Klobuchar’s Path to the Nomination

Minnesota Report

As we have begun to analyze the 2020 Presidential Race, while still awaiting all of the entrants, we see a dual track to the nomination forming. First, is the traditional liberal route, where the candidates have track records of accomplishment in their own rights passing legislation and proving their ability to get things done. Second, is the aspirational path, one where the candidates do not have a long track record of accomplishments but carry something extra. Extra is the representation of one constituency caucus in the Democratic fold or another. Although, it seems just being a woman isn’t enough, now one must be a twofer. An African-American Woman, a Progressive Woman, a Progressive African-American Man, or a Gay Local Elected Official.

We are not going to spend a great deal of time trying to create the Matrix of all of the potential candidacies, but needless to say, in large part there will be two clear and distinctive paths. One with more people on that side of the formula (The Progressive Path) than on the (Traditional Path) but both will ultimately result in a single candidate emerging.

As we assess the current field, US Senator fits the Traditional Path along with former Vice-President Joe Biden (D-DE), Gillibrand (D-NY) Sherrod Brown (D-OH), US Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) and Congressman John Delaney (D-MD06).

The Progressive Path includes US Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI02), former Transportation Secretary Julian Castro (D-TX) and South Bend Mayor Peter Buttigieg (D). We expect should he enter the list will include US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) unless as we expect he runs as a third-party candidate.

Big 10 Strategy for Klobuchar

Minnesota Report

As we listened to US Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (DFL-MN) announcement we heard her refer to our neighbors to the east Wisconsin and Michigan not getting enough attention during the 2016 election. As the ever-growing field of candidates expands it will be important for each candidate to show their strength in particular regions and in early state contests.

If Klobuchar were to mount a Big 10 strategy she will play in the early contests and have the opportunity to cultivate a base of delegate support. Now, the principal focus will need to be on Iowa, a Big 10 State. It should be Iowa all the time. Because of its close proximity, campaign workers and supporters will be able to take up unofficial residency in the Hawkeye State.

Because Iowa is a place that appeals to a more traditional Democrat, Klobuchar has the opportunity to fair well, in spite of the mere DNC 49 delegates up for grabs. She needs a strong showing in her lane over former Vice-President Joe Biden (D-DE) who will do well in the Eastern part of the state because of the Catholic communities located there. If she prevails, she will have momentum moving into New Hampshire, where a split vote can often launch another candidate.

The state’s home to Big 10 schools accounts for 968 delegate votes or 21.36% of the DNC Delegates. We expect there will be favorite sons and daughters along the way, such as US Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH)/Ohio State University, should he enter the race and Corey Booker (D-NJ)/Rutgers University.

With our Presidential Primary occurring on March 3rd, Klobuchar has the ability to elbow everyone else out of the room (state). Of course, because Klobuchar isn’t a self-proclaimed “Progressive” she isn’t good enough for the left-leaning faction of the DFL Party.  We are not surprised to learn Our Revolution is not a Klobuchar fan. In spite of the pressure on the left, with a statewide vote, which Klobuchar always performs well, she should carry the state handily. We actually, believe her opposition from the left will help her with more traditional Democrats.

This sets up the next Big 10 contests in Michigan and Ohio on March 10th. In spite of Brown’s showing, if Klobuchar comes in a close 2nd, due to her strong union support, her momentum continues. Now, should she maintain an upward trajectory after Iowa, she then may have a path to the nomination, because there also will be losses of candidates along the way. Some will lack electoral support, which will mean their financial resources dry up, but also the interest of the country finding a candidate to match-up against Donald J Trump (R) will be quite significant throughout the process.

We have constructed a chart to follow the Presidential contest for 2020, granted not all of the states have made a final decision on their dates.

State Date Total Base Delegates District Level (+) 75% of Base   At-Large     (+) 25% of Base PLEO’s Total Pledged DNC Members Dem Members of Congress Dem Governors Distinguished Party Leaders Total Auto Delegates Total # Delegates % of DNCC
IA 2/3/2020 36 27 9 5 41 5 3 8 49 1.08% Big 10
NH 2/11/2020 21 16 5 3 24 5 4 9 33 0.73%
NV 2/22/2020 31 23 8 5 36 5 5 1 1 12 48 1.06%
SC 2/29/2020 47 35 12 7 54 7 2 9 63 1.39%
AL 3/3/2020 45 34 11 7 52 7 2 9 61 1.35%
CA 3/3/2020 362 272 90 54 416 33 45 1 79 495 10.92%
CO 3/3/2020 58 44 14 9 67 6 5 1 1 13 80 1.77%
MA 3/3/2020 79 59 20 12 91 9 11 3 23 114 2.52%
MN 3/3/2020 65 49 16 10 75 8 7 1 1 17 92 2.03% Big 10
NC 3/3/2020 96 72 24 14 110 8 3 1 12 122 2.69%
OK 3/3/2020 32 24 8 5 37 4 1 5 42 0.93%
TN 3/3/2020 56 42 14 8 64 6 2 1 9 73 1.61%
TX 3/3/2020 198 149 49 30 228 21 13 34 262 5.78%
VT 3/3/2020 14 11 3 2 16 4 2 1 7 23 0.51%
VA 3/3/2020 86 65 21 13 99 14 9 1 1 25 124 2.74%
LA 3/7/2020 43 32 11 7 50 5 1 1 7 57 1.26%
MI 3/10/2020 109 82 27 16 125 13 8 1 22 147 3.24% Big 10
MS 3/10/2020 31 23 8 5 36 4 1 5 41 0.90%
MO 3/10/2020 59 44 15 9 68 7 2 1 10 78 1.72%
OH 3/10/2020 118 89 29 18 136 11 5 1 17 153 3.38% Big 10
AZ 3/17/2020 58 44 14 9 67 5 6 1 12 79 1.74%
FL 3/17/2020 190 143 47 29 219 15 12 2 29 248 5.47%
IL 3/17/2020 135 101 34 20 155 13 14 1 1 29 184 4.06% Big 10
MD 3/28/2020 69 52 17 10 79 13 9 1 23 102 2.25%
WI 4/7/2020 67 50 17 10 77 8 4 1 13 90 1.99% Big 10
CT 4/28/2020 43 32 11 6 49 6 7 1 1 15 64 1.41%
DE 4/28/2020 15 11 4 2 17 6 3 1 1 11 28 0.62%
PA 4/28/2020 133 100 33 20 153 12 10 1 23 176 3.88% Big 10
RI 4/28/2020 18 14 4 3 21 4 4 1 9 30 0.66%
IN 5/5/2020 61 46 15 9 70 5 2 7 77 1.70% Big 10
WV 5/12/2020 21 16 5 3 24 5 1 6 30 0.66%
AR 5/19/2020 27 20 7 4 31 5 5 36 0.79%
KY 5/19/2020 40 30 10 6 46 5 1 6 52 1.15%
OR 5/19/2020 45 34 11 7 52 8 6 14 66 1.46%
MT 6/2/2020 14 11 3 2 16 4 1 1 6 22 0.49%
NJ 6/2/2020 93 70 23 14 107 7 13 1 21 128 2.82% Big 10
NM 6/2/2020 25 19 6 4 29 4 5 1 10 39 0.86%
SD 6/2/2020 12 9 3 2 14 4 1 5 19 0.42%
ND 6/7/2020 12 9 3 2 14 4 4 18 0.40%
PR 6/7/2020 44 33 11 7 51 7 1 8 59 1.30%
DC 6/16/2020 15 11 4 2 17 22 3 1 26 43 0.95%
Unassigned 0 1 1 1 0.02%
Date Not Set
AMS 3/1/2016 6 0 6 0 6 4 1 5 11 0.24%
DEMS Abroad 3/1/2016 12 0 12 1 13 4 4 17 0.38%
GA 3/1/2016 91 68 23 14 105 9 5 1 15 120 2.65%
KS 3/5/2016 29 22 7 4 33 4 1 1 6 39 0.86%
NE 3/5/2016 22 17 5 3 25 4 4 29 0.64%
ME 3/6/2016 21 16 5 3 24 4 2 1 1 8 32 0.71%
NMI 3/12/2016 6 0 6 0 6 4 1 5 11 0.24%
ID 3/22/2016 17 13 4 3 20 5 5 25 0.55%
UT 3/22/2016 25 19 6 4 29 5 1 6 35 0.77%
AK 3/26/2016 12 9 3 2 14 4 4 18 0.40%
WA 3/26/2016 77 58 19 12 89 9 9 18 107 2.36%
HI 3/27/2016 19 14 5 3 22 4 4 1 9 31 0.68%
WY 4/9/2016 11 8 3 2 13 4 4 17 0.38%
NY 4/19/2016 195 146 49 29 224 23 21 1 1 46 270 5.96%
Guam 5/7/2016 6 0 6 0 6 4 1 5 11 0.24%
VI 6/4/2016 6 0 6 0 6 4 1 5 11 0.24%
Total DNC Delegates 4532

As Anticipated, It Was a Snowy Affair

Minnesota Report

US Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (DFL-MN) Presidential Campaign Announcement was exactly as we expected. It was cold, snowy and didn’t have much in the way of visuals other than a blanket of white. In fact, people couldn’t even see the cityscape of Minneapolis.

The positioning of the podium and stage were beneficial to the assembled media, but because of the layout, most people couldn’t see either because they were on the backside of the hill and the stage was set below on the other side.

Most of the speakers saw fit to make jokes and in effect apologize for the weather when it was clear the same event could have been held at the Mall of America or any inside venue. The metaphorical reference to the Mississippi River could have remained a metaphor and people could have been comfortable.

Yes, Klobuchar showed her hardiness and grit, but the exercise wasn’t necessary. One funny aside, when a person is elected President we witness how their hair gray’s while in office, here we saw it happen for Klobuchar before our eyes and the snow stuck in her hair.

    

  

Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board Set to Fine House GOP Campaign Operation

Minnesota Report

We understand there will be an announcement from the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board of a fine of $10,000 for the Republican House Caucus. We are not completely clear on the details, but suffice it to say in this era of campaign activity a mere $10,000 fine is nothing more than a slap on the wrist and if the Campaign Finance Board seeks to curb future actions, they need to set their fines based on a percentage of the money raised by the respective offender.

Granted, this will only mean the entity in question will just raise the requisite amount needed to pay-off the fine, but if they had to pay 25% of the money they raised that cycle it definitely will bring about a greater adherence to the rules of the game.

Enhanced Legislative Deadlines

Minnesota Report

On January 31, the House proposed a set of legislative deadlines in a Concurrent Resolution and sent them to the Senate.  The resolution accounted for the three traditional dates reflected here: First Deadline March 15th advance in the house of origin, 2nd Deadline March 29th advance in other body and 3rd Deadline pass a finance committee.

Now there are three more legislative hurdles to pass. 4th Deadline May 1st pass finance bills off of floor, 5th Deadline May 6th Set Fiscal Targets, and 6th May 13th Conference Committee reports.

– March 15: Deadline for committees to advance a bill in its house of origin. Major appropriation bills are exempt.

– March 29: Deadline for committees to advance bill or companions of bills that met their first deadline in the other chamber. Major appropriation bills are exempt.

– April 12: Deadline for committees to advance major appropriation and finance bills.

– May 1: Deadline for both chambers to pass major finance bills off the floor and for leaders to set conference committees.

– May 6: Legislative leaders and the governor will set fiscal targets for major finance bills and release them to conference committee chairs.

– May 13: Conference committee chairs will provide reports to their houses of origin.

Originally, this is what the proposed deadlines were.

Committee Deadlines

The 2019 committee deadlines have been tentatively scheduled in House Concurrent Resolution 1 which was adopted by the House but has not yet been adopted by the Senate. The tentative committee deadlines are:

1st deadline – March 15, 2019 at midnight

2nd deadline – March 29, 2019 at midnight

3rd deadline – April 12, 2019 at midnight

Klobuchar Criticisms Are Old News

Minnesota Report

Anyone in Minnesota politics who has been involved on the DFL side has heard the knocks on US Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (DFL-MN) high expectations regarding staff. The article in the HuffingtonPost is not new information, nor much of a surprise. In the article, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Mistreatment Of Staff Scared Off Candidates To Manage Her Presidential Bid former staffers pull out their knives attempt to hamstring Klobuchar as unnamed anonymous sources. If they had the courage to be named it is likely they would either still have their job or a job with someone else, but it’s likely they’re unable to find a job that meets their diminished capacity.

It has long been known she has had large staff turnover which is partially from though unable to meet the rigorous demands and standards set in her office and lack of assimilation into the particular office culture. Though we will point out the rub shouldn’t really be directed at the member, it is the senior staff, i.e. Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, Press Secretary that have the greater determination on what occurs in a member’s office.

In the LegiStorm ratings for Worst Bosses Klobuchar comes in third.  https://www.legistorm.com/turnover/worst_bosses.html

We have heard Klobuchar referred to as Amy Me Me many times and since the role of staff is to support the member it is not a surprise when you are one of 100 for someone to get an elevated importance of themselves.

The main problem for Klobuchar is she hasn’t been mindful of how to cultivate goodwill over the course of time. Her campaigns have spent large amounts of money on advertising with broadcast media and other traditional means to increase her statewide and nationwide profile, but little if any at all when it comes to actual areas of influence.

We have followed Klobuchar’s career for years. In fact, here is something longtime readers may remember. We found ourselves caught in our first potential lawsuit when we ran a story criticizing the actions of her opponent’s campaign for a violation of the “Twinkie Law.” We witnessed a supporter of Sheryl Ramstad Voss offering a piece of candy after the Uptown Art Festival Parade to a voter. This is something we know Klobuchar herself remembers.

As people in politics are on the rise, they need to be mindful of the people they pass on the way and make sure they are thought of in a favorable manner. The people they collect (supporters and staff) along the way come to them for a number of reasons, but often they also come seeking something for themselves. It is incumbent for the politician to reward their friends and supporters well so that the keep a favorable impression and don’t later leave and waggle their tongues disparagingly. This is an investment in the future and staff play an essential role for a member, both insulating them from outside factors while also helping shape the image and impressions of the same.

In politics, a little bit goes a long way and where a campaign invests its money is significant when one is looking for a long-term pay-off.

Potential Poor Staging for Klobuchar at Boom Island

Minnesota Report

Whoever in US Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (DFL-MN) political team that though Boom Island to be a good idea for a Presidential Campaign launch platform in early February should be fired. Boom Island is a fine location during the summer to frolic, but in the depth of winter, it is a cold and desolate place. Unless the intent is to make it look like a scene from Fargo. The ground is covered with a white blanket and all of the building are giving off steam.

Granted no one can know the weather weeks in advance, but that is why our winter scenery should be used as a backdrop and not as a feature of an event.

If the weather as predicted is 18° and the precipitation at 50/50 it will be a muted event. If the snow flies, cameras will not have a clear shot. If it is below freezing supporters will pound their gloves together to show their support in a muted fashion. When they make roars support it will be muffled. Unless there are a number of propane heaters disbursed throughout the crowd to keep the audience warm and facilitate a more inviting event.

The campaign swag for this event should be hand warmers or inflatable bangers, that is if they stay inflated in the cold air. Since the St Paul Winter Carnival canceled events during its 10-day festival the Klobuchar campaign had better find a way to turn inclement weather into an advantage.

If this were a Paul Ridgeway organized event, they would pull out all the stops. He would have talked to God for fair weather, or brought in a tent to house everyone. The heat would be brought up so everyone felt warm and comfortable and the venue would be packed with people to make everyone feel like they had attended the most important announcement of their lives.

This will be its first opportunity to show her ability to tackle adversity and remember video footage of this event will be running for the next year. So, if it is a bust it will be something in the front of mind for people who were not even there. Hopefully, this will not be called the Boom Island Bust.

Daily Kos Shares Our Criticism of Walz’ Choice of Lourey

Minnesota Report

Former State Senator Tony Lourey (DFL-11, Kerrick), now Commissioner of Human Services is a solid choice for the position by capability and experience, but the selection came with a clear political cost. This is not a reactionary position, it was clear from the onset. Because the district Lourey held a Special Election would prove to be a challenge and politically it should not have been placed at risk.

In their article, Why Democratic governors shouldn’t tap Democratic legislators in at-risk seats for government jobs, Daily Kos follows our line of reasoning. If Walz had selected a state senator from the Twin Cities or the Iron Range he would have made a wise political choice, but to pick a person from a marginal political district which was in DFL hands in the Senate was largely due to the quality of the individual in the seat, not its political index.

What this shows is the first political challenge Walz has faced comes up with a big fat zero, epic fail and a bigger challenge for political negotiations with the Republican-controlled Senate. Although, a skeptical view might be this affords Walz the opportunity to be perceived as a more enlightened being, open to more liberal causes and positions, but because of the opposition from the Senate, he needs to compromise in a more moderate fashion. He can still remain appealing to the left extreme while being completely pragmatic when achieving a specific outcome.

We will need to wait for further information before rendering judgment on this idea.

Marijuana Legislation Que Sera Sera

Minnesota Report

As we observe the legislative activities concerning the legalization of Marijuana/Cannabis for recreational use we find it interesting to hear supporters using words like time has come or inevitable when discussing a change in the law as an expected complete reversal. We also believe any proposal to push the idea to the voters as a Constitutional Amendment, as we understand Rep Raymond Dehn (DFL-59B, Minneapolis) has discussed, as a cowardly approach allowing legislators to shirk their responsibility to pass laws, and this issue doesn’t belong in the State Constitution in the first place.

Today, we followed the roundtable meeting between Attorney General Keith Ellison’s (DFL-MN) office and the various groups taking a public stand on the legalization issue.  Ellison who originally, was thought to attend was not present. At the meeting in the Attorney General’s located in the old Bremer tower in downtown St Paul, Keaon Dousti Outreach Coordinator for Ellison Office met with representatives of various groups. We understand the intent of the meeting was to gather together all of the interested parties who had sought contact with the AG’s office and provide a venue for dialogue

People we know to have been present included Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization; Marcus Harcus, Save MN/420 Coalition; Rekoe Howard, Tom Gallagher, Treasurer of both political candidates Michael Ford (Legalize Marijuana Now) and Noah M Johnson also in attendance (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis) Oliver Steinberg and other various advocates along with an opposition group (Smart Approaches to Marijuana-Minnesota Chapter); Kim Bemis.

As we survey the actual legislation that has been brought forward, we are still unable to find any legislator willing to carry the “Model” legislation crafted by the coalition under the guidance of Harcus, but legislation developed by the Marijuana Policy Project, where similar legislation has passed in other states exists in bill form. Rep Mike Freiberg (DFL-45B, Golden Valley) is the Chief Author of HF0420  a cannabis; cultivation, consumption, use, and possession of products bill, headed for the Health and Human Services Policy Committee chaired by Rep Rena Moran (DFL-65A, St Paul) with a companion bill SF0619 authored by Sen Melisa Franzen (DFL49, Edina). Because Franzen is in the minority, normally her bill would not get a hearing, but her 2nd author is Sen Scott Jensen (R-47, Chaska) has signed on and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) has said he will not block the bill, but will not vote for it.

Other legislative items we found interesting are a bill by the Chair of the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division, Rep Carlos Mariani (DFL-65B, St Paul) has authored HR0717 calling for a Cannabis taskforce and Heath and Human Services Finance Committee Chair Rep Tina Liebling (DFL-26A, Rochester) her own legislation HF0465 allowing for possession of cannabis-based products for persons over the age of 21.

In large part, as we listen to the words of the leaders in both Houses, we are skeptical in the belief a legalization bill will arrive at Governor Tim Walz’ (DFL-MN) desk this legislative session. Along with the sentiments of Gazelka, Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman (DFL-36B, Brooklyn Park) has said she doesn’t see it as a priority for her chamber this legislative session.

Trump’s Brand=High-Risk/High Reward for Some, But Big Losses for Most

Minnesota Report

With the Federal Government Shutdown reaching day 32, its impact varies widely. The affects on Federal Government employees, by far being the greatest. This Mexican Stand-off rests in the hands of Donald J Trump (R) who said at the onset “I will own this government shutdown,” and its clear from polling the American public agrees with him.

As the two sides position like a high stakes’ poker game, the observers (government employees) are forced to watch and this is how Trump wants it, because all eyes are on him, the tough negotiator. Problem is many see him as holding a pair of ducks (duces) with very few options.

We believe this situation opens up insight into a growing public perception. Its not just that he is unhinged, but rather he makes bold moves with broad implications without having the wherewithal to give any thought to the implications of his actions, other than I did it, and watch me do my next trick.

This high-risk strategy may pay-off with high rewards, but if his negotiations with North Korea, tariff strategy with China, posturing with the European Union and now the stare down over his cards with House Speaker Nancy Pelowsi (D-CA12, San Francisco) or any other big move go south there are serious repercussions in response.

In investment, a high-risk may result in a high reward or a substantial loss. The diminishment of risk may mean a lesser return but a greater likelihood of success. If one looks to the tax cut passed by Trump and the Republicans in 2018 it is exactly what happened.

As we said at the top Trump=High-Risk/High Reward for Some.

Knoblach Not Seeking Reelection

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NPR Censors Opposition Comments on RCV

The NPR show 1A ran a program on Ranked Choice Voting today, and Checks & Balances Publisher Shawn Towle sought a spot on the panel. When called back by producer Andi McDaniel he was informed the panel was full but could submit a comment through the voicemail which...

The Two Realities of Tim Pawlenty

During his administration, Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) created consistent deficits. Each year he controlled the budget the numbers didn’t add up. In response to the first deficit, his fiscal wizardry decided to rob the Tobacco Settlement and use the endowment, as...

Klobuchar Set to Announce

Minnesota Report In boxing, a regular movement before a punch is thrown is called telegraphing, in poker, it is called a tell, and an announcement in February a year before a Presidential Campaign is assuredly an entrance. US Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) has...

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Senate Republicans Extend Majority to Two

Minnesota Report Republicans scored a victory in the Special Election in Senate District 11 last night. Rep Jason Rarick (R-11B, Pine City) overcame Stuart (DFL-11, Kerrick) Lourey by a margin of 956 votes or 6.12%. The third-party candidate John Birrenbach (LMN) has...

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Special Election Cometh

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Ready for Hip Hop Political Radio?

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Seeking Ways to Solve the Opioid Epidemic

Minnesota Report There have been many ideas around the opioid epidemic that have been floated for a number of years. The principal problem is the addictive nature of the drug. When our publisher Shawn Towle has rotator cuff surgery on both shoulders six months apart....

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