left the stage to shake hands with people in the room. He left the room at about 10:04 p.m.
Republican Tom Emmer released a budget plan that spends only what the state is set to collect in revenue over the next two years. Emmer released a budget plan that outlined his budget targets but didn't detail specific cuts, saying that should be worked out with the Legislature.
His proposal for the next two years cuts spending for higher education, aid to cities and counties, and state agencies. He would also slash projected growth in health and human services programs by nearly 3 billion dollars . Emmer said his plan is the most specific of the candidates running for office and holds the line on taxes.
Reaction to his budget plan was swift.
Katharine Tinucci, Dayton's deputy campaign manager:
"Rep. Emmer's plan will cut funding for Higher Education by 14%, K-12 Education by 14%, and Local Government Aid by 33%. He will thus cause huge increases in property taxes, higher college tuitions and seriously damage the quality of education throughout Minnesota. Furthermore, his drastic cuts in funding for Health and Human Services will restrict access to essential health care for those most in need.
By contrast, Mark Dayton will invest in better education and new jobs. He will protect middle-class taxpayers by making our tax system fairer, while Tom Emmer will raise property taxes and Tom Horner will expand the sales tax."
Hibbing Mayor Rick Wolff, president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities:
"Tom Emmer's plan to cut $1.1 billion in property tax aids and credits would continue the status quo policies that have nearly doubled property taxes over the past eight years on families and businesses. Under Tom Emmer's plan, we'll all feel the pain when we dig deeper into our wallets to pay more for the services that keep our communities strong: police, fire protection, libraries, parks, snow plowing, senior centers and more. Strong, affordable communities are what have made Minnesota the envy of other states for decades, and that appears to be a legacy Tom Emmer's plan would dismantle."
Donna Cassutt, Minnesota DFL State Associate Chair:
"Representative Emmer has conveniently ignored the nearly $2 billion Governor Pawlenty borrowed from the schools, but has not forgotten about his friends in big business. By refusing to pay back the $1.8 billion owed to Minnesota's schools, Tom Emmer will devastate K-12 education. By slashing vital health and human services, Tom Emmer will jeopardize the well-being of Minnesota's children and senior citizens. By making sure that only big corporations receive tax breaks, Representative Emmer will be forcing property taxes sky high for middle class Minnesotans. Minnesotans deserve more."
Chris Coleman, mayor of St. Paul:
"Tom Emmer's budget plan is a continuation of the last eight years under Tim Pawlenty's disastrous fiscal management, which has left Minnesotans struggling in the face of the largest property tax increase in a generation. The Emmer plan will result in huge tax increases, severe cuts to core public safety services and drastically change the quality of life our residents want and deserve."
Tony Sutton, Republican Party of Minnesota chairman:
"With Minnesotans making the necessary sacrifices to balance their budgets, it is time for the government to do the same. To that end, Tom Emmer crafted a plan which draws down the $6 billion projected deficit for FY 2012 - 2013, and focuses taxpayer resources on essential services.
Firm in his conviction that Minnesota cannot shoulder the higher tax burden which Mark Dayton and Tom Horner have proposed, Tom Emmer has put forth a plan that won't raise taxes. To address the current deficit, Tom Emmer seeks to stabilize runaway Health and Human Services spending, reform Local Government Aid, and put bureaucracy around the state on a much needed diet."
Minnesota Medical Association President Benjamin Whitten, M.D.:
The physicians of Minnesota are deeply concerned about Tom Emmer's proposal to cut Minnesota's health care safety net by an additional $2.25 billion. We know that nearly 75 percent of state Medicaid spending is spent on services for people with disabilities and the elderly. We also know that state spending on health care is being driven by increased enrollment in state programs (particularly in the economic downturn), an aging population, and increased use of the health care system.
Without knowing all the details, the impact of a proposal like this is that something will have to give. The state would have to either cover fewer Minnesotans or fewer services or lower payment rates for care. These options would increase the ranks of the state's uninsured and reduce access to doctors, hospitals and clinics.
Cutting people off the state's balance sheet will not eliminate the cost of treatment. It will just result in someone else paying for it -- either the hospitals or clinics that treat these patients or the state's employers through higher private sector premiums.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer today bet his campaign on whether Minnesotans will accept a state budget for the next two years that cuts spending on higher education, aid to cities and counties and state agencies. His plan (read the release from the campaign here) would also slash projected growth in spending on health and human services progams and continue a spending delay for Minnesota schools.
Emmer laid out the broad strokes of his budget on the same day that DFLer Mark Dayton acknowledged his plan to raise taxes on the state's highest earners doesn't raise as much money as he thought.
Emmer says the state has to live with as much money as it is due to collect over the next two years and no more. He laid out broad targets for where he would spend that $33 billion dollars, but said the details of which programs would be cut and how they would be cut will have to be worked out with the Legislature next year.
Some of what Emmer proposes are real cuts--higher education, for example would get about $300 million less in the next biennium than it gets now. Aids and credits to local governments would see an actual cut of $550 million and state agencies would see a cut of about $550 million.
But Emmer finds big money in slowing projected growth in spending. Specifically in the area of health and human services, which is projected to grow by nearly $3 billion in the next biennium, Emmer's plan allows for growth of only $667 million. Emmer would not say whether that limited growth means fewer people would be eligible for state health programs or whether they would see lower benefits.
"We have set the most aggressive budget targets," Emmer said. "We have also told you that one of our priorities is that we work with both parties because you have the Legislative bodies and we're not going to tell them that their ideas are not welcome here. But you must live within your means. In this case, we have shown you that this is what can be done and will be done if we're in the office."
Emmer announced earlier that his budget plan would hold the line on spending for K-12 schools and that he would not begin to fix a delay in state spending for schools until 2014.
While Emmer gave only broad numbers of his proposal, he said he was still being more specific than his major party opponents, Democrat Mark Dayton and Tom Horner of the Independence Party. Both Dayton and Horner have proposed raising taxes. Emmer's plan includes a tax cut of more than $600 million for businesses.
"Sen. Dayton and Tom Horner have announced their budget priority: preserving the status quo in government," Emmer said. "They are both members of the political class, who think raising taxes on hard-pressed Minnesotans is better than asking government to become more efficient."
Emmer's budget announcement comes on the same day that Dayton announced that his plan to raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners is well short of projections. The Department of Revenue analyzed Dayton's tax proposal and said it would generate nearly $1.9 billion over the next two years. Dayton has claimed the income tax hike along with a variety of other tax increases would produce double that.
nor the Independence Party's Tom Horner have commented on Emmer's budget plan yet.
Update: Horner said he doesn't think Minnesotans will accept Emmer's plan because it makes deep cuts in health care, aid to cities and counties and higher education:
"It leaves people who are trying to go to college out in the cold. He's got to raise tuition rates through the ceiling. It says to Greater Minnesota "the jokes on you" and leaves them in the lurch. It's gong to say to nursing homes in the state, 28% of which are already in financial peril, we're going to push you off the cliff."
Horner also emphasized that he doesn't think the Legislature would pass this plan because the cuts are too deep to core government programs.
Update: Dayton's campaign manager released this statement on Emmer's budget plan:
"Rep. Emmer's plan will cut funding for Higher Education by 14%, K-12 Education by 14%, and Local Government Aid by 33%. He will thus cause huge increases in property taxes, higher college tuitions and seriously damage the quality of education throughout Minnesota. Furthermore, his drastic cuts in funding for Health and Human Services will restrict access to essential health care for those most in need.
By contrast, Mark Dayton will invest in better education and new jobs. He will protect middle-class taxpayers by making our tax system fairer, while Tom Emmer will raise property taxes and Tom Horner will expand the sales tax."
Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign for governor released revenue estimates crunched by the Minnesota Department of Revenue that shows Dayton's proposed tax hike on Minnesota's top earners is well short of the $4 billion he's been projecting. (Update: The campaign points out that he was proposing $4 billion in new spending from a variety of areas but the biggest portion of his plan is the income tax hike).
Dayton requested the analysis after he pledged to not raise the rate higher than the top rate in the nation (Hawaii's rate is 11%). The Revenue Department said increasing the state's top rate from 7.85% to 10.95% would produce $1,899,300,000 in new revenue in the next two year budget (Read analysis here). Dayton's campaign spokeswoman Katie Tinucci said in a news release that the results show the campaign needs to find more revenue and additional spending cuts to balance a projected $5.8 billion budget deficit.
"These projections show that more work is needed to identify additional sources of revenues for making Minnesota's state and local taxes more progressive, a promise that Mark Dayton will keep, if he is elected Governor. It also shows the need for our continuing efforts to find additional areas to cut government spending that will not harm early childhood, K-12, and higher education.
"Mark Dayton is the only candidate with a tax plan that will protect the middle class, by making taxes fair again in Minnesota, rather than expanding the regressive sales tax, as Mr. Horner proposes, and the even more regressive property tax, as will Rep. Emmer's non-proposals."
Dayton also requested several projections. The 10.95% rate was the highest. Here's a link to the analysis of all of Dayton's requests.
Dayton's campaign released the projections after reporters requested it from the campaign and the Minnesota Department of Revenue. He is also proposing a property tax increase on $1 million homes and wants to expand gambling.
Republican Tom Emmer is scheduled to release the third part of his budget plan later today.
The campaign manager for Margaret Anderson Kelliher's failed gubernatorial campaign is headed to the DFL Party to direct the party's Get Out the Vote efforts. Jaime Tincher ran Kelliher's campaign for governor. Kelliher narrowly lost the primary bid to former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton.
Tincher is a whiz at targeting likely voters and ensuring that they turn out to the polls. Her hire is also a signal that Kelliher and her loyal backers are unifying behind Dayton's campaign. She ran the DFL Party's coordinated campaign in 2008.
Democrat Mark Dayton appeared at the U of M's Humphrey School today to talk about his plan to increase income taxes on Minnesota's top earners. Dayton detailed why he believes the state needs higher income taxes. He also said he's supporting a new property tax bracked on million dollar homes and would "look" a sales tax hike on luxury items as long as the taxes are progressive.
Dayton said he's unwilling to make Minnesota's income tax rate the tops in the nation. He suggested to reporters after the forum that he was looking at a "10.9% or 10.8% rate" when asked how much lower his income tax rate would be compared to Hawaii's 11% rate. Minnesota's top rate is currently 7.85%.
Dayton said the Minnesota Department of Revenue looked at "various scenarios" regarding Dayton's income tax plan. The campaign says it will release that information tomorrow.
You can listen to Dayton's speech here: Listen
You can listen to Dayton's q and a with the Humphrey School's Larry Jacobs here: Listen
Republican Tom Emmer will be at the U of M for a similar event on Wednesday. The Independence Party's Tom Horner will be at the U of M on Monday, September 20th.
Former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson says he's certain voters will elect Independence Party candidate Tom Honer as Minnesota's next governor by a wide margin, if they pay attention to the campaign.
Carlson announced his endorsement of Horner today in a series of public events, where he said the IP candidate is offering the best budget proposals for the state. Horner has consistently run third in preference polls. During a news conference on the steps of the State Capitol, Carlson said his role in the coming weeks is to help voters pay attention to Horner.
"I don't want to sit on the sidelines," Carlson said. "I want to be an activist. I've told Tom Horner wherever you want me to go, whenever you want me to go, let me know and I'll do my best to be there, and I mean it."
State GOP officials downplayed the endorsement, calling Carlson a former Republican who governed during what they termed as the "relatively carefree" 1990s.
DFLer Mark Dayton Dayton said the endorsement is a signal that the Republican Party is divided between Horner and Republican candidate Tom Emmer.
"I'm a Democrat running against a corporate Republican and an extreme Republican so it fits," Dayton said. "Arne was a moderate Republican."
Here's the audio of the Horner event: Listen
Former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson announced this morning that he's backing Tom Horner's campaign for governor. Horner, of the Independence Party, will travel the state with Carlson today. Here's the release:
Governor Carlson endorses, travels state with Horner(3 Comments)
This morning former Minnesota Governor Arne H. Carlson endorsed Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner. Gov. Carlson gave Horner his enthusiastic support this morning on KARE-11 TV's Sunrise program before heading to press conferences in Rochester, St. Cloud and on the steps of the State Capitol. Following a press conference coinciding with a public meet and greet in Rochester, Gov. Carlson and Horner will travel by bus to the south steps of the capitol for a major press conference.
Please join us for today's public events:
Rochester Art Center, Grand Lobby -- 9 a.m. press conference
State Capitol, south steps - 12 p.m. press conference
St. Cloud Public Library, Mississippi Room - 3 p.m.
Gov. Carlson cited Minnesota's dire financial situation in his announcement. Carlson pointed out that the current record $5.8 billion deficit is the product of poor fiscal management dating back to 2003, when lawmakers began to rely on one-time money to fix long-term budget holes rather than make the tough decisions necessary to address the structural shortfall. Carlson said Horner's budget plan is a mix of "realism and redesign" and that Horner is the only candidate in the race who has the vision, plan and capabilities to restore financial integrity to the state.
"If you believe, as I do, that our problems are too large and the other candidates too extreme to be trusted with the future of the state, this election demands we take another path," said Carlson.
# # #
With all the talk about taxes and spending, this year's gubernatorial race is a debate over the size of Minnesota's government.
While his opponents point to the size of Minnesota's public sector workforce as evidence that government has gotten too big, DFLer Mark Dayton says the talking point is a myth.
"Minnesota ranks, according to Census Bureau, the 10th lowest state in the number of state and local government employees per capita among the states," he said during a debate in Winona Aug. 19, 2010. "It's just one of these myths that's perpetrated that we're overinflated with public employees. It just simply isn't true."
Dayton nearly hits the mark with this claim.
Annually, the U.S. Census Bureau measures the number of federal, state, and local civilian government employees in each state. The survey is required by law, and it's this data that Dayton's staff points to support his claim.
According to an analysis done by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a union for many state workers, Dayton's correct. (AFSCME has endorsed Dayton for governor.)
With approximately 36,000 full-time state government employees, Minnesota has the 10th leanest workforce in the country. That translates to 71 government workers for every 10,000 people.
(It's important to note that Dayton said "per capita," not per 10,000 employees, but it's an error PoliGraph will let slide because looking at this data per capita would produce very small, not very useful numbers. For instance, per capita, there are about .007 full-time state employees for every person living in the state.)
But Dayton said state and local employees, and the AFSCME analysis excludes local government workers.
Expanding the analysis to include all state and local government employees counted by the U.S. Census Bureau nevertheless produces similar results. By this measure, Minnesota has the 12th smallest public sector workforce in the nation, with about 450 government employees per 10,000 people.
Dayton got a few things mixed-up with this claim, but he's well within range to say that Minnesota has one of the smallest state and local government workforces in the country.
This claim is accurate.
The U.S. Census Bureau, Government Employment and Payroll: About the Survey, accessed Sept. 10, 2010
The Star Tribune, New normal is painful for state employees, by Lori Sturdevant, 4/19/2009
PoliGraph, analysis of state and local workers, created Sept. 10, 2010
Interview, Jeremy Drucker, spokesman, Mark Dayton, Sept. 8, 2010
Interview, Mike Messina, researcher, AFSCME, Sept. 8, 2010
Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign for governor is asking donors to give between $1,000 and $10,000 for Tuesday's fundraising dinner featuring former President Bill Clinton. The proceeds of the event will be split up between Dayton, the DFL Party and other candidates.
The Clinton fundraiser will be held at the Graves 601 Hotel in Minneapolis on Tuesday night. No word yet on whether the event will be open to the press.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer says he would wait until 2014 to begin paying back a $1.4 billion school funding delay. He also says he won't cut school funding from current levels if he's elected governor. Emmer released his budget plan before a debate today
"Our schools will be a priority because I believe our children's education is fundamental to our success. As governor, I will protect classroom funding."
Emmer has yet to release a detailed plan to erase the state's projected $5.8 billion budget deficit, but his plan to delay paying back the school funding shift would reduce the shortfall $1.4 billion. Democrat Mark Dayton says Emmer isn't protecting school budgets if he declines to pay back the school funding shift. Dayton has promised to pay back the shift in the first budget cycle and increase funding for schools every year he's governor.
Democrat Mark Dayton says Emmer can't say he's holding K12 school funding "harmless" if he's not paying back the school funding shift. Schools across the state have been forced to borrow money to meet their cash flow needs. Dayton says his plan to raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners is geared specifically to getting more money to schools.
"Public education's problems today are first and foremost financial. Can we reform them? Yes. Must we reform them? Absolutely, yes. Can we make public education better? Yes and we will. But we're not go to do that by cutting and cutting and cutting and forcing more borrowing and putting you in precarious financial situations when you don't know from one year to the next how much you have to operate. And when you do, that funding is taken away from you."
Dayton is making a commitment to pay back the full K12 funding shift and spend more money on schools every year he's governor. Tom Horner with the Independence Party says more money is needed for schools but also wants better results.
"The investment is based on what is the outcome that we want to achieve? And the outcome we need to achieve are our kids graduating from 12th grade with the skills they need to success in life. And when you back up from there, you better make sure they're reading by grade level in third grade and they're coming into kindergarten ready for success and we have parents who understand parenting skills."
Horner says he also won't start paying back the school payment delay in the next budget cycle.
Horner is proposing to expand the sales tax to clothing and some services but lowering the overall rate.
The debate, which was sponsored by the Association of Metropolitan School Districts and moderated by Keesha Gaskins at the League of Women Voters, can be heard here: Listen(1 Comments)
Republican Tom Emmer outlined his plans for K12 schools today. Emmer promised to hold K12 funding harmless in the next budget cycle. He also said, if elected, he would repay the K12 funding shift beginning in Fiscal Year 2014 (the next budget cycle).
Emmer also outlined other "reprioritizations" of K12 funding. They include raising academic standards, reducing state mandates and rewarding performance.
Emmer's campaign has said this is the second phase of his budget plan. He has yet to outline how he'll erase the state's budget deficit. However, by delaying the K12 shift, the deficit will be reduced by $1.4 billion.
I'll post Emmer's full release once it's available.
Here's the release:
Tom Emmer today released the second part of his budget plan at a candidate forum sponsored by the Association of Metropolitan School Districts.(4 Comments)
"Next to creating new jobs in the current tough economy, our highest priority as a state must be educating our kids well," said the Republican nominee for governor. "In tough times, I believe we must prioritize state government spending for the most important public services: I believe our children's education is fundamental to our future success. As governor, I will protect classroom funding."
Emmer noted that Minnesota is competing in a global economy in which business competitiveness and educational excellence are preeminently important.
"My budget promise for public education is two-fold: First, ensure that K-12 funding is held harmless in the next biennium and second, expect improved results through broad reforms," the GOP nominee said.
"We will begin to repay the $1.4 billion education shift in FY 2014. We will do so faster by growing our economy and putting Minnesotans back to work which is why we must enact our jobs creation agenda," added Emmer.
Emmer said that he envisions these reforms to include initiatives related to teacher effectiveness, kindergarten readiness, redesign of teacher preparation programs and enhancement of our accountability system for schools.
Tom Emmer's Budget Plan for Improving Education
1. Hold K-12 education funding harmless in the next biennium.
State general fund spending for FY 2010-11 is set at $13.3 billion. Tom Emmer is committed to ensure that this critical spending of the budget is not reduced.
2. Reprioritize some existing K-12 funding to address critical needs.
Approximately 40% of the state's general fund spending is for K-12, some changes in priorities can be accomplished without undermining local school districts' effort.
* Redirect funding from existing state child care and basic sliding fee child care program to early child education in order to ensure all children are ready for kindergarten.
* Create urban school district empowerment zones and reduce state mandates by allowing school districts to have greater authority to operate their districts.
* Reducing state mandates for all school districts.
3. Insist on major reforms to improve classroom instruction and learning.
Minnesotans throughout the state take pride in their local schools, but they also expect more from them. Tom Emmer believes that reform of K-12 education is essential to maintain Minnesotans' ability to:
* Raise academic standards.
* Ensure accountability for results.
* Reward performance.
* Ensure effective teachers in every classroom.
4. Repay the education funding shift.
If elected Tom Emmer will begin repay the $1.4 billion education shift in FY 2014. By enacting the Emmer Jobs Agenda and putting Minnesotans back to work, the economy will grow and repayment may be triggered more quickly.
- 30 -
Ralph Nader, a former Green Party candidate for President, endorsed Ken Pentel's campaign for governor. Pentel is running as a member of the Ecology Democracy Party. He has run for governor in 1998, 2002 and 2006 as a member of the Green Party.
Here's a statement from Nader (released by Pentel's campaign):
"In a 2000 Business Week poll, over 70% of the people said corporations have too much control over their lives. This was before the corporate outrages, corporate militarism and Wall Street Collapse, recession and bailout of the past decade.
Ken Pentel gets this feeling by a large majority of Americans in an experienced and knowledgeable way. He is a long time Minnesotan, fighter for fairness, justice and wise and healthy use of natural resources - air, water, soil, energy.
Ken Pentel's present run for Governor is for you and your children. Watch him, listen to him, question him, invite him and see if you agree with me that on November 2 you have a real choice for a change.
As he bicycles across the entire state of Minnesota, chances are good that you'll have an opportunity to do these things in person."
The three major candidates for governor are scheduled to discussed issues related to older Minnesotans in a televised debate next week.
Twin Cities Public Television and AARP Minnesota are sponsoring the debate, which will air live Friday, Sept. 17, at 8:00 p.m. An AARP news release today said the hour long broadcast will cover "health care reform, state budget priorities, economic security for older Minnesotans and preparing Minnesota for our aging demographic."
The U of M's Humphrey School will feature one on one interviews with the three major party candidates for governor.
The Center for the Study of Politics and Governance is sponsoring the forums to "foster informed and substantive discussion of important matters of public policy."
Here's the schedule:
Senator Mark Dayton (DFL) Monday, September 13, 2010 Noon - 1:15pm
Representative Tom Emmer (GOP) Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:00 - 2:00pm
Tom Horner (IP) Monday, September 20, 2010 Noon - 1:15pm
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will raise money for Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor on Monday night. The fundraiser will be at the Minneapolis Hilton at 6pm. Donors are being asked to give $500 a person.
I'm checking to see if the event is open press. An Emmer spokesman says the fundraisers are closed to the press at this point.
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher has kept a pretty low profile since her second-place finish to Mark Dayton in the DFL primary last month.
But Kelliher was back at the State Capitol this week for a meeting of the Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy, and she stopped by the MPR News bureau to talk briefly about the primary, the general election and her political future.
"I'm doing well," Kelliher said. "You get to catch up on all the things that you don't get to do for about a year and a half or two years of time."
Kelliher was the DFL endorsed candidate for governor. Dayton did not seek the party endorsement, and he beat Kelliher in the primary by 6,971 votes. Kelliher said she hasn't spent much time second-guessing her campaign.
"It's always a time and resources question in a campaign," Kelliher said. "So having a little bit more time -- it was clear that we were surging -- and it was also clear that just having a little bit extra money would have made a difference. But I did raise more money than any other DFL endorsed candidate for governor ever has."
Kelliher said primary night was a rollercoaster, as she watched her strong, early lead gradually disappear. News organizations called the contest for Dayton late that night, but Kelliher waited until the next day to concede. She said she does not regret that decision.
After six terms, Kelliher will step away from Minnesota House at the end of the year. She said she'll then be looking for a new challenge. Kelliher also said politics remains a future option.
"I would not rule out another statewide run," Kelliher said. "But I think that that's probably a ways away."
Here's the full interview: Listen
"Origami bird. You have great long wings to fly. Why do you sit still?"
The haiku imprinted on the sidewalk of the corner of Western Ave and Selby Ave. in St. Paul and other sidewalk poems in the Capitol city are irking Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.
During an MPR-sponsored Sept. 3, 2010 debate at the Minnesota State Fair, Emmer promised to reform local government aid so it can't be used to pay to put poetry on the sidewalks.
"LGA should be applied to what it was intended for," he said. "It should pay for essential services defined as police and fire service and sewer and water infrastructure. That's should what it should be going for, not to etch poetry in sidewalks in St. Paul."
There's no truth to Emmer's claim.
Local government aid, which was put on the books nearly three decades ago, is meant to help Minnesota communities with smaller tax bases provide the same services as larger, more affluent cities. Aid is distributed based on city size and population, among other things, and it goes directly into a city's general fund.
Emmer said that local government aid was intended to pay for essential services, such as the police force and fire fighting, and often it is. But his statement implies that there are restrictions on how it can be used. In fact, local government aid can be used however a city sees fit - including sidewalk poetry.
Even so, no local government aid was used in Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk, the project that has Emmer so fired up.
Rather, the entire project is paid for by a group called Public Art St. Paul, and has been since 2008 when it began. Costs include paying Marcus Young, the artist behind the project, the graphic designers who create the poetry templates, and the poets themselves. All told, it's cost the non-profit about $80,500 since 2008, according to Christine Podas-Larson, president of Public Art St. Paul.
Emmer's staff points out that the City of St. Paul advertises the project on its website. And it's true that Public Art St. Paul and St. Paul Public Works have teamed up to support the program; it's public works employees who imprint the poems during annual sidewalk repairs, a process takes only a few minutes, Podas-Larson said.
Where does funding for the sidewalk repair come from? Not local government aid, according to the City of St. Paul. Repairs are paid for with bonds and Right of Way Assessments, a fancy name for a fee city dwellers pay to keep streets, lights and sidewalks in top shape.
This case is clear cut: Emmer's claim about local government aid is false.
"Origami bird," by Madeline K. Schuster
Minnesota Public Radio News, State Fair gubernatorial debate, Sept. 3, 2010
The City of St. Paul, Sidewalk poetry, accessed Sept. 7, 2010
The City of St. Paul, Sidewalk poetry FAQs, accessed Sept. 7, 2010
Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes, Chapter 477A. Local Government Aid, accessed Sept. 8, 2010
The State Auditor of Minnesota, Local Government Aid and Its Effect on Expenditures, Feb. 10, 2003
City of St. Paul, 2010 Adopted Budget, accessed Sept. 7, 2010
Interview, Bob Hume, deputy chief of state for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Sept. 7, 2010
Interview, Christine Podas-Larson, president, Public Art St. Paul, Sept. 7, 2010
Interview, Pat Dalton, legislative analyst, Research Department, Minnesota House of Representatives, Sept. 7, 2010(5 Comments)
Democrat Mark Dayton's campaign announced today that former President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden will campaign for Dayton's campaign for governor.
Dayton campaign officials says Clinton will campaign for Dayton on September 14th. Biden will campaign for Dayton on October 5th.
The New York Times also reported earlier this week that President Obama will also campaign in Minnesota over the next two months.(1 Comments)
An interesting moment at the gubernatorial debate in Duluth today. A woman who identified herself as Elizabeth asked a question about abortion: "I would like to ask these gentlemen what their philosophy is on abortion and specifically what your policy is on taxpayer funded abortion in Minnesota?"
The candidates' responses in order:
Tom Horner-- "I think we all agree we ought to reduce abortions. And so I've laid out a very specific plan that says I think we get to reducing abortions by making sure that all women have access to good health care, including access to contraceptives. I think we get there by making sure that we have responsible sex education in the schools. It was disappointing that Gov. Pawlenty turned down the federal grant that would have expanded good, responsible, including abstinence-based sex education in the schools. And I think we make an investment in adoption services. That's what a governor can do to make good public policy to achieve the goal that I think most Minnesotans agree on; reduce the number of abortions."
Tom Emmer-- "You know what, I appreciate the question, and, you know, Jacquie and I, we believe in life. But I've got to tell you, this election; it has to be about what is hurting the state of Minnesota--the loss of jobs. It's got to be, the economics are front and center. These are important issues, no doubt, but we've got to start talking about why Minnesota is not able to do the things it might want to do. We've got to talk about reforming our education system. We've got to talk about reforming our government delivery systems. More importantly, we've got to talk about growing jobs again in the state of Minnesota. That should be job number one for the next governor of this state, and those issues will be handled by the Legislature."
Mark Dayton--"I think the decision is between a woman and her doctor and her God. And I believe abortion should be safe, legal and rare."
On his website Emmer is quite clear where he stands on the abortion issue:
As a husband of 24 years and the father to seven children, nothing is more important to me than family. I strongly believe in the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death. As a legislator, I have voted 100% pro-life and introduced numerous bills and amendments to protect the unborn. As Governor, I will continue to support the rights of the unborn, the elderly and the infirm.
By the way, if you missed the debate here it is: Listen
The Association of Metropolitan School Districts is sponsoring a gubernatorial debate Friday, focused exclusively on education issues.
The event is scheduled for 8:00 a.m., at the TIES building, 1667 Snelling Avenue North in St. Paul. The association's executive director, Scott Croonquist, said all three major party candidates (Mark Dayton, Tom Emmer and Tom Horner) are confirmed.
A gubernatorial debate focused on health care issues is scheduled Wednesday at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul, but DFLer Dayton cannot attend due to a previous speaking commitment.(2 Comments)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty today asked U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for about $260 million in federal funding for Medicaid and foster care.
If you're confused about the governor's stand on federal funding you're forgiven, because it's complicated. Last week Pawlenty issued an executive order to state agencies telling them to avoid applying for discretionary funding under the federal health care law which he referred to as "Obamacare."
The pot of money he asked for today came from a different law designed to help states during the economic crisis. Pawlenty had originally counted on this money in the budget plan he proposed to lawmakers early this year.
What's the difference? The governor's letter says this money reflects "current and longstanding Minnesota policy objectives and commitments." He also writes that Minnesota gets back only $0.72 for every dollar the state sends to Washington and that "Minnesota taxpayers subsidize the federal government."
Here's his letter.
It was a good one.
You can listen to it again here.
This is a live feed so you can see the gubernatorial debate from the fair. If you click on this after noon, you'll see Garrison Keillor and if you click after 1, you'll see all kinds of other wonderful things from the fair (at least until we turn the camera off).
Democrat Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and the IP's Tom Horner will debate at the Minnesota State Fair at 11 on Midday with Gary Eichten.
If you're at the fair, it's NOT at the MPR booth. It's at Carousel Park near the grandstand building.
If you're not at the fair, you can listen on the radio and/or watch the web cam here.
Dogged by his opponents' criticism of his own drunken-driving arrests in 1981 and 1991, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer on Thursday acknowledged that his 20-year-old son Tripp was cited for underage drinking in July.
The alternative Twin Cities newspaper City Pages today posted photos on its website showing Emmer's 20-year-old son Tripp holding beer bottles at a party.
State court records show that in July Tripp Emmer pleaded guilty to an underage drinking petty misdemeanor citation. He paid a $100 fine and $85 in fees.
City Pages doesn't reveal the source of the Facebook photos it said were taken when Tripp Emmer was 19. The paper said the photos have since been removed from Facebook.
Tom Emmer's opponents have already made an issue of his DWI arrests. Emmer has not addressed the arrests in detail, but in a video on his website last spring, he said he had made mistakes and that God had given him a wakeup call.
Tripp Emmer appears in his father's first TV campaign ad.
One of the photos shows Tripp Emmer giving a thumbs-up sign over an apparently unconscious woman whose arms and face have obscene cartoons drawn on them.
This isn't the first time a candidate's family members have been drawn into a campaign.
In 2008, at the GOP National Convention in St. Paul the pregnancy of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's then 17-year-old daughter Bristol became national news. In the 2000 campaign former GOP Sen. Rod Grams had to respond to the arrest of his son Morgan on a variety of felony charges.
In a statement released late this morning, Emmer did not address the photos but acknowledged his son's citation for underage drinking.
"My son made a serious mistake and has paid the consequences," the statement said. "It was a mistake which many Minnesota families are all too familiar with. Like all the other challenges in life, our family is dealing with our son in this matter with humility, seriousness, and love."(14 Comments)
Emmer isn't offering specifics, but he provided a few clues today to state leaders of the National Federation of Independent Business. The NFIB presented Emmer with its Guardian of Small Business Award. During a brief speech to the group, Emmer repeated his pledge to reduce taxes and state regulation. He said his plan is aimed at creating more opportunities for businesses to expand and develop in the coming years.
"It's not about having no government," Emmer said. "The idea is not to be the discount stop for business in the United States of America. We have a great state. We need to maintain our quality of life, but we've got to start competing again, not only with other states, but the world, in order to keep our business."
Emmer said he was told that France is currently courting a major Minnesota company. He didn't name the company during his remarks, and remained closed lipped later when talking to reporters. Emmer also refused to answers questions about his forthcoming plan.
"You'll see it when do it next week," Emmer said.
DFLer Mark Dayton and the Independence Party's Tom Horner have regularly criticized Emmer for not yet releasing a detailed plan for balancing the state budget.
Tim Kaine, chair of the Democratic National Committee, will be in Minnesota tomorrow. DNC spokesman Frank Benenati says Kaine will be "meeting with donors and activists (i.e. raise money).
He will also hold a news conference with Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. The topic of the newser will be Dayton's "commitment to partnerships between state and local government."
The statewide union representing firefighters is backing DFL candidate Mark Dayton in the race for governor.
Minnesota Professional Firefighters officials announced their endorsement of Dayton one day after the union representing Minneapolis police backed him. A statewide police union is also supporting Dayton. During a news conference today (Tuesday) outside a Minneapolis fire station, Dayton declared himself the public safety candidate.
"With layoffs in Duluth and consideration in Brainerd of eliminating a paid fire force, it just shows again how continuation of support for local government aids is so crucial to the ability to sustain the essential services that peoples lives depend on," Dayton said.
Firefighters endorsed Republican Tim Pawlenty for governor in 2002 and 2006. MPFF president Tom Thornberg says the union screened several candidates back in June but chose not to make an endorsement until after the primary. He said Republican Tom Emmer was invited but did not participate in the screening.
With a new MPR News/Humphrey Institute poll showing the race for governor too close to call, Friday's State Fair debate could be important for the candidates to highlight their differences.
Democrat Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner have all confirmed for the event.
MPR News is hosting the debate at 11am in Carousel Park on the State Fairgrounds. Stop by if you're at the Fair. If you can't make it, tune in live or listen here.(3 Comments)
The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis is backing Democrat Mark Dayton in the race for governor.
Union leaders say their board voted unanimously for Dayton after screening all three major party candidates. The federation's previous two endorsements for governor went to Republican Tim Pawlenty. But during a State Capitol news conference today, president John Delmonico said police are not looking at party affiliation.
"I don't like to think of us as a partisan union," Delmonico said. "I like to think of us as we endorse the best candidate. And clearly the last two governors races I believe we endorsed the best candidate. In this race, I believe, I know we're endorsing the best candidate. So I look at it who the person is, what the bring to the table instead of what party they're with."
The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis has more than 800 members. Dayton called it an important endorsement. He also has the backing of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.
During a debate in Golden Valley, Tom Emmer put public sector employee salaries in his cross-hairs.
"On average, a person who works in the private sector in a job similar to that of somebody who's working in the [public] sector is making on average 30 to 40 less," the Republican gubernatorial candidate said on Aug. 26, 2010.
When it comes to national averages, he's correct. But a closer look at these numbers tells a different story.
Emmer's office clarified that he's talking about total employee compensation, not just salaries. He also is speaking of state and local employees, not federal workers. When overall compensation, including benefits, is taken into account, private sector employees make about $27.73 an hour while public sector employees make about $39.81 an hour, according to the most recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So overall, public sector employees make about 43.6 percent more in total compensation.
However, these numbers can be misleading because they include wages and how much it costs employers to provide benefits. For instance, a public sector worker is paid an average of $26.25 an hour. On top of that, it costs the government an additional $13.56 on average to cover health care, paid leave and other benefits -- for a total of $39.81 per worker.
So, it's useful to look only at hourly wages and salary. On average, private sector employees made $19.58 an hour. Meanwhile, public sector employees made $26.25 - about 33 percent more than private sector workers.
Emmer's essentially on the mark when it comes to national averages for public and private sector employment. Still, his statement is misleading for several reasons.
First, he implies that, job for job, public sector workers make 30 to 40 percent more than private sector employees. That's not necessarily true. For instance, the average state government computer programmer makes $29.70 an hour while the average computer programmer working at a private firm makes an average of $36.40 an hour. And a lawyer working for government makes, on average, 26 percent less than a lawyer working at a private firm, according to the Federal Salary Council.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stresses that it's dangerous to compare public sector average pay to private sector average pay because the government work force is more skilled than the private sector work force, so average hourly pay is naturally lower.
When it comes to national averages, Emmer's correct that public sector employees make 30 to 40 percent more than their private sector counterparts. But his claim is misleading because he implies that this rule works for job-to-job comparisons; in fact, there are plenty of private sector jobs that pay more than public sector jobs. His claim is inconclusive.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation - March 2010, accessed Aug. 26, 2010
Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2009 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates by ownership: State government, including schools and hospitals, accessed Aug. 26, 2010
Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2009 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates by ownership: Cross-industry, private ownership only, accessed Aug. 26, 2010
Office of the Legislature Auditor, State of Minnesota: State Employee Compensation, Feb. 3, 2000, accessed Aug. 26, 2010
The Federal Salary Council, Memo: Level of Comparability Payments for January 2011 and Other Matters Pertaining to the Locality Pay Program, accessed Aug. 26, 2010
The Cato Institute, Employee Compensation in State and Local Governments, by Chris Edwards, Jan. 2010
The Heritage Foundation, Inflated Federal Pay: How Americans Are Overtaxed to Overpay the Civil Service, by James Shek, July 16, 2010
Interview, Carl Kuhl, Emmer for Governor, Aug. 26, 2010
Interview, Jim Nobles, Legislative Auditor, State of Minnesota, Aug. 26, 2010
The clothing, unveiled today at the State Fair, comes in response to Dayton's recent complaint that GOP trackers were trying to intimidate him and his supporters. He also suggested partisan trackers wear some kind of identification.
The Republican shirts include identification along with critical messages aimed at Dayton.
A spokeswoman for Dayton declined to comment specifically on the shirts, but she suggested the GOP spend more time trying to explain candidate Tom Emmer's plan for reducing the deficit.(7 Comments)
Minnesota's Future, a group headed by several conservatives, is scheduled to start running TV ads tonight. The Independent Expenditure group is headed by GOP political consultant Chris Tiedeman and FLS Connect's Jeff Larson. Both Tiedeman and Larson declined to talk specifics on the ad but a source with knowledge of the media buy said $686,490 worth of ads will run on TV stations in the Twin Cities, Mankato and Rochester. The ads will start running today through September 9th. (See update below).
Larson, a close confidante to former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman, confirmed the ads will start running this week but declined to offer any more detail.
"I don't have to much to say on it. The ads are going up today and we'll see them later tonight but I'm not going to preview them or really talk about them until they air."
Larson told the Associated Press last week that the group would help "pro-business" candidates.
It isn't certain who is funding Minnesota's Future. The group filed a campaign finance report on July 20th that said it had $820.45 in the bank. That means the group received most of the money for the ads after the August 10th primary. The next reporting deadline for committees to file a campaign finance report is September 21st.
Tiedeman called me back to say that the ad will focus on Democrat Mark Dayton's tax and spending record. He also said the ad buy will not be $700,000 but a little more than half of that ($350k).
Update: Here's the ad:
Here's a little analysis:
The ad summarizes Dayton's plan to increase income taxes but fails to mention that it would only hit Minnesota's top earners (for singles an after tax income of $130,000, for couples an after tax income of $150,000). The ad cites this MPR story saying Dayton wants to raise taxes $5 million, which he said.
The ad is a bit misleading by saying Dayton wants to increase property taxes and the so-called e-mail tax.
Dayton has been proposing a higher income tax on Minnesota's top earners because he complained that additional cuts to Local Government Aid would force higher property taxes. Dayton has proposed increasing property taxes on homes that cost more than $1 million.
As far as the e-mail tax, the ad is citing this PC World that says Dayton advanced an e-mail tax as a way to tackle spam. What the ad doesn't mention is that Dayton advanced that proposal in Congress. What is misleading about is the ad suggests Dayton would tax e-mail as a part of his budget balancing plan. That is not included in his budget plan.
Update: Dayton's Deputy Campaign Manager Katie Tinucci issued this statement about the ad:
"This is just lies, lies and more lies from people who won't identify themselves. Mark has made it absolutely clear that his plan to close Minnesota's budget hole and to invest in education will raise taxes only on the richest Minnesotans. This attack is especially ironic since it's Mark's plan that will prevent property tax increases. And Mark promised in 2003 to vote against any email tax in the U.S. Senate and has never suggested it in this campaign. Mark is determined to put an end to the middle class carrying the tax burden in Minnesota--it's time everyone paid their fair share."(1 Comments)
The three candidates for governor debated compensation for public sector employees today at a debate in Golden Valley. Independence Party candidate Tom Horner also worked to suggest that his DFL and Republican opponents are shifting positions.
When asked for ways to solve projected deficit in the state's public pensions, Republican Tom Emmer said he thought the state needed to shift state employees to a 401k style retirement package. He also complained that public employees are making too much than their counterparts in the private sector.
"This is where the imbalance comes in. Not only do our public employees make on average thirty to forty percent more than private sector employees in the same positions but then they have health care insurance that's gold plated health care while people in the private sector are lucky to keep theirs..."
Emmer was citing studies by two conservative groups and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Democrat Mark Dayton said he didn't think it was fair for Emmer to denigrate public employees.
"People who work their entire careers in the public sector don't make a lot of money in total and they don't have a lot of retirement income but they have secure income. They bargain for those retirement benefits as they bargain for their health insurance and the school districts in this state buy their insurance in the private market."
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner said he would work to fix the state's public pension system through benefit cuts, higher employee contributions and more public money. He also said Democrat Mark Dayton has repeatedly criticized him for extending the state's sales tax to some services but pushed to extend the sales tax to legal services when he ran for governor in 1998. He also criticized Republican Tom Emmer for repeatedly voting no on bonding bills during his six years in the Legislature but now telling voters he supports a bonding bill.
"I'm impressed that it took Senator Dayton a decade to change some of his core positions. Representative Emmer seems to do it from debate to debate and that's not what Minnesota needs. We need a clear vision. We need a clear focus on where we are going."
Dayton said he is older and wiser than he was in 1998. Emmer said he opposed the bonding bills during his time in the Legislature because it didn't include the right priorities.
You can listen to the entire debate, sponsored by the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, here: Listen(2 Comments)
The Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund has endorsed DFL candidate Mark Dayton in the race for governor.
In a news release today, PPAF president Sarah Stoesz said that Minnesotans have embraced Dayton's vision for the state, including his commitment to affordable and accessible health care for all.
"As our U.S. Senator, Mark Dayton demonstrated his dedication to Minnesota women and families." Stoesz said. "He has a long history of fighting for what's right: access to affordable and high quality health care, including family planning, and protecting the health and safety of women. He has always been a true champion for women's health."
Stoesz also praised Dayton's selection of state Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon as his lieutenant governor running mate. She said Solon is a proven advocate for women and families.
At their latest debate, Republican Tom Emmer, Democrat Mark Dayton and Tom Horner from the Independence party talked transportation issues during a 90 minutes debate this morning sponsored by a variety of transportation interests.
Dayton is proposing a one billion dollar bonding bill, which he says could create nearly 30,000 jobs. He said it makes sense to borrow because the need for road work comes when interest rates are low.
"There's both the short term benefit of a $1 billion bonding bill in a state that has a gross state product of $263 billion, I mean that's not going to tip the scales But in terms of the economic recovery, it's going to make a significant contribution. 28,500 jobs through a $1 billion of public investment is a good deal for the people of Minnesota."
Horner would spend less than half of that. Horner used the debate to rip Dayton's spending plans and his income tax increase on the top ten percent of wage earners.
"That's not nearly enough to pay for the billions and billions and billions of dollars that you're promising in new spending and there aren't enough bonding bills in the world that are going to help small businesses if they're not in business because they're having to pay rates that are at the top of the nation."
Dayton defended his tax proposal, saying more than 90 percent of small business owners don't report enough income to get hit by the higher rate.
Republican Emmer has never voted for a bonding bill as a state legislator. He said the bills should be used only for long-term projects and that they are instead used for political purposes.
"They should not be used to pass policies like a policy on greenhouse has emissions that would not otherwise not get through the legislative process. They should not be used to give out a Christmas tree full of gifts to convince career politicians to give their votes in other areas where they might not otherwise provide them."
You can listen to the full debate here: Listen
The three candidates are scheduled to take part in another debate tomorrow. The TwinWest Chamber will host that debate in the morning.
MPR's Mark Zdechlik wrote the story and gathered the audio for this blog post.
In a recent gubernatorial debate in Winona, Tom Horner and Mark Dayton traded barbs over taxes.
Horner, the Independence Party's candidate, said Dayton's plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans would hurt small businesses.
"What Senator Dayton is proposing is not just a tax on success, it is a tax on job creators," he said on Aug. 19. "When we have most small businesses in Minnesota paying taxes at the individual income tax rate, we're now robbing their ability to make investments to retain some of their earnings and make investments in new jobs, new equipment, new technologies."
It's a claim that's often made about Dayton's tax proposal, and it falls into a gray area.
Defining small businesses is a sticky wicket, but for this investigation, there are two definitions that matter.
The federal Small Business Administration identifies them as operations with less than 500 employees, and counts roughly 500,000 such businesses in Minnesota. These businesses can include farms, sole proprietorships or partnerships, and about 90 percent of them report income through the individual tax return.
So, by this standard, it is correct to say most small businesses in Minnesota pay taxes at the individual income tax rate.
But this definition can be misleading because some very large corporations pay their taxes though individual tax returns and some very small organizations don't. So, to dissect Horner's larger point that Dayton's tax plan would put small businesses in a bind, it's best to look at how many people report what's known in the tax world as "flow-through income," or money that comes from business, on their individual tax returns.
By this definition, the Minnesota Department of Revenue estimates that only 8.7 percent of small businesses would be subject to the new tax rate.
If all this sounds familiar, that's because it is. During the 2010 legislative session, lawmakers debated a tax increase on couples making more than $200,000. Opponents argued that many of Minnesota's wealthiest derive some income from small business operations. They also pointed out that firms affected by the new taxes account for much of the small business income in Minnesota.
The same holds under Dayton's proposal. According to the revenue department, while only a sliver of all Minnesotans reporting flow-through income would be affected by the new tax brackets, those filers account for 64 percent of all such income.
Horner is correct to say that most small businesses report taxes under the individual tax return. But it's misleading to imply that Dayton's plan would hit a lot of small businesses in Minnesota. In fact, only 8.7 percent would be subject to the proposed increase. Nevertheless, that narrow slice of filers does account for a lot of the state's small business income.
This claim is inconclusive.
The UpTake, Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities debate, Aug. 19, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Tax increase would affect 7 percent of small business owners, by Mark Zdechlick, May 13, 2010
The Small Business Administration, Small Business Profile: Minnesota, accessed Aug. 24, 2010
MinnesotaBudgetBites.org, Legislature's tax plan would impact few small business owners, accessed Aug. 24, 2010
Mark Dayton for Governor, Mark's Deficit Solution, accessed Aug. 24, 2010
The Minnesota Department of Revenue, Taxes Paid by Small Business in Minnesota, accessed Aug. 24, 2010
Interview, Tom Hesse, vice president for government affairs, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Aug. 24, 2010
To help reduce the deficit, Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner has proposed revamping the state's sales taxes.
Doing so will "make Minnesota's sales tax consistent with most other states," a press release on his website states.
So, how does Horner's sales tax plan stack up? It's true that his proposal would make Minnesota more like the rest of the nation.
Horner's tax plan has several components, but in this instance he's specifically talking about his plan to lower the general sales tax and expand sales taxes to previously exempt products and services.
Currently, Minnesota has the seventh highest sales tax in the country at 6.875 percent. But Horner wants to lower that to 5.875 percent, giving Minnesota the 25th highest sales tax in the country. Doing so would put Minnesota right in the middle of the pack, with a sales tax just above the national average of about 5 percent.
It's important to note that Horner would also allow counties to increase sales taxes by half a percent to offset his proposed reductions in state aid. So, in counties that take this option, the net impact on the consumer would be a half percent reduction in the sales tax.
Unlike most states, Minnesota exempts clothing from sales tax. Horner's plan would change that. (He's also talked about expanding sales tax to other services, but hasn't detailed his ideas.)
Horner's claim is accurate: The sales tax reduction and the expansion of sales tax to clothing would make Minnesota more like other states.
Tom Horner for Governor, Horner-Mulder Release Budget Outline, accessed Aug. 24, 2010
Tom Horner for Governor, Minnesota Works: Horner-Mulder Budget, accessed Aug. 24, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Horner outlines budget plan: Taxes, cuts, delays, by Mark Zdechlik, Aug. 23, 2010
The Federation of Tax Administrators, State Sales Tax Rates and Food & Drug Exemptions, January, 2010
Minnesota Department of Revenue, Minnesota Sales and Use Tax, accessed Aug. 24, 2010
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Is it time to tax clothing sales?, by Baird Helgeson, March 4, 2010:
Interview, Mark Haveman, executive director, Minnesota Taxpayers Association, Aug. 24, 2010
The Minnesota Associated Builders and Contractors has announced its support of Republican Tom Emmer in the race for governor.
Associated Builders and Contractors is a national association representing nearly 25,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms in 78 chapters.
Emmer issued the following statement:
"I am humbled by the support of the Associated Builders and Contractors and by the hardworking small businesspeople they represent. They understand that it's not government but businesses which create jobs and opportunities for working Minnesotans. With ABC's support, I know we will make Minnesota a place that's open for business."(2 Comments)
At today's debate, Republican Tom Emmer questioned those who were challenging him to release specifics on how he intends to plug a $5.8 billion budget gap. Democrat Mark Dayton has called for increasing taxes by $4 billion mostly through income tax increases on Minnesota's top earners, closing corporate loopholes and gambling expansion. Independence Party candidate Tom Horner is calling for a mix of tax hikes on alcohol, cigarettes, clothing and an expansion of gambling. He also wants to cut business taxes.
Emmer has repeatedly said he intends to balance the budget without raising taxes. When challenged to produce his budget, Emmer replied:
"Where is the deficit? We talk about 'You got to raise taxes, government has to invest.' I'll say it again, government in the state of Minnesota is scheduled to get a 7 percent increase in the next biennium. Government will have more money to spend in the next two years than it is spending right now. And yet the folks that want to raise taxes want to talk about a $6 billion deficit which is created on paper because government wants to spend $38 billion instead of the roughly $32 billion that we have." Listen
Emmer is correct that revenues are projected to increase 7 percent, according to documents released by Minnesota Management and Budget (see page 1, Subtotal Current Resources). The document also says spending is set to increase 17 percent in the next two year budget (see page 1, Total Expenditures and Transfers).
Part of the reason for the sharp increase in spending is the reliance on one-time money to balance the state's current two-year budget. Those fixes include a K12 payment delay to schools ($1.4 billion) and the one-time spending cuts ($670 million) initially cut by governor Pawlenty through unallotment and later ratified by the Legislature.
If Rep. Emmer also declines to shift patients currently enrolled in MinnesotaCare and General Assistance Medical Care into the federal Medicaid program (known as MA expansion), it would save the state $360 million. He would also benefit if Gov. Pawlenty opts to take federal money (known as FMAP) allocated through the recently passed Education, Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act ($230 million).
If Emmer declines to pay back the K12 shift, accepts the spending cuts originally made through Gov. Pawlenty's unallotment, declines to take the MA expansion funds and Pawlenty accepts the FMAP funds, the projected budget deficit would be reduced by roughly $2.7 billion. That means Emmer would be facing a $3.1 billion budget deficit if he's elected.
And that is only if there is not a change to the state's current economic position that would be reflected in the November and February budget forecasts.
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL House Majority Leader Tony Sertich and DFL Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller sent a letter to Governor Pawlenty today urging him to take $263 million in federal funds.
Pawlenty is faced with the choice of accepting funds that he has criticized on the campaign trail. He has repeatedly critiized President Obama and the Democratic controlled Congress for spending too much and increasing the deficit. Pawlenty, who is ramping up a run for president in 2012, accepted federal stimulus money and even booked the FMAP funds in his initial budget plan in January.
Pawlenty's spokesman said lthe governor was still mulling whether to take the funds. He has until September 24th to make a decision.
Today, Kelliher, Sertich and Pogemiller are trying to ramp up the pressure:
"You cannot let political ambition get in the way of doing what is right for Minnesota. We strongly encourage you to seek these federal funds. Failure to do so would be an irresponsible act...hurting Minnesota taxpayers while doing nothing to help the tough economic situation faced by patients and our health care system."
You can read the full letter here.
The three candidates for governor debated tax policy, the expansion of nuclear power in Minnesota and the state budget at a debate this morning at St. Thomas University's Opus College of Business in Minneapolis. The college, along with The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, sponsored the debate.
Both Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner both say they support lifting the state's ban on building new nuclear plants in Minnesota. Democrat Mark Dayton opposes the measure until issues surrounding nuclear waste storage are addressed.
You can listen to the full debate here: Listen
The Service Employees International Union of Minnesota has officially supported Democrat Mark Dayton's bid for governor. The thirty thousand member union announced the endorsement today
"The CEOs and corporations have made their choice here. With the recent Supreme Court decision, they're allowed to spend unlimited amounts. So they're making their choice and so today is about us making our choice because there's only one candidate who is going to make the wealthiest in the state, who can afford it, pay their fair share."
SEIU is the final union to officially get behind Dayton's campaign. The union's leadership decided to not endorse a candidate until after the DFL primary so the union had money to spend in this year's general election. SEIU officials declined to say how much they'll spend on Dayton's behalf but finance reports show the union gave $60,000 through July 21st to the DFL Party and a group working to elect Dayton.
Meanwhile, former State Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm announced that he was supporting Independence Party candidate Tom Horner.
The Service Employees International Union will officially back Democrat Mark Dayton's bid for governor on Tuesday morning. The 30,000 member union will announce it's supporting Dayton at a news conference at the State Capitol.
The union's endorsement isn't a surprise and SEIU's Luchelle Stevens said the union's PAC Board decided before the August 10th primary to back whoever won the primary. Stevens said the union wanted to hit the ground running to support Dayton, Margaret Anderson Kelliher or Matt Entenza.
The union did not endorse a candidate before the primary.
(NOTE: more video below)
Independence Party gubernatorial hopeful Tom Horner is proposing a mix of tax cuts for businesses and tax increases for consumers in a budget balancing plan he released today.
Horner wants to increase taxes on tobacco ($1.50 a pack hike on a pack of cigarettes) and alcohol (10 cents a drink), extend the sales tax to clothing and some services and allow for slot machines at the state's two horse tracks. Horner is also proposing to lower the sales tax rate by one percent.
He also proposing a plan to cut the state's corporate tax rate and increase the research and development tax credit for businesses.
"What we need this year, more than any other year, is a campaign in which we're honest with Minnesotans," Horner said. "In which we say to Minnesota that Democrats and Republicans have dug the hole so deep, it's going to take a while for us to climb out of it. Here's a way to climb out of it."
Minnesota is facing a $5.8 billion projected budget deficit in the next two year budget.
In addition to the changes to the tax system, Horner also wants to freeze state hiring, cut state mandates on local governments, eliminate some tax breaks (like JOBZ and ethanol) and eliminate state aid to counties. In exchange, Horner would authorize counties to increase the county sales tax by a half a percent. He said he would also delay a school payment delay that was passed into law in the past legislative session.
Democrat Mark Dayton says Horner doesn't want to hike income taxes on the state's top earners but is willing to tax the entire state. Dayton is proposing an income tax increase on the state's top earners.
Republican Tom Emmer hasn't released a budget plan yet to fix the state's $5.8 billion budget deficit but has said he won't raise taxes.
You can read the full budget plan here.(2 Comments)
The three candidates for governor will be taking part in three debates this week.
Democrat Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner will square off in forums on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
On Tuesday, the candidates will be on the University of St. Thomas campus for "The University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business in conjunction with the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Gubernatorial Breakfast Panel." The focus of the debate, which starts at 8:30am, will "focus exclusively on issues affecting business in Minnesota." The forum will be moderated by University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business Dean Chirstopher Puto.
On Wednesday, the three candidates will take part in a debate focusing on "jobs, Economic Development and Infrastructure. The debate is sponsored by several construction contractors and transportation related groups. That debate will be held at 8:30AM at the Northland Inn in Brooklyn Park.
On Thursday, the candidates will take part in a TwinWest Chamber of Commerce debate at the headquarters of General Mills. That debate starts at 8am.(1 Comments)
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer released his first TV ad today. The ad features his family talking about job creation. It's not a surprise since most polling shows that's the number one issue on the minds of voters is jobs and economy.
You can watch it here.
Emmer's campaign manager, Cullen Sheehan, says the campaign is spending $300,000 on the ad buy, which will run through early September. He also says the ad will run on broadcast and cable.(1 Comments)
Tom Horner's Independence Party campaign for governor released its first TV ad this afternoon.
The 30-second spot features a tight shot on a face with one blue and one red eye, each pointing and moving in opposite directions. Horner narrates saying Democrats and Republicans have been looking too far to the right and left.
Horner was not on hand for the ad unveiling. His campaign manager Stephen Imholte told reporters the ad will start airing Sunday throughout Minnesota with an emphasis on the Twin Cities metro-area. He says two variations of the ad will follow and that the entire ad buy is costing more than $100,000. Imholte declined to say exactly how much the campaign is spending. He said the ads will run through mid-September.
Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor released more information on where Gov. Pawlenty's fundraiser for the Emmer campaign will be held.
The Emmer campaign says Pawlenty will host the fundraiser (along with Norm Coleman, John Kline, Michele Bachmann and Erik Paulsen) at the home of Marty & Anne Davis in Shorewood.
Campaign finance reports show that Marty Davis, an executive with Davisco Foods, has given mostly to Norm Coleman's campaign between 2006 and 2010. He also donated to the MNGOP, Texas Congressman Ted Poe, Phil Krinkie's failed campaign for Congress and Republican Brian Davis' failed campaign for Congress in 2008.
Emmer's campaign says the event will be closed to the press.
Here's the info from the fundraising invite:
Please join Governor Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Norm Coleman, Rep. John Kline, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Rep. Erik Paulsen for an exclusive event for Tom Emmer
Monday, August 23
General Reception 5:30 - 7 pm $500 per person / $1,000 per couple
VIP "Max-Out' Dinner with Hosts 7- 8:30 pm
Co-Hosts George & Barbara Anderson · Doug & Julie Baker Tim & Emily Berkness · Steve & Barbara Cossack Mark & Mary Davis · Marty & Anne Davis Ken & Midge Dean · Dennis & Megan Doyle Bob & Mary Fayfield · David & Sandra Frauenshuh Stan & Karen Hubbard · Doug & Julie Huseby Steve & Jennifer Knuth · Jack & Annette Meeks Greg & Cindy Page · Andrew & Leslie Parker Bernadette Perryman · Brad & Melanie Rixmann Dan & Jodi Rosen · Ron & Janet Schutz Denny & Amanda Walsh
The Home of Marty & Anne Davis
(Note: I intentionally left off the address of the fundraiser)
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a labor-backed organization, has a new ad knocking Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer for missing votes during the most recent legislative session.
As an invisible red pen marks days on a calendar, the voice over asks, "What would happen if you missed one out of every five days of work for a year?"
"I wouldn't have a job," says one woman.
"My boss would kill me," says another.
"Tom Emmer missed one out of every five votes in the state legislature," the voice-over says. That's "142 missed votes in 2010 alone. Votes on education, veterans' affairs, and jobs."
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota gets its numbers right. But viewers beware: Understanding this ad requires some context.
Election season was already heating up when the legislature met for its 2010 session. And that means several lawmakers, including the Democratic candidate for governor, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, and state Rep. Randy Demmer, R-Hayfield, a congressional candidate, also missed votes to campaign.
Emmer, of Delano, was among those missing in action. In 2010, House legislators cast 621 votes, including votes on big ticket issues, such as education funding, as well as non-controversial resolutions and procedural moves. Emmer missed 142 of those votes, about 20 percent - or one in five votes - during the session.
It's also true that Emmer missed votes on education issues, such as a bill to fund K-12 schools, veterans' affairs, and two votes on an employment and economic development policy bill.
So, the Alliance for a Better Minnesota is on the mark with Emmer's missed votes.
But it's still important to put this ad in context. Here's how Emmer's absences break down:
This year's session lasted a little over 14 weeks, and Emmer missed votes on 15 of those days. So, that's roughly equivalent to one day for every week the legislature met. However, he was present for some votes on eight of those days.
Furthermore, Emmer missed most of those votes on a few days clustered at the end of the session; he did not take one day off every week for the entire session as the ad implies. Emmer's campaign manager Cullen Sheehan didn't say where he was on those days, only that he takes his job "very seriously."
Though the Alliance for a Better Minnesota omits some context from its ad, the claim is essentially accurate. The group correctly points out that Emmer missed one out of every five votes this session. And most of those votes were indeed on significant issues facing the state, including education funding, taxes and the environment.
Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Really?, accessed Aug. 17, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Some legislators skip votes to campaign, by Tom Scheck, April 22, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Where's Emmer? DFL questions missed votes, by Tim Pugmire, May 13, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, House GOP hits back on Kelliher's missed votes, by Tom Scheck, May 13, 2010
Minnesota State Legislature, Recorded Roll Call Floor Votes By Date, 2009-2010 Regular Session, accessed Aug. 17, 2010
Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Tom Emmer's Missed Votes in 2010, accessed Aug. 17, 2010
Interview, Xavier Lopez-Ayala, spokesman, Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Aug. 17, 2010
Interview, Cullen Sheehan, campaign manager, Emmer for Governor, Aug. 17, 2010
MSNBC announced today that it's rejecting a MoveOn.org ad that's criticizing Target Corporation for giving $150,000 to MN Forward, which is supporting Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor. MSNBC's spokeswoman tells the AP that they aren't airing the ad because it specifically attacks one company.
MoveOn's executive director Justin Ruben criticized MSNBC's decision in a news release.
"According to MSNBC and GE it is alright for corporations, like Target, to attack candidates and buy elections, but it is not OK for citizen organizations, like MoveOn, to fight back. This is the height of hypocrisy," said Justin Ruben, Executive Director of MoveOn.org. "Target Corporation decided to use the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision to try to buy the Minnesota Governor's election and now GE and MSNBC are protecting them from deserved consumer backlash. It's good to know that cronyism is alive and well in the corporate takeover of America."(1 Comments)
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner will release his plans to balance the state's budget at a campaign event on Monday. His campaign spokesman Bill Crum, confirmed the story first reported by MinnPost. Horner has said he wants to lower state business taxes and the state's sales tax rate but hasn't offered specifics. He has also said he wants to expand the sales tax to clothing and services and proposed increasing the tobacco tax. Horner's decision to
Horner criticized Democrat Mark Dayton's plan to raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners as a "job killer." He also ripped Republican Tom Emmer for saying he could erase a projected $5.8 billion budget deficit without raising taxes. Emmer hasn't offered any specifics but has suggested he would eliminate some government agencies. Horner said those cuts would amount to "rounding errors."
Horner also told reporters yesterday that he intends to go on the air with TV ads next week.
"I'm hopeful that we'll be on on Monday and that will be through the State Fair. It will be a statewide television buy that is going to be at a high level and will introduce me to Minnesota."
Horner said he doesn't intend to run ads through the November election. Instead, he said there will be breaks in the action.(2 Comments)
Bring Me the News, a start-up news operation founded by former KARE11 anchor Rick Kupchella, announced today it will hold a gubernatorial forum on September 15th. The event, is also being sponsored by the Citizens League. It will feature Democrat Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner. The event, which will be at the Pantages Theater in Minneapolis at 7pm, will be moderated by Kupchella and will include questions submitted by Twitter and Facebook.
All three candidates have confirmed that they will attend the event.(1 Comments)
The three candidates for governor participated in a debate this afternoon in Nisswa. The event, hosted by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, focused primarily on business issues like taxes, government spending and permitting.
You can listen to the entire debate here: Listen
Republican Tom Emmer has declined to attend Thursday's Coalition of Greater MN Cities debate in Winona. The organization invited Emmer, Democrat Mark Dayton and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner. Dayton and Horner say they'll both attend. Emmer says he can't attend because of scheduling issues. He, like Dayton and Horner, will meet with the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce in the morning. Emmer's staffer also says he Emmer a fundraiser scheduled with the Truckers Association. When asked about his decision, Emmer said he couldn't make the commitment work and apologized to the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities..
"They are very important. It's just one of those scheduling things," Emmer said. "We've had a candidate (Democrat Mark Dayton) now for a week and we've already had three debates."
Timothy Strand, Mayor of St. Peter and President of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities issued this statement after Emmer announced his decision:
The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities is excited to be joined by gubernatorial candidates Mark Dayton and Tom Horner for a forum on rural issues at our annual summer conference, Thursday, August 19, at 4:00 p.m. in Winona. We look forward to hearing how their visions for improving the economic viability of our communities fit into their overall solutions for bridging the state's $6 billion budget gap.
"There is no better opportunity to explain why you will be a champion for rural Minnesota than by debating the other candidates for governor in front of the mayors, city council members, and city staff that make up the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. That is why we are disheartened that Rep. Emmer has declined this opportunity. We hope Rep. Emmer reconsiders his invitation and joins Mark Dayton and Tom Horner in an open and honest conversation on the critical issues that will affect the 2.4 million Minnesotans living in greater Minnesota. We also hope Rep. Emmer reevaluates the message that his absence at this critical forum sends to greater Minnesota communities.
Emmer and his campaign may have also been weighing the impact of attending the debate. The Coalition is a strong supporter of Local Government Aid, which has been reduced under Gov. Pawlenty. Emmer has proposed phasing LGA out and creating another, unspecified, formula.
When told of Strand's comments, Emmer said it was unfortunate. He said he has stressed the "recovery in the state will come from greater Minnesota ultimately."
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mark Dayton today called for the Republican Party of Minnesota to tell its trackers to back off. At a news conference, Dayton said Republican Party officials who videotape Dayton have crossed the line and are now trying to "intimidate him and the voters." He showed video of the videotapers blocking his campaign booth at Game Fair in Anoka on Saturday.
Dayton wants his campaign, the DFL Party and the Republican Party to only videotape the public forums and speeches of the candidates. He also wants the trackers to maintain a respectful distance and wear something that identifies them.
MNGOP spokesman Mark Drake says the party won't change its ways. He says political tracking has become a regular part of political campaigns.
A spokeswoman for the DFL Party says they'll review Dayton's request.
Dayton's news conference comes less than a week after the MNGOP released video of him expressing concern that his dogs were left in his car.
Political tracking has become a regular occurrence in campaigns since 2006. Take a look at the story I did on the issue then.
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, which was running ads criticizing Republican Tom Emmer for his past DWIs and his position on DWIs in the Legislature , released a new ad ripping Emmer for his missed votes. You can watch the ad here.
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota is a group funded by labor unions, Native American Tribes and wealthy DFL donors. Several members of Mark Dayton's family have given to the group. Dayton is the DFL candidate for governor.
As I reported earlier this year, Emmer isn't the only candidate to miss votes to campaign for higher office. Several candidates for higher office missed votes to campaign.
The AFL-CIO, a coalition of some of the state's largest labor unions, is backing Democrat Mark Dayton's bid for governor. The union's board met this morning to put the final touches on the endorsement.
The endorsement doesn't come as a surprise since Dayton is the DFL nominee for governor but it does show that labor is uniting quickly behind Dayton's bid. Unions were fractured in their support of Dayton and Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL endorsed candidate for governor. Education Minnesota, the Carpenters and MAPE all announced last week that they're backing Dayton.
"I am honored and grateful to have the support of the 300,000 hard working men and women of the Minnesota AFL-CIO," Dayton said in a news release. "I have always stood with working women and men, and will continue to stand with them if I am elected Governor. Getting Minnesotans back to work will be a top priority of my administration."
Dayton has scheduled a 1:30 pm news conference that the campaign is calling "important." A campaign spokeswoman was mum but it could be the AFL-CIO announcement.
Dayton is also going to get some help from the AFL-CIO's national president. Richard Trumka will hold an early morning event on Thursday to signal his support for Dayton's candidacy.
Gov candidates square off on sportsman issues
Democrat Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Emmer took part in an hour long debate at Game Fair today in Anoka. The three major party candidates for governor voiced their support for hunting, fishing, land and gun rights today (SAT) at Game Fair in Anoka.
It was the second debate since the primary for Dayton, Emmer and Horner. When debate moderators allowed the candidates to question each other, Emmer took the opportunity to attack Dayton.
"If you could just explain to me and everyone else here in Minnesota how you can get an F from the NRA and can sit up here and tell us that you're going to defend sportsmans' rights," Emmer said. "You're going to defend my right and my children's rights when you've gotten an F from the NRA?
Dayton said his low NRA score was due to the fact that he was voting with law enforcement.
"When the police chiefs and the police officers of this state and thisnation come to us and say those bullets are made to kill us, then yeah,I'll vote to ban them, Dayton said. "Does that prevent a law-abiding hunter or fisher/hunter in this state from going out and hunting and fishing? Absolutely not."
Dayton and Horner declined to ask a question of another candidate.
Horner also called for a clear land rights policy for Indian tribes that say treaties grant them expanded access to some areas.
"why isn't the governor sitting down with the tribes on a regular basis to see how we can be working together. There's the opportunity. It's not drawing a line and saying 'I'm going to fight you over this.' It's how we can work together. That's the leadership the governor needs to provide.
Both Dayton and Emmer say the governor must ensure that everyone has the same rights to hunt and fish in all areas.
You can listen to the full debate here: Listen
Note: The sound system didn't work for the first question
MPR's Rupa Shenoy covered and wrote this copy...
The three candidates for Minnesota governor participated in the first post-primary debate tonight and it got feisty. Democrat Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner took part in a debate hosted by Twin Cities Public Television. The candidates sparred over tax policy and the best way to solve the state's nearly 6-billion dollar projected budget deficit. Emmer said he won't support tax increases to balance the budget.
"You need to make all of Minnesota competitive," Emmer said. "You have to lower taxes and have regulatory reform so you can create business all over Minnesota."
But Dayton said Emmer hasn't outlined how he'd balance the budget without raising taxes.
"You've been in the Legislature for all of these years under Governor Pawlenty, a conservative Republcian governor," Dayton said. "You're basically saying that there's $6 billion of waste and excess in his operating budget that you can identify and remove and nobody is going to notice the difference."
Dayton wants to raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners to balance the budget.
The IP's Horner wants to lower the state's sales tax rate but expand it to clothing and services. He repteadly tried to portray himself as a viable alternative to Emmer and Dayton.
"Representative Emmer talks about the status quo, he's right," Horner said. "But all we hear over here is 'Let's just cut the status quo and everything will be better" and from the other side it's 'let's just make the status quo bigger and everything will be better.' I believe most of us in Minnesota are saying we need something different than the status quo."
You can listen to the full debate here:
All three candidates will participate in another debate on Saturday. They'll be at Game Fair in Anoka.(1 Comments)
A Rasmussen Reports post-primary telephone survey of 750 likely Minnesota voters finds Democrat Mark Dayton with a substantial lead over Republican Tom Emmer and IP candidate Tom Horner.
The poll, which was conducted yesterday, shows Dayton with 45%, Emmer with 36%, Horner with 10% and 10% undecided.
The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points.(1 Comments)
The dust hasn't settled from Tuesday's primary, but the candidates are already filling up their schedules with several debates in the coming weeks.
Here are some of the events we know about in the next few weeks where Mark Dayton, Tom Emmer and Tom Horner have been invited:
TPT Almanac, Aug. 13
Game Fair, Anoka, Aug. 14
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Nisswa, Aug. 17
Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cites, Winona, Aug. 19
University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Aug. 24
Infrastructure, Jobs and Development Forum, Northland Inn, Brooklyn Park, Aug. 25
Twin West Chamber of Commerce, General Mills, Golden Valley, Aug. 26
Goodhue County United Veterans Organization, Aug. 30
Minnesota Public Radio, State Fair, Sept. 3
DFL gubernatorial nominee Mark Dayton is calling on all outside political organizations to stop running TV ads that include negative, personal attacks against candidates.
Dayton made his proposal today (Thursday) at a State Capitol news conference, just one day after the state Republican party unveiled an anti-Dayton ad. Dayton did not call on GOP leaders to end that ad, but going forward, he said the content should stick to the issues.
"Whatever those of us have said or done ,or not said or not done, on the public record as public officials or in our capacity working in the public arena is certainly appropriate for anybody to question or criticize," Dayton said. "But I think my two opponents are decent men, and I will treat them as such. And I think that's the kind of campaign that Minnesotans deserve."
Republican party leaders rejected Dayton's proposal. They called him hypocritical for not previously denouncing an anti-Tom Emmer ad run by an advocacy group that includes several Dayton family members on its donor list.
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner agrees with Dayton. In a news release, Horner said he wants the campaign focused on solutions.
"We need to re-engage the majority of Minnesotans who have been pushed to the sidelines by the extremist politics of the other parties," Horner said.
A large group of Democratic politicians and political activists turned out for a DFL unity rally for former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton. The event is meant to show that the party is unified behind Dayton's campaign for governor. The event, which was initially scheduled for 11am, was delayed several hours because Democdrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher didn't concede the race until late morning.
I uploaded Dayton's speech. You can listen to it here: Listen
Photo credit: Jeffrey Thompson
During the primary campaign the DFL contenders never really took off the gloves against each other. Well, the primary campaign is over.
Hours before Mark Dayton was scheduled to hold a unity rally with Margaret Anderson Kelliher and other Democrats, the state Republican Party released a TV ad that rips Dayton. Party officials they say the ad will start running statewide tomorrow.
Party chair Tony Sutton wouldn't say exactly how much the party is spending to run the ad, but he said it will be in the six figures.
Here's the ad:(7 Comments)
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher just officially ended her race for governor by sending out this statement:
"I just spoke with Mark Dayton and congratulated him on winning the DFL primary. I offered him my full support. He will make an excellent governor.
"I am so grateful for all of the hard work of our volunteers and supporters over the last twelve months. This was a people-powered, grassroots campaign and we should all be proud of what we achieved together.
"In Minnesota we value every person's voice and count every person's vote. And that's what happened this election.
"Today we will come together as DFLers. We will unite behind Mark Dayton, and beat Tom Emmer in November."
With more than 99 percent of precincts reporting Dayton has a lead of more than 6.100 votes.
We're still waiting for official word of a rally or press conference where Dayton will claim victory and formally kick off his general election campaign.
It looks like the 11 o'clock DFL Unity rally will be called off since Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher has scheduled a 3pm news conference. Location is TBD.
Democrat Mark Dayton is doing interviews but isn't declaring victory. His spokeswoman says the campaign is in a "holding pattern" until they hear from Kelliher.
The Republican Party of Minnesota is holding a 1pm news conference to unveil the first ad of the campaign for the gubernatorial campaign.
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner will hold a news conference in St. Paul and Mankato this morning.
MPR's Cathy Wurzer talked with Democrat Mark Dayton, Independence Party candidate Tom Horner and Republican Tom Emmer.
Dayton took a cautious approach to his victory - praising both Margaret Anderson Kelliher and th DFL Party. It's a clear signal he knows he needs them to rally behind his campaign. Dayton also defended his tax hike plan as a better alternative to Emmer's plan.
I-P candidate Tom Horner says he'll offer a middle ground approach for voters who are sick of partisan politics.
Emmer says Dayton is offering a plan of tax increases while he's offering tax cuts and spending cuts. He again declined to offer any specifics on how he'll erase a budget deficit.
Here's the interview with all three candidates: Listen
Democrat Mark Dayton spoke with reporters after the AP declared him the winner of the DFL primary. Margaret Anderson Kelliher has not conceded and the results are still coming in (Listen). Dayton didn't declare victory and said he respected Kelliher's decision.
Here's the audio of Dayton's newser: Listen
In their final debate before the primary Sunday night, two leading DFL candidates for governor wrangled over taxes.
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher said that former Sen. Mark Dayton's plan to raise taxes on the richest Minnesotans would give the state the highest tax rate in the country.
"We'd be higher than Hawaii," she said in the Aug. 8, 2010, debate.
"Not so, Dayton countered.
If you added $2 billion a year... you would go from 9th highest to 7th highest state in the nation," Dayton said. "We would not be the highest taxed state."
Kelliher's claim is inconclusive; Dayton's is on the money.
Before investigating these two claims, it's important to point out that Kelliher and Dayton are actually talking about two different things: tax rate and per capita tax burden. But both reveal important aspects of a state's tax system.
"We'd be higher than Hawaii."
Dayton has pledged to boost revenue $4 billion per biennium by making the wealthiest households in the state - those in the top 10 percent - pay their "fair share" of taxes; Dayton defines this as 12.5 percent, or the average state and local tax rate for the bottom 90 percent of earners.
Kelliher's campaign did not return PoliGraph's inquiries about her claim. But it appears she was referring to Hawaii's income tax rate, which, at 11 percent, is the highest in the country. (Minnesota's highest rate is 7.85 percent.)
Here's the rub: Dayton has not detailed his plans for changing the income tax rates on the top 10 percent. He's simply said the he wants the overall state and local tax burden to be 12.5 percent.
That said, income tax makes up a sizable portion of state and local taxes. To make the $4 billion Dayton's promised would likely require a significant income tax hike. So, it's not out of the question that Dayton's tax plan could put Minnesota's rate in front of Hawaii's.
"We would not be the highest taxed state."
Dayton points to an annual study compiled by the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation to back his claim. According to the report, individuals pay about $4,688 annually in state and local taxes, making Minnesota the ninth highest in per capita state and local taxes.
Under Dayton's plan, the state would bring in about $2 billion more annually, and that means individuals would pay about $5,057 per year and Minnesota would be bumped to 7th place.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue tracks somewhat different rankings, but in any case, Minnesota would not be the highest taxed state in the country under Dayton's plan.
Kelliher's claim is an apples-to-oranges comparison. But it's not out of the realm of possibility that Dayton's tax plan could give Minnesota the highest tax rate in the nation. Until Dayton releases more details, Kelliher's claim is inconclusive.
On the other hand, Dayton said that Minnesota would not be the highest taxed state under his proposal. When it comes to dollar figures, he's correct.
Minnesota Public Radio News, Question by question: The final DFL debate, Aug. 8, 2010
The Tax Foundation, State Individual Tax Rates, 2000-2001, March 25, 2010
The Tax Foundation, Minnesota: State and Local Tax Burden, 1977 - 2008, accessed Aug. 9, 2010
Mark Dayton campaign website DaytonDeficitSolution.pdf
The Federation of Tax Administrators, State Individual Income Taxes, accessed Aug. 9, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Tom Scheck interview with Minnesota Department of Revenue Tax Research Director Paul Wilson, accessed Aug. 9, 2010
Interview, Katharine Tinucci, spokeswoman, Mark Dayton, Aug. 9, 2010
Interview, Mark Haveman, executive director, Minnesota Taxpayers Association, Aug. 9, 2010
Interview, Bill Ahern, Director of Policy and Communications, The Tax Foundation, Aug. 9, 2010
The Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus has hired political consultant Ben Golnik to help with the caucus election efforts. The move comes two days after Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor hired Culleen Sheehan, Chief of Staff to the MN Senate Republican Caucus. The move created a campaign void within the Caucus. Golnik will help fill that void. He'll be hired as a consultant through his firm, Golnik Strategies.
Golnik most recently advised Republican Marty Seifert's failed campaign for governor. He also served as Regional Director for John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, worked for the House GOP in the 2008 cycle and served as MNGOP executive director between 2005 and 2007.
It will be no easy task for Republicans to take the Senate. Senate Democrats currently have a veto proof majority in that body but operatives in both parties say it's likely DFLers will lose seats in 2010. They say GOP excitement in this election and DFL retirements make it a strong possibility.
Rob Hahn and Tom Horner, the two Independence Party candidates for governor, appeared on MPR's Midday this morning. You can listen to the show here: Listen
The two Independence Party candidates running for their party's nomination will square off in MPR's studios today. Tom Horner and Rob Hahn will be on MPR's Midday today at 11am. You can listen to it on the radio or listen to it here.(1 Comments)
The three DFL candidates for governor, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza, participated in an hour long debate tonight. The debate, hosted by MPR News and moderated by MPR's Midday host Gary Eichten, was an opportunity for each candidate to highlight why they should win Tuesday's primary.
Here's the full audio of the debate: Listen
With just two days to go until the August Primary, the three DFL candidates for governor spent $3.4 million on TV ads in the Twin Cities media market. Factor in the outside groups and the total increases to at least $4.1 million.
A check on the station's public files show that former legislator Matt Entenza spent the most money, $1.9 million. He ran 5129 ads on KSTP, WCCO, KARE, KMSP, KSTC, WFTC and Comcast from April through Tuesday. Entenza pumped at least $4.5 million of his own money into the race.
Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton nearly $1.1 million to run 2903 ads on Twin Cities stations. Campaign finance reports show that Dayton has spent at least $3.3 million of his own money on the race.
Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL endorsed candidate, spent $404,478 on 1143 ads in the Twin Cities market.
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, MN Forward and the National Organization for Marriage also bought ad time. Several stations, including KSTP and WCCO, have refused to disclose how much those organizations have spent because they aren't required by law to release the information.
The analysis only includes ad time bought at the Twin Cities TV stations. Candidates and groups could have also bought time in Duluth, Rochester and Mankato.
MPR News is sponsoring the final DFL gubernatorial debate tonight. The event features Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton and former legislator Matt Entenza. All three are vying to win the DFL nomination at Tuesday's primary.
The debate starts at 7pm at The Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. It will be broadcast live on MPR stations.
Can't get to St. Paul or a radio?
The Independence Party candidate, Rob Hahn and Tom Horner, will be guests on MPR's Midday tomorrow at 11am.
MPR News is hosting the final DFL gubernatorial debate before Tuesday's primary election. Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton and former legislator Matt Entenza are all vying for the nomination.
The debate, which will be broadcast live on MPR stations, is scheduled to start at 7pm.
The winner of Tuesday's primary will square off against Republican Tom Emmer and the winner of the Independence Party primary. Tom Horner and Rob Hahn are vying for that party's nomination. Hahn and Horner are scheduled to debate the issues on MPR's Midday at 11am on Monday.
Republican Tom Emmer has shaken up his campaign for governor. His campaign for governor sent out a news release saying Cullen Sheehan will run the campaign. The campaign will also have a new team of "senior advisors" led by Chris Georgacas.
Here's the full release:
Tom Emmer, the Republican-endorsed candidate for governor, announced today that he is reorganizing his campaign in preparation for the general election phase of the race.(1 Comments)
Emmer announced new campaign leadership. Cullen Sheehan will become the campaign manager; and a new team of senior advisors, chaired by Chris Georgacas, will set strategy and provide oversight.
"I am very grateful to all the volunteers and staff who earlier helped me win the party endorsement and built the campaign to this point," Emmer said. "Now our organization must grow quickly for the final three months of the election campaign."
"I am excited about taking my principles for job creation and responsible, limited government directly to the people after next Tuesday's primary elections. My new campaign team leaders have enormous experience in winning elections and will help me advance my common-sense agenda for restoring Minnesota's prosperity."
Sheehan currently serves as chief of staff of the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus (from which he is taking a leave of absence). He was campaign manager of former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman's re-election campaign in 2008 and historic recount battle; executive director of the Iowa Republican Party; manager of a U.S. Senate campaign in 2004; and veteran of Coleman's 2002 victory.
Georgacas is president of the public relations firm Goff & Howard. He was campaign chairman and strategist for Gov. Tim Pawlenty's winning 2002 campaign; manager of then-Mayor Norm Coleman's 1998 gubernatorial campaign; and state Republican chairman during Gov. Arne Carlson's tumultuous but successful 1994 re-election bid.
Republican Tom Emmer is set to hire veteran campaign staffer Cullen Sheehan to run his campaign for governor, a source with knowledge of the discussion tells MPR News. The person said the announcement will be made soon. Emmer's campaign spokesman Bill Walsh said the campaign doesn't have anything official to announce.
The decision comes two days after Emmer's consultant, Tom Mason, quit the campaign to go back to his private public relations business. It also comes after Republican Party leaders have questioned the direction of Emmer's campaign. Some wondered why Emmer kept the tip credit issue in the news for two weeks. Others worry that his primary fundraising report shows that Emmer isn't raising enough money to compete with two of the Democrats who have already spent millions of their own money on the race.
Discussions about the hire have prompted deep disagreement internally on the direction of the campaign. Walsh has characterized any hires as "additions" to the campaign but others say Sheehan is being brought in because the campaign needs a "full scale shake-up."
Sheehan will be expected to right the ship. He will leave his position as Chief of Staff for the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus. Prior to that, he ran Norm Coleman's U.S. Senate campaign in 2008. That race with Democrat Al Franken prompted an eight month recount in which Franken won by 312 votes.
The hire comes just three days before the August 10th primary. Emmer isn't facing a significant primary challenge but he still isn't sure who he'll face in November. Three Democrats, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza, are vying for their party's nomination.
Tom Horner and Rob Hahn are vying for the Independence Party nomination.
When DFL leaders stripped the party endorsement from state Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley, they highlighted an obscure rule prohibiting the support of non-endorsed candidates.
But some other legislators are doing the same thing with no apparent repercussions. For example, State Rep. Tim Mahoney, DFL-St. Paul and Rep. Gene Pelowski, DFL-Winona, are both publicly supporting Matt Entenza for governor.
Chaudhary's problems mainly stemmed from his end-of-session efforts to pass new fishing rules for the northern Minnesota lake where he owns a cabin. But in making their case against Chaudhary, officials in Senate District 50 also used his public support of Mark Dayton for governor, rather than DFL-endorsed Margaret Anderson Kelliher.
They cited this party bylaw:
If a candidate who has been endorsed by a unit of the DFL
Party gives personal endorsement, financial assistance, or other
public support or public assistance to any candidate running against a
DFL-endorsed candidate for any public office, or engages in any
other act of malfeasance or nonfeasance, the central committee of the
unit that endorsed that candidate may revoke the endorsement by a
two-thirds majority vote of the members eligible to vote, following
the procedures in the Bylaw under Article III, Section 17.
Several DFL elected officials who were supporting other candidates fell in line behind Kelliher once she had won the party endorsement. Mahoney and Pelowski were among those who did not.
"I had been an early supporter of Matt Entenza for governor," Mahoney said. "It would have been uncharacteristic of me to switch or to quiet down or to switch allegiances just because someone else got the endorsement."
Mahoney, who recently sent out a letter on behalf of Entenza's campaign, said he's received very little criticism for his position.
"I've only had one person say I'll vote for anyone but you," Mahoney said.
It's been a rougher road for Pelowski, who had to fight off a labor-backed endorsement challenge for his House District 31A seat. But Pelwoski hasn't backed off his support of Enetnza.
"I think Matt's got the type of leadership skills that we need now in Minnesota," Pelowski said. "I think it's been clear to folks for the last two years that I've been working with Matt."
Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Brian Melendez downplayed the rule breaking.
"I know that all those legislators are going to be supporting our endorsed candidate by Wednesday, if not sooner, Melendez said. "So we'll wait until Wednesday."
In a July 20, 2010, Minnesota Public Radio debate, DFL gubernatorial hopefuls Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Mark Dayton sparred over the state's K-12 funding record.
Dayton said that in inflation adjusted dollars, funding for schools had declined.
"In the four years that I've been Speaker, we have increased funding for K-12 education by $1.6 billion," she said.
Kelliher's correct. Education spending did rise while she was House speaker.
Ask Kelliher's campaign where they get their numbers, and they'll point to Minnesota Management and Budget's annual forecast.
In the 2006-2007 biennium, schools got about $12.75 billion in state aid. In the 2012-2013 biennium, funding will have increased by $1.6 billion to $14.35.
Budget experts noted that school funding figures for the next budget cycle are merely projections; the Legislature may very well approve a different level of funding.
Nevertheless, funding for K-12 has increased by $1.6 billion cumulatively since Kelliher became House Speaker in 2007.
Cumulatively, Kelliher is correct that the Legislature has increased school funding by $1.6 billion under her watch.
Kelliher gets a passing grade on this education spending claim.
Minnesota Public Radio News, Midmorning, July 20, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, Price of Government, accessed Aug. 5, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, General Fund, Fund Balance Analysis: February 2007 Forecast, accessed Aug. 6, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, General Fund, Fund Balance Analysis: November 2006 Forecast, accessed Aug. 6, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, General Fund, Fund Balance Analysis: End of 2010 Legislative Session, Aug. 6, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, General Fund, Fund Balance Analysis: November 2009 Forecast, accessed Aug. 6, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Pawlenty uses stimulus money to reverse budget cuts, by Tim Pugmire, March 17, 2009
There appears to be a shakeup at Tom Emmer's campaign for governor. A source says Tom Mason, who served as a consultant to Emmer, quit the campaign yesterday. There also appears to be more changes coming. Several sources say Emmer is looking to bring in someone to direct the campaign. The name hasn't been finalized yet but it appears the name being mentioned the most is Cullen Sheehan. Sheehan currently serves as Chief of Staff for Republicans in the Minnesota Senate.
Prior to that, Sheehan served as campaign manager to Norm Coleman's Senate campaign in 2008 against Democrat Al Franken. That race
A source says Emmer's team is meeting this afternoon to discuss the situation. Calls to many members of Emmer's campaign team haven't been returned. His campaign spokesman, Bill Walsh, responded to an e-mail I sent him earlier this morning with this:
"No shakeup here today."
I'll post more info as it becomes available.
Walsh called back and said that Mason is heading back to his private public relations firm and will still advise the campaign. He also said the campaign has been working for weeks to make an addition but couldn't say who that person is.
Indpendence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner is trying to convince leaders of the business-back group MN Forward that he deserves their support.
MN Forward is using corportae donations to run ads on behalf of Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. The group also announced yesterday that it is backing three GOP and three DFL legislative candidates, "who support reforms that strengthen our workforce and improve our ability to create jobs and economic opportunity."
Horner sent the following letter to Brian McClung of MN Forward:
Dear Brian:(2 Comments)
Here I am.
MN Forward is seeking to support candidates of any stripe who are pro-business. That's me. In fact, I think I am the MOST pro-business candidate in this year's gubernatorial race. Of course, maybe we define pro-business a bit differently. I think a pro-business candidate is one who supports an economic environment in which start-up businesses can flourish, well-paying jobs are being created in the private sector, and Minnesota is seen as a great place for all businesses -- those already here and those we want to attract -- because it's a great place to live.
You see, I think the business climate in Minnesota isn't just about which candidate will cut spending the most or who has the most strident anti-tax rhetoric. But for Minnesota to flourish -- for ALL Minnesotans to do well -- the state needs the kind leadership that successful business leaders understand: the importance of investing in people and making our state one in which the hard work of all people is rewarded, the talents of everyone are respected and the opportunities for all people are not capped by prejudice.
So here's my pro-business agenda:
Balance the budget. This will take hard decisions and significant spending cuts. It also will take the discipline other candidates have lacked to say NO to special interests, even if YES might buy some short-term political cover.
Reform a tax system that is out-of-date and suppresses job creation. I am the only candidate who is proposing a comprehensive package of tax reform -- reducing taxes on job creation while raising the revenue needed to invest in Minnesota's future.
Invest in Minnesota's future. We will be the knowledge state in my administration -- a state that makes early learning a priority so that all children enter school prepared for success. We will invest in lifelong learning, from cradle to grave. Along with education, Minnesota needs to once again make smart investments in health and our state's infrastructure. It was noteworthy that at FarmFest -- talking to the drivers of one of our state's most important industries -- I was the only candidate who highlighted the need to invest in rail and 10-ton roads. A great harvest (or great manufactured products or great anything) loses its value if we can't get it to market.
Make applied and basic research at the University of Minnesota and our other institutions of higher learning a state priority. Minnesota must be a leader in innovation, new ideas and cutting-edge technologies. If we follow my tax proposals, research becomes the engine for ideas to come to market creating Minnesota businesses and Minnesota jobs.
Revitalize our communities. I've proposed a five-point plan to strengthen Minnesota's rural communities, making sure that every person in every community has the opportunity to prosper.
Streamline the regulatory and permitting process. In my administration, every permit request will be resolved in six months. Guaranteed.
Attract the best talent pool in the nation. Ultimately, Minnesota's greatest strength -- and our greatest pro-business asset -- are our people. We need to be a state that welcomes diversity.
That's my agenda, and I'm eager to compare it to the Minnesota agenda of any other candidate.
DFL gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza is using one of his final TV ad before the Aug. 10 primary to respond to what he describes as "attacks" from Margaret Anderson Kelliher.
Kelliher, the DFL endorsed candidate for governor, has criticized Entenza for proposing that Minnesota cuts ties to the federal No Child Left Behind law. She says the state cannot afford to lose any federal education funding. Entenza insists the state could pull out of NCLB without losing money.
Campaign manager, Dave Colling, says the ad is a positive response and lays out Entenza's position.
"These attacks have been coming not just at the debates, but they've been coming on the phones, they've been coming when folks are going out door to door, just throughout the entire campaign," Colling said. "So, we felt at this late hour, the best way to respond would be through a TV ad."(1 Comments)
Campaign volunteers are planning to make nearly 300-thousand phone calls in the coming days and knock on more than 30-thousand doors on behalf of Kelliher, who has the DFL party endorsement. She's in a tight August 10th primary contest against Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza. During the rally, Kelliher said she's counting on the strength of the DFL's grassroots organization.
"When we win on Tuesday it won't be because of the ads we put up on TV," Kleliher said. "It won't be because of how many pieces of mail we sent out. No, it will be because of the hard work of people, because of the people power."
All three candidates will be traveling throughout the state in the coming days.
Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel today apologized to Target employees for donating funds to a group that is backing Republican Tom Emmer's bid for governor. In the letter, Steinhafel wrote that the company will create a review of their political donations and will also bring together a group of companies to discuss ways to improve GLBT relations.
Target has been heavily criticized for donating to MN Forward, an independent expenditure group that is backing Emmer's campaign for governor. Democrats and gay rights groups called for a boycott of the group.
Here's the full letter:
Civic Activity A Message From Gregg Steinhafel, Chairman, President and CEO(29 Comments)
Dear Target Leaders,
I have heard from many of you, and our team members, over the past week regarding Target's contribution to MN Forward, and I appreciate your engagement and candor, both of which clearly demonstrate your loyalty and passion for our company.
In situations like this, it is often difficult to find the right words, but I would like to respond with the same honesty you have shown me.
The intent of our political contribution to MN Forward was to support economic growth and job creation. While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry.
We remain fully committed to fostering an environment that supports and respects the rights and beliefs of all individuals. The diversity of our team is an important aspect of our unique culture and our success as a company, and we did not mean to disappoint you, our team or our valued guests.
Going forward, we will soon begin a strategic review and analysis of our decision-making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena. And later this fall, Target will take a leadership role in bringing together a group of companies and partner organizations for a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues.
Thank you for sharing your input and for your continued commitment to making Target an even stronger company.
Chairman, President and CEO
Several members of the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group held a news conference at the State Capitol today to call for the state of Minnesota to change the state's primary date to May or June. The students argued that an August Primary makes things harder for college students to vote. In particular, students who are registered to vote in Minnesota but live in another state during the summer break may have some difficulty voting absentee.
Carleton College student Ben Hellerstein says he asked the Carlton College Dean of Students, Rice County Election officials and the Secretary of State's office couldn't tell him how a student is supposed to fill out the address on their absentee ballot. He said many students live in different residences in the Spring and Fall semester. Hellerstein says he lives at Carleton during the summer but says it's been unclear how he should advise other students.
"In my experience in just educating students as to how they can participate is practically impossible," Hellerstein said. "It's hard for me to imagine that turnout in an August primary when people are off campus and when there hasn't been a clear source of information about how people can participate, can be anywhere near as high as participation in previous years."
This is the first year that Minnesota's primary has been moved to August. It's been a source of frustration for the campaigns and political parties. As MPR's Tim Pugmire points out, turnout is expected to be low.
John Aiken, spokesman for Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, says students who don't have an established residency at the time of the primary won't be able to vote on August 10th. An official with the Minnesota Secretary of State's office was unavailable to comment. I'll post his response when it's available.
MPR Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer interviewed Independence Party gubernatorial hopeful Tom Horner this morning. Horner says he wants to lower the state's corporate tax and the state sales tax but broaden the sales tax to clothing and personal services. You can read a story about it here.
Here's the full interview: Listen(1 Comments)
Democrat Mark Dayton will be on MPR's Midday today at 11am. You can listen to it on the radio or online.
Midday will also air Wednesday's FarmFest Forum that featured six of the candidates for governor. That show is scheduled for noon.
I finally uploaded the audio from the two candidate forums at FarmFest.
Don't feel like being stuck to the computer? That's ok. MPR's Midday will also air the gubernatorial forum Thursday at noon.
The gubernatorial forum featured (from left to right on your radio dial):
Democrat Mark Dayton
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner
Republican Tom Emmer
Democrat Matt Entenza
Independence Party candidate Rob Hahn
You can listen to the forum here:
The congressional forum featured (from left to right on your radio dial):
From Minnesota's 7th Congressional District:
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson
Republican Lee Byberg
Republican Alan Roebke
Indepencence Party candidate Glen Menze
From Minnesota's 1st Congressional District:
DFL Rep. Tim Walz
Republican Randy Demmer
Independence Party candidate Steven Wilson
From Minnesota's 6th Congressional District:
Democrat Tarryl Clark
From Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District:
Democrat Shelley Madore
You can listen to the forum here:
Longshot Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Carney is offering an unusual plan to remind voters that there's also a GOP primary on Aug. 10.
During a State Capitol news conference today, Carney urged voters to reject Emmer and support him instead. Carney said if he wins the primary, he would agree to withdraw as a candidate, but only if the state Republican party selected a new, moderate candidate.
"I think we need to make the primary a referendum on Tom Emmer," Carney said. "His candidacy has proven to be disastrous."
Minnesota GOP spokesman Mark Drake said the party remains united behind Tom Emmer, and he doesn't know anyone who takes Carney or anything he says seriously.
DFL hopeful Matt Entenza says he'll pull Minnesota out of No Child Left Behind if he's governor - and that his Republican opponent, Tom Emmer, won't.
"George Bush's No Child Left Behind is hurting our kids," states a voice over in a recent Entenza television ad. "Tom Emmer supports Bush's failed policy."
In fact, Emmer's never been a fan of the controversial testing program.
Entenza's campaign says Emmer voted against a plan to drop No Child Left Behind in 2008. And at first blush, it would seem that way.
But parliamentary maneuvering on the House floor muddied the intent of the amendment Emmer voted against. It didn't just end the program; it contained other unrelated provisions.
In early 2009, Emmer co-sponsored a bill that would have prevented implementation of No Child Left Behind.
Later that year, Emmer told Minnesota Public Radio that he opposes No Child Left Behind.
"I object to the federal government having any law that tells the state of Minnesota, more importantly parents of children in the state of Minnesota, this is how your schools are going to be run," he said on Dec. 11, 2009.
Emmer supports holding teachers accountable, spokesman Bill Walsh said. He just doesn't think the federal government should tell the state how to do it.
Emmer has made clear that he's opposed to No Child Left Behind. Notwithstanding the vote against the muddied House floor amendment, Entenza's claim is false.
Matt Entenza for Governor, education television ad, accessed Aug. 3, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Interview with Tom Emmer, Dec. 11, 2009
Minnesota Public Radio News, Votetracker: Withdraw from No Child Left Behind, accessed Aug. 2, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, No love for NCLB in race for governor, by Tim Pugmire, Dec. 11, 2009
Minnesota House of Representatives, House File 614, accessed Aug. 3, 10
Minnesota House of Representatives, Journal of the House, April 28, 2008
Interview, Bill Walsh, spokesman, Tom Emmer, Aug. 3, 2010
Interview, Jeremy Drucker, spokesman, Matt Entenza, Aug. 2, 2010
Interview David Strom, research director, Tom Emmer, Aug. 3, 2010
Indpendence Party gubernatorial candidate Rob Hahn was in the MPR studios this morning to talk to Cathy Wurzer. If you missed the interview here it is:
DFL gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza was on MPR's Midday program today. Here's the entire program:
The organizers of this year's FarmFest Congressional panel say GOP Rep. John Kline and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann won't be at this year's forum. The event, which takes place tomorrow, is an annual opportunity for the candidates and members of Congress to talk ag issues with the state's farming community. Dan Powers, the DFL endorsed candidate in Minnesota's 2nd District, also isn't scheduled to attend.
Update: A spokewoman for Kline says he can't attend this year because of a scheduling conflict.
Update: A spokeswoman for Bachmann says Bachmann had hoped to attend but canceled in light of Bachmann's illness.
The lineup is mostly dominated with candidates in Minnesota's 1st and 7th Districts.
Here's the list:
From the 7th District:
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson
Republican Lee Byberg
Republican Alan Roebke
Independence Party member Glen Menze
From the 1st District:
DFL Rep. Tim Walz
Republican Randy Demmer
Independence Party member Steven Wilson
From the 6th District:
DFLer Tarryl Clark
From the 2nd District:
DFLer Shelley Madore
Rob Hahn announced today that he's running a TV ad on cable TV. The ad, which plays off of the bionic man TV show, characterizes him as the $6 billion man. His son narrates the video.
Hahn declined to say how much he intends to spend on the ad campaign but said there will be more than thirty spots. Hahn's campaign finance reports showed the campaign was running a deficit when the reporting period ended on July 19th.
Hahn is running against Tom Horner in the Independence Party primary. Horner is the party's endorsed candidate.
Democrat Matt Entenza has filed a notice with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board that he's given his campaign another $620,000 on July 30th. The donation comes on top of the $450,000 Entenza gave to the campagin on July 22nd. He has spent more than $4.5 million of his own money on the race. That's more than Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty spent on his 2006 campaign.
Entenza, who is vying with Mark Dayton and Margaret Anderson Kelliher in the August 10th primary, has been criticized in recent days because of his spending. Kelliher said Entenza's campaign strategy was "astroturf" because it relied on his personal wealth. She called on him to disclose his tax returns and family income. Entenza's wife, Lois Quam, made millions when she worked for health insurer UnitedHealth Group.
Entenza's campaign released a statement saying Kelliher is attacking the Entenza campaign staffers and volunteers who work for his campaign.
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher appeared on MPR's Midday earlier today. Here's the full show: Listen
The Republican Party of Minnesota has released a web ad criticizing Democrat Mark Dayton over his family's contributions to The Alliance for a Better Minnesota. MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton released a statement pointing out the contributions from Dayton's family members.
"According to recent reports, Dayton's ultra- rich family members have already donated $851,000 to the shadowy front groups Win Minnesota and the 2010 Fund, which then funnel their campaign cash in support of the Alliance for a Better Minnesota's attack ads against Tom Emmer. Every day that passes in which Dayton refuses to denounce the attack ads funded by his family that the press have called 'false' and 'misleading' will be another day that Minnesotans will hold him personally responsible for this avalanche of negative personal attacks against Tom Emmer."
The criticism comes at the same time that gay rights groups and Democrats are criticizing Target Corporation's donation to MN Forward, a group that is backing Republican Tom Emmer.
When I wrote about these donations a few weeks ago, Dayton released a statement saying his family members are allowed to give to any group or candidate that they choose and he has no influence over those decisions.
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher will be on MPR's Midday today at 11am.
Democrat Matt Entenza will be on the show tomorrow at 11 am.
Democrat Mark Dayton will be on Midday on Thursday at 11am.
The Independence Party candidates Tom Horner and Rob Hahn will be on the show on Monday.
Republican Tom Emmer, who is not facing a significant primary opponent, will be on the show after the primary.(1 Comments)
Democrats Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza took part in the final televised debate before the August 10th primary. You can watch the full debate at KSTP's site or listen to it here: Listen
The next debate will feature the three Democrats, Republican Tom Emmer and I-P candidates Tom Horner and Rob Hahn. It's at FarmFest in Redwood Falls on Wednesday. You can listen to that debate on MPR's Midday on Thursday at noon.
The final DFL debate will be live on Sunday night the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. It will also be broadcast on MPR.
Mark Dayton, Matt Entenza and Margaret Anderson Kelliher addressed issues ranging from taxes to leadership skills during a 90-minute debate Friday night at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Here's the audio:
Democrats Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza are scheduled to take part in a gubernatorial debate tonight at 7pm at Ostrander Auditorium at Minnesota State University in Mankato.
The event is free and open to the public.
Can't get there? Don't worry, MPR News will rebroadcast the debate at 2pm Saturday. We also intend to put the debate audio on the blog.
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Matt Entenza mocks Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's travel in a new web video that was sent to supporters. In it, Entenza says "It's 10 o'clock, do you know where your governor is?"
He goes on to say that he wants to be "your governor" and adds he was elected president...
...of his college.
All of the DFL candidates for governor are openly criticizing Pawlenty in campaign videos, TV ads and during debates. It will be interesting to see whether the eventual DFL nominee keeps up the attack when he/she is talking to independent minded voters.(1 Comments)
To reduce the state's nearly $6 billion projected deficit, DFL candidates for governor are touting plans to cut spending and increase taxes.
Among them is former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton who wants to bring the state more revenue by increasing taxes on the richest Minnesotans.
"I'll raise $4 billion from making the richest 10 percent of the people in Minnesota pay their fair share of taxes," Dayton said July 22, 2010 during a debate with his opponents on MPR's Midmorning program.
Dayton's projection is within range, but likely on the high end.
Before digging into Dayton's claim, it's important to note that there's disagreement over who the richest Minnesotans really are. Dayton says they're those in the top 10 percent of earners - or households making more than $136,955 annually. His DFL opponents claim his plan will hit the middle class hardest, and have proposed increasing taxes on people who earn more than $250,000 a year.
Most Minnesota households make less than $136,955. On average, they give about 12.5 percent of their income to the state, what Dayton regularly refers to as a "fair share" of taxes.
According to projections for 2011, those in the top 10 percent of earners give the state about 10.1 percent of their income. Dayton will increase the tax rate on these earners to 12.5 percent as well, which would bring in about $3.8 billion more each biennium.
What about that extra $200 million?
"Mark has said consistently that his aim is to make taxes slightly progressive," Dayton policy director Brian Klaas wrote in an e-mail. "That would account for the difference."
Back in December of 2009, Minnesota Department of Revenue tax research director Paul Wilson, told Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Scheck that Dayton's plan would likely bring in less than projected because Dayton based his analysis on the state's expected tax revenue in 2011. A more accurate benchmark are tax year 2006 numbers, which means Dayton's plan would bring in somewhere between $3.4 and $3.8 billion.
Tim Taylor, who edits the Journal of Economic Perspectives based at Macalester College, says Dayton's plan is reasonable. But he explained that increasing taxes on the wealthiest rarely brings in as much revenue as expected.
"Wealthy people have a lot of options," such as moving to another state when taxes get higher, Taylor said. "It's not that everyone does all these things. But enough people do some of them to make a difference."
Dayton's tax plan would bring the state billions more in revenue. But $4 billion may be wishful thinking. His claim is inconclusive.
Minnesota Public Radio News, Midmorning, July 20, 2010
The Minnesota Department of Revenue, 2009 Minnesota Tax Incidence Study, accessed May 12, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Tom Scheck interview with Minnesota Department of
Revenue Tax Research Director Paul Wilson, accessed July 29, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Fact check: Mark Dayton wants to tax the rich but how much?, by Tom Scheck, Dec. 8, 2009
Interview, Tim Taylor, Managing Editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, July 29, 2010
Interview, Brian Klaas, policy director, Mark Dayton, July 28, 2010
Posted at 6:14 AM on July 30, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2010, Campaign 2010: Minnesota Governor, Campaign 2010: U.S. House, Daily Digest, MN Legislature, Pawlenty travel, Tim Pawlenty, U.S. House, U.S. Senate
The three DFL candidates for governor debate the issues tonight in Mankato.
Republican Tom Emmer has tax rallies scheduled for today in four cities (Mankato, Duluth, Detroit Lakes and St. Paul).
Independence Party candidate Rob Hahn told reporters on Thursday that he doesn't have anger issues and a protective order against him shouldn't stop people from voting for him. He called it a "one-time incident."
The MNGOP pays for billboards supporting Emmer. The party won't say how much they're spending but the latest campaign finance report says the MNGOP spent $35,000 for two billboards in mid July.
IP candidate Tom Horner released a Vikings stadium plan.
Democrat Mark Dayton released a new ad that focuses on jobs.
2010 Race for Congress
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and the MNGOP are giving away a donation from a questionable veterans group.
A congressional candidate in Idaho called Bachmann a "visionary leader."
Democrat Tarry Clark says she opposes individual health care mandates.
Attorney General Race
Republican R. Chris Barden was for the public subsidy before he was against it.
A federal judge shoots down state rules regarding judicial races. The rules prevented candidates for judge from backing political candidates or soliciting or accepting campaign dough.
Under for Dome
MnSCU and the U of M ponder what to do with their next leaders.
The courts are flooded with requests to change child support terms.
Low performing Minnesota schools get more money but there are some strings attached.
Tougher tobacco laws take effect on Sunday.
President Obama takes on critics of his education plan.
Economic growth has likely slowed in the second quarter.
DFL Sen. Al Franken says net neutrality is a First Amendment issue.
On Sunday, he bowls.
GOP Rep. John Kline pushes the House for a clean vote on a troop funding bill.
MPR's All Things Considered talked with DFL Reps. Tim Walz and Keith Ellison over their votes for Afghanistan war funding.
A new database tracks transportation earmarks in Congress.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson writes an op-ed pushing for trade with Cuba.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
It sure does seem like the Pawlenty for President train is leaving the station. He met with Washington D.C. reporters earlier this week. He's campaigning in Iowa this weekend and a few more weeks. And now he's released a web video that has presidential candidate all over it.
AP says Pawlenty is helped by the fact that Minnesota is so close to Iowa.
The Star Tribune says his weak standing in the polls hasn't quieted the 2012 buzz around Pawlenty in Washington D.C.
Politifact checks two Pawlenty statements.
Indiana Republican Mike Pence suggests he may make a run.
2012 DNC Convention Watch
DNC officials are touring St. Louis.(2 Comments)
The Independence Party's endorsed candidate for governor is proposing a plan for a new Vikings stadium that would have the team pay 40 percent and state taxpayer dollars pay the rest. Tom Horner says the state could pay for its portion of the stadium with revenues from a one cent increase on alcoholic drinks sold at bars and restaurants, revenue from slot machines at the state's two horse tracks and a ticket tax at the new stadium. He said all the candidates for governor should tell the public how they plan to get the Vikings a new stadium.
"I think that's going to be an important part of the agenda next year," Horner said. "The Vikings lease expires in 2011. This is one more problem that was kicked down the road and so in order to get it resolved next year, I think candidates owe it to voters to put their issues on the table, put their proposals on the table."
Horner said he also wants the Vikings to agree to sign a 40 year lease in the stadium. Horner presented his plan one day after his I-P challenger released a proposal that would pay for a stadium through gambling revenues.
You can read Horner's full plan here.
Republican Tom Emmer said the tussle over Target Corporation giving money to a group supporting him in the Minnesota governor's race is getting too personal. Gay rights groups and Democrats are calling for a boycott of the company because it gave corporate money to a group running an ad supporting him. Emmer says he's sad that Target's decision to get involved in the race has become personal.
"We have to get over this personal issue," Emmer told MPR News. "We have to start talking about who has the positive vision for the future of the state of Minnesota. The personal emotions, that's human, and I understand it but at some point we have to peel back the emotions and we got to start asking each other is what we're doing in the state now working? Are we going to leave something more than debt to our kids and their kids?"
Target's CEO sent a letter to employees earlier this week saying the company is focused on issues impacting the retailers bottom line. He wrote that the company's support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers is "unwavering."(4 Comments)
Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Rob Hahn says he was wrong when he made verbal and physical threats against his ex-wife last year.
Hahn held a news conference today to respond to media reports about the incident, and get try to get beyond an issue that could derail his third-party campaign before the August 10 primary. He doesn't dispute court records that describe an incident of domestic violence at his St. Paul home in March 2009. Hahn's wife Megan was granted a restraining order that remains in effect. The marriage ended last year after 16 years. Hahn says he was caught up of the emotional rollercoaster of a divorce and made a one-time mistake. He says voters should not worry about a similar outburst if he's elected governor.
"If this were a repeated process, and I had a record of this, or if it had occurred on a number of occasions, then yes, maybe," Hahn said. "This was a one-time isolated incident. And I think if anything, the voters should appreciate the fact that I have taken this head on, admitted my mistake, learned from it and now use it as part of my platform. And I haven't shied away from it as all."
Hahn, who runs a small publishing business, says he's never tried to hide the incident. He says he brought it up four months ago during a State Capitol event where he outlined his proposal for family law reform.
City Pages reports that Hahn was recently shopping the story.
Hahn says he was not shopping it.(4 Comments)
The Republican Party of Minnesota started paying for billboards across the state in support of Tom Emmer, the party's endorsed candidate for governor. MPR's Tom Weber took this picture near the I-94 exit at Broadway in Northeast Minneapolis.
MNGOP spokesman Mark Drake provided few details about the billboard except to say a few are up but he expects a lot more will go up in the future.
The party's latest campaign finance report says the party spent $35,000 for two billboards on July 16th. The MNGOP reported having $13,797 on hand in that report.
Side note: For those wondering, South Dakota doesn't have corporate income taxes, personal property or income taxes, business inventory taxes or inheritance taxes.
Thanks to MPR's Tom Weber for taking and sending the picture.(1 Comments)
Democrat Mark Dayton released a new ad that focuses on jobs and the economy. You can watch it here.
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer released a statement on a judge's ruling that blocks part of Arizona's new immigration law. Here's the statement from Emmer (via release):
Every state has the constitutional authority, even the obligation to protect it's citizens from any threat to the safety of their person or their property.(6 Comments)
The Court in this case ignores the real constitutional question in an attempt to justify the federal government's failure to secure our borders and create a realistic, consistent, easy to understand path to citizenship. We need to encourage immigrants who still desire the freedom and opportunity the United States is supposed to offer to enter this country legally and, further, to become productive and contributing members of the community.
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher's gubernatorial campaign is all about jobs.
Part of her plan to boost employment in Minnesota involves two $1 billion bonding bills that she says will result in a specific number of jobs over four years.
"Two $1 billion bonding bills...will have a 50,000 job effect," she told Minnesota Public Radio reporter Tom Scheck during a jobs press conference July 16, 2010.
Kelliher's estimates are reasonable, but deserve some clarification.
Bonding bills are essentially miniature stimulus packages. They're meant to fund state construction projects such as bridge and road repair. Kelliher said her proposed bonding bills would create 50,000 jobs or more during her tenure as governor.
Job creation estimates are fraught with uncertainty; they depend on many variables -- including the types of jobs created and how much those jobs will pay. Economists disagree on how useful government investment is in creating jobs. Nevertheless, Kelliher's analysis is based on sound data. Here's how the numbers break down:
• $700 million will be invested in road, bridge and building construction and in making state buildings more energy efficient, creating or saving about 19,950 jobs. This figure is based on a metric developed by Stephen Fuller, the director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University who predicts that $1 billion on non-residential construction supports approximately 28,500 jobs.
• $300 million will be invested in flood mitigation, conservation projects and asset preservation at the state's colleges and universities. Kelliher estimates the investment will create or save about 3,000 jobs. This figure is based on an estimate developed by state economist Tom Stinson who predicts that every $1 million invested in such projects results in 10 jobs.
By the end of her second year in office, the bonding effort could result in more than 45,000 jobs Kelliher spokesman Matt Swenson said.
Generally speaking, Kelliher's numbers pass muster. But both Stinson and Fuller point out that Kelliher should clarify that those jobs will be created or saved. The first bonding bill would create around 22,000 jobs. Some of those jobs likely would be temporary, others would last more than a year depending on the project. So the second bonding bill would maintain some jobs, rather than create new ones.
Kelliher's analysis is based on realistic assumptions, but she failed to point out that she's talking about 50,000 jobs created or saved in this particular claim. However, she presents a more nuanced argument on her website and Facebook page, so the claim is accurate.
Margaret for Governor, Leave No Stone Unturned: Margaret's Plan to Create Jobs and Get Minnesotans Back to Work, accessed July 28, 2010
Facebook, Margaret for Governor, accessed July 28, 2010
The St. Cloud Times, The Tale of Two Formulas, By Mark Sommerhauser, March 8, 2010
Minnesota AFL-CIO, letter to Rep. Alice Hausman, Feb. 15, 2010
Interview, Matt Swenson, spokesman, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, July 27, 2010
Interview, Stephen Fuller, Director, Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, July 28, 2010
Interview, Tom Stinson, Minnesota State Economist, July 28, 2010
Democrat Matt Entenza announced a leadership team of 20 different policy makers. The list includes former Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg, Ramsey County Attorney (and former gubernatorial hopeful) Susan Gaertner, former Administration Department Commissioner David Fisher, former DFL Senate Majority Leader John Hottinger and former GOP House Speaker Dave Jennings.
"One of the factors that people look into on how they'll vote for a candidate is who are they surrounding themselves with." Entenza said. "And I think particularly after the disappointments that people had with the Obama Administration, they want to know that there's a governor who has the ability to step in and get things done."
Entenza said twice during a 20 minute news conference that people were disappointed with the Obama Administration. When asked why he was referencing President Obama, Entenza said, "There's no question in the public that there is disappointment. That's part of the feedback that I get from folks."
Entenza was then asked if he was disappointed in President Obama.
"I wish more could be done," he said. "There are all sorts of reasons why more can't be done, but once again, I'm not a student of Washington D.C."
When asked what he'd like to see changed, Entenza said he said he wished he could break the logjam in the Senate.
When asked if that was Obama's fault, Entenza said "I'm not saying that at all."
Entenza is running in the DFL Primary against Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton.
Republican guberntorial hopeful Tom Emmer, GOP Attorney General candidate Chris Barden and MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton have scheduled a 6pm "Freedom and Prosperity tour" Tax Rally at O'Gara's Bar in St. Paul on Friday.
The event will conclude a statewide flyaround by Emmer and Barden that will make stops in St. Paul, Mankato, Detroit Lakes and Duluth.
This week, the DFL leaning group is running an ad criticizing Republican Tom Emmer for authoring legislation to weaken DWI laws.
This isn't the first time this surfaced. Marty Seifert raised the issue during the run up to the GOP endorsing convention.
ABM spokeswoman Denise Cardinal says the group will spend nearly $600,000 to run the ad over the next two weeks.(2 Comments)
Target's CEO is doing damage control over a contribution the company gave to MN Forward, a group that is supporting Republican Tom Emmer's bid for governor. MN Forward starting running TV ads last week supporting Emmer which prompted a backlash from GLBT groups.
Today, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel sent a letter to Target employees explaining the contribution and their position on GLBT rights. Here's the letter:
Dear Target Team,
In the past week I've heard from some of you, including our GLBT team members, regarding your concerns with Target's recent contributions to MN Forward, an independent expenditure committee that is supported by a broad coalition of large and small businesses throughout the state, including the Minnesota Business Partnership and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
As you know, Target has a history of supporting organizations and candidates, on both sides of the aisle, who seek to advance policies aligned with our business objectives, such as job creation and economic growth. MN Forward is focused specifically on those issues and is committed to supporting candidates from any party who will work to improve the state's job climate. However, it is also important to note that we rarely endorse all advocated positions of the organizations or candidates we support, and we do not have a political or social agenda.
In the context of this contribution, some of you have raised questions regarding our commitment to diversity, and more specifically, the GLBT community. Let me be very clear, Target's support of the GLBT community is unwavering, and inclusiveness remains a core value of our company. Some current examples of that support include:
• Domestic Partner Benefits
• Sponsorship of Twin Cities Pride
• Sponsorship of Out & Equal Workplace Summit
In addition, Target's rating of 100% on the 2009 and 2010 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index further demonstrates the reputation our company has earned.
As CEO, I consider it my responsibility to create conditions in which Target can thrive, and I promise to do so with the best interests of our guests, team, shareholders and communities in mind. I appreciate your input and understanding.
Chairman, President and CEO
Update: Gregg Steinhafel and his wife gave $2,000 each to Emmer. That's the maximum amount allowed by law.
Republican Tom Emmer's campaign reports spending $3,000 on a fireworks display at the Republican Party Convention.
Democrat Mark Dayton reports giving a social media consultant $28,000 in 2010.
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher spent $600 on makeup for the DFL convention and an Almanac appearance. She also spent money for economic development consulting.
Democrat Matt Entenza spent $38,000 on telemarketing and $330,000 on direct mail.
DFL Sen. Tom Bakk gave $200 to Dayton's campaign.
Patricia Torres Ray Yvonne Prettner Solon transferred $15k from her now defunct state senate campaign fund.
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner received a contribution from Hubbard Broadcasting's Stanley Hubbard. Hubbard mostly contributes to GOP candidates.(2 Comments)
Democrat Mark Dayton has spent more than $3 million of his own money on his campaign for governor. His 2010 campaign finance report shows that he loaned the campaign $2.7 million. In 2009, Dayton also loaned his campaign $570,000.
Dayton's campaign reports that he raised nearly $200k from outside contributors in 2010.
Dayton, heir to the founders of the Dayton's Department store, reports having $335,000 in the bank.
Democrat Matt Entenza's campaign for governor released some preliminary details on its 2010 fundraising. The release says he raised $3.945 million in 2010, $360,574 from outside sources. An Entenza staffer confirmed that Entenza gave the campaign $3.58 million in 2010. He also gave the campaign roughly $100,000 in 2009 and reported another contribution of $450,000 to the campaign on July 22nd.
The full reports will be released by the Campaign Finance Board on Tuesday morning but here's the topline that Entenza's campaign put in the news release:
2010 Report highlights:
Total receipts: $3.945M
Total raised from outside sources: $360,574
2009/2010 Total raised from outside sources: $672, 483
Total spent: $3.891M
Cash on hand: $132,065
More fundraising numbers are coming out from the gubernatorial campaigns in advance of tomorrow's public disclosure deadline.
Republican Tom Emmer's campaign says it collected a total of nearly $785,347 so far in 2010, with $114,752 raised in 2009.
Of the total, lobbyists contributed $8,000 and political committees gave $18,139.
Emmer ended the period with $296,151 on hand.
"I'm honored so many average Minnesotans have made a contribution to our campaign," Emmer said in a release. "Unlike the self-financed millionaires in this race, we'll need lots of help from a broad base of people to be successful."
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner announced today that his campaign for governor raised almost $190,000 in 2010. Horner, the I-P's endorsed candidate, has $27,500 left in the bank.
Here's the top line info from Horner's campaign:
Total individual contributions: $187,726.70
Total lobbyist contributions: $2,261.00
Political committee and political fund contributions: $0
Political party & terminating principal campaign committee contributions: $0
Other contributions: $0
All other receipts categories: $0
TOTAL RECEIPTS (Cash + in-kind): $189,987.70
Total campaign expenditures (Cash + Unpaid bills + in-kind): $169,996.11
All other disbursements categories: $0
TOTAL EXPENDITURES AND DISBURSEMENTS (Cash + Unpaid bills + in-kind): $169,996.11
ENDING CASH BALANCE: (Total cash receipts $183,521 minus Total Cash Expenditures and Disbursements $155,946.04) = $27,574.96
NOTES, LOANS, and UNPAID BILLS SUMMARY: Total Amount Outstanding: $7,583.37
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher proposed a property tax cap for seniors today at a campaign event in Duluth. Kelliher, who was flanked by former Vice-President Walter Mondale and former Secretary of State Joan Growe, wants to cap property taxes for seniors over the age of 65. The plan would require people be over the age of 65 and meet specific income thresholds (individuals capped at $100,000/year, couples at $150,000/year). The property tax rate would also have to exceed the rate of inflation.
The proposal is a concerted effort to attract the senior vote in the August 10th primary. Democrat Mark Dayton has made senior issues a top priority in his campaign. He recently proposed a Senior Citizens Service Center and wants to make long-term care affordable for seniors.
We'll post the audio from Kelliher's news conference once it's available...
Here's the audio from the event (h/t MPR's Bob Kelleher): Listen
Update: The MNGOP says Kelliher lacks credibility when it comes to property tax caps. Read the release here.(1 Comments)
The Independence Party candidates for governor, Tom Horner and Rob Hahn, are on MPR's Midmorning at 9am.
Tune in on the radio or listen here.(1 Comments)
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher has released campaign finance reports that show she has raised nearly a million dollars this year toward her campaign for governor. She's raised $1.23 million since she started the campaign in 2009. She has $385,268 left in the bank.
Kelliher says she wants to strengthen the state's financial disclosure law. She's also calling for stronger campaign finance laws that require candidates to disclose their spouses' investments and income range.
"There are big holes in our current state law," Kelliher said. "I think there are a number of candidates who Minnesotans would like to know where they're sources of money are coming from. ''
This is an obvious shot at one of Kelliher's DFL opponents, Matt Entenza. Both Kelliher and Democrat Mark Dayton have released their income tax statements but Entenza has refused. Entenza's wife, Lois Quam, made millions after cashing out stock options at UnitedHealth Group.
You can listen to Kelliher's full news conference here: Listen
UPDATE: Kelliher's campaign contacted me to emphasize that they are calling on all candidates to release their financial information.
h/t MPR's Rupa Shenoy.
Here's a look at this weekend's public policy shows...
This week on Almanac we talk with one of the surgeons from Abbott Northwestern who was involved in the multiple kidney transplants this week, Mary Lahammer rolls out two more Budget Slap Shots and our panel of political scientists joins talks about the upcoming early primary, Tea Party politics in Congress and more.
KSTP's At Issue:
On "At Issue"...Margaret Anderson Kelliher; Ember Reichgott Junge; Sarah Janecek; Rep. Laura Brod and Javier Morillo-Alicea...along with two new campaign ad "Truth Tests."
WCCO's Sunday Morning:
They didn't get back to me.
ABC's "This Week" - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Abigail Thernstrom, vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; Michael Eric Dyson, sociology professor at Georgetown University; Cornel West, a professor of African-American studies and religion at Princeton University.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - Geithner.
CNN's "State of the Union" - Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley; author John McWhorter; Mort Zuckerman, publisher of the New York Daily News; former CIA director Michael Hayden.
"Fox News Sunday" - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga; Howard Dean, former national Democratic Party chairman; the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher is taking aim at fellow Democrat Matt Entenza over his education policy. In a news release, Kelliher pointed out that Entenza's plan to scrap the federal No Child Left Behind law would cost the state $440 million in federal funding.
"My opponents have proposed unrealistic education plans that either dramatically cut school funding or throw it down the rabbit hole of a broken school funding formula," said Kelliher. "Neither plan addresses the challenges facing our schools."
Kelliher wants to increase school funding, pay for all - day kindergarten and simplify state public school funding."
Kelliher's shot at Entenza is interesting because she's been focusing most of her fire at Mark Dayton in debates. This may be a signal that the Kelliher campaign is getting concerned about Entenza or that they're trying to get in her name in the news during Entenza's K - 12 tour.
Entenza's campaign issued a statement calling Kelliher's claim "desperate" and a sign that Entenza's campaign has momentum.
Entenza has repeatedly called for Minnesota to get out of the federal No Child Left Behind standards. He's argued that Minnesota won't lose out on federal funds because he's talked to education officials within the Obama Administration and is confident the state will get a waiver. He refused to name the officials he's talked with.
Kelliher said in December that the federal government needs to fix No Child Left Behind and that she wants more rigorous testing to ensure students are learning. When asked if she's in favor of scrapping the plan, Kelliher said at the time that "we need to talk about it" if the feds don't fix it.
Dayton told MPR that he would do everything he can to convince the federal government to produce a waiver. (Listen to all of the statements here.)
Kelliher also criticized Dayton today for relying on an outdated school funding formula. Dayton said at a Tuesday debate that he wants to change the funding formula and criticized Kelliher for not putting more money behind it. Dayton also pointed out today that he's the only DFL candidate willing to pay back the full K-12 school funding shift within two years.2 Comments)
The Taxpayers League of Minnesota released its legislative scorecard today and it features four "best friends of the taxpayer." The are GOP Reps. Bruce Anderson, Mark Buesgens and Steve Drazkowski and GOP Sen. Ray Vandeveer.
Buesgens is campaign manager for Republican Tom Emmer's gubernatorial campaign. Emmer didn't score as well as Buesgens on the list. Emmer received an 87 percent rating with the group because he missed two scored votes. Emmer does have a lifetime rating of 91 percent with the group.
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, who is running for governor, received a zero rating with the group in 2010. Her lifetime rating is 10 percent.
Most Republicans scored high in the ratings but there were a few who received poor marks. GOP Sen. Steve Dille, who is retiring, received a 17% rating. GOP Reps. Jim Abeler and Larry Howes both received 40 percent ratings.
The DFLers who received the highest marks were Sen. John Doll (42 percent) and Reps. Julie Bunn and Phil Sterner (40 percent).
You can read the full scorecard here.
DFL gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza says Duluth would be a great place to build a new wind turbine factory... and so would Bemidji... and so would St. Cloud.
"Clean energy jobs" are a cornerstone of Entenza's campaign. He promises to create 50,000 of them if he's elected governor.
In a July 10 Star Tribune op-ed, he blamed the Pawlenty administration and the Legislature for not attracting a German turbine manufacturer to Duluth:
Though Minnesota has massive wind-power potential, wind-power manufacturing has gone elsewhere because of poor leadership at the Capitol. An infuriating example of this is the German wind-turbine company Fuhrlander's recent choice of Butte, Mont., over Duluth, costing Minnesota 1,300 well-paying jobs. Talk to Minnesotans up in Duluth, and they'll tell you it wasn't for lack of local effort that Fuhrlander skipped over Minnesota; it was disinterest at the Capitol.
At campaign whistle-stops he's told at least two other communities they would make perfect "hubs" for wind turbine manufacturing as well.
Entenza told the Bemidji Pioneer its home town was one of them:
"The Beltrami County area is the perfect area for that sort manufacturing because you're the transportation hub for the area," [Entenza said.]
And he made a similar comment to the St. Cloud Times on July 14th:
Minnesota should mimic Iowa's approach of state government, working with local communities to create jobs in wind-turbine manufacturing, Entenza said. "St. Cloud is the right kind of hub for those kind of manufacturing jobs," Entenza said.
MPR News intern Rose Friedman contributed to this report.(1 Comments)
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner has scheduled a Twitter townhall forum for next week. Horner, the IP's endorsed candidate, will host the forum at Brit's Pub in downtown Minneapolis at 11am.
The campaign also says people can watch the forum live online and submit questions through Twitter.
The event will be moderated by Mykl Roventine, who coordinates that MSP Social Media Breakfasts.
Democrat Matt Entenza reported to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board that he gave his campaign $450,000 for the final weeks of the gubernatorial campaign.
The 24 hour report show that Entenza gave the campaign the funds on July 22nd. This is in addition to the $100,000 investment Entenza gave the campaign in 2009. It's not clear if he's given any funds to the campaign between December 31st and July 22nd. We won't know until the campaign finance reports are released on Tuesday.
Entenza isn't the only candidate to use his personal wealth to fund the campaign. Democrat Mark Dayton is also relying on his funds to pay for the campaign. Both Dayton and Entenza declined to abide by the state spending limits.
Boosting Minnesota's green energy production will be good for Minnesota's environment and for its economy, says Matt Entenza, a DFL candidate for governor.
"Every wind turbine that we put up in Minnesota in our productive areas makes as much money as an oil well does in Texas," he told viewers of a June 1, 2010, virtual town hall.
In fact, when it comes to profitability, wind turbines and oil wells bring in a comparable amount of cash.
Dissecting Entenza's claim requires a bit of math.
Entenza's campaign makes the conservative estimate that each turbine operates at 25 percent capacity - or the average wind turbine produces about 3,285 megawatt hours annually. But experts in the Minnesota wind industry say that's a conservative estimate as most turbines in the state operate at between 30 and 40 percent capacity.
At about $79 for every megawatt hour of wind energy, that adds up to $260,500 annually.
How do oil wells compare?
Entenza isn't talking about the drilling behemoths off the coast of Texas. Rather, he's referring to small operations that produce less than 10 barrels a day - and make up 80 percent of the drilling in Texas.
Entenza's campaign predicts that, on average, these wells produce nine barrels a day and make $244,929 annually; according to the Energy Information Administration, these wells actually average about 7.3 barrels a year, driving down that sum to $198,665 annually.
So, Minnesota wind turbines make as much, if not more, than most oil wells in Texas.
No matter how you dice the numbers, wind turbines and oil wells are comparable when it comes to profitability.
Entenza's claim is accurate.
Matt Entenza for Governor, virtual town hall meeting, June 1, 2010
Texas Railroad Commission, Oil Production and Well Counts (1935-2009), accessed July 21, 2010
The Energy Information Administration, Texas 2003, Distribution of Wells by Production Rate Bracket, accessed July 21, 2010
The Department of Energy, Marginal & Stripper Well Revitalization, accessed July 21, 2010
National Wind, Minnesota Wind Facts, accessed July 21, 2010
The Energy Information Administration, Average Retail Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector, by State, accessed July 22, 2010
Interview, Jeremy Drucker, spokesman, Matt Entenza, July 21, 2010
Interview, William Holmes, attorney, Stoel Rives, July 21, 2010
Interview, Ramona Nye, spokeswoman, Texas Railroad Commission, July 22, 2010
Interview, Joel Morrison, Director, Stripper Well Consortium, July 22, 2010
Note: From now until the August 10 primary PoliGraph will appear more frequently and focus on statements by the three Democrats competing for the DFL nomination.(4 Comments)
MPR's Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer interviewed Democrat Mark Dayton this morning. The DFL candidate for governor talked about his plan to raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners, how he's the only DFL candidate to say he'll pay back a $1.8 billion shift in school payments in two years and his decision to leave the U.S. Senate after one term.
Dayton also criticized Republican Tom Emmer for pushing tax breaks for veterans and servers but not detailing how he'll balance the state's budget.
Here's the interview: Listen(1 Comments)
Republican Tom Emmer held a town hall forum in Elk River today and he emphasized that he's committed to exempting military pensions from state income taxes. Emmer talked about veterans issues with roughly forty veterans about the tax break, the conditions of the VA Medical system and ensuring veterans are getting the services they need.
Emmer told reporters that he's committed to ensuring the tax break if he's elected governor but didn't specify how he would pay for it. The plan would cost the state $25 million a year once fully phased in. Minnesota is facing a projected budget shortfall of nearly $6 billion. Emmer says he'll find the funds elsewhere.
"I'm talking about priorities," Emmer said. "Our military men and women, our veterans, are a priority for this state like our disabled, like our school kids. You fund your priorities. You have to look at what we're delivering you have to look at the budget."
Most of the veterans in the room appeared supportive of the tax break but Ed Fiore of East Bethel said a full tax break for every veteran may be going too far.
"Do you really think a person getting $60,000 a year through retirement needs a tax break?," Fiore said. "Or do you think the person getting $600 a month needs the tax break? So maybe rather than looking at the one shoe fits all, look at a tax credit so the veterans that are getting the least amount of pension get the most benefit."
You can listen to the full forum here: Listen
The Republican Party of Minnesota first raised this issue last week when they criticized Democrat Mark Dayton for opposing the tax break. Democrats Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Matt Entenza both says they are supportive of the concept but say they don't support it until the state's budget is balance.(1 Comments)
The Matt Entenza for governor campaign has released an outline of the DFLer's plan to close the projected $5.8 billion dollar shortfall in the next biennium.
Entenza says he'll tackle roughly a third of the problem by raising revenue, a third by cutting spending and a third by deferring state spending.
For the spending cuts Entenza would rely heavily on a roadmap commissioned last year by some of the state's top foundations: the Bush Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation, the Northwest Area Foundation, the Minnesota Community Foundation, and the Saint Paul Foundation.
He says enacting some of the recommendations could save billions over the next few years while still delivering services.
MPR talked to Peter Hutchinson of the Bush Foundation about the health care section of the report this week.
Entenza also wants to explore its recommendations on local governments, special education and family services.
You can read Entenza's plan here.
Earlier this week Margaret Anderson Kelliher released her own budget outline, which also uses elements of the foundation plan.
Mark Dayton has had his plan on his website for some time.
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer has scheduled a town hall forum on Thursday to focus on Veterans issues. The Emmer campaign says he'll speak at the Elk River American Legion. The focus of the campaign is to "do more than other states to convince retired veterans to live here."
The campaign may be working to continue the conversation over a plan that would exempt all military pay and pensions from state income taxes. The MNGOP criticized Democrat Mark Dayton last week for opposing the idea. Here's the info on the town hall from the campaign:
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Emmer Announces Veterans Town Hall Forum
Veterans make a valuable contribution to every community in which they live. They start businesses, raise families and volunteer. With the absence of a military base in Minnesota, we have to do more than other states to convince retired veterans to live here. We also need to make sure all returning veterans have access to good jobs.
Veterans Town Hall Forum
Elk River American Legion
525 Drive Northwest
Elk River, MN
Emmer is also scheduled to tour a Sauk Rapids business on Thursday morning.
Sean Daley, from the Twin Cities based hip hop group Atmosphere, announced today that he's backing Democrat Matt Entenza's bid for governor.
Daley, who goes by the Hip Hop name Slug, recorded a video announcing his support for Entenza.
Mark Dayton's latest TV ad takes aim at Gov. Tim Pawlenty's education funding record.
"Pawlenty cut funding by $1,300 a student," according to the DFL gubernatorial candidate's television spot.
Dayton gets his numbers right, but his claim should come with some caveats.
Minnesota public schools receive funding from a variety of sources, including state and local taxes, fees and federal dollars.
Dayton's claim focuses on state aid, and originated with research done by Jeff Van Wychen, a fellow with the think tank Minnesota 2020.
The numbers are straightforward: Adjusted for inflation, the state gave schools about $8 billion in 2003; in fiscal year 2011, schools will get $6.9 billion. Using attendance figures from the Minnesota Department of Education, inflation adjusted per-student funding has dropped by about $1,300 from $9,700 in 2003 to about $8,400 in 2011.
But experts say it's important to view these figures in context.
Most agree that accounting for inflation is fair when looking at the state's long-term education spending because it helps determine schools' purchasing power. But they pointed out that Dayton does not make it clear that he's talking inflation-adjusted numbers.
In fact, the hard numbers show that if you take out inflation, state aid for schools has been on a slight upward trend under Pawlenty's administration.
According to Minnesota Management and Budget, in nominal dollars schools received about $6 billion in state aid in fiscal year 2003. Since then, the number has slowly risen to the current figure of $6.9 billion.
On one hand, Dayton's claim is correct: Factoring in inflation, per-student state aid has dropped by about $1,300. What that figure demonstrates is that schools are getting less for every dollar they spend on students today than they did in 2003.
What Dayton's ad fails to point out is that, in nominal dollars, education funding has increased slightly, though perhaps not dramatically enough to keep up with cost of educating Minnesotans. So, to say that Pawlenty cut funding is misleading. In fact, Pawlenty has frequently protected K-12 education dollars in his budget, as he did in his most recent proposal.
As a result, Dayton's claim is inconclusive.
MarkDayton.org, "Forged" TV ad, accessed July 19, 2010
Minnesota 2020, Minnesota's School Investment Keeps Falling, by Jeff Van Wychen, accessed July 19, 2010
Minnesota 2020, Taking the Spin out of Inflation Estimates, by Jeff Van Wychen, accessed July 19, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, May 2010 End of Legislative Session Price of Government, accessed July 19, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Pawlenty uses stimulus money to reverse budget cuts, by Tim Pugmire, March 17, 2009
Minnesota Public Radio News, Pawlenty's budget: K-12 spared, higher ed sees cuts, by Tom Weber, Feb. 15, 2010
Interview, Brian Klass, policy director, Mark Dayton, July 19, 2010
Interview, Jeff Van Wychen, fellow, Minnesota 2020, July 19, 2010
Interview, Aaron Twait, Research Director, Minnesota Taxpayers Association, July 19, 2010
Interview Jim Horney, Director of Federal Fiscal Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, July 19, 2010
Interview, Tim Strom, Legislative Analyst, Minnesota House of Representatives, July 19, 2010
Interview, Jay Kiedrowski, Senior Fellow, the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, July 19, 2010
Interview, Curt Yoakum, spokesman, Minnesota Management and Budget, July 20, 2010
Interview, Scott Croonquist, Executive Director, Association of Metropolitan School Districts, July 21, 2010
The latest Fox9/Rasmussen Reports poll shows all three DFL candidates for governor leading Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner.
The poll showed Margaret Anderson Kelliher leading Emmer 40% to 35%. Horner received 11% support.
Mark Dayton led Emmer 40% to 36%. Horner received 10% support.
Matt Entenza led Emmer 37% to 36%. Horner received 12% support.
The Margin of Error is 4.5%
You can read Fox 9's story and find links to the poll results and questions here.
Side note: The poll also found that President Obama and Governor Tim Pawlenty have identical approval numbers: 49%.
On the same day she debated her two rivals for the DFL nomination for governor on MPR, Margaret Anderson Kelliher released her plan to balance the budget that she says stresses job creation.
The plan seems to show John Gunyou's influence. It looks a little bit like some of the reports the agency he used to head--the state finance department (now called Minnesota Management and Budget)-- puts out.
Some of the highlights include: leveraging federal dollars (most specifically for health care), closing tax loopholes and raising income taxes, spending on roads bridges and transit, and creating new ways to track whether state spending is producing results.
Kelliher also calls for continuing the school payment shift until the economy improves while at the same saying she will "make sure every school has the resources they need to prepare our children for success in the 21st century economy."
She also proposes an "Office of Human Services Inspector General" to root out fraud.
Read the plan here.
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota released its second ad of the campaign. This time, the group is criticizing Republican Tom Emmer for his comments on the tip credit, minimum wage and restaurant workers. You can view the ad here.
ABM says they'll spend $300,000 on the ad campaign for the week.
It appears that the Alliance for a Better Minnesota and MN Forward are engaged in an arms race in this year's governor's race. The Alliance for a Better Minnesota is funded by unions, wealthy DFL donors and the Democratic Governor's Association. MN Forward is funded by Minnesota businesses.
Both groups are expected to spend as much as $10 million each on this year's election.
The Minnesota Chapter of the National Organization for Women announced today
"An endorsement means that they are a strong supporter of women's rights and if we have multiple candidates in a race that meet that criteria, we will endorse multiple candidates."
Gustafson says the PAC Board also rated Democrat Mark Dayton but declined to offer specifics until the board notifies the campaign of the rating. Update: Gustafson says the group gave Democrat Mark Dayton a "C" rating for his positions on abortion and welfare reform.
The three DFL candidates for governor, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza, are on MPR's Midmorning this hour. Tune in on the radio or here.
The three DFL candidates for governor, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza, are all scheduled to appear on MPR's Midmorning with Kerri Miller on Tuesday morning at 9am.
All three candidates are vying to win the August 10th primary. It's the first of several joint appearances that the candidates will make in the next month.
Vin Weber is having a busy 2010 in Minnesota. He chairs Gov. Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC. He also announced his support for Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for governor. Today, Weber announced he's chair Republican Randy Demmer's campaign for Congress. Weber, who once represented Minnesota's 1st District before becoming a lobbyist at Clark and Weinstock, said in a news release that Demmer can defeat DFL Rep. Tim Walz in November.
"Randy Demmer is going to win, because he knows what Southern Minnesota needs - he has lived and worked here his whole life. I know he's got what it takes to stand up to Washington, and truly serve and represent the people in his District," said Weber. "Voters are rightfully concerned with the direction that this Congress and Administration are taking our country. Whether it's the cap and trade tax, the government takeover of health care, or the accumulation of trillions of dollars of new debt, the people of Southern Minnesota will vote this fall for new leadership and a new direction."
Demmer praised Weber as understanding southern Minnesota. Demmer also announced Scott Cottington, former Bachmann fundraiser Zandra Walcott and Marty Seifert for governor political director Ben Zierke.
Richard Carlbom, with the Walz campaign, was quick to criticize the hires on Twitter.
"Surprise! Typical politician @Randy_Demmer picks DC insiders & super-lobbyist Weber. Courting GOP stars b-4 he gets to town! #weneedleaders"(1 Comments)
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher held a news conference today to tout her jobs initiative in North Minneapolis. During the q and a, Kelliher was asked about a proposal that would exempt pensions and military pay from state income taxes. When asked whether she supported the full exemption, Kelliher said as Speaker of the Minnesota House, she pushed to give some tax breaks to veterans and increased combat pay for members of the Minnesota National Guard. But she wasn't as enthusiastic about the idea of supporting a bill that would exempt military pay and pensions for veterans.
Kelliher: "We did the compromise in 2008 which began to address this issue. We provided millions of tax dollar relief for military families and veterans targeted to those who most needed that help in the state of Minnesota. I certainly as governor will certainly consider every policy that will help veterans and their families."
Reporter: "So you're not saying yes or no to the full benefit?"
Kelliher: "I think we have to balance this budget first and then we can consider a lot of things that can help our economy and attract people to the state."
The issue popped up after the Minnesota Republican Party criticized one of Kelliher's DFL Primary opponents, Mark Dayton, for saying he wouldn't support the measure. Dayton said he supports veterans and their current benefits but can't support tax cuts while trying to deal with a nearly $6 billion budget deficit. The Minnesota Department of Revenue estimates the tax break would cost the state $20 million a year.(1 Comments)
The next four weeks are going to be a bit busy for the candidates for governor. In particular, the DFL and IP parties have competitive primaries.
With that in mind, here's a look at the debates and MPR appearances the candidates will make. (Note: Republican Tom Emmer will be invited to be on Midday after the August 10th Primary and appeared on Midmorning in June.)
Tuesday, July 20th, 9AM, MPR's Midmorning with Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza.
Monday, July 26th, 9AM, MPR's Midmorning at 9AM with IP candidates Rob Hahn and Tom Horner.
Friday, July 30th, Debate Minnesota featuring Kelliher, Dayton and Entenza.
Sunday, August 1st, 6PM, KSTP/League of Women Voters debate featuring Kelliher, Dayton and Entenza.
Monday, August 2nd, 11AM, Margaret Anderson Kelliher on MPR's Midday.
Tuesday, August 3rd, 11AM Matt Entenza on MPR's Midday.
Wednesday, August 4th, 10:30AM, Farmfest debate featuring Kelliher, Dayton, Entenza, Horner, Hahn and Republican Tom Emmer.
Thursday, August 5th, 11AM, Dayton on MPR's Midday
Sunday, August 8th, 7pm, MPR debate featuring Kelliher, Dayton and Entenza
Monday, August 9th, 11AM Tom Horner and Rob Hahn on MPR's Midday .
Democrat Matt Entenza talked with MPR Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer this morning. Entenza talked about the campaign, his decision to not release his tax returns and his decision to release an ad highly critical of Republican Tom Emmer. He also criticized his DFL opponents, Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Mark Dayton, for promising more spending on K12 schools. Entenza also said he wants to collect sales taxes on internet sales and close so-called loopholes on corporations that operate overseas.
Here's the interview: Listen
The campaign finance reports released today show some rich irony. There are three independent groups that report raising $2.4 million and the Dayton name keeps coming up.
One of the groups, MN Forward, is being funded by a variety of Minnesota businesses. They include Target Corporation, the company founded but no longer owned by Democrat Mark Dayton's family. Target gave $150,000 in cash and in-kind donations to the group.
MN Forward says it will support businesses minded politicians, but one of the group's founders, Minnesota Business Partnership Executive Director Charlie Weaver, has indicated his support for Republican Tom Emmer. That means MN Forward, funded by Target Corporation, may be running ads ripping Mark Dayton, heir to the Dayton's Department Store fortune that created Target, if Dayton is the DFL nominee. Dayton has never worked for Target and has no ties to the company.
Brian McClung, the director of MN Forward, has this to say about the possibility that Target Corporation is funding a group that could be running ads criticizing Dayton if he's the DFL nominee:
"You know I hadn't really thought about that to be honest with you," McClung said. "I'll leave the analysis and irony to others."
Two DFL leaning PACs, Win Minnesota and The 2010 Fund, have collected $901,000 in contributions from Mark Dayton's family members. Alida Messinger is Dayton's ex-wife (and an heir to the Rockefeller family). Andrew Dayton is Mark Dayton's son. David Dayton is Mark Dayton's first cousin and Mary Lee Dayton is Mark Dayton's aunt.
Dayton released a written statement on his family members decision to give to the independent group:
"They are, of course, entirely free to contribute to whomever and whatever they choose. They do not consult with me about any of their contributions (other than to me); and I do not consult with them about any of their contributions (other than to me)."
As for the prospects of Target Corporation spending money on ads critical of Dayton, Dayton's campaign spokesman Katie Tinucci says Dayton expected it.
"Highly paid, corporate executives know that Mark means what he says and takes them seriously when he says he'll make them pay their fair share in taxes."
Tinucci also said Dayton expects to see an "onslaught of corporate money" coming into the race.
Republican Tom Emmer held a lively townhall forum that featured both supporters and opponents. Many in the audience were servers who criticized Emmer for his recent comments on the minimum wage and the so-called tip credit. The event ended after Robert Erickson, poured a bunch of coins on Emmer's table and said "I have a tip for you, Emmer."
Erickson later told reporters that he is unhappy with Emmer's stance on immigration.
You can listen to the entire forum here: Listen
Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher told reporters today that she's raised "more than $1 million" for her campaign for governor.
The public won't know how much Kelliher or the other candidates for governor have raised until July 26th but it's safe to say that Kelliher's campaign war chest won't be as big as two of her DFL Primary opponents. Former legislator Matt Entenza has spent $1.2 million to date on TV ads in the Twin Cities. Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton has bought roughly $750,000 in TV ads in the Twin Cities.
Both Entenza and Dayton have said they'll rely on their personal wealth to fund their campaigns. Kelliher is lagging behind Entenza and Dayton in TV ads but she said she'll ramp up the ad spending in the coming weeks.
Republican Tom Emmer is proposing a plan that would eliminate income taxes on some tipped wages. The gubernatorial hopeful is making the proposal one week after he suggested Minnesota a so-called tip credit, which allows businesses to pay workers less than the minimum wage if they earn tips. Emmer now says he wants to exempt from taxes the first $20,000 in tips that waiters and employees collect.
The Emmer campaign says the proposal will cost the state an additional $17 million. But a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Revenue couldn't say how much Emmer's plan would cost the state since employees report both wages and tips together on the tax forms.
Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Rob Hahn is proposing to erase a projected state budget deficit through changes in tax policy and health care coverage.
Hahn released a budget outline today titled "The Six Billion Dollar Man: Reform, Redesign and Revenue." The plan includes a new 9 percent income tax rate for couples earning more than $250,000 a year. Hahn is also proposing to lower taxes on capital gains and corporate income, and close corporate tax loopholes.
Hahn claims he could save the state $2.6 over two years by switching to what he calls a "total cost of care" model for health care. He's also including his earlier proposals for riverboat gambling and a new fat tax on fast food among the new sources of revenue.
Hahn is running in the Aug. 10 primary against the Independence Party's endorsed candidate, Tom Horner.
Spending on TV ads in Minnesota's race for governor has eclipsed $2 million, with roughly a month to go until the August 10th primary. The three DFL candidates for governor and a DFL leaning group are the only ones spending to date. To date, the candidates and group spent $2,182,050 on ads.
Former state Rep. Matt Entenza has spent the most on TV ads in the Twin Cities. Entenza spent more than $1.2 million on ads between the end of April through next week. Former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton spent roughly $750,000 since he started running ads in mid-June. Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher is scheduled to hit the airwaves tomorrow. She is scheduled to spend $63,195 over the next week (Note: KARE-11's public file didn't show Kelliher's buy yet, but a station rep said it was expected to be signed soon).
The DFL group, Alliance for a Better Minnesota, also spent at least $154,535 from July 5th through July 18th. ABM is running ads that criticize Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer.
State DFL officials have upheld the recent Senate District 50 decision to revoke the party endorsement of Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley.
Chaudhary's challenge of that revocation was subject of a hearing today at DFL headquarters in St. Paul. A party spokesperson said the three-member panel deliberated nearly 90 minutes before rejecting the challenge.
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL-endorsed candidate for governor, is ready to unveil her first television ad of the campaign.
A campaign news release today said the ad will begin airing Tuesday. A series of advance screenings are scheduled over the next few days for Kelliher supporters.
Kelliher's DFL primary rivals, Matt Entenza and Mark Dayton, have already been airing TV ads for several weeks.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer plans to meet with hospitality workers next week during a town hall forum in Roseville.
Earlier this week, Emmer created a flap when he said he would support a tip credit. He also suggested some servers were earning up to $100,000 a year in salary and tips. Here's the Emmer release:
Tom Emmer announced today he will hold a town meeting with servers in the hospitality industry next Wednesday to listen to their concerns regarding wages, tips, taxes and health care.(4 Comments)
This week Emmer met with business owners around the state as he focused the Freedom and Prosperity Project on jobs and the economy.
"The most important issue facing the next governor is creating jobs and getting our economy back on the path to prosperity," said Emmer. "This week we met with business owners and next week we will listen to the employees, especially servers concerned about the tip credit issue. I'm looking forward to a robust discussion."
What: Town Hall Meeting with servers in the hospitality industry.
When: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 · 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Where: Ol' Mexico Restaurante and Cantina One block north of Larpenteur on Lexington Ave Roseville
DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton is challenging his opponents to explain how they would solve a projected $5.8 billion state budget deficit.
Dayton says other candidates have criticized his proposal to raise income taxes on the state's wealthiest residents without offering their own specifics. During a news conference today (Thursday), Dayton said it's time for all DFL, Republican and Independence Party candidates to level with voters about how much they would raise from taxes and how much they would cut from state spending.
"They say they're ready to lead from day one, however, it's been months since they became candidates for governor," Dayton said. "And they've offered only pablum and platitudes. Saying they're for reform or balance is not an answer. It's ducking the issue."
DFL candidate Matt Entenza's campaign released a statement calling Dayton's proposal a "politically impossible tax hike." Entenza claims he has always been straight with voters about fiscal realities.
Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL endorsed candidate, said she already has a solid outline for balancing the budget, which will include tax increases for only people making more than $250,000. Kelliher criticized the approach of Dayton, as well as Republican candidate Tom Emmer.
"Mark Dayton's plan to raise taxes on middle class families and senior citizens, and Tom Emmer's plan to slash schools, health care, and police and fire services are unrealistic and irresponsible," Kelliher said.
Tom Emmer's campaign said he will have a framework for solving the budget deficit after his summer listening tour. Emmer is the only candidate who says he won't raise taxes.
Tom Horner, the Independence Party's endorsed candidate, said he's already released mnay budget specifics.
"I'm the only candidate who is providing details of a balanced approach to fixing the budget," Horner said. "A balanced approach that includes tax reform, spending reductions and government redesign."
Kelliher filed jointly online with her husband David. Their total adjusted gross income for the year was $143,968.
In a news release, Kelliher called on all candidates running for governor to release their income tax returns.
"Minnesotans should know how their Governor earns a living," Kelliher said. "This is a basic disclosure all candidates for Governor should be willing to make voluntarily."
DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton released his 2009 federal and state tax returns today and challenged other candidates to do the same.
The documents show Dayton's total income last year of $172,475 came from capital gains, dividends income, interest income and a prior tax refund. The heir to the Dayton department store fortune noted that most of the income came from family trusts, which he had no investment control. Dayton says he wants to be transparent to voters.
"They should be able to see that my income is not what it has been in the past,' Dayton said. "I've made major financial commitments through the years to my campaigns, to charitable contributions and to other peoples causes. And so I'm still well off and relative to other Minnesotans I'm extremely fortunate. But my income is less than it used to be."
The information shows Dayton took a $56,337 loss from the sale of two pieces of fine art, one by Renoir and another by Toulouse-Lautrec. Dayton explained that he inherited the art from his mother's estate.
"I sold those works of art to finance my current campaign," Dayton said. "They were at an appraised value for the estate considerably higher than what I was able to get in the art market at the time, about a year ago."
Dayton pledged two weeks ago that he would release his tax returns. So far, DFLer Margaret Anderson Kelliher is the only other gubernatorial candidate making the same pledge.
The return also shows Dayton made a $30,000 profit last year when he sold a relief by artist Charles Biederman.
A left-leaning special interest group is making a big TV advertising buy to criticize Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota Action Fund says it will spend more than $500,000 on ads statewide. Here's the group's news release:
Saint Paul - Alliance for a Better Minnesota Action Fund today released the first television and online ads it will be running during the election to share Republican Tom Emmer's abysmal record of voting against Minnesota's economic interest, and siding with Tim Pawlenty.
The ads, which are running starting July 6 on broadcast and cable statewide, share with viewers just some of the countless ways Emmer has voted against the things that make our state great, and prosperous.
"We need a leader who will fight for us," said Denise Cardinal, Executive Director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota Action Fund. "Voters need to know that Tom Emmer is just like Tim Pawlenty, who sides with the big corporate special interests over working families. Emmer's record shows he's not on our side."
The size of the buy for this ad is more than $500,000 for television and is the first ad ABMAF plans on running this year, with others coming in the following weeks and months. ABMAF is also launching online ads statewide as well.
An Administrative law judge dismissed a complaint against Independence Party candidate Tom Horner. The GOP alleged that Horner received a corporate contribution because a pollster provided him with information before it was made public. The judge ruled that pollster Bill Morris, who is supporting Horner, provided the information to the Pioneer Press first.
Here's a portion of the order by Judge Manuel Cervantes:
The Administrative Law Judge concludes that the Complainant has failed to establish probable cause to believe DRL provided Mr. Horner and his campaign committee with a prohibited corporate contribution when it gave Mr. Horner and his committee polling data that it had already provided to the Pioneer Press. As of June 7, 2010, the date Mr. Horner received the data, the polling data was public and available upon request. In fact, it is undisputed that DRL provided the poll results to Margaret Anderson Kelliher's campaign as well as to the Star Tribune, Associated Press, and MinnPost on June 8, 2010. Because the polling data was public and free of charge to anyone upon request, it had no monetary value by the time it was provided to Mr. Horner and it cannot form the basis of a Minn. Stat. § 211B.13 or § 211B.15 complaint.
Horner's campaign manager, Stephen Imholte, issued a statement slamming the GOP for filing the complaint in the first place:
"The judge's ruling today confirms that the complaint made by the Republican Party of Minnesota was bogus. This was nothing more than the GOP trying to cover up polling data showing their candidate had peaked and is now collapsing. What a colossal waste of everyone's time, taxpayers'dollars and of the Republican Party's own contributor's money."
MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton said the party will appeal the ruling:
"The Republican Party of Minnesota will appeal today's decision from the Office of Administrative Hearings. By failing to hold Tom Horner accountable for his acceptance of what we believe is clearly an illegal corporate contribution, Judge Cervantes has created a loop hole the size of Lake Superior which will lead to a wild west situation in which anything goes in our state's elections. We believe Judge Cervantes has committed a 'clear error of law,' and we will begin immediately begin crafting our appeal this afternoon."
The issue also neutralizes Horner's top IP opponent, Rob Hahn's call for Horner to quit the race. Hahn said the entire issue created credibility issues for Horner.(1 Comments)
Rob Hahn, who is challenging Tom Horner for the Independence Party's nomination in the August 10th primary, says Horner should quit the race. Hahn says he's disappointed that a poll was done by a firm that employs his deputy campaign manager.
The poll, done by Decision Resources, showed Horner with higher poll results than other independent polls. An affidavit filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings also showed that Decision Resources owner Bill Morris shared the poll results with Horner before the results were publicly known. Morris said in an affidavit that he shared the information with The Pioneer Press one day before he shared the information with Horner's campaign. The Minnesota Republican Party filed a complaint with the OAH saying the poll should amount to a corporate contribution.
Hahn also says Diane Traxler is listed on the Decision Resources website as a partner at the firm and also works as Deputy Manager for the Tom Horner for Governor campaign.
Hahn wants Horner to quit the race and is calling on the Independence Party to rescind the IP's backing of Horner.
"The bottom line is that Tom Horner continues a trend of being less than forthcoming with the public, and if he had any sense of responsibility, he would drop out of the race," Hahn said in a news release. "His relationship with DRL is just one of many business relationships he's danced around. And this from a guy who repeatedly says he wants to engage the public in good honest discussions? Compromised collusion personified."
I contacted Horner's campaign for a comment and will post a response once I get one.
Horner's campaign spokesman, Matt Lewis, declined to comment on Hahn's allegation and the hearings. He did release this one sentence statement:
"As a former news producer, Mr. Hahn surely knows that when information is released to the media it is public information."
Expect the issue to come up during tonight's debate between Horner and Hahn. TPT will air the full debate on Friday night.
Republican Tom Emmer talked with MPR's Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer this morning. He discussed his statewide tour, his call for lawmakers to no longer accept per diem and his decision to at least consider rail projects as a transportation option.