Policast for April 25, 2013:
Brian McClung, who now runs a PR firm, said support for same-sex marriage aligns with Republican values.
"If Republicans are going to be the small government party, we should get government out of the business of marriage," McClung said. "Who do we want deciding who should be able to get married, individuals or politicians?"
McClung said the party needs to find a way to talk to younger voters, who overwhelmingly support same-sex marriage, according to recent polling. He said many view Republicans as "out of touch and stodgy and opposed to change."
'I'm concerned that the Republican Party could be shutting the door on an entire generation of voters if we don't better understand how to talk about this issue and, frankly, move past it to talk about the issues of less spending, lower taxes and more accountability that matter to everybody," McClung said.
The Star Tribune published McClung's commentary on same-sex marriage today. McClung said he spoke with Pawlenty before writing the Star Tribune commentary.
"The governor doesn't agree with my position but he was very positive and very gracious in saying that he supports me in speaking out and sharing my opinion," McClung said.
A bill making its way through the Legislature would legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
(MPR Photo/Steve Mullis)1 Comments)
Both same-sex and opposite-sex couples would be able to form civil unions if a proposal legalizing the unions is passed into law, according to the bill's author.
Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, said his civil unions bill would give same-sex couples the same rights provided by marriage. He said even opposite-sex couples would have the right to use civil unions rather than marriage.
Kelly said on MPR's Policast that his goal is to get government out of the business of defining marriage.
"In Europe you have a civil union contract, and you go get your marriage blessed in a church if that's what you'd like to do," Kelly said. "It really is a religious issue."
Supporters of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage heavily criticized the civil unions bill. House Speaker Paul Thissen DFL-Minneapolis said Wednesday that civil unions would create a "separate and unequal category for same-sex couples."
Kelly said he planned to request a committee hearing on the bill. If denied, he said he would offer his civil union bill as an amendment on the House floor.
Kelly was one of four House Republicans who opposed putting the constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman on the ballot, which voters rejected last year.0 Comments)
Policast for March, 25, 2013
On today's episode of Policast, Cathy Wurzer hosts a round table discussion with three veteran Capitol reporters: Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Star Tribune, Paul Demko of Politics in Minnesota and Tom Scheck of MPR News. They talked about the session thus far and offered some predictions for what we'll see in the closing weeks.
Also, MPR Political Editor Mike Mulcahy talks to University of Minnesota Professor Roger Feldman about how the new health insurance exchange will affect health care in the state.0 Comments)
Policast for March 11, 2013:
The only Republican in the Legislature currently supporting a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota said he's already taken some heat from constituents for his stance.
"I always take that very seriously," Sen. Branden Petersen of Andover told MPR's Cathy Wurzer on Monday. "Issues like this that are really about equal justice under the law and that are transcendent ideas in our democracy, I don't think you should ever make those decisions just because 50 percent plus 1 percent of people believe it ought to be done."
Some have said the same-sex marriage bill is moving too quickly. Petersen disagrees.
"When you're talking about equal protection and equal justice under the law, it's always the right time to stand up for those issues."
Petersen, 27, is the Senate bill's co-author. He said that young Republicans and older members of the party are divided on the issue of same-sex marriage.
"Every piece of data shows that Republicans, in particular under the age of 30, actually the majority support marriage equality under the law," Petersen said. "That's the beginning of a trend that I think is a good thing for Republicans as well."
Petersen, who voted along with most other Republicans in 2011 to put a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the ballot, said he changed his stance after "reflection."
Committees in both the state House and Senate will consider bills legalizing same-sex marriage tomorrow.
The entire discussion with Sen. Branden Petersen can be heard on the March 11, 2013 episode of Policast. That episode also includes an interview with Rep. Pat Garofalo on his bill that would shrink the size of the Minnesota Legislature.3 Comments)
Policast for March 7, 2013:
Actor Josh Hartnett was among those testifying at the state Capitol yesterday as the state's film and TV production industry pushes for an increase in incentives designed to attract projects to Minnesota.
In the last biennium, about $1 million to fund incentives for film and TV projects came from the Legacy Amendment. But the film board is proposing an increase to $10 million, which would come from the state's general fund.
Lucinda Winter, executive director of the Minnesota Film and TV Board, said on MPR's Policast that incentives are "really true, pure economic development."
"It's really become a tool used by just about all the states, there are nine states that don't have an incentive, and we are lagging far, far behind," Winter said. "Not only are we not seeing growth, but we're seeing contraction in our industry."
The Tax Foundation, a conservative non-profit critical of the effectiveness of incentives, released a report in 2011 that found state production incentives had ballooned from $1 million in 2001 to $1.299 billion a decade later.
The board also wants to increase the top reimbursement level for film productions to 25 percent.
Policast is a daily roundup of Minnesota political news hosted by Mike Mulcahy and Cathy Wurzer. Subscribe on iTunes. The entire discussion with Lucinda Winter can be heard on the March 6, 2013 episode.(0 Comments)