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Daily Brief: Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

In the Know

Minnesota DFL
May 10, 2016
135 days until people can begin to vote by no excuse absentee ballot, Sept. 23
181 days until Election Day, Nov. 8

Events today

  • 11 a.m. – The Senate meets in session.
  • 11:30 a.m. – The North Metro DFL Senior Caucus meeting will feature long time union activist and current president of the AFL-CIO Retiree Council, Bill Moore. He will speak to us about the Memorial Day for workers. The statics are sobering. He will all address “Right to Work” legislation currently being considered in the MN legislature – consequences for wages and worker rights. Little Venetian Inn, Little Canada.

Mark your calendars

  • May 11 – U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) will host his sixth annual bipartisan competition to determine which member of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation makes the best hotdish casserole. He is scheduled to be joined by the rest of the Minnesota delegation. Last year, Rep. McCollum’s “Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Wild Rice Hotdish” beat out the competitors to take top-prize. Rep. Walz’s “Turkey Trot Tater-Tot Hotdish” won in 2014, and his “Hermann the German Hotdish” took first place in 2013. In 2012, Sen. Franken’s “Mom’s Mahnomin Madness Hotdish” and former Rep. Chip Cravaack’s (R-Minn.) “Minnesota Wild Strata Hotdish” tied for first place. Sen. Klobuchar took top honors in 2011 with her “Taconite Tater-Tot Hotdish.” 11:30 a.m. (EST), Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 430, Senate HELP Committee.
  • May 13 – Community Picnic for Governor’s Fishing Opener. A free picnic will be served from 4 – 7 p.m. at Pine Rail Park in McGregor. Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Smith will speak at the event.
  • May 14 – CD 1 DFL Convention, 1 p.m., Worthington Event Center, 1447 Prairie Dr., Worthington.
  • May 14 – CD 3 DFL Convention, 10:30 a.m., Park Center High School auditorium, 7377 Noble Ave N, Brooklyn Park.
  • May 14 – The SD 41 DFL is hosting a combined candidate meet and greet/fundraiser from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, 6161 Highway 65 NE. SD 41 DFL candidates include Rep. Carolyn Laine, Rep. Connie Bernardy and Mary Kunesh-Podein. The guest speaker is House DFL Leader Paul Thissen. All are welcome.
  • May 14 – The National Association of Letter Carriers’ Food Drive will once again spread out across America to help provide assistance to Americans who are struggling with hunger. For more information about the annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive effort in your community, ask your letter carrier or go to nalc.org and find “Food Drive” under “Community Service.”
  • The Food Drive effort is the nation’s largest single-day drive. In 2015, 70.6 million pounds of food was collected, which brought the grand total of donations to more than 1.3 billion pounds of food collected since the drive began in 1992.
  • May 17 – Please join the Minnesotans for Paid Family Leave Coalition for a rally in support of Paid Family Leave. Tell the Legislature, our families can’t wait. Pass Paid Family Leave this session! Paid Family Leave Rally, noon, State Office Building, St. Paul.
  • May 21 – CD 6 DFL Convention, noon, St. Cloud Apollo High School, 1000 44th Ave. N, St. Cloud.
  • May 22 – CD 4 DFL Convention, noon, Carpenters Union Hall, 700 Olive St., St. Paul.
  • June 7 – Primary season ends.
  • June 12 – DFL Women’s Hall of Fame Annual Luncheon, 11 a.m. reception, noon luncheon, 12:45 p.m. award ceremony. Ticket information and list of award recipients are available here.


  • May 21 – Senate District 14 DFL will hold a Red to Blue Post-Convention Party. $20 Suggested Donation. Michael’s Restaurant, 510 US-10, St Cloud. Tickets available at: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/dfl-senate-district-14-3077414154

2016 election

U.S. House of Representatives
Former radio talker Lewis wins GOP endorsement in 2nd Congressional District, MinnPost
2016 session
Top-level negotiations to begin on ending legislative session, MPR
Editorial: An intersection on which to build consensus, Pioneer Press
House and Senate have different priorities in their supplemental budgets, Minnesota Budget Project
Conference committee takes first look at supplemental budget proposals, Session Daily
Bill shortening drug-offense prison sentences in Minnesota clears first test, Pioneer Press
Minnesota legislative deal-making ‘constructive, not productive’ Monday, Pioneer Press
MN Legislature: I guess we are going with ‘nothing is needed,’ mnpACT!
Ritual at the Residence: Session talks start slowly, MPR
Legislators hoping for transportation, public-works bill are on edge, Star Tribune
Bonding bill
Bonding battle heats up with bill failure, Fargo Forum
Trump questions consume the GOP, The Hill
Former ‘stop Trump’ megadonor switches sides, Politico


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Commentary: Questions support of medical device tax repeal

erik-paulsenFor several weeks now, since I heard an MPR story (Jan. 19) about possible repeal of the medical device tax, I have been struggling to identify the most troubling aspect of Rep. Erik Paulsen’s zealous pursuit of its repeal. Rep. Paulsen has been the most outspoken opponents of the tax and is also the lead author of the U.S. House bill to repeal it — retroactively — back to Dec. 31, 2012. The MPR story led with the sensational fact that due to the retroactive feature, medical device companies would get back $6 billion in taxes already paid. Hearing that was depressing, but then I heard this statement:

“Being able to signify or distinguish between who lost their job because a competitor came up with a better product or their marketing campaign didn’t work as opposed to who lost their job because of some tax increase is a little hard to measure.” (more…)

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Erik Paulsen Votes to Repeal Affordable Care Act Yet Again

erik-paulsenWith Republican control of Congress, we shouldn’t be that surprised about this, but the actual number of times the House has voted on this is astounding.

On February 3, 2015, the House and our representative voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 56th time, the 5th time to repeal it in full.

Yes, the man who positions himself as a moderate and “math guy” voted to fully repeal this act that’s helping over 44,000 Minnesotans obtain health insurance.

Here’s a link to a post on this topic on the National Memo website.

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Why did the ECM board endorse Paulsen?

There is hardly any reason to doubt that the ECM Publishers Editorial Board has the best intentions when endorsing candidates for office (“Why endorse?  Newspapers have unique access to candidates for an insider’s perspective,” Nov. 13).

I could not agree more that constituents need to be accurately informed about a candidate’s votes and positions at least on key issues.

Having said that, I took exception to the board’s endorsement of Erik Paulsen for Congress in Congressional District 3.

He voted for the largest non-defense spending cut in American history in 2011 and always wants to reign in wasteful spending. Yet, Paulsen is against reducing our  bloated military budget containing numerous wasteful items.  Much of this money could be used to support homeless veterans, which comprise one-third of all homeless in America.

Earlier this year, he voted to gut the nation’s hazardous waste regulations and is against federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions but for offshore drilling.

Regarding health care, Paulsen distorted and misrepresented outcomes of a public option while voting for Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget destroying Medicare and for repealing the Affordable Care Act.

He has voted for dramatic cuts to domestic and international family planning, against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act in 2012 and against fair pay for women.

While the nation grapples with gun violence, he has refused to make his position known on restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns as he is endorsed by the NRA.

Finally, given the low voter turnout, the congressman has yet to state what, if anything, he specifically has done to help prevent unconstitutional, discriminatory practices disenfranchising voters throughout the country.

With all due respect and in light of the above, it seems to me that Sun Current readers deserve further clarification of the board’s endorsement of Congressman Paulsen.

Richard Laybourn
Bloomington Sun-Current, November 19, 2014

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Is Paulsen’s mantra of taxes are bad true?

MoneyCongressperson and SD48 resident Erik Paulsen has published much about the state’s medical device tax. Here’s a quote from this morning’s (11/18/14) Morning Take:

MEDTRONIC: via Reuters, VERBATIM: “Medtronic Inc reported a quarterly profit that was in line with analyst expectations, boosted by sales of new heart devices, and said its $42.9 billion acquisition of hospital products maker Covidien Plc remains on track to close early next year….Second-quarter revenue rose 4 percent to $4.37 billion, propelled by newly launched products, including an implanted diagnostic monitor for the heart called Reveal and its CoreValve replacement heart valve that can be implanted in a less-invasive procedure than traditional open-heart surgery.”  READhttp://yhoo.it/1xjaL1H

So much for corporate welfare.  ‘Nuff said.

(Color highlighting done by us.)

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