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Daily Brief: Monday, July 29th, 2013

In the Know

Minnesota DFL
July 29, 2013

Events today

  • 3 p.m. - The nonpartisan Great Lakes Legislative Council convenes annual meeting in Duluth. Vista Queen dock, immediately behind the DECC, 323 Harbor Drive.
  • 7 p.m. Russ Baker speaks at Subtext Bookstore, 165 Western Ave. N, St. Paul. Topic: “Can We Trust the Government, the Media, the Tech Companies? With the new surveillance scandal, what do you need to know?”
  • 6:30 p.m. – The Western Minnesota/Red River Valley Area Labor Council AFL-CIO will host a community forum at AFSCME Council 5, 1305 1st St. S., Willmar.
  • With 100 days left until the Election Day, Mark Andrew, a candidate for mayor of Minneapolis, will host a press conference to unveil his plan to grow the city’s population and economic development. Andrew will also be launching his “Energy Express” campaign to tour all 81 Minneapolis neighborhoods and 100 local businesses in the next 100 days.

2012 election
How the Obama campaign won the race for voter data, Washington Post
2013 election
Mark Andrew highlights green dreams in Minneapolis mayoral campaign, TC Daily Planet
St. Paul DFL Ward 1 convention opens door to busy November ballot, Pioneer Press
2013 session
Legislative session helps rural Minnesota, Grand Forks Herald
2014 election
Political Quarry blog: GOP’s packed 6th race atypical, St. Cloud Times
Don Shelby: Flattered, but ‘still a reporter’ (Updated), Star Tribune

In an email from Shelby to the Star Tribune, “I’m flattered I would be approached, but truth is, I’m not much of a partisan and my politics, for what they are, are a little goofy.  I would be a terrible congressman.  I would rat out every special interest hack and poser. Still a reporter.  Therefore, I would be relegated to some form of quarantine…They are pushing hard, the Washington crowd.  They think this is winnable, and I’m a guy who might do it.  But, that would mean that I had written my last news story.  I may just keep trying to bring ideologies together on science as a journalist.” Morning Take

DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson might have the first potential opponent in his 2014 reelection bid. Scott Van Binsbergen, a businessman and former staffer to GOP U.S. Rep. Vin Weber, told CQ Roll Call that he is thinking about entering the race to challenge Peterson, whose GOP-leaning district has long been perceived as a takeover target, either by defeating Peterson or capitalizing on his retirement. Van Binsbergen said he had been meeting with delegates in the district, but has yet to set a date to make his decision; he ran unsuccessfully for the state House in 2006. For his part, Peterson has yet to commit to running for reelection. Politics in Minnesota

Gov. candidate pushes for business friendliness, Austin Daily Herald

2016 election
NBC plans Hillary Clinton miniseries, The Hill

‘Stray Voltage’ phenomenon pits Minnesota farmers, utilities, Star Tribune
Broadcasting heir
Radio’s quiet powerhouse from Minnesota, Star Tribune
Budget (federal)
New battle looms over raising debt limit again, Star Tribune

Lew warns GOP to avoid ‘false crises’ over spending, debt limit, The Hill
Budget (state)
Minnesota revenues are about average, Minnesota Budget Project
A budget that works for Minnesotans, Pine City Pioneer
Editorial: A capital Capitol, Red Wing Republican Eagle
Congressional delegation
Michele Bachmann ethics investigation: Committee extending probe Of GOP rep, Huffington Post
Rep. Michele Bachmann focus of investigation by Ethics Committee, WCCO
Ethics Committee acknowledges Bachmann probe, will decide next step in September, MinnPost
Michele Bachmann: Obama ‘Phony Scandals’ Comment Is ‘Insulting’ (VIDEO), Huffington Post

Sen. Franken works to strengthen investments in energy efficient technologies, ECM

MN-02 : Hunting, fishing and shortsighted budget cuts, Pioneer Press

Klobuchar announces vets forum at East Grand Forks City Hall, Grand Forks Herald
Legislation cracks down on fraud targeted at seniors, Alexandria Echo Press

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar will host a fundraising lunch Wednesday at Capitol Hill restaurant ‘Art & Soul’ to benefit her leadership political action committee, Follow the North Star Fund, with ticket prices ranging from $1,000 for guests to $5,000 for hosts. Leadership PACs are becoming more commonplace in Congress; according to the National Journal, 94 of the current 100 senators have created such PACs. Last election cycle, Klobuchar used hers to donate nearly $200,000 to congressional candidates. Star Tribune

Congressman’s view: System must protect girls from exploitation, Duluth News Tribune

Paulsen, others want India to stop ignoring U.S. drug patents, Star Tribune

Top House agriculture Democrat plans Iowa meeting, Miami Herald

Walz, Kline split on NSA amendment, Rochester Post Bulletin
Obama: Let’s focus on growth, not just cuts, The Hill
Taking care of business on St. Paul’s Central Corridor, Twin Cities Daily Planet
Minnesota: Senior lawmakers told state’s economy on upswing, Pioneer Press
‘Confidence in the economy’: DEED business director optimistic state will see growth, Bemidji Pioneer
Education (early)
Rolnick, Dunkley: A new Minnesota Miracle: Putting market forces to work for early learners, Pioneer Press
Education (higher)
Student leaders not pleased with loan deal, Winona Daily News
Congress gets an ‘incomplete’ on student loans, Star Tribune
What issues UMN regent Laura Brod still has with the Dream Act, MPR
Education (K-12)
University of Minnesota moving along with Teach For America deal, while grad students say their objections aren’t being considered, TC Daily Planet
Mend, not end, No Child Left Behind, Star Tribune
Federal fees
Wis. air show leads fight against federal fees, MPR
Rep. Duane Quam: DFL’s tax increases will make Minnesota an island, Rochester Post Bulletin
Rep. Mike Benson: DFL and Dayton didn’t merely ‘tax the rich’, Rochester Post Bulletin
GOP fixing from within, Marshall Independent
GOP’s new tech strategy leads to Silicon Valley in quest to ‘leapfrog’ Democrats, Washington Post
Young GOP leaders see need for substantive changes, Pioneer Press
Is John Boehner About to Get Aggressive? National Journal
Keith Downey believes bid for MNGOP chair put him totally in touch with average Minnesotans, Blue Stream Prairie
Laura Brod, her underwear and Republican infighting, Minnesota Progressive Project
Thank you, Shannon Savick? Albert Lea Tribune
Letter – Representative Franson’s priority is protecting the wealthy, Alexandria Echo Press

On Thursday evening, the Women’s Victory Fund held its second town hall meeting of the summer at the Water Street Inn in downtown Stillwater. The GOP panelists included state Sens. Julie Rosen, Karin Housley and Carrie Ruud, and state Reps. Cindy Pugh, Kathy Lohmer and Peggy Scott. Former Lt. Gov. candidate Annette Meeks moderated the forum.Much of the focus of the evening was on enticing more women to seek political office. Rosen suggested that most women aren’t predisposed to hit the campaign trail. In her own case, Rosen said she hadn’t thought about running until then-Senate Minority Leader Dick Day implored her to consider a Senate bid in 2002. She went on to oust DFL incumbent Chuck Fowler and is now mulling a run for governor. “Women don’t think of running for office unless they’re asked,” Rosen said.  Politics in Minnesota

GOP communications pro Mark Giga is venturing into the corporate world. He’s going to work as a regional spokesman for AT&T. Since December 2010 he’s been the communications director for the Minnesota Business Partnership. Before that he was communications director for GOP U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen. Politics in Minnesota

Grassroots politics
Minnesota sees the outcome of a grass-roots effort, Star Tribune
DFLers are going all in on business subsidies, Politics in Minnesota
Letter – Legislature triples investment in creating jobs, helping businesses, Alexandria Echo Press
Minnesota companies need IT workers, but stumble in hiring, Star Tribune
4 companies, 10 CEOs, $95 million. Really. Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal
Court refuses bids to halt drive to unionize some child care and health workers in Minnesota, Star Tribune
Minnesota drive to unionize day care providers can continue, judge rules, Pioneer Press
Lisa Thompson: Minnesota: A union for child-care providers: Let us vote, Pioneer Press
Federal judge rules child care union drive can go on, MPR
AFSCME Council 5 applauds child care ruling, WCCO
Gov. Dayton released the following statement on the news that a federal judge has overturned two lawsuits challenging childcare union laws passed during the 2013 Legislative Session: “I am very pleased that both lawsuits seeking to prevent child care providers from deciding for themselves whether or not to form a union have been dismissed by the Chief Judge of the United States District Court. I believe that working men and women should have the right to vote on forming a union, and that the Court’s decisions will permit such an election to be held.” Dayton press release
Marriage equality
Our view: Communities, society win when love succeeds, Duluth News Tribune
Minnesota gay and lesbian couples in wedding countdown, Star Tribune
Marriage comes out of its closet, Star Tribune
INTERACTIVE: Same sex marriage in Minnesota, Star Tribune
What does marriage mean? Three same-sex couples share their stories, Star Tribune
Churches deciding whether to do same-sex weddings, Mankato Free Press
For first same-sex couple to wed at St. Paul’s Como Conservatory, it’s also an anniversary, MinnPost
Pope says he won’t judge gay priests, MPR

Via news release from Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak, VERBATIM: “Approximately 300 free tickets will be available to the general public on Monday , July 29 for the Freedom to Marry celebration that begins in the Minneapolis City Hall Rotunda on the evening of Wednesday, July 31.” Morning Take

Break the taboo here in Minnesota, MinnPost
Rochester newspaper editor faults New Republic’s article about Mayo, MinnPost
State officials request early release of health plan prices, MinnPost
State officials ask insurers to reveal premium details early, MPR
Minnesota tells insurers to speed up health exchange policy premium details, Pioneer Press
Walter Mondale returns to Elmore, Faribault County Register
New laws
Balanced budget, property tax relief, on-time compromise, Senate DFL Caucus
Political Contribution Refund Program
Hot Dish Politics: Political refund program returns, Star Tribune
Red Lake Nation
Soaring like an eagle: Red Lake celebrates groundbreaking of $21 million project that includes government center, tribal college, Bemidji Pioneer
R.T. Rybak speaking to Mississippi Democrats, Pioneer Press
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Cuts to SNAP bad news for millions of Americans, Elk River Star News
Tax reform
Chuck Slocum: Tax reform must include long-term debt reduction, Pioneer Press
Minn. border towns smokers weigh options of paying more, driving further or kicking habit, Star Tribune
Gas tax: A right-wing crusade? Minnesota 2020
Cities, counties cite confusion over tax-exemption law, MPR
Anoka County: A stand against automatic tax and spending increases: Pioneer Press editorial, Pioneer Press
Will Minnesota counties levy $10 wheelage tax? Thursday deadline looms, MPR
Tensions rise as Twin Cities nears decision on Southwest Corridor light-rail line, Star Tribune

In 2012 Minnesota was one of five states that commissioned blue ribbon panels on transportation funding. A new report from the Council of State Governments (CSG) provides some interesting comparative analysis of what Minnesota and the four other states — Missouri, South Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin — came up with, and what lawmakers did or didn’t do with the recommendations.

Minnesota’s commission, appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton reported late last year, concluded that the state will fall $21.2 billion short of what it needs to simply maintain its existing transportation infrastructure for the next 20 years. The Minnesota report’s funding solution relied heavily on hiking the state gas tax to bring in $15.2 billion over time. The report also recommended increasing motor vehicle registration fees. The reliance on the gas tax was the commission’s undoing as, ironically, that recommendation met with staunch opposition from Dayton himself. Politics in Minnesota
Twin Cities brand
The Twin Cities brand: There’s work to do, Star Tribune
New technology to be tested at Minnesota electoral polls, Star Tribune
Colorado online voter system could play role in future recall elections, Denver Post

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