Independent political news, information and commentary from the Capitol and the State of Minnesota.

Email Contact With Minnesota Reps? Not So Fast.

July 5, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

After hearing from someone recently about the difficulty he had getting a response from a Congressman outside his district via email, I became curious. Why not just write them a letter I asked? No one under 35 years old writes letters, was the quick response. Well you could call them right? Yes, I suppose I could call them, but emailing allows you to keep a record and to copy others. Fair enough I thought, let's check it out.

So how easy is it to submit an email question or concern to Minnesota's Representatives. I visited each of their websites and tried to submit an email question. Here are the results of my quick test in alphabetical order:

Michelle Bachmann - After entering my zip code at the zip code screening form: "Sorry, Congresswoman Bachmann does not represent that zip code."

Whither the Independence Party? - Guest Editorial by Prof. Doug Rossinow

June 1, 2010

In recent years, Minnesota Democrats have gnashed their teeth over the Independence Party (IP). In 2008, Democrat Al Franken beat Republican incumbent Senator Norm Coleman in an historic squeaker; in that race, the IP’s Dean Barkley took 15% of the vote, and seemed to get more of it from Franken-leaning voters than from Coleman-leaners, making what might have been a relatively easy Franken victory an epic nail-biter. In the 6th U.S. Congressional District race, IP joke candidate Bob Anderson drew 10% of the vote, possibly preventing Democrat Elwyn Tinklenberg from deposing the well-known incumbent, Republican Michele Bachmann.

Entenza Picks Former Fox 9 Anchor Robyne Robinson

May 27, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

The rumors swirling around all week were finally confirmed today as Matt Entenza (DFL) candidate for Governor confirmed via Twitter that his running mate would be Robyne Robinson, the former Fox 9 News Anchor. The Twitter feed read, "It’s my distinct pleasure to announce Robyne Robinson @robynempls as my choice for lieutenant governor! Please welcome her aboard".

At a Capitol press conference, Robinson said she hadn't made up her mind until late last night. She said her involvement in the community and in covering politics gave her the experience necessary to be Entenza's running mate.

With Robinson picked as his running mate Entenza is the final DFL candidate for Governor to fill out his ticket. Former Senator Mark Dayton is running with State Senator Yvonne Prettner Solon and House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher's running mate is John Gunyou.

Dayton Selects State Senator Prettner Solon As Running Mate

Dayton&PrettnerSolon

May 24, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

Former Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton (DFL) today selected current State Senator Yvonne Prettner Solon as his running mate in the Governor's race. Prettner Solon is in her third term in the State Senate. She replaced her husband, Senator Sam Solon who died of cancer in 2001. Prettner Solon represents the the Duluth area.

Kelliher Names Her Running Mate

May 21, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL endorsed candidate for Governor, picked John Gunyou today as her running mate. Gunyou is a former state finance commissioner who held that position under the Carlson administration. He's held similar positions in Minneapolis and most currently worked as the Minnetonka City Manager.

Kelliher says that Gunyou is uniquely positioned to understand the states budget issues and is someone who is respected for his knowledge in that area. Gunyou has been sharply critical of Governor Tim Pawlenty's fiscal policies and said today that, "The Pawlenty administration has ducked the hard decisions and taken the easy way out."

Senator Mee Moua Leaves Behind a Legacy of Firsts (Audio Interview)

Sen Mee Moua Says Goodbye

May 18, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

Senator Mee Moua (DFL) shocked many in the world of Minnesota politics and the Hmong community by announcing her retirement last weekend. The announcement seemed to come as an especially big surprise because Moua is widely considered to be someone whose political future was still very bright. Moua is also Chair of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee and a Legislator who was widely respected for her thorough and principled approach to the job.

Legislative Session Wraps With A Budget Deal And Drama

May 16, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

A little before midnight last night DFL Leaders and the Governor came to agreement on a budget bill, however there was too little time left before the constitutionally mandated end of session to push it through the Legislature. Governor Tim Pawlenty then called for a Special Session to begin at one minute passed midnight, calling it, "a very short special session" and adding that the deal would be done before dawn. That deadline was also missed as Legislative staffers scrambled to complete the necessary paperwork and revisions. The Legislature reconvened around 8 am with House members voting to approve the compromise with a vote of 97-32 with a few Democrats and Republicans voting no. The Senate also passed the measure 52-14.

Budget Deal Reached, But It Takes A Little Overtime!

May 16, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

At a little before midnight tonight DFL Law Makers emerged from the Governors office at the Capitol saying they'd reached a budget agreement. Senate Majority Larry Pogemiller held up a pen saying that they'd signed an agreement with the Governor and that it would include a special session called at 12:01 a.m. and that it would be done by sunrise.

Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL) said that the highlights included an option to, "opt into early MA". Kelliher was refering to a deal that would allow the next Governor to decide if they wanted to leverage the Federal Medical Assistance Program which includes $400 million dollars in matching funds.

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