Is It the Wonder Twins, or the Avengers?

US and Minnesota Report

Its a DC vs Marvel question. US Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Presidential fundraising figures are in and they are reasonably respectable for a US Senate campaign, but low in the Presidential expectation game. We are hearing reports that Klobuchar raised $4 million in the 2nd quarter, but it is not yet showing on the Federal Election Commission site. All we see is that she raised $5,233,125.87 in the first quarter, but few mentioned she moved $3,525,000.00 from her US Senate campaign in February.

We are awaiting the actual figures, but the problem for Klobuchar is she is playing it safe. US Senator Kamila Harris (D-CA) stole her on-ramp as the Prosecutor, became she did it better and stage int the first debate. Former Vice-President Joe Biden (D) is hogging two lanes in the moderate zone and she needs a breakaway move.

We have watched Klobuchar throughout her career and her team she assembles is a bunch of political deaf-mutes. We have offered time after time to come to her aid and they never listen, maybe its because they are politically deaf. In spite of having millions of dollars, not one Klobuchar ad has graced these pages neither has Tina Smith’s btw. But we think it’s always best to support your friends and crush your enemies, and not make enemies of your friends.

So here is our freebie, decide to you want to ally with someone already out with you on the campaign trail and be link the Wonder Twins Zan and Jana showing equally your attributes and effectively should what a duo power group looks like or. Assemble the Avengers and state how well each person on the stage with you or in the field with you would fit in a Klobuchar Administration, example Harris would be a great Attorney General compared to William Barr. FYI, you don’t run for these positions you serve at the pleasure of the President. So people could shuck it off, but it is a backhanded compliment none the less, though so unMinnesotan.

Point is Senator, which is what you will be if you fail to listen to some new advice, our number isn’t hard to find. It’s not good to have people talking bad about you in your own backyard.

Yes, She Really Said That

Minnesota Report

Yesterday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN05) came out swinging and clocked Donald J Trump (R) of whom we refuse to call President, Coward Yes, President No, right in the mouth. (Pow) She quoted him and in each video news report, (Bam) (Double Bam) she was bleeped when she said “grabbed women by the pussy (Zonk) or that people of color come from shithole countries.” (Biff) You go woman. Her role as a member of The Squad which includes Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) (D-NY14, Ayanna Pressley (D-MA07) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) have as of yet to be defined, but if they are a Super Heroine Squad, we call her Word in Somali its Eray.

Now, we have tried not to weigh in and pile on Omar when she has made clear anti-Semitic tweets or comments, hoping she would learn on the job to tamp down her blaze a bit and not cause a forest fire. This time her words were clearly spoken and came with a force, a Gal Force Wind

Real Result, DFL Lost a Senate Seat for Nothing

Minnesota Report

Politically, the resignation of Tony Lourey as Commissioner of Public Health only means one thing, based on a selfish, not thought out the political decision the DFL lost a Senate seat for nothing. Sure, people may speculate as to why Lourey left, which is pedantic post hoc filler for Fish Wrap News, but utterly unimportant. By all appearances, Lourey was able to legislate, by being one of 67, but not administrate to a significant population of staff, and service recipients.

The return of Pam Wheelock, The Fixer, to the political scene is an interesting and well-decided move. HT Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) hint, hint, it should have been the first move rather than sacrifice a Senate seat.    

Watch the Smoke in California

Minnesota Report

If California where its own country it would be the sixth-largest economy in the world. If Minnesota wants to look west to learn how things should be done, they would be well served. On a recent trip to Sacramento, we saw rampant homelessness, but at least the people stayed warm at night, but we didn’t see a blue fog of marijuana smoke or smell it on every street corner.

As we understand it, you can smoke inside your own property but not out on the street, or if you use a pen or vaporizer you really don’t bother anyone. If Minnesota is poised to legalize, they should consider the same public health issues created by the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, HT Phyllis Kahn. Making personal use applicable to a single person and not adversely impactful on anyone else is a necessary element.

#Trumpbait

Minnesota Report

This election Donald J Trump (R) is the end all and be all focus of the 2020 Presidential Election, just as he was in 2018. Yesterday, he sparred with former Vice-President Joe Biden (D-PA) during their mutual visits to the Hawkeye State. Biden started the engagement by releasing his speech in the morning to media sources https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/11/politics/joe-biden-iowa-remarks/index.html. In the speech, the most touted line is, “I believe Trump is an existential threat to America.”

In response, Trump questioned Biden’s capacity for office saying, “I think he’s the weakest mentally and I like running against people that are weak mentally … The other ones have much more energy.

We contend, our point we made before, this is No Country for Old Men. The squabble sounds like two neighbors arguing in their backyards about mowing the grass around the trees that separate them. We hope the election for the highest office in the land, doesn’t come down to being thought of a battle between two mental midgets. Granted, Trump did carry the vote of the less educated.

This is not to say the situation of the 2020 campaign will change much, it will remain all about Trump and America’s love/hate relationship with him or people love to hate feelings toward him.

To this end, we are adopting the hashtag #Trumpbait, which will likely be the measure of the impact a specific policy position or political point makes and whether it results in a tweet from Trump. Its only natural.

So, the 2019-20 political standard of whether or not something in the Presidential election has weighed is it Trump tweets about it.

Ramsey County Commissioner Special Election

Minnesota Report

The filing period to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Blake Huffman (R) after improprieties surfaced with his non-profit development company started on June 4, 2019, and will continue until the end of business June 18th.

Currently, the field consists of Nicole Joy Frethem, Jodi L Hultgren, former State Rep Randy Jessup (R), Christopher X. Nguyen, Edwina Patterson, Rebecca Scholl, Steve Scott, Nick Tamble and Mark Voss.  Other names we have heard are Shoreview City Council Member Cory Springhorn and (DFL) former State Rep Marc Asch (DFL).

The DFL has set an endorsing convention for the day after filings close June 19th at the St Paul Painter’s Union in Little Canada. This will allow candidates to withdrawal prior to the Primary date.

It is worth noting, the filing dates for this race differ from those for St Paul City Council because those races do not have a Primary, due to Ranked Choice Voting. The filing dates for St Paul City Council Elections are June 30-August 13.

A September Special Session or One Earlier

Minnesota Report

As different problems arise from the 2019 Legislative Session, failure to pass an emergency insulin program, lack of a Bonding Bill and now the troubles for Minnesota’s Legislative Water Commission, which was formed in 2014, funded in this budget, but is set to expire July 1, 2019.

The main driver of the need for another Special Session is the insulin issue and the main point being no one should die over the lack of this long-standing medical treatment, but as in many other areas of health care, the price is going up sharply.

We don’t have any particular insight into the date of a Special Session, but the ability to call one rests solely in the hands of Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN). Today, he is holding a panel discussion on the issue.

Lillehaug to Retire

Minnesota Report

State Supreme Court Justice David Lillehaug announces his decision to retire from the bench rather than seeking reelection in 2020. His announcement comes after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. The announcement from Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) included the following:

“Justice Lillehaug is a brilliant legal mind and true public servant,” said Governor Walz. “For decades, he’s brought his deep constitutional knowledge and strong moral compass to nearly every constitutional issue facing Minnesota. I was sorry to learn of Justice Lillehaug’s anticipated retirement, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the people of Minnesota.”

 

Progress Toward a Special Session

Minnesota Report

Throughout the day we have been receiving notice of hearings for each respective side on a specific bill, but not for the full Conference Committee to have a public hearing. Yesterday and today, leadership has stepped in, mainly on the House side to assist in advancing the respective bills, because the policy provisions were far more significant on that side of the negotiations. Though logic would dictate a slower speed would warrant more precision.

The triumvirate of Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN), Speaker Melissa Hortman (36B, Brooklyn Park) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) is now being referred to as the Tribunal. Good thing we are past the Ides of March.

In some cases, leadership had even made decisions on the particulars without the involvement of the respective chair even present during the process. This might be due to how strong the chair was in advancing their side or it could be a result of the chair’s relationship with their own leadership.

As we had mentioned before there were agreed to provisions which were green-lighted, areas of slight disagreement, which advanced with a bit of caution and full stop, no go provisions that were clearly red lighted.

As each side hold its hearing on the final form of the bills, many of the policy provisions are hitting the cutting room floor and will need to be resurrected next legislative session. Though like Senate Republicans attempted to reintroduce items vetoed last legislative session, when Republicans held full control, that dog won’t hunt.

Right now, the bills that are taking the longest are the Omnibus Health & Human Services and the Bonding Bill.

It will be interesting to see what order the bills are presented in since the Bonding Bill requires a super majority of 60%, 90 votes in the House and 41 in the Senate, one would think to start there would be a way to gauge the rest of the proceedings, and it is a lynchpin of the overall agreement.

We are hearing they are on bogging down on their path for the Special Session not likely be called for tomorrow Friday looks more probable, but if House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-30A, Crown) doesn’t put up the 12 votes to suspend the Rules, then it will take three full days to get things done

The basic idea is the sooner they start the faster they’ll finish.

2019 Budget Agreement

Last night, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN), House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DF_36B, Brooklyn Park) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) announce a budget agreement for the 2020-21 legislative session. What we found most interesting was Gazelka’s characterization of negotiations, “It was a draw. That’s what we have here.”

The total package comes in at $48.3 billion in spending obligations, does Federal Tax conformity, but changes other collection to reflect a zero-tax increase, reduces the 2nd tier of income tax from 7.02% to 6.8 by 2022, provides 2% increases in education funding each year of the biennium, does not include a gas tax or license tab fees and reduced the Health Care Provider tax from 2% to 1.8% eliminating the sunset provision. To get to the finish line the budget reserve is tapped leaving $491 million. One significant salient point made by Gazelka, because of the vetos the last legislative session of the “Omnibus Prime Bill” there was more money in the Budget Reserve. Also, because of the lack of Federal Conformity, the state took in more money.

Minnesota government is set to grow about a half percent greater than the rate of inflation and provides funding for a multitude of state programs. The final agreement accounts for an increase in spending 5.8% over the 2019-20 budget. All sides agreed to a $500 million bonding bill with a large amount being spent for housing. Additionally, the leadership group agreed to the formation of a Blue-Ribbon committee charged with finding $100 million in health and human services cost saving by 2023.

As we learned in the press conference and had declared last week, we knew that only agreed to policy provisions will be allowed to advance. Hortman said the only bills that will pass are, “Only bills that are okay Sen Gazelka and okay with me.”

Now, the focus will be on the Conference Committees, We found it interesting when watching the committee proceeding, specifically in Health and Human Services, where Sen Michelle Benson (R-31, Ham Lake) flipped through her version of the bill and it was clearly recognizable where the highlights of green, yellow and red could be seen. We expect green was agreed to, yellow possible agreement, either once targets became known, or some tweaking of the policy language and red full stop.

As we are tracking this and the other Conference Committees the agreed to language is continuing to move forward and we expect they will make the floor in short order.

It is clear not all of the work will be done on-time though Walz a former football coach called that “overtime,”, and when asked when a Special Session would be Hortman said, she believed by Thursday this week.

 

($ in millions)
FY 2020-21 FY 2022-23
Ag, Housing & Broadband 59.511 13.900
E-12 Education 540.000 719.000
Economic Development 10.000 -5.900
Environment 13.780 7.900
Health & Human Services* -357.849 -557.210
Higher Education 150.000 150.000
Public Safety 125.000 150.000
State Government 63.374 61.418
Transportation 93.454 1.352
Taxes 0.000 0.000
Bonding Debt Service 27.320 49.093
Vulnerable Adults 30.849 24.210
Others Bills 4.471 4.300
*This reflects increased spending, offset by health care access fund resources of 4270 million in FY 20-21 and $514 in FY 22-23 an$142 million from the Premium Security Account in FY 20-21

The Coming of the Four Horsemen

If you want to be memorable in Minnesota State Capitol politics it is good if you are referred to as something other than your name. It is often helpful when a term or a phrase can be applied to your, group, issue or initiative. If you want to be known as something...

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...

Structuring a Deal in Budget Negotiations

Minnesota Report When we listened to House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-31A, Crown) discuss the ongoing budget negotiations, of which he is not a participant in the discussions, we found it interesting that he declared his assessment of where the state can go based...

read more

Busuri Reneges on Pledge Not to Run

Minnesota Report We were in conversation with appointed St Paul Ward 6 City Council Member Kassim Busuri yesterday morning when we learned he would be filing to seek the seat rather than adhering to the pledge he original made, not to run when he was originally...

read more

Budget Impasse Continues

Minnesota Report People were told Sunday negotiations would continue, last night, Governor Walz (DFL-MN), House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-36B, Brooklyn Park) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) met to discuss the stalled budget negotiations. This...

read more

2019 University of Minnesota Regents Selection Results

Minnesota Report The results of the University of Minnesota Regents selection was announced by voice vote, but no documentation was available from the floor yesterday. As we now know, Mike Kenyanya was selected as the Student Regent, Jaynie Mayeron 5th Congressional...

read more

Subscribe to Checks and Balances

Checks & Balances is experiencing some dramatic changes. We are creating a more robust site for your viewing pleasure.
 

Subscribe to Checks and Balances

Donate to support Checks & Balances

Checks & Balances is the site of the first paid political advertisement in the history of the Internet.
 

State(s)

Archives