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)
Here's a post from MPR News editor Bill Catlin
With the surge in employment over the past six months the Department of Employment and Economic Development reported this week, we wondered which of the past several governors presided over the most job growth as of 26 months in office.
The results are here. (Because total employment was different at the start of each governor's term, we've indexed the start to 100 to allow valid comparisons.)
Now, a couple of important caveats.
1) Governors get a lot of heat for bad times, and try to take credit for good times. But, in economic reality, they have little influence over the health of the job market.
2) Recessions confound.
Both Pawlenty and Dayton took office amid very slow economic recoveries. But the economy Dayton inherited was much more brutalized by the Great Recession (160,000 Minnesota jobs lost) than the one Pawlenty inherited ( 53,000 jobs lost).(0 Comments)
The Daily Caller reported last week that Klobuchar "helped keep a multibillion-dollar Ponzi schemer out of prison in the late 1990s when she was the County Attorney in Hennepin County, Minnesota." The report also said Klobuchar had enough evidence to prosecute Tom Petters but declined to prosecute.
"Senator Klobuchar did not ask her county attorney staff or law enforcement to refrain from investigating or prosecuting Tom Petters," Klobuchar campaign spokesman Linden Zakula said in a prepared statement. "She was not presented with evidence for prosecution of charges against him."
Zakula released the statement after her Republican opponent, state Rep. Kurt Bills, criticized her for saying "no comment" to the initial story.
The Daily Caller story focuses on Petters, who was convicted of 20 felony counts including money laundering, conspiracy and fraud. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison for setting up a ponzi scheme that defrauded millions of dollars from investors.
In a statement released today, Bills also wanted to know why Klobuchar didn't prosecute Petters in 1999, demanded to know where additional evidence went and why she contributed political contributions from Petters to charity instead of returning the money to the victims of Petters crimes.
"As our Senator, Amy Klobuchar has often called for accountability in others. It is time she provides her constituents with the same," Bills said in a statement.
Zakula said Klobuchar first gave the donations from Petters to a charity but later returned
the additional money to the trustee for the victims after the investigation was concluded.
Klobuchar isn't the only candidate linked to Petters. He gave to the Minnesota Republican Party, the DFL Party, former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar, former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann.
Many of those politicians and parties gave the contributions to charity or gave the money back to those swindled by Petters.
Update: The Hennepin County Attorney's Office released this statement about the case:
On April 22, 1998, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office filed a charge of Theft by Swindle over $35,000 against Richard Hettler. Later, he also was charged with a felony non-support of a child and defeating security on a personalty.
In January 1999, Hettler pleaded guilty to the theft by swindle and the felony non-support charges and the defeating security on personalty was dropped. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison in February 1999.
At no time was the Hennepin County Attorney's Office presented by any law enforcement agency a case against Tom Petters.
The Republican Party of Minnesota filed campaign finance complaints today against the DFL Party, the DFL Senate Caucus and five state Senate candidates for coordinating photography and spending on campaign mailings.
The Republicans allege that the DFL Party and the Senate DFL Caucus used photos of the candidates in mailings that are not publicly available on the internet.
"The photos used on these supposed independent expenditure pieces by the Minnesota DFL are not publicly available on the candidates' official campaign websites, Facebook pages, Flickr accounts, Google images or any place else on the Internet, and are clearly taken from a staged photo shoot," Republican Party of Minnesota Chair Pat Shortridge said in a statement. "The Minnesota DFL Party's use of these images that are unavailable to the general public strongly suggests coordination with the candidate on these independent expenditures."
The DFL candidates included in the complaint are Melisa Franzen, Jim Carlson, Julie Bunn, Alice Johnson and Vicki Jensen. Those five candidates are considered strong candidates to win seats that are currently controlled by the GOP.
A spokeswoman for the DFL Party said their attorneys are examining the complaint, and that she wasn't prepared to comment. I'll post the party's response if/when they send it.
State law forbids candidates and independent groups from coordinating campaign activity. Tim Pawlenty was fined for coordinating TV ads with the Republican Party of Minnesota in 2002.
The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board keeps complaints private until they rule on them. It isn't known whether the board will act on the complaint before the election.
WASHINGTON - Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been named the head of the Financial Services Roundtable, one of the top bank lobbying groups in Washington, which represents the nation's top 100 financial institutions.
The announcement comes a little over a year after Pawlenty dropped out of the Republican presidential contest. Since then, Pawlenty has served as a surrogate for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and was a shortlist contender for the Republican vice-presidential nominee. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan was chosen instead.
Unlike many heads of Washington trade associations, Pawlenty has neither served in Congress, nor does he have much private sector experience. He was governor of Minnesota from 2003 to 2011.
Pawlenty's hiring comes as the banking industry continues to grapple with implementing the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul which was prompted by the 2008 financial crisis. The FSR helped lead the industry's opposition to many provisions in the legislation.
"I'm excited about this new challenge," Pawlenty said in a statement. "I realize there is still work to be done to continue to earn customers' confidence."
The FSR spent nearly $7.7 million on lobbying in 2011, according to Opensecrets.org, and has has contributed $380,000 to candidates running for election this year.
Pawlenty succeeds the group's long-serving president, Steve Barlett, a former Texas Congressman. Bartlett reportedly earned $2 million a year.
The Romney campaign issued a statement quoting both Pawlenty and Romney.
"It is an honor to call Mitt and Ann my friends," said Tim Pawlenty. "My new position as CEO of The Financial Services Roundtable does not allow me to participate in partisan campaign activities. For that reason, I am stepping down from my position as co-chair of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. My work with Mitt has been a privilege. Mitt Romney is a truly good man and great leader. As the campaign moves into the home stretch, he has my full support and continued faith in his vision and his policies."
"Tim Pawlenty is a dear friend," said Mitt Romney. "He's brought energy, intelligence and tireless dedication to every enterprise in which he's ever been engaged, and that certainly includes my presidential campaign. While I regret he cannot continue as co-chair of my campaign, his new position advancing the integrity of our financial system is vital to the future of our country. I congratulate him on his new position and wish him every success in carrying out his new mission."
Minnesota voters are split on the marriage amendment, according to a new poll from the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP).
Roughly 48 percent of the 824 likely Minnesota voters surveyed say they support a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman, while 47 percent oppose it - well within the poll's 3.4 percentage point margin of error.
"It looks like Minnesota's marriage amendment will go down to the wire," said Dean
Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. "Voters in the state are very closely divided
in their attitudes about it."
According to PPP, public opinion has narrowed on the subject since June, when the firm found that 49 percent of Minnesota voters opposed the amendment compared to the 43 percent who supported it.
Other polls tell a different story. A survey released this week by KSTP/SurveyUSA shows that 50 percent of Minnesotans favor the amendment while 43 oppose it.
PPP also asked questions about an amendment to the state's constitution that would require voters to show identification on Election Day, and found that it's likely to pass. About 56 percent of Minnesotans favor the amendment while 39 percent do not. Republicans and independents overwhelmingly support the ballot initiative.
Meanwhile, KSTP/SuveryUSA's found 62 percent of Minnesotans support the ID amendment, while 31 percent oppose it.
Other poll highlights:
- Forty-eight percent of Minnesotans approve of the job Gov. Mark Dayton is doing while 37 percent do not. He leads a generic Republican opponent in 2014 by 13 percentage points.
- However, Democrats lead a generic state legislative ballot by only 3 percentage points, a much tighter margin that the 12 percentage point lead the party had in June.
- Sen. Al Franken, who is up for reelection in 2014, has a 49 percent approval rating and leads a generic Republican opponent by 6 percentage points. Franken would lead former Sen. Norm Coleman and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty by 7 percentage points in a head-to-head match-up, and would lead Rep. Michele Bachmann by 12 percentage points.(7 Comments)
Tim Pawlenty, who is in the thick of rumors that he'll be selected to be Mitt Romney's running mate, will appear on two Sunday morning political shows this weekend. Pawlenty is scheduled to appear on both NBC's Meet the Press and ABC's This Week.
Pawlenty's appearances come just two and a half weeks before Romney accepts the GOP nomination in Tampa, Florida. Pawlenty has made campaign appearances for Romney in Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina in recent months. He's also scheduled to campaign for Romney in New Hampshire this weekend.
The former governor has been playing mum about his chances to be Romney's running mate.
"We'll know soon enough," he said when reporters asked him about his chances during a campaign stop in Michigan.
Meanwhile, President Obama's campaign is already looking to criticize Pawlenty and others on Romney's short list. AP says Obama's campaign is sending out e-mail alerts to Democrats asking them to provide information about the shortcomings of those who could be Romney's running mate.
The on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia locked former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's page early Wednesday morning following Tuesday 's night's Colbert Report during which Stephen Colbert said he was editing the Pawlenty page.
Colbert told his audience he was changing the page to read that Pawlenty was the son of "Mrs. Butterworth" and that Pawlenty "started his career in Santa's workshop," among other things. Finally the political satirist said he wrote, "On August 10, 2012 Tim Pawlenty was named Mitt Romney's running mate."
As the Romney campaign gets close to naming a vice presidential candidate, speculation about who it will be has turned to Wikipedia and the number of times the pages of potential VP picks are edited.
In a fundraising email send Wednesday, the Romney campaign indicated the choice will be announced soon. "In just a few days, one lucky supporter will win the remarkable opportunity to meet Dad and his VP pick in person," wrote Craig Romney.
Pawlenty is said to be among those under consideration. Here's the segment from the Colbert Report:
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Mitt Romney's Protective Pool & Running Mate Clues|
As former Gov. Tim Pawlenty waits to hear whether he is Mitt Romney's choice for running mate some parts of his record are showing up again in the news.
The latest example is a piece published by the Guardian in England today that resurrects a story first reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press back in 2003.
The story details nearly $60,000 Pawlenty earned from a telecommunications firm owned by a close political ally as he was running for governor the first time, money that Pawlenty did not report as income during the campaign. He later revised disclosure forms to report the money.
Democrats tell the Guardian they intend to exploit the incident if Pawlenty ends up on the GOP ticket, in part because Pawlenty then, like Romney now, refused to release his income tax returns.
Tim Pawlenty's getting good press for his line that President Obama's policies are "all foam and no beer." Politico's Veep Sheet reports that Minnesota's former governor used the line on several occasions in the past couple of days.
"Imagining the unsatisfying scenario of being served a foamy pint of beer, Pawlenty delivered the punch line: 'Barack Obama is all foam and no beer. And you can't live on the foam. His speeches are his foam.'
Pawlenty, however, is not the first Minnesota politician to use the line.
Democrat Amy Klobuchar used the same attack six years ago against Republican Mark Kennedy during an MPR News debate at the State Fair.
"Your proposal, Congressman Kennedy -- it reminds me of when I was at the beer garden and I was hearing some kids talking, 'I got too much foam in my beer,' this college student said, 'Your proposal is all foam and no beer.'" Listen
Pawlenty is rumored to be on Mitt Romney's short-list for vice-presidential candidates. Ironically enough, Kennedy made his case on Monday as to why he thinks Pawlenty should be the pick.(1 Comments)
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will hold a fundraiser in Minnesota today for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.
The fundraiser will be at a Wayzata home. Donors are being asked to give $2,500. Those who give or raise $25,000 will be able to attend a private reception featuring Christie and Pawlenty. The money will be directed to Romney's Victory Committee, a fundraising effort for Romney and the Republican National Committee.
The fundraiser comes as both Christie and Pawlenty are being mentioned as potential running mates for Romney. The buzz around Pawlenty has increased in the past week as he's appeared on the campaign trail and on cable TV news discussing Romney's candidacy.
Democrats say President Obama will still win Minnesota even if Romney picks Pawlenty. Republicans say a Romney/Pawlenty ticket would help energize Republican voters in the state.
As for Mitt Romney, his campaign won't say when an announcement will come.
The New York Post, however, is reporting that Christie will be the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, FL.
Former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is being mentioned as Mitt Romney's running mate, has joined another corporate board.
Smart Sand, a company that houses its main facility in Oakdale, Wisconsin, produces a product used in oil and gas exploration.
"Having served as Minnesota governor for two terms, and with deep roots in the region, Tim is experienced in the oversight and development of our natural resources," said Andrew Speaker, chief executive officer of Smart Sand. "Tim's experience in the energy and transportation sectors combined with his respect for the environment and the communities in which we operate makes him a strategic addition to our board. We look forward to drawing on his expertise as CEO of the great state of Minnesota as we continue to build our company."
Pawlenty, who dropped his bid to become president after losing the Iowa straw poll last August, has been spending the bulk of his time campaigning for Mitt Romney's campaign for president.
Pawlenty said he'd be "honored" if asked to be Romney's running-mate, but added that he thinks he can serve Romney in "other ways."
Republican John McCain considered Pawlenty to be his running mate in 2008. McCain eventually picked Sarah Palin.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty says President Obama's visit to Minnesota is an opportunity to discuss the Obama's "dismal" impact on the nation's job market.
On a conference call with reporters before Obama's visit, Pawlenty, who dropped his own bid for the White House before the Iowa caucuses, said the disappointing May job numbers released today are a signal the president's policies aren't working.
"What we see is a president whose policies are hostile to free enterprise, are hostile to job creators and are not only not sparking the kind of economic recovery and the pace that we hope for and need in America," Pawlenty said.
Pawlenty said Republican Mitt Romney has a better plan to improve the nation's job market.
Pawlenty, who is a national surrogate for Romney, said he doesn't think Romney is giving up on winning Minnesota but acknowledged the state hasn't voted for a Republican for president since 1972.
Pawlenty also said he'd "be honored" to serve if asked to be Romney's running mate.
"As a national co-chair of Romney's campaign, we just don't talk about the VP process," Pawlenty said. "I think I can best serve him in other ways as a volunteer and otherwise but obviously anybody, if asked to serve, would be honored to do it."
Pawlenty was vying to be John McCain's running mate in 2008, but McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin instead.
Pawlenty says he'll travel to North Carolina tonight to speak at the North Carolina Republican Party Convention.
Former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty took a break from stumping for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for an appearance at the University of Minnesota Monday. The former GOP presidential contender promoted education reform to ensure students are getting the best teachers and learning options. He also said vast US natural gas deposits could be "an absolute game changer" for US energy policy. He also said the US needs to revamp entitlement spending if it hopes to tackle the growing national debt. "People have been timid and afraid of these issues, "said Pawlenty. "They shouldn't be leaders are going to have to step forward and address these specifically; Medicaid, Medicare [and] Social Security."
Pawlenty also told an audience at the Humphrey School that he doesn't think the country will be in a position to make the major adjustments it needs until one of the political ideologies becomes the nation's standard bearer. "One side or the other is going to have to substantially prevail to get quantum change." Pawlenty added that he hopes it's his side.
Asked whether he was considering running for governor or for the US senate in 2014, Pawlenty replied, "I haven't ruled anything in or out."
WASHINGTON - Having long ago dropped out of the Republican presidential race, Tim Pawlenty is now bidding adieu to what's left of his national political organization.
The former Minnesota governor is closing the political action committee he used to launch his failed presidential bid. In a letter to the Federal Election Commission, the treasurer of Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC said the organization "has essentially been dormant" except for minor expenses related to winding the committee down.
The news was first reported by Politico.
Pawlenty was among the first candidates to enter the Republican presidential primary and used the Freedom First PAC to develop his political organization and pay for travel. He ended his campaign after a disappointing third-place finish in the symbolic Iowa straw poll in August.
Since leaving the presidential race, Pawlenty has endorsed the now-presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney, and has served as Romney's surrogate in the national media from time to time. Romney's supporters helped Pawlenty pay off his campaign debt.
The former Republican governor announced in August that he was no longer running for president but it took him eight months to officially end his campaign.
Pawlenty filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission this week indicating he erased his campaign debt and terminated his campaign committee.
Pawlenty incurred nearly a half a million dollars in debt last fall. Since leaving the race, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney has been helping Pawlenty whittle away at his obligations. By last month the amount was down to $17,500.
"It was truly an honor to run for President of the United States," Pawlenty said in a statement. "Mary and I will be forever grateful to the many supporters who inspired and sustained the campaign. I am also glad we were able to pay all campaign debts and wind down the campaign properly."
Pawlenty was once considered a top-tier candidate for president. But his failure to excite the Republican base and his third place finish in the Iowa straw poll doomed the campaign.
Pawlenty has been actively campaigning for Romney's campaign for president.
Former Minnesota governor and Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty has endorsed U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's reelection campaign.
Bachmann's campaign for Congress announced Pawlenty's endorsement. Many political observers think her entrance into the presidential race hurt Pawlenty's campaign for president.
Pawlenty dropped out of the race the day after Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll in August. While a candidate for president, Pawlenty labeled Bachmann's record of accomplishment in Congress "non-existent."
Pawlenty is the latest in a string of Minnesota Republicans to endorse Bachmann's campaign for Congress. She's seeking reelection to the 6th District even though her home will be located in the newly formed 4th District.
A court appointed panel charged with drawing the state's new political boundaries paired Bachmann and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., in the 4th District. Bachmann hasn't said whether she intends to move into the 6th District.
UPDATE: Statement from Congresswoman Bachmann:
"Let me be absolutely clear -- there are absolutely no negotiations between me and the Romney campaign regarding any pending endorsement of Governor Romney. I continue to speak with all the candidates and plan on uniting behind the presumptive nominee. The Boston Globe article today is completely false and I call on the Globe to retract their article."
A spokesman for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is shooting down speculation that Bachmann might endorse former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"There is no truth to any of the rumors that Mrs. Bachmann is going to endorse Romney today or in he near future," said Bachmann political advisor Guy Short.
Short said Bachmann is not in Minnesota today and that, "there are no negotiations going on between her and the Romney campaign."
Bachmann dropped out of the presidential race in early January after a poor finish in the Iowa causes. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the in mid-August, and then endorsed Romney in mid-September. Since then Pawlenty has been campaigning for Romney.
Pawlenty is set to appear with Romney early Wednesday afternoon at a business in Eagan.
Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has scheduled a campaign stop in Minnesota on Wednesday. Romney, a former governor from Massachusetts, will hold a campaign event in Eagan on Wednesday afternoon. He's making the appearance with former Gov. Tim Pawlenty at the FreightMasters building in Eagan.
Romney's visit comes two days after Rick Santorum touched down in Minnesota. Santorum made a campaign stop tonight in Luverne, MN. It will also be the day after Florida's primary.
The GOP presidential hopefuls are making Minnesota a priority as the state's precinct caucuses approach. The Republican Party of Minnesota will hold a nonbinding straw poll at the Feb. 7 precinct caucuses. The event will be important for candidates looking to showcase their viability but will mean little in the all-important delegate count. That's because the straw poll will not bind the delegates at the national convention.
You can find more info on Romney's event here.
A new poll by Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling shows that Sen. Amy Klobuchar is in a strong position headed into the 2012 election.
About 61 percent of Minnesotans hold a favorable view of Klobuchar, according to the poll. Roughly 80 percent of those polled said they have no opinion of her declared challengers.
Voters approve of her fellow DFL Sen. Al Franken by a 49-39 percent margin.
Meanwhile, 57 percent of those polled say they have an unfavorable view of Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who recently ended her run for the White House. The same percentage of voters say Bachmann should not run again for office.
Only 39 percent of those polled approve of Gov. Tim Pawlenty. A majority of voters - about 51 percent - say they would not support Pawlenty in a future run for a statewide office.
Public Policy Polling president Dean Debnam said the numbers show Bachmann and Pawlenty's presidential bids did damage to their reputations at home.
"Both are unpopular and would have a hard time getting elected to statewide office in the future," Debnam said.
Read more about the poll here.(1 Comments)
Remember that Mitt Romney fundraiser former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Sen. Norm Coleman planned to host in Minneapolis?
It turns out the Nov. 21 event has been postponed due to a scheduling change, says Pawlenty adviser Brian McClung.
Look for the event to be held in early 2012 instead.
As a reminder, Pawlenty is national co-chair for the former Massachusetts governor's campaign and Coleman is a Romney adviser.
WASHINGTON - Betty McCollum and Tim Pawlenty don't have a lot in common politically. She's a liberal DFLer in Congress, and he's a former Republican governor and presidential candidate. But the pair will both be in Tunisia to monitor the country's first elections since the Arab Spring uprisings overthrew Tunisia's longtime ruler earlier this year.
"Two kids from South St. Paul High School, out paving the way for democracy!" said McCollum in an interview last week.
McCollum heads to the North African country in an official capacity and will travel with Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN). She explained that as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, oversight is one of her duties. As part of her taxpayer-funded trip, McCollum will make sure American financial assistance for the elections is well-spent.
Pawlenty will be in Tunisia as part of a group organized by the International Republican Institute, a non-profit affiliated with the Republican Party that promotes democracy overseas.
This is McCollum's third trip to the Middle East this year. In February, she went to Yemen and in June, she traveled to Israel, Egypt and the West Bank. She said national security concerns shaped her interest in the region.
"I think the United States can have a constructive role to play without coming in militarily to a country, but to come in armed with democracy, armed with economic opportunity" said McCollum.
The job hunt has paid off for former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who will join the board of directors of RedPrairie Corporation.
Company officials announced the appointment today. RedPriairie is an Atlanta-based supply chain and retail technology provider.
Pawlenty said last week that he was setting politics aside, at least temporarily, to try to find a job in the private sector. He ended his Republican presidential campaign in August after finishing third in the Iowa straw poll.
Here's the company news release:
RedPrairie Corporation, a global supply chain and retail technology provider, announced today the appointment of Tim Pawlenty to RedPrairie's Board of Directors.(1 Comments)
Pawlenty, the former Governor of Minnesota and well-established advocate for business, joins RedPrairie's Board of Directors effective immediately.
Pawlenty's experience in financial management and cultivating economic development makes him a strategic addition to RedPrairie's existing board of tenured and innovative business leaders.
During his time as Governor of Minnesota, Pawlenty oversaw the interests of 5.2 million citizens and was responsible for a $50 billion biennial budget, 30,000 employees and more than 20 agencies and departments. As governor, Pawlenty oversaw economic development efforts on behalf of Minnesota businesses, including the promotion of international business through trade missions to nine countries.
"Tim's combination of experience in the public and private sectors makes him an exceptional addition to RedPrairie's Board of Directors," said RedPrairie CEO and fellow board member Mike Mayoras. "Tim and RedPrairie share a track-record of strong financial performance, a passion for innovation, and commitment to advancing the interests of those we serve."
"I'm impressed with RedPrairie's visionary strategy," said Pawlenty. "Their unique position in this market, at the intersection of supply chain and all-channel commerce, is compelling. RedPrairie is at the forefront of the movement to connect the supply chain and consumers in this rapidly evolving global economy. I'm looking forward to being part of a company with such significant financial momentum and that is a force in driving change in the software industry."
The Chairman of RedPrairie's board, Alok Singh, commented, "We're delighted to have Tim join the board. Tim's public and economic policy background will be very valuable to us as we pursue our growth plans for RedPrairie."
About RedPrairie Corporation For more than 35 years, RedPrairie's best-of-breed supply chain, workforce, and all-channel retail solutions have put commerce in motion for the world's leading companies. Installed in over 60,000 customer sites across more than 50 countries, RedPrairie solutions adapt to help ensure visibility and collaboration between manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers. RedPrairie is prepared to meet its customers' current and future demands with multiple delivery options, flexible architecture, and 24/7 technical and customer support. For a world in motion, RedPrairie is commerce in motion.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty says New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's decision to back Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is a huge boost to Romney's campaign.
"He's one of the stars of the conservative movement and Republican party," Pawlenty of Christie. "His endorsement will carry a lot of weight, no pun intended," Pawlenty joked referring to Christie's weight. (He said that Christie would enjoy the joke)
Pawlenty said he also encouraged Christie to back Romney's campaign.
"It's probably the most valuable endorsement in the country," Pawlenty said. "For Gov. Romney to get Chris Christie's endorsement is a major boost to his campaign and will send a signal across the conservative spectrum; tea party types, fiscal conservatives and others, that it's time to consolidate around Gov. Romney."
Pawlenty, who endorsed Romney last month, also said on MPR's Midday program that he believes GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is qualified to be president. In a wide ranging interview, Pawlenty discussed his failed run for president, the state of politics and his political future. He said he won't challenge DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar in 2012 but isn't ruling anything else out, although he added it's "highly unlikely" he will run for president again.
You can listen to the Midday show here: Listen
and here: Listen
You can also listen to Pawlenty's q and a with reporters here: Listen
Photo Credit: Tim Post(1 Comments)
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be holding a fundraiser for Mitt Romney on Nov. 21 in Minneapolis.
Pawlenty, who dropped out of the Republican presidential nomination race in August, is national co-chair for the former Massachusetts governor's campaign.
In that capacity, Pawlenty said he sent out a fundraising solicitation to his donors on Romney's behalf.
Pawlenty also said he expects to be traveling around the country in the coming months selling voters and donors on Romney's candidacy.
First stop: Washington, D.C., for an appearance Sunday on Meet the Press as Romney's surrogate.
Pawlenty was the guest of honor for a private ceremony to unveil his official portrait. But the state's 39th governor, who's been keeping a relatively low profile the past couple of months, had more than art on his mind. On his early exit from the GOP field of presidential candidates, following a poorer than expected showing in the Iowa straw poll, Pawlenty said that decision came down to running out of money and going into debt.
"We made some decisions that I think with the benefit of hindsight I would have done differently," Pawlenty said. "I think if we had it to do over again we would have probably metered out our resources lighter earlier so we could have made them last longer. Instead, we went for a more dramatic piece of progress in that early Iowa contest, and I think we should have made a different decision."
Pawlenty said since leaving the campaign trail he's been trying to reclaim the life he put on hold two years ago. He's also looking for a job. Pawlenty said he has several part-time, private sector opportunities in the works.
"I might serve on a board or two," he said. "I might get involved with a think tank or a nonprofit or a policy group. I might do some consulting. I might invest in some businesses or start a business. So, I've got six or eight ideas, and maybe two or three of them will actually come to fruition."
Asked if he might return to politics someday, Pawlenty said he really doesn't know what the future holds. He also didn't rule out a future campaign.
Posted at 10:00 AM on October 8, 2011
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty will appear on MPR's Midday program on Tuesday. MPR's Gary Eichten scored the first local interview with the former governor since he announced he was dropping his bid for the White House.
Pawlenty, a Republcian who served from 2001 through 2011, is making the appearance will be one day after his official portrait will be released at the State Capitol.
Posted at 4:58 PM on September 23, 2011
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's portrait will be unveiled Oct. 10 in the state Capitol's rotunda.
The event will be attended by Pawlenty and his family. The following morning, the portrait will be hung on the ground floor in the west wing of the building.
Pawlenty chose Rossin, a native of Bulgaria and Atlanta, Ga., resident to paint the piece. Rossin has painted Presidents George H. and George W. Bush, baseball Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron, and other officials.
Could the portrait be a giant extreme close up? Here's a photo from Rossin's website:
If so, it would be quite a departure from the other governors' portraits. We'll leave it to the art critics to decide what it means if that's the final portrait.
UPDATE: The Minnesota Historical Society just emailed to say that the above portrait is not the paiting that will hang in the Capitol. Stay tuned for the big reveal...
Tim Pawlenty is headed to Tunisia to be an election monitor.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the former Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota governor will be leading a team of American election monitors to the country in October.
The Tunisian government fell last spring, Tunisians need to pick officials to write their new constitution.
Here's what Pawlenty told the WSJ about the trip:
"This election will be very meaningful for Tunisia, for America and for the world," said Mr. Pawlenty. His job, he said, "will be to let the people hosting the election know that the world is watching."(2 Comments)
As he ran for president, late night comedians often tagged former Gov. Tim Pawlenty as being boring. Pawlenty tried to counter that notion with a series of quick-cut dramatic videos, promoting his campaign and attacking President Barack Obama.
Now the man behind Pawlenty's videos is promoting Texas Gov. Rick Perry with this very familiar looking production:
Change the name of the candidate, and it could have been a Pawlenty video, right?
Perry's campaign did not respond to a MPR News inquiry about who produced its new video, but Politico reports that it's Lucas Baiano,
Perry's campaign confirmed to MPR News that it's Lucas Baiano, the guy who did several similarly dramatic spots for Pawlenty like this one:(1 Comments)
Tim Pawlenty's early exit from the race for the Republican presidential nomination was as much of a surprise to the Minnesota governor's former adviser, Vin Weber, as it was to outside observers.
"I was surprised how quickly he left," Weber said during a talk at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. "I was not part of that decision."
Pawlenty bowed out of the race on August 14 the day after a poor showing in the Iowa Straw Poll, saying his campaign had run out of money. Weber said it was a "fundamental and unfortunate error in strategy" to put all the campaign's hopes on the straw poll.
As the GOP field expanded to included Rep. Michele Bachmann and others, Pawlenty's somewhat more moderate ideology pushed him further and further to the middle, making it difficult for him to appeal to the conservative voters typically found in Iowa, Weber said.
"I think if Tim Pawlenty had been able to stay in the race he would have found that the argument he was making to Iowa, which was that he was the candidate that would unite the party and have the best chance of beating Barack Obama,...I think that our campaign would have had more resonance as you got closer to the vote."
Now Weber is working for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. He gave a peek into the campaign.
Weber admitted that so far, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the front-runner and will pose a challenge to Romney as a result.
The question, he said, "is that a solid position that's going to hold, or is he benefiting disproportionately from the 'new guy on the block' syndrome?"
The real message that Romney will have to deliver is one of electability - and stay slightly to the left of Perry during the nomination process as a result. The strategy will work if what drives Republican voters this year is the desire to beat Obama.
Weber also talked about Romney's recent attack on Perry for calling Social Security a "Ponzi" scheme, saying that Republicans walk a fine line on the issue. On one hand, they don't want to alienate the older voters who make up a sizable portion of the party's electorate. At the same time, Republicans have long railed against government spending, but not entitlement reform.
Republicans "can't be in a position of maintaining [Social Security] as the untouchable third rail of politics" if it's ever going to be reformed, Weber said.
Weber dismissed the notion that Romney's Mormon religion will be trouble for him during the campaign. During the last election, Romney was doing well in Iowa until Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister, came into the picture. Critics point to that dynamic as evidence Romney's religion will hurt him politically.
But Weber says he interpreted Huckabee's first place finish in the Iowa caucuses differently. Voters there were voting for a Baptist minister - someone like them - not against a Mormon.
Still, Romney's religion could be a challenge in the South, Weber said.
"That's not inconsequential," he said.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who dropped his bid for the White House last month, announced today that he's backing Mitt Romney for president. Pawlenty first announced the endorsement on Fox and Friends this morning.
"Romney is running for president because he is deeply committed to our country, troubled by its current condition, and I believe he can turn it around," Pawlenty wrote in an e-mail to supporters.
The move will help Romney more with campaign structure and prospective donors. Pawlenty spent months building a national campaign structure. The support never materialized in grass-roots support for Pawlenty but could help open up more connections to Romney.
Pawlenty will also serve as national co-chair to Mitt Romney.
The Pawlenty endorsement could also help Romney in Iowa, should the former governor of Massachusetts decide to make a play to win the Iowa Caucuses. Pawlenty had a strong network of donors and campaign staff in that state.
The move is also a slight to GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann since Pawlenty and Bachmann both hail from Minnesota.
Romney has been looking to reclaim momentum since Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the race. Perry has been leading in recent national polls.
Pawlenty's announcement comes on the same day that the GOP candidates will meet in a debate in Florida. Pawlenty has been active in raising money in Florida since he's been governor.
Here's part of the e-mail from Pawlenty (full e-mail can be read here):
Romney is running for president because he is deeply committed to our country, troubled by its current condition, and I believe he can turn it around.(3 Comments)
He's formulated an economic plan-a set of alternatives to the government-oriented programs that Barack Obama has put in place-that is unparalleled in the history of American electoral campaigns. By pressing for fundamental change in the way that Washington taxes and spends, issues regulations, uses energy, interacts with our major trading partners, and deals with our labor force, he fully envisions a way to place America back on the path toward rapid economic growth and full employment.
And at his core, Mitt Romney is a man of great character. He and his wife Ann have been married for more than four decades. She is the love of his life. Together, they have five sons and sixteen grandchildren.
But he's not only a family man, he is a man of principle. He believes in the bedrock conservative ideals of limited government and free enterprise. He will stand up for America's allies when they are threatened, with fortitude. And he will face down our adversaries. He is a formidable person, and he will certainly be a formidable president. Our allies can count on it, and our enemies should expect it.
Crises indeed produces great leaders. Sometimes it just takes awhile.
I am proud to stand with Mitt. Will you join me?
GOP Rep. John Kline says he's staying out of the 2012 race for president now that Republican Tim Pawlenty has dropped out of the race. Kline was an initial backer of Pawlenty's campaign. He worked to secure support for Pawlenty among his colleagues in the U.S. House and hosted fundraisers for Pawlenty in Washington D.C.
Kline, who represents Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, said he was surprised by Pawlenty's poor showing in the Iowa Straw poll but said Pawlenty made the right decision to drop out of the race. Kline says he's not prepared to back another candidate.
"I just want to see how the field develops," Kline told MPR News. "I had a lot vested in my friend and constituent and former governor. I'm not at all eager to just jump in someplace else."
Kline said he wasn't prepared to back GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign. Bachmann represents Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District which borders part of Kline's district.
Kline called Bachmann "a friend" who "has certainly been a powerful force in the presidential race" but Kline suggested he believes the experience of a governor or a major military commander is best suited for a presidential candidate.
"I think that's the background you need," Kline said.
(H/T Mark Zdechlik)
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who dropped his bid to run for president in 2012, will not challenge DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar in 2012. Minnesota GOP Chair Tony Sutton was actively recruiting Pawlenty to challenge the first-term senator after Pawlenty announced he wasn't running again. Pawlenty's spokesman, Alex Conant, confirmed to MPR News that Pawlenty won't run against Klobuchar.
The Associated Press first reported the news.
"I don't know what I will be doing next," Pawlenty said in an email to The Associated Press. "However, I will not be running against Amy in 2012."
Former state Rep. Dan Severson is the only Republican to announce a run against Klobuchar. He lost his bid for Minnesota Secretary of State in 2010.(2 Comments)
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was doing more than campaigning during his failed run for president. Pawlenty, who dropped his bid for president on Sunday, filed his income and financial holdings with the Federal Elections Commission today. Pawlenty disclosed $714,635 in assets over the past year which included his $121,260 salary as governor, $342,000 in royalty payments from his book, 'Courage to Stand' and $242,000 in speaking fees. Pawlenty also listed more than $450,000 in assets like retirement funds.
Pawlenty hasn't said what he'll do next. MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton is lobbying Pawlenty to run against DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar in 2012. Republican political strategist Vin Weber, who chaired Pawlenty's presidential campaign, says he thinks Pawlenty won't challenge Klobuchar but could run for the U.S. Senate or governor in 2014.
Here's the full report Pawlenty filed with the FEC:
For those wondering, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann has filed an extension for her report.
On the heels of her Ames Straw Poll victory Rep. Michele Bachmann darted to her birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa on Sunday to take the stage at a Black Hawk County Republican event featuring the newest GOP presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Bachmann and Perry were never on stage at the same time. She spoke after Perry, starting off by waving a copy of the Sunday Waterloo Courier newspaper featuring a big picture of her on the front page along with the story about her success in Ames.
Bachmann continued to play up her Iowa roots at the Republican fundraiser where she attacked President Barack Obama and sounded alarms about what she calls "out of control government spending".
In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio News Sunday afternoon in Waterloo, Bachmann said she spoke with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty after he ended his presidential campaign. Fighting between Pawlenty and Bachmann dominated news coverage of last week's debate.
But Bachmann said their latest interaction was cordial.
"We had a very lovely conversation and I wished him well and he did likewise and he was very complimentary of me, as I was of him," said Bachmann.
Bachmann also talked about moving forward with her campaign in a changed field where Pawlenty is no longer a competitor and she has new competition from Gov. Perry. Both Perry and Bachmann appeal to the tea party and social conservative wings of the GOP.
"I'll be continuing to conduct this campaign the same that I have, bringing this message forward one voter at a time, one county at a time, one state at a time," said Bachmann.
Apart from an appearance on ABC's This Week, Pawlenty did not grant media interviews about his decision to get out of the race. A former staffer said Pawlenty would not be doing any more interviews this week. On ABC, Pawlenty said his third place finish in Ames made it clear to him that his campaign just wasn't working out.
"What I brought forward I thought was a rational, established, credible, strong record of results based on experience as a two-term governor who was out of a blue state," said Pawlenty. "But I think the audience, so to speak, was looking for something different," Pawlenty told ABC.
Prior to the television appearance Pawlenty brought key supporters together for an early Sunday morning telephone conference call to let them know he was done. Manchester, NH area Republican leader Clifford Hurst who was a member of Pawlenty's New Hampshire steering committee said the announcement came as a surprise and that he was already thinking about how the campaign could regroup following the Ames disappointment.
"In fact I had just you know been thinking about what happened in Iowa and I was ready to make an even deeper commitment to the governor and work harder and try be more effective in getting good results here in New Hampshire," said Hurst.
Drake University Political Science Professor Dennis Goldford said one of Pawlenty's problems is that he tried to appeal to too many factions of the GOP.
"At first he seemed to try to come across as a mainstream establishment candidate that was more conservative than Mitt Romney," said Goldford. "Since January or February of this year he started emphasizing themes that were much more in line with the tea party and religious conservatives, he sounded more of those populist themes," said Drake and that when competing with Bachmann with a populist message didn't work, Pawlenty circled back to his establishment candidate tack.
With Pawlenty out, Minnesota now has just on presidential candidate, but the field of Republicans vying for President Obama's job looks a lot different now that Gov. Perry's in the mix. Look for Bachmann to try to build on her Iowa victory and do whatever she can to keep supporters behind her even though Perry might look like an attractive option.
(MPR Photo/Mark Zdechlik)(1 Comments)
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann won the Iowa Straw Poll of GOP presidential candidates. She received more votes than any other candidate, including fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty. Texas Congressman Ron Paul finished second.
Here are the results from the Iowa GOP:
1. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (4823, 28.55%)
2. Congressman Ron Paul (4671, 27.65%)
3. Governor Tim Pawlenty (2293, 13.57%)
4. Senator Rick Santorum (1657, 9.81%)
5. Herman Cain(1456, 8.62%)
6. Governor Rick Perry (718, 3.62%) write-in
7. Governor Mitt Romney (567, 3.36%)
8. Speaker Newt Gingrich (385, 2.28%)
9. Governor Jon Huntsman (69, 0.41%)
10. Congressman Thad McCotter (35, 0.21%)
11. Scattering (162, 0.96 %) Includes all those receiving votes at less than one-percent that were not on the ballot.
Bachmann held an impromptu news conference after she was declared the victor. She thanked supporters and seemed thrilled with the victory. She also talked about moving her campaign beyond Iowa. Bachmann will appear on five Sunday morning news shows tomorrow.
Update: Bachmann's campaign released this statement:
"I want to thank the people of Iowa for this tremendous victory. Together we sent a message that we intend to make President Obama a one-term president. The Iowa Straw Poll was a important first step in what will be a long race for the presidency. Now we turn our attention toward winning the Iowa Caucuses and taking our message of reining in wasteful spending, keeping taxes low, growing our economy and creating jobs to the people of New Hampshire, South Carolina and all 50 states."
Bachmann's victory makes her one of the front-runners to win Iowa's first in the nation precinct caucuses. It doesn't, however, mean she'll be considered a front-runner to win the GOP nomination. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, didn't actively work to win the Iowa Straw Poll. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who could also draw Tea Party members and Evangelicals from Bachmann, also announced that he's running for President. Another wild card is Sarah Palin, who said she's still considering a run for the White House.
Pawlenty will be forced to explain to supporters and potential donors how his campaign is still viable with Bachmann, Romney and Perry all receiving plenty of buzz among GOP activists. He also spent a lot of time and money in Iowa over the past few months.
Pawlenty and his campaign didn't respond to questions from MPR News. He released this statement after the results were posted:
"Congratulations to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for her victory in today's straw poll. We made progress in moving from the back of the pack into a competitive position for the caucuses, but we have a lot more work to do. This is a long process to restore America -- we are just beginning and I'm looking forward to a great campaign."
MPR's Mark Zdechlik contributed to this report.(1 Comments)
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann each gave speeches Saturday afternoon in the Iowa State University arena where the straw poll is taking place.
Pawlenty sounded hoarse from all the campaigning. He played up his experience and accomplishments as Minnesota governor.
"I don't just talk about it, we get the job done," said Pawlenty appealing for votes in the poll.
"I want you to do everything you can here in the closing hours of the Ames Straw Poll to get support to my campaign. I want to look you in the eye, each and every one of you in this arena and tell you, I know what this country needs, I understand our conservative principles, I understand what needs to be done and I'm not just going to stand up here and give you the words, you can take it to the bank, I will restore American's promise and lead this country to a better, brighter, stronger place."
Bachmann's introductory video sought to capitalize on her northeastern Iowa roots. She was born in Waterloo and played that up during her remarks as well.
"Our campaign is 48 days old and in the last 48 days I've been all across the four corners of Iowa an all points in between. I was born in Waterloo," said Bachmann.
In making her plea for support Bachmann talked about her business background.
"I get it, how to turn the economy around. I get it, how to create jobs. We actually think it's a good idea to turn a profit."
Bachmann wrapped up saying she was headed to vote and that anyone was welcome to accompany her and cast their ballots along side her.
Thousands of people are attending the Iowa Republican Party's Ames Straw Poll fundraiser, where several GOP presidential candidates are actively competing for support in the non-binding poll.
The straw poll is not often a good predictor of who will win the nomination, but there is a tradition of campaigns living and dying by the results.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has spent about $1 million trying to become the favorite candidate of Iowa Republicans. Many political analysts say if Pawlenty fails to do well in the poll, his support will dry up and he'll be forced to end his presidential campaign.
Jeremy Davis who lives in Ames, Iowa is serving as Pawlenty's Story County campaign chair. His job is to round up Pawlenty votes. Davis said Pawlenty needs to finish first or second and predicted that will happen, giving Pawlenty's campaign a much-needed boost.
Davis said a big part of his pitch in turning out voters for Pawlenty has been the allure of free music and free food at Pawlenty's campaign headquarters tent near where the balloting is taking place.
"That's what's getting a lot of people excited across the board, just the entertainment value," said Davis who was wearing a green Pawlenty 2012 campaign shirt.
The big draw at Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign tent is country music star Randy Travis. Bachmann is also supplying her supporters with free food and drink.
Bachmann supporter Jerilyn Banweelden predicted Bachmann would win the straw poll. She and several of her sisters were wearing red Bachmann 2012 t-shirts.
"I brought all five of my sisters and we all voted for her that could and we just think that she would be a good president for America," said Banweelden.
A war of words between Pawlenty and Bachmann dominated news coverage of Thursday's GOP debate in Ames. The next day Pawlenty said he thought the sparring gave him a boost going into the straw poll. Banweelden said she disagreed and that she thought Pawlenty's tone with Bachmann was driving support to Bachmann.
Both Bachmann and Pawlenty say they will continue on with their presidential campaigns regardless of the Ames Straw Poll results.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann has hit the Sunday morning jackpot. Bachmann is scheduled to appear on NBC's Meet the Press, CBS' Face the Nation, ABC's This Week, Fox News Sunday and CNN's State of the Union. Minnesota's 6th District Congresswoman will make the appearances one day after the Iowa Straw Poll - an early test for the strength of the 2012 candidates.
Bachmann is hoping to do well at the Straw Poll and will use hear appearances to lay out where her campaign goes from there.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty will also appear on a Sunday show. He's scheduled to appear on ABC's This Week.
Here's the rundown from AP:
ABC's "This Week" - Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, both 2012 GOP presidential candidates.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - Bachmann; Gov. Terry Branstad, R-Iowa.
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Bachmann; Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.
CNN's "State of the Union" - Bachmann and Herman Cain, also a 2012 GOP presidential candidate; Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa
"Fox News Sunday" - Bachmann.
Many political insiders are using phrases like "make or break," as they look at what's at stake for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty going into tonight's Iowa GOP debate and, more importantly, Saturday's straw poll in Ames.
Pawlenty has spent a lot of time and about $1 million trying to make himself the choice of Iowa Republicans. But his plan to become the alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hit a road block when fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann got into the 2012 GOP nomination battle in mid-June, quickly eclipsing the candidate who likes to call himself 'T-Paw.'
Tonight's debate will give Pawlenty and the other potential Romney alternatives a chance to knock down both Romney and Bachmann.
Pawlenty is hoping it will wipe the slate clean from the last debate in New Hampshire in June, when he whiffed at a chance to criticize Romney on health care in person, after doing it on Fox News Sunday the day before.
As Bachmann's standing in the field of GOP candidates has grown over the past several weeks, she's become a more careful candidate, avoiding impromptu reporter questions and carefully staging campaign events. Bachmann is likely to play it safe in Ames tonight in hopes of retaining her ground.
While there will be a lot of attention on the debate, barring some major misstep tonight, the big story out of Iowa this week will be the results of the Ames Straw Poll - or the 'Minnesota Primary,' as some are calling it.
Romney's name will be on the ballot, but he won't be in Ames this weekend, and he hasn't been actively campaigning for support in the poll. Pawlenty has, running TV ads and making lots of speeches.
Bachmann, who's been running well ahead of Pawlenty in polls of likely Iowa caucus goers, hasn't spent nearly as much time or money in Iowa as Pawlenty. The Bachmann campaign is hoping her populist, anti-establishment appeal will win her the most support in the straw poll. Both the Pawlenty and Bachmann campaigns have been arranging transportation to help supporters get to Ames, and both are providing live music along with free food and beverages at their hospitality tents.
For Pawlenty failing to come in first or a strong second in the straw poll could mark the end of his campaign. The poll is basically a beauty contest, but if he performs poorly many supporters would likely reconsider whether they think he could win the nomination and stop sending money. Pawlenty calls the idea that he might be forced to exit the race if he fails to deliver in Ames "preposterous."
The stakes are also high for Bachmann. Her strong start has created has high expectations, and if she fails to live up to them, her bubble could begin to deflate.
Soon after she entered the race Bachmann rocketed to second place in national polls of likely GOP primary voters. The latest national polls show Pawlenty at or near the bottom of the pack of GOP candidates. They also show Bachmann losing some of the support she was picking up following the June debate.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's campaign for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination is trying to build support in front of Saturday's Iowa Republican straw poll.
In an email to supporters Pawlenty's campaign manager Nick Ayers is promising "one-of-a-kind prizes" such as: signed T-Paw hockey jerseys, and signed copies of Pawlenty's book, The Courage to Stand, in exchange for help in getting undecided Iowa Republicans to support Pawlenty in the straw poll.
Ayers says supporters can help by placing calls on Pawlenty's behalf from the comfort of their own homes...even if those homes are outside of the Hawkeye State.
"The momentum is on our side and we are not letting up. With just under one week to go, we are asking each Pawlenty supporter across the country to help push us over the top in Ames," writes Ayers in the message.
Ayers also writes that no candidate is working harder for votes in Ames than Pawlenty, whom he describes as "well positioned for a great showing."
WASHINGTON - Minnesota GOP presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty reacted quickly to the news that Standard and Poors downgraded the federal government's bond rating Friday, saying the move demonstrated President Barack Obama's lack of fitness for a second term in office.
S&P said the government was accumulating too much debt and lacked a solid path to stabilizing its indebtedness despite last week's agreement to cut long-term spending by more than $2 trillion.
"President Obama is destroying the foundations of the U.S. economy one beam at a time," Bachmann, who represents Minnesota's 6th Congressional District, said in a statement. "I call on the President to seek the immediate resignation of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and to submit a plan with a list of cuts to balance the budget this year, turn our economy around and put Americans back to work."
Pawlenty continued with the theme in a speech Saturday in Grinell, Iowa.
"What he [President Obama] doesn't understand is all this talk of the full faith and credit in the United States government, he needs to stop being reminded. We need to have a president who understands what it means to put our full faith and credit in the American people," said Pawlenty. "His vision for America is to take things out of the private sector and to put it into the government."
The White House responded quickly to the downgrade, criticizing S&P for faulty calculations that overestimated the amount of debt the United States would accumulate by $2 trillion.
While Bachmann and Pawlenty's statements savaged President Obama's stewardship of the economy, S&P's press release explaining its rationale for the downgrade tells a different story.
While calling for additional spending cuts, the ratings agency cited political brinksmanship and the Republican-instigated standoff over the debt ceiling as key obstacles for resolving the country's long-term debt problems. S&P was careful to note that it didn't proscribe a particular mix of spending cuts and revenue increases, but pointed to congressional Republican resistance to raising revenues as a significant factor in its downgrade decision rather than any actions by the administration:
Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act. Key macroeconomic assumptions in the base case scenario include trend real GDP growth of 3% and consumer price inflation near 2% annually over the decade.
Once reactions from Minnesota's congressional delegation come in, we'll post them on this blog as a separate entry.(3 Comments)
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's 2012 presidential campaign said its ads will stop airing in Iowa in advance of next Saturday's Iowa Straw Poll. Spokesman Alex Conant said the decision to stop the ads was made because the campaign is "focusing our resources towards getting our supporters to the straw poll. We like the position we're in and the direction we're headed."
As word came that Pawlenty is pulling his TV advertising, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign unveiled a new TV ad that began airing yesterday throughout Iowa promoting her opposition to raising the debt ceiling.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who's running for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, is not a fan of the proposed debt ceiling solution. Pawlenty's spokesman Alex Conant released the following statement Monday morning.
"This deal is nothing to celebrate. Only in Washington would the political class think it's a victory when the government narrowly avoids default, agrees to go further into debt, and does little to reform a spending system that cannot be sustained by our children and grandchildren. While no further evidence was needed, this entire debt ceiling fiasco demonstrates that President Obama must be replaced."
Rep. Michele Bachmann, who's also running for the GOP presidential nomination, released a statement Sunday night repeating her opposition to raising the debt ceiling.
"Mr. President, I'm not sure what voice you're listening to, but I can assure you that the voice of the American people wasn't the 'voice that compelled Washington to act.' It was you that got us into this mess, and it was you who wanted a $2.4 trillion dollar blank check to get you through the election."
"Everywhere I travel across the country, Americans want less spending, lower taxes to create jobs, and they don't want us to raise the debt ceiling. The President continues to press for a 'balanced approach,' which everyone knows is code for increased spending and taxes. Throughout this process the President has failed to lead and failed to provide a plan. The 'deal' he announced spends too much and doesn't cut enough. This isn't the deal the American people 'preferred' either, Mr. President. Someone has to say no. I will."
Unlike Pawlenty, Bachmann will get a chance to vote against the deal.(1 Comments)
The latest numbers from Gallup deliver more good news for U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann -- who speaks at the National Press Club Thursday -- and more bad news for former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Among declared candidates, Bachmann is supported by 18 percent of Republican voters, according to the national poll, which was conducted July 20-24. That puts her second behind frontrunner Mitt Romney.
In June, Bachmann was supported by only 7 percent of Republican voters. Since then, her poll numbers have risen to 18 percent, largely on the strength of her performance in the New Hampshire debate according to Gallup.
"Most other candidates' support has held steady or shown a slight decline since June," pollsters said.
Meanwhile, Pawlenty is supported by 4 percent of Republican voters. That number is in line with other recent national polls, which are especially useful when it comes to fundraising and building visibility among voters.
Though Pawlenty has campaigned doggedly, he's had trouble expanding support among conservative voters, and it appears the recent poll numbers only underscore his challenge.
Bachmann could lose support if Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are thrown into the mix.
None of the potential candidates have declared their candidacy, but any could shake up the field if they do, especially for Romney. For instance, if Perry decided to enter the race, he'd come in at a close second behind Romney with 18 percent of Republican support. In that case Romney's support would decline from 27 percent to 23 percent.
Bachmann is the featured noontime speaker at the National Press Club on Thursday, where she's expected to talk more about her candidacy for president.
Speaking with reporters early Tuesday afternoon, Republican Michele Bachmann said the federal government needs to cut spending, not to raise the debt ceiling. The 6th district congresswoman is campaigning for the GOP nomination to run against President Barack Obama next year. Bachmann castigated both Republicans and Democrats negotiating over how to raise the debt ceiling for not listening to voters who want smaller government.
I think the premise is wrong right now that both parties are engaging and that is they're beginning from the premise that we will increase the debt ceiling. I think it's the wrong premise because what we need is a fundamental restructuring of our economy that is not occurring.
Bachmann went on to say the nation has a very serious problem with over-spending.
What we have to recognize is that the problem is today, the problem isn't five years from now or ten years from now when most of these cuts would take effect because we've seen this movie play out before we promise cuts and they are never realized.
Bachmann says the government has sufficient revenue to service the nation's debt and pay U.S. military personnel.
According to a report in the Des Moines Register, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who's also running for the GOP nomination said he supports a three-pronged plan to balance the budget: Push through immediate spending reforms, while working on a long-term goal to pass a constitutional amendment requiring the Congress to balance the nation's budget. According to the newspaper Pawlenty said he also would cap spending as a percentage of the gross domestic product.
(Bachmann's press conference audio courtesy of Radio Iowa)(1 Comments)
Minnesota Congresswoman and GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is making the case that she and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who's also vying for the GOP presidential nomination, are have very different policy records.
Bachmann for President Press Secretary Alice Stewart issued a statement responding to the Pawlenty campaign's assertion that Pawlenty and Bachmann share very similar positions on the issues.
Governor Pawlenty would have us believe that there is 'very little difference' between his positions and those of Michele Bachmann. But in fact, there is very little difference between Governor Pawlenty's past positions and Barack Obama's positions on several critical issues facing Americans. On issues such as unconstitutional healthcare mandates, climate change regulations, and Wall Street bailouts, there's very little daylight, indeed, between Governor Pawlenty's record and the Obama administration's policies.
Bachmann and Pawlenty are among several Republicans working hard in Iowa in hopes of strong showings in next month's Iowa Straw Poll which will be help in Ames in mid-August.
Yesterday, the Des Moines Register reported that ABC Sports may send Gov. Tim Pawlenty a cease-and-desist letter for using TV footage of the USA hockey team's unexpected defeat of the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics in his latest political ad, "The American Comeback."
The Iowa paper quoted ABC Sports director of rights and clearances, Louise Argianas, as saying the use of the footages was "a violation of our copyright and exclusive proprietary rights."
But is appears that officials at ESPN, which oversees ABC Sports, are hedging a bit. Here's the organization's latest statement:
"Neither ABC nor ESPN has asked the Pawlenty campaign to remove any footage from their video, although neither ABC nor ESPN licensed the video to them or authorized its use."
Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant said that the ad was thoroughly vetted by the former governor's lawyers.
"All of our campaign television advertising is carefully reviewed by the campaign's lawyers to ensure compliance with the copyright laws, the federal election laws, and other legal provisions," Conant wrote in an email. "The campaign's 'Miracle on Ice' advertisement was carefully reviewed for legal compliance and we believe fully complies with the 'fair use' doctrine. We respect ABC's concern and look forward to responding to their inquiry."
The new TV spot features shots of Pawlenty, a long-time hockey player, in an ice rink, interspersed with footage from the epic 1980 hockey game.
"Out here, you're tested," Pawlenty says in the ad. "You face an opponent the experts say can't be beat. You fight, you bleed, you prevail."
Like the USA hockey team's early performance in the rink, Pawlenty hasn't been doing so well in polls, and the ad is likely meant to sway critics who say he doesn't have what it takes to win the Republican presidential nomination.
Here's the TV spot.
It looks like Tim Pawelnty might get in a little trouble for his latest political ad.
The Des Moines Register is reporting that ABC Sports will be sending the former governor a cease-and-desist letter for using TV footage of the USA hockey team beating the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics - footage ABC sports says it owns, according to the Iowa paper.
The Des Moines Register reports,
"It's a violation of our copyright and exclusive proprietary rights," said Louise Argianas, director of rights and clearances for ABC Sports.
Pawlenty's latest ad is running in Iowa. It's called "The American Comeback," and it's probably meant to sway critics who say Pawlenty's polling numbers are too low to win the nomination.
"Out here, you're tested," Pawlenty, a long-time hockey player, says in the ad. "You face an opponent the experts say can't be beat. You fight, you bleed, you prevail."
Here's the TV spot.
Update: Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant says the ad is in compliance. Here's his statement:
"All of our campaign television advertising is carefully reviewed by the campaign's lawyers to ensure compliance with the copyright laws, the federal election laws, and other legal provisions. The campaign's 'Miracle on Ice' advertisement was carefully reviewed for legal compliance and we believe fully complies with the 'fair use' doctrine. We respect ABC's concern and look forward to responding to their inquiry."
WASHINGTON - Echoing Minnesota's other Republican presidential candidate, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty questioned whether a failure to raise the national borrowing limit would lead to a default.
According to Josh Marshall, publisher of the web site Talking Points Memo, when asked whether a default would have negative economic repercussions, Pawlenty reportedly said, "Maybe not ... We don't know."
His remarks echo those Bachmann made Wednesday at a Capitol Hill press conference. She said then, "it is simply not true," that failing to raise the debt ceiling would lead to a default.
As federal budget expert Stan Collender explained to MPR News yesterday, the consequences of missing the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt limit would make the 2008 financial crisis, "look like child's play."
Pawlenty even went a step further than Bachmann's comments in his talk at the Bloomberg View event. When pressed by participants, the former governor reportedly said he would prefer a default to any increase in government revenue.
He was also quoted by Bloomberg News as saying that in the event of a default, outside creditors, including foreigners, should be repaid first, followed by the military.
Pawlenty condemned a compromise put forward by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, that would allow a debt ceiling increase, calling it a "Band-Aid on a broken bone," according to Bloomberg.(1 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Happy Federal Election Commission fundraising filing deadline day!
We don't have all the numbers on how much the various presidential, senatorial and congressional campaigns have brought in, but we'll update this post as more results come in.
Michele Bachmann - CBS reports that the Stillwater Congresswoman has raised $4 million since officially announced her bid for the White House last month. We're trying to confirm those numbers with the campaign. The CBS report says $2 million came from donors and the other $2 million was transferred from Bachmann's congressional campaign account. While $2 million in less than a month is nothing to sneeze at, there had been speculation that Bachmann's haul was likely to be far bigger and the Washington Post's conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin deemed the figure mediocre.
UPDATE: Bachmann's campaign announced that she's raised $4.2 million in the past quarter, although it didn't break out how much came before and after Bachmann's June 12th official announcement that she was entering the race. The campaign says Bachmann had more than 88,000 donors who gave an average of $48. Her war chest holds $3.6 million.
Tim Pawlenty - The former governor's campaign had reported two weeks ago that it raised $4.2 million over the past three months. Today, they're saying that when they counted every penny in the piggy bank, it was actually $4.5 million with $2 million cash on hand. Just $600,000 of the money is dedicated to the general election, should Pawlenty win the Republican primary. That puts Pawlenty even with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) but both are still far behind Mitt Romney, who brought in over $18 million in the same period.
Amy Klobuchar - As reported earlier this week, Klobuchar raised $1.1 million for her reelection bid and has more than $3 million in the bank.
Dan Severson - The only declared GOP opponent for Klobuchar's seat raised just $3,600 in the past quarter. If that fundraising pace continues, next year's Senate election could look like the short film Bambi meets Godzilla.
Jeff Anderson - Anderson, a city council member in Duluth, is one of three DFLers who have already declared their intent to run against Republican Chip Cravaack in the 8th Congressional District. His campaign has raised $30,000 so far and has $27,000 in the bank.
Lee Byberg - Republican Byberg lost to DFLer Collin Peterson last year. This time around, his FEC filing shows that Byberg raised $40,000 in the past quarter and has $42,000 cash on hand. One challenge for Byberg, his campaign still has $77,000 in debt from the election cycle.
Tarryl Clark - Former State Rep. Clark took on - and lost to - Michele Bachmann in the 6th District last year. Although Clark went down in flames, she raised $5 million in the most expensive House race last year. Now, she's moved to Duluth and plans to challenge newcomer Rep. Chip Cravaack. Clark's campaign says she raised over $140,000 since declaring her bid two months ago and has $130,00 cash on hand.
Chip Cravaack - Freshman Republican Rep. Cravaack is likely to face a very tough re-election campaign in the 8th District. So far, we've gotten no answer from his campaign about their fundraising, but last quarter's results were not terribly strong given the amount of money Democrats are likely to pour into the race. UPDATE Cravaack's campaign raised nearly $224,000 and has almost $269,000 cash on hand. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Cravaack has drawn interest from many lobbyists and trade associations related to industries that do business with the committee. Cravaack pulled in more than $76,000 from political action committees.
Randy Lee Demmer - Republican Demmer challenged DFL Rep. Tim Walz in the 1st District last year and lost. Demmer's in the race again this year but so far has raised just $1,600 and his campaign is still buried under $93,000 in debt from last year.
Keith Ellison -
As yet, there's no response from the DFL Congressman's campaign. UPDATE: Minneapolis Congressman Keith Ellison's campaign raised $233,000 last quarter. The DFLer's campaign bank account now holds $169,000.
John Kline -
UPDATE: The 2nd District Republican Congressman's campaign raised $327,000 this quarter and has $583,000 cash on hand. As the new chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, Kline's fundraising base has expanded considerably in the past year and a closer look at those numbers will probably reveal many out of state donors. The Republican chair of the House Education and Workforce committee hasn't yet announced his campaign's fundraising totals.
Betty McCollum - DFLer McCollum's campaign reports raising $114,000 last quarter, with $108,000 cash on hand. McCollum has a very safe DFL seat in St. Paul and is not expecting a serious challenge. Still, her campaign is about to get a big fundraising boost when McCollum's close ally, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, holds a fundraiser in Minnesota this weekend for McCollum and other Democrats.
Erik Paulsen -
Paulsen's campaign says its results will be out later this afternoon. UPDATE: 3rd District Congressman Erik Paulsen's campaign raised $396,000 last quarter and now has $676,000 in the bank. That's in line with his strong fundraising performance in the first quarter and may scare away some potential DFL challengers.
Collin Peterson - The powerful ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee raised $161,000 in the past three months. Over $126,000 of those funds came from political action committees associated with various agricultural companies and trade associations. Peterson's campaign war chest now has $581,000 in it.
Lynne Torgerson - Tea party Republican Torgerson challenged DFLer Ellison in last year's election and says she plans to run against him again in his heavily Democratic Minneapolis district. So far, she's pulled in less than $3,000.
Tim Walz -
We've asked the 1st District DFL Congressman's campaign for an update but haven't heard back yet. UPDATE:
Walz's campaign announced that the 1st District Congressman raised $380,000 for his reelection. He'll need it, as Republicans have repeatedly tried to oust the DFLer since Walz first took the seat in 2006. Walz has $397,000 on hand.
A quick note on why these numbers matter. Fundraising shows how much support candidates have and what kind of resources they'll be able to deploy during their campaigns. Further, we can tell from the mix of small donors and large donors whether the candidate has a lot of interest from the grassroots versus wealthier donors who can write big checks.
We'll do more in-depth analysis over the coming weeks.(1 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty have more in common than just being former Republican governors now running for president: both won't sign a pledge from the Iowa evangelical group Family Leader.
In a statement this afternoon, Pawlenty pointed to his own marriage and his opposition to same-sex marriage but said, "rather than sign onto the words chosen by others, I prefer to choose my own words."
Rival candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, has signed the pledge, which includes a requirement that candidates vow fidelity to their spouses, condemn gay marriage, abortion and pornography and pledge to reduce the size of government. Former Sen. Rick Santorum has also signed the pledge but Mitt Romney declined, calling the document "undignified."
The Family Leader's pledge came under criticism because it stated that black families had been more cohesive under slavery than they are today. The organization is led by an influential Iowa evangelical, Bob Vander Platts, who helped Mike Huckabee organize his 2008 victory in the Iowa caucus.
The latest 2012 poll shows GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann surging into second place - making her the top contender to perceived GOP front-runner Mitt Romney.
The latest Quinnipiac University national poll shows Romney with support from 25 percent of those polled. Bachmann has support from 14 percent of those polled. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who hasn't announced whether she'll run, is polling at 12 percent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who hasn't announced his intentions yet, has support of ten percent of those surveyed.
Tim Pawlenty has support from three percent of those polled and is in seventh place among the candidates listed. Pawlenty has recently said that he's not focused on polling data as he makes his case to the voters. But what should be most troubling is that he's been on the campaign trail longer than many of the other candidates and still isn't catching fire.
In fact, Pawlenty's poll numbers didn't move when poll respondents were asked who they would pick if Palin and Perry didn't run.
The most troubling sign: Pawlenty's numbers were higher in Quinnipiac's previous polls than the July survey.
The survey also found that the nation is split on President Obama. 47 percent say they would vote to give Obama another term. 47 percent say they would not. Obama wins the head to head match ups against Bachmann, Romney, Palin and Perry.(8 Comments)
WASHINGTON - A new poll shows GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann drawing 18 percent support in New Hampshire in the Republican presidential primary race, only seven points behind Mitt Romney, who has consistently led polls in the Granite State and owns a home there.
The PPP poll has Bachmann gaining 14 percent support since the company's last New Hampshire poll in April. Meanwhile, Romney's support dropped 12 percent.
PPP says Bachmann's support in New Hampshire, which is host to the nation's first presidential primary in 2012, comes from tea party supporters. The company says Bachmann's net favorability ratings are the strongest among the presidential contenders with 64 percent of respondents holding a favorable impression of the 6th District Congresswoman compared to just 24 percent holding an unfavorable impression.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty remains toward the back of the pack of contenders with 6 percent support, tied with Jon Huntsman, who only recently announced his campaign, and two points ahead of Newt Gingrich, whose campaign staff resigned en masse last month.
Bachmann has appeared to be concentrating her resources on winning two other early voting states, Iowa and South Carolina, where social conservatives hold more sway, rather than New Hampshire, which has a strong libertarian and fiscally conservative bent.
PPP surveyed 341 New Hampshire Republicans who say they'll vote in the primaries. It conducted the poll between June 30th and July 5th (with a break on the 3rd and 4th of July). The poll's margin of error is +/- 5.3 percent. The full results and methodology are available here.(9 Comments)
The latest WMUR Granite State Poll shows 35 percent of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire say they would vote for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann holds a distant second place in the poll with 12 percent. But Bachmann is the only other candidate who registered support in the double digits.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul had 7 percent. Former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had just 3 percent.
The 773 people were randomly selected for the poll and interviewed between June 21, and July 1, including 357 likely Republican primary voters and 263 likely Democratic primary voters. The margin of error for the poll's 2012 GOP questions is 5.2 percent.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is scheduled to be on NBC's Meet the Press this Sunday. The Republican candidate for president is the latest presidential hopeful to appear on the Sunday morning show.
Pawlenty has assembled a strong team of advisers and has been working to make himself a viable alternative to Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.
But he has been lagging in the polls in the key presidential states of Iowa and New Hampshire. And his campaign has hit a series of rough patches. He was widely criticized for pulling a punch against Romney during a Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire. His fundraising figures have also been lower than some observers expected.
Pawlenty is scheduled to campaign in Iowa this week. His campaign manager was predicting some news out of the trip on his Twitter feed.
Update: Pawlenty's campaign has hired Sarah Huckabee Sanders as a political adviser. She'll take the campaign's lead in the Iowa Straw poll.
"Sarah is a results-oriented person with a great track record in Iowa and around the country," Gov. Pawlenty said in a news release. "We are very excited Sarah is joining our team just as we are hitting our stride in Iowa."
Huckabee Sanders is the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa Caucuses in 2008. She served as Huckabee's national political director.
WASHINGTON - Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign raised $4.2 million from donors in the past quarter, considerably less than the $20 million rival Republican Mitt Romney is expected to bring in.
"Gov. Pawlenty will report that his campaign has raised about $4.2 million, and begins the third quarter with more available cash-on-hand than the Republicans who won the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary had in July 2007," wrote spokesman Alex Conant in a brief email to reporters.
The low haul (some estimates from earlier this week had suggested the campaign would bring in as much as $5 million) comes as Pawlenty remains stuck far behind Romney and fellow Minnesotan Rep. Michele Bachmann in the polls.
Presidential campaigns have until July 15th to file detailed information about donations and spending to the Federal Election Commission, but many campaigns release their total fundraising haul early in order to show off to rival campaigns and prospective donors.
Bachmann has a reputation for being an aggressive and highly successful fundraiser, especially with small donors but campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart said yesterday the campaign didn't plan to release numbers early and sought to downplay expectations.
"Keep in mind, we have only been in this for three weeks and have been working on organization and the announcement tour," Stewart wrote in an email.
On his way back from meeting with Florida lawmakers Thursday, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty weighed in on the state's budget impasse just hours before the government shut down.
"Both in Washington, D.C., and in St. Paul, the Democrats continue their thirst for more spending and more taxes, and that's not the right direction for Minnesota and that's not the right direction for our country," he said during an eleventh hour press conference at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.
"The Democrats are the ones that are driving the finances toward the cliff," he said adding that he supports the state's GOP legislators in pushing back on Dayton's proposed income tax increases on the wealthiest Minnesotans.
In fact, the state's $5 billion budget gap is the result of decisions made during Pawlenty's administration, including about $2 billion in one-time federal stimulus dollars and a $1.9 billion delay in school payments that effectively allowed the state to support more programming in the last biennium than it had in cash.
Those shifts allow Pawlenty to claim he left the state with a $399 million surplus.
Pawlenty deflected questions about his role in the current budget crisis, saying that it's based on massive spending increases proposed by the current administration.
"If this state government would simply live within the revenues it has available, it wouldn't have any deficit at all," he said.
Not to be outdone, DFL party chair Ken Martin showed up at the airport for his own press conference.
Here's what he had to say in response to Pawlenty's comments:
"The last thing Minnesotans and the last thing Americans need at this point is fiscal policy and budget advice from Tim Pawlenty. He left this state with a record budget deficit of $6.2 billion, and here we are a few short hours away from a potential government shutdown that Tim Pawlenty created."
Since Pawlenty left office, the state's projected deficit has been scaled back to $5 billion over the next two years.
WASHINGTON - Many of Minnesota's candidates for federal office are bombarding email inboxes today, looking for a last-minute rush of campaign contributions before a federal filing deadline at midnight tonight.
Presidential contenders such as Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty are trying to prove their viability as strong, national candidates in the GOP nomination process, something made much easier by an impressive fundraising haul.
"They'll stop at nothing to defeat me," was the title of one such email from Bachmann's presidential campaign. In case you were wondering, the "they" in Bachmann's email refers to "Barack Obama's campaign machine" that will "use the numbers we report not only as a sign of our campaign's strength, but also a sign of the strength of our conservative values."
Judging from the traffic of fundraising emails in my inbox, Pawlenty has not sought smaller donors as aggressively as Bachmann, even as media reports suggest that his campaign is struggling to raise funds.
Pawlenty's latest appeal was delivered Tuesday after a foreign policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. Riffing on a theme from the speech, the email asked, "Will you join me to stop President Obama's defeatist attitude and return America back to its rightful leadership role?"
In case it's not clear, "join" in this context means "give."
Congressional candidates are also shaking the money tree. Incumbents like to post strong numbers early in the election cycle to scare off potential opponents.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz has challenged his supporters to give $50,000 before the midnight deadline. The three-term congressman's 1st District is a prime GOP target and Walz has been tapped for extra support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to help him hold the seat.
His fundraising numbers this quarter will likely be strong, especially since he took part in four Washington, DC events this quarter, each with a suggested minimum contribution of $1,000.
Freshman Republican Chip Cravaack posted weak fundraising numbers in the first quarter but lately he's been aggressively courting small donors via email (likely with the help of email lists he purchased from Bachmann).
One such recent email asked, "Who pays attention to FEC reports?" The answer: "Washington is filled with liberal lobbyists whose only job is to scour these reports, find first-term Republicans who haven't raised much, and send big campaign checks to their opponents."
For challengers, a strong showing might tilt party support in their direction.
DFLer Tarryl Clark, who was defeated by Bachmann in the 6th District congressional race last year, has her sights set on defeating Cravaack in the 8th District next year. Clark is a proven fundraiser who pulled in nearly $5 million in her race against Bachmann.
"Why is it important to raise money this early?" asks Clark's latest appeal. In Clark's case, it might be because the St. Cloud resident has relocated to Duluth in order to challenge Cravaack and she will need to prove her worth in a crowded field of DFL contenders, most with stronger ties to the 8th District.
Another DFL candidate who's gunning for Cravaack's job is Duluth City Councilor Jeff Anderson. Entitled "Midnight Tonight," Anderson's most recent email says midnight, "marks the first quarterly FEC fundraising deadline since Rep. Cravaack cast his radical vote to end Medicare - and the world is watching our response."
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has climbed 8 points in a Suffolk University/7NEWS (WHDH TV) poll of likely voters in New Hampshire's GOP presidential primary.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney remains a front-runner in the Granite State with 36 percent support, but Bachmann's gain since May, to 11 percent, was greater than any other candidate. With the exception of Romney and Bachmann, support for the 18 candidates remained in single digits. Tim Pawlenty's support eroded 3 points, to 2 percent.
Among those who watched the Republican presidential debate in Manchester earlier this month, 33 percent said Romney won the debate, while 31 percent gave the win to Bachmann.
The statewide survey, which was released Tuesday, of 400 likely voters in New Hampshire's Republican Presidential Primary was conducted via telephone on June 25-27. The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
WASHINGTON - Speaking before an audience in New York at the Council on Foreign Relations, former Gov. and presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty sought to differentiate his approach to foreign policy from other Republicans and President Obama.
Pawlenty, who frequently cites his foreign travel while governor as an example of his foreign policy bona fides, said President Obama had "failed to formulate and carry out an effective and coherent strategy" in response to the democratic uprisings in the Arab world this year.
He repeated a criticism of the President's multilateral approach to foreign policy made by fellow candidate and Minnesotan, Rep. Michele Bachmann, saying that, "America never leads from behind."
In a veiled attack on some of his GOP presidential rivals, Pawlenty said some elements of the Republican Party "now seem to be trying to out-bid the Democrats in appealing to isolationist sentiments."
Pawlenty criticized Obama's policy of engagement with Iran and Syria, saying that the U.S. had failed to promote democracy in the region with enough vigor.
When pressed during the question period about what he would do in Syria, Pawlenty ruled out using military force, saying "there are other things we can do."
While the speech concentrated on democracy in the Arab world, it was notable that there was just one reference in the delivered remarks to Iraq, where the U.S. has been actively involved in building the country's democracy since its invasion in 2003.
Pawlenty said the the country, which is still beset by internal divisions and acts of terrorism was "further along on its journey toward democracy," a position he stuck to during questions.
In addition the foreign policy speech, Pawlenty's trip to New York included at least one high-dollar fundraising event hosted by real estate developers and bankers.
The fundraiser comes as the June 30 deadline approaches to close the books on this quarter's fundraising. Pawlenty's campaign has reportedly struggled to gain traction with donors.
Listen to the speech here.
Tim Pawlenty's campaign for president has released advance excerpts of today address to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. Pawlenty will make his remarks this morning at 8:30 Central.
Here are the remarks released by the campaign.
On America's response to the Arab Spring:
But President Obama has failed to formulate and carry out an effective and coherent strategy in response to these events. He has been timid, slow, and too often without a clear understanding of our interests or a clear commitment to our principles.
President Obama has ignored that lesson of history. Instead of promoting democracy - whose fruit we see now ripening across the region - he adopted a murky policy he called "engagement."
"Engagement" meant that in 2009, when the Iranian ayatollahs stole an election, and the people of that country rose up in protest, President Obama held his tongue. His silence validated the mullahs, despite the blood on their hands and the nuclear centrifuges in their tunnels.
Israeli-Palestinian peace is further away now than the day Barack Obama came to office. But that does not have to be a permanent situation. We must recognize that peace will only come if everyone in the region perceives clearly that America stands strongly with Israel.
On the Republican Party and Foreign Policy:
What is wrong, is for the Republican Party to shrink from the challenges of American leadership in the world. History repeatedly warns us that in the long run, weakness in foreign policy costs us and our children much more than we'll save in a budget line item. America already has one political party devoted to decline, retrenchment, and withdrawal; it does not need a second one.(1 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign fired off a list of Iowa lawmakers who endorsed him campaign just two hours after Rep. Michele Bachmann formally kicked off her presidential run at a highly-publicized event in Bachmann's birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa.
Ten current legislators from both chambers of the Iowa's legislature have signed on as members of Pawlenty's camp, a development Pawlenty said "bolsters my Iowa campaign's efforts to build successful coalitions in this important state."
The two Minnesotans see Iowa as a must-win state on the path to the Republican presidential nomination but Bachmann appears to have captured the imagination of Iowans, drawing 22 percent support in a closely-watched poll, just 1 percentage point behind presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney. Pawlenty lagged far behind, registering support from just 6 percent of those polled.
Pawlenty has also upped his advertising campaign in state, launching a series of radio ads across the state today with the slogan "results, not rhetoric," which seems like a dig against Bachmann, whose legislative achievements in the U.S Congress have been scant despite her many television and tea party rally appearances.
On the eve of her formal campaign announcement, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann rallied supporters in her birthplace of Waterloo, IA. Speaking before several hundred people Bachmann played up her Iowa roots.
"I want you to know, everything I needed to know, I learned in Iowa," Bachmann said as the crowd cheered."
Bachmann talked about taking the voice of Waterloo and the heartland of America to the White House and asked for help along with way in the form of donations, volunteer work and votes at the Ames straw poll in August.
Claude and Anna Maria Jones drove to Waterloo from Des Moines to hear Bachmann.
Claude, who's a pastor, said he's seen Bachmann and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty speak repeatedly and that Bachmann seems to connect better with crowds. He thinks Bachmann's campaign has a lot of potential.
"I think she is a viable candidate, and I think as people hear her more and get to know her more and get beyond some of their preconceived ideas of a congresswoman running; I think she'll gathering more people around her," he said.
Anna Maria Jones, who works as a teacher, said she thinks Bachmann actually lives by the principles she talks about.
"She's real and that's what I'm looking for," she said. "I am always looking for role models for my kids, and Michele is the role model."
Carole Deeds was also at the Bachmann rally. Deeds was wearing a hat decorated with several tea bags, indicating her support for the tea party. She drove to Waterloo from nearby Cedar Falls. Deeds said she likes Bachmann's concentration on the constitution. Deeds said Bachmann is appealing because she comes across like a regular person.
"She seems to reach out as an average person, as one of us," she said. " And she's a mother of five children and they had all of these foster children, so they've really given a lot of their lives personally to helping children and that's the future."
A new Des Moines Register poll shows Bachmann running neck and neck with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among likely Iowa caucus-goers. Twenty-three percent support Romney and 22 percent support Bachmann, according to the poll. Tim Pawlenty had the support of just 6 percent of those polled, despite numerous appearances in Iowa.
Following her campaign kick-off in Waterloo Monday morning, Bachmann heads for campaign stops in New Hampshire and South Carolina. A small contingent of reporters is traveling with Bachmann on a private jet the campaign arranged.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann are the clear frontrunners in a new Des Moines Register poll of likely Iowa GOP caucus-goers.
Romey had the support of 23 percent and Bachmann had 22 percent, according to the poll.
Bachmann and Romney are in a statistical dead heat, because the poll of 400 likely caucus-goers has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty had just 6 percent support, behind businessman Herman Cain who had 10 percent and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul who were tied at 7 percent.
The telephone survey was conducted June 19 to 22.
Following appearances on two Sunday television news programs, Bachmann was headed to her birthplace of Waterloo, IA for a Sunday evening "Welcome Home" rally. On Monday morning Bachmann is set to formally launch her presidential campaign from Waterloo.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty leads the GOP presidential pack when it comes to approval among evangelical leaders, according to a recent poll.
The monthly survey, conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals, shows that 45 percent of the nation's evangelical leaders favor Pawlenty over other candidates, including Mitt Romney, who's preferred by 14 percent of the group's members.
About 22 percent of those surveyed were undecided.
The group's president, Leith Anderson, is senior pastor at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minn., where Pawlenty attends church.
Here's what Anderson had to say about the poll:
"Pawlenty leads the list of Republican candidates for our evangelical leaders which might be expected since he is so often identified as an evangelical. Although, like the rest of the nation, there are still many undecided. With more than a year before the national nominating conventions, a lot can change."
Posted at 9:10 AM on June 23, 2011
by Mark Zdechlik
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
According to a report in the Washington Post, "at least five top advisers to former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty have been working for little or no pay for several months." The newspaper attributes that information to "a campaign source."
The source told the Post Wednesday that the pay status of several aides is not a reflection of any sudden fundraising problem with the Pawlenty 2012 presidential campaign. "We're raising exactly what we said we were going to raise. We're paying our consultants exactly what they expected to be paid right now," the Post quotes the source.
Political analysts have repeatedly said that unless Pawlenty is able to report substantial fundraising success for the second quarter of the year which ends this month, his campaign could face serious obstacles going forward.
The Post quotes Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant saying Pawlenty's campaign is well-positioned to compete. "We are confident that we will raise the resources necessary to execute our strategy and win the nomination," Conant told the Washington Post.
WASHINGTON - Earlier tonight, President Obama laid out his rationale for beginning a gradual drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He'll remove 10,000 soldiers by the end of the year and another 20,000 by September 2012, still leaving nearly 70,000 troops in the country.
We'll post reactions from Minnesota's congressional delegation and presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann here.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty - Speaking on Fox News, the Republican presidential candidate told host Bill O'reilly that President Obama had ignored his generals' recommendations.
"This decision should be based on conditions on the ground and success," Pawlenty said. "Not some vague notions of a responsible wind down and then jumping over what the real mission is now, which is stabilizing that country."
Rep. Michele Bachmann - Surprisingly, Bachmann's rapid-response communications shop has not come out with a statement about the speech. When asked if the GOP congresswoman would be doing TV interviews tonight, her office said she had no plans to.
But Bachmann, who announced last week that she's running for president, did give The Weekly Standard a taste of what she's likely to say:
On Afghanistan, I firmly believe that we are at a point where we've got to stay the course, and we've got to finish the job.
Rep. Keith Ellison - Speaking with MPR News right after the speech, Ellison was also disappointed with the President's address, but for different reasons. The DFL Congressman said the withdrawal plans were not "ambitious enough."
"A lot of Afghans want us to leave, we got a corrupt leader there, and basically the people who attacked us have been dwindled to the point where there's fewer than a hundred of them there," Ellison said. "So I just think it's time to get on out of there."
Rep. John Kline - In a statement, the former Marine Corps colonel echoed the words of his political ally Tim Pawlenty.
"Any timeline for a drawdown in Afghanistan should be based on the conditions on the ground, not the political climate in Washington," Kline said.
WASHINGTON - Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be the first GOP presidential candidate to buy airtime in Iowa, reports Politico.
He'll reportedly spend just under $50,000 for ads on Fox stations in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Omaha, Ottumwa, Rochester, and Sioux City that will run starting tomorrow through July 3rd.
Given how Jerry Bruckheimer-esque his campaign's past online videos have been, it will be interesting to see if Team Pawlenty tones it down a notch or two for Iowans.
Update via Mark Zdechlik:
The Pawlenty campaign confirms the ad campaign.
"Gov. Pawlenty is well positioned to unite conservatives and do well in both Iowa and New Hampshire, said spokesman Alex Conant. "The soon-to-be-unveiled TV ads will introduce the governor to Iowans about why he is the candidate with the strongest record and best results, not rhetoric."
Minnesota's two presidential candidates spoke Saturday at the national RightOnline convention in Minneapolis, with both former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann calling for deep cuts in government spending. Pawlenty, who spoke Saturday afternoon, touted his tax cutting credentials as Minnesota governor.
"We've got to have people who we send to Washington, DC and state capitols and local units of government who have the strength and the fortitude and convictions to draw lines in the stand and stand behind it and say no more."
Pawlenty also promoted his 'tell the truth' campaign theme.
"We have to go to places like Iowa and say there's no more sacred cows any more, we're going to phase out the ethanol subsidies. We have to look the American people in the eye without scaring them, without freaking them out, but putting reasonable solutions on the table to real challenges and that's why we got to go to places like Florida and tell seniors and young people what it's really going to take to fix Social Security."
Earlier in the day Bachmann rallied convention goers, railing against government spending, the Democratic-led health care overhaul and President Barack Obama.
During an appearance on Fox News Thursday, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Palwenty said he should have answered a direct question posed to him in Monday's debate about former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's involvement in government-run health care.
"I should have been more clear.I should have made the point that he was involved in developing it, he really laid the groundwork for ObamaCare and continues to this day to defend it," said Pawlenty.
Critics blasted Pawlenty for backing down from criticism of Romney at the debate, a day after Pawlenty coined the phrase "ObamneyCare" to link Romney with the Democratic-led health care bill.
In the Fox News interview, Pawlenty suggested Romney would have a difficult time representing Republicans in a presidential race because of the health care issue.
"I don't think you can prosecute the political case against President Obama if you are a co-conspirator in one of the main charges against the President on a political level. And so it really puts our nominee if that's who it turns out to be in a very difficult spot. And I understand that Governor Romney argument that it is different at the state level. When you look at these two plans with only modest variations they are very similar and nearly identical," said Pawlenty.(2 Comments)
A Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,000 likely GOP primary voters taken the day after Monday's Republican presidential debate has Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann with 19 percent support second only to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney who had 33 percent support.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has the support of 6 percent of likely GOP primary voters, according to the poll. Respondents who identified themselves as tea party members split their support between Bachmann and Romney at 26 percent.
Businessman Herman Cain came in third place with 10 percent, according to the poll.
Reporters, producers, sound and video techs along with political pundits flocked to Manchester, New Hampshire, for tonight's GOP presidential debate in what looked to be considerably larger numbers than were in Greenville, South Carolina for the first debate a little more than a month ago.
The reason for the heightened interest is simple. This time all of the major candidates will be on stage. In early May the debate featured former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, along with Texas Rep. Ron Paul and some lesser-known Republicans. Noticeably absent from the South Carolina forum were former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Both are among the seven GOP White House hopefuls in Manchester tonight.
So too is U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota's 6th District, who has not formally declared herself a candidate but is widely believe to be in the running. Bachmann says she will make a formal announcement about her plans from her birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa, sometime this month.
Several Republicans who turned out for a Pawlenty campaign event in Derry, New Hampshire Sunday afternoon said they didn't expect tonight's debate to be much of a debate, and that it would be fine with them if the seven candidates focused their criticism on President Barack Obama instead of each other this early in the campaign.
It remains to be seen what path the candidates will take, and if one goes after a fellow Republican, whether the others will follow the lead. Some think Romney might become the target of most of the criticism, since most polls show Romney well ahead of the others.
The debate runs from 7 p.m. - 9p.m., and is being broadcast live on CNN.(1 Comments)
That didn't take long.
After much of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign staff resigned en masse today, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue switched his endorsement for the GOP nomination from the former Speaker of the House to former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Perdue, who had been the national campaign co-chair for Gingrich, will play an unspecified role on the Pawlenty campaign.
Pawlenty campaign manager Nick Ayers had been a longtime Perdue aide before joining Pawlenty earlier this year.
In a statement from the Pawlenty campaign, Perdue called Pawlenty a "great man," and Pawlenty reciprocated the love, saying he was "thrilled" that Perdue was joining his camp.
This is Pawlenty's first endorsement from a sitting governor.
CORRECTION: Perdue's term ended in January of this year.(2 Comments)
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-SC, has endorsed Tim Pawlenty's campaign for president. Pawlenty's campaign also announced that Wilson will co-chair Pawlenty's South Carolina campaign.
"Congressman Wilson has been a strong conservative voice for the people of South Carolina over the past decade," Pawlenty said in a statement. "I am honored to receive his support in this campaign to restore America."
Pawlenty's use of "strong conservative voice" in his statement may be intentional. Wilson is best known for shouting "You lie!" during President Obama's health care address to Congress. Wilson apologized for the outburst and called it "spontaneous"
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Palwenty is laying out a plan he says could return more vigorous growth to the U.S. economy, in excerpts from a speech he plans to give at the University of Chicago today.
Pawlenty will call for personal and business tax cuts, reducing government spending and regulatory reform. He says with the right policies that nation could return to annual economic growth of as much as 5 percent.
Pawlenty would cut the business tax rate from its current 35 percent to 15 percent and a "simpler, fairer, flatter" personal tax system in which there would be just two rates; 10 percent and 25 percent.
Pawlenty said under his plan people who currently do not pay income tax would remain at a zero rate. Individuals earning up to $50,000 or couples earning up to $100,000 would be taxed at 10 percent. Everything above that would be taxed at 25 percent.
In the speech, Pawlenty recommends the elimination of the capitol gains, interest income, dividends and estate taxes.
Pawlenty also addresses government spending in his economic plan. He says he would apply what he's calling, "The Google Test," to determine whether the government needs to provide a particular good or service, saying if that good or service is available privately online, the government "probably doesn't need to be doing it." Pawlenty cites the US Postal Service and Amtrak as examples of government programs that are no longer necessary.
Pawlenty also advocates federal regulatory reform claiming, "federal regulations will cost our economy $1.75 trillion dollars this year alone." He said he would require the sun-setting of all federal regulation, "unless specifically sustained by a vote of Congress."
Pawlenty choose President Barack Obama's home political turf of Chicago to lay out his plan. In the speech excerpts, he accuses Obama of "dividing the our nation, fanning the flames of class envy."
No word yet from Democrats on Pawlenty's class warfare charge and economic plan.
Democratic National Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said the following of Pawlenty's economic plan.
"Perhaps no one should be surprised that a failed former Governor who left his state with a massive projected budget deficit in the billions of dollars is now proposing to massively explode the deficit at the federal level. Tim Pawlenty's failing grade from Minnesota on fiscal and economic matters would be a disastrous prescription for the rest of the country."
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is scheduled to deliver a plan on the federal budget next Tuesday in Chicago. An aide to Pawlenty says the former governor will give a major policy address to promote economic growth and control spending.
"The governor's speech will offer a specific plan for boosting the economy and creating jobs," the aide said. "His speech will include a plan to balance the federal budget, overhaul the federal tax code, reduce regulation, and increase American innovation and investment."
Pawlenty has been saying for months that he would provide more details of his plan to reduce the federal budget deficit. He has suggested that he would introduce "payment reforms to Medicare" and would "means-test Social Security" so wealthier Americans don't continue to receive the same cost of living increases as others.(1 Comments)
Public Policy Polling says its latest survey of likely Republican primary voters shows former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has nearly three times as much support among "usual" Republican primary voters as he did just two weeks ago, prior to formally launching his presidential campaign. Pawlenty garnered 13 percent of the support, behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who are tied at 16 percent. Rep. Michele Bachmann got 9 percent.
Two weeks ago, Public Policy Polling had Pawlenty polling at just 5 percent.
If Palin were out of the mix, Bachmann would tie Pawlenty at 13 percent according to the poll. In that scenario, Romney would have the lead with 20 percent.
PPP says it surveyed 574 "usual Republican primary voters nationwide" from May 23rd through May 25. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
Just 28 percent of Minnesota voters think former Gov. Tim Pawlenty should seek the White House, and just 14 percent think Rep. Michele Bachmann should run for president, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.
Of the Republicans surveyed, 57 percent said they thought Pawlenty should run for president. And more GOP Minnesota voters want Bachmann to run for Senate than president: 43 percent compared to 26 percent, according to the poll.
The poll shows a majority of Minnesota voters, 51 percent, approve of the way Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton is handling his job while 38 percent disapprove. Just 12 percent of Republicans said they approved of Dayton's job performance.
Less then one third of Minnesota voters, 32 percent, favor a 'cuts only' solution to the state budget problem, while 63 percent said they supported raising taxes on the state's wealthiest 2 percent of earners, according to the poll.
The state is divided on the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage: 47 percent oppose it compared to 46 percent who favor it, according to the poll.
Public Policy Polling says it contacted 1,179 Minnesota voters between May 27 and May 30 for its poll which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.(4 Comments)
Less than a day after Republican Tim Pawlenty announced he's running for president, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) posted an ad that implies the former governor has no idea why he wants to be in the White House.
Toward the end of the ad, the question, "Why are you running?" flashes across the screen.
"I don't know," and "I wish I had a better answer for you."
The ad takes Pawlenty's words out of context.
Citing a May 2011 Time magazine article, the ad claims even Pawlenty doesn't know why he's running for office.
But here's the rub: the author of that article asked Pawlenty when he started considering a run for president, not why.
"When I ask Pawlenty... exactly when he decided he was up to the grand challenge of the presidency, he answers in less than grandiose terms, explaining how he'd set up a political-action committee in 2009," wrote Time reporter Michael Crowley. "I try again, saying I am curious about when he first imagined himself worthy of the history books, ready to send soldiers to their deaths and endure the national stage's harsh toll. 'I don't know,' he replies. 'I wish I had a good answer for you on that.' "
Crowley wrote on May 23 that the DNC's ad was a "distortion" of his exchange with Pawlenty.
"Although our conversation touched on Pawlenty's rationale for running, my questions were after something different," Crowely wrote. "I was curious to know when Pawlenty, whose strength and weakness is his regular-guy persona, came to think of himself as presidential material."
The ad is meant to push Pawlenty to define his candidacy, says Alec Gerlach, DNC spokesman.
"Is he running as a tea party candidate, is he running as a moderate, or is he running on his record, which is abysmal?" Gerlach said.
The DNC twists Pawlenty's words, implying he doesn't know why he wants to run for president. Pawlenty said he didn't know when he started thinking of himself as presidential material.
The claim is misleading to the point of being false.
The Democratic National Committee, Ad: Why?, May 23, 2011
YouTube, Tim Pawlenty - A Time For Truth, May 22, 2011
Time Magazine, Pawlenty Makes GOP Bid Official: Is He Too Nice for His Own Good?, Michael Crowley, May
Time: Swampland, What Pawlenty Said, by Michael Crowely, May 23, 2011
Interview, Alec Gerlach, spokesman, Democratic National Committee, May 31, 2011
WASHINGTON -- Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann will both speak this Friday in Washington, DC at a conference sponsored by the religious conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition.
The event is yet another showcase for Republican presidential candidates. Some of the other speakers include Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain and Ron Paul, all of whom are running official or unofficial campaigns.
The group is led by former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, who's been experiencing a political comeback of late.
This is Pawlenty's second trip to Washington in a week and a half. Last week, he spoke to a crowd of mostly journalists at the libertarian Cato Institute shortly after officially kicking off his presidential campaign.
Bachmann plans to announce her presidential ambitions this month.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he will attend the CNN/ WMUR-TV/ New Hampshire Union Leader debate on June 13, 2011 Manchester, N.H. In announcing his participation Pawlenty said he looked forward to discussing his vision for growing the economy, cutting spending and creating jobs.
"We cannot wait to begin the campaign to defeat President Obama and discuss our records with voters. President Obama's policies have failed, and we need a new leader to tell the hard truths necessary to restore American prosperity. I look forward to sharing my vision and discussing my record in front of first-in-the-nation primary voters."Pawlenty also took part in the first debate held in early May along with Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and businessman Herman Cain. Fox News sponsored that debate which took place in Greenville, SC.
A CNN spokeswoman told Minnesota Public Radio News on Tuesday that the Network planned to release a list of debate participants later this week or next week.
A New Hampshire-based consultant to Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann told reporters Monday in Dover, N.H. that Bachmann would be participating in the debate. But Bachmann later declined to confirm that saying she did not want to "trump" the debate sponsors' announcement.
Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is speaking this Memorial Day at a joint county GOP picnic in Dover, N.H. Bachmann arrived in the Granite State Sunday evening and met privately with a relatively small group of Republicans at a home in Dover which is northeast of Manchester.
Jerry DeLemus, the head of the Granite State Patriots Liberty Political Action Committee was at the Sunday evening gathering. DeLemus told MPR News Bachmann did an "awesome job" answering questions from the group. He said Bachmann talked about her commitment to repeal the Democratic-led health care overhaul and promoted a flat-tax. DeLemus's PAC will eventually endorse one or more candidates.
Following her appearance at the GOP picnic, DeLemus said Bachmann will hold another private meeting. He said he's "quit convinced" Bachmann will run for president. Late last week Bachmann told reporters she will announce her decision sometime next month from her birthplace, Waterloo, Iowa.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is also out campaigning today. Pawlenty is back in Iowa a week after formally declaring his candidacy in Des Moines. Pawlenty has three public events on his schedule; a pancake breakfast in Waukee, an afternoon "meet and greet" in Boone and a cookout in Fort Dodge.
WASHINGTON - While delivering a speech in the capital yesterday, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty side-stepped questions about whether or not he would support Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) Medicare plan.
"I think in general, the direction of it is positive, but I'm going to have my own plan, and so we're going to have some differences from his plan," Pawlenty said.
Today, while campaigning in New Hampshire, Pawlenty changed course and said he would endorse the plan, which passed the House of Representatives with near-unanimous Republican support.
The Ryan plan would effectively privatize Medicare by transforming it from a single-payer health insurance system into one that gives seniors vouchers to purchase private medical insurance. The plan would raise the eligibility age for Medicare to 67 and would not impact anyone now 55 or older.
Democrats responded gleefully to Pawlenty's embrace of the Ryan plan. In a press release, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Pawlenty's support for the plan shows that he "can't stand up to the far-right of his party" and "ignore[s] the wishes of the American people."(1 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's kicked off his presidential campaign by traveling to Iowa on Monday to tell farmers that he would end ethanol subsidies. On Tuesday, he went to Florida to tell seniors he wasn't afraid to make changes to Social Security and Medicare.
That theme continued on Wednesday, when Pawlenty traveled to Washington, DC to announce that there should be fewer federal workers and that they should be paid less.
"We can't have federal employees getting a better deal than the people paying the bill - and that's the taxpayer," Pawlenty said.
Before a subdued crowd at the libertarian Cato Institute, Pawlenty cast his record as governor of Minnesota as one filled with the kind of "hard" decisions he would also make as president.
When pressed for specifics by both the audience and reporters about whether he supported House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) plan to end the current Medicare single payer insurance system and replace it with vouchers for private medical insurance, Pawlenty demurred from answering the question directly.
"I think in general, the direction of it is positive, but I'm going to have my own plan, and so we're going to have some differences from his plan," Pawlenty said, promising to release more details soon.
Although Pawlenty pledged to rein in government spending, he also said the Pentagon should remain off limits to budget cuts, saying, "The rate of growth can be slowed down, but it shouldn't shrink in absolute terms."
When asked a question about foreign policy, Pawlenty jumped at the chance to say he had had "an unusual amount of international experience" for a former governor and then rattled off a long list of countries and regions he had traveled to.
In addition to the speech, Pawlenty also attended a fundraiser co-hosted by his two closest congressional allies, fellow Minnesota Republicans John Kline and Erik Paulsen.
Scheduling conflicts prevented both from attending but in an interview with MPR News earlier this week, Paulsen said many members of Congress were hoping to learn more about Pawlenty while he's in the capital.
"Right now as they're focused on Tim Pawlenty running for president officially," Paulsen said, "Now they're really paying attention and they want to meet him."
Pawlenty continues his campaign this week with stops in New Hampshire on Thursday and in New York on Friday, where he promised to tell Wall Street, "the carve-outs, the bail-outs, the subsidies, the handouts, are over for you as well."
There's a cardinal rule of presidential primary politics: don't knock ethanol in corn-state Iowa.
But that didn't stop former Gov. Tim Pawlenty from telling an audience there he'd phase-out ethanol subsidies if elected president.
"Even in Minnesota, when we faced fiscal challenges, we reduced ethanol subsidies," he said during his announcement Monday that he's running for president. "That's where we are now in Washington, but on a much, much larger scale."
Pawlenty cut state ethanol subsidies - but he left out that he also promised to pay them back later.
Minnesota ethanol producers have been enjoying subsidies since 1987. For a long time, they got 20 cents from the government for every gallon of fuel they produced. The subsidy was meant to jumpstart small, farmer-owned operations.
When Pawlenty took office in 2003, the state was facing a budget shortfall. Pawlenty cut $20 million in ethanol subsidies that year - roughly three-fourths of the $26.8 million in payments slated to go out - and followed-up with a plan to reduce the payments to 10 cents per gallon in the coming biennium.
Pawlenty's plan didn't fly with rural lawmakers. Ultimately, he and the Legislature agreed to draw down the subsidy to 13 cents per gallon through fiscal year 2007, and pay producers the difference later on. According to a Legislative Auditor's report, the state paid out $50.5 million in so-called deficiency payments during the last biennium.
Furthermore, the program was always slated to end in 2010, so the ethanol subsidies would have halted regardless of Pawlenty's actions (though deficiency payments are still trickling out.)
Though Pawlenty wanted to cut ethanol subsidies, he also pushed to expand the state's requirement that every gallon of gasoline be blended with 10 percent ethanol. In 2005, the state approved Pawlenty's plan to require gas be mixed with 20 percent ethanol by 2013, a government mandate that's bolstered the market for the corn-based fuel.
It is true Pawlenty cut Minnesota ethanol subsidies, but he glosses over the fact that ethanol producers eventually got their money anyway.
That's enough to make this claim misleading.
YouTube.com, Tim Pawlenty in Des Moines - 2012 Announcement Speech, May 23, 2011
Minnesota Public Radio News, Lawmakers resist Pawlenty's proposal to cut ethanol subsidies, January 16, 2003
Minnesota Public Radio News, Ethanol bill nears crucial test, by Laura McCallum, March 16, 2005
Minnesota Department of Energy, Gasoline Pricing Facts for Consumers, accessed May 25, 2011
Office of the Legislative Auditor, Biofuel Policies and Programs, April 2009
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Cuts in the pipeline: Subsidies keep ethanol industry from fizzling, by Joy Powell, March 11, 2003
The St. Paul Pioneer Press, Session out but not over, by Patrick Sweeney and Bill Salisbury, May 20, 2003
Interview, Ralph Groschen, Senior Marketing Specialists, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, May 24, 2005
The Humphrey School
MPR News is hosting an online debate about ethanol. Find it here.(2 Comments)
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain will be making a campaign stop in Minnesota in June.
Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, announced on Twitter today that he'll be attending the RightOnline 2011 Convention in Minneapolis on June 18. The conference is scheduled to be held on June 17th and 18th and aims to bring together conservative bloggers, conservative organizations and citizen actviists for grassroots training.
The conference is organized by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, a group that works to advance Republican issues. The group is funded by David Koch of the Koch Industries (You can read more about the group at FactCheck.org's site).
Cain isn't the only candidate for the White House who is scheduled to speak at the event. Tim Pawlenty is scheduled to speak. GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is considering a run, is also scheduled to speak at the event.
And the RightOnline 2011 Convention isn't the only political event being held in Minneapolis that weekend.
The Democratic leaning Netroots Nation will be holding its annual conference in Minneapolis between June 16 and June 19.
DFL Sen. Al Franken, DFL Rep. Keith Ellison, DFL Rep. Tim Walz and former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-WI are some of the people who will be speak at the Netroots Nation event.
Netroots nation was originally organized by the writers of The Daily Kos.
If you've never seen former Gov. Tim Pawlenty wearing a Boy Scout uniform, or sending supporters wearing Viking hats chasing after President Obama, then you have to see this video from Taiwan's NMA animated "news agency":
If you want to learn more about the company that creates these surreal videos, check out this great article from Wired last year.
The Club for Growth, a group that lobbies for lower taxes and limited government spending, released a white paper on Tim Pawlenty's record. It offers a mixed assessment of Pawlenty because he vetoed tax hikes during his time as governor but also passed other tax hikes, campaigned for cap and trade and ethanol and signed a statewide smoking ban into law.
"We struggle to identify the real Tim Pawlenty," the White Paper said.
The group said Pawlenty would be a "pro-growth president" because he vetoed tax hikes as governor and worked on school choice initiatives during his time as governor.
Pawlenty deserves tremendous praise for keeping Minnesota's spending growth remarkably low. For this, and for his consistent stances on school choice, tort reform, and political free speech, he deserves credit - while his record on health care and entitlement spending is mixed.
While the Club for Growth praised Pawlenty for accomplishing his goal of keeping spending in check during his time as governor, the group worries that a "President Pawlenty" would be "susceptible to adopting "pragmatic" policies that grow government."
However, Pawlenty has some simply inexcusable tax hikes in his record, and he made a mistake by taking no clear position on the 2008 Legacy Amendment. His tacit support for bailouts, more job-choking regulations, and various tariffs make it difficult for us to identify his core ideological identity. His support of things like mandatory vegetable oil in gasoline, cap and trade, and a statewide smoking ban make him sound overly eager to support big government proposals to address policy fads of the day.
The Club for Growth has been writing up white papers on all of the GOP candidates for president.
You can read the full white paper on Pawlenty here.
You can find the group's other white papers here.
The Club for Growth raised and spent $22 million in the 2010 campaign to lobby on behalf of like minded candidates.(1 Comments)
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is scheduled to do a tele-townhall meeting tomorrow night with members of GOPAC, a group that aims to elect Republicans to state and local offices. GOPAC officials say Bachmann will hold the meeting at 6pm CST. The group says Bachmann will take question and will "learn what is at stake this year and in 2012."
Bachmann appears to be laying the groundwork for a possible run for the White House. She has visited several key states including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Bachmann is scheduled to give a speech in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced for a second day in a row that he's a candidate for president, with the news this time coming from him in person at a podium in Des Moines, IA.
Pawlenty first announced his campaign for the Republican nomination yesterday afternoon in an online video, trying to garner as much attention as possible.
Just as he did in the video, Pawlenty tore into President Obama during his speech in Des Moines saying, "In 2008, Barack Obama told us he would change America, and he has. In 2012, we will change America again, and this time, it will be for the better."
Pawlenty warned of out of control federal spending and said to reduce the deficit and ultimately the national debt, popular entitlement programs including Social Security and Medicare need to be reformed. He even called for the phasing out of ethanol subsidies standing in the middle of Iowa corn country.
Following his speech Pawlenty held a brief question and answer session with the roughly 200 supporters who turned out.
A couple of blocks down the road representatives from the Democratic parties in Iowa and Minnesota held a news conference. Minnesota DFL Chair Ken Martin accused Pawlenty of lying about his record and bankrupting the state of Minnesota. Martin said Pawlenty's record does not warrant a promotion. He said Pawlenty chose Iowa for his announcement because he was running from his record in Minnesota.
Tomorrow Pawlenty will be in Florida for a Facebook town hall forum. On Thursday he will be campaign in New Hampshire.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's 2012 presidential campaign released some excerpts from the speech he will deliver late Monday morning in Des Monies, Iowa. Not surprisingly, the speech will be heavy on criticism of President Barack Obama.
Excerpts of Governor Pawlenty's Announcement Address:
"I'm Tim Pawlenty, and I'm running for President of the United States. We live in the greatest country the world has ever known. But, as we all know, America is in big trouble, and it won't get fixed if we keep going down the same path. If we want a new and better direction, we need a new and better President."
"President Obama's policies have failed. But more than that, he won't even tell us the truth about what it's really going to take to get out of the mess we're in. ... I'm going to take a different approach. I am going to tell you the truth."
"We've tried Barack Obama's way -- and his way has failed. Three years into his term, we're no longer just running out of money. We're running out of time. It's time for new leadership. It's time for a new approach. And, it's time for America's president - and anyone who wants to be president - to look you in the eye and tell you the truth."
"The changes history is calling on America to make today cannot be shouldered only by people richer than us, or poorer than us - but by us, too. Politicians are often afraid that if they're too honest, they might lose an election. I'm afraid that in 2012, if we're not honest enough, we may lose our country. If we want to grow our economy, we need to shrink our government. If we want to create jobs, we need to encourage job creators. If we want our children to be free to pursue their dreams, we can't shackle them with our debts. This is a time for truth."
"No president deserves to win an election by dividing the American people - picking winners and losers, protecting his own party's spending and cutting only the other guys'; pitting classes, and ethnicities, and generations against each other. The truth is, we're all in this together. So we need to work to get out of this mess together. I'll unite our party and unite our nation, because to solve a fourteen-trillion-dollar problem, we're going to need three hundred million people."
"In Minnesota and in Washington, the issues were the same: taxes, spending, health care, unions, and the courts. But in Washington, Barack Obama has consistently stood for higher taxes, more spending, more government, more powerful special interests, and less individual freedom. In Minnesota, I cut taxes, cut spending, instituted health care choice and performance pay for teachers, reformed our union benefits, and appointed constitutional conservatives to the Supreme Court. That is how you lead a liberal state in a conservative direction."
From MPR's Mark Zdechlik...
Tim Pawlenty will be formally launching his campaign for president tomorrow during a town hall meting in Des Moines, Iowa.
To promote the launch Pawlenty 2012 released a web video Sunday. In it, Pawlenty talks about the nation being in big trouble citing unemployment, the size of the debt and the rate of government spending.
"My first campaign stop will be in Iowa and that's where I'm going to begin a campaign that tells the American people the truth," Pawlenty said in the video. "I'm Tim Pawlenty and I'm running for president of the United States. I believe with all of my heart that the challenges we face can be over come."
After his Iowa appearance, Pawlenty heads to Florida for Facebook town hall tomorrow. He'll be in New Hampshire on Thursday.
The chair of the DFL Party will appear at an event in Des Moines with the vice chair of the Iowa Democratic Party to criticize Pawlenty. Several Democrats, including the spokeswoman for the DFL Party reacted negatively to Pawlenty's video.
"Tpaw video leaves out that his "solution" for MN was $6.2b deficit & higher prop taxes for 90% of MNs. No room btwn action shots & balloons?," DFL Party spokeswoman Kristin Sosanie wrote on Twitter.
Here's the video:
Update: The DNC released this web video on Monday morning:
(Reporter Tom Scheck contributed to this report)
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued a statement criticizing President Barack Obama for saying a Middle East peace plan should involve returning to the 1967 borders between Israel and Palestine.
"President Obama's insistence on a return to the 1967 borders is a mistaken and very dangerous demand. The city of Jerusalem must never be re-divided," said Pawlenty.
In his statement Pawlenty also said Obama's proposal sends the wrong message to Israel and that, "it's never been more important for America to stand strong for Israel and for a united Jerusalem."
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Obama "threw Israel under the bus" and handed the Palestinians a victory. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum called the president's approach "dangerous."(3 Comments)
The tables are already set up at International Market Square where former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's presidential exploratory campaign says it's expecting hundreds of people to turn out for a fundraiser tonight.
Pawlenty Spokesman Alex Conant told MPR News most of the invited guests will be from Minnesota and many will be contributing the maximum $2,500 per person allowed.
"The governor has a lot of friends and supporters in Minnesota who have been really critical to his career to date," Conant said, "and now as we get ready to launch his presidential campaign we're kicking it off with a big fundraiser with all of his friends and supporters over the years to chip into the exploratory committee and then he'll have a formal announcement shortly thereafter."
Conant says that formal announcement will come in weeks, not days.
Reporters will not be allowed at the fundraiser.
Political analysts say for Pawlenty to be a viable candidate he needs to raise a lot of money during the second quarter. Conant says Pawlenty is unlikely to out raise fellow Republican Mitt Romney, who took in more than $10 million during a single day of fundraising earlier this week.(1 Comments)
80 Republican state lawmakers have signed on to an Amicus Brief that challenges the federal health care law. The brief means lawmakers are lending their support to a challenge to the law in U.S. District Court in Florida. The suit challenges the cosntitutionality of the individual mandate that requires everyone in the U.S. to have health insurance.
"State Legislators take an oath to uphold our state and federal Constitution, and it is our duty to not be complicit in allowing the federal government to violate the Commerce Clause and Tenth Amendment-no matter how good or bad the legislation is," said Rep. Westrom in a news release. "Today, we are defending states' rights and standing up for individual freedoms our Constitution intentionally intended to reserve to the people and states."
This isn't the first Amicus Brief filed by a Republican from Minnesota. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty filed a similar brief in November.
Democracts, including Attorney General Lori Swanson, say the federal health care is constitutional because the federal government has the right to regulate health insurance under the interstate commerce clause.(2 Comments)
Vice-President Joe Biden will be in Minneapolis tomorrow for a private fundraiser at a Minneapolis home. A person with knowledge of the fundraiser says Dean and Karin Phillips will host the fundraiser tomorrow afternoon. The asking price is $10,000 a couple. The money raised from the fundraiser will go to President Obama's reelection campaign.
During the first Republican presidential debate of the 2012 campaign, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty reminded viewers that President Barack Obama was against a requirement that everyone buy health insurance before he was for it.
Just a few years ago, Obama "promised the nation he would do health care reform focused on cost containment, he opposed the individual mandate," Pawlenty said on
May 5, 2011.
Pawlenty got this one right.
While campaigning for the White House, then-Sen. Barack Obama wanted everyone in the country to have health care - he just didn't want to require people to buy it.
In fact, Obama and former Sen. Hillary Clinton frequently traded barbs over the issue: Clinton highlighted the so-called individual mandate in her plan, claiming her strategy would cover more Americans than Obama's would. Obama would counter that not everyone could afford health insurance.
"If a mandate was the solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody buy a house," he told CNN in 2008. "The reason they don't have a house is because they don't have the money."
In 2009, just as debate over the health care bill was starting to heat up, a CBS News interviewer asked Obama, "Do you believe that each individual American should be required to have health insurance?"
"I have come to that conclusion," Obama responded. "During the campaign I was opposed to this idea because my general attitude was the reason people don't have health insurance is not because they don't want it, it's because they can't afford it."
Ultimately, the individual mandate became a focal point in the health care debate. The final law requires that everyone have health insurance by 2014. Those who don't will pay a fine.
It's true that Obama once opposed the individual mandate. Pawlenty's claim is accurate.
Fox News, Republican Presidential Debate, May 5, 2011
PolitiFact.com, Obama flip-flops on requiring people to buy health care, by Angie Drobnic Holan, July 20, 2009
FactCheck.org, They've Got You Covered?, by Lori Robertson and Jess Henig, February 14, 2008
CBS News, The Future of Health Care Reform, July 15, 2009
The New York Times, transcript of the Democratic debate in South Carolina, Jan. 21, 2008
The Cato Institute, Obama Flip-Flops on the Individual Mandate (Again), by Michael Cannon, July 19, 2010
The Kaiser Family Foundation, Summary of Coverage Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, April 14, 2011
The Humphrey School
The latest WMUR Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, shows Mitt Romney leading the other potential GOP candidates for the White House. 36 percent of those polled say they will vote for Romeny in the New Hampshire primary.
Donal Trump is second in the poll with support of 11 percent of those polled. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is third with support from seven percent of those polled. Mike Huckabee is polling at six percent followed by Ron Paul (six percent) and Sarah Palin (four percent). GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is getting support from four percent of those polled.
Tim Pawlenty is tied for last in the poll with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. They are both receiving two percent in the poll.
You can read the full poll here.
Here's a statement from Tim Pawlenty, who is running against Obama in 2012:
"This is terrific news for freedom and justice. In the hours after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush promised that America would bring Osama bin Laden to justice -- and we did. I want to congratulate America's armed forces and President Obama for a job well done. Let history show that the perseverance of the US military and the American people never wavered. America will never shrink from the fight and ultimately those who seek to harm us face only defeat. Today, justice is done, but the fight against radical Islamic terrorism is not yet over."
Note that Pawlenty mentioned President Obama in his written statement. GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is also mulling a run for the White House, did not mention Obama in her statement:
"I want to express my deepest gratitude to the men and women of the U.S. military and intelligence community. Their persistence and dedicated service has yielded success in a mission that has gripped our nation since the terrible events of 9/11. Tonight's news does not bring back the lives of the thousands of innocent people who were killed that day by Osama Bin Laden's horrific plan, and it does not end the threat posed by terrorists, but it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end of Sharia-compliant terrorism."
Here's a statement from GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen:
"The news that American forces have killed Osama bin Laden marks a significant achievement in the fight against terrorism. I want to thank the countless American soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen, intelligence officials, as well as their families, for their tireless efforts in protecting our country."
I'll post additional statements if/when they come in.
Update: Here's a statement from DFL Rep. Tim Walz:
"Tonight, my thoughts are most with our brave men and women in uniform. Their perseverance, sacrifice and courage is nothing short of remarkable. We have them to thank for this moment of justice. America still has enemies around the world, and so, we will stay vigilant. But tonight ends a dark chapter in our history. May we always honor the memory of those who lost their lives on September 11th and keep our thoughts and prayers with their families. And let us always remember moments like tonight when our country can come together as one."
Here's a statement from DFL Sen. Al Franken:
"This is a great day. I think every American feels very emotional about what happened in Pakistan today. Our hearts are full of pride and gratitude for all those responsible for bringing Osama bin Laden to justice, with sadness as we remember that horrific day ten years ago, and with hope as we go forward in our fight against radical jihadism. I think the president was wise to remind us of how unified we felt as a nation after 9/11 and how we can achieve anything we put our mind to if we work together. "(3 Comments)
Posted at 9:22 AM on May 1, 2011
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
It's safe to say that Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington is a planner. For six years, he's owned the domain rights to two websites that could come in handy in the upcoming presidential election.
In 2005, Garofalo bought the domain names for Pawlentyforpresident.com and Pawlentyforpresident.net. Every year he puts down $12 to hold on to the domain rights.
It looks like his investment could deliver in a big way for Garofalo. He says several people expressed interest in buying the rights to the sites. He suggested some have offered upward of five figures but haven't nailed down a hard price.
So guess how much Garofalo is going to make on the deal?
"I'm going to give it to Gov. Pawlenty for free," Garofalo said. "I'm a supporter and a friend, and he can have access to it if he wants it."
Garofalo has been in Pawlenty's corner for years. He was Pawlenty's "computer guy" during the 2002 gubernatorial race. He also campaigned for him in 2006 and was a vocal backer of his policies during Pawlenty's eight years as governor.
"Some people may say that I'm being dumb." Garofalo said about not selling the domain rights. "I think I'm being loyal."
A spokesman for Pawlenty's campaign said he couldn't divulge Pawlenty's online strategy. But he seemed appreciative of Garofalo's offer.
"We appreciate Pat's friendship and foresight," Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant said in an email.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued a statement early this morning confirming he will be at the first GOP 2012 presidential nomination debate next week in Greenville, S.C.
Pawlenty had been expected to attend along with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and Herman Cain, former Godfather's Pizza CEO. It's unclear now whether Gingrich will attend.
And there has been no word from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or Minnesota Congresswomen Michele Bachmann, who is considering a run for president.
In making it official he'll be there Pawlenty said, "it's important that Republicans show up now, talk about their records, and begin the debate on how best we can defeat this President."
Asked whether the statement is a jab at likely 2012 GOP contenders who will not be participating in the debate, a Pawlenty spokesman told MPR News, "The statement speaks for itself."
The South Carolina Greenville Tea Party says former Gov. Tim Pawlenty will join South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and other politicians for a rally prior to next Thursday's debate in Greenville, SC.
The group says Texas Congressman Ron Paul will also be at the rally. Pawlenty and Paul are two of the five likely 2012 presidential candidates who are participating in the GOP debate which will take place on Thursday, May 5.
Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have not said whether they will participate in the debate.
On the campaign trail, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty likes to tout Q Comp, a program that pays teachers more when their students perform well.
"We were the first state to go statewide in the country to have performance pay for teachers to pay them other than just on seniority but on performance," Pawlenty said in a speech in Iowa last month.
Pawlenty's claim needs a lot of context.
Q Comp is a voluntary program that the state approved in 2005. Any school district in the state can apply, but must meet five criteria to be accepted. Among those requirements are regular teacher evaluations, teacher skill development, and school and classroom-wide performance standards; there's a lot of flexibility in what standards or goals schools choose.
To get paid more, teachers must meet those standards.
Minnesota wasn't the first to adopt a plan that pays teachers based on performance as Pawlenty said, though it's fair to say that the state has been among the earlier adopters.
According to Vanderbilt University's National Center on Performance Incentives, which keeps a database of all current federal, state and local programs, Arizona launched a statewide form of merit pay in the 1980s that allowed teachers to advance in salary if they gained new teaching skills and their students did better in class. No new funding has been approved since the mid-90s, but the program still serves a handful of Arizona school districts that enrolled early on. In 2000, the state approved an education sales tax to fund district pay-for-performance plans.
Meanwhile, North Carolina has been giving high-performing teachers annual bonuses since 1996 as part of a statewide program to improve school performance, though funding for those bonuses has been frozen for the last three years.
Pawlenty also said that the program is statewide. It's a phrase Pawlenty uses to distinguish Q Comp from regional or local programs in other states, said his spokesman Alex Conant. While it's true the program is available across the state, it's important to point out that only 50 school districts - or about 15 percent of the state's 339 districts - are participating in the 2010-2011 school year. Roughly 40 percent of the state's charter schools are involved.
Pawlenty walks a fine-line with this claim. Minnesota wasn't the very first state to adopt a statewide merit pay program, but it was one of the earlier adopters. Furthermore, Pawlenty's distinction that the program is statewide can be confusing to those listening to his speeches. It's available statewide, but only a fraction of schools are enrolled.
For both those reasons, Pawlenty's claim is misleading.
Minnesota Department of Education, Quality Compensation for Teachers (Q Comp), accessed April 21, 2011
Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes, 122A.414 Alternative Teacher Pay, accessed April 21, 2011
Office of the Legislative Auditor, State of Minnesota, Q Comp: Quality Compensation for Teachers, Feb. 2009
The Minnesota Secretary of State, School Districts in Minnesota, accessed April 21, 2011
National Center on Performance Incentives, State-By-State Resources, accessed April 21, 2011
National Center on Performance Incentives, Arizona State Incentives, accessed April 21, 2011
Education Commission of the States, Pay for Performance Proposals in Race to the Top Round II Applications, By Stephanie Rose, July 20, 2010
Education Commission of the States, Classroom Site Fund (CSF), accessed April 21, 2011
Arizona Department of Education, Career Ladder, accessed April 21, 2011
Education Commission of the States, Teaching Quality--Compensation and Diversified Pay--Pay-for-Performance, accessed April 21, 2011
Interview, Steve Dibb, Acting Director, Q Comp, Minnesota Department of Education
Interview, Student Performance Improvement Program Coordinator, Independent School District 15-St. Francis, April 21, 2011
Interview, Susan Burns, program manager, National Center on Performance Incentives, April 21, 2011
Interview, Kathy Christie, Chief of Staff, Education Commission of the States, April 21, 2011(5 Comments)
Here is the list from the Pawlenty campaign of the core group that will be helping guide the former Minnesota governor's efforts in the Granite State.
1. John Lyons, who served as Chairman of Gov. Pawlenty's N.H. Freedom First PAC, is Chairman of the State Board of Education, and was Vice Chairman of Sen. John McCain's 2008 N.H. campaign.
2. Cliff Hurst, a Manchester businessman who recently finished his term as Chairman of the Manchester Republican Committee and was co-Chairman of Gov. Huckabee's 2008 N.H. campaign.
3. Bill Cahill, a former New Hampshire state representative and founder and CEO of Cahill Public Affairs, LLC.
4. Harold Turner, president of H.L. Turner Group and also a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
5. Carissa Means, the Chairperson of the Lebanon Republican Committee and a member of the Lebanon School Board.
6. Bruce Berke, the Treasurer of Pawlenty's N.H. Freedom First PAC and Founding and Managing Partner of Sheehan Phinney Capital Group in Concord.
7. Dave MacLaughlin, former Alderman in Nashua, N.H. and McCain 2008 Nashua City Chair and Alternate Delegate to the National Republican Convention.
8. New Hampshire state Rep. Shaun Doherty, who is serving his second term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Doherty served as the New Hampshire Youth Chairman for Sen. John McCain's Presidential campaign.
Posted at 3:32 PM on April 19, 2011
by Mark Zdechlik
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
The Associated Press in Iowa reports that Pawlenty 2012 exploratory committee staffer Benjamin Foster submitted his resignation over the weekend.
In early April Foster was arrested and charged with trespassing and public intoxication after allegedly trying to enter a home at 3 a.m. in Ankeny, IA. The Pawlenty campaign placed Foster on a two-week suspension. The AP quotes Pawlenty staffer Eric Woolson saying Foster offered to resign "recognizing the seriousness of the mistake."
Ankeny police say Foster was drunk and lost when he tried to enter a home there. His presence alarmed a teenage girl and her father, who held Foster at gunpoint until police arrived.
Online court records show Foster pleaded not guilty to the charges last week.
The latest Public Policy Polling poll of Iowa Republicans shows GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty need to make up some ground if they hope to have a favorable showing at the Iowa caucuses.
The poll found that Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, is leading the 2012 field. He's followed by Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin.
Bachmann and Ron Paul both received support from six percent of those polled. Pawlenty received support from five percent.
One interesting note: Pawlenty appears to be sucking up some of Donald Trump's support. Pawlenty's support picked up two percentage points when Trump's name was taken off of the poll. In fact, pollster Tom Jensen characterized Pawlenty as one of the "winners" in the poll because he picked up some ground from a January poll.
"If there's a 'winner' in this poll it's Tim Pawlenty who's up to 7% from 4%, suggesting that he's slowly gaining steam and if there's a 'loser' it's Sarah Palin, who's down to 12% from 15%."
Support for Bachmann jumps to its highest levels if Trump, Huckabee and Palin aren't in the race. 15 percent of those polled indicate they would support Bachmann if that were the case.
Side note: Nearly half (48%) of those polled in Iowa don't think President Obama was born in the United States.
Read an analysis of the poll here.
Read the poll here.(2 Comments)
The Washington Post/ABC News poll shows President Obama leading Tim Pawlenty and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann in head to head match-ups.
Obama leads Pawlenty 53 percent to 38 percent.
Obama leads Bachmann 53 to 39 percent.
The poll also revealed that many Republican leaning voters are unsure of who they'd support for president in 2012. A third of those polled said they weren't sure who they'd back. Mitt Romney received 16 percent support. None of the other candidates broke double digits. Twelve percent said they wouldn't support any of the 15 candidates listed. Pawlenty and Bachmann both received one percent support.
While the poll shows Obama leading the field, it also shows that the American public is not happy with how he's handling the economy. 50 percent of those disapprove of how Obama is handling his job as president. 57 disapprove of how he's handling the economy. 45 percent of those polled also say they definitely will not vote for Obama for a second term.
You can read the full poll here.
Tim Pawlenty reports raising $160,000 in the first ten days of his start-up committee for president.
The former Minnesota governor opened his exploratory committee for president on March 21st. Several people donated to his campaign, including his former chief of staff, the former finance chair for his federal PAC, the Chair of the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection and the former managing partner of the San Francisco Giants.
Pawlenty's advisers asked donors to wait until April 1 to write checks to his PAC so he would make bigger headlines when he reported his second quarter numbers in July.
Pawlenty spent $43,000 of his funds on travel, consulting and office supplies.
You can read the campaign report here.
Two of Minnesota's presidential hopefuls, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, hit the national TV airwaves today to comment on President Obama's speech to address the long-term deficit.
On NBC's Today show, Bachmann said she would oppose any tax hikes to help erase the deficit.
"That's his formula for turning the country around after spending us trillions of dollars in debt," she said. "Now its time to tax the people who create the wealth."
Meanwhile, Pawlenty said on Fox and Friends that he doesn't think Obama will offer anything meaningful.
"It will be warmed over proposals from before and I don't think you'll see details," Pawlenty said. "Everybody I've talked to that's a job provider in this country says the same thing in one form or another, get the government off my back."
You can listen to President Obama's speech live on MPR News at 12:30.
Former U.S House Speaker Newt Gingrich and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann will headline the Minnesota Family Counci's 2011 annual dinner. Both Gingrich and Bachmann say they're considering a run for the White House in 2012 and the appearance at this event shows both are courting social conservatives as the Iowa Caucuses draw closer. The event will be held on May 17th in Minneapolis.
The Minnesota Family Council is known for bringing in high profile guests for the annual dinner. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty spoke at the event last year. As did Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and one-time presidential hopeful. Pawlenty has formed an exploratory committee for president nd Huckabee is said to be considering his options in 2012.
Posted at 8:00 AM on April 11, 2011
by Mark Zdechlik
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Tim Pawlenty's exploratory committee, Pawlenty 2012, announced early Monday that Nick Ayers will lead the former Minnesota governor's presidential efforts. Ayers was the executive director of the Republican Governors Association.
In the announcement, the exploratory committee said Ayers, "has one of the strongest political resumes in American politics," and credits him with breaking all previous fundraising efforts at the Regional Governors Association.
Pawlenty 2012 says Ayers will re-locate to Minneapolis, where the Pawlenty campaign is headquartered, to take his new job on April 25.
At least five candidates are expected to participate in a GOP presidential debate in South Carolina next month.
South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Karen Floyd issued a statement today about the "First in the South Presidential Primary Debate." The state party is sponsoring the debate with Fox News May 5 in Greenville, S.C.
The party said it expects the following participants, with more likely to follow: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
To be eligible for participation in its debate, the party said candidates must, "register a presidential exploratory committee or presidential campaign with the Federal Elections Commission, file paperwork to be placed on the ballot in South Carolina, pay associated state and federal filing fees, and meet national polling criteria consistent with what was used in the 2007 Fox-SCGOP debate."
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's exploratory presidential campaign is planning a big fundraiser on May 18.
D'Amico and Sons catering confirmed to MPR News that Pawlenty's campaign has reserved the atrium space of International Market Square for an event that day.
Someone with knowledge of the event told us the evening gathering in Minneapolis is one of several scheduled around the country. It's not clear who is invited to the Minneapolis fundraiser, how much money will be raised or how many people will be there. D'Amico and Sons says the space can accommodate up to 1,200.
A Pawlenty spokesman declined to comment on the upcoming fundraisers.(4 Comments)
Posted at 2:17 PM on April 6, 2011
by Mark Zdechlik
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
A 15-year-old girl reportedly found a staffer for former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Iowa campaign operation trying to enter the back door of her family's Ankeny, Iowa home early Wednesday morning.
The girl's family told KCCI-TV in Des Moines that the staffer, Benjamin Foster, was drunk and trying to get to a friend's house in Johnston, Iowa. They said he vomited in their backyard and scared their daughter. The TV station reported that police charged Foster with public intoxication and trespassing.
Pawlenty's presidential exploratory campaign committee released a statement Wednesday afternoon, quoting Foster.
"Last night, I made a very serious mistake," he said. "I take full responsibility for my actions. I want to apologize to all affected by my poor judgment. I especially apologize to the people who were disturbed during the incident and the arresting officers. I give my word that it will never happen again."
The statement also quoted a spokesman for the exploratory committee, Eric Woolson.
"Gov. Pawlenty is extremely disappointed in Ben's actions and his behavior does not meet the standards he expects of his employees," Woolson said. "Therefore, the committee is placing Ben on a two-week unpaid suspension and expects him to bear the legal consequences for his action."
Ankeny Police Lt. Ed Hamilton confirmed the arrest but said the police report would not be available until some time Thursday. Lt. Hamilton explained what happened in the alleged incident in an interview. Here it is:
An aide to former Mn Gov. Tim Pawlenty told MPR News Pawlenty expects to be at the Fox News South Carolina GOP debate on May 5 in Greenville. The aide said Pawlenty also expects to participate in a June 7 debate in Manchester, N.H.
Rep. Michele Bachmann's chief of Staff, Andy Parrish, said Bachmann is "undecided as of now," about whether she will take part in the first two debates.
Tim Pawlenty's crackerjack video editor has posted yet another Hollywood-style online video touting the former governor's run for the White House. See it here:
The video was posted shortly after President Obama officially declared his intention to run for a second term. Somewhat strangely, one of the people visible in the montage of faces and voices is economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman saying, "Washington has given up on the jobs picture."
Slate blogger David Weigel noticed Krugman too, and calls the use of Krugman's image, "A very odd excerpt to use." That's because the context of Krugman's quote was that the federal government should be doing more, not less to stimulate the economy.
Just last week, Krugman blasted Pawlenty on his blog, saying that Pawlenty's claim that the economy is nearing a double-dip recession shows the former governor has, "absolutely no idea what's he's talking about."(2 Comments)
Once upon a time, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty supported a cap-and-trade plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Cap-and-trade sets an overall limit on pollution and lets businesses bid for the right to continue emissions.
Now, Pawlenty says his support for cap-and-trade was "a mistake." But he's also pointed out that he's not the only potential Republican candidate who has a mixed record on the issue.
"Everybody in the race - at least the big names in the race - embraced climate change or cap-and-trade at one point or another," he said on the March 28, 2011, episode of the Laura Ingraham radio show. "Every one of us."
Not every GOP hopeful has tried to tackle climate change, but many of them did.
Pawlenty's spokesman did not respond to questions about who the "big names in the race" are, but it's clear that a number of Republicans who are frequently mentioned as potential candidates have changed their position on climate change.
• Sarah Palin: As governor of Alaska, Palin formed a subcabinet to tackle climate change, and she became involved in the Western Climate Initiative, a group with the goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions. She also supported capping emissions as Sen. John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential election. But just months after McCain lost, she wrote in an op-ed that President Barack Obama's cap-and-trade plan was a "threat to our economy."
• Newt Gingrich: In 2007, the former House Speaker said that "mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system" is something he would "strongly support," and in 2008, he made an ad with Rep. Nancy Pelosi saying that the country, "must take action to address climate change." Since then, Gingrich has blasted legislation to cap emissions.
• Mitt Romney: As Massachusetts governor, Romney first supported a regional plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but ultimately backed-off because he feared it would be too expensive for consumers. More recently, he's said that cap-and-trade would have a "devastating impact" on the economy.
• Mike Huckabee: The former Arkansas governor has also sent mixed messages about his stance on climate change.
Still, there are three potential candidates in the field who have not changed their position on climate change.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has been a leading GOP advocate for climate action, setting a goal to bring Utah's emissions down to 2005 levels by 2020. So far, it appears he's not wavered on the issue.
Meanwhile, it appears former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who once lobbied for energy companies, and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann have never flirted with the idea of supporting cap-and-trade.
Minus Barbour and Bachmann, Pawlenty is right that most potential GOP candidates have "embraced climate change or cap-and-trade at one point or another."
Pawlenty isn't precise on this one, and it's also tough to say just who is and who isn't a big name in the race right now. He's close enough that his claim passes the PoliGraph test.
YouTube, The Laura Ingraham Show, March 28, 2011
Minnesota Public Radio, Pawlenty, Doyle and other Midwest governors sign on to global warming pact, by Stephanie Hemphill, Nov. 15, 2011
Minnesota Public Radio, Pawlenty's current climate change stance differs from past , by Tom Scheck, Sept. 23, 2009
PolitiFact.com, Palin flips on her support of cap-and-trade, by Catharine Richert, July 20, 2009
The Washington Post, The 'Cap And Tax' Dead End , by Gov. Sarah Palin, July 14, 2009
Time.com, On Global Warming, No Clear Skies For Most 2012 GOP Contenders, by Michael Scherer, March 24, 2011
YouTube, Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich Commercial on Climate Change, accessed March 31, 2011
Frontline, Interview with Newt Gingrich, February 15, 2007
Atlanta Journal Constitution, Newt Gingrich: Cap-and-trade is 'an energy tax' and a job-killer, by Jim Galloway, April 24, 2009
ABC News, Gingrich Rips Obama Budget's 'Energy Tax'; OMB Says Higher Costs Offset by Tax Credit, by Teddy Davis, February 27, 2009
YouTube, Mitt Romney on Cap and Trade, October 7, 2009
Grist, Is Jon Huntsman the greenest GOP presidential hopeful?, by Lisa Hymas, February 2, 2011
The Associated Press, The 2008 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates' positions on the issues, by Calvin Woodward, Dec. 18, 2007
The Boston Herald, Romney OK with plan on emissions, July 24, 2003
The Star Tribune, Michele Bachmann: 'Cap and trade'? More like 'tax and spend', by Rep. Michele Bachmann, June 9, 2008
The Humphrey School(1 Comments)
Rep. Michele Bachmann and two other GOP House members introduced a bill to remove up to $105.5 billion in automatic funding for the Democratic-led health care overhaul.
Bachmann released this statement about the bill:
"The American people sent us to Washington to repeal ObamaCare and cut spending. The Healthcare Fiscal Accountability Act is commonsense legislation designed to remove the automatic appropriations for ObamaCare and instead give each Congress the opportunity to fund, or not fund, the President's health care program. We must ensure that future Congresses are not bound with a stack of post-dated checks, like the ones that were slipped in ObamaCare," Bachmann said.
According to the news release, Bachmann's bill has 30 original co-sponsors.
Bachmann claims the funding was surreptitiously included in the health care bill authorization even though authorizing bills often include some funding.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's exploratory presidential campaign is calling "Pawlenty Action" its official "grassroots action network." The website allows Pawlenty supporters to register personal information and earn points for everything from contributing to the campaign to recruiting friends and linking to Pawlenty on Facebook.
Pawlenty's new media consultant Mindy Finn of the Washington, D.C.-based firm Engage told Minnesota Public Radio News that more than 75 percent of grassroots political activity now takes place on the Internet, and that candidates competing against President Obama next year will need tap grassroots energy.
Pawlenty has already garnered considerable attention with highly produced short YouTube videos promoting his book, campaign stops and, most recently, the formation of his presidential campaign exploratory committee.
In addition to spreading the word about Pawlenty, visitors to "Pawlenty Action" can volunteer to help out with campaign work in the early GOP nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.(1 Comments)
The latest Gallup Poll shows former Gov. Tim Pawlenty has made little progress this year increasing his name recognition.
The poll showed 40 percent of Republicans and people who lean Republican recognize Pawlenty 's name. That's about where the former GOP governor was in Gallup's January poll, when 39 percent said they recognized his name.
Rep. Michele Bachmann was better-known than Pawlenty. The poll showed her name recognition at 54 percent. The poll was taken between March 14 and March 27. Pawlenty announced his exploratory committee on March 21.
A new National Journal poll has former Gov. Tim Pawlenty running second only to former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney on the question of who is most likely to win the 2012 Republican nomination for president.
The National Journal describes its "Political Insiders Poll" as "a regular survey of political operatives, strategists, campaign consultants and lobbyists in both parties." Participants were asked to, "rank from one-through-five, the top five contenders who they think are most likely to capture the GOP 2012 presidential nomination." A first-place vote gives the candidate five points; a second-place vote is worth four points and so on.
Romney ended up with 83 points. Pawlenty had the second-place ranking at 58. For Pawlenty that's a 25 point jump from the poll's January results.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who like Pawlenty has been positioning for a possible presidential run,
did not register in the National Journal survey registered with only 2 points, the same as Donald Trump.
Former governor and likely 2012 presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty has assembled his national fundraising team. A Pawlenty aide said Pawlenty will introduce the team to major supporters on a conference call this morning. The aide said Pawlenty's fundraising will begin in earnest in April with a push for major-donor fundraising. Below are the names and bios of the people who will be helping Pawlenty bring in the millions he'll need to run:
Brian Haley, National Finance Director
Brian Haley recently served as the National Finance Director of Freedom First PAC, chaired by Governor Tim Pawlenty. Prior to this, he held a similar position at Country First PAC, chaired by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Friends of John McCain, Senator McCain's reelection campaign. Brian served as the Deputy National Finance Director for McCain-Palin 2008, where he helped devise and execute a national finance strategy that resulted in the most successful fundraising efforts ever for a Republican presidential candidate.
Katie McBreen, Deputy National Finance Director
McBreen spent the last two years as the Finance Director for Senator Jerry Moran's successful race in the 2010 cycle. Previously, she worked for Governor Mitt Romney's campaign in 2007 and 2008, and was the Finance Director for Kansas State Senator Nick Jordan's U.S. Congressional race in 2008.
Trisha Hamm, Minnesota Finance Director
Trisha Hamm served as finance coordinator and then political director on the Pawlenty for Governor campaign and was the Minnesota finance director on Governor Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC. Prior to that, she worked for the Minnesota State Senate and was the finance director for the Senate Victory Fund.
Chrissy Scherer, Associate Finance Director
Chrissy Scherer recently served as the Associate Finance Director for Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson's successful campaign in 2010.
Andrea Evans, Finance Consultant (Focus: Arizona)
Andrea Evans' past and current clients include Carly Fiorina for U.S. Senate, Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife, McCain Palin 2008 Presidential Campaign, First Things First, Arizona State University, the Phoenix Indian Center, the Governor's Office of Children, Youth & Families, Arizona Latino Research Enterprise, Northern Arizona University, The Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Foundation for Women, UNITY, Inc., Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America and INROADS, Inc.
Paige Lance Hahn, Senior Finance Consultant (Focus: Mid-Atlantic)
Paige Lance Hahn currently serves as President of Hahn Group Inc, a fundraising firm she founded in Arlington, Virginia. Over her thirteen year fundraising career, she has worked for numerous high profile political figures and national Republican committees, focusing on both individual and corporate major donors as well as the management of on-line and direct marketing campaigns. She recently managed the fundraising operation for Governor Bob McDonnell's successful bid for Governor of Virginia. Prior to starting her own firm, Paige served as Development Director for American Solutions, a grassroots organization founded by Newt Gingrich.
Ann Herberger, Senior Finance Consultant (Focus: National Outreach)
AnnHerberger is the President of The Woods Herberger Group, Inc., a fundraising consulting business whose client list has included the Republican National Committee, the Republican Party of Florida, the Republican Governors Association, National Republican Senatorial Committee, Congressional Medal of Honor Society, International Republican Institute, Bush-Cheney 2000/2004, Foundation for Florida's Future, Inc., Foundation for Excellence in Education, Inc., Romney for President, Inc., The Diaz-Balart Florida Victory Committee, The 2008 Congressional Trust as well as McCain-Palin Victory 2008 , Senator John Thune for U.S. Senate, National Republican Congressional Committee, Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate and Boehner for Speaker Committee among others. In addition, Ann's has served as the Bush family fundraiser (President George W. Bush, President George H.W. Bush & Governor Jeb Bush) in Florida for the past 13 years
Pam Kinsey, Senior Finance Consultant (Focus: Midwestern States)
Pam Kinsey has over 30 years of fund raising experience for Republican candidates across the midwest. She has served as counsel to numerous Congressional and Senate candidates, in addition to serving a role in every Presidential cycle since she began her career during the Reagan administration. Most recently she served as the midwest consultant for the McCain campaign and as fund raising counsel to numerous Illinois Congressman, and the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Paige Marriott, Senior Finance Consultant (Focus: National Fundraising and Donor Initiatives)
Paige Marriott has over 16 years of grass-roots communication, government affairs, fundraising and strategic business development experience. In the 2010 Paige served as the National Finance Director for Carly for California and in 2008 she served as the Western States Finance Director for the McCain-Palin 2008 Campaign.
Alison McIntosh, Senior Finance Consultant (Focus: Texas)
Alison McIntosh is the President of the McIntosh Group, one of the premier fundraising and business development firms in Texas. Some of her most notable past or present clients include: Senator John McCain, Texas U.S. Senators Hutchison and Cornyn, Congressman Pete Sessions, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, The National Republican Congressional Committee, The National Republican Senatorial Committee, Governor Bobbie Jindal, and Attorney General Greg Abbott. Alison served as the Texas Finance Director for the McCain-Palin 2008 Presidential Campaign.
Rick Nelson, Finance Consultant (Focus: Minnesota and National outreach)
Rick Nelson has raised funds for for John Thune, Mitch McConnell, Susan Collins, Saxby Chambliss, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, John Hoeven, Jim DeMint, David Vitter, Kelly Ayotte, Roy Blunt, Chuck Grassley, Ron Johnson, Pat Toomy, Rob Portman, Richard Burr, Norm Coleman and Dan Coats. He raised funds for the Presidential campaigns of George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, and George W. Bush. In 2007 and 2008, Rick worked with business and political leaders to raise $ 25 million to host the National Republican Convention in St. Paul.
Gretchen Picotte, Senior Finance Consultant (Focus: Florida)
Gretchen Picotte has over 15 years of fundraising experience working in Florida politics. Most recently, Picotte was an integral member of the fundraising team for Governor Rick Scott, which raised over $50 million in the 2010 election cycle. During the 2008 Presidential Election, she served as Florida Finance Director for the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee; Mayor Giuliani led all candidate fundraising for five consecutive quarters raising over $5 million. She also worked for Team McCain 2008 and has had the privilege of fundraising for Senator Mel Martinez and Congressman Clay Shaw.
The Starboard Group, Finance Consultants (Focus: Colorado)
The Starboard Group, co-founded by Katie Behnke and Kristin Strohm, is based in Littleton, Colorado. The Starboard Group is a fundraising and campaign management consulting firm with vast experience ranging from contested U.S. Senate races, competitive Congressional challengers, local statewide races, to national committees.
Cassandra Vandenberg, Senior Finance Consultant (Focus: California)
Cassandra Vandenberg is the President of Vandenberg & Associates, Inc. Her firm is one of California's most effective and trusted fundraising management firms, specializing in corporate, non‐profit, and political fundraising. In 2008, she led the successful California fundraising efforts of John McCain for President. Her client list has included the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, several US senators, governors, and statewide campaigns and initiatives.
Shanna Woodbury, Finance Consultant (Focus: Minnesota and National outreach)
Shanna Woodbury worked for Presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani and John McCain and has also raised funds for nearly all top tier US Senate and Congressional Candidates in Minnesota and from around the country.
Sue Walden, Finance Consultant (Focus: Texas)
Sue Walden, Walden & Associates, is based in Houston, Texas. She started her political fundraising consulting firm in 1991 and has worked with candidates and elected officials at the local, state and federal levels. Sue managed Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison Houston fundraising efforts and was an integral member of Senator McCain's Texas fundraising team.
A new Gallup Poll of more than 1,000 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents has former governors Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney leading the pack of possible 2012 GOP presidential candidates. About 19 percent of those polled said they'd back Huckabee, which puts him slightly ahead of Romney who got 15 percent support. Just 5 percent of those polled said they've back Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty garnered just 3 percent.
The poll taken March 18-22nd also sought to determine what would happen if Huckabee chooses not to run. In that scenario, Romney got 19 percent support but was closely followed by Palin at 17 percent. In that no Huckabee scenario, Bachamnn still got 5 percent compared to Pawlenty's 3 percent.(2 Comments)
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty put this video on his Facebook page at about 2 p.m. Monday.
In the video, Pawlenty announces the formation of a presidential exploratory committee. The committee will allow Pawlenty to begin raising money for a presidential campaign.
The announcement wasn't much of a surprise and people have been reacting to it all day.
University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato said he thinks Pawlenty's decision to launch an exploratory committee was a good one because it helps him get out in front of the pack of likely 2012 presidential candidates .
"For the time being, Pawlenty, who started as the longest of long-shots in the top-tier, is now, I think, reasonably ranked next to Mitt Romney," said Sabato. "Romney is the proto-favorite. But he's not a heavy favorite. Pawlenty has made a lot of progress, and I think people see him as making a real bid for the nomination."
Sabato said Pawlenty hasn't necessarily distinguished himself from other likely GOP presidential hopefuls on policy. But Sabato said with little or no name recognition Pawlenty has climbed to the top-tier of possible Republican presidential candidates. And now that Pawlenty has launched a campaign Sabato said reporters will look to him to respond to Obama administration decisions about everything from the economy to national security.
"My guess is Pawlenty will be a go-to guy for the national media if only because he's been willing to jump into the cool-pool first," Sabato said.
Washington University political science professor Steven Smith, said in addition to political reasons, there are practical reasons to form an exploratory committee.
Pawlenty has used his Freedom First political action committee to finance much of his national travel thus far. But his political action committee, like any PAC, can only donate $5,000 to his likely future presidential campaign.
Every penny Pawlenty's new exploratory committee could eventually end up helping him raise money for an actual campaign.
"Once you formally create an exploratory committee you're signaling your donors that you're going to start raising money in a big way with the hope of using that money toward a formal campaign," Smith said. "Once you file as a candidate all your contributions, even though they were made in the past are subject to the federal limits. So doing this now is really a matter of legal convenience."
Pawlenty reportedly urged supporters to hold off writing checks to his new campaign committee until April 1. That's the beginning of the second quarter Federal Election Commission reporting period. When those second quarter numbers are made public in July, Larry Sabato from the University of Virginia said the amount he has collected could be critical to Pawlenty's presidential prospects.
"I don't know what he'll post, but I can guarantee you everyone will look at that number," Sabato said. "We're looking at a campaign where the incumbent president is going to spend $1 billion. Now how does a Republican creditably challenge a president like that if in the early going say only a few hundred thousands or a couple of millions can be raised? I think you have to look long-term and ask, can a candidate compete with a president who's going to spend $1 billion?"
State DFL Party Chair Ken Martin just issued a statement saying Pawlenty ignored his job as governor over the past two years to pursue his national ambitions. He said there's nothing in Pawlenty's record to show he deserves a promotion.
"Unfortunately for the people of Minnesota, while Gov. Pawlenty was out exploring states near and far, he failed those he was supposed to represent," Martin said. "Tim Pawlenty left our state facing the largest deficit in Minnesota's 152-year history, drove up property taxes and fees on middle-class families and small businesses alike, all while making draconian cuts to education that forced some schools into 4-day weeks."(3 Comments)
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is taking the next step toward a White House bid today with the formation of a presidential campaign exploratory committee.
A person with knowledge of Pawlenty's plans said to expect an announcement this afternoon on Facebook. Pawlenty's page says the announcement will come at 2 p.m. Minnesota time. Such a committee would allow Pawlenty to begin raising money for a presidential campaign.
For more than a year Pawlenty has been traveling the nation criticizing President Barack Obama and other Democratic leaders and sounding like a candidate for president. His most recent trips came last week to South Carolina and New Hampshire.
Pawlenty's Freedom First political action committee has been bankrolling much of that travel and has already assembled an experienced campaign team.
One of Sen. John McCain's top fundraising experts from his 2008 presidential run, Brian Haley, serves as the finance director for the PAC.
Senior advisors to Pawlenty include Terry Nelson, formerly the Bush-Cheney '04 political director, and director of political operations at the Republican National Committee.
Other top-level advisors are Phil Musser and Sarah Taylor. Musser was one of Mitt Romney's senior advisors during the last cycle. Taylor worked on the Bush campaign and served as Bush's White House Political Director.
Potential candidates can spend lots of money on exploratory operations such as polling, travel and focus groups. Potential candidates are not required to register exploratory committees with the Federal Election Commission but many do to make for a smoother transition to full-fledged campaigns.
Pawlenty, a Republican, was first elected governor of Minnesota in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. The signature issue of his time as governor was his "no new taxes" pledge, although he did agree to impose a statewide fee on cigarettes. His political opponents also said his policies caused property taxes and other fees to rise dramatically during his tenure.
He was on the short list of McCain's potential running mates in 2008, but was left out when McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin instead. It's unclear whether Palin will run for president in 2012.(1 Comments)
In his latest highly edited video, Tim Pawlenty features clips from his latest trip to New Hampshire.
Pawlenty's Freedom First Political Action Committee has also released videos promoting his book Courage to Stand and his appearance at the tea party's inaugural American Policy Summit.
Pawlenty will speak Wednesday in Aiken, South Carolina. No word yet if that appearance will result in another video.(1 Comments)
Former Minnesota Gov. and likely 2012 GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty spoke to a group of health care providers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire Friday. Pawlenty said programs like Medicare and Medicaid are unsustainable and need reworking.
Pawlenty called for giving consumers more control over subsidized health care spending. He said if consumers were able to make choices based cost and quality of care, people would get better treatment at a lower cost.
"I don't like movements toward centralized systems," he said. "I don't like movements towards government-centric models. I don't like movements towards big government bureaucracies, particularly when we see the track record of the two we have."
Pawlenty cited health savings accounts as an example of market forces and consumer choice at work, and he said Minnesota leads the nation in the percentage of residents who have them.
Some in the audience questioned whether Americans are capable of directing their own health care and suggested people are more likely to get the care they need under single-payer models than they are directing their own health care.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty spoke in Manchester, N.H. Thursday evening at a house party sponsored by the Granite Oath PAC. He and his wife Mary were warmly received. Pawlenty spoke about domestic and foreign policy issues. He said the U.S. has not shown enough leadership and resolve when it comes to the situation in Libya.
"I think if there's a plausible way to implement a no-fly zone, we should," he said. "If there's a plausible way to help those who are trying to defeat and take out Moammar Gadhafi we should explore those options and the president, I think, is thinking about it. He's thinking about it, but I would be more forward leaning than that, than I think he has been."
Pawlenty also criticized the Obama administration for its reaction to the situation in Eqypt.
On domestic issues, Pawlenty said the national debt cannot be addressed without reworking entitlement programs. He said it's time to start talking about changing Social Security rules for people who are not yet in the program.
"I think when you have life expectancies going up like they are, it's ok to say for new entrants into the program, the retirement age is going to gradually increase over time and a majority of Americans say, ok. I'm ok with that."
Palwenty left the Manchester house party with a customized University of New Hampshire hockey jersey with "Pawlenty 12" on the back.
Pawlenty is heading to the western part of New Hampshire Friday for a noon-time speech about health care issues at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.
Rep. Michele Bachmann will arrive in New Hampshire Friday for a series of GOP fundraisers. On Saturday, Bachmann will also help raise money for a political action committee that represents a coalition of New Hampshire tea party groups.
We reported earlier today that Gov. Dayton announced today that he won't be hosting a weekly radio show. He rejected every bid that was put forward.
WCCO, which hosted the weekly radio show for the Independence Party's Jesse Ventura and the Republican Party's Tim Pawlenty, submitted a bid but it was dramatically different than what they proposed in the past.
The weekly show for Ventura and Pawlenty were given a Friday morning, 9AM slot. Update to fix: Ventura's show aired at 11am on Friday. Pawlenty's aired at 9am on Friday. The two were also allowed to do remote broadcasts and select their own hosts.
WCCO offered Dayton an hour on Saturday morning at 7 o'clock.
WCCO also said it would not pay for engineers or equipment for remote broadcasts (except for the State Fair show). Both Pawlenty and Ventura were given that luxury by the station. They used it to broadcast from the governor's annual fishing opener and other events.
Finally, WCCO recommended that Dayton host the show with Ted Mondale. Pawlenty's sidekick was his Communications Director, Brian McClung. Ventura's sidekick was his spokesman, John Wodele.
I e-mailed WCCO's Mick Anselmo to see why WCCO changed their proposal but he hasn't gotten back to me. He did respond to MinnPost's David Brauer by saying they still want to host his show.
WCCO's decision comes less the six months after WCCO's Michelle Tafoya gave money to Dayton's GOP rival, Tom Emmer, in the race for governor.
Here's WCCO's RFP to Dayton:
Full disclosure: MPR News did not submit a bid to host the governor's radio show. Dayton, however, is on MPR's air on a regular basis.(10 Comments)
Tim Pawlenty is getting some major props from some Washington D.C. pundits. The chattering class, which includes the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and columnist George Will, say Pawlenty is becoming a candidate who can secure the GOP nomination.
Cillizza, who write The Fix, ranks Pawlenty as the second most likely candidate to win the GOP nomination (behind Mitt Romney):
2. Tim Pawlenty: The former Minnesota governor is starting to win people -- including the Fix -- over. He is diligently working at building organizations in Iowa and New Hampshire and there are some signs that those efforts are paying off as he placed a solid third in a January straw poll in the Granite State. The biggest knock on Pawlenty is that he's too nice and/or not charismatic enough to win the nomination. But, Pawlenty is improving -- his 2011 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference was far better than the 2010 edition -- and, given the flaws in the field, being too nice isn't all that bad. As a result, Pawlenty is the name you hear on more and more lips when asking neutral Republicans who they think their nominee might be. And that's a great place to be right now. (Previous ranking: 5)
Meanwhile, Will characterized Pawlenty as one of five plausible GOP candidates for president.
New York Times columnist David Brooks and Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne said on NPR that they believed the race for the nomination came down to Romney and Pawlenty. (Side note: Both didn't offer glowing praise of Pawlenty or the other GOP candidates. Brooks called the entire GOP field "extremely weak" if Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels doesn't run. Dionne, a liberal Democrat, said Pawlenty reminded him of Michael Dukakis.)
Pawlenty hasn't announced his intentions yet but he's done everything but announce his candidacy. He wrote a book. He formed a federal PAC and state PACs in Iowa and New Hampshire. He campaigned for governors and candidates for Congress. He is also trying to stay active on cable TV. Pawlenty is also trying to get himself in front of the groups that will play a role in the nomination. He's spoken to Tea Party groups, Chritsian groups and fiscal conservatives. All of those actions have helped him get the attention of the opinion leaders in Washington.
There are plenty of reasons Pawlenty could win the nomination. He was elected and reelected in a traditionally Democratic leaning state. He held the line on taxes and spending (sans a cigarette fee) during his time as governor. He has a compelling life story. Looser gun laws and stricter abortion laws were put in place during his tenure. He was vice-chair of the RGA and chaired the NGA.
But there are things that could make his path to victory difficult.
First, Pawlenty is polling in the single digits in many states. The name of the game is votes and other candidates are getting more support than him. One hopeful sign for Pawlenty is that many of those polled haven't formed an opinion of him yet. That means he has plenty of time to introduce himself and make a first impression but it also means his political foes have time to define him as well.
Secondly, Minnesota's press corps is not as transient as their counterparts in other states. Any attempts by Pawlenty to recast himself politically will be fact-checked by reporters who have known him much longer than his own campaign staff. Many Minnesota based reporters can talk not only about Pawlenty's time as governor but his time in the Legislature.
Renewable energy. Pawlenty's push to require Minnesota's power companies to produce 25 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2025 won't be liked by conservatives who doubt global warming is even a problem. The GOP controlled Legislature is working to undermine those efforts this year. A DFL lawmaker used Pawlenty's own words on renewable energy to defend the law in a video. Don't think Mitt Romney's people haven't watched this video or are compiling their own video.
Another factor is Michele Bachmann. Both Pawlenty and Bachmann are from Minnesota. They could fight over donors. They could fight over support. GOP activists in other states may wonder why there are two candidates from the same state in the mix. It will not help if Pawlenty has to spend time and money keeping his Minnesota base in line. Stu Rothenberg, another member of the chattering class, noted this in a recent column.
Finally, Mark Dayton. Dayton hasn't been shy about saying Pawlenty left the state in a fiscal mess or Pawlenty's jobs record. Dayton also runs the agencies that Pawlenty was in charge of for eight years. There's a reason President Obama campaigned for Dayton in October. First, he wanted to help a Democratic governor win an election. But the White House also knew that a Democrat living in the Governor's Mansion in St. Paul would be helpful to their reelection campaign in 2012.
One other thing to note is that D.C. handicappers also get it completely wrong. Plenty of pundits thought Hillary Clinton had a clear path to victory in 2008. Others wrote and rewrote John McCain's obituary months before he won the New Hampshire primary.
Question of the Day: Do you think Pawlenty can win the GOP nomination?(5 Comments)
The New Hampshire Republican State Committee said Rep. Michele Bachmann will appear at its fundraiser brunch on Saturday, March 12. The Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC says Bachmann will appear at a fundraiser later that Saturday.
The first fundraiser starts at 11:00 a.m. at hotel in Nashua. The Liberty PAC fundraiser runs from 1:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. in Barrington, N.H.
In a news release announcing the morning GOP fundraiser, state Republican Party Chairman Jack Kimball said he was pleased Bachmann was coming.
"Congresswoman Bachmann understands the importance of expanding the GOP in our state, returning principled conservative leadership to our governor's office and delivering a strong Republican nominee for president.
Michele is an outspoken defender of our constitution and as a small business owner and a mother who has raised five children and 23 foster children; she knows firsthand the struggles our families face and is leading the fight to bring fiscal conservatism back to our nation.
We know the Democrats have a serious spending problem and that President Obama's job destroying policies, radical agenda and overspending have been a complete failure. In order to see any economic recovery and a chance for our business community to grow and create jobs, the Obama agenda must be defeated in 2012."
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty is also traveling to New Hampshire next week. Pawlenty will speak Thursday, March 10 at a "presidential house party series" sponsored by the "Granite Oath PAC."
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty went after government unions this afternoon during a speech in Phoenix, Arizona. In his keynote address to the Tea Party Patriots "American Policy Summit," Pawlenty drew load applause when he ripped President Obama and urged his audience to applaud Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for his efforts to restrict public employee collective bargaining rights. Clutching a copy of the constitution, Pawlenty said the nation's founding fathers intended to limit government, not freedom.
"It says in here in order to form a more perfect union," Pawlenty said. "Mr President that does not mean coddling out-of-control public employee unions."
The head of Minnesota's largest public employee union is accusing Pawlenty of scapegoating public employees for budget problems.
Pawlenty thanked tea party enthusiasts for their energy and referred to them as "modern-day Paul Reveres."
Here's the full speech: Listen(4 Comments)
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC website now features this short video in support of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Pawlenty is urging people to sign a petition in support of Walker who, along with other Wisconsin Republicans is battling Democrats over a plan to restrict public employee collective bargaining rights.
On his PAC website Pawlenty credits Walker with making "tough choices" and writes, "The gig is up for public employee groups who demand better benefits than the taxpayers who are paying the bill. I'm confident Gov. Walker's reforms will succeed in Wisconsin. Stand strong, Scott -- average taxpayers everywhere are rooting for you."(2 Comments)
GOP Rep. John Kline told reporters that he's backing Tim Pawlenty's bid for president in 2012. Kline met with Minnesota reporters today to discuss the situation in Wisconsin, the federal budget showdown and the situation in the Middle East.
On Wisconsin, Kline says praised Wisconsin Governor Walker for trying to get a handle of the state's pension and benefits for state employees. When challenged that unions have already met Walker's demands, Kline said he didn't "want to get into Wisconsin's negotiations" but said politicians need to handle the hard reckoning of budget problems.
Kline will be on the front lines of that hard reckoning next week. The U.S. House has suggested that there will be a "shutdown showdown" over the federal budget. President Obama and Congress have to reach an agreement by March 4th. Kline says he doesn't want to see a government shutdown but added that House Republicans won't support a continuing resolution that doesn't cut government spending. He wouldn't say what an acceptable level of cuts would be.
"I'm very confident that the Republicans in the House are not going to vote for a continuing resolution that has no cuts in it," Kline said.
Kline, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, says he's watching the unrest in the Middle East closely. He said Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi's violent actions towards protesters in that country borders on an atrocity.
"We have seen now how really bad this guy is when he is killing his own people to stay in power," Kline said.
Kline said he's watching the situation in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria and Jordan closely. He said it's possible that the issue could go against U.S. interests in the region.
"I'm not entirely sure that we're going to like the type of democracy that could come out of this," Kline said.
Kline said he is hoping unrest in Iran occurs because he argued that the situation can't get much worse there.
Finally, Kline said he was running for reelection. He was then asked who he was supporting for president 2012.
"Tim Pawlenty," he said at the end of the news conference.
Kline's decision to back Pawlenty means he's not backing GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is also pondering a run for president.
Roll Call reports that Pawlenty is headed to Washington D.C. on Monday to try to build a network of supporters in Congress. Kline and GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen are listed on the invitation.
Here's Kline's briefing: Listen
Posted at 6:01 AM on February 25, 2011
by Mark Zdechlik
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will travel to Phoenix, Arizona today for a Saturday afternoon speech at the Tea Party Patriots' "American Policy Summit."
Pawlenty is scheduled to speak at 1:00 (MST). Pawlenty will also be signing copies of his book, Courage to Stand: an American Story. Pawlenty's last major speech was at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this month in Washington, DC.
That CPAC gathering featured a presidential preference straw poll that had Pawlenty and 6th District Rep. Michele Bachmann tied for sixth-place with 4 percent support. The tea party summit will also conduct a straw poll. It will release results on Sunday afternoon.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who came in first in the CPAC straw poll, is also speaking at the Arizona event.
A Pawlenty staffer said the former governor will use his tea party speech to thank tea party supporters for their efforts during last fall's mid-term elections. The staffer also said Pawlenty will, once again, call for holding the line on the debt ceiling and repealing "Obamacare." Pawlenty will also highlight his record of conservative success in a liberal state and talk about standing up to public employees unions."
The latest Gallup poll of Republicans who may run for the White House in 2012 shows GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann slightly ahead of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The poll shows a wide open field among potential contenders. Mike Huckabee leads the field followed by Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.
Bachmann received support from four percent of those polled. Pawlenty received support from three percent of those polled.
The poll is conducted among Republicans across the country. That's an important footnote since everyone knows that state specific polls (like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina) are more important since those states will play a large part in determining which candidate will be the GOP nominee.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann says she's going to speak at the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference and Reagan Centennial Celebration.
It's set for June 16-18 in New Orleans.
The announcement calls the gathering "the most prominent Republican event of the year."
Just last year it was merely the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. But this year organizers say, "we're inviting the whole country."
Well, most of them. The speaker list also includes Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and presidential contenders Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney as well as Donald Trump, who's floated a trial balloon on the idea.
No Tim Pawlenty yet, though.
The then-governor was scheduled to talk to the group last year. But he had a scheduling conflict with the return of troops from the Middle East. Presumably, he'll be free this year.
Posted at 10:17 AM on February 17, 2011
by Mark Zdechlik
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
A staffer with Rep. Michele Bachmann confirmed to Minnesota Public Radio News this morning that the Minnesota Republican will take her message to New Hampshire on March 12th.
In a written statement Bachmann spokesman Andy Parrish said Bachmann was looking forward to the trip.
"As a small business owner, former Federal Tax Attorney, and mother of five, she knows first hand what is at stake in the next election. She is committed to doing everything she can to repeal President Obama and replace him with a Constitutional Conservative."
It's not clear exactly what Bachmann will be doing and where she'll be appearing in New Hampshire next month.
A Pawlenty aid confirmed the former Minnesota Governor will visit the Granite State on March 10th. Pawlenty will speak at a "Granite Oath," gathering. "Granite Oath," is a conservative political action committee. Pawlenty was last in New Hampshire in January to sign copies of his book, Courage to Stand. Pawlenty also spoke at a forum in Bedford on his last trip there.
The Minnesota Republican Party announced today that it will host the 2011 Midwest Leadership Conference in October. The event is hosted every two years by a state in the Republican National Committee's Midwest Region. Those states include Ohio, Missiouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Minnesota.
The event will also feature a forum of GOP presidential hopefuls which means former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann may be marketing their presidential bona fides in their home state.
"With a full slate of events, including a presidential candidate forum, activist trainings, and a series of speeches from conservative leaders, the 2011 Midwest Leadership Conference promises to be an exciting and memorable experience for Republican activists from across the country," stated Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton in a news release.
The event will be held at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel on October 7th and 8th.
The WMUR Granite State poll shows former Gov. Tim Pawlenty in third place behind Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. Romney is polling at 40%. Giuliani is polling at 10%. Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee are both polling at 7% each.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann wasn't included in the poll.
In a head to head match-up, President Obama is ahead of Pawlenty 44-37. More info here.
With Brett Neely:
(Washington) -- Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MN, drew even support in the presidential straw poll of conservative activists at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Washington over the weekend. But both were far behind front-runners Rep. Ron Paul, R-TX, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who drew 30 and 23 percent of the vote respectively.
The Minnesotans each received just 4 percent of the vote. Some view the straw poll results as something of a bellwether for how much support a candidate draws from conservative grassroots activists.
"It's a straw poll, not a scientific poll so it gives some evidence of where activists are on these questions," said David Keene the Chairman of the American Conservative Union, the organization that puts on CPAC, in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio.
But Keene cautioned not to read too much into the poll results.
"It does have a degree of accuracy in terms of both the feeling at the time on the part of conservative activists and, just as importantly, the openness of the conservative community to candidates," said Keene.
Washington University Political Science Professor Steve Smith called the poll a popularity contest and probably not a good measure of fitness for the presidency. Still Smith said it's a contest potential presidential candidates want look good in.
Even though Pawlenty has been positioning himself for a presidential campaign for a lot longer than Bachmann, Smith says the outspoken congresswoman poses a tactical problem to Pawlenty's effort to attract attention.
"She's on some counts a mile behind. She's not nearly as well organized as Pawlenty is for the effort," said Smith. "On the other hand, she has a lot more money in her bank account and a greater capacity to raise money and attract attention than does Pawlenty. And there are going to be quite a few folks who are thinking we only need one candidate from Minnesota."
Some CPAC attendees think there's less of a gap between the two candidates.
"I think they are both equally viable," Said Diana Banister of Falls Church, Virginia. "I think that [Bachmann] has potential because she's been on television, because people know her especially with the tea party movement. I think people could follow her."
Another Midwesterner drew the attention Brian Hamel of Watertown, Connecticut. His straw poll vote went to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels who, like Pawlenty, has not said whether he will run for the GOP nomination.
Hamel said he thinks many people who like Daniels would gravitate toward Pawlenty if Daniels does not get into the race and Pawlenty does. Hamel thinks Pawlenty has a stronger organization and would be a more viable candidate than Bachmann, even though Bachmann is a crowd pleasing speaker and a successful fundraiser.
"I think a lot of the things she says maybe aren't comfortable for the entire country. Certainly the conservative tea party base is comfortable with it, but in terms of winning the election, I don't know that she's the best candidate to represent America," said Hamel.
Another candidate who energizes the tea party base is Ron Paul. Sam Swedberg, a 22 year old college student who attends St Cloud State University, was at this year's and last year's CPAC to support Ron Paul.
"There's a strong movement here for Ron Paul, it was like that last year. It's more about principle. They're tired of the talking points. They want someone that actually follows through. I think that's why Ron got more support again this year, like he did last year," Swedberg said.
When asked about Pawlenty, Swedberg had little to say.
"I don't think so, not as it stands right now. I mean he's kind of coming out of nowhere. For us in Minnesota, we all know who Tim Pawlenty is, you know, Mr. T-Paw, but when I talk to people about Tim Pawlenty, I don't think people really know who he is."
As for Bachmann, Swedberg said she has more of a crowd behind her than Pawlenty but he doesn't think Bachmann is viable because she's such a polarizing figure.(8 Comments)
Tim Pawlenty speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. (AP Photo)
From MPR's Brett Neely and Mark Zdechlik:
(Washington) -Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty rallied the Republican faithful in an address at today's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC, as he explores a potential run for the White House in 2012.
Freshman Rep. Sean Duffy, R-WI, introduced Pawlenty to the packed to capacity crowd, calling the potential GOP presidential candidate, "a great Midwesterner with a friendly disposition."
Pawlenty's speech pointed to his record leading Minnesota as a guide to his conservative credentials, while also taking a dig at the state's liberal lions.
"I come from the state of McCarthy, Mondale, Humphrey, Wellstone and now United States Sen. Al Franken," Pawlenty said to the crowd, who began to boo. He continued, "But we cut government in Minnesota and if we can do it there, we can do it anywhere."
Pawlenty repeated many of the policy proposals that other CPAC speakers touched on, including Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MN. He pledged to repeal President Obama's healthcare proposal, balance the budget and "throw the tax code overboard."
He asked that every member of Congress prepare their own tax returns without the assistance of lawyers and accountants to, "experience first-hand the moronic, burdensome and intimidating beast that our tax system has become."
On the national debt On the growing national debt, Pawlenty said America needs more "common sense" and less "Obama sense."
"My friends, we need to restore American confidence. We need to restore American optimism. We need to restore America's hope for the future. We need to restore the American dream by restoring American common sense," he said.
Like many of the other speakers at the conference, known as C-PAC, Pawlenty called for repealing the federal health care overhaul.
Using a metaphor he has employed often in speeches, Pawlenty said citizens can decide better than government how to spend their own money, pointing to the difference between weddings with an open bar and a cash bar (as MinnPost D.C. reporter Derek Wallbank points out, Pawlenty held an open bar event last night in Washington for his supporters).
Pawlenty also touched lightly upon socially conservative themes, saying that the nation needed to heed the motto, "In God We Trust." However, he did not elaborate further and dive further into topics such as abortion or same-sex marriage.
Pawlenty will face off against Bachmann and others in the CPAC presidential preference staw poll. The results will be released tomorrow.
Listen to Pawlenty's remarks here:(8 Comments)
MPR's new Washington correspondent Brett Neely started this week. This is his first post on Capitol View:
Listen to Bachmann's speech here: Listen
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., served up a breakfast of conservative raw meat in the opening address before the 38th Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. this morning.
Saying that she starts every day with a vow to overturn President Obama's healthcare overhaul, Bachmann roused the sleepy audience to their feet multiple times at the annual gathering of conservative activists.
"We need to win the triple crown of 2012, holding onto the House of Representatives, winning the Senate and, oh yeah baby, winning the White House as well," Bachmann told a cheering crowd of several thousand people.
The Republican congresswoman said the nation's 9 percent unemployment rate would only be brought down by the enactment of conservative policy positions such as a dramatic reduction of federal spending, lower taxes, the repeal of last year's healthcare law and the elimination of regulations on energy production - which she said would turn the United States into the "Saudi Arabia of energy production."
Bachmann, who hasn't ruled out a presidential run next year, gave a shout out to the key primary state of New Hampshire, saying that Americans should heed the Granite State's motto, "Live Free or Die."
The crowds in the Wardman Marriott's massive ballroom began to thin once Bachmann left the stage. She was followed by fellow Midwesterner freshman Sen. Ron Johnson , R-WI, who joined Bachmann in denouncing the President's healthcare plan.
Outside of the ballroom, at least one conference attendee was impressed with Bachmann's speech (Listen here: Listen)
"I thought she did a pretty good job," said Steve Emmert of Chantilly, Virginia. "She got people to wake up and got them charged up."
Emmert, who works on federal policy issues for a Virginia-based company, said he'd like to hear more from Bachmann, adding that, "I think she is viable, perhaps more viable than many other potential [presidential] candidates [in 2012]."
Bachmann's relative newness to the political scene was an advantage, said Emmert, because many of the other candidates were tainted by past positions and from being inside Washington's culture for too long.
As for fellow Minnesotan, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Emmert said, "All I can tell you is that he was governor of Minnesota."
Emmert said Pawlenty needed to raise his national exposure, a chance the former governor will get tomorrow when it's his turn to address CPAC.
Later today, attention will shift back to Bachmann, who's hosting an open bar event for all 11,000 CPAC attendees so they can "party hardy."
But lest anyone think the fiscal conservative had gone overboard, Bachmann joked her offer meant a one-drink limit, especially for the throngs of college students in the crowd.
From the AP:
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Republican Tim Pawlenty's political action committee spent most of its money last year and has a low cash balance that could signal the possible presidential candidate is ready to wind it down.
A filing Friday with federal regulators shows the Freedom First PAC spent more than $2.8 million in 2010. It had $155,000 remaining as 2011 began.
The former Minnesota governor launched the PAC in 2009 to cover costs of political travel and distribute checks to GOP candidates.
A presidential bid would require him to set up a separate candidate account.
Pawlenty is part way through a book tour. He expects to make a decision on a presidential run around March.
Another potential 2012 candidate, Alaska's Sarah Palin, ended 2010 with more than $1.3 million in her PAC account.
And this from Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant:
"In 2010, Gov. Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC helped elect a new conservative majority in Congress and a next generation of conservative leaders in states across the country. We were able to donate directly to over 200 candidates thanks to the support of thousands of contributors across the country. After a great Election Day, we gave our donors a break."
This is the fifth and final in a series of fact checks this week reviewing former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's book - Courage to Stand - as he tours the nation promoting it and exploring the possibility of a run for president.
Like many of his fellow Republicans, Pawlenty believes that public sector workers are overpaid.
"Why are government employees making 22 percent more than their private-sector counterparts, plus enjoying better benefits and nearly perfect job security?," Pawlenty wrote on page 276.
Pawlenty gets this one right, with a few caveats.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public sector workers - including all federal, state and local employees - make roughly 22 percent more in raw wages compared to the private sector.
Generally speaking, public sector employees get a wider variety of benefits as well, such as health care, pension and better paid leave. For instance, in 2010, it cost state and local governments an average of $13.85 per worker to cover benefits compared to an average of $8.20 in the private sector.
Many economists argue the disparity between private sector pay and public sector pay is due to the larger number of blue-collar jobs in the private workforce. These jobs pay less, effectively drawing down average wages.
Note that Pawlenty is talking about an overall average. In many instances, job-to-job comparisons show that public workers make less than their private sector counterparts. For instance, a lawyer working for the government makes an average of $98,120 annually, while a lawyer working in the private sector makes $137,540 a year - a significant difference. And government economists make about one-third less than their private-sector counterparts.
All in all, this claim is accurate.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2009 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates by ownership: Cross-industry, private ownership only, accessed Jan 27, 2011
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2009 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Federal, State and Local Government, accessed Jan. 26, 2011
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation - Sept. 2010, Dec. 8, 2010
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employer costs for employee compensation, September 2009
The New York Times, Are Federal Workers Overpaid?, by Nancy Folbre, Oct. 13, 2009
The Cato Institute, Employee Compensation in State and Local Governments, by Chris Edwards, Jan. 2010
The Cato Institute, Federal Pay Continues Rapid Ascent, by Chris Edwards, Aug. 24, 2009(7 Comments)
This is the fourth in a series of fact checks this week reviewing former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's book - Courage to Stand - as he tours the nation promoting it and exploring the possibility of a run for president.
Pawlenty frequently says that he drove down state spending during his administration.
Here's what he wrote about the issue on page 183 of his book:
"The average two-year increase in Minnesota state spending from 1960, the year I was born, until I became Governor was about 21 percent. We brought that down dramatically to an average of 1.7 percent per year during my time as Governor. And for the first time in the 150-year history of Minnesota, we reduced state spending in real terms."
At first blush, his claim checks out. But a deeper look reveals Pawlenty is being selective with the numbers and is omitting important context and adjustments.
Minnesota writes new budgets every two years, so spending can be measured in one- and-two year cycles.
Yes, according to Minnesota Management and Budget, the average two-year spending increase between 1960 and 2003, the year Pawlenty took office, was indeed roughly 21 percent.
However, the numbers used to figure the rate of increase were not adjusted for inflation or population growth. Accounting for these variables would show flatter state spending over time. As a result, Pawlenty's performance looks stellar.
Moreover, Pawlenty compared his one-year average rate of spending increase (1.7 percent) with the unadjusted two-year average, which inflates the gap between spending under his administration and his predecessors'. The state's unadjusted one-year average is 10 percent. (Inflation-adjusted data are not available.)
Furthermore, Pawlenty's claim doesn't reveal two favorable events in the most recent budget cycle: roughly $500 million in federal dollars for K-12 education that effectively lowered state spending in fiscal years 2010-2011 and the delay of $1.9 billion in payments to schools to future budget cycles.
The final part of Pawlenty's claim, that for the "first time in the 150-year history of Minnesota, we reduced state spending," is even harder to pin down, in large part because the Legislature and budget department don't readily have data going back that far. And even if the numbers were available, the General Fund of 1860 would be too different from the General Fund of 2011 to compare accurately.
Nevertheless, it appears that Pawlenty is being selective with the numbers on this point, as well. According to the budget department, it's a fact that the 2010-2011 two-year budget cycle is the only time since 1960 that the state decreased spending in terms of dollars. But on an annual basis, general fund spending declined in 1983, 1986, and 2004 as well, according to the same document.
The average state spending increase was indeed smaller during Pawlenty's administration.
However, Pawlenty's claim is misleading because he mixes a two-year average with a one-year average to make his spending restraint look stronger than it was. And when comparing the recent record with past decades he also doesn't account for inflation and population growth, federal stimulus money and an accounting shift. Finally, the governor cites 150 years of history with no source for where he got his information.
Minnesota Management and Budget, Historical Expenditures: General and All Funds, last updated Dec. 2, 2010, accessed Jan. 25, 2010
Minnesota 2020, State of the State Fact Check, by Jeff Van Wychen, Feb. 11, 2010
Minnesota Budget Bites, Governor's Budget Spares K-12 But Cost Shifts Remain, by Scott Russell, Feb. 22, 2010
Interview Bill Marx, Chief Financial Analyst, Minnesota House of Representatives, Jan. 26, 2010
Interview, Jay Kiedrowski, Senior Fellow, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Jan. 25, 2010
Interview John Pollard, spokesman, Minnesota Management and Budget, Jan 26, 2010
This is the third in a series of fact checks this week reviewing former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's book - Courage to Stand - as he tours the nation promoting it and exploring the possibility of a run for president.
In the book Pawlenty bemoans big spending on President Barack Obama's watch.
"President Obama has overseen the first two budgets with trillion-dollar deficits in American history," he wrote on page 266. "He has racked up more debt than every President from Washington to Reagan combined."
On the surface, Pawlenty's claim is correct. But it implies that Obama is solely responsible for runaway spending. In fact, the deficit had already exceeded $1 trillion before the president took office.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the deficit was $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2009 and $1.3 trillion fiscal year 2010 - the first trillion dollar deficits in history, as Pawlenty correctly points out. (Because these figures are not adjusted for inflation, economists tend to compare deficits as percentage of gross domestic product. By that measure, the largest deficit in history occurred in 1943.)
He's also correct that more has been added to the national debt during the Obama administration than "every President from Washington to Reagan combined." When Reagan left office, the national debt was $2.190 trillion, according to CBO. During the first two years of the Obama administration, roughly $3 trillion has been added to the national debt, according to the Treasury Department.
But as is often the case with the federal budget, this story is more complicated than it seems.
Budget crunchers think in terms of fiscal years, which begin on Oct. 1 and end on Sept. 30. So a sizeable chunk of new spending in Obama's first year was the result of big-ticket items passed by a Democratic-controlled Congress and signed by President George W. Bush.
Almost half the spending increase - about $245 billion - stemmed from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and payments to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Further, revenue declined 17 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2009 as a result of the recession. That added to the deficit-- defined as the difference between the money the federal government takes in and the amount of money it spends each year.
In fact, before Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, CBO had already estimated that the 2009 deficit would be at least $1.2 trillion.
But Obama isn't off the hook. Another $200 billion was added to the deficit as result of the spending in the stimulus bill, one of Obama's first major legislative efforts.
This PoliGraph test is misleading.
It's true that Obama's first two years in office were marked by trillion dollar deficits and debt. However, it's misleading for Pawlenty to pin blame on Obama when, in fact, Obama inherited big spending increases and massive revenue shortfalls from his predecessor.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Policy Basics: Deficits, Debt, and Interest, accessed Jan. 22, 2010
Bloomberg News, U.S. Deficit for 2009 Totals $1.4 Trillion, Budget Office Says, By Brian Faler and Julianna Goldman, Oct. 8, 2009
The Congressional Budget Office, Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2009, Nov. 6, 2009
The Congressional Budget Office, Revenues, Outlays, Deficits, Surpluses, and Debt Held by the Public,1970 to 2009, in Billions of Dollars, January 2010
The Congressional Budget Office, Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2009, Oct. 7, 2009
The Congressional Budget Office, Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2010, Oct. 7, 2010
The Congressional Budget Office, The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2009 to 2019, Jan. 7, 2009
The Cato Institute, Don't Blame Obama for Bush's 2009 Deficit, by Daniel J. Mitchell, Nov. 19, 2009
The Treasury Department, The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It, accessed Jan. 22, 2010
Interview, Alex Conant, spokesman, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Jan. 20, 2010
Interview, Jim Horney, Director of Federal Fiscal Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Jan. 23, 2011
Interview, Daniel Mitchell, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute, Jan. 23, 2010
The Humphrey School(1 Comments)
This is the second in a series of fact checks this week reviewing the book of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty - Courage to Stand - as he tours the nation promoting it and exploring the possibility of a run for president.
Pawlenty frequently touts his record on taxes, so it's no surprise that he wrote about it in his new memoir, Courage to Stand.
On page 182, he writes: "Every Governor for decades had said it was important to get Minnesota at least out of the top 10 highest-taxed states. None of them ever did. I did."
Did he? Sort of. Outside of a new fee on cigarettes, between 2003 and 2010 Pawlenty didn't raise state taxes - but he didn't lower them, either.
There are a lot of ways to slice and dice tax rankings, and in each case Minnesota fares differently when calculating the top 10 highest.
For instance, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, Minnesota has ranked 11th or above since 2004 in total state and local taxes. When it comes to the individual income tax, the same data show that Minnesota has remained well within the top 10 since 1995.
Meanwhile, the Tax Foundation, a national group that has been churning out tax rankings for years, has ranked Minnesota 11th, 12th and sometimes 17th in state and local taxes since 2000, the middle of former Gov. Jesse Ventura's administration. In some years, Minnesota fares even better according to rankings published by the Minnesota Taxpayers Association.
So, by at least a few measures, Minnesota is no longer one of the highest-taxed states in the nation. On this point, Pawlenty's correct.
The broader question is whether Pawlenty did anything to pull Minnesota out of the top 10, as he said he did.
Not exactly, say tax experts.
Former Republican Rep. Phil Krinkie, who chaired the House Taxes Committee in 2005-06 and now leads the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, pointed out that some tax tweaks occurred under Pawlenty's administration, but the most substantial changes happened during Ventura's tenure. For instance, in 1999 and 2000, the state cut income tax rates. In 2001, the general education fund levy was replaced with state aid.
Others, including Mark Haveman who is Executive Director of the Minnesota Taxpayers Association, say Pawlenty did not raise taxes while other states did to cover deficits. Minnesota, as a result, stayed clear of the top 10.
Saying precisely when Minnesota dropped out of the top 10 highest taxed states in the nation is hard to pin down because each ranking tells a different story. What is clear, however, is that the most significant tax cuts occurred under Ventura. Pawlenty, however, prevented taxes from going up while other states approved new revenue raisers.
Pawlenty's book implies his actions were the sole reason Minnesota dropped out of the top 10, but the Ventura administration played a major role. As a result, Pawlenty's claim is misleading.
State Rankings: State and Local Taxes, made using data from the Minnesota Department of Revenue found here, accessed Jan 19, 2011
State Rankings: State Taxes, made using data from the Minnesota Department of Revenue found here, accessed Jan 19, 2011
The Minnesota Department of Revenue, Frequently Asked Questions About Tax Rankings, accessed Jan. 20, 2011
The Tax Foundation, Minnesota's State and Local Tax Burden, 1977-2008, accessed Jan. 20, 2011
The Tax Foundation, State and Local Tax Burdens Dip as Income Growth Outpaces Tax Growth, by Gerald Prante, Aug. 7, 2008
The Minnesota Budget Project, 1999 Minnesota Tax Cuts: How Much and for Whom?, accessed Jan. 20, 2010
The Minnesota Budget Project, Tax Changes in the 2000 Legislative Session, accessed Jan. 24, 2011
Interview, Alex Conant, spokesman for Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Jan. 20, 2011
Interview, Rep. Phil Krinkie, President, Taxpayers League of Minnesota, Jan. 20, 2011
Interview, Mark Haveman, Executive Director, Minnesota Taxpayers Association, Jan. 20, 2011
Interview, Nan Madden, Director, Minnesota Budget Projects, Jan. 20, 2011
Interview, Joel Michael, House Legislative Researcher, Jan. 24, 2011
The Humphrey School(3 Comments)
This is the first in a series of fact checks this week reviewing the book of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty - Courage to Stand - as he tours the nation promoting it and exploring the possibility of a run for president.
In the book Pawlenty writes about health care and his efforts to reduce costs in Minnesota.
He writes that he wanted to cut costs and improve results, and encourage competition by getting consumers more involved in making decisions.
Among the examples Pawlenty mentions is the Minnesota Advantage Health Plan, a program that offers lower co-pays and deductibles to state employees who visit hospitals, doctors and clinics that provide high-quality health care at a low cost.
"State employees overwhelmingly chose care from lower-cost, high-quality providers - and premium increases in the program have been relatively small or flat for five years," he wrote on page 177.
Parts of Pawlenty's claim are correct. But there are some caveats.
Under the Minnesota Advantage Health Plan, the state ranks health care providers according to efficiency and cost. Employee co-pays and deductibles are lowest for providers that are ranked as offering high-quality health care at low cost. Less efficient providers are ranked at higher cost levels and enrollees pay more to visit them.
Doctors, clinics and hospitals compete to be in the lowest cost category and, as a result, get more business. For the state and its employees, the program has meant lower health care costs.
So, Pawlenty's characterization of the program is on point, as is his claim about the program's popularity. Currently, about 85 percent of state employees are visiting low-cost, high efficiency providers, according to Minnesota Management and Budget.
It's also true that in 2006, 2010 and 2011, insurance premiums did not increase.
In some years, however, Advantage premiums did go up. A summary from Pawenty's office points out that these increases were frequently lower than "other large Twin Cities employers." (The summary doesn't say which employers or how many.)
But to say these increases were "relatively small" is somewhat misleading. In several instances, the average Advantage premium increase was more than the national average, according to a recent budget department analysis.
For example, in 2005, Advantage premiums went up an average of 15.1 percent compared to the national average of 9.2 percent. In 2007, the Advantage average went up 9.9 percent compared to the national average of 6.1 percent. However, overall Advantage health care premiums have been on the decline in recent years.
There's also one key point to make about Minnesota Advantage that may be lost on readers of Pawlenty's book: He didn't start the program. Rather, Minnesota Advantage was the result of negotiations between state employee labor unions and management; it was launched in 2002, the year before Pawlenty took office.
That said, bargaining between labor and MMB continued during the Pawlenty administration, and further changes were made to the program that have helped make Minnesota Advantage more cost effective.
It was close, but the PoliGraph rates this claim as accurate.
Pawlenty is correct that many Minnesota Advantage participants have chosen low-cost, high-quality providers. And he's right that premiums haven't increased at all in some years.
That said, it's important to note that while premium increases have been on the decline in recent years, they have spiked higher than the national average in some instances. Furthermore, Pawlenty does not make clear that Minnesota Advantage actually started before he took office in 2003.
Courage to Stand, by Tim Pawlenty
Summary of changes to the state employee health plan under the Pawlenty administration
Office of the Legislative Auditor, State Employee Health Insurance, Feb. 2002
Minnesota Management and Budget, Minnesota State Employee Group Insurance Program: Biennial Report, 2007-2008, accessed Jan. 21, 2011
Minnesota Management and Budget, Minnesota Advantage Health Plan 2011, Benefits Schedule, accessed Jan. 21, 2011
The Council of State Governments 2004 Innovations Award Program, Application Form from Minnesota Advantage Health Plan, accessed Jan. 18, 2011
Minnesota Association of Professional Employees Letter to President Barack Obama, Feb. 22, 2010
Interview, Alex Conant, spokesman, Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Interview, Barbara Holmes, Assistant Commissioner and State Labor Negotiator, Minnesota Management and Budget, Jan. 20, 2011
Interview, Jim Monroe, Executive Director, Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, Jan. 18, 2011
Interview, Peter Benner, Former Executive Director, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 6, Jan. 18, 2011
Rasmussen Reports released a national poll of Republican voters today and it found that former Gov. Tim Pawlenty has some work to do if he decides to make a run for the White House in 2012. The poll found that 24% of those surveyed favor Mitt Romney in the race for the White House. Sarah Palin is second with 19%. Mike Huckabee has 17% and Newt Gingrich has 11%. Pawlenty comes in fifth with 6%.
Note: GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann was not included in this poll.
Posted at 4:17 PM on January 21, 2011
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Tim Pawlenty picked up some juice in the latest Public Policy Polling poll of possible 2012 candidates. Pawlenty is polling at 8 percent - a significent uptick from past PPP polls.
Pawlenty is in fifth place among those polled. He trails Mike Huckabee (24%), Sarah Palin (14%), Mitt Romney (14%) and Newt Gingrich's (11%).
Pollster Tom Jenson wrote that Pawlenty is one of the winners in this poll:
The other winner in this month's poll is Pawlenty. 8% is certainly the best he's done in one of our national polls and it's a sign that he could be starting to gain some traction. His record strong standing is part of why Romney's polling so poorly this month, as we've consistently found that they tap into a similar centrist base. A strong Pawlenty candidacy is good news for Democrats because anything that divides the already diluted Republican moderate vote can only make it more likely the GOP nominates someone too far to the right to be viable in the general election.
Pawlenty has been all over the country (and the airwaves) promoting his latest book. He'll continue the book tour next week in the key presidential states of New Hampshire and Iowa.
University of Virgina Political Scientist Larry Sabato released his 2012 presidential rankings for the GOP. To no one's surprise, he listed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the front runner. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are also considered in his top tier.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is listed fourth on the rankings. Sabato gives him praise for the work he's been doing to ramp up his name identification but he said Pawlenty's blandness could be a problem.
Tim Pawlenty: The former two-term governor of Minnesota is by all accounts a dark horse for the GOP nomination. Even Pawlenty would agree with that. But there are long longshots and short longshots, and Pawlenty is in the latter category. He has been out in the field early and often, most recently promoting a new book, and while he has not made much of a splash, he has made progress. Pawlenty hopes that his blue-collar background will contrast with the Bluenose candidacy of Mitt Romney, if indeed Romney is able to maintain his front-runner status. Perhaps a little suspect because he was governor of a state with a liberal image, Pawlenty has insisted, maybe a little too strenuously, that he has been comprehensively conservative during his public life. As his supporters would suggest, at least he didn't pass a version of Obamacare in Minnesota. Pawlenty is understated, with a wry sense of humor, and he hasn't yet left much of an impression on the nascent campaign. But there is plenty of time, and as long as he can keep up his fundraising, Pawlenty can hope that the GOP field shakes out just right for an acceptable if bland Midwestern conservative. Stranger things have happened in presidential politics.
Sabato isn't questioning the excitement around GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. Bachmann has said she's considering a 2012 run and will make her first entry into the 2012 with an appearance in Iowa tomorrow night. Sabato suggests in his rankings that Bachmann can't win in a general election but says she would be a "stick of dynamite in the Republican pond."
Michele Bachmann: Just elected to her third term in the U. S. House representing Minnesota's conservative Sixth Congressional District, Bachmann had been thought to be aiming for the Senate seat of freshman Democratic incumbent Amy Klobuchar in 2012. But apparently, her ambitions are still greater. While she has given no firm indication of a White House candidacy, there have been hints, including a scheduled trip to Iowa. Bachmann is a Tea Party favorite, and she has been a fierce advocate for virtually every socially and fiscally conservative position, from opposing abortion and gay rights to promoting property rights, stringent debt reduction, and lower taxes. Bachmann has a controversial style, and she is no favorite of the House Republican leadership. But if she played by the rules, this junior congresswoman wouldn't be on this list of possible presidential candidates. The most conservative activists love her, and she isn't about to step aside easily for the former governor of her state, Tim Pawlenty, or another woman with even higher visibility in the Tea Party movement, Sarah Palin. (Pawlenty in particular must be unhappy with Bachmann's maneuverings.) We believe that gaining the GOP nomination for president is a bridge too far for any House member, including Bachmann. But she would certainly stir the pot; more accurately, she would be a stick of dynamite in the Republican pond.
You can read Sabato's full analysis here.
in other 2012 news, a new poll has been released in Iowa that shows Pawlenty and Bachmann in the middle of the 2012 pack. Pawlenty received support from 4.39% of those polled. Bachmann received support from 3.66% of those polled.(3 Comments)
Posted at 3:53 PM on January 13, 2011
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Former Governor Tim Pawlenty today (Thu) defended potential rival Sarah Palin against criticism she's received since the Arizona shootings. Palin, who had 'targeted' the congressional seat of Gabrielle Giffords before the last election, has been blamed by some for using inflammatory rhetoric. Pawlenty told the National Press Club the Tucson shooting had nothing to do with Palin:
"Those early hours and early days she was falsely accused," Pawlenty said. "I mean there were people who just came flat out...blamed her for her part in that incident. And the facts, as we know them today, didn't bear that out."
Pawlenty also said Palin has the leadership qualities needed to be a president. He said she has more "executive experience" than President Obama had prior to his election. Pawlenty and Palin are potential GOP presidential candidates in 2012.
Pawlenty also warned that the U.S. needs to reexamined its budget priorities and warned that Greece's economic crisis should be a warning to the U.S.
Midday aired the entire speech. You can listen to it here: Listen
A new poll of Iowa Republicans shows that former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and GOP Rep. Michel Bachmann are polling in the single digits.
The poll shows former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the lead followed by Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich round out the top four.
Pawlenty is fifth in the poll at 4 percent. Bachmann polled at two percent but her name wasn't included in the full poll.
Both Pawlenty and Bachmann have reason to be hopeful. The pollster for Grassroots Solutions says Indiana Congressman Mike Pence and Pawlenty have "made a positive impression on the state:
"With Pence heavily rumored to be considering a run for Indiana Governor, Pawlenty is the man to watch here and could be a sleeper."
The pollster also said Bachmann could be the "wildcard" in the race:
"Bachmann could be dangerous if she is serious about the campaign and is taken seriously as a candidate (her support seemed to come from Huckabee in particular and also Palin, but these are small numbers and it's difficult to draw a conclusion)."
More than half of those polled also recognize Pawlenty and Bachmann. The poll found that Pawlenty's name ID was 64 percent. Bachmann's name ID was 60 percent.
Both Bachmann and Pawlenty will make visits to Iowa this month. Bachmann will speak to the Iowans for Tax Relief PAC on January 21st.
Pawlenty will sign his book in Ankeny and Des Moines on January 30th and 31st.
Governor Mark Dayton says he wants to continue the tradition of holding a weekly radio show. Dayton told reporters last night that he would like to host a weekly radio program but said the state has to go through an open bidding process before he goes on the air. Dayton said he can't wait to host a program but said it a question of which station and ensuring every station has the right to compete for the show.
"We have to through an open, competitive bidding process. I understood it took until February for get Governor Pawlenty on the air. I wish I could be on the air somewhere tomorrow but we're going through the proper procedures through the Department of Administration."
Former Governor Jesse Ventura started the show in 1999 and it was continued by Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty. WCCO aired both of those programs but gave up full editorial control to do so.
Members of the Legislature criticized both Ventura, Pawlenty and WCCO for airing a program that they characterized an hour of unfiltered airtime. Democrats also said Pawlenty's show turned too partisan.
ABC News is reporting that GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is seriously considering a run for the White House in 2012. The report says Bachmann will travel to Iowa this month for multiple meetings with Republican party leaders to discuss a presidential bid. She is also scheduled to speak on January 21st to an Iowans for Tax Relief PAC fundraiser in Des Moines.
Bachmann has made several trips to Iowa in the past year and has been ramping up her national profile. She has been mentioned as a possible challenger to DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar in 2012 but recent polling shows that it would be an uphill climb for Bachmann to win that seat. 51 percent of those polled saying they have an unfavorable opinion of her.
Bachmann's toughest challenge will be to show that she's a serious candidate who can appeal to middle of the road, independent minded voters. But she is a force among rank and file Republicans. Bachmann receives some of the loudest ovations at GOP events in Minnesota and nationally.
Bachmann has also proven that she can raise money - a key test for any presidential hopeful. Bachmann, who represents Minnesota's 6th Congressional District, shattered state fundraising records for a U.S. House seat during last year's election.
One key question to consider is how a possible Bachmann bid could harm Tim Pawlenty's possible run for the White House. Pawlenty is releasing his book next week and has been assembling a team to make a possible run. How would a Bachmann bid undermine those efforts?(10 Comments)
Governor-elect Mark Dayton will follow through on his promise to make Medicaid expansion one of his first actions, and he'll do it in a high profile way.
Dayton announced today that he will sign an executive order to pursue the federal health care funding during a public ceremony on Jan. 4, in the Capitol Rotunda. Dayton says the move will provide new or improved health care coverage to more than 95,000 Minnesotans.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty rejected the early expansion option because of the additional state spending it requires. Pawlenty also opposes the federal health care overhaul that created the expansion.(1 Comments)
Posted at 4:17 PM on December 27, 2010
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Tim Pawlenty is spending his final week in office boxing up some materials for the Minnesota Historical Society.
Pawlenty's office announced today that the documents and artifacts from the past eight years included an oversized, novelty veto pen, as well as actual veto stamps. The news release noted that Pawlenty issued 299 complete bill and line-item vetoes during his two terms as governor, including a single-year record in 2008.
Posted at 1:40 AM on December 23, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Pawlenty talked with Morning Edition's Cathy Wurzer on Wednesday to discuss his legacy, his accomplishments and his future.
He starts off the interview by discussing the political advantage a governor has over the Legislature when it comes to the bully pulpit.
You can listen to it here: Listen
You can read a fuller picture of Pawlenty's record here.
Governor Pawlenty held a number of exit interviews with reporters this week. Today, he met with the AP's Brian Bakst, the Star Tribune's Mike Kaszuba, Bill Salisbury with the St. Paul Pioneer Press and myself.
Pawlenty mostly outlined his accomplishments and then took questions from reporters.
During the interview, he characterized himself as the first "true fiscally conservative governor in the modern history of Minnesota." He also said he will be remembered as the governor who worked to change the spending habits in Minnesota.
"This eight years and presumably the next four or eight with a Republican Legislature will be known as the time that Minnesota finally came to terms with its excesses and got itself on a more sustainable and responsible path."
Pawlenty denied responsibility for the projected $6.2 billion budget deficit that's looming in the next budget cycle. He repeatedly blamed DFLers in control of the Legislature and public employee unions as standing in the way of his proposals that he said could have made a difference.
Pawlenty wouldn't say if he's running for the White House in 2012. He said he'll make a decision by March.
Here's the video (note the first video of Pawlenty going through his talking points. The second video is the q and a with reporters)
Pawlenty announced that Ross Rossin will paint his official portrait. Rossin, of Atlanta, painted the portraits of both Bush presidents. Pawlenty's spokesman says the portrait will cost the state $26,200 in taxpayer money.(3 Comments)
Republican majority leaders announced today their nomination of Cal Ludeman to become the 22nd secretary of the Minnesota Senate.
Ludeman is currently commissioner of the state Department of Human Services under outgoing Gov. Tim Pawlenty. As secretary of the Senate, he would oversee the production and communication of all legislative information and administrative services.
"Cal's personality and work history define a great public servant," said Senate President-designee Michelle Fischbach, R-Paynesville, in a news release. "His experience and institutional knowledge are critical to leading this important post."
Ludeman also served as commissioner of the Department of Employee Relations under Pawlenty, and he was elected three times to the Minnesota House.
The Senate will vote on the nomination Jan. 4.
The Iowa Republican Party announced today that they will hold two debates for the 2012 GOP candidates. The first debate will be held on August 11, 2011. It's scheduled two days before the Iowa Republican Straw Poll. The second debate will be held before the Iowa Caucuses which are scheduled to be held on February 6th 2012. Fox News and the Iowa GOP will co-sponsor the debate.
The announcement comes one day after a presidential debate was announced in New Hampshire. The state that holds the first presidential primary. WMUR-TV, the New Hampshire Union Leader and CNN are co-sponsoring a debate on June 7th in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Fox News and the South Carolina GOP also announced two presidential debates. The first debate will be held on May 5th in Greenville, South Carolina. The second debate will be scheduled closer to the South Carolina primary.
There is one other debate that's been announced but not yet scheduled. Politico and NBC are co-sponsoring a Spring debate at the Reagan Presidential Library. The Library will also host another debate on the eve of the Super Tuesday elections.
All of the presidential debates prompt one major question: When will the candidates actually declare their intentions? No one has formally announced their intentions yet.
PolitFact, a fact checking unit, says Gov. Pawlenty's recent Wall St. Journal editorial is filled with inaccuracies and gave it a "Pants on Fire" ranking. There's no worse ranking out there. The op-ed focused on the salary and benefits of government workers.
"Across the country, at every level of government, the pattern is the same: Unionized public employees are making more money, receiving more generous benefits, and enjoying greater job security than the working families forced to pay for it with ever-higher taxes, deficits and debt," Pawlenty wrote.
Politifact says Pawlenty's facts are wrong.
Not only did he apparently mangle the time frame, contradict his own definition of federal workers and fail to acknowledge the huge caveat of Census worker hiring, he also repeated a statistic that had been criticized as inaccurate as long as six months ago. (Another politician who got caught by PolitiFact Ohio was the incoming House Speaker, John Boehner, R-Ohio.) And in the context of his column, the job numbers comment was more than a throwaway line. The comparison of job growth he made -- which showed the size of the federal workforce going in exactly the opposite direction as it did in reality -- is a key pillar supporting the premise of his column, that government work is "the only booming 'industry' left in our economy." Pawlenty's number is so compromised that we rate his statement Pants on Fire!(4 Comments)
Posted at 4:13 PM on December 14, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Pawlenty says a federal tax bill that would extend the Bush era tax cuts for another two years is a "mixed bag." He was asked about the deal, which President Obama and Republicans in Congress negotiated, after his speech in Rochester today.
"It's a mixed bag. I think in the middle of a recession we don't want to be raising taxes so continuing the current tax structure is an important step but unfortunately they loaded it up with a bunch of other stuff that's spending that will add to the debt in profound ways. That's not helpful especially when you have a country that's going broke."
Pawlenty didn't indicate in the interview whether he would support the measure but he reportedly told Fox News that he would back it.
"I would support it because of the tax extensions, but, again, each side got what they want. And those tax extensions are really important."
Public Policy Polling released a poll today that asked Republicans in Minnesota about two key contests in 2012.
The poll found that 36% of those polled want GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann to challenge DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar in 2012. That's higher than Gov. Tim Pawlenty (20%), former Sen. Norm Coleman (14%), GOP Rep.-elect Chip Cravaack (7%), Tom Emmer (6%), GOP Rep. John Kline (5%), outgoing GOP state Rep. Laura Brod (4%) and GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen (2%).
The poll also finds that the Republicans polled prefer Gov. Tim Pawlenty as their choice for the nominee for President in 2012.
On the Presidential front in the state Pawlenty continues to lead but with a tepid 24%. For sake of comparison Mitt Romney polled at 47% in his home state two weeks ago. Sarah Palin is second in the state at 17%, followed by Mike Huckabee with 15%, Romney with 13%, and Newt Gingrich with 11%. Leading the second tier is Ron Paul at 9%, with John Thune at 3% and Mitch Daniels at 2%.
You can read more about the poll here.(1 Comments)
Posted at 4:07 PM on December 10, 2010
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
The final weeks of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's term has brought two more cabinet resignations.
Pawlenty announced today that David Metzen, director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, is leaving to become provost for Globe University based in Woodbury. Metzen is a former school district superintendent who also served as a University of Minnesota regent for 12 years.
In addition, Paul Eger is stepping down as Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner. Eger will go to work for the Minnesota Association of Realtors as vice president of government affairs.
Gov. Pawlenty, who is considering a run for the White House, will be signing his book in the key political states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida and Ohio. He is also scheduled to appear on "The View" and "The Daily Show with John Stewart" during the tour. The book is scheduled to be released on January 11th.
An excerpt of Pawlenty's book "Courage to Stand" has been released and it discusses Pawlenty's life in South St. Paul. You can read it here. Pawlenty collaborated with Mark Dagostino to write the book. Dagostino ghost wrote professional wrestler Hulk Hogan's autobiography.
Here's the book tour schedule for Pawlenty:
Thursday, 1/13 (Washington, DC)
Speak at National Press Club, Washington, DC
Book signing, Washington, DC
Friday, 1/14 (Florida)
Speak at the Hispanic Leadership Network Inaugural Conference, Miami, FL
Book signing, Tampa, FL
Tuesday, 1/18 (Minnesota)
Book signing, Woodbury, MN
Thursday, 1/20 (Texas)
Book signing, Dallas, TX
Friday, 1/21 (Texas)
Book signing, Dallas, TX
Book signing, Houston, TX
Monday, 1/24 (New Hampshire)
Merrimack County GOP Dinner, Concord, NH
Book signing, Manchester, NH
Tuesday, 1/25 (New Hampshire)
Politics & Eggs, Bedford, NH
Thursday, 1/27 (Minnesota)
Book signing, Burnsville, MN
Book signing, St. Cloud, MN
Saturday, 1/29 (Ohio)
12th Annual Hamilton County Pancake Breakfast, Cincinnati, OH
Sunday, 1/30 (Iowa)
Book signing, Ankeny, IA
Waukee Chamber of Commerce Dinner
Monday, 1/31 (Iowa)
Book signing, West Des Moines, IA
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. Pawlenty is headed to Fort Lauderdale, Florida today to speak to speak to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event. A person with knowledge of the trip says the Chamber invited Pawlenty to come speak at the private event.
The person with knowledge of the trip says it's a political trip and will be covered by Pawlenty's federal Freedom First PAC. The governor is scheduled to be back in Minnesota tonight.
In other Pawlenty news, here's Pawlenty's speech to the MNGOP State Central Committee meeting on Saturday: Listen
Posted at 3:31 PM on December 1, 2010
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Tim Pawlenty says a sex offender who he helped pardon two years ago should now face new charges for lying on his pardon application.
Pawlenty is asking prosecutors in two counties to decide whether Jeremy Giefer committed perjury or fraud for not disclosing other unlawful behavior. Giefer is facing new charges for sexually abusing a girl before and after his 2008 pardon. He had already completed his sentence from another assault when the state pardons board acted. But Pawlenty said today the pardon wouldn't have been granted if other allegations were known.
"If the current allegations against him result in a conviction or in any indication of illegal behavior, he perjured himself and lied to us and may have committed other forms of fraud or misrepresentation before a governmental agency or board," Pawlenty said.
Pawlenty said he's not thinking about the potential political damage from his role in the pardon. He said his concern is with the victim.
Hospitality MN announced today that Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Dan McElroy will head the trade association. McElroy has also served in several other roles during Gov. Pawlenty's two administrations. He's been Pawlenty's Chief of Staff and served as Finance Commissioner.
McElroy will start his new job in January. Here's part of the release:
McElroy gained an understanding of the hospitality world through his involvement in the private sector's travel and leisure industry as the CEO for Travel Agency Management Solutions, Inc., president of Mainline Travel, and Chief Financial Officer of Travel Professionals.
"Dan's background in public policy will help advance the missions of our three associations and better serve our members," said Mitch Peterson, Hospitality Minnesota's chair of the board. "We believe his extensive experience in government affairs will help each organization understand the array of issues impacting their respective industries. The hospitality industry is a major force in Minnesota, with an economic impact to the state of nearly $10 billion. We need an executive leader who can help us build relationships with legislators and communicate effectively with our members. We believe Dan will fit this role perfectly."
"I am honored and excited to lead Hospitality Minnesota as it prepares for future growth," said McElroy. "I am ready to start a new chapter in my career where I can help Minnesota's restaurant, lodging, and resort and campground industries recover from the effects of the national recession. These communities work hard and I hope to help them rebuild by strengthening existing policy initiatives and increasing value to our members."
Gov. Pawlenty is moving one of his commissioners to fill another cabinet post.
Pawlenty announced today that Steve Sviggum will take over as commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget, effective December 2. Sviggum will succeed Tom Hanson, who's leaving for a lobbying job.
Sviggum has been commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry since 2007. He also was a former Republican state representative, who served four terms as Speaker of the House.
"Steve has a wealth of government experience that will provide steady leadership at MMB as we conclude our work and prepare to transition to a new administration," Pawlenty said in a news release.
Deputy Commissioner Cindy Valentine will become temporary commissioner at DLI.(3 Comments)
The company recently announced plans to close its Eagan facility and displace about a thousand employees. Dayton told reporters today that he was surprised by the announcement. He said he was also surprised that Governor Pawlenty and other state officials had not done much to try to head off the company's decision.
"Seems to me this is fundamentally a responsibility of Gov. Pawlenty and his administration," Dayton said. "If I'm governor, I'll pick up the pieces and do as best I can from that point forward."
Governor Pawlenty said last week that he would encourage the next governor to consider significant incentives to try to save the Lockheed Martin plant. Dayton's election certificate is pending a statewide recount.
Governor Pawlenty took a long, strange trip to get to San Diego this week The Hotline said he had to take a few side trips to get there.
Sometimes, getting from Point A to Point B can include a few stops along the way. That's what happened to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) on his way to the annual Republican Governors Association meeting earlier this week.
Pawlenty left Minnesota Tuesday night on a commercial flight bound for San Diego, but fog forced an unscheduled stop-over in Phoenix. The flight took off again a few hours later, but again, fog prevented a landing. That sent Pawlenty's plane to Ontario, an airport about 100 miles north of San Diego.
So the airline, which shall remain nameless, gave their passengers free tickets that would get them to San Diego early Wednesday morning -- on a Greyhound bus. Pawlenty hopped on board and arrived at the downtown San Diego bus terminal at 4:45 a.m.
Capping off the trip from hell: Pawlenty headed north, to initial RGA sessions, to moderate a panel just a few hours later.
Next time, he'll probably check the weather first.
Side note: The blog title is a takeaway from the classic book The Boys on the Bus.
Update: AP writes a profile of Pawlenty.
Revenue Commissioner Ward Einess announced today that he's leaving his post on 12/3 - one month before Governor Pawlenty's term is scheduled to end. Einess will set up his own government affairs practice.
He's the second top budget person in the Pawlenty Administration to announce his departure in the first week of December. Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Tom Hanson is leaving his post on 12/2 to become a lobbyist.
The next Revenue forecast is scheduled for 12/2.
Public Policy Polling surveyed voters in 18 states and asked who they would vote for among candidates for the 2012 GOP nomination. The polls were done on eve of the 2010 midterms.
Gov. Pawlenty polled in single digits in every state except for Minnesota. He was ahead in the Minnesota poll by one percentage point. Sarah Palin and someone else/undecided came in second in Minnesota at 18 percent.
There are few things to note with these polls.
First, this is a hypothetical field, since none of these candidates have said whether or not they're making a run for the White House. But since there is no clear front runner in these polls it's a large signal that the field is unsettled. It helps the lower level candidates that no clear favorite is emerging.
The poll surveyed Democrats, Republicans and Independent voters. The results could change if it polled only GOP voters, who are more likely to vote in a primary/caucus.
Update from pollster: A correction: these polls did not poll Democrats or independents in any state where there is a closed primary. They were all predicated on those who said they usually vote in Republican primaries--only those who said they do that were asked who they favor in the primaries.
Polls also change as candidates enter and leave the race. That will change the makeup of the contest as the primary races unfold.
Finally, polls are only a snapshot in time. There are still roughly 14 months until the Iowa Caucuses.
With that being said, here's how Pawlenty fared in each of the states polled by PPP.
Note: I also included the person at the top of each state poll in this post. A link to the polls can be found below.
Pawlenty polled at 5 percent
(Someone else/undecided at 25 percent, Mike Huckabee at 17 percent).
Pawlenty polled at 1 percent
(Huckabee at 26 percent).
Pawlenty polled at 4 percent
(Newt Gingrich at 23 percent)
Pawlenty polled 6 percent.
(Sarah Palin at 20 percent)
Pawlenty polled at 2 percent
(Mitt Romney at 34 percent)
Pawlenty polled at 4 percent
(Someone else/undecided at 24 percent, Sarah Palin at 19 percent)
Pawlenty polled at 4 percent
(Romney at 28 percent)
Pawlenty polled at 3 percent
(Someone else/undecided at 23 percent and Palin at 23 percent)
Pawlenty polled at 19 percent
(Palin at 18 percent. Someone else/undecided at 18 percent).
Pawlenty at 3 percent
(Palin at 22 percent)
Pawlenty polled at 2 percent
(Palin at 25 percent)
Pawlenty polled at 8 percent
(Someone else/undecided at 28 percent, Palin at 18 percent).
Pawlenty polled at 2 percent
(Romney at 25 percent)
Pawlenty polled at 6 percent
(Romney at 22 percent)
Pawlenty polled at 5 percent
(Romney at 28 percent)
Pawlenty polled at 7 percent
(Someone else/undecided at 23 percent, Huckabee at 18 percent)
Pawlenty polled at 4 percent
(Romney at 40 percent)
Pawlenty at 2 percent
(Huckabee at 23 percent)
Update: The blog, GOP12, gives a broader look at where each candidate stands by state.
Posted at 11:18 AM on November 12, 2010
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Tim Pawlenty has signed off his weekly radio show for the last time.
Pawlenty ended his nearly eight-year run on WCCO-AM today with his wife Mary serving as his co-host. The final program included telephone interviews with former first lady Laura Bush and fitness guru Richard Simmons. The Republican governor, who's considering a run for president in 2012, is scheduled to leave office after two terms next month.
Pawlenty, who carried on a radio tradition begun by be predecessor Jesse Ventura, told listeners that the show was always one of the highlights of his week.
"One of the most fun and different things was to be able to come here and have this discussion with Minnesota and the people of Minnesota and give them a chance to shout back at me or question back," Pawlenty said.
Pawlenty got lots of kudos from several listeners as well as station management. But one caller, identified as Ed from St. Paul, offered a considerably harsher farewell.
"I hope someday you'll realize the wrongs you've done to so many people in Minnesota," Ed said.
Since the 2010 Midterms are over, the political chattering class is now focused on 2012. Public Policy Polling released several polls that examined how the Republicans under consideration for a White House run will do in several states. The polls found that Mitt Romney is ahead in the critical early primary state of Florida. Sarah Palin has leads in Texas, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Maine. Gov. Pawlenty has a lead in Minnesota but it's a small one. Just 19 percent of those polled in Minnesota support his presidential prospects. Palin is polling at 18 percent.
Pawlenty's poor showing in the polls has led pollster Nate Silver to question why there's so much buzz about Pawlenty's prospects. The New York Times writer suggests Pawlenty is one of the 2012 hopefuls to "bet against."
The analogy is to a baseball team that is 7 games out of first place at the All-Star break: how likely is this team to come back and win its division?
The answer depends to a great extent on how many other teams separate them from the first-place team. If they're in second place in a two-team race, their odds really aren't so bad: they just have to get hot, or the other team has to wilt down the stretch run, and they'll have a pretty good chance.
But if they're in, say, fifth place between a tightly-bunched group of front-runners (even if those front-runners are flawed in various ways), then making up a 7-game deficit is quite difficult. There's now almost no chance that they can win just by watching the first-place team fold: the second-, third- and fourth-place teams would all have to do so as well. Instead, they'll have to get really hot - and even if they do, they'll have to hope none of the four teams in front of them get as hot or hotter. This is the situation that candidates like Mr. Pawlenty now find themselves in.
The other potential flaw in the analysis of candidates like Mr. Pawlenty and Mr. Thune is that some seem to think it an asset that they are bland and unobjectionable. In a primary election that isn't an asset, but a liability. A primary election isn't a reality show in which candidates are eliminated one at a time for failing some challenge. Instead, voters pick the one candidate whom they most like, rather than the one they most dislike; a candidate who has strong favorables and strong unfavorables is going to be more people's first choice than one whom everyone feels indifferent about. Someone with a more distinct and provocative brand - like Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey or Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin - might stand a better chance in an underdog role, although neither is likely to run for president in 2012.
One thing that could help Pawlenty's standing are a large number of debates. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA announced that it intends to host the first 2012 GOP debate in the Spring of 2011. Right around the same time Pawlenty says he'll announce whether he'll make a run for the White House.
Another issue that could help him is if he catches fire for opposing the federal health care law. Pawlenty filed a motion today to request filing a friend of the court brief in a lawsuit challenging the federal health care law.
Posted at 1:41 PM on November 10, 2010
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Tom Hanson is leaving state government at the end of the month to work for a Minneapolis law firm.
A news release from Gov. Tim Pawlenty's office today said Hanson is taking a position in the legislative and regulatory practice of Winthrop & Weinstine. His last day at MMB is Dec. 1. Pawlenty offered words of praise for Hanson.
"Tom has been instrumental in leading our efforts to develop, enact and implement balanced budgets during some of the most difficult economic times in our state's history," Pawlenty said. "He is a trusted advisor and friend with the talent to manage both policy and people to success."
Hanson was appointed Commissioner of Finance (now MMB) in 2006. He previously served as Pawlenty's deputy chief of staff and director of legislative and cabinet affairs.
Pawlenty ranks #2 in the power rankings
The National Journal's The Hotline is ranking Pawlenty #2 in its rankings of presidential contenders. The Washignton D.C. based publication says Pawlenty is ranked second among the potential candidates in the "strongest position to win the GOP nomination."
Here's what "The Hotline" says about Pawlenty:
Like Romney, Pawlenty is acting like a traditional candidate, putting together the staff and resources necessary to jump in with both feet. He's certainly got the executive experience and conservative credentials, but early reviews of his public appearances make us wonder whether he's exciting enough to inspire a primary audience. Our burning question: Does "Minnesota Nice" play in presidential primary politics?
This is a double edged sword for Pawlenty. Just like polls that show him in the middle or bottom of the 2012 pack can both help and hurt. They help because he has no where to go but up. His high ranking means in this ranking shows he has little room to grow and could lose critical momentum if he falls a rung or two.
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.
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.
The Center for Responsive Politics took a look at the 2012 GOP hopefuls and how they're spending money raised through their federal Political Action Committees. The group found that Gov. Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC gave $85,100 to 36 federal candidates. The PAC spent $134,239 on travel, $10,666 on media expenses and another $375,000 on campaign expenses.
The analysis found that Pawlenty was the fifth highest contributor to federal candidates through October 13th. Pawlenty gave $85,100 to federal candidates through that time period. Mitt Romney, John Thune, Sarah Palin and Mike Pence gave more. One side note is that Pawlenty reported having more than $500,000 left in the bank to spend which means he could give a lot more through Election Day.
Here are the toplines:
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Associated PAC: Freedom First PAC
Total receipts: $3.14 million
Amount donated to federal-level candidates: $85,100
Total federal-level candidates receiving donations: 36
Media expenses: $10,666
Campaign Expenses: $375,000
You can read the full analysis here.
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.
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
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.
Governor Pawlenty is getting some financial help for his Iowa based political action committee from someone who has helped him win reelection in 2006. Big time Texas donor Bob Perry and his wife gave $50,000 to Pawlenty's PAC.
It isn't the first time Pawlenty has benefitted from Perry's generosity. In February, Pawlenty hand delivered a $100,000 check from Perry to the Alabama Republican Party.
Perry also gave $500k to A Stronger America-Minnesota in 2006. That group ran TV ads ripping Democrat Mike Hatch, during Pawlenty's reelection.
Perry is best known for giving to The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that ran ads in 2004 criticizing Democrat John Kerry.
Other GOP heavyweights including Minnesota business leaders Stanley Hubbard and David Frauenshuh and Francis Rooney, a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican and big-time fundraiser for President George W. Bush. You can read the full report on who donated to Pawlenty here.
Pawlenty also used his PAC money to help some Iowa candidates. The biggest contributors are Terry Branstad, the GOP candidate for governor, and House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen. Pawlenty made 42 contributions to state candidates. You can read how Pawlenty spent his money here.
The Minnesota House and Senate have unanimously passed an $80 million package of disaster relief for 30 counties hit by recent floods and tornadoes.
Lawmakers took action today during a brief, one-day special session. Governor Tim Pawlenty is poised to sign the relief bill into law yet this evening.
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.
Governor Pawlenty said today that he intends to appear alongside potential 2012 rival Mitt Romney on Monday. Romney is scheduled to be in Bloomington, MN on Monday to raise money for Emmer and also hold a rally for the Republican candidate for governor. Pawlenty said he will also attend the event provided the special session wraps up in a timely manner.
"Mitt and I are friends I like him," Pawlenty said. "Last time he was here, he and I spent some social time together. I spent some time with him backstage. We appeared together on the state so there's no tension or problem with me or Mitt."
When asked why there would be a problem, Pawlenty said "I have a lot of respect for Gov. Romney."
Pawlenty said he also intends to do some campaigning of his own for Emmer near the end of the month. Pawlenty told reporters this afternoon that he's scheduled to campaign for Emmer, has raised money for him and he also hinted at doing more.
"There are some things that I'm doing independently that will reveal themselves in due course," Pawlenty said.
When asked if he will appear in an ad touting Emmer's campaign, Pawlenty said "stay tuned on that."
Pawlenty, who reported this morning that his three political action committees has $667,000 on hand through September 30th. When asked if he intends to spend that money, Pawlenty responded "It's not to sit on money."
Pawlenty will ramp up his campaigning over the weekend. He's scheduled to be in New York City tomorrow morning for a fundraiser for the Republican Governors Association. On Saturday, he'll be campaigning in New Hampshire. He suggested that it won't be the only out of state campaigning he'll do between now and Election Day.
"I'm doing everything I need to do to make sure my job and responsibilities are met here but I will be campaigning pretty hard in the next few weeks..."(4 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty called a special session for October 18th at 1pm to provide disaster assistance to the 21 counties impacted by last month's flooding.
Here's some info sent by the governor's office regarding damages and what's in the bill:
The preliminary damage estimate was $64.1 million, though that figure will increase as more counties are added to the federal declaration and the damage assessment process continues.
During the Special Session, a bill will be presented that includes the state's share of assistance for the counties affected by flooding last month. The legislation will also include assistance for areas of the state that were designated a federal disaster area in July as a result of tornados and severe storms that caused more than $35 million in damage.
The bill is paid for with $32.5 million from the General Fund, $26.7 million in General Obligation Bonds, $10 million from the state transportation fund, and $5 million from the Trunk Highway fund.
The flood relief provisions of the bill include:
·$15 million for damaged state highway infrastructure and local roads and bridges.
·$14 million to the Department of Natural Resources for flood hazard mitigation grants, clean-up of public waterways, and repair of river gauges, and the repair or relocation of the Oronoco dam.
· $12 million for the non-federal cost share. Under the terms of a disaster declaration, the federal government covers 75 percent of eligible costs and the state covers the remaining non-federal share.
· $10 million for the Minnesota Investment Fund, administered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development, to provide locally administered grants or loan programs to eligible organizations, including businesses, directly affected by the disaster. To increase accountability, DEED is required to report to the legislature before making any grants.
·$10 million for the Reinvest in Minnesota program to acquire easements from landowners on marginal lands in the disaster area to protect soil and water quality and to support fish and wildlife habitat.
·$4 million for the Quick Start program administered by Minnesota Housing. Quick Start helps homeowners who are unable to repair or rebuild their homes due to flood damage expenses that exceed private insurance and federal assistance. The program provides forgivable, no-interest loans for home repair, new construction or a comparable replacement home, mobile homes, or single-family rental repair.
·$4 million to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for livestock investment grants, organic certification assistance, forage production loss offsets for livestock producers, and no-interest disaster recovery loans.
·$3 million to help communities with erosion and sediment control.
·$523,000 for school districts that lost per-pupil funding or incurred increased transportation costs.
·$500,000 for the Public Finance Authority. The PFA makes low-interest loans and grants available to finance infrastructure that might otherwise be unaffordable to communities if they had to borrow money for the projects at market rates.
·$250,000 for clean-up of historical buildings.
Provisions of the bill pertaining to areas declared a federal disaster (FEMA-1921-DR) in July include:
·$5.2 million for the non-federal cost share for eligible expenses from the July storms. Counties named in that federal declaration are Blue Earth, Brown, Houston, Kittson, Nicollet, Sibley, Faribault, Freeborn, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Polk, Steele and Wadena.
·$750,000 to update Wadena's existing pre-design and design plans for public facilities.
·$693,000 for school districts that incurred uninsured losses to buildings and equipment.
Governor Pawlenty's three political action committees report raising nearly $778,000 in the 3rd quarter of the year. A source with Pawlenty's PACs says the federal PAC raised $557k, the Iowa state PAC raised $135k and the New Hampshire PAC raised almost $86k. Pawlenty's federal PAC is aimed at helping state and federal candidates across the country. The New Hampshire and Iowa PACs are aimed at helping state and local candidates in those respective states.
Pawlenty also gave $113k to candidates and political party units in the 3rd Quarter. He gave $5,000 each to the New Hampshire Republican Party, the Florida state Senate GOP, gubernatorial candidates in Nevada, Oregon and Illinois and three New Hampshire candidtes who are running for the U.S. Senate and Congress (Kelly Ayotte, Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass).
The deadline to file the FEC reports on the federal level is tomorrow.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced tonight that President Obama has announced a disaster area for 21 Minnesota counties in southern Minnesota. The decision puts the wheels in motion to provide federal and state assistance to those impacted by last month's flooding. Preliminary estimates suggest the damages caused by the floods are roughly $64 million.
Gov. Pawlenty was waiting for the declaration to be made before he called a Special Session to pick up the state's portion of the cost. No word yet on when the Special Session will be called.
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar issued the following statement after President Obama announced a presidential disaster declaration for 21 Minnesota counties that experienced severe flooding in late September. With the President's declaration, the following counties are eligible for Public Assistance: Blue Earth, Cottonwood, Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Mower, Murray, Olmsted, Pipestone, Rice, Rock, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan, and Winona Counties.
"Our local officials, first responders, citizens and volunteers have done tremendous work responding to these devastating floods," said Klobuchar. "I have seen first-hand the widespread damage that these southern Minnesota communities have endured and with this assistance, these communities can begin working to rebuild. This is a good beginning, and I will continue to work with state and federal officials for additional assistance."
The declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to release funds for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. The Public Assistance designation makes public entities eligible for assistance to repair roads, bridges, water facilities and parks that were damaged by the disaster.
In addition, the declaration makes every county across the state eligible for Hazard Mitigation Assistance. This designation makes local units of government eligible for mitigation measures to reduce personal loss, save lives, and reduce the cost to the nation of responding to and recovering from future disasters.
The spokesman for Governor Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC says Pawlenty is headed to New Hampshire on Saturday.
Pawlenty is holding an afternoon reception for Republican Charlie Bass (a candidate in New Hampshire's 2nd Congressional District) and will also hold an evening reception in Whitefield, NH for Raymond Burton, a candidate for Executive Councilor.
This is Pawlenty's 5th trip to New Hampshire since he announced he wasn't running for reelection.
Gov. Pawlenty has again put the teacher's union in his cross hairs but it's not Education Minnesota. Instead, he's targeting the teacher's union in Washington D.C. Pawlenty, who is ramping up a run for the White House in 2012, released a statement today after Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee announced she was leaving her post.
Here's Pawlenty's statement.
"Our nation's capital is losing a superwoman in education. Michelle Rhee's resignation is more evidence of the corrosive impact of teachers' unions in American schools. Despite -- or maybe because of -- the early success of her school reforms, the teachers' unions worked tirelessly to stop her, showing no compassion for the thousands of children stuck in failing D.C. schools. Despite the teachers' unions' success in defeating Michelle Rhee, her leadership is inspiring to reformers everywhere and will make it harder for the unions to defend the failed status quo."(3 Comments)
The federal government is still reviewing a request for flood relief in southern Minnesota. That means Governor Pawlenty's hopes of calling a special session on Monday will not happen. Here's the release from Pawlenty's office:
Governor Pawlenty has postponed calling a Special Session of the legislature, originally scheduled for Monday, October 11, 2010, because the federal government is still reviewing the Governor's request for a federal disaster declaration. The federal declaration is necessary in order to determine the state's share of relief.
The Governor requested the disaster declaration on October 1 as a result of flooding caused by severe storms that began on September 22 in southern Minnesota. Preliminary assessments indicate a total of $64.1 million in damage.
In order to provide prompt relief to those in need, the Governor intends to call a special session shortly after receiving the declaration.
Posted at 4:54 PM on October 7, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Pawlenty announced today that his last weekly radio show will on on November 12th. Pawlenty, who is not running for a third term as governor, has been doing the show since 2003 (with a break during the 2006 race). Pawlenty is ramping up a possible bid for the White House in 2012.
Here's the full release from the governor's office:
Governor Pawlenty announced today that his last Good Morning, Minnesota broadcast will be November 12, 2010. The Governor has notified WCCO-AM management of his decision.
The Governor first broadcast his weekly radio show on WCCO-AM in February 2003. He voluntarily ended the broadcast in June 2006 prior to filing for re-election. He resumed the show in January 2007 as he began his second term as Governor.
Good Morning, Minnesota airs from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. each Friday. WCCO-AM was selected after an RFP process solicited bids from radio broadcasters interested in airing the Governor's radio show.
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.
The conservative Cato Institute has released grades for the governors across the country. The analysis found that Gov. Pawlenty's approach to taxes and spending is in line with Cato. Pawlenty was one of four governors who received top marks. The others are Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D). Here's what Cato said about Pawlenty:
In his first few years in office, Governor Pawlenty backed tax increases on corporations and cigarette consumers. However, the governor has changed course in recent years, consistently supporting tax cuts and opposing tax increases. In 2008, he vetoed a large gasoline tax increase. In 2009, he twice vetoed giant tax packages passed by the legislature, which included increases in the top personal income tax rate and increased taxes on gasoline, beer, wine, and liquor. In 2010, he again vetoed an income tax rate increase. Pawlenty has also proposed substantial business tax cuts to make the state more competitive, and he wants the corporate tax rate reduced from 9.9 percent to 4.8 percent. Under Pawlenty, state general fund spending rose 22 percent between FY03 and FY08, which was less than the average state increase. The governor's proposed spending for FY11 is down 10 percent from the FY08 peak. Pawlenty has proposed a constitutional amendment to limit annual growth in the state's general fund spending over the long term.
Pawlenty's potential 2012 rivals for president received lower marks. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels received a B rating. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour received a C rating.
Posted at 10:59 AM on September 29, 2010
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Tim Pawlenty has signed on with a firm to arrange his speaking appearances next year after he leaves office.
The company, Leading Authorities, announced today an exclusive deal to represent Pawlenty. The Republican governor is widely viewed as a possible presidential candidate in 2012.
"This is an extraordinary opportunity to hear directly from one of the nation's most respected governors and a leading voice in the Republican Party," said Mark French, president of Leading Authorities, in a news release.
On its web site, Leading Authorities highlights several clients, including retired Gen. Stanley
McChrystal, Rev. Al Sharpton and former Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott.
Governor Pawlenty spent much of the day viewing flood damage and meeting with local officials in Truman, Pine Island and Owatonna. The governor plans to seek federal disaster aid for 34 counties, and will call a one-day special session once the federal damage assessment is completed.
During a conference call with reporters, Pawlenty said he'll meet soon with House and Senate leaders to work out an advance agreement.
"We'll take the legislation from the previous floods and use it for a template and change the numbers and things like that. So, it won't be hard to put the legislation together because we've done this now many times over the last handful of years."
Pawlenty described the flash flooding as a very significant event that requires a federal and state response.
Governor Pawlenty is scheduled to speak to the Family Research Council's Watchmen on the Wall Minnesota event on Monday. The organization's website lists Pawlenty as one of the group's featured speakers. Others include FRC President Tony Perkins and Minnesota Family Institute CEO John Helmberger. The event is targeting Minnesota's pastors to:
* Be informed on the current legal and spiritual challenges facing the church
* Connect with other pastors and ministers in Minnesota
* Receive a free Voter Impact Toolkit
* Enjoy a complimentary lunch
You will leave encouraged, refreshed, and empowered to address the critical issues you and your church face in the important days ahead.
The Minnesota Family Institute and the Family Research Council have been pushing to ban same sex marriage and is opposed to legalized abortion. Pawlenty, who is ramping up a bid for the White House in 2012, is scheduled to speak to the group in the morning. The event could help Pawlenty market his presidential qualifications to Perkins and the other leaders in the Family Research Council. The group is a political force on social conservative issues and reportedly has 455,000 members.
However, it will be difficult to know what Pawlenty says to the group, however. Pawlenty's spokesman says the event is closed to the press.(1 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty announced that he's giving out a total of $16,000 to the GOP candidates for governor, U.S. Senate and U.S. House in New Hampshire. He also announced he's giving $250 checks to 34 state and local candidates in New Hamsphire and $500 to five candidates for New Hampshire Executive Council. The donations are being given through his federal Freedom First PAC.
The governor also announced that he'll make his 4th trip to New Hampshire since he announced he wasn't running for a 3rd term as governor. He'll be in New Hampshire on September 30th to campaign for John Stephen (the GOP candidate for governor) and Frank Guinta (a GOP candidate for Congress).
Pawlenty has been active in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Two critical states for any candidate who is ramping up a run for the White House. Pawlenty says he'll announce his official intentions early next year.
Gov. Pawlenty is headed to Nashville, TN and Cincinnatti, OH today to attend two fundraisers. Gov. Pawlenty's spokesman says Pawlenty will hold a fundraising lunch in the Nashville area today and a fundraising dinner in Cincinnatt tonight. Both fundraisers will help his Freedom First PAC.
The spokesman says he'll be back in Minnesota this evening.
Pawlenty was scheduled to attend a fundraiser in Wisconsin last night but he couldn't attend because of plane problems.
The latest 2012 GOP poll has Gov. Pawlenty trailing five other candidates in the critical state of New Hampshire. Public Policy Polling shows Mitt Romney up big in the state with the support of 41 percent of those polled. Newt Gingrich polled at 12 percent support, Sarah Palin received 12 percent, Mike Huckabee got 10 percent and Ron Paul got 8 percent. Pawlenty polled at five percent. Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana got two percent.
PPP Pollster Tom Jensen said Romney has a dominant lead right now:
The New Hampshire primary is still almost a year and a half away but Romney's persistent dominant lead in the polling makes you wonder- if that holds is New Hampshire even going to be viewed as that relevant to the 2012 nomination contest? If his status as the rare New England Republican Presidential candidate makes it impossible for anyone else to build momentum there the state may just get written off with everyone reallocating their resources to Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, and Florida.2 Comments)
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)
Posted at 3:51 PM on September 14, 2010
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced today that Gopal Khanna is leaving his state government job on Dec. 15.
Khanna is the state's first chief information officer in the Office of Enterprise Technology. Pawlenty appointed him to the post in 2005. He oversees statewide IT planning, budgeting, and program execution. In a news release, Pawlenty offered high praise for Khanna.
"Gopal is a nationally recognized visionary with a tireless commitment and passion for good government," Pawlenty said. "Gopal has led our efforts to manage information technology as an enterprise program and leveraged public-private partnerships to make government more efficient, effective, and citizen-centric."
Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he doesn't think burning the Quran is a good idea, but he's not specifically calling on a Florida pastor to cancel a planned weekend protest.
The Republican governor, who is viewed as a likely presidential candidate in 2012, commented on the Quran controversy today at an airport news conference before leaving on an Asian trade mission. Pawlenty said that people have a legal right to burn books, but that doesn't mean it's wise. He stopped short of saying the burning shouldn't go forward.
"You know, I think everybody has to make their own judgements,"Pawlenty said. "But in my view, I don't think it's a helpful or needed thing. It's not something that's a wise act on his part."
Asked if he shared Gen. David Petraeus' concern about the Quran burning putting American troops at risk, Pawlenty said he would defer to the general.
"He is the expert on the situation in Afghanistan relative to American troops," Pawlenty said. "I would certainly give anything he said great deference and respect."
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.
The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is urging Gov. Tim Pawlenty to back off his plan to try to keep federal health care dollars out of the state.
Earlier this week, Pawlenty issued an executive order to stop all state agencies from seeking grants and other funds available through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In the order, he said the federal law "includes unprecedented intrusions into individual liberty."
Chamber President David Olson sent a letter to the Republican governor this week encouraging him to specifically apply for a $1 million federal planning grant to study a potential health insurance exchange.
"This grant does not require the state to create an exchange," Olson wrote. "Instead, it allows for an independent and comprehensive actuarial analysis of an exchange. The analysis will help us determine whether or not an exchange is a cost effective option for Minnesotans shopping for health care coverage."
Olson also stressed that an exchange could possibly have a significant impact on Minnesota businesses.
The Chamber of Commerce joins several health care groups that also urged Pawlenty to soften his stance on the federal health care money.
Gov. Pawlenty today signed an executive order directing state agencies to decline all discretionary participation in the federal health care legislation.
"Obamacare is an intrusion by the federal government into personal health care matters and it's an explosion of federal spending that does nothing to make health care more affordable," Pawlenty said in a news release. "To the fullest extent possible, we need to keep Obamacare out of Minnesota."
A spokesman for Pawlenty hasn't returned a question on how much federal money is at stake.
Democrats in the Legislature say Pawlenty is "putting his personal political ambitions ahead of the future of Minnesota." DFL Senator John Marty says he can't understand why Pawlenty is rejecting money that could help the state's bottom line.
"It doesn't matter if anybody supports it or not. The question is whether you turn down the money or not. The plan is going ahead. It's a question do we want to turn down our share of the money that our taxpayers paid for. Why should we turn down the money when the other states are taking it?"
It isn't certain how much money is at stake. DFL legislative leaders say state law does require Pawlenty to apply for some of the funds. They say there's a possibility the Legislature could take him to court if the doesn't apply.
Pawlenty is taking steps to run for president in 2012.
Here's the Executive Order:
EXECUTIVE ORDER 10-12(3 Comments)
DIRECTING STATE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
REGARDING DISCRETIONARY PARTICIPATION
IN THE FEDERAL HEALTH CARE LAW
I, TIM PAWLENTY, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and applicable laws do hereby issue this executive order:
WHEREAS, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA" or "the Act") (Pub.L. 111-148) was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010; and
WHEREAS, the Act represents a dramatic attempt to assert federal command and control over this country's health care system, which accounts for one-sixth of our nation's economy, thereby reducing individual freedom for health care decisions; and
WHEREAS, the Act includes unprecedented federal intrusions into individual liberty, including the mandate that individual citizens are compelled to purchase health insurance under penalty of law; and
WHEREAS, the Act was passed with massive new spending commitments at a time when the growing federal government debt threatens private sector economic growth; and
WHEREAS, the revenue to pay for the Act is based on increased taxes and fees coupled with unrealistic assumptions regarding purported future cost-savings; and
WHEREAS, this legislation includes a multitude of programs and demonstration projects intended to speed the transition to federally-controlled health care; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Laws of Minnesota 2010, 1st Special Session, Chapter 1 (Special Session Chapter 1) my Administration has determined Minnesota will not participate in the early expansion of the Medicaid entitlement program offered by the federal government as part of the legislation; and
WHEREAS, consistent with this determination and in recognition of my obligations to protect Minnesota's sovereign interests and those of its citizens, the boundary between state and federal government must be maintained to prevent an unwise and unsustainable federal takeover of health care in our State.
NOW, THEREFORE, I hereby order that:
All executive branch departments and agencies are directed that no application shall be submitted to the federal government in connection with requests for grant funding for programs and demonstration projects deriving from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA" or "the Act") (Pub.L. 111-148) unless otherwise required by law, or approved by the office of the Governor.
Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2009, section 4.035, subdivision 2, this Executive Order will be effective fifteen (15) days after publication in the State Register and filing with the Secretary of State and will remain in effect in accordance with Minnesota Statutes 2009, section 4.035, subdivision 3.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have set my hand this 31st day of August, 2010.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty was in Chicago last night raising money for the Republican candidate for governor of Illinois. Pawlenty, who is Vice-Chair of the Republican Governor's Association, held the private fundraiser for Bill Brady. Brady is challenging Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.
A spokesman for Pawlenty says Pawlenty's visit to Chicago was a "quick trip" and he was back in the state within a few hours.(1 Comments)
IowaPolitics examined where the Iowa GOP political strategists are lining up for 2012. In the report, it suggested Pawlenty has built "the largest and most formal organization in Iowa:
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has been to Iowa four times and has spent seven days here since last fall, appears to have built up the largest and most formal organization in Iowa so far as he works to improve his name recognition in the state. At least six Iowans are working for him, and he's one of only two potential candidates who have formed an Iowa political action committee, Freedom First PAC - Iowa, whose treasurer is Mark Havlicek of Clive.
Former Iowans and national Republican strategists Sara Taylor and Terry Nelson are senior advisers for Pawlenty's PAC, while Brian Hook is the policy director. Also working with Pawlenty as consultants are Chuck Larson and Karen Slifka of the Larson Shannahan Slifka Group (LS2g), a bi-partisan public relations, public affairs and government affairs firm in West Des Moines.
"Neither are helping in an official capacity, but they did help out with our recent travels in the area," said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Freedom First PAC.
Larson is a former state senator and former chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa who served as an ambassador to Latvia during the administration of President George W. Bush. Hook is a graduate of the University of Iowa law school. Nelson is an Iowa native who served for a time as John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign manager. And Taylor is an Iowa native who ran Bush's White House office of political affairs.
Governor Pawlenty raised $42,500 for his state political action committee in New Hampshire.
The latest New Hampshire campaign finance report shows Pawlenty raised the bulk of his funds from Minnesota contributors. Several high profile Republican donors like Stanley Hubbard, Wheelock Whitney and former Target CEO Robert Ulrich gave to the PAC. The PAC gave $27,500 to candidates for the New Hampshire Legislature, Republican groups in the state and political consulting.
Pawlenty, who is laying the groundwork for a presidential run, filed state PACs in Iowa and New Hampshire. He also has a federal PAC. Pawlenty is using the PACs to help Republican candidates across the country. The latest fundraising reports show Pawlenty also raised $2.6 million for his federal PAC since he formed it in October. He also raised $32,500 for his PAC in Iowa.(1 Comments)
Governor Pawlenty appointed Major General Richard Nash to be the 30th Adjustant General of the Minnesota National Guard. Nash will success Major General Larry Shellito, who will leave his post on October 31st. Nash currently commenta 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division, which served in Iraq. He praised Shellito for making the Minnesota National Guard one of the finest in the nation and said his biggest challenge will be the prospects of state and federal budget cuts...
"There will be challenges with restrained budgets as we go forward but certainly my vision is that we'll maintain a ready force here in Minnesota to respond to and react to any homeland defense/homeland security community events and still have a ready force prepared for any national service."
The Adjutant General is the administrative head of the Minnesota Department of Military Affrairs and leads the Minnesota National Guard. Minnesota has the nation's fifth largest National Guard, with more than 14,000 members. Roughly 2,700 Minnesota National Guard soldiers will deploy for operations throughout Kuwait and Iraq in 2011.(2 Comments)
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.
Gov. Pawlenty's book is scheduled to be released in January, just days after he leaves office. Amazon's website reports that the book will be released on January 11th and will cost $26.99.
Pawlenty, who is ramping up a run for president, said in the past that the book will focus on his life reflections, his career and his "vision for America."
Gov. Pawlenty is headed to Oregon this week. He'll be attending the Education Commission of the States National Forum on Education Policy in Portland. The forum runs Wednesday through Friday. Pawlenty is the chair of the organization.
During his trip to Oregon, Pawlenty will also hold a breakfast fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Chris Dudley.
Pawlenty, who appears to be ramping up a run for the White House in 2012, is also polling at the back of the pack. A CNN poll found that Pawlenty trails Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. Pawlenty, who has three percent support in the poll, is also tied with Haley Barbour and Mike Pence.
Here's the full poll.(1 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty today issued a news release criticizing Congress for passing legislation that would provide financial assistance to states to pay teachers.
"The federal government should not deficit spend to bail out states and special interest groups. Minnesota balanced its budget without raising taxes and without relying on more federal money. The federal government's reckless spending spree must come to an end. "
Pawlenty, who appears to be preparing for a 2012 White House run, isn't telling the whole story when it comes to Minnesota's budget picture.
In January, Pawlenty proposed a budget that relied on $400 million in FMAP money from the federal government-- the same funds in the bill the House passed today. Pawlenty and lawmakers changed course only after they realized Congress wouldn't provide the money by the time the legislative session ended. They agreed to put the funds, if they became available, into reserve.
The Congressional action means the state now has a cash cushion and may not have to borrow money to pay bills as State Finance officials predicted in July.
Pawlenty also fails to mention that he relied heavily on federal money to balance the state's books in 2009.
It should also be noted that the budget adopted by Pawlenty and the DFL controlled Legislature delayed $1.2 billion in payments to schools that will eventually have to be paid back.
The reliance on federal funds, the school funding shift and other one-time funds mean Minnesota's budget problems will get worse when Pawlenty leaves office. The next governor is expected to inherit a $5.8 billion projected budget deficit for the next two year budget cycle. Factor in inflation and the shortfall amounts to $6.9 billion(4 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty is headed to Iowa later this week and has several campaign stops on his schedule.
On Wednesday night, he's scheduled to raise money for Iowa state Rep. Erik Helland.
He will also hold a breakfast fundraiser for Terry Branstad on Thursday morning. Pawlenty will then visit the Iowa State Fair where he'll do several radio interviews. He wraps up his trip by holding a fundraiser for Brad Zaun's bid for Congress.
This is Pawlenty's second trip to Iowa this month. Pawlenty is ramping up a possible run for the White House. He said he won't make a final decision on his future until early next year.(1 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty is headed to Michigan on Tuesday to campaign for the GOP candidate for governor. His PAC spokesman says Pawlenty is headed to Michigan to help Rick Snyder's campaign for governor and other local Republicans.
He says he'll hold a series of fundraisers in Grand Rapids and Detroit before being the featured speaker at the Macomb County GOP dinner in Sterling Heights.
This isn't the only out of state campaigning Pawlenty will do this week. He's scheduled to be in Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday night and Thursday.
MPR's Mark Zdechlik is tracking Governor Tim Pawlenty as he barnstorms Iowa this week. You should check his coverage here.
Z-man also sent along Pawlenty's Saturday speech at a farm in Waverly, Iowa. He was headlining a fundraiser for Iowa State Senate candidate Bill Dix. There were about 200 people there.
You can listen to Pawlenty's speech here: Listen
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)
Gov. Pawlenty released a new web video on his Freedom First PAC today that touts his background. Over the past few days, Pawlenty has talked a lot about how Republican candidates need to connect with voters outside of the country club. In particular, he said Republicans have to be able to look voters in the eye and be able to connect with them.
This video emphasizes Pawlenty's upbringing in South St. Paul, his work in a grocery store and shows him playing hockey. The video was released just days before Pawlenty, a possible 2012 contender, visits Iowa.
His critics say Pawlenty has forgotten his roots a long time ago and his time as governor reflects that.
Side note: Anyone else notice the brief video clip of GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann?(2 Comments)
Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm, shows Gov. Pawlenty trailing the pack in a poll of 2012 GOP hopefuls in New Hampshire.
Here are the results from the poll:
Mitt Romney - 31%
Newt Gingrich - 14%
Ron Paul - 13%
Mike Huckabee - 12%
Sarah Palin- 9%
Tim Pawlenty - 3%
Mitch Daniels - 1%
PPP also suggested that it won't include Pawlenty in every 2012 poll because his name identification isn't high enough:
We get a lot of e-mail asking us to include Tim Pawlenty in all of our 2012 Presidential polling but his numbers here are a reminder of why we aren't- yet. Pawlenty was at 3% in our New Hampshire polling in April and he's still there. He's getting a lot of attention in insider circles as he positions himself for a 2012 bid but it's not translating to the general public enough yet for him to make a real dent in the polls. Pawlenty still has plenty of time to become a serious player for the Republican nomination but his name recognition isn't to the point yet where we'd get much out of including him every month on our national 2012 poll testing match ups against Obama.
Governor Pawlenty is in Iraq today visiting troops in the region. He's making the trip along with several other governors from Vermont, Missouri, South Dakota and Massachusetts.
During a conference call with reporters, Pawlenty said dramatic progress has been made since the U.S. sent more troops to the region as a part of the so-called surge.
Pawlenty couldn't provide any other details from the trip and couldn't say when he'll return to Minnesota.
This is Pawlenty's fifth visit to the Middle East. He last visited the region in July of 2009. The governor says he kept the trip private for security reasons.
Pawlenty will finish his second term in January. The governor has kept a heavy travel schedule since he announced last year that he won't seek a third term. He's visited 26 states, seven different countries and Washington D.C. He's also scheduled to go on a Trade Mission to Japan and China in September.(1 Comments)
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%.
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)
Gov. Pawlenty's federal Political Action Committee will file its fundraising figures later today but a person with knowledge of the figures say the PAC raised $723,501 between April and June for a total of $2.6 million since he formed the committee in October.
The PAC has almost $940,000 in the bank to spend on politics through November.
The PAC has given almost $84,000 to state and federal campaigns and committees.
The 22nd Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court was sworn in today at an event at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. Lorie Gildea took the oath of office this afternoon. She told the audience that she will work to increase funding for the state's courts and will fight any efforts to politicize the courts.
Gildea made her comments as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas looked on. Thomas was present to swear in David Stras, the newest member of the state's top court. Stas served as a clerk for Thomas.
I recorded all of the speeches. You can listen to them here:
MPR's Jeffrey Thompson took the photos.
During his recent travels around the country, Gov. Tim Pawlenty made a pit-stop in Tennessee to speak at the Republican Party's annual dinner.
In his June 25, speech, Pawlenty touted his efforts to reform "that entitlement perspective in Minnesota."
In Minnesota, he said, "the longest transit strike in the history of the United States of America shut down the bus system for 44 days because our bus drivers thought it was okay to work for just 15 years and then have the government pay for their health insurance for the rest of your life."
A quick Google search shows that the 2004 Metro Bus strike is hardly the longest in U.S. history.
Pawlenty cites this bit of Minnesota history often, according to Alex Conant, a spokesman for Pawlenty. In an e-mail, Conant wrote, "it turns out it was only the longest in the modern history, and there have been some that were longer."
Indeed, here are a few transit strikes that beat the 2004 Metro Bus shut-down:
• In 1983, workers for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority staged a 108-day strike.
• In 1967, Honolulu bus drivers stopped working for 68 days in an effort to get better pay.
• In 1958, Los Angeles bus drivers launched a strike that lasted 54 days.
Pawlenty's characterization of the 2004 Metro Bus strike is off by a long-shot. This claim is false.
Trains Magazine, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), by Matt Van Hattem, June 30, 2006
The Honolulu Star Bulletin, Longest stoppage halted buses for 68 days
The Los Angeles Times, Buses Put in Shape to Roll Again Today After End of Long Strike, accessed June 30, 2010.
Interview, Alex Conant, spokesman, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, July 1, 2010
About PoliGraph(3 Comments)
MPR News asked the members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation and Governor Pawlenty for a reaction to President Obama's decision to accept General Stanely McChrystal's resignation as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan and replace him with General Petraeus. I'll post the statements as they come in.
DFL Sen. Al Franken:
"I fully support the President's decision. He clearly decided that General McChrystal could not continue in his position after what he did. And that's entirely appropriate. I have a lot of confidence in General Petraeus' leadership and I appreciate his willingness to take on the difficult task of carrying out our strategy in Afghanistan."
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann:
"We owe General McChrystal a deep debt of gratitude for his years of brave and faithful service to his country. Going forward, it's imperative that we keep the safety and security of our country at the forefront of our nation's priorities. I'm confident that once the Senate confirms the command of General David Petraeus, we will stay focused in our war against terrorism."
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison:
I support President Obama's decision to replace General McChrystal.
However, my primary concern remains the fate of our men and women in uniform serving in Afghanistan. Our main objective must be the safety and security of the United States, effectively fighting terrorism, and ensuring and the humanitarian and security needs of the people of Afghanistan.
I have long argued that in order to achieve peace and security in the region, we must have a civilian surge coupled with transitioning our troops out of combat missions and readying them for redeployment.
I continue to call on President Obama and General Petraeus to increase public diplomacy to ensure long term stability, and to bring our troops home from this near decade long conflict.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
"I support the President's decision. As the President noted, General McChrystal has served our country bravely and honorably, but the comments in the article crossed the line. General McChrystal was right to submit his resignation, and the President did the right thing in accepting it. I am pleased that General Petraeus has accepted this difficult assignment."
GOP Rep. John Kline:
"When I visited Afghanistan less than a month ago, I met with military leaders, civilian officials, and U.S. troops currently serving in the area. We are engaged in a critical fight against Islamist extremists, and our goal in Afghanistan remains the same - a stable country that denies the Taliban and al-Qaeda a safe haven from which to launch attacks against Afghanistan, Pakistan, or the U.S. and its allies.
"As a fellow veteran, I thank General McChrystal for his decades of decorated service and honor him for answering the call to serve in Afghanistan and around the world.
"Moving forward, I am confident General David Petraeus has proven his leadership in Iraq and is extremely well qualified for this job."
DFL Rep. Tim Walz:
Note: Walz discussed the situation before Obama's decision on Midday.
"I respect our commander-in-chief's decision, and I have full confidence in General Petraeus' ability to transition into his role smoothly and effectively. We all need to work together to ensure that our strategy is successful, and I will continue to ask the tough questions of the President and his team. Our focus now has to be making sure the brave men and women who are serving our country in harm's way have a clear mission, the support, and the leadership they need to get the job done."
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar:
"As Commander and Chief of our armed forces the President must have complete confidence in the generals who report to him. I support President Obama's decision to appoint a general who can develop and implement a successful strategy in Afghanistan, without getting distracted by the politics and personalities of Washington DC."
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen:
"Changing military commanders during a time of war is a decision that should never be taken lightly. And while the recent events that led to this decision are certainly regrettable, I have absolute confidence that General Petraeus is the right choice to lead our brave servicemen and women in Afghanistan.
The nomination of Gen. Petraeus will no doubt build on the good work that has already been done in the region."
A spokesman for Governor Pawlenty's PAC declined comment.
A spokeswoman for DFL Rep. Betty McCollum declined comment.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum:
"I support President Obama's decision. General Petraeus is an extremely capable military leader. I have full confidence in his ability to execute the President's strategy in Afghanistan."(4 Comments)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty is spending the day in Oklahoma City, OK. He's scheduled to host a fundraiser tonight for Republican Mary Fallin's campaign for governor.
Fallin also told reporters that Pawlenty met with Oklahoma business leaders, the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce and Republicans in the Oklahoma Legislature.
Pawlenty and Fallin met with Oklahoma reporters this afternoon. He discussed Fallin's candidacy, the BP oil spill and his endorsements.
Pawlenty told reporters that he "personally backs Nikki Haley" in South Carolina's race for governor and expects his federal political action committee to endorse her today. Haley is in a runoff today with Republican Congressman Gresham Barrett. The winner would be the Republican nominee for governor.
Here's the audio from Pawlenty's meeting with reporters.
(Thanks to Kurt Gwartney of KGOU for the audio)
Gov. Pawlenty gave a roughly thirty minute speech to the Heritage Foundation. Pawlenty used his speech to criticize the state's teacher unions, defend Arizona's immigration law and suggest that he would refuse to allow Minnesota from accepting early Medical Assistance. Pawlenty said we would hear some news in the coming days that Pawlenty would refuse to accept the MA option (made available through the new federal health care law) but he has said repeatedly that he wouldn't accept the MA option.
The Heritage Foundation's Nick Reid and Darryl Owens introduced Pawlenty. Pawlenty's speech starts about 9:30 minutes into the file.
You can listen to the speech here: Listen
Pawlenty is in Oklahoma today to raise money for Oklahoma's Republican candidate for governor. He also gives a speech in Tennessee on Friday.
Gov. Pawlenty is headed to Oklahoma City, OK on Tuesday to raise money for GOP gubernatorial hopeful Mary Fallin.
The Oklahoma trip will come one day after he speaks to the Heritage Foundation in Minneapolis.
Pawlenty was in California earlier this week to raise money for his federal PAC>
He's also scheduled to host a fundraiser for the Minnesota House GOP on June 24th, speak to the Tennessee Republican Party's Statesman's Dinner next Friday and to the South Carolina Republican Party on June 29th.
Gov. Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung is leaving the governor's office to form his own public relations firm. A news release sent through the governor's office said McClung will direct MN Forward, a newly formed independent expenditure fund. The fund will be bankrolled by Minnesota job providers. The contacts on the news release from MN Forward head the Minnesota Business Partnership and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
The Minnesota Business Partnership's Charlie Weaver says the fund will accept corporate contributions. It's the second such fund to take that action in light of a new Minnesota law that allows corporate spending on independent expenditures. Minnesota was forced to change its law after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations can spend money on independent expenditures like advertising and campaign literature. The court kept a ban on direct corporate contributions to candidates.
McClung's last day in the governor's office is Friday. He starts his new job on Monday.
In another sign that he's preparing for a 2012 run, Gov. Pawlenty created state PACs in New Hampshire and Iowa. The PACs allow him to raise money and give to state candidates. Pawlenty has a federal PAC but not every state allows him federal PACs to give to state candidates.
The move allows Pawlenty to help make Republican contacts in states that hold the nation's first caucuses and primary. Pawlenty has not ruled out a run for the White House in 2012.
Update: Here's a statement from the DNC's Hari Sevugan:
"It's nice that Tim Pawlenty has found a way to help politicians from other states who can help his political ambitions. Too bad he couldn't do the same for the families of Minnesota who he was elected to serve with his draconian budget cuts. It looks like if you want Tim Pawlenty to work for you these days, you need to live in Iowa or New Hampshire, not Minnesota."
Gov. Pawlenty is headed to California today and will be in the state until Thursday. I'm told all of his events are private. It appears that he'll be raising money in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
The Bay Area GOP reports on its website that Pawlenty will have a fundraising luncheon in San Francisco today. He'll also hold a Silicon Valley Reception and Dinner tonight.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty is headed to South Carolina later this month. The South Carolina Republican Party says Pawlenty will speak at a fundraising dinner for the group on June 29th.
This will be Pawlenty's first trip to the Palmetto State. He was scheduled to visit the trip in May but canceled the event because of budget negotiations.
By the way, you can find Pawlenty's appearance on Good Morning America here.
The Des Moines Register released a poll that looked at the Republican 2012 race and it found that a majority of those polled are likely to vote for Mitt Romney. The poll found Sarah Palin was the second top choice. Newt Gingrich was third. Governor Pawlenty has the highest name recognition among lesser known candidates. The poll found that Pawlenty is unknown by 53 percent of those polled.
Read the full report here.
Meanwhile, Pawlenty is in New York City today. He's scheduled to be on ABC's Good Morning America this morning. He was on The Daily Show last night. He's also in town to raise money for his federal PAC.
Gov. Pawlenty says he can't shed any light on a mysterious book that's gone on sale, even though he's the subject of the 100-page paperback.
Amazon.com lists Governor Tim Pawlenty: The Sam's Club Republican by J.A. McClure for sale at $9.95. The publisher is CreateSpace, an Amazon-owned self publishing operation.
Pawlenty told reporters that the book just came to his attention this afternoon.
"I don't know anything about it," Pawlenty said. "I don't know what's in it. I never heard about it. I was never contacted about it."
The book didn't have Pawlenty's blessing, but that didn't stop his Freedom First PAC from becoming a sponsoring link on the Amazon.com page.
Here's the book description from Amazon.com:
"We are the party of Sam's Club, not just the country club." These words define Tim Pawlenty as a politician. By the time he spoke them at the 2001 State Republican Convention, he was already well on his way to transforming Minnesota's political landscape. The goal was to re-brand the Republican Party with a type of "contemporary conservatism," broadening the party's base without compromising conservative values. Pawlenty accomplished his goal. He served as governor from 2002 to 2010, successfully shifting Minnesota from center-left to center-right. It's no surprise party leaders vetted him for Vice President in 2008 and continue to mention his name for national roles. J. A. McClure tells the story of Pawlenty's humble beginnings in South St. Paul, his action-packed political campaigns, his accomplished tenures in the Minnesota House and governor's office, and his prospects for a national career. Drawing from hundreds of articles and interviews, McClure presents a thorough and fair introduction to a man destined for leadership.
Pawlenty announced in April that he had signed a book deal with Tyndale House Publishers. His memoir is expected in 2011.(3 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty, who is scheduled to be on Comedy Central's Daily Show on Thursday, said he expects the discussion with host John Stewart to focus on the news of the day. When asked if he wanted to try out any lines on the press corps, Pawlenty responded that his advice for anyone going on that show is not to be funnier than Jon Stewart.
"He's the king of the show," Pawlenty said.(4 Comments)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty said on Facebook and Twitter today that he will be Jon Stewart's guest on the Daily Show next week.
It will be Thursday night when Pawlenty is in New York.(1 Comments)
The Dallas Morning News reports this morning that Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty was in Dallas, TX on Wednesday night to raise money for his federal polication action committee. He also reportedly ate at a nice restaurant.
Pawlenty was asked by reporters on Wednesday morning whether he had any upcoming out of state travel scheduled he responded "a lot" but declined to specify. When asked for specifics he said "I'm not going to be your PAC scheduler."
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has a fundraiser scheduled on Friday for Marco Rubio, a Republican running for U.S. Senate in Florida. Pawlenty, former MNGOP Chair Bill Cooper and former U.S. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz will host a luncheon for Rubio at the Minneapolis Club on Friday.
"Marco Rubio represents the future of the Republican Party and has the common sense, conservative ideas we need more of in Washington," said Alex Conant, spokesman for Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC. "Governor Pawlenty wants to do whatever he can to help Rubio's campaign, and is glad to host him in Minnesota."
Rubio is a popular candidate in GOP circles. His candidacy forced Republican Governor Charlie Crist to switch to an Independent in the Florida Senate race.
Pawlenty didn't back a candidate for Florida Senate until Crist decided to run as an independent.
He's the latest White House hopeful to back Rubio. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are all backing Rubio.
(h/t Blois Olson).(1 Comments)
Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar gave speeches at the Fort Snelling Memorial Day services.
Here's Pawlenty's speech: Listen
Here's Klobuchar's speech: Listen
H/T MPR's Laura Yuen.
Here's a look at this weekend's public policy shows..
This week on Almanac Eric and Cathy chat with photographer Doug Ohman and writer Chris Niskanen about their new state park book, Mary Lahammer and a special guest do some live grilling on 4th Street and a couch full of political scientists will take a look back at the week of Lt. Governor announcements.
KSTP's At Issue:
Matt Entenza and Robyne Robinson...also political analysts Ember Reichgott Junge and Sarah Janecek.
WCCO's Sunday Morning:
Robyne Robinson, DFL Rep. Keith Ellison...
Sec. of State Mark Ritchie details the changes voters need to know as the primary election draws near. Newly appointed Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Michael Pugliese discusses the impact of the legislative session on Minnesotans. Senate Taxes Chair Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, says his staff will begin work shortly on revising the tax structure.
ABC's This Week:
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell
CBS' Face the Nation:
White House Energy Adviser Carol Browner, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), Louisiana State University environmental scientist Edward Overton, Ph.D
CNN's State of the Union:
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
Fox News Sunday:
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen
NBC's Meet the Press:
White House Energy Adviser Carol Browner, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ). The show may also air some excerpts from Thursday's interview with Gov. Pawlenty.
Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty took final action on the bills sent to him in the 2010 legislative session. He completed the session with 18 vetoes and barring a special legislative session, it's more than likely Pawlenty will finish his two terms as governor with 96 vetoes. He also line-item vetoed 27 bills.
Here's a recap of some of the more memorable vetoes:
He vetoed several bills that would have raised the income tax on top earners.
He vetoed several bills that would have created a statewide health insurance pool for teachers.
He vetoed a bill that would have legalized medical marijuana.
He vetoed a bill that would have created a state poet laureate.
He vetoed a bill that would have raised the gas tax, license tab fees and created a metro area sales tax to pay for transportation projects.
He vetoed a legislative resolution urging Congress to end trade, financial, and travel restrictions to Cuba.
He vetoed a bill that would have increased the minimum wage.
He vetoed a bill that would have increased fees on notaries.
The Legislature made five attempts to override Pawlenty's vetoes. Lawmakers were successful once on the transportation funding bill.
You can read all of the vetoes from Pawlenty and other governors from the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library.
Governor Tim Pawlenty fielded a wide range of questions during a taping of a traveling Meet the Press show on the University of Minnesota campus. Host David Gregory asked questions about Arizona's immigration law (Pawlenty supports it), Don't Ask, Don't Tell (Pawlenty wants to keep the current policy in place) and on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Pawlenty is raising questions about the government's response to the BP oil disaster but argues it is too soon to blame anyone for the oil spill. Pawlenty said he doesn't want to rush to judgment but then issued a list of questions critical of the Obama Administration.
"Why aren't there more skimmers out there, why aren't they working longer hours?," Pawlenty asked. "Why did they rely just on BP early on to tell us to what the volume of the leak was. Why didn't we independently verify that using government sources? Why weren't booms replaced when they became more saturated and releaked oil? So there's going to be a lot of these questions that may very well point back to this administration."
Pawlenty, who may seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012, called for increased offshore drilling to ease the nation's energy crunch during the 2008 campaign for president. As for an announcement on his intentions, Pawlenty said he won't make a decision until after he finishes his term as governor in 2011.
Pawlenty also said he would have also let insurance giant AIG fail in 2008 even if it could have caused further turmoil in the financial markets. Pawlenty made his comments during a traveling version of NBC's Meet the Press which was taped at the University of Minnesota campus on Thursday. Pawlenty told show host David Gregory that he was disappointed with all of the federal bailouts in recent years and even singled out the bailout of AIG.
Pawlenty: "How much worse would you be without AIG? I mean really? I'd make an argument that it might be better?
Gregory: So you would have let AIG default?
Pawlenty: I think so."
Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke said the bailout of AIG, the world's largest insurance company, was necessary because the nation would have gone into a deeper economic slump and "even greater financial chaos" without it.
Even though the show was taped in Pawlenty's home state, it appeared to be a road game for the governor. Several members of the audience laughed when he mentioned that he kept school funding safe by delaying school payments in the most recent budget deal. Pawlenty shot back that "it was better than a cut."
Others questioned whether Pawlenty sacrificed the financial health of the state for his political aspirations of running for president. Pawlenty defended his actions saying Minnesota is already a highly taxed state.
NBC officials say excerpts from Pawlenty's appearance will air on Sunday's show. It will also air online and on MPR's Midday on Friday at noon. You can also listen to the full broadcast here: Listen(2 Comments)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty sent a letter to Congressional leaders yesterday expressing concerns about the impact of changing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. President Obama and Democrats in Congress have reached agreement on changing the policy that forbids gays to serve in the military.
In his letter to Congress, Pawlenty mentioned his role as commander in chair of the state's National Guard and argued against making a "major policy change" without full review by the military. Pawlenty is possible candidate for the White House in 2012.
But in December, Pawlenty took more of a hands off approach to "Don't Ask Don't Tell." Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, sent a letter to Pawlenty then requesting he meet with a retired Army veteran who most recently served in Operation Iraqi Freedom to discuss the policy.
Pawlenty sent a letter to Dibble saying the issue was a federal matter:
"Thank you for your letter regarding your constituent's concerns about the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. As noted in your letter, Josh Gackle, my senior adviser on military matters, has met with Mr. Wesley Davey on this issue.
As you know, this military policy is a federal issue. There is no legal authority granted to governors regarding this matter. Even as commander in chief of the state's National Guard, there is no authority for a governor to override or alter this federal military policy."
Gov. Tim Pawlenty sent a letter to congressional leaders today raising concerns over the effort to change the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy. The letter comes just days after President Obama and Democrats in Congress reached a deal that would repeal the 17-year-old federal law banning openly gay Americans from serving in the military.
In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Pawlenty wrote that changing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would amount to a "major policy change."
"As you know, Guard units currently not only supplement active duty military units engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, they also provide states with indispensable help in responding to domestic emergencies and natural disasters. The impacts upon Guard units and all military units need to be understood before any significant policy changes are decided.
It would be unwise for Congress to address this long-standing policy without the benefit of full hearings and the completion of the impact study being conducted by military leaders. I urge you to take no legislative action until the Department of Defense has completed its review and public hearings have been held to thoroughly discuss the findings."
Pawlenty isn't the only one expressing concern about any change to Don't Ask Don't Tell. The nation's military leaders are also urging Congress to wait until a review is completed. Opponents of the policy say it requires military service members to lie about their lifestyle in order to serve their nation.
DFL Rep. Al Juhnke, chair of the Minnesota House Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Finance Division, said he's never heard Minnesota National Guard members raise concerns about Don't Ask Don't Tell in his committee.
"The state just does what the federal government passes down. It appears to be political to me," Juhnke said of Pawlenty's letter.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty recently appeared on Minnesota Public Radio News' Midday program, where he highlighted his efforts to reduce government spending.
He told host Gary Eichten that, "From 1960 until 2002, the average two-year spending increase for the state in the general fund was 21 percent. We brought that down during my time to about 2 percent a year."
But more can be done, he said.
"The state is paying half or more of the budgets of prosperous large cities all over the state," he said during the May 18 interview. "In aids and credits, the state pays over half of the budget of the city of St. Paul. It makes very little sense."
This PoliGraph result is mixed. Pawlenty is correct that he's reduced government spending compared to his predecessors. But city documents contradict Pawlenty's second claim; St. Paul receives far less cash from the state than Pawlenty stated.
Claim One: The Evidence
Pawlenty took office in 2003. Between 1960 and 2003, the average two-year spending increase from the general fund - the state's primary account- was about 21 percent, according to a document prepared by Minnesota Management and Budget.
Pawlenty is correct that, under his administration, annual spending has increased at an average 2 percent a year. His average is low due to significant spending cuts in the 2010-2011 budget. But it's important to note that Pawlenty is comparing a two-year average with one-year averages.
For instance, the annual average spending increase under past administrations was about 10 percent - much lower than the two-year average. And Pawlenty's two-year average spending increase over his 7 and a half years in office is 3.9 percent, not the 2 percent he touted in the interview.
Claim One: The Verdict
Pawlenty inflated the difference between his spending record and that of his predecessors' by contrasting his very low one-year average with a very high two-year average. Nevertheless, he got his numbers right and his underlying point, that he's made big cuts in the growth of government spending, is correct.
As a result, Pawlenty's claim is accurate.
Note: One thing to note is that a large part of Gov. Pawlenty's budget balancing plan in 2010 relied on an accounting shift and did not technicall cut spending. Pawlenty and the Legislature delayed $1.9 billion in payments to schools to help balance the state's budget. It looks like a cut on the balance sheet but the law requires the payments to schools to be made after the two year budget is over. In other words, Pawlenty balanced the budget but the next governor and Legislature have to either come up with the funds to fix the payment shift or agree to continued delays. - Tom Scheck
Claim Two: The Evidence
Pawlenty missed the mark on his second claim about St. Paul's budget.
The city's most significant source of state funding is Local Government Aid, money given based on tax base and estimated spending. It's been on the decline since Pawlenty took office.
St. Paul's 2010 budget of $642 million includes about $52 million from LGA. All of the city's intergovernmental revenue totals only 19.3 percent of its current budget - far less than half as Pawlenty claimed. Previous budgets are similar. For instance, the city's 2009 budget of $600 million includes about $57 million in LGA funding.
Pawlenty misspoke, said Brian McClung, Pawlenty's deputy chief of staff. He said Pawlenty meant to refer to the year he took office, when LGA funding nearly matched St. Paul's tax levy of $64 million.
Claim Two: The Verdict
Pawlenty said that the state is funding more than half of St. Paul's budget. But the numbers show he's wrong: St. Paul receives far less than that from the state. Even if Pawlenty meant to compare LGA funds with city taxes rather than overall budget, he was referencing old figures.
Pawlenty's second claim does not pass the PoliGraph test.
Minnesota Public Radio News, Midday, May 18, 2010
Gov. Tim Pawlenty's website, Minnesota Historical Expenditures: General Fund, accessed May 20, 2010
City of St. Paul, 2010 Adopted Budget, accessed May 20, 2010
City of St. Paul, 2009 Adopted Budget, accessed May 21, 2010
City of St. Paul, 2008 Adopted Budget, accessed May 21, 2010
City of St. Paul, 2007 Adopted Budget, accessed May 21, 2010
City of St. Paul, 2006 Adopted Budget, accessed May 21, 2010
MinnPost.com, Ten Things You May Not Know About St. Paul's City Budget, by Matt Smith, Dec. 11, 2007
E-mail correspondence, Brian McClung, Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Tim Pawlenty, May 21, 2010
E-mail correspondence with Bob Hume, Deputy Chief of Staff for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, May 20, 2010
About PoliGraph(10 Comments)
A recent poll by Rasmussen Reports shows that the race for governor in Minnesota is a clear toss-up. Republican Tom Emmer has a slight lead over the 3 DFL candidates but it's within the Margin of Error. Here are the toplines:
Tom Emmer (R) 37%
Mark Dayton (D) 35%
Tom Horner (I) 12%
Not sure 16%
Tom Emmer (R) 38%
Margaret Anderson Kelliher (D) 36%
Tom Horner (I) 11%
Not sure 15%
Tom Emmer (R) 37%
Matt Entenza (D) 34%
Tom Horner (I) 12%
Not sure 17%
Fifty-three percent approve of the job the President Obama is doing, while 46% disapprove.
Fifty-two percent of Minnesota voters approve of how he is doing his job. Forty-six percent disapprove. But only 35 percent of those polled say they'd vote for Pawlenty if he's the GOP presidential candidates in 2012. 49 percent say they won't vote for him.
The poll also found that 50% of those polled support the repeal of the national health care law while 43% support it.
53% of Minnesota voters favor an immigration law in their state like the one in Arizona, while 34% oppose such a law. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.
Governor Pawlenty announced on his Facebook page that he'll be making his third trip to New Hampshire on July 10th. The newspaper says Pawlenty, who visited the state in December and March, will speak before the Strafford County Republican Committee summer picnic at Guppey Park in Dover, NH.
The Union Leader also quotes Pawlenty's spokesman saying Pawlenty will make other stops during the trip.
I'm told Gov. Pawlenty will be on CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley at 9 am ET this Sunday, April 23. He will appear with Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, to discuss the 2010 elections, economy, and state budgets.
Gov. Pawlenty may be getting lots of love from national news outlets over the past few weeks but it isn't yet resonating with voters. In New Hampshire, Pawlenty is a distant seventh among possible 2012 GOP contenders. The Granite State poll shows that 41 percent of those polled support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Pawlenty is second to last among the field of
Among likely Republican Primary voters, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the 2008 New Hampshire runner-up, has consistently been the most popular. In the most recent Granite State Poll, 41% of likely Republican Primary voters said they would vote for Romney, 12% favor 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, 11% would vote for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 9% support former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, 6% support Texas Congressman and 2008 candidate Ron Paul, 5% prefer former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, 3% favor Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, and 2% favor former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
Meanwhile, Pawlenty isn't do so well on the home front either. A MPR/U of M poll shows that his approval rating is at historic lows. You can find information on Pawlenty's approval and the 2010 governor's race here.
Gov. Pawlenty said he hasn't started his memoir yet but said the book will focus on his personal experiences and vision for America.
"Along the way, I've been at this a while as governor and Majority Leader and legislator, you learn some things, you observe some things in term of leadership, in terms of service, in terms of people, in terms of policy and issues. As I see it, and it hasn't been written yet so I'm just giving you some very advanced sense of what it might include, it's kind of reflections and lessons learned along the way in terms of service, leadership, personalities, policy and using some of the things I encountered as a way to share those lessons with other people."
Pawlenty joked that the market for the book would be the press corps. He said the specifics of the book, who it will be marketed to and other details are still being worked out.
The book is set to be released in 2011, which is the same time Pawlenty says he'll make a decision about a White House run.
Pawlenty said he will receive an advance for the memoir bout wouldn't disclose the sum.
Gov. Pawlenty, DFL members of the Senate and GOP legislative leaders spent the day spinning the outcome of the legislative session.
Gov. Pawlenty appeared on Midday today to talk about the end of the session and other issues. Listen
DFL Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller and DFL Sen. Linda Berglin are on a statewide tour to discuss the legislative session. Here's some of the audio from the event in St. Paul: Listen
Tom Emmer, the Republican endorsed candidate for governor, MN House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers and Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem also participated in a separate statewide tour.
We hope to put up audio from one of their events later today. Here's Emmer from Moorhead: Listen
Gov. Pawlenty is on MPR's Midday this morning.
Meanwhile, David Gregory, host of NBC's Meet the Press, will interview Pawlenty for a "special Meet the Press Across America series." The event will be held on May 27th at the Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota. The Humphrey Institutes's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance is hosting the forum. Here's info from the Humphrey School.
Gov. Pawlenty has been receiving some national press for the way he handled the state budget deficit. He talked at length about it with reporters today. Pawlenty is also scheduled to be on MPR's Midday tomorrow at 11am. Here's the video of the newser.
Governor Pawlenty has reached a budget deal with state lawmakers but a special session will be needed to process the bill. The initial intent was for the governor to sign the budget bill sent to him last night. The legislature would then send him a bill to fix the bill to his liking. We don't have access to the bill yet but based off news conferences, reporting and last night's budget bill we have an outline.
The key parameters of the bill will include:
An early opt in for Medical Assistance that will be determined by the governor. Pawlenty signaled he won't support it. The next governor will have the chance to request it in January.
$1.9 billion K12 shift
$10 million in extra funding for GAMC to fix "inequities in the current law."
The plan does not include surcharges on HMOs or hospitals.
LGA cuts of $300 million
The House and Senate are in special session already. The intent is to process this one budget bill and send it to Pawlenty by breakfast.
Gov. Pawlenty is expected to soon counter the latest DFL counter offer in a back and forth negotiation that will soon run out of time.
Lawmakers have until midnight to pass a budget-balancing bill and erase a nearly $3 billion deficit. Despite the Republican governor's earlier attempt to take the contentious health care issue off the table, it's still there, and it's still contentious.
Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung said DFL leaders are still insisting of surcharges to health care providers as part of a proposed expansion of federal Medicaid.
"The governor's opposition to surcharges is well established," McClung said.
Still McClung said there's a lot of agreement between the two sides.
Earlier, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and other DFL leaders had little to say as they left the governor's office.
"We are available, and we'll continue to work," Kelliher said.(1 Comments)
The Minnesota Senate paused Sunday evening to allow retiring members address the body. The speeches included some tears, some laughs and at least one surprise.
Here are the Senators who said goodbye in the order of their speeches: Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud; Mee Moua, DFL-St.Paul; Debbie Johnson, R-Ham Lake; Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing; Steve Dille, R-Dassel; Pat Pariseau, R-Farmington; Jim Vickerman, DFL-Tracy; and Dennis Frederickson, R-New Ulm.
Most of the retiring Senators had previously announced their plans to not seek re-election. Moua had not made her plans public.
DFL House and Senate leaders have made a counter offer to Governor Pawlenty for balancing the budget, and a health care proposal for the poor is still in play.
The DFL proposal would give the governor authority to decide whether to leverage federal health care money to expand Medicaid coverage. The next governor would have the same authority. DFL House Majority Leader Tony Sertich said the proposal would also help rural hospital with a fix to the current General Assistance Medical Care law.
"Right now, the way I understand it is, the Pawlenty administration negotiated with some metro hospitals and gave them a better deal that they didn't offer our rural hospitals," Sertich said. "And this would just open it up and make sure rural hospital were treated fairly."
Sertich said he didn't like Governor Pawlenty's earlier budget proposal, which took the health care issue off the table, because he said it would set the stage for a special session that should be avoided.
Gov. Pawlenty and Republican legislative leaders have outlined a new budget-balancing proposal aimed at breaking an impasse with Democrats.
Pawlenty emerged from negotiations this afternoon to explain that the GOP proposal would remove a DFL plan to leverage federal health care money through an expansion of Medicaid. In exchange, Republicans would back off of about $114 million in health and human services spending cuts. Democrats would still have to implement the governor's unallotment cuts and shifts from a year ago. Pawlenty described the offer as a pathway forward.
"The point of this offer is to just take all of those points of contention off the table," pawlenty said. "But again, keep in mind we're also taking off the table over $100 million of non unallotment additional HHS cuts. So that's a significant concession or accommodation on our part."
DFL leaders left the governor's office without commenting. They're currently discussing the plan with their House and Senate caucus members.
Gov.Pawlenty is poised to veto the budget bill House and Senate DFLers passed early this morning after negotiations on an end-of-session agreement broke down.
Pawlenty's deputy chief of staff, Brian McClung, released this statement:
Gov. Pawlenty will veto this last-minute DFL budget bill. The bill makes the state's long-term budget deficit worse, not better, increases health care spending at a time we should be reining it in, and is devoid of meaningful government reform. In addition, the vote on the bill was highly partisan, which reflects lack of agreement. There's still time to pass a bill that could be signed into law. We're hopeful the DFL will do so. Legislative leaders have requested a meeting with the Governor at 3:00 pm today and we look forward to talking with them at that time.
With less than 24 hours until the deadline to finish their work, Governor Pawlenty and state lawmakers are still at odds over a plan to erase a nearly $3 billion budget deficit. House and Senate Democrats decided early Sunday morning to send another budget balancing bill to Pawlenty even though they haven't reached a deal with him. Republicans in the House and Senate say Pawlenty will veto the bill (
I haven't received word from the governor's office on this yet Pawlenty's spokesman says Pawleny will veto the bill).
The main sticking point is over a plan to tap into federal funds for health coverage for poor Minnesotans. Democrats say the plan would increase health coverage and secure more federal funding for the state. But Republicans say it federalizes the state's health care system. DFL House Majority Leader Tony Sertich says Pawlenty is unwilling to compromise.
"He is stuck in the mud and he is the reason why we are leaning towards a special session," Sertich said. "And we hope that's not the case because as Democrats we have tried and tried again to finish this session on time and on budget."
Pawlenty, who spoke with reporters before the House and Senate action, said the health care issue and other items are causing budget negotiations to stall. He wouldn't offer specifics on which items. Pawlenty says he's hoping they can reach a compromise...
"The good news is people are working," Pawlenty said. "There are proposals that are being shared back and forth. We don't have agreement but at least there's ideas being exchanged but it's in a fairly narrow range of remaining issues to be solved."
The House won't be back into session until 2pm. The Senate is scheduled to start at 3pm. No word on when/if Pawlenty and legislative negotiators will meet again.
Gov. Pawlenty returned to the Capitol this evening, just in time for a scheduled 5:00 p.m. meeting with legislative leaders.
Pawlenty flew back to St. Paul after attending the annual governor's fishing opener at Lake Kabetogama near the Canadian border. With time running out in the session to solve a nearly $3 billion state budget deficit, the Republican governor gave reporters a quick assessment of the ongoing negotiations.
"I think the outline on kind of the budget situation is in focus," Pawlenty said. "But the hang up seems to be this health care issue. There's just very strong disagreement between the Republicans and Democrats on various health care proposals."
DFL leaders want to leverage some available federal health care money to provide Medicaid coverage to low income Minnesotans currently covered by two state programs. Pawlenty and House Republicans are resisting the move.
"We've been going around and around on the same issues now for several days. We need to find a new way out of the box."
Still, Pawlenty said his focus is on the negotiations and not the what if scenarios of a lingering impasse.
"We'd like to get a deal on a bipartisan basis, get this done in timely, orderly fashion," he said. "And that's what we're going to try to do over next 24 hours."
Legislators are digging in their heels over a health care proposal that continues to hold up an end-of session budget agreement.
DFL House and Senate leaders want to leverage federal money to expand Medicaid coverage to Minnesotans currently covered by two state programs. But Governor Pawlenty and other Republicans are resisting the move. During a news conference today, House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Zellers repeatedly referred to the federal money as "Obamacare." He said DFLers leaders shouldn't be shocked at Republican opposition to the proposal.
"It shows how much the majority hasn't been listening to us all session," Zellers said.
But DFL House Majority Leader Tony Sertich said Republicans are putting politics before policy. He said their rhetoric could get in the way of a solution to end session on time.
"If people try to take national politics, tea party politics and bring that into the discussion, because that's not what we're talking about," Sertich said. "We're not talking about the mandate. We're not talking about what's going on in Washington. We're talking about a good deal for Minnesotans and getting their tax dollars back to Minnesota."
Sertich added that it would be unwise to hold up the budget and session for a handful of minority members.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty reportedly had a successful outing on this morning on Lake Kabetogama, the site of the 62nd annual governor's fishing opener.
Here's the report from the governor's staff:
After leaving the dock at 7:15 a.m., Governor Tim Pawlenty caught his first walleye on Lake Kabetogama at about 7:55 a.m. The 14 inch fish weighed about a pound. The Governor caught his second walleye about 10 minutes later, also about a pound. Lieutenant Governor Carol Molnau caught a one pound walleye around 7:30 a.m. First Lady Mary Pawlenty caught her first walleye at about 7:50 a.m.
Back at the Capitol, an agreement to erase a nearly $3 billion budget deficit and end the session on time was more elusive. DFL House leaders said they asked the governor to return to St. paul as soon as possible today to resume negotiations.
With less than 48 hours to go until the end of the legislative session, what had looked like progress toward a deal on a nearly $3 billion budget deficit has stalled. Republicans are objecting to a health care plan that Democrats argue is central to a budget compromise. Democrats are pushing for expansion of Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul. It would increase federal funding to cover low income Minnesotans but the state would also have to put up more money.
DFL House Majority Leader Tony Sertich Sertich said Republicans are universally opposed to the idea. He said after a conference call with Pawlenty that the talks "took a step back" because Republicans in the House and Senate are unwavering in their proposal.
"They want to say no to everything that's on the table that the majority parties think is necessary for the end of a successful session," Sertich said. "They're saying no to any federal health care reform and getting any tax dollars from Washington and that's a big concern."
Republicans say they're concerned about the cost of the plan and worry that it's a pathway to "socialized medicine."
Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers said he's concerned about the cost but said it's the principle of accepting money under the new federal health overhaul that is prompting GOP opposition:
"Actually having Minnesota be the first state or one of the first state to sign up for ObamaCare has not been something that anyone in our caucus has supported at any point this session," Zellers said.
Gov. Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung issued a statement saying he examined the DFL plan and doesn't like it.
"The Governor's reasons include the surcharges in the proposal and potential long-term financial obligations to the state," McClung wrote in a statement.
The health care plan is a just one piece of a larger negotiation to settle a nearly $3 billion budget deficit but DFLers say it as a key piece in the deal. They have pretty much agreed to Pawlenty's level of spending cuts and a payment delay to schools. Sertich and DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher both say Pawlenty should return to St. Paul as soon as he's done fishing this morning. His spokesman said Pawlenty is willing to return to St. Paul but wouldn't say when he would do so.
Lawmakers have until midnight Sunday to pass legislation.
The House and Senate have finished their work for the day and are scheduled to come back at noon tomorrow. Meanwhile, Governor Pawlenty and DFL legislative leaders are scheduled to hold a conference call tonight at 8:30 to continue budget negotiations. The same issues are in play (ratification of unallotments, K12 shift and Medicaid expansion) for a deal. But there appears to be some saber rattling over the Health and Human Services portion of the deal.
"Early option Medical Assistance is very important for us to come to an agreement," DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher said. "I think it makes it extremely difficult to get a deal wlithout it."
Kelliher said she was working to craft a budget deal but said she's leaving all options on the table including the possibility of a special session if one is needed.
It appears that the Health and Human Services bill could be the key factor in whether a deal gets done. House and Senate Democrats want to shift low income Minnesotans from two state health programs into a federal program. They argue that the plan will provide health care coverage for another 20,000 Minnesotans and stabilize funding for hospitals and other health care providers.
Governor Pawlenty and Republicans in the House and Senate are objecting to the surcharges on hospitals, HMOs and other health centers to pay for the program.
Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung sent a statement to reporters saying the proposals is "problematic because of the DFL's insistence on surcharges as well as a lack of support for early enrollment from Republicans." McClung said in a follow up e-mail that Pawlenty remains open to discussing the issue..
Lawmakers are working to craft a budget deal and pass it before the Sunday midnight deadline to adjourn. DFL Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller spent a large part of the day criticizing the governor's approach to solving the nearly $3 billion budget deficit. He said Pawlenty is relying on shifts and gimmicks that won't solve the state's long-term budget problem. Pogemiller said , however, that he's holding out hope a budget deal will be reached. He said Senate Democrats are prepared to send Pawlenty another bill that reduces the size of the deficit if a deal isn't reached.
"For sure, I think we should send $700 or $800 million in cuts or budget reductions," Pogemiller said. "Some of those are budget reductions that the Governor doesn't support but at some point you have to do something."
All four legislative leaders are scheduled to appear on TPT's Almanac tonight at 7pm.
Gov. Pawlenty says he plans to veto legislation that would grant end-of-life rights to same-sex partners.
The bill passed in the Minnesota Senate today (Wednesday) and in the House yesterday. It allows surviving same-sex partners and other unmarried couples to have control over the remains of their deceased partners. But Pawlenty says current law already allows for such designation. The Republican governor claims the bill's supporters are trying to stoke political controversy.
"I think the effort that's underway in this bill is simply a political game to get the concept or the wording domestic partner into state law," Pawlenty said. "And I would suggest the Legislature focus on addressing our budget issues rather than trying to tee up divisive social issues."
The sponsor of the Senate bill, Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon, DFL-Duluth, said the measure is a matter of fairness. She urged the governor to reconsider his opposition.(13 Comments)
The governor's fishing opener is this weekend on Lake Kabtogama in norther Minnesota and a singer songwriter is documenting the event. The International Falls Daily Journal reports that a 59 year old construction worker named John Kurkosky wrote a song about the governor's fishing opener. Here's the chorus:
"The governor and his crew will only catch a few but me and my friends will catch Pawlenty. And I won't rub it in if Tim's catch is thin, I'll only say that we caught Pawlenty."
This will be Pawlenty's last time hosting the Governor's Fishing Opener but Kurkosky suggested in the song that he may be back in other capacities:
"I hope he has a great time and remembers this event because the next time he comes a fishing he might be president."
Here's the full song.
(h/t Bring Me the News)(1 Comments)
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher said today that two Republicans have mentioned that they could support an increase to the alcohol tax to help fix the state's budget problem. That means House Democrats would be just one vote shy of the ninety needed votes to override a potential veto.
"I don't know if alcohol, an alcohol tax, can get an override vote in the Minnesota House or the Minnesota Senate, Kelliher said. "But at least two members have indicated different versions of an alcohol tax that they might be interested in."
Kelliher, a candidate for governor, wouldn't identify the two Republicans who approached her.
She also left open the possibility that lawmakers could try to override Pawlenty's veto of a tax bill that cuts government spending and raises income taxes on Minnesota's top earners.
Democrats in the Minnesota Senate already have a veto-proof majority and DFL Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller said on Monday that Senate Democrats have always delievered the votes when necessary.
Governor Pawlenty has repeatedly said he won't support a tax increase of any kind.
Legislative leaders say they expect to meet with Gov. Pawlenty several times today but no meetings are scheduled as of yet.(2 Comments)
Governor Pawlenty and legislative leaders met behind closed doors for a little over an hour this afternoon and are no closer to a deal. DFL House Speaker Margaret Kelliher, who is running for governor, started her comments to reporters by joking that there's "No Statehood Day agreement."
Kelliher said Pawlenty has not come up with any "new ideas" to balance the state's budget. She said Pawlenty has authorized Republicans to work with DFL leadership to find an additional $400 million in spending cuts. DFL Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller has said Republicans who want to cut government better put up the votes to do it.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem said he'll work with Senate Democrats to come up with the cuts.
"We all know that these are difficult times and we're going to have to make difficult cuts," Senjem said. "Cuts, frankly, that none of us want to make but as you look where we are, I'm convinced that we're going to have to make them. It's not going to be easy. We're going to have to get some help certainly from the other side but we're going to try to put something together that we can all agree on."
This is the first DFL legislative leaders have met with Pawlenty since he vetoed a budget balancing bill that relied on an income tax hike on Minnesota's top earners to erase the state's budget deficit.
One key sticking point is whether House and Senate Democrats will agree to a school payment delay to balance the budget. Gov. Pawlenty wants the shift ratified into law but Democrats say they won't do it unless there's an ability to pay it back. Pawlenty's spokesman called it a "lynch pin" to the deal and said the K12 shift has been done in the past.
Legislative leaders are scheduled to meet privately with Pawlenty again at 7pm.
DFL leaders have told Gov. Pawlenty that they are disappointed by his veto of a budget-balancing bill.
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller sent a letter this afternoon to Pawlenty in response to his earlier veto message.
"We had hoped that perhaps the moment had arrived to put aside your rigid ideology and political concerns and address the state's pressing fiscal issues," Kelliher and Pogemiller wrote.
The leaders also requested the governor provide leadership and a solution to the state's budget crisis.
Kelliher and Pogemiller released the letter just before a 3:00 p.m. closed-door meeting with the governor.
Gov. Pawlenty vetoed a budget balancing bill today that relied on spending cuts, an income tax increase on Minnesota's top earners and payment delay in school funding. In his veto letter, Pawlenty wrote "it is nonsensical to increase taxes on job providers merely weeks after I signed a bill to provide tax incentives for Minnesota businesses to grow jobs. The behavior sends a confusing and mixed message to companies looking to produce jobs in Minnesota."
Pawlenty added in the letter that he looks forward to working with DFL legislative leaders on an appropriate budget solution. The last time he's met with lawmakers was on Friday night. DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, who is running for governor, said in a conference call with reporters today that the only contact she's had with Pawlenty is by reading his Twitter feed.
Here's Gov. Pawlenty's statement on the DFL budget balancing plan:
"I know the DFL doesn't look to me for advice but here's a tip: people want government spending cut, not taxes increased.
"The DFL tax increase plan would give Minnesota the fifth highest income tax rate in the country, would deter small businesses from growing jobs, and would lead to more unemployed Minnesotans. I look forward to vetoing this DFL tax increase."
DFL leaders in the Minnesota Senate have unveiled a $2.8 billion budget balancing bill that includes spending cuts, payment shifts and tax increases.
The bill is aimed at resolving a budget deficit that grew significantly larger when the state Supreme Court overturned some of Governor Pawlenty's unilateral spending cuts from a year ago. Sen. Richard Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, chair of the Senate Finance committee, said the measure includes some of the governor's cuts and his delayed school payments. It also includes $433 million in new tax revenue, which has yet to be determined. Cohen said he doesn't like the bill, but he also doesn't like the state's financial situation.
"I think irrespective of party ideology or anything else all of us would agree what we're facing this year is unprecedented," Cohen said "I mean it's been an unprecedented several years, but this one just kind of is more than the cherry on the sundae. It goes a little bit beyond that."
The Senate finance committee approved the bill today on a divided voice vote. A full Senate vote is expected Monday.
Gov. Pawlenty asked legislators to ratify his 2009 cuts, but he remains opposed to any tax increases.
Gov. Pawlenty's spokesman, Brian McClung, said Gov. Pawlenty has canceled this weekend's trip to South Carolina. The decision was made in light of a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that ruled his unilateral budget cuts were unlawful.
Pawlenty, a possible candidate for the White House in 2012, was scheduled to speak at two fundraisers in Columbia, South Carolina this weekend.(1 Comments)
This morning's closed door budget meeting with Gov. Tim Pawlenty and legislative leaders did not produce a budget agreement, but it did highlight a potential budget crisis.
Following the hour-long meeting, Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, told reporters that he was told the state could run out of cash as soon as next week.
"Apparently the cash flow situation is a lot worse than we were led to believe," Pogemiller said.
Wednesday's state supreme court ruling against some of Pawlenty's unilateral budget cuts in 2009 has complicated this year's state budget. It's also created some immediate problems for the state check book.
Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung told reporters that state could face a cash flow crisis if a judge orders the state to repay any other party that lost funding under last year's budget fix. The original lawsuit was specific to cuts to a nutrition program. Concerned that other claims could follow, McClung said the state check book is already close to its minimum cushion of $200 million.
"If a judge ordered the state to back pay, we don't have the money to do that," McClung said. "And so, not only would we be below the $200 million cushion, we would be at zero. And that is clearly a position that the state has never faced."
McClung said legislators could head off the crisis by ratifying the governor's 2009 unallotments. But DFL leaders are not embracing Pawlenty's request.
"We have grave concerns about passing that unilateral plan," said House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, who is also running for governor.
House and Senate Republican leaders said they believe a budget solution can still come from spending cuts alone. House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, warned against a DFL attempt raise taxes.
"This is as serious as a heart attack, Zellers said. "We are in a dire economic strait. You add on to the economic burden of Minnesota families of Minnesota businesses, and this could get exponentially worse in the next year or two."
Legislative leaders are scheduled to meet again with Pawlenty at 3:00 p.m.
MPR's Midmorning will feature DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, GOP Rep. Paul Kohls and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will be on MPR's Midmorning to discuss the impact of the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision on the state budget.
The show is on at 9am.(4 Comments)
Politicians and interest groups are weighing in on the Minnesota Supreme's court ruling that said Gov. Pawlenty exceeded his executive authority when he used unallotment last July. Here are a few of the statements.
"I strongly disagree with this 4-3 decision by the court. Nonetheless it will require the legislature and my administration to address its budget impacts. The funds do not exist to reinstate my unallotments and the state budget needs to be balanced without raising taxes. I call upon the DFL-controlled legislature to ratify the unallotments I enacted last year.
"I will fight to reduce spending and taxes in Minnesota and that battle continues. My commitment to the people of Minnesota remains the same: we will balance the budget without raising taxes."
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher (the DFL endorsed candidate for governor):
"Once again, the courts have affirmed that Governor Pawlenty acted unconstitutionally by walking away from the table and turning his back on the legislature and the people of Minnesota during a challenging budget crisis. This is exactly why I'm running for governor. We need a governor who will sit down with people and work out solutions to our toughest problems. This is what Minnesotans expect from their leaders. "As Speaker, I offered three balanced budgets and fought to protect Minnesota's priorities. As Governor, I will work with the legislature to create a balanced budget that strengthens Minnesota, protects our values and moves our state forward on the road to economic recovery."
GOP Rep. Tom Emmer (the GOP endorsed candidate for governor):
In the latest example of judicial activism, the Minnesota Supreme Court, in a narrow 4-3 decision, took it upon itself to rewrite the unallotment statute to their liking by adding conditions on the executive branch that do not exist in the current statute.
The law requires the governor to balance the budget. The law requires the governor to prepare a budget forecast as part of the budget balancing process. The law requires the governor to use unallotment after exhausting other means if revenues do not meet expenditures. The law is clear, and Governor Pawlenty followed the law.
The court changed the law in midstream by adding a time constraint to when the governor could exercise his unallotment powers. Once the court changed the law, they found that the Commissioner of Finance did not follow the "new" law.
Instead of acting as politicians, we need judges that will make decisions by applying the letter of the law to the facts.
It is now up to Speaker Kelliher, Majority Leader Pogemiller and the DFL controlled legislature to reinstate the unallotments in order to fix the budget hole created by their failure to produce a balanced budget in 2009.
Democrat Matt Entenza, who is running for governor:
"Tim Pawlenty has spent the last four years running roughshod over the legislature, our state constitution and, by extension, the people of Minnesota. Today, the state Supreme Court stood up and told him, 'No.'"
"Hard as this situation is, we can neither simply cut nor simply tax our way out of it; we need a strategy to grow our economy. In Minnesota we work together to get the work of the people done. But in Tim Pawlenty's and Tom Emmer's Minnesota, when you don't get your way, you take huge risks with our state's future. As a result, we now face an even bigger budget crisis.
"I stand ready to lead our state in a new direction, with a positive vision of how we grow our way out of these problems - not go back, but get back to greatness."
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak:
"The Supreme Court decision today restores proper balance between the executive and legislative branches. It does not, however, alter the reality that the State of Minnesota is in a deep fiscal crisis. At moments like these, Minnesotans have a right to expect that all sides at the Capitol will demonstrate the highest level of statesmanship and will come together around a unified vision for our state."Minnesota Chamber President David Olson:
"While some at the Capitol are celebrating the Supreme Court decision as an opening to raise taxes, this is not the time to do so. Increasing the tax burden on the private sector will not lead to job creation.
"Minnesota businesses are just beginning to emerge from the recession. The Legislature should do nothing to hamper their recovery. Lawmakers instead should give strong consideration to the cuts and shifts outlined by the governor last summer.
"We recognize this will mean some tough decisions. But it's becoming clear that we cannot afford the current level of public services. Government must seek greater efficiencies in its operations and focus on true, statewide priorities."
Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson:
"The Court's decision gives the Governor and the Legislature a second chance to get it right and agree to a balanced approach in addressing Minnesota's budget crisis.
Minnesota can no longer afford to continue the path of crumbling infrastructure, growing class sizes, shrinking community services, and higher property taxes.
It's time for our policymakers to take bold and decisive action on a budget to grow family sustaining jobs and make taxes fair for middle class Minnesotans."
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman:
"The Supreme Court has rightly rejected the Governor's go-it-alone strategy that has marked his eight years in office. While that approach may have served his presidential ambitions, it has not served the people of our state. Minnesotans are tired of political games - they want realistic solutions. They want police officers on their streets and good teachers in their classrooms. Today's ruling is a call to action for the Governor to return to the table and work with the legislature to get the job done. "
Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton:
"The Republican Party of Minnesota unequivocally opposes today's 4-3 ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court and believes it represents the worst in judicial activism. Now the onus for balancing the budget lies squarely with Margaret Anderson Kelliher and the big spending Democrat-controlled legislature. Kelliher and the DFL failed to produce a balanced budget last year and now that failure is coming back to haunt the taxpayers of Minnesota. Raising taxes on families and businesses is the last thing Minnesotans need right now. Since Kelliher failed to balance the budget in the first place, it's time for her to explain in detail how she plans to pay for $2.7 billion in new spending when the state is broke."
The MN Supreme Court ruled against Gov. Pawlenty's use of unallotment last year. The court said he exceeded his unallotment authority. You can read the ruling here.(1 Comments)
Governor Pawlenty released a budget plan today that would cut $176 million in state aid to local governments, $211 million in health and human services programs, $13 million in K-12 Education and takes $95 million from an Iron Range economic development fund.
That comes to a total of $536 million in cuts and one-time money.
Pawlenty announced the plan after it became clear that $405 million in federal funds won't be available to plug the budget gap.
Here are the specifics (I use that term loosely) from MMB.
Gov. Pawlenty has signed a book deal. A news release with Tyndale House Publishers has agreed to publish Pawlenty's memoir in 2011.
"We are honored to publish this new book by Governor Tim Pawlenty, which will include his reflections on his life, his remarkable career, and his vision for America," said Ron Beers, Senior Vice President and Group Publisher, Tyndale in a news release.
The book is untitled at this point. Several White House watchers predicted a book would be next on Pawlenty's schedule if he was mounting a serious run. The governor has already set up a federal political action committee, has been traveling to key political states like Iowa and New Hampshire and is working to elect Republicans in 2010.
Pawlenty said he'll make a decision about a 2012 run in early 2011.(1 Comments)
Addressing his final state Republican convention as governor, Tim Pawlenty talked about reducing the scope and cost of government today (FRI). Pawlenty also took a shot at Democrats who last week endorsed Margaret Anderson Kelliher as their gubernatorial candidate at the state DFL convention in Duluth.
Pawlenty got a round of applause from Republican delegates gathered in Minneapolis when he talked about single-payer health care and the DFL gubernatorial endorsement.
"The candidate who dropped out, a couple of the prominent candidates said the reason that they threw their support behind the ultimate endorseed candidates was because she wanted to go further than Obama care and have the government adopt a single payer health care system and take over the entire health care system in Minnesota."
Republicans are set to endorse a candidate for governor at their convention today. The leading candidates are state Representatives Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert.
Here's Pawlenty's speech: Listen
Gov. Pawlenty sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius saying he'll opt out of a portion of the the health care reform bill. Pawlenty told reporters that Minnesota already has a high risk pool and the federal government isn't paying the state for the federal portion.
"Minnesota has an insurance pool for high risk individuals who can reasonably access insurance in the private market. It's working well and we think it would work better than having the federal government take it over. And the money they would provide would pay for what they want to do so we're declining."
You can read the letter he sent to Seblius here.
Gov. Pawlenty said he won't feel any nostalgia when he addresses GOP delegates tomorrow morning for the final time as governor. He said he'll focus his speech on motivating Republicans to turn out for the 2010 midterms.
"I think it will be a nice opportunity to thank them for their support over the years and to reflect a little bit of what we accomplished together during the last eight years," Pawlenty said. "I'll then talk a little bit about the campaign coming up this fall and the importance of them working hard to get a Republican elected."
When asked on Monday night if his speech will be emotional, Pawlenty said no:
"I think I had my full opportunity to do what I can for Minnesota, Pawlenty said. "We're still towards the end of a legislative session so we're working toward that but this is a year of lasts. The last governor's fishing opener. The last state of the state, the last state convention, the last Minnesota Family Council thing and so I've gotten used to the kind of, it's like the farewell tour."
Part of Pawlenty's reasoning may be because he's not done running. Since June, Pawlenty has visited 25 different states, Washington D.C. and several other countries to campaign on behalf of other Republican candidates and build the infrastructure for a possible run for the White House in 2012. Pawlenty said he won't make a decision on that until January at the earliest.
Here's a key question: Will Pawlenty feel any pressure to get involved in the endorsement battle? He said on Monday that Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert both requested meetings with him. He said he'd probably talk with them but it was unlikely he'd back a candidate.
Gov. Pawlenty is scheduled to co-chair a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event in Washington D.C. on Monday. The Chamber sent out a news release saying Pawlenty and six other governors will attend the event:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation (NCF) will host seven bipartisan governors - including Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty - to discuss our nation's most important challenge: creating jobs and reviving economic growth. The event comes as the Chamber intensifies its American Free Enterprise. Dream Big. campaign, a nationwide effort to spur the creation of 20 million jobs over the next decade, by engaging governors and releasing its Enterprising States study. Governor Pawlenty will discuss specific examples, also highlighted in the new study, of how Minnesota is playing a pivotal role in fostering the conditions for job growth through its diverse industry portfolio, a legacy of national leadership in education, a highly-skilled and productive workforce, a robust entrepreneurial spirit, and keen interest in innovation.
The other governors scheduled to attend include Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Tennessee, Delaware Governor JackMarkell, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, New Mexico, Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri, Texas Governor Rick Perry and West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin.
I'm told the event will be webcast here.
Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung says Pawlenty will leave on Sunday for the event and that the state will not be paying for the trip.
Meanwhile, Pawlenty spoke at the Milken Institute's Global Conference on Shaping the Future on Wednesday. The event was held in California.
Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and one time presidential candidate, told a group of values voters that liberty cannot exist apart from personal responsibility.
Hucakbee spoke to more than 500 people at a fundraiser for the Minnesota Family Council in Minneapolis (Here's his full speech: Listen). A large portion of his speech focused on social issues and how a nation with strong social values means lower government costs.
"Do you really want to bring the cost and the size of government down?," Huckabee asked. "Bring the level and character of the people up. And that is how it's done."
Huckabee also stressed the importance of focusing on social issues like antiabortion legislation and banning gay marriage.
In 2008, Huckabee won the Iowa Caucuses but ended up losing the party's nomination to Arizona Senator John McCain. He told reporters before the event that he didn't know if his future plans included a White House run.
"If I knew what they were I would tell you," Huckabee said of his future plans. "But right now they are to vote and help other people get elected."
Huckabee has been actively raising money for his federal political action committee. If he decides to run, he could square off against Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, someone he shared the stage with on Monday night. On Monday night, both Huckabee and Pawlenty showered praise on each other.
"I can tell you there's no finer person in public life with a better heart, a better compass setting than Mike Huckabee," Pawlenty said (Here's Pawlenty's speech: Listen).
Pawlenty said he met privately with Huckabee before the event to discuss their families and politics but declined to provide specifics of the meeting.
This is Pawlenty's final speech to the conservative Minnesota Family Council as acting governor. He received a standing ovation from the crowd after he was introduced as a governor who threatened to veto comprehensive sexual education standards and any law that allows gay marriage.
Before the event, dozens of people protested outside of the Minneapolis Hilton to speak out against Pawlenty and Huckabee. The group, which is pushing for comprehensive immigration reform, chose the site because they say Pawlenty supports policies that they believe hurts immigrant families.
Protesters, including Veronica Mendez of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice, also criticized the new immigration law passed by Arizona last week.
" The only way that they can actually use this to enforce immigration laws is by discriminating people and profiling and looking for people who look Latino and asking them for their documents," Mendez said. "And it's just promoting absolute racism, profiling and hatred."
Mendez says laws like the new measure in Arizona serve to underscore the need for comprehensive immigration reform on the federal level.
(MPR's Toni Randolph constributed to this report).
Governor Pawlenty is scheduled to give the commencement address to the 2010 graduating class at Augsburg College in Minneapolis on Saturday. The topic will be civic engagement and the role of graduates in the greater society.
College officials say Father Fernando Cardenal of Nicaragua, who has long worked to improve the literacy of the poor in his country, will receive an honorary degree.
Gov. Pawlenty is scheduled to speak to the Washington state Republican Party on Saturday night.
A look at Pawlenty's travel (that we know about) shows that his trip to Washington state means Pawlenty will have visited 25 different states since he announced in June that he wasn't running for reelection. Pawlenty, who hasn't ruled out a run for the White House, also visited Washington D.C., Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Chile, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Kuwait in that time.
You can find a map of Pawlenty's travel here.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty is taking another political trip outside the state, this time to South Carolina. On May 8 he will headline a fundraiser for Mick Mulvaney, who's running for Congress against Democratic incumbent John Spratt.
The fundraiser is on Saturday morning, so it's likely Pawlenty will have another S.C. event on Friday the 7th.
If you want to follow the governor's travels, here's a good place to start.
A week ago, Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Brian Melendez offered a preview of the state convention in Duluth, as well as his party's prospects in November.
Melendez said he was optimistic about the 2010 election, especially after eight years of Tim Pawlenty as governor.
"We're going to be able to run against Tim Pawlenty in the same way that we ran against George Bush in the last election," Melendez said. "Even though they weren't on the ballot, they leave a legacy that has hung around their party's neck, and it is not going to serve the Republicans well."
Pawlenty got his chance to respond today, telling reporters that he expects Republicans to do well this year in Minnesota and throughout the nation.
As for a legacy, Pawlenty suggested the DFL consider its own record.
"The Democrats haven't elected a governor in this state since 1986 for a reason," Pawlenty said. "The people of Minnesota don't like their agenda of tax increases, reckless government spending, lack of accountability in government, bowing excessively to interest groups like the public employee unions and on down the list. Based on their 25 year plus history of not being able to get elected here, I think they should look in the mirror. It tells them something."
Public Policy Polling released a GOP 2012 poll that shows Gov. Pawlenty trailing other GOP rivals.
The poll found that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has 39 percent support from Republicans in the state. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin received 13 percent support. Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich are tied for third at 11 percent. Ron Paul gets 7 percent support. Pawlenty received 3 percent support just above Haley Barbour and Rick Santorum.
Pawlenty has made two appearances in New Hampshire and stumped in Iowa twice. His next trip is to Washington state on Saturday.
Posted at 4:44 PM on April 19, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2008: U.S. MN CD1, Campaign 2010, Campaign 2010: Minnesota Governor, Campaign 2010: U.S. House, Pawlenty travel, Tim Pawlenty
On Saturday, Republicans in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District endorsed state Rep. Randy Demmer to challenge DFL Rep. Tim Walz.
I'm posting the speech he gave just before he was endorsed by acclamation. Listen
Republicans Marty Seifert and Tom Emmer, who are both vying for the GOP endorsement for governor, also spoke at the event.
Here's Seifert's speech: Listen
Here's Emmer's speech: Listen
Update: Gov. Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC is backing Demmer for Congress. His spokesman, Alex Conant, says the PAC will give $2400 to Demmer's campaign.(2 Comments)
Pawlenty unveiled the reforms today in a a single bill that he wants legislators to quickly pass. The bill includes alternative licensing, pay for performance and an end to tenure. The Republican governor has made similar proposals before and the DFL-controled Legislature has rejected them. The statewide teachers union Education Minnesota has also opposed many of the proposals. But Pawlenty said the reforms are needed now to strengthen Minnesota's second application for a competitive federal grant called Race to the Top.
"We believe that given the competition that we're in, the advance of the research and the consensus around these types of things being needed for education reform and improvement in our country that they are worthy of reconsideration," Pawlenty said
A joint House-Senate hearing is scheduled Tuesday to take up the Race to the Top issues. Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville, the House education finance chair, said she's been trying to convince the union to compromise. Greiling acknowledged the union's lack of support as a factor in the state's first unsuccessful grant application. Still, she was not pleased with the governor's news conference.
"To have the governor poking the union in the eye one more time, when that's when we lost most points, is not helpful at all," Greiling said.
Governor Pawlenty called for an "Economic Bill of Rights" today as he courted fiscal conservatives in Iowa. Pawlenty stuck to many of his main talking points when he spoke to the conservative Iowans for Tax Relief and reiterated his concern that the federal deficit is skyrocketing. He said his so-called Economic Bill of Rights would require a federal balanced budget and line-item veto authority for the President of the United States.
"As a governor who holds the single season record with the most vetoes ever issued in the history state of Minnesota," Pawlenty said. "I have a particular appreciation for the power of the line-item veto. I also think we should have a Congress be required to have a super majority before they can either raise taxes or raise the debt ceiling in this country."
Pawlenty also touted his record of keeping taxes low during his time as governor. (Full speech here: Listen).
DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez told reporters before Pawlenty's speech that Pawlenty shouldn't be touting his economic philosophy.
"We are struggling with massively and historic high budget deficits," Melendez said. "We are struggling with high levels of unemployment. Whatever Tim Pawlenty's economic strategy has been, if he claims to have one, it's been a failure."
This is Pawlenty's second trip to Iowa since he announced last June that he wasn't seeking a third term as governor. He hasn't ruled out a run for president and has been travelling the country to raise his profile and help elect Republicans to Congress. His next publicly known out of state trip is next week. He's scheduled to keynote the Washington State GOP Dinner on April 24th.
(Thanks to Iowa Public Radio's Joyce Russell for supplying the audio)
Update: FDR offered an Economic Bill of Rights in the 1940s.
We reported yesterday that Gov. Pawlenty released his 2010 PAC report for the first quarter of the year. Today, we broke down the contributions by state.
As AP reported yesterday, Minnesotans have given a bulk of the funds.
One interesting aspect is that Pawlenty is lagging in donations from several key primary and caucus states. He received $2,000 from Iowa and no funds from New Hampshire or South Carolina. Here's the snapshot:
New York $16,500.00
New Jersey $7,500.00
South Dakota $7,000.00
Florida $5,561.00 (in-kind contribution)
Washington DC $5,250.00
North Dakota $5,250.00
North Carolina $1,500.00
Nevada $1,080.00 (in-kind contribution)
Washington DC $740.00 (in-kind contribution)
Minnesota $500.00 (in-kind contribution)
Minnesota $250.00 (conduit contribution)
(Thanks to MPR's Bill Wareham for crunching the data).
Gov. Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC filed their fundraising report with the Federal Elections Commission. His PAC already disclosed that he raised $567 thousand dollars, but today's report reveals more specifics on who gave him money, which candidates received PAC money and what the PAC is spending money on.
The report shows that Faegre and Benson's PAC, Mid American Energy's PAC and Unisys PAC all gave money to the Freedom First PAC. We also learned that the CEO of Pawn America (Bradley Rixmann) and John McCain's point man on vetting his 2008 running mate (Arthur Culvahouse) also donated to Pawlenty's PAC. Side note: Culvahouse didn't give to Sarah Palin's PAC.
On the spending side, Pawlenty spent more than $40,000 on travel related expenses (airfare, hotels, etc.).
His PAC gave $29,000 to several candidates including Arizona Sen. John McCain's Senate campaign, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley's Senate campaign (Iowa), Roy Blunt's Senate campaign (Missouri) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
When asked today why the PAC spent more on travel than on other candidates, Pawlenty said the PAC shouldn't be measured by how much is given to other candidates.
"If you look at the history of PACs and the percentage of money they give to other candidates versus other activities, it's within the range of what PACs normally do and always do. But I don't want you to be misled to think that the only thing that the PAC is intended to is give money to other candidates. That's part of it and we're committed to that but with the new media, the social media, the ability to reach audiences whether that be through speeches and op-eds. That's a big part of it as well..."
You can read Pawlenty's full report here.(1 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty is scheduled to give speeches in three different states over the next three days. On Thursday night, he'll give a speech to the Minnesota Young Republicans. He's scheduled to be the keynote speaker to the group's 2010 Annual Convention and Dinner. His spokesman, Brian McClung, will introduce him.
Pawlenty said earlier today that he won't attend the Tax Day Tea Party event at the State Capitol.
On Friday night, Pawlenty will give a speech in Chicago, IL.
On Saturday, he's in Des Moines, IA.
Pawlenty is also scheduled to appear on Iowa's WHO Radio at 10:07AM on Friday.
Gov. Pawlenty appeared on a Chicago talk radio show this morning where he primarily discussed the new federal health law and its impact on the states. It didn't produce any newsworthy moments, however. You can listen to the interview here.
Pawlenty is scheduled to speak in Chicago on Friday night.
Former Senator Mark Dayton, a DFL candidate for governor, says he wants Gov. Pawlenty to reapply for a key federal education grant.
Dayton is also calling on the Republican governor to stop blaming others for the failure of state's initial application. Pawlenty wants the legislature to pass a package of school reforms, including alternative teacher licensing, before making a second application for money under the federal "Race to the Top" initiative. He's often said the state teachers union is the main hurdle to those reforms. During a Capitol news conference today, Dayton said Pawlenty should work with teachers, not against them.
"Unfortunately, Gov. Pawlenty shows every sign that he's more interested in political blame games and wooing support for his presidential aspirations from anti-public school right-wing zealots than he is with improving the quality of Minnesota's public education," Dayton said. "That must end."
Dayton said his position was not aimed at winning favor with the teachers union. Education Minnesota has not yet endorsed a candidate for governor.
Gov. Pawlenty is scheduled to meet this afternoon with legislative leaders to discuss Race to the Top and other issues.
Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung issued the following statement in response to Dayton:
Apparently Mark Dayton didn't read the actual Race to the Top reviews. They point out that important reforms, including alternative teacher licensing and improved teacher preparation, would have improved our application. These and other key reforms have been frequently proposed by Governor Pawlenty but have been stopped by the teachers union and their DFL allies every time. Minnesota finished 20th in the first round. It would be pointless to resubmit our application without first passing needed education reforms. This issue is not a Republican governor versus the teachers union issue. The Race to the Top criteria has been established by the Obama Administration and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. It's time for DFLers to stop making excuses and start passing these important, widely-supported bipartisan education reforms.(1 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung says Pawlenty filled out his Census form over the weekend. Pawlenty made news on Friday when he said he missed the deadline to submit the paperwork. AP reported at the time that he was one of only a few governors not to send it in in a timely manner.
McClung didn't respond to a follow up e-mail that asked if Pawlenty sent in the form.
McClung said the governor did put the form in the mail.
Gov. Pawlenty's political spokesman, Alex Conant says Pawlenty is in New York City today for "PAC meetings." He didn't offer any other details except to say he'll return Tuesday morning.
Pawlenty will also be out of the state later this week.
He's scheduled to be in Chicago, Illinois on Friday night to speak to the The Lake County Republican Federation. On Saturday, he's scheduled to speak to the Iowa Taxpayers' Day event in Des Moines, Iowa.
Gov. Pawlenty has some work to do if he hopes to gain traction among Republicans in the southern states in 2012.
The Southern Republican Leadership Conference held a 2012 straw poll this weekend and Pawlenty finished seventh among a group of nine candidates. He received support from 3 percent of those polled.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney edged Texas Congressman Ron Paul for first place with 24 percent support. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was third followed by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Pawlenty, who canceled his appearance at the New Orleans event because he wanted to attend today's troop ceremony in Minnesota, finished four votes behind Indiana Congressman Mike Pence.
Pawlenty also didn't fare well when respondents were asked for their second choice in 2012. He finished sixth among the same pool of candidates.
You can find the full poll results here.(1 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC reports raised $566,000 in the first 3 months of 2010. Pawlenty released the figures by news release. We won't get the specifics until the report is filed with the FEC. The deadline is April 15th.
Here's the full release:
ST. PAUL, Minnesota - Governor Tim Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC announced today that it raised over $1.84 million in its first six months, including over $566,000 in the first quarter of 2010. The funds are being used to spread the Governor's common-sense message and elect conservative candidates in 2010.
"President Obama and Congressional Democrats are taking our country in the wrong direction and Americans have had enough," said Governor Tim Pawlenty. "We need to put freedom first again in America, and stop the out-of-control spending in Washington. The early support for our organization will help us elect candidates who can rein in Washington and renew the promise of freedom."
Since the beginning of the year, the majority of Governor Pawlenty's political activity has been on behalf of other candidates, state parties, and the RGA. In the last three months, he's attended fund raisers and events to help Republicans in more than half a dozen different states, including Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Texas.
In a report to be filed with the Federal Election Commission next week, the Freedom First PAC will report that it received nearly 2,000 new donations in the first quarter of 2010 and began April with over $911,000 on hand.
"We're very pleased with another strong quarter for the PAC," said Phil Musser, senior advisor for the Freedom First PAC. "Between his work for the RGA, the PAC, and the many events for state parties, Tim Pawlenty is moving the needle in terms of helping Republicans prepare to win this fall."
Two Republicans who could be on a collision course for the Republican nomination for president in 2012 stood on the same stage in Bloomington on Friday night.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spoke to a group of 500 donors to the conservative group, the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota. Both Romney and Pawlenty appear to be ramping up campaigns for president, and both criticized President Obama's economic and foreign policies. Romney said he's worried those policies run counter to the history of the country.
"Everyone in the world, who sought opportunity, who wanted to be a pioneer, came here to this country," Romney said. "That's who we are. What worries me right now is that Washington today, more than I've seen in my lifetime. In fact, Washington over a large period of time is smothering the spirit of America." (Listen to Romney's speech here: Listen)
Pawlenty and Romney both heaped praise on each other during the event despite the possibility of becoming opponents in 2012. Pawlenty, who left before Romney gave his speech, said he and Romney shared ideas when the two were governors of their respective states between 2003 and 2007.
"He is a wise leader," Pawlenty said. "He is a smart leader. He is an effective leader. He has served our state and nation really well." (Listen to Pawlenty's speech here: Listen)
Romney, who is in Minnesota signing his book "No Apology: The case for American Greatness," and Pawlenty have been crisscrossing the nation endorsing candidates and speaking to Republican groups fueling speculation that they want to be the party's nominee in 2012. Neither has announced his intentions.
The fundraiser comes at a time when another high profile Republican gathering is underway in New Orleans. Several other well known Republican candidates, including former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, are speaking at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
Former Republican Congressman Vin Weber, who co-chairs Pawlenty's federal political action committee and advised Romney's 2008 presidential campaign, joked that the national media shouldn't be watching New Orleans so closely.
"They're talking about it as a preview of perhaps the next presidential election," Weber said. "My only comment is that they have the right river but they might be at the wrong end."
Romney declined to attend the Southern Republican Leadership Conference this year. Pawlenty was scheduled to speak but canceled his appearance in order to attend a troop ceremony in Minnesota. He's scheduled to speak to the New Orleans meeting by video.
Democratic National Committee spokesman Frank Benenati predicts that Romney and Pawlenty's praise for each other will be short lived. He said Pawlenty has taken jabs at Romney for backing a health care plan that is similar to a federal plan recently signed into law by President Obama.
"On the stage, they'll act like they've been friends from grade school but behind the scenes it will be a different story," Benenati said.
The fundraiser caps off a busy week for Republicans in Minnesota. On Wednesday, 11,000 people attended a Minneapolis rally for Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Posted at 5:06 PM on April 9, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Governor Tim Pawlenty said on his radio show this morning that he didn't fill out his census form yet.
"It's sitting on my desk in Eagan. I threw it to the side. And I'm going to fill it out in a timely manner, but I live in two places."
The completed forms were due more than a week ago, although they're still being accepted. The Associated Press checked with governors from other states to see if they filled out the forms. At least two other governors didn't fill out the form. Maryland's governor hasn't but plans to fill it out. Wyoming's governor hasn't received the form in the mail yet.
You can read the full story here.
If the Vikings stadium issue is heating up, then why are so many folks playing it cool? It was hard to feel much warmth at the Capitol today and even harder to get folks to talk about the subject. But a few key lawmakers did, and here are some of their comments:
"We've had discussions, informal discussions, with the Vikings and others but we haven't been in contact with them about a specific proposal." -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty(1 Comments)
"We don't even have a draft of any kind of legislation. We've just talked about some potential new revenue streams that are really user related, Vikings-fans related, that we think can build an open air stadium." -- Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook
"I think it has to be absolutely revenue neutral from the state's standpoint. And I think it has to be based on folks who are actually going to the games versus just normal taxpayers out buying goods and services and paying sales tax that's going to fund the stadium." -- House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove
"We've had some very preliminary discussions with the Vikings on it. But the first concentration has to be the budget." -- Rep. Loren Solberg, DFL-Grand Rapids
Gov. Pawlenty issued a proclamation for the month of April as "Abortion Recovery Month." The proclamation says:
Whereas: Abortion recovery programs help individuals heal by providing counseling, support groups, encouragement; and
Whereas: Abortion Recovery Month encourages and promotes healing opportunities and raises awareness of the aftermath of abortion experienced by individuals and families.
Pawlenty isn't the only governor to issue a proclamation. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, also issued a similar proclamation.
Here's the audio from a few of today's speeches.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann: Listen
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: Listen
Governor Tim Pawlenty: Listen
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum and DFL Rep. Keith Ellison: Listen
Apparently there's nothing like a Michele Bachmann-Sarah Palin get-together to fire up people on both sides of the political debate.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is scheduled to attend Bachmann and Palin's rally in Minneapolis this afternoon, is defending the 6th District GOP congresswoman and trying to raise a little money for his federal PAC.
He sent out this e-mail:
Michele Bachmann is under attack from extreme liberal activists for standing up for her Constitutional conservative principles. Michele has a proven record of promoting free markets, questioning the encroachment of the federal government, and refusing to accept that government officials in Washington should make decisions for everyday Americans.
I founded Freedom First PAC in order to support candidates who will promote these conservative principles to ensure a strong America for future generations. Michele Bachmann is one of these proven conservative candidates.
DFL U.S. Reps Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum will be at a noontime rally at the Capitol sponsored by the AFL-CIO to counter Bachmann's events. As we noted here earlier this week Ellison is also trying to raise campaign money around the Palin visit.
Bachmann's potential November opponents are also taking note of Palin's visit. Maureen Reed, who intends to run in the DFL primary in August, let her campaign manager do the talking:
"Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann's 'let them eat cake' mentality is just out of touch with the district and does not serve the interests of the people," Jason Isaacson, Campaign Manager for the Reed Campaign said.
"Assembled in Minneapolis today are two of the authors of many of the worst deceptions from the past year's health care debate. Not only are they unrepentant, but they have been emboldened by the national coverage and the year of delays before comprehensive health care reform was past."
And state Sen. Tarryl Clark, who won the DFL endorsement to run against Bachmann, spent some time in Stillwater this morning to note that Bachmann has been spending a lot of time outside the 6th District. Here's part of what her campaign said:
While Clark works for the people of the 6th District, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann continues to pursue her own agenda - at the expense of the people she was elected to represent. Instead of working for her constituents, Michele Bachmann will take the stage in Minneapolis for a rally and big-ticket fundraiser with her friend Sarah Palin.
This rounds out a Congressional recess which Bachmann has spent traveling the state and the nation - with stops in Iowa, Florida, and Duluth, Moorhead and Rochester, Minnesota - promoting her own personal agenda while virtually ignoring her District and the constituents she represents.(1 Comments)
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson says after reviewing the new federal health care law she will not join more than a dozen other states in challenging the law in court.
In a letter to Gov. Tim Pawlenty Swanson says her review determined a lawsuit is unwarranted, and that the Supreme Court is unlikely to overturn the law on constituional grounds.
Pawlenty and GOP state lawmakers have urged Swanson, a Democrat, to sue. Not only is Swanson refusing, but also she says she will file a friend of the court brief in support of the law.
She says the governor and others are free to file their own briefs in opposition.
Here is Swanson's letter.
If you're really looking ahead to the 2012 presidential election keep your eyes Minnesota this week.
Three oft-mentioned GOP possible presidential candidates will be here (counting Gov. Tim Pawlenty). On Wednesday, Sarah Palin will appear at a campaign rally in Minneapolis with Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. and Pawlenty. She will also hold a private fundraiser for Bachmann's re-election campaign. Palin was the Republican nominee for vice-president in 2008. She resigned as governor of Alaska last summer.
On Friday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will sign his autobiography in Bloomington. Romney and Pawlenty will also give speeches to the conservative Freedom Foundation Of Minnesota.
They're choosing to appear here instead of in New Orleans at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference which runs Thursday through Sunday. Pawlenty was orginally scheduled to speak there on Saturday, but he cancelled to attend a welcome home celebration for Minnesota troops instead. The agenda now lists him addressing the conference by video. Palin is scheduled to speak at the conference.
Palin, Romney and Pawlenty are all widely considered to be potential Republican candidates for president in 2012. None of them has said whether they're running.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty will lead a trade mission to China and Japan in September.
Pawlenty said on his weekly radio program this morning
that he will announce details this afternoon, but that the trip is designed to boost Minnesota exports.
He said it's a great opportunity for Minnesota businesses to learn more about exporting their products.
Anticipating criticism over the cost of the trip Pawlenty noted that the business people going will pay their own way, and he said his travel costs will not come from the state's general fund.
Here's the press release:
Saint Paul - Governor Tim Pawlenty will lead a trade mission to China and Japan this fall to help Minnesota companies increase exports, build strategic relationships, and explore new business opportunities.
The mission takes place September 9-18 and includes stops in Shanghai and Beijing, China and Tokyo and Osaka, Japan for meetings with business leaders and government officials, presentations by market and industry leaders, networking activities and business site visits. The delegation will also travel to Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province. Minnesota has had a sister-state agreement with Shaanxi Province since 1982.
The economies of Japan and China rank second and third, respectively, behind the United States as the largest national economies in the world.
"China and Japan have dynamic economies that provide significant opportunities for Minnesota businesses interested in increasing their exports," Governor Pawlenty said. "We're looking forward to building on the relationships established through the Minnesota-China Partnership and making new connections in Japan."
The Minnesota-China Partnership, announced by Governor Pawlenty in 2005, engages public and private organizations throughout the state to promote trade and investment, science and academia, arts and culture, and friendship and humanitarian endeavors.
"China and Japan are important marketplaces for Minnesota companies," said Ed Dieter, Minnesota Trade Office acting director. "Japan has long offered excellent markets for Minnesota products, and any company doing business internationally should consider China's tremendous and continuing growth."
China buys more Minnesota manufactured goods than any country after Canada, importing more than $1 billion of Minnesota products every year since 2005. Top exports to China include machinery, including electrical machinery, medical instruments and plastics.
Japan also offers a wide variety of opportunities. Minnesota's most important exports to Japan include medical instruments, electrical and other machinery, food, grain and other agricultural commodities.
In the fourth quarter of 2009, Minnesota exports increased to four of our state's top ten trading markets, including China ($363 million, up 19 percent) and Japan ($226 million, up 6 percent). Korea ($129 million, up 20 percent) and Australia ($112 million, up 31 percent) were the other two markets in the top ten that showed an increase.
The trade mission is being coordinated by the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO). Those interested in applying to join the trade delegation should contact Li King Feng, 651-259-7484 or email@example.com, or Jennifer Kocs, 651-259-7488 or firstname.lastname@example.org. MTO is focused on increasing state export sales in foreign markets. MTO promotes international trade by providing export information, export education and training, and counseling to Minnesota companies that wish to sell goods and services in the international marketplace. More information is online at www.exportminnesota.com.
Governor Pawlenty has led previous trade missions to Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, India, Israel and Poland. Delegation members pay their own expenses. Expenses incurred by the Governor's office for this trade mission will be paid from trade mission participant funds, not taxpayer funds.
Vice President Joe Biden recently taught us that open microphones can catch some entertaining, off-hand comments.
One such catch came today at the State Capitol just before a bill signing ceremony. This time no bleeping was required.
When Gov. Tim Pawlenty entered the reception room, he greeted about a dozen legislators and other dignitaries who were assembled for the event. State Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, was standing near the podium and the microphone, when she shook hands with the well-traveled governor. Listen
"Welcome back to Minnesota," Ortman said. "It's good to have you here."
The measure creates new tax breaks for investments in small businesses, historic structures, energy improvements and research and development. There are also provisions designed to get a Mall of America expansion underway and to keep the St. Paul Ford plant open. During a signing ceremony today), Pawlenty said Minnesota's quality of life depends on the availability of jobs.
"We need to be doing those things that encourage more job growth, businesses starting in our state, more economic activity and investment in our state, Pawlenty said. "And this bill takes a very significant and important step forward in that regard."
The Republican governor said he also signed a supplemental budget bill that erases about a third of the nearly $1 billion deficit. Legislators passed both bills Monday before taking a weeklong holiday break.
Pawlenty offered an upbeat assessment of the session.
"I think it represents good work, good progress and pretty good relations so far," Pawlenty said.
Governor Pawlenty has scheduled a bill signing ceremony today for a so-called "jobs bill" that is aimed at spurring economic development in Minnesota. The proposal includes a measure that gives tax breaks to people who invest in promising business ideas, for research and development and a measure aimed at keeping the Ford Plant in St. Paul. It would also allow for the expansion of the Mall of America, historic building renovation and other projects.
Pawlenty's office says he governor will be joined by bill co-author DFL Rep. Ann Lenczewski, St. Paul City Councilmember Pat Harris, Local UAW President Ronda Danielson, David Minkkinen of the Minnesota High Tech Association, Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council President Harry Melander, venture capital investors, and others.
The proposal will be paid for by the elimination of a $30 million program originally designed to help poor Minnesotans afford gasoline tax increases.
Gov. Pawlenty hosted a "Facebook Townhall" tonight that attracted roughly 1,000 viewers. At the start of the event, Pawlenty gave his standard stump speech that included concerns about the direction of the federal government and a call for folks to consider themselves "constitutional conservatives" first.
Pawlenty also announced that his federal political action committee will support seven candidates for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House:
Tim Burns, running for Congress in Pennsylvania's 12th District
Robert Dold, running for Congress in Illinois' 10th District
Sean Duffy, running for Congress in Wisconsin's 7th District
Charles Djou, running for Congress in Hawaii's 1st District
Pat Meehan, running for Congress in Pennsylvania's 7th District
Gov. John Hoeven, running for U.S. Senate in North Dakota
Pat Toomey, running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.
One race Pawlenty hasn't endorsed in is Minnesota's race for governor. When asked, Pawlenty said he wasn't backing a candidate at this time and may wait until after the endorsing convention on April 30th.
The event should be considered a success since it received plenty of buzz from the national press (the Washington Post, MSNBC and Fox all wrote about it or interviewed Pawlenty) but it did have a few hiccups. The feed dropped out twice on my end and several others complained that the audio or video dropped out.
The event was also featured at the end of the 1st quarter of 2010. Pawlenty's PAC will have to report their fundraising totals on April 15th.
Posted at 8:10 PM on March 30, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC is ramping up in the days leading the next campaign finance deadline. Earlier today, Pawlenty announced in an e-mail that his PAC will support Republican Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race:
It will be 8 months until Republicans and conservatives all over our country are elected and take back this country for freedom and correct the mistakes of this administration and Congress...with our help.
For my part, through this Freedom First PAC, we will support candidates who will be integral to Republican majorities in the House and Senate like Rob Portman in Ohio and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. This organization depends on contributions from those who share our mission: you.
The e-mail then directs readers to give to the PAC.
Pawlenty also appeared on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown and will appear on Fox's Greta tonight.
The governor, who appears to be ramping up for a presidential run in 2012, is also hosting a "Facebook townhall" meeting tomorrow night to announce endorsements and take questions.
All of these efforts are geared at getting Pawlenty's name in front of as many voters, particularly key Republican voters, but it also appears to be financially savvy. That's because tomorrow night is the deadline to close the books for the first quarter of 2010. Pawlenty's PAC will have to report its fundraising totals on April 15th.
Gov. Pawlenty is scheduled to speak at the Chairman's Reception at the Republican Party of Wisconsin State Convention on Friday, May 21, 2010.
"The Republican Party of Wisconsin State Convention is going to be an opportunity for conservatives to come together and kick off an outstanding campaign season," Wisconsin Republican Party Chair Reince Priebus said in a news release. "I can't think of two better Republicans than Governor Pawlenty and Congressman Ryan to get participants motivated to actively spread our message of common-sense conservative solutions and fiscal restraint."
The trip will come after the legislative session is over. The constitutional deadline for the Legislature to adjourn is May 17th.
Pawlenty also appeared on NBC this morning. He talked about his recent criticism of Massachusetts health care plan, the RNC spending issue and his Facebook townhall that will feature "endorsements."
Gov. Pawlenty decided against taking an open shot at Mitt Romney during last week's appearance on Good Morning America. Instead, Pawlenty decided to rip the possible 2012 foe during an appearance in New Hampshire. Pawlenty didn't openly take a shot at Romney but it was clear who he was targeting when he criticized the Massachusetts health plan to the Nashua Telegraph.. Romney signed the universal health plan into law when he was governor of Massachusetts.
Here's part of Pawlenty's interview regarding the Massachusetts law:
"The plan is dramatically propped up by federal money," he said. "Take that away and there would be dire economic consequences.
"Looking at the Massachusetts experience, it would not be one I would want for the country to follow any further.''
Pawlenty has criticized the Massachusetts model before but this is the first time he's done it since President Obama signed the health care overhaul into law last week. The topic could be a dicey one for Romney since he signed the Massachusetts model into law but is calling for the repeal of a federal law that is similar.
One side note, Pawlenty is critical of the plan being propped up by federal money but fails to mention that he relied heavily on federal stimulus money to balance the current budget. In 2009, he used $2.1 billion to help balance the state's budget.
He's also relying on a $408,000,000 extension in stimulus money to erase the current budget deficit. Congress has yet to pass that extension.
Update: Pawlenty will hold a "Facebook Townhall" on Wednesday night.
I'm told Pawlenty will appear via webcam and answer unedited questions from Facebook users via instant messaging technology.(1 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty was in New Hampshire yesterday fueling even more speculation that he's going to make a run for the White House in 2012. MPR's Mark Zdechlik reports that Manchester, NH Mayor Ted Gatsas relayed his take away from an earlier meeting with Pawlenty about presidential politics.
"Pawlenty makes no secrets about it, he's testing the presidential waters," Gatsas said. "During our conversation it was clear that he was thinking about this because he loves his country and the he believes in a blueprint that our founding fathers laid out. And that's very refreshing."
That is a dramatic difference than Pawlenty's canned "I don't know what my future holds" comment.
So which is it? Is he testing the waters or isn't sure. MPR interviewed Pawlenty this morning and he reverted back to his canned response:
"I haven't made a decision about my future plans," Pawlenty said. "I have a day job and need to finish out my job as governor and make sure we do that right."
He added he won't decide about his future until "sometime next year."
H/T MPR's Tim Nelson for getting the audio.(2 Comments)
As I was walking into work today I noticed Greece's national flag was flying on a pole above the State Capitol. It piqued my interest because the flag was flying where the POW/MIA flag is usually placed. Old Glory and Minnesota's State flag are still flying in their spots.
Jim Schwartz with the Department of Administration said today is Greece's Independence Day and a group requested that the national flag fly over the State Capitol. He said the flag has been flying over the Capitol on March 25th for "many years."
Schwartz also said anyone can make a request to fly a national flag above the Capitol but it has to be approved by the Capitol Grounds Director. He couldn't say how many other national flags have flown above the Capitol in the past year.
Perhaps state lawmakers and Gov. Pawlenty (who is in New Hampshire today) could use the Greek flag for inspiration. As many of you know, Greece's economy isn't doing so well right now because of a debt crisis.
Update: Other flags that have flown over the State Capitol include Norway, Sweden, the United Nations, Red Cross and Minnesota Wild.
Gov. Pawlenty and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann spoke to a closed press fundraiser for the anti-abortion group, Susan B. Anthony List. While the event was closed press, Politico was able to hear the speeches and there was plenty of red meat thrown around.
The news outlet reports that Pawlenty said President Obama and the Democratic controlled Congress is "being more hostile and challenging the pro-life position and values than any time since Roe V. Wade:
"We don't honor the Constitution when we elevate a vague idea that is the right to privacy over the right to life," Pawlenty said, going on to urge the assembled donors to re-arm for a renewed fight over abortion.
"We have to realize that this is not just about the tactics," he said. "The laws and the court decisions and the like will change when hearts are changed and minds are changed."
(Side note: Obama signed an executive order today that is designed to ensure no federal money can be used for elective abortions under the nation's new health care law. Several groups that support legalized abortion criticized the move.)
Meanwhile, Bachmann reportedly told the audience that she may have been clairvoyant when she called President Obama "anti-American."
Bachmann also said that her controversial remarks of more than a year ago - in which she called Obama "anti-American" and suggested members of Congress be investigated for "anti-American activities" - have proven prophetic.(1 Comments)
"I said I had very serious concerns that Barack Obama had anti-American views," she said. "And now I look like Nostradamus."
The Minnesota House passed a bill that would restore funding for General Assistance Medical Care, a state subsidized health insurance program for the poor. The bill passed 121-12.
The 12 no votes were all DFLers:
Andrew Falk, Tim Faust, Gail Kulick Jackson, Al Juhnke, Tina Liebling, Paul Marquart, Kim Norton, Jeanne Poppe, Roger Reinert, Tom Rukavina, Linda Slocum and Paul Thissen.
You can read more about the GAMC debate and whether Gov. Pawlenty is willing to accept federal funds from the newly enacted federal health care law by clicking on this story.
Gov. Pawlenty has cancelled his trip to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in April. Pawlenty was scheduled to speak to the group on April 10th. Alex Conant, a spokesman for Pawlenty's Freedom First federal political action committee, said Pawlenty cancelled the event because the Red Bulls 34th Infantry Division will hold a ceremony to celebrate the return of troops from Iraq on the same day.
Gov. Pawlenty will be in Washington D.C. tonight to speak to the Susan B. Anthony List. He's scheduled to speak in New Hampshire tomorrow.
His next major out of state trip will be Iowa on April 17th.
Gov. Pawlenty sent a letter to Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson requesting she review the legality of the federal health care bill.
Several Republican state attorneys general have said that they will file lawsuits blocking the implementation of the federal health care bill. Pawlenty, wants Swanson, a Democrat, to also consider a lawsuit.
Specifically, Pawlenty raised questions over the legality of requiring individuals to buy health insurance:
"The legislation passed by Congress requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a fine. Such a sweeping federal mandate has never before been enacted," Pawlenty wrote.
I called Swanson's office but haven't head back yet. Swanson's spokesman Ben Wogsland didn't call me back but issued a brief statement:
The legislation in question still has to be signed by the President and reconciliation has yet to be passed by the Senate. The individual mandate does not go into effect until 2014. Our Office has not yet read and analyzed the 2,400 page bill that passed the House yesterday. The Attorney General's Office operates in the legal arena and we are not going to make any legal comments until we have had the opportunity to review the 2,400 page bill.
Update: One important point - Pawlenty is making this as a request and can't compel Swanson to take action since the two are separately elected constitutional officers
MPR talked with several constitutional lawyers in January to see whether the mandate is unconstitutional. You can read that story here.(12 Comments)
Posted at 10:57 PM on March 21, 2010
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2010, Campaign 2010: Minnesota Governor, Campaign 2010: U.S. House, MN Legislature, Tim Pawlenty, U.S. House, U.S. Senate
Minnesota's Congressional delegation, Gov. Pawlenty and others are weighing in today on the House passage of the health care overhaul bill. Here's how Minnesota's delegation voted.
Here are the written statements:
DFL Rep. Tim Walz:
"Middle class families in southern Minnesota want to visit their doctor and get the care they need without insurance company or government control. They want hassle free coverage they can count on and they want peace of mind knowing that if they get sick, they will not have to worry about insurance companies dropping them.
For the past three years, I have traveled around southern Minnesota hearing from folks about how we can improve our health care system. Those who have shared their stories with me are honest, hard working people. They do not want a handout or special treatment. They just want a fair deal. One of those folks is Sheila Wieser. When Sheila's son, Michael, got sick with a rare liver disease, she just wanted to be able to get him the care he needed to get well. Michael was kicked off his parents insurance when he graduated college and because he had a pre-existing condition, no insurance company would give him coverage. By the time Sheila was able to get Michael any help at all, his disease was too advanced and he died. No mother should ever have to experience that and if this legislation had been passed years ago, Michael might still be with us today.
I also voted for this legislation because it is the fiscally responsible thing to do. Since first coming to Congress, I have actively worked to find ways to reduce the skyrocketing, long-term federal debt. Let me be clear: We cannot tackle our debt without addressing the out of control cost of health care and we cannot rebuild a strong, vibrant economy while businesses are strangled financially and forced to choose between cutting salaries or health insurance for their employees. I cannot in good conscience pass on a skyrocketing debt and a broken health care system for our children and our grandchildren to deal with, they deserve better than kicking the can down the road for another day.
I am particularly proud of the pay for results provisions we fought for in this legislation. This is a patient-centered provision that is about using a market-based, business solution to provide high quality, low cost health care. Every single day, Mayo Clinic is an example of how health care should be practiced in this country and I was proud of our efforts to ensure that doctors are paid for the quality of care that you get and not just the number of treatments and procedures you go through.
This legislation is not perfect. I have often said health care reform is a journey, not a destination. As we move forward, I will work closely with doctors, nurses, hospital, employers, small businesses and southern Minnesotans to ensure that this legislation is implemented in a fair, common sense way."
GOP Rep. John Kline:
With these votes, Congress has failed its most fundamental responsibility of representing the American people. Citizens descended on the U.S. Capitol this weekend to implore their elected officials to reject this legislation - yet their voices were ignored. Governors are lining up to challenge the mandates that will be imposed on the citizens of their states - yet their pleas have gone unheard. Republicans and Democrats alike stood up to vote no - yet backroom deals and a thirst for government control won the day.
"Time and time again, Republicans called on the majority to scrap this government takeover of health care and student lending and embrace commonsense, bipartisan reforms. And each time, majority leadership rejected our offers and stubbornly insisted on their own partisan plan. Today will go down in history as a day when the balance of power shifted away from the people and their voices were silenced. The American people will not forget the way these votes were cast.
"Today's votes were a loss for the American people, but the battle is far from over. We must now begin working to undo the government takeover of health care and replace it with meaningful reforms that will finally bring down health care costs."
# # #
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen:
"Today, the House of Representatives narrowly approved a costly, partisan bill the American people have said loud and clear they do not want. My constituents, by a margin of over three-to-one, have said they do not like this plan -- and with good reason.
This bill represents a major expansion of the federal government's role in health care. It creates new entitlement spending of nearly $1 trillion, slashes over $500 billion from Medicare in order to spend it elsewhere, allows the IRS to impose new fines on Americans who don't purchase 'acceptable' coverage, fails to protect veterans' care and imposes a new $20 billion tax on life-saving medical technology innovations.
Amazingly, this bill also does not adequately address the fundamental problem of rising health care costs for individuals, families and small businesses. Instead, premiums are likely to continue rising under this plan, while new taxes and penalties will make it even harder for small businesses to create jobs. This is the exact wrong approach.
There is no question we can and should reform health care. But doing so with a massive government expansion that will burden future generations - all without fundamentally addressing the number one problem of rising costs - is both reckless and wrong. The American people need and deserve better."
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison:
"For me, this legislation represents progress toward universal health care for all Americans," Ellison stated. "Every landmark piece of legislation had a beginning. Women's rights did not end with the 19st Amendment; Civil Rights did not end with the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; Social Security enacted in 1935, and Medicare in 1965, did not begin as we know them today. So too is it with this health care reform bill. It is a beginning - and an important one," Ellison said
"When 40,500 uninsured Fifth District residents have health care coverage - that is change. When 9,700 Fifth District residents with pre-existing conditions are no longer denied coverage - that is change. When 57,000 Fifth District young adults can obtain coverage on their parents' insurance plans - that is change. When insurance coverage for 358,000 Fifth District residents is improved - that is change, and when the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers is reduced by $101 million - that is positive change." the Congressman stated.
"I have long been an ardent advocate of the single payer health care system and a robust public option, however I wholeheartedly support this bill as a foundation. And when thirty-two million more Americans have health insurance it is a good beginning. At the same time, when $1.3 trillion in deficit spending (accumulated over the past eight years) is reduced, it is a good start."
"I look forward to enthusiastically casting my yes vote for this historic beginning in American health care," Ellison concluded. ###
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann:
"On August 13, 1800, Thomas Jefferson wrote the following:
"'Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance, and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstance of distance, be unable to administer and overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens, and the same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite the public agents to corruption, plunder and waste. And I do verily believe, that if the principle were to prevail, of a common law being in force in the United States..., it would become the most corrupt government on the earth...What an augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculation, plundering, office-building, and office-hunting would be produced by an assumption of all the State powers into the hands of the General Government.'
"Poignant words, and as our federal government expands its grip over one-sixth of our nation's economy with the passing of this legislation, maybe now President Obama and Speaker Pelosi will finally take the time to find out what's in it.
"This past year, the President and Democratic leaders in Congress gathered in back rooms away from the American people and twisted arms to get just enough votes through deals and handouts to pass their legislation. They broke promises of open debate and transparency, and instead of working with Republicans and implementing common sense reforms that wouldn't break the bank, they went it alone and spent more money we just don't have.
"Future generations will pay the price for our government's arrogance and recklessness, and the American people won't ever forget the irresponsible actions of this Administration and Congress. After all, government answers to the people, not the other way around, and the fight for the soul of this nation continues on."
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar:
"I have evaluated the issues of health care for 35 years and very intensively for this past year as Congress has worked on the major reform legislation. The fine points of this health care bill have now been defined, and in my judgment, the balance of benefits are in favor of this bill. That will benefit the people of the 8th congressional district and the American people.
This bill will assure that no one's current health care can be dropped. No one will be forced out of their health care they now hold. No one will be denied because of a previously existing condition. No one can have their health insurance dropped because of lifetime caps or be denied when they need their health insurance the most. People will be able to retain health insurance if they change jobs.
For seniors, the legislation closes the doughnut hole that has existed for five years, which will save seniors thousands of dollars in prescription drug costs. Young adults will be able to stay on their parents' policy until age 26.
This bill represents a massive step forward in quality health care for the people of the 8th congressional district. Included in this legislation is a major improvement in the Medicare reimbursement formula. The longstanding geographic disparity in Medicare has severely disadvantaged Northland health care providers, and the reimbursement gap will be closed as we move toward payment parity with the rest of the country.
Regarding the lingering issue of abortion, I am confident that abortion will not be funded in this legislation. Current law dating back to October 1979 (Public Law 96-86) has contained a federal prohibition on the use of federal funds for abortion in community health centers. Conscious clause protections that have existed in the past will remain in effect and in the future, and the legislation prohibits the use of federal tax credits and cost-sharing assistance to pay for abortion."
Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty:
"Democrats rejected needed, common sense reforms in favor of an overreaching, extraordinarily expensive, government-centric plan that gives more and more control to an already bloated and bankrupt federal government."DFL state Rep. Tom Huntley:
"The passage of federal health care reform is not just an historic step forAmericans everywhere, it also has monumental consequences for the state of Minnesota."(7 Comments)
"Iam proud to stand with the more than 1,000 other state legislators from around our
great nation who worked together over the past year to support health care reform. State legislators have long been on the front lines of the battle for better, more accessible, and more affordable health care for their constituents, and our leadership was critical to making this victory for American families possible."
Governor Pawlenty released his NCAA picks today and there's two things we learned.
1) He likes the chalk. He has three number 1 seeds in his Final Four (Kansas, Duke and Kentucky) and a number 7 seed (BYU) instead of number 1 seed Syracuse (my alma mater). In other words, he's playing it safe.
2) He's a homer. Pawlenty picked the University of Minnesota to get to the Sweet 16.
Several folks on Twitter also pointed out something interesting. Governor Pawlenty, who is ramping up a run for president, gave a little love to the first caucus state when he picked Northern Iowa to beat UNLV (not a big stretch).
That got me thinking how Pawlenty's picks play politically.
Northern Iowa is a key pick because it's the only school representing a state that plays an early part in the 2012 nomination. Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina aren't dancing this year.
But the tea leaves show he may be watching 2012 politics at least a little bit...
The governor picked Michigan St., Ohio St., Florida St., Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Missouri. All of those schools are in key presidential battleground states. The only picks that go against the battleground grain are Florida (who ended up losing today to BYU) and Ohio (he's picking Georgetown).
Pawlenty also didn't pick any teams from the Big East to make the Final Four. Another signal that a 2012 GOP hopeful is writing off the east?
Am I missing anything?
Side note:1 Comments)
The University of Minnesota is making a move to sell alcohol in special seating at TCF Bank Stadium. DFL Sen. Jim Metzen successfully amended a liquor bill last week that was being heard in the Senate Commerce Committee. It would allow the U of M to sell alcohol in premium seating.
The U of M sought the liquor exemption last year but was rebuffed when the Legislature required alcohol be sold in the entire stadium if the decision was made to sell alcohol in the stadium. In other words, alcohol had to be sold in the entire stadium if it was sold at all. U of M President Bob Bruininks later announced that alcohol wouldn't be sold at all at the stadium as a result of the legislation.
Metzen's amendment would allow for the U of M to sell alcohol selectively in the stadium (my understanding is it would also apply to The Barn and Mariucci Arena).
The bill also requires any proceeds from alcohol sales to be dedicated to athletic scholarships at the U of M. athletic scholarships. Metzen's amendment also calls for a study of the issue to gauge its impact by January 15, 2012.
The bill moved to the Senate Higher Education Finance Committee.
Question of the Day: Should the U of M be allowed to sell alcohol in premium seating exclusively or should any legally aged ticket holder be allowed to buy a beer at the game?
House Democrats released their budget targets today and they're banking on a pot of money that they criticized Governor Pawlenty for using. Democrats are budgeting $408 million in federal Medicaid money that hasn't passed into law yet.
House and Senate Democrats criticized Pawlenty for relying on the funds in his budget plan to help erase a nearly $1 billion budget deficit. DFL Representative Loren Solberg said he's more confident the state can rely on the funds since Congress is poised to pass it.
"When we questioned it, we said 'What's the status of it?' We said 'prove it to us.' We've been in contact and verifying their sources as well. Nothing is guaranteed on this but I feel a lot better about now than I did when the governor first submitted a proposal to us."
GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers called Democrats hypocrites for ripping Governor Pawlenty for using the unallocated funds but are now relying on the same funds to balance the budget.
"From our standpoint, it's just a lot of hypocrisy. It's a lot of what I would call political jabbing one day or one week and then come back and use some of the same things..."
The targets also call for another $155 million in HHS cuts, $146 million in savings from the General Assistance Medical Care deal and few cuts to early childhood or K12 schools.
When Gov. Pawlenty line item vetoed projects from the bonding bill, he included a message on his reasoning for vetoing each project.
Pawlenty's rationale for vetoing $8.5 million for Rochester Community and Technical College said "The Legislative Auditor's Report on workforce training stated no clear advantage in locating workforce centers on campuses."
The Legislative Auditor took issue with Pawlenty's rationale. In a letter, Legisatlve Auditor James Nobles wrote :
"While I appreciate your consideration of our report, Workforce Programs, your veto message is a misleading characterization of our conclusion. Our report said, "locating workforce centers on McSCU campuses can be beneficiail for certain workforce clients, but the benefits are not automatic and largely depend on local conditions."
It is also important to note that we based our conclusion on information about experiences with workforce centers currently located on MnSCU campuses. We did not evaluate the workforce center proposed for Rochester Community and Technical College and did not comment on its merits.
You can read the full report from the Legislative Auditor here.
Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson spoke with reporters today about a variety of issues. He made his comments after he gave a speech to the Minnesota Coaliation of Government Information. Magnuson touched on his role in the long-running recount in the 2008 U.S. Senate race, the impact of additional budget cuts on the courts and his concerns over judicial elections.
Magnson, who will leave the bench in June, said he thinks he'll return to work at the law firm Briggs and Morgan (where he did appellate work before he joined the court). He also declined to say when the Minnesota Supreme Court would rule in the case challenging Gov. Pawlenty's executive authority to make budget cuts on his own.
Here's Magnuson's full interview with reporters: Listen
(h/t Elizabeth Stawicki for the audio)
Gov. Pawlenty announced today that he cut $330 million in projects from the bonding bill. Pawlenty signed the bill into law but line item vetoed more than fifty projects from the bill. In his veto letter, Pawlenty wrote that the bill spent too much and didn't focus on his key priorities. He also said Democrats should work with Republicans if they hope to put forward another bonding bill.
DFL legislative leaders say they have no interest in putting forward another bonding bill. They say Pawlenty's decision to line item veto projects from the bill means fewer construction jobs will be available.
Higher education, most notably the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, took the biggest cut. Funding for the civic center expansions in Mankato, Rochester and St. Cloud was also eliminated.
I'll post the governor's veto letter soon.
Update: Here's the veto letter.
One side note. There has been some confusion surrounding where and when Gov. Pawlenty took action on the bill. I'm told he line item vetoed the bill from his St. Paul office on Sunday night. He is back in Florida today vacationing with his family and speaking at an RGA fundraiser. I'm told no tax dollars paid for his trips (Alex Conant, a spokesman for Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC, says the PAC paid for the trip).
Update: Pawlenty's spokesman, Brian McClung said there was an error in calculating the price tag of the bonding bill. Here's his message:
Our staff double-checked the final bonding number after the Governor's line-item vetoes are factored in and discovered one error. A project that was vetoed was listed in the general obligation (G.O.) bonding category when it should've been in the trunk highway bonding category.
Therefore that project should not have reduced the overall G.O. bonding number.
As a result, the correct G.O. bonding figure, after the impact of the Governor's line-item vetoes, is not $680 million as listed in the line-item veto letter. It is actually $686 million or $1 million more than the Governor's recommendations from January 15.
The Minnesota Republican Party announced today that it will hold a rally on April 7th in downtown Minneapolis. It will feature former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. Here are the details:
St. Paul- Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton and Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb today announced that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will appear at an April 7, 2010 rally with Representative Michele Bachmann at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The rally will be free and open to the public. Details on how to obtain tickets will be forthcoming from the Republican Party of Minnesota.
"The Republican Party of Minnesota is thrilled to be hosting this one of a kind rally with Governor Sarah Palin and Representative Michele Bachmann. Governor Palin and Representative Bachmann are two of the most dynamic and impressive conservative leaders in the nation. This exciting event will be a great way for Minnesotans to get involved in what promises to be a terrific year for Republicans," said Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton.
"For the millions of Minnesotans who have had enough of the out of control spending and tax increases coming out of Washington, this is one event they will absolutely not want to miss. Governor Palin and Representative Bachmann will make sure everyone is fired up and ready to go for November," said Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb.
Please visit www.mngop.com for updates regarding this event.
MPR News will provide live coverage of the oral arguments before the Minnesota Supreme Court tomorrow. The case centers around Gov. Pawlenty's use of unallotment and whether he "crossed the line" when he unilaterally cut spending to erase a $2.7 billion budget deficit.
A Ramsey County District Court judge ruled in December that Pawlenty crossed the line. Pawlenty appealed the case and the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed to hear the case on an expedited basis.
The coverage of the oral arguments begins at 9AM Monday.
Republicans in the Minnesota House are quietly urging Gov. Pawlenty to line-item veto the bonding bill to roughly $250 million dollars. That's a $750 million cut to the bill. 44 of the 47 members of the Legislature signed a letter to the governor requesting the cuts. "It doesn't just need to slim down, it needs fiscal liposuction. We urge you to use your line-item veto and trim this bill down - not just a little bit, by several hundred million dollars..."
Republicans Mark Buesgens and Tom Emmer, who's running for governor, didn't sign the letter because they want the governor to veto the entire bill. They sent a different letter.
Republican Morrie Lanning of Moorhead didn't sign either letter.
MPR has a full story on the issue here.