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

MN Supreme Court Deals Blow To Pawlenty's Powers

MN Capitol

May 5, 2010
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marty Owings

In a 3 to 4 ruling today, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided that Governor Tim Pawlenty had exceeded his authority by using his unallotment powers to cut funds to a state nutrition program. The ruling will now leave Law Makers to deal with $2.7 billion in budget cuts, a prospect that will be daunting given they have just two weeks left in the regular session.

The ruling cuts both ways for the DFL majority at the Legislature. On one hand they can claim victory over Pawlenty's unilateral power grab, which left them embarrassed at the end of last years session. On the other hand, they're now staring down the barrel of a $2.7 billion dollar budget shortfall.

Pawlenty Talks Big, Horner Says An Indy Can Win and Double E Takes A Bow

MN Capitol

May 3, 2010
St.Paul, MN - Marty Owings

Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) scolded Legislators today, calling their efforts to balance the budget this session, "ridiculous, in fact, it's pathetic." Pawlenty spoke to Reporters at an afternoon press conference in which he threatened to use his unallotment powers to balance the budget. Pawlenty used those same powers last year and that use is currently being challenged in court.

The Governor is specifically addressing a nearly billion dollar budget shortfall. Earlier in the day Pawlenty send out press release, which is attached below, essentially outlining how he plans to solve the budget shortfall without the aid of any anticipated federal funds. Those funds were expected to come to the state in the form of $408 million dollars in matching state funds for Medicaid.

House Majority Leader responded with the following comment:

Emmer Wins GOP Endorsement - Next Step, Reach Out To The Middle

State Representative Tom Emmer (R) wins his party's endorsement over a field of candidates including his closest competition, Marty Siefert. Siefert suprised many by announcing he would concede the contest after just two ballots cast. Emmer says he can connect to the majority of Minnesotan's by reaching out to the common values he feels people in the state share.

This interview took place at the Minnesota GOP Endorsing convention held at the Minneapolic convention center on April 29th and 30th, 2010.

All Rights Reserved.

House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers (R) & Rep. Laura Brod (R) Discuss the Convention and Other Subjects

Two conversations about the GOP Endorsing convention, politics and a wide range of other subjects. First up House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers discusses the convention, the GOP message and other subjects, then State Rep Laura Brod talks about a wide range of issues including her thoughts on the chances of Rep Tom Emmer as a Governor candidate.

These interviews are from the 2010 GOP Endorsing Convention held at the Minneapolis Convention Center on April 29 and 30th.

KFAI Video Coverage Of The GOP Endorsing Convention From Minneapolis

DFL Says Yes To Margaret Anderson Kelliher - Audio and Video From The Convention

Rainy Capitol
April 25, 2010
Duluth, MN - Marty Owings

It took just six ballots to narrow the field of DFL Governor Candidates, at least those abiding by the process, to one. At a little before midnight, after many months of campaigning, much speculation and even some Convention style political drama, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher became the first woman in Minnesota history to receive her party's endorsement for Governor.

Throughout the evening, one by one the other Candidates fell away starting with Senator John Marty who gave an emotional concession speech, saying that his campaign, "raised the issues that were important to most Minnesotan's". Marty talks about his campaign ending.

Click Here For The Audio.

Should The Legislature Consider Using State Funds For A Vikings Stadium? (Vote to see results)

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Press Access At The Capitol

Capitol Night
April 10, 2010
State Capitol - By Marty Owings

This week David Brauer at wrote a lengthy piece on the battle for media access at the Capitol. Specifically the access in question is for the UpTake, which is a new media outlet best known for their coverage of the Senate recount trial between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. The Uptake applied for space in the Capitol Press Corps area which is located in the basement of the Capitol.

The problem started when the Rochester Post Bulletin complained in a letter to Capitol Administration, the people responsible for leasing space, that the UpTake was a partisan media organization. All the detail is included in Brauer's piece, you can check it out at the link below. I've included my response to the issue for our readers as well.

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