Checks & Balances at 35

Minnesota Report We would like to note as the legislative session opens, Minnesota’s first digital political magazine, Checks & Balances enters its 34 legislative session and is experiencing its 35th year of existence. Our site is the location of the first paid...

North of State Office Building is Dramatic

Minnesota Report Looking out a north facing window in the Minnesota State Office Building is like watching construction video. In addition to the earth moving for the foundation for the extension, we also saw the removal of the old Ford Building, which also is an...

A Tropic Report on the MN Revenue Forecast

Dominican Republic Report on Minnesota Well, not being in Minnesota for the Revenue Forecast might seem like a problem, but since it’s only a numerical report, which is available online, no biggie. I would have a replacement in Elize Bierbaum, if she would learn...

True DFLers Must be Anti-DSA or DSC Candidates Even if DFL-endorsed

Minnesota Report If you view this article as anti-DFL you are sorely mistaken. We used to have a section called Words of Wisdom and this seems appropos. The Democratic Socialists (Democratic Socialists of America or Democratic Socialist Caucus endorsees) of any stripe...

Bourne v Hawj

Minnesota Report St Paul Ward 7 candidate Alexander Bourne, yes, he is the same guy who ran in Ward 6 last election, receiving a pittance of 276 or 4.84%, and is once again going nowhere today, has thrown down the gauntlet with incumbent Senator Foung Hawj (DFL-67, St...

2023 Early Voting Numbers

Minnesota Report With the municipal elections happening today, we thought the early voting numbers were worth viewing. Ward Early Vote Minneapolis Ward 1 616 Minneapolis Ward 2 282 Minneapolis Ward 3 1482 Minneapolis Ward 4 339 Minneapolis Ward 5 559 Minneapolis Ward...

How the Trump Effect Impacts These Elections

National, Virginia & New Jersey Report With the mid-term election occurring in the Commonwealth of Virginia for its House of Delegates and Senate, along with the General Assembly and Senate elections in New Jersey, we will witness the impact of Donald J Trump (R)....

Is Winkler’s Op/Ed Advanced Notice of a Congressional Bid

Minnesota Report Was former House Majority Leader Op/Ed on August 10th Ryan Winkler: Skeptics like Dean Phillips should count on Joe Biden telegraphing of his own bid for Congressman Dean Phillip’s third district seat? Winkler the godfather of Marijuana Legalization...

Historic Moment: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Ousted

National & Minnesota Report Moments ago, House Resolution 747 was offered by Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL01) to declare the Speaker’s position vacant. On a vote of 216 to 210 Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA20) was ousted. This is the first time in our...

Analyzing Klobuchar’s Election Performance by the Numbers

National & Minnesota Report In 2006, current US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) defeated three-term Congressman Mark Kennedy (R-06MN) by a sizable margin to fill the seat vacated by US Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN). Party Candidate Vote Total % Republican MARK KENNEDY...

Secretary Simon Clarifies the 14th Amendment Question

Minnesota Report Yesterday, Secretary of State Steve Simon (DFL) released the following statement regarding applying the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution here in Minnesota. We also will remind you, dedicated readers, about our article on this same topic which is...

2023 House State Fair Poll Results

Minnesota Report For more than 25 years Checks & Balances has published the questions asked and the answers provided from Minnesota State Fairgoers who completed the State Fair Poll at the legislative booths in the Education Building. Here are the results. 2023...

Will Different States Disqualify Trump for Election

National & Minnesota Report The question over Donald J Trump’s (R) ballot access might be the ultimate determiner of the 2023 election. Since the focus of a presidential race is always the Electoral College and the ability to get 270 votes if enough states bar...

Can Minnesota Prevent Trump from the Ballot?

National & Minnesota Report Because Minnesota became a state just prior to the Civil War (April 12, 1861 – April 9, 1865) and the adoption of its constitution on October 13, 1857, and includes Article I Bill of Rights Sec. 9. Treason defined. Treason against the...

More for Your Life at the Fair

Minnesota Report We were on hand to witness and even suggested this picture of US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and the different firefighter calendar models at the Great-Minnesota-Get-Together. Since this picture was taken on opening day, US Senator Tina Smith (D-MN)...

2023 Minnesota State Fair Polls

Minnesota Report Each year we publish two (nonscientific) polls from the state legislative booths at the fair. Upon completion of the 12-Day August event, the legislative information offices release the results. Historically, we have found issues included in the...

Trump’s Fourth Indictment

National, Georgia Report If the indictment of Donald J Trump (R) results in results in a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) conviction then he should then be referred to as The Diapered Don. This is due to his wearing adult diapers before The...

An Element of the Omnibus Environment Bill is an Economic Engine

Minnesota Report One aspect of HF2310, Omnibus Environment, Climate, and Energy appropriations is its economic boost. Because of the provisions to extend the use of crossbows to all archery hunting options for people below 60, crossbow sales and accessories are having...

Legalization Day

Minnesota Report Celebrate, Celebrate, Dance to the Music. It’s official people can now, legally smoke their own homegrown weed, which will likely become more of a social ill like cigarette smoking soon after it starts. The legal use of cannabis comes with its...

Law Enforcement is Creating a False Concern Over Cannabis DUI’s

Minnesota Report The diatribe from law enforcement trying to establish irrational fears over our highways and streets being overrun by more people Driving While High, is utter BS. We believe there will be no significant increase in this statistic because the people...

A Phillip’s Presidential Bid is a Way to Elevate His Profile

Minnesota & National Report In 2016, when US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) challenged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) the was a significant distinction between the two she was a legitimate Democratic candidate and he was a construction of a made-up term...

Axios Swing Voters Survey Echoes the Beginning of Checks & Balances

Minnesota Report As people start to speculate on the impact of the 2023 legislative session on the 2024 State House Elections the questions about what became law will mainly be shaped by where people reside and whether they received a direct benefit. On balance, if a...

Identifying and Labeling AI

Minnesota Report As Congress, Legislators, and Regulators discuss the impact of the variety of industries and applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), we believe an important question is over the politics of origination. Being able to track where something comes...

Impact of Felony Voters Not Yet Present

Minnesota Report We sought to access the voter registration data after the passage of legislation to restore voting rights to approximately 55,000 voters and have found little in the way of early adoption. Only 7303 people are new registrants since June 1st. As...

Destabilization in Putin’s Russia

National & Minnesota Report On Wednesday, the Wagner Group which is headed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, nicknamed the chef because he served Vladimir Putin, and in turn, bit the hand that feeds him and attacked the Russian Industrial Complex. Prior to Prigozhin’s change...

Ukraine is America’s and Democracy’s Surrogate

National & Minnesota Report Vladimir Putin’s War in Ukraine is an affront to all Western democracies and a threat to their very existence. The support for Ukraine, neither a member of NATO nor the European Union is significant because of the proximity to both with...

Trump’s Federal Indictment and Arraignment

National & Minnesota Report Since Thursday’s announcement of the 37 count Federal Indictment of Donald J Trump in Miami all nearly all news outlets—including Fox News, and NewsMax—blogs, and social media sites have been abuzz with a variety of articles, analyses,...

How Political Tribalism Risks Becoming Political Cannibalism

National & Minnesota Report What is most evident in the Donald J Trump (R) Mega Movement and the counterclaims offered up and attacked by the Trumpers such as the agendas presented by the left from Climate Change Environmentalism, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives...

It is Official, Summer Olympic Trials Coming to Minnesota in 2024

Minnesota Report Minnesota will be the final stop on the journey to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 when it hosts the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics, USA Gymnastics and Minnesota Sports and Events announced Tuesday. Highlighted by the Olympic Trials,...

The Debt Ceiling Debate and the 14th Amendment

National and Minnesota Report The rights found in the 14th Amendment grow more, important in our minds every time it is invoked. We have argued repeatedly, the use of Ranked Choice Voting is a violation of bother the Equal Protection and the Due Process Clause, and...

Truth in Labeling or a New Informative Typographic Symbol (AI)

National and Minnesota Report Since US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) along with Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Michael Bennet  (D-CO) have called for REAL Political Ads Act, we believe she should push further and provide a requirement for all Artificial Intelligence...

Beaker McCarthy and Other Muppets

National and Minnesota Report As we listen to US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA20) rationales for limiting the National Debt, we wonder where was his pushback against Donald J Trump (R). His constant critique is disingenuous and warrants specific context. Trump...

A Break in the Capital Investment Conundrum

Minnesota Report As we have learned, yesterday at 1:40 am Senate Republicans ascended to the political reality, if they want to have any of their projects funded this legislative session, they had to play ball and vote for a Bonding Bill. This borrowed money component...

Minnesota Set to Become 23rd State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Minnesota Report The bill is headed to Governor Tim Walz’ (DFL-MN) to be signed and our state will join 22 others in ending Refer Madness. Prior to the consortium orchestrated attack on the smokable product—the likes of William Randolph Hearst, due to his publishing...

Combined Nursing Homes & Childcare Facilities

Minnesota Report As people grow older, they often are treated similarly as they were when they were children. In this reality, people are experiencing greater burdens on their family finances, at the beginning and the later stages of life, so why not have a facility...

Passed and Pending (2nd Update)

Minnesota Report A state-paid family and medical leave program and tighter gun control legislation are headed to Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) for his signature. Walz has signed 40 pieces of legislation to arrive on his desk. Governor Approval (40) It will be a working...

Transportation Bill and Added Revenue Enhancements

Minnesota Report As things move forward in the Transportation Conference Committee on HF2887/SF3157, a delivery fee is again in the crosshairs. Because it is a flat fee, it will impact large and small operations differently. During the debate, testimony was offered by...

Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act of 2023

Minnesota Report The legislation named Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act of 2023 HF1700/SF1561 is now a stand-alone bill and will be negotiated separately from any omnibus bill. In a press conference prior to the conference committee set to meet to reconcile the two...

Republican Legislators Struggle to Be Relevant

Minnesota Report The political reality for Republicans in the state legislature is hard to accept, but when you are in the Minority you are out of power except for voting for a Bonding Bill. The DFL Trifecta as long as it remains intact, is virtually unstoppable. The...

Doar Expressed His Surprise They Didn’t Go Further

Minnesota Report We spoke with Gun Owner’s Caucus Chair Rob Doar yesterday at the Capitol and asked him about his thoughts on the Red Flag law and he said, “I’m surprised they didn’t go further. He also expressed concern over the lack of due...

Donald J Trump, the Unartful Dodger

National & Minnesota Report Last night, former President Donald J Trump (R) returned to New Hampshire for a town hall forum hosted at Saint Anselm College and moderated by CNN Reporter Kaitlan Collins. The event commenced with a question from Collins, asked if he...

Passed and Pending (Updated)

Minnesota Report As we keep you apprised of the volume of issues being acted on in the legislature and then signed by Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) we will note he has signed all thirty-five pieces of legislation to arrive on his desk and has yet to veto a single piece....

Happy Birthday Minnesota

Minnesota Report On Thursday, May 11th, Minnesota turns 165 years of age, and the chandelier at the top of the Capitol Rotunda will be switched on. This is the only time this occurs and it will burn for 24 hours. This week is dubbed Statehood Week and various...

The Pending Debt Limit Debacle is Calling for Russian Roulette

National Report Today, President Joe Biden (D) met with the bipartisan Congressional leadership on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-20, Bakersfield), House Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies (D-08, NYC), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senate Minority...

Senate Paid Family and Medical Leave Passage

Minnesota Report The vote result was a Senate commonplace 34-33. The debate was robust, Republican opposition very vocal, but none of their amendments passed. At one point, Sen Steve Drazkowski (R-20, Mazeppa) really poked the bear, invoking the words of Governor Ron...

Passed and Pending Legislation

Minnesota Report On Monday, the legislature met in a joint session to advance four persons to serve as members of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents from the 2nd, 3rd, and 8th Congressional Districts along with one at-large member, all for a term of six...

What Does Minnesota Look Like Politically in 2023?

Minnesota Report If a person unfamiliar with the political landscape of Minnesota were to try and understand our political make-up and were to use the spate of legislation passing this session, they might believe Minnesota to be a hard left-leaning state. Now, there...

The Cannabis Bill Takes a Midnight Pause

Minnesota Report HF100 Omnibus cannabis bill ran out-of-procedural time last night, due to a desire in the House chamber to not legislate after 12:00 pm out of consideration for member’s safety. The body adjourned shortly after the witching hour to return today at...

The Conflicts Between Local Control and Preemption

Minnesota Report Last night during the debate on HF100 Omnibus cannabis bill Rep Jim Nash (R-48A, Waconia) brought forward an amendment on Local Control, with the crux being local communities could if passed be able to state where or not they would allow the sale of...

A Lament for a Lost Friend

Minnesota & Texas Report When 911 happened our nation came together, when Donald J Trump (R) was elected our nation was rent asunder. When January 6th happened, our nation descended into a depth of despair and as the daily incidents of gun violence occur on our...

Governor Tim Walz 2023 State of the State Address

Minnesota Report Last night, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) returned to the House Legislative Chamber to deliver his State of the State address. It was clear from the tenor of the speech, the highlights of accomplishments were far greater with DFL control of the...

Use Technology to Adequately Determine Miles Used for Deliveries

Minnesota Report GPS Technology is the tool Uber and Lyft use to determine their costs for a pick-up for ride shares. Door Dash uses the same for deliveries and UPS makes all of its delivery routes as right turn only to determine the fewest stops for drivers. Instead...

March 2023 Unemployment and Labor Participation Report from DEED

Minnesota Report Today, the Department of Employment and Economic Development released the Unemployment Rate and Labor Force Participation Rate report for March 2023. Unemployment Rate Down; Labor Force Participation Rate Remains the Same Minnesota lost 5,700 jobs in...

The Emergence or Reemergence of Tennessee RepubliKlans

National & Tennessee Report Upon learning about the brewing controversy over the three Tennessee Democratic Assembly members, who voiced their collective opposition to the lack of responsible gun laws, in the aftermath of the March 27, 2023, Covenant School...

President Biden to Visit Cummings in Fridley Today

Minnesota Report In the 1980s, the Fridley plant President Joe Biden (D) will visit was called Cummings Diesel, but now it is called Cummings Power Generation Facility. Soon after Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, Cummings announced it would commence...

RCV is Not the Answer, But What About a Jungle Primary?

Minnesota Report As Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is challenged as a viable voting system, this does not mean there is a lack of need for electoral reform. If claims of voting integrity can be voiced, and proven, then they should be addressed. Minnesota has a solid...

Monticello is the Sum of All Our Fears

Minnesota Report In 2006, Xcel Energy sought and received an extension of its lease on the Monticello Nuclear Power Plant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which was set to expire in 2010, allowing it to continue operation until 2030. This federal decision...

Walz v Other Governors

National & Minnesota Report When Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) announced his 2024-25 he declared his goal for Minnesota to be the best place to raise a kid. As time has moved forward, he has elevated his profile in the national media by criticizing Florida Governor...

Conceived, Developed, Funded, and Made in Minnesota

National & Minnesota Report On October 20, 2020, the DOD Approves $87 Million for Newest Bioindustrial Manufacturing Innovation Institute headquartered at the University of Minnesota, St Paul Campus with a satellite office in Berkeley, CA. This federal funding...

Light Rail Drug Use Problem Continues

Minnesota Report So far the law enforcement response to the rampant drug use on the Light Rail System is minimal at best because the perpetrators know the cops are coming. Any regular rider who is plagued by the people who are sleeping on the train, jumping on for a...

The DFL Trifecta Agrees to a 17.9 Bill Budget

Minnesota Report On Tuesday, Governor Tim Walz (D-MN) House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-34B, Brooklyn Park) and filling in for the recovering Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-60, Minneapolis) Senate President Bobby Jo Champion (DFL-59, Minneapolis) all...

Bill Introductions Keep Coming

Minnesota Report A running total of 3,082 have been introduced in the House and 3,102 in the Senate, which is the most authored in any year of a biennium legislative session. To date, 18 have been signed into law. In the Senate,  Sen John Hoffman (DFL-34, Champlin)...

Senate Majority Leader Dziedzic Announces Cancer Diagnosis

Minnesota Report Last evening, via press release, Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-60, Minneapolis) announced a cancer diagnosis, first detected in December. This personal challenge is also a political one because of the close 34-33 DFL Majority and shows the...

Again, Walz for President Story, This Time Not from Us

National & Minnesota Report Last week, the Daily Beast ran the following article Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Walz Is the Anti-DeSantis. Dems Should Take Note. This follows well after our story from May 19, 2022, Tim Walz for President. Its glad to see like minds, sharing...

Court Ruling in Texas Could Stop Medical Abortions

National & Texas Report In a case in Amarillo, TX, which is an example of “judge shopping” may impinge the the ability for women to secure the pills used for medical abortions, which is the principle means the procedure is administered nationwide....

Could There Be Two Infrastructure Bills This Session?

Minnesota Report Observing the Senate Capital Investment Committee on Thursday, provided some interesting information when trying to glean an understanding of the potential for a Bonding Bill. A number of Republican Senators sat flanked by the respective mayors, city...

Increase in Legislative Salaries

Minnesota Report The Legislative Salary Council voted unanimously to increase legislative salaries 7.25% from $51,750 to $55,501. The salaries were increased last in 2021.The main factor in the decision is to account for the dramatic increase in inflation. The change...

Reporting Our Regular Bill Introduction List

Minnesota Report  Prior to today’s session, 2826 have been introduced in the House and 2,938 in the Senate. To date, only 13 have been signed into law. In the Senate,  Sen John Hoffman (DFL-34, Champlin) retains the lead with 104, Sen Mary Kunesh (DFL-39, New...

The Prospects for Senate Support of a Bonding Bill Looks Quite Grim

Minnesota Report The passage of HF670 on Monday on a vote of 91 to 43 may bolster some who envision the possibilities for passage of a bill for the first time in three years, but because of the realities in the Senate, its not likely. As we scrutinize the 21...

Speaking of Urdahl, One of His Books is Being Turned into a Movie

Minnesota Report Capitol observers might be familiar with the fact, Dean Urdahl (R-16A, Grove City) is a writer of historical fiction based on the Civil War era. The first book in his Uprising Saga series, Uprising is set to be on the small screen offered by one of...

New Legislators Need Be Wary

Minnesota Report When members of the legislature first come to St Paul, their lives change dramatically. They now have staff people at their beck and call, people they have never met before seek meetings with them to share compelling stories and ask for assistance,...

Continued Large Flow of Legislation

Minnesota Report This week we have been a little remiss, and not provided our Monday offering of bill introductions. For context, we thought it to be worthy to look at the two past regular legislative sessions and the number bill introductions not accounting for the...

2023 February Revenue Forecast

Minnesota Report We have just learned from the Office of Management and Budget website, the 2023 February Revenue Forecast fell a single percentage point down to $17.5 billion.  These are now true numbers Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) and the legislature will use for...

Bill Introductions Continue to Set a Break Necked Pace

Minnesota Report In our fourth Monday installment, we continue to call attention to the number of bills introductions in each body, and which members are setting the pace, with full recognition the numbers will continue to change. The new running totals are: 2173...

US Supreme Court to Hear Two Student Loan Issues

National & Minnesota Report As the US Supreme Court hears the case against the Biden administration student debt program to forgive up to $20,000 for recipients of Pell Grants, it creates an aspect of generational equity with the Millennials of Generation X and...

Bevy of Bills Still Rising

Minnesota Report For the third Monday in a row, we are calling attention to the number of bills introductions in each body, and which members are leading. This is a process and the number are merely a snapshot, because the totals will continue to change. Our...

Not Surprising, Fox News is Just Propaganda

National and Minnesota Report Anyone who has listened to Fox News Hosts or contributors Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Maria Bartiromo, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, or Sidney Powell have always known this is nothing more than propaganda. While, its...

Status of Legislative Passage by the Numbers

Minnesota Report With the heightened focus on the partisan nature of the 2023 legislature and recognition of this fact in recent legislative sessions, we thought a direct look at the legislation passed and signed into law, to be warranted. Here is a breakdown of the...

Legislative Activity Returning to a Semblance of Normal

Minnesota Report With the number of associations and organizations ascending to the legislature this week, offered a feeling of things getting back to an aspect of “normal.” This is a reflection of institutional changes, mainly the House opening its doors in the State...

Increase in Bill Introductions Continues

Minnesota Report For the last two Mondays, we have been calling attention to the number of bills introduced in each body, and the respective top three authors to provide some semblance of insight into the ongoing activity. Again, because we are doing this prior to the...

Klobuchar’s Continued Focus on Ticketmaster is Rightly Headed

National & Minnesota Report Sen Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) work in the Senate Judiciary Committee delving into the business practices of Ticketmaster have already uncovered some significant consumer protection issues. It is becoming evident that Ticketmaster has a...

Do You Have Your Checks & Balances Subscription?

Minnesota Report Checks & Balances is Minnesota’s first digital political publication, and site of the first paid political advertisement. Our digital fingerprint began December 8, 1995 and with the exception of 2015, we been underway ever since. We are asking for...

All Aboard the Northern Lights Express

Minnesota Report The idea of reviving the train route from the Twin Cities to Duluth is a high dosage of nostalgia for those yearning for a passage back to another era. The sights of the porters loading the bags and the conductors punching the tickets in their long...

Speaker Seeking to Put Brakes on Legislation

Minnesota Report We are hearing House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-37B, Brooklyn Park) is seeking to curtail the volume of legislation being drafted and wants only members not lobbyists putting bills in the Hopper. As of today, prior to the start of the today’s...

New DNC Presidential Primary Plan, Minnesota Holds Fast

National & Minnesota Report On Friday, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted to approve the Rules Committee approved Primary Calendar. Which was determined on December 22, 2022, when the DNC’s Rules Committee voted to approve a proposal reorganizing the...

Clean Energy Bill Headed to Governor for Signature

Minnesota Report In the first late night session, the senate passed HF0007, on a party line vote 34-33, compared to the House passage last week of 70-60, which also reflected strong party influence. Now, the bill heads to Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) which he has...

2022 End-of-the-Year Campaign Finance Reports

Minnesota Report The End-of-the-Year Campaign Finance Reports are available and these show the total contributions and expenditures for the 2022 election granted it is well after the fact, but does show what is reported and an insight into what actually occurred. We...

Pace and Substance of the Legislative Session

Minnesota Report By all accounts, the amount of early action by the two legislative bodies is setting an aggressive pace and the items being considered are quite substantial. The total number of bills introductions posted on the respective websites this morning, show...

Governor Proposes a Whopping Capital Budget

Minnesota Report Yesterday, at the St Paul Regional Water Services facility in Roseville, backed with strong and visible support from our state’s labor unions, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) presented his $3,274,319 billion Capital Budget, which includes, funding for the...

A Behind the Scene Tour of the St Paul Waterworks

Minnesota Report We have the opportunity to tour the 1900 Rice Street location to the St Paul Regionally Water Services and learned that the process from providing water without, color, taste, or smell is a very involved process, but also fairly rudimentary. They draw...

The Drug Epidemic Evident on the LRT Everyday

Minnesota Report As we left the State Revenue Building and caught the Light Rail Transit back to the State Capitol, we were once again shocked at the unmitigated chaos on the train. As soon as we boarded, which we will point out was only the fourth stop on the line...

ICYMI: The House is Finally Open to the Public

Minnesota Report The State Office Building, finally opened its doors on Monday. Now, things are back to nearly a semblance of regular order. The Senate Office Building was opened up last legislative session under Republican control and remained so this legislative...

Legislative Committee Deadlines

Minnesota Report Because of the speed in which the legislature is moving, the Legislative Committee Deadlines might not be overly significant, but still worth noting. Announced on January 12, they are: Committee Deadlines 1st deadline – March 10, 2023. 2nd...

As Anticipated, Calls for Proportionality on Senate Committees

Minnesota Report We were fairly confident sparks were set to fly on the floor of the Senate yesterday and right we were. The proceedings took eight hours and the major bones of contention were offered up by former GOP House members who now have the luxury of a...

Senate Set to Allow Remote Floor Privileges

Minnesota Report Another Issue of concern is something we became accustomed to during the pandemic, which is remote session participation. During the discussion, Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-60, Minneapolis) talked about female members who had born...

Expectations of More Joint Committee Hearing and Pre-Conferred Bills

Minnesota Report We are hearing about the possibility of joint action on certain pieces of legislation in order to expedite their passage. In the legislative vernacular, these are call Pre-Conferred Bill. It has been a longtime since a piece of legislation, except a...

House Set to Reopen Next Week

Minnesota Report On Tuesday, entrants into the State Office Building were disappointed to find the doors to the legislative floors still closed to the public. This is directly opposite of the Senate, which remains as it was under Republican control open and accessible...

Speaker Emmer?

National and Minnesota Report As we are watching the the Speaker’s election in Washington DC, and the problems Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-20, CA) is having, we think an open speculation about the possibility of Congressman Tom Emmer (R-6, MN) being a...

Expected Floor Fight Today in Senate

Minnesota Report We understand there will be lots of bluster and opposition occurring today on the floor of the state Senate over the various policies, procedures and committee positions from the Senate Republicans. One factor is likely the number of seats the...

Getting the Last-Minute Kinks Out

Minnesota Report It shouldn’t be a surprise to any Capitol observer, that the Senate runs on it own schedule and speed. We have noticed there are still some vacancies to be filled, specifically Legislative Assistants for a couple of members. Some voicemails are still...

The First Day of the Next Four Years

Minnesota Report  Yesterday, at the Fitzgerald Theater, all five DFL Constitutional Officers were sworn in and made their remarks to represent themselves to the state of Minnesota. The entirety of the event can be seen here Inaugural Remarks courtesy of Minnesota...

The Legislature Will Make Its Own Marks of History Today

Minnesota Report House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-34B, Brooklyn Park) and Senate President Bobby Jo Champion (DFL-59, Minneapolis) will gavel in the two most diverse chambers in our state’s history. 37.81% of the members of both bodies are women, with 52 of the 134...

2023-24 Legislative Committee Rosters

Minnesota Report This evening the state senate released its committee membership lists as did the house late last week. We have attempted to flesh out each list in a little more logical fashion, which makes the most sense to us. You will note, the meeting day(s) and...

Will the DFL Trifecta Use One-Time Money for Capital Investment?

Minnesota Report During yesterday’s press conference, we carried a single note, and asked Governor TIm Walz (DFL-MN) House Majority Leader-elect Jamie Long (DFL-61B, Minneapolis) and Senate Majority Leader-elect Kari Dziedzic (DFL-60, Minneapolis) about the lack...

Walz on Twitter Post Elon Musk

National and Minnesota Report After Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) finished his press conference on the November Budget Forecast, we caught him in the hall and asked him if he was considering exiting Twitter with the entrance of Elon Musk. We mentioned his nearly 205,000...

2022 December Revenue Forecast

Minnesota Report Today, at 11:45 am, MN Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter, and State Economist Dr Laura Kalambokidis will be announcing the preliminary projected budget figure leading into the 2023 legislative session. In February, the actual budget...

Ranked Choice Voting: Worst Idea Ever

Minnesota Report One of the biggest fears we have had with our support for the DFL retaking the Senate Majority was the advancement of the idea of Instant Run-off Voting for all elections, federal, constitutional and legislative. The selection of Sen Jim Carlson...

For the Record

Minnesota Report Since there is no legislative activity until next year, we will reference the new legislative district numbers in our articles from this point forward. Unless of course we are writing about a non-returning member.

2023-24 Election Directories

Minnesota Report We looked for the legislative election directories today and only found the newly elected members of the House. https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hinfo/leginfo/elecdir22.pdf We called the Senate and we informed, in spite of it being half the size of...

Senate & House Leadership

Minnesota Report The DFL Senate Caucus met yesterday and the Carpenter’s Union Hall in St Paul to select their new leadership team. The wisely picked a pragmatic, thoughtful and seasoned veteran in Sen Kari Dziedzic (DFL-60, Minneapolis). We understand this was a one...

Red Ripple

National and Minnesota Report Nationally, the momentum of the Red Wave across the nation did materialize and it only resulted in a Red Ripple. Donald J Trump (R) and his Election Deniers (sounds Like a band) lost their elections from top to bottom in US Senate and...

Voter Turnout and Now Only Two Major Parties Moving Forward

Minnesota Report 2,510,693 people voted for Governor; this was 70.64% of the eligible voters and no third-party candidate achieved 5% which means neither the Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis nor the Legal Marijuana Now will be considered a major party. We also...

Legislative Leadership Elections

Minnesota Report House The DFL House Caucus will meet today and select a new Majority Leader. The names of the candidates we are hearing it will be a contest between Reps Jamie Long (DFL-61B, Minneapolis) and Kaohly Vang Her (DFL-64A, St Paul), are in their second...

No Red Trifecta, but Rather a Blue Trifecta

Minnesota Report Yes, there were some significant loses in Tuesday’s returns in Reps Mary Murphy (DFL-03B, Hermantown) and Rod Eklund (DFL-03A, International Falls), but one reprieve might be the pending recounts. The reelection of Governor Tim Walz and Lt Governor...

Significant Legislative Contests

Minnesota Report House HD3A: Challenger Roger Skraba (R-03A, Ely) defeated incumbent Rep Rob Ecklund (DFL-03A, International Falls) a difference of 15 votes. The results were 10,868 or 49.98% to 10,853 to 49.91%. There were 22 write-in votes, and this race will be an...

Big Fight in the Lowest Voting District in the State

Minnesota Report The Eastside of St Paul has a rich history of immigrants and refugees’ communities, but also one adverse factor, its poor performance at the polls.  The Eastside Senate District 67 is not only the last district by number it is also determined by...

Fletcher Letter Had No Impact on Statewide Races

Minnesota Report Last week when Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher sent out his call to our state’s leaders was nominally responded to, at best. Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R-28, Winona) made the expected political response saying their bill they advance...

Jim Schultz aka Beavis in Real Life

Minnesota Report Yes, we know this might be trite, a bit sophomoric, but when you are trying to get hits and boost your visibility a cheap shot is worth its weight in gold. We have been looking at so many distortionistic ads by the Jim Schultz (R-MN) for Attorney...

2022 Pre-General Campaign Finance Report

Minnesota Report The September Campaign Finance Reports are in and they provide an interesting perspective on the the status of the various campaigns and the political parties. Governor Tim Walz (DFL) & Peggy Flanagan Beginning Cash 3,626,393.33 Total Receipts...

Crime: Focus St Paul

MInnesota Report The number of cars driving by with increased noise due to the loss of a catalytic converter is a common occurrence on St Paul’s Eastside. On any given day, nearly at any given time, if you see a group of people all getting on the light rail and moving...

Sheriff Fletcher Letter to Lawmakers

Minnesota Report Today, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher sent out the following four-page letter to the state legislature, calling for them to act on the rampant crime occuring in our state. He calls on all elected leaders to respond....

Jenson’s Logical Fallacy and Fearmongering in Carjacking Ad

Minnesota Report Crime is often an issue Republicans deploy to unsettle the electorate and instill fear as a factor in an election. The latest commercial by the Scott Jensen (R-MN) campaign has sunk to a new low in Minnesota campaign advertising. The ad entitled...

Second Guessing Walz’ Response to the COVID Pandemic

Minnesota Report No one likes to take their medicine, which is why they added flavors to it. As we listen to the broad debate around whether Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) exceeded his authority through the use of his Executive Powers during the pandemic and blaming him...

Is Jensen Inadvertently Spreading a False Message

Minnesota Report The Scott Jensen (R-MN) campaign Twitter account is guilty of spreading a false narrative tying Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN05) to the Defund the Police movement, with a photoshopped sign in a picture. At a recent event, with Congresswoman Praymila...

Ellison Challenges Fleet Farm Straw Gun Purchases

Minnesota Report Attorney General Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) took a bold step and brought suit against Wisconsin-based Fleet Farm for allowing straw purchases of firearms tot occur.  In his release, they lay-out the rationale for the suit. Click here to read: Attorney...

Walz Essential Worker Checks’ Letter

Minnesota Report We have received a couple of images from a Checks & Balances supporter who sent us their letter from Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN). In spite of these no longer being called Walz Checks, this letter makes them appear to be. The small amount of $487 is...

Our SoS Makes Time

National and Minnesota Report On August 13, 1973, Governor Wendell Anderson (DFL-MN) graced the cover of Time Magazine hoisting a Northern Pike and the Headline read the “Good Life in Minnesota”.  He helped draw attention to positive steps taking place in our state....

The Battle Over Polls

Minnesota Report When KSTP/SurveyUSA Poll came out showing Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) leading Dr Scott Jensen (R-MN) by 18-points it created quite a stir, because the race appeared insurmountable. Other polls are now showing the race a bit closer, but still an...

MN Nurses Strike Day Three

Minnesota Report Today, is the last day of the called 3-day nurse’s strike, 15,000 nurses strong. We are still awaiting information of the two sides returning to the bargaining table. We were on-hand on the first day at St Paul Gillette’s Children’s Hospital and...

Railroad Strike Looming on Friday

National and Minnesota Report President Joe Biden (D) has summoned the Railroad Executives and union leadership to come to Washington DC to forgo a potential strike set for Friday. If this were to occur the impact on the supply chain and the economy will be felt...

We Expect a Special Session

Minnesota Report Whether there is an agreement or not, we believe Governor Tim Walz (D-MN) will call the legislature back in Special Session, in order to highlight the fact, he wants to provide tax relief, rebate checks tot tax payers and potentially a large number of...

Past Gubernatorial Elections

Minnesota Report Republicans have not won a statewide race since 2010, and then only through a plurality. x The best way to view this is through the election results of the past four elections. FYI, in his two elections, Mark Dayton (DFL-MN) also won election by...

Can Birk Pull His Weight in Politics?

There is an interesting Twitter War between former Republican Party Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb aka https://twitter.com/mbrodkorb and Republican Lt Governor candidate Matt Birk aka https://twitter.com/BirkMatt playing out on social media. Brodkorb, who used to be...

2022 State Fair Polls

Minnesota Report Every year for nearly the last 40, in which the Minnesota State Fair has been open, the state legislative booths in the back of the Educational Building have two polls of which, citizens are asked to proved their opinion and via a scanning system,...

Student Loan Forgiveness

National and Minnesota Report President Joe Biden (D) is set to fulfill what many think was a campaign pledge, by announcing $10,000 loan forgiveness for people who make less than $125,000 annually and an additional $10,000 for Pell Grant recipients by executive...

Trump’s Inferiority Party

National and Minnesota Report When Hillary Clinton (D) blurted out and called Donald J Trump (R) supporters as a Basket of Deplorables, she may have personalized and galvanized the Trump base. Because this was a slight to blue-collar voters it likely resulted in...

Political Impacts of Immigrant Communities Increasing

Minnesota Report Today, the MN GOP is celebrating the opening of a Somali Community Center in Minneapolis. It is clear, the most recent immigrant communities of Somali and Hmong, and their diaspora, are not politically monolithic. In the 4th Congressional District,...

Nurses Strike Message is Very Loud and Clear

Minnesota Report It is not surprising to us here at Checks & Balances to learn the 15,000 members of the Minnesota Nurses Association voted to strike.  This extends from Twin Cities Hospital up to the Twin Ports. On August 2nd, while in attendance at the rally...

1st Congressional District Special Election

Minnesota Report The Special Election to fill the balance of the seat left vacant with the death of Congressman Jim Hagedorn (R-MN01) elected former Rep Brad Finstad (R-MN01) to the seat. He will fill out the balance of the tern until January, while simultaneously...

Constitutional Primary Election Results

Minnesota Repor All of the DFLers cruised to victory in their Primary elections. Governor (x) Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan                 416,920 votes for 96.53% Ole Savior and Julia M Parker                       14,982 votes for 3.47%   Secretary of State (x)...

Primary Election Results for State Senate Races

Minnesota Report   Senate District 01 Republicans (x) Mark Johnson (Incumbent)           Dave Hughes       6,312 votes for 85.77% 1,047 votes for 14.27% Senate District 03 Republicans (x) Andrea Zupancich Kelsey Johnson               5,762...

Primary Results for State House Races

Minnesota Report   House 03A Republicans (x) Roger J. Skraba            Blain Johnson     3,030 votes for 66.73% 1,511 votes for 33.27% House 05B Republicans (x) Mike Wiener   Sheldon Monson     2,099 votes for 50.48% 2,059 votes for 49.52%...

Why Doesn’t Metropolitan Police Chief Rick Grates, Do His Job?

Minnesota Report In our mind, Metro Transit Police Chief Rick Grates is guilty of dereliction of duty. Rampant drug use in plain sight on metro transit system. We have seen it first-hand. Sure, video cameras on the Light Rail and buses, but police present is spotty at...

Are MN Nurses Preparing to Strike?

Minnesota Report Yesterday, at the University of Minnesota, on the street corner outside of the McNamara Alumni Center the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) rallied to protest the current state of contract negotiations with a number of Healthcare Nonprofit...

More Gasoline in the Sewer System at the U of MN

Minnesota Report On the grass, behind the location of the MNA rally, is located a manhole cover for the street sewer. After competition of the rally, as we watched the nurse disburse to the three entrances to engage the participants at the Carlson School of...

Combined Campaigning for a DFL Endorsed Candidate and a DSA Pretender

National and Minnesota Report The campaign of Amane Badhasso (DSA) is a systemic challenge to Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN04) and the DFL establishment. The efforts of Take Action MN i.e. Take Credit MN in a combined literature piece position Badhasso along with...

The Bonding Bill Special Session Strife

Minnesota Report The Office of Management and Budget, discussed the pending increase in Capital Investment Bonds based on the two responses by the Federal Reserve to increase the interest rate basis points. This means through the sale of Capital Investment Bonds, the...

Walz Releases 10-year Economic Plan

Minnesota Report Today, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) announce a plan for our state to advance economically. Minnesota outperforms all states in the region and consistently out paces most other states in areas of unemployment, job creation and profitability. The report...

2022 Pre-primary Campaign Finance Reports for State House Candidates

Minnesota Report Minnesota House Primary Races Republican House District 03A Blain Johnson Beginning Cash 0.00 Total Receipts 2000.00 Total Expenditures and Disbursements 692.60 Ending Cash Balance 1307.40 Total Debt of Committee 0.00 Roger J Skraba Beginning Cash...

2022 Pre-primary Campaign Finance Reports

Minnesota Report   Governor Tim Walz (DFL) & Peggy Flanagan Beginning Cash 3,626,393.33 Total Receipts 2,668,489.21 Total Expenditures and Disbursements 1,314,101.61 Ending Cash Balance 4,980,780.93 Total Debt of Committee 0.00 Walz campaign has opted out of...

Wardlow in Deep Kimchi

Minnesota Report Attorney General Candidate Doug Wardlow (R-MN) is facing a significant problem with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board in a complaint from former Deputy Secretary of State Kent Kaiser. H/T Michael Brodkorb. Here is the complaint...

Abortion Politics Revisited

Minnesota Report Why is it mostly men, who make decisions on women’s rights? In the 1990’s the DFL Party had to make a significant decision, which is whether or not they wanted to be a party of pockets of pro-choice places across the state, or if they were going...

DFL House Primary Contests

Minnesota Report There are only two DFL Primary contests which pit incumbent Houses members against their colleagues and one where the incumbent is trying to recapture the label of DFL, when he has been clearly rejected by the DFL House Caucus. Rep John Thompson...

Professor Tad Johnson Becomes a Regent

Minnesota Report On Wednesday, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) appointed Tad Johnson to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. He is filing out the term of David McMillan, who resigned to become the interim Chancellor for the University of Minnesota-Duluth....

Need for a Robust Recycling Program for Electronic Devices

Minnesota Report Yesterday, Congressman Pete Stauber (R-MN08), who we have taken to calling the Toxic Avenger, once again, put out a press release criticizing the House Democratic Majority for seeking to prevent significant environmental degradation....

Organizing Around Roe

Minnesota Report We received the following message from the Diversity Council out of Rochester, MN, which we are sharing so that people know there is shared concern in all areas of the state for the radical action by the US Supreme Court and not just in the...

Special Session Update: Possibility of a Cash Bonding Bill

Minnesota Report   The term is odd, Cash Bonding Bill actually is just an appropriation from the General Fund, but this is legislative parlance. We have had discussions with members of the Republican Senate Majority Caucus about the idea a $2-3 billion dollar...

Technology Concerns Post Roe

National and Minnesota Report The use of social media and technology, could be used to spy on women in anti-choice states. There are now even greater reasons for privacy laws at the state level, and customers should be arguing for these protections in their End User...

Early Presidential Primary

Minnesota Report The DFL Party Chair Ken Martin, Lt Governor Peggy Flanagan (DFL-MN), Attorney General Keith Ellison (DFL-MN), Secretary of State Steve Simon (DFL-MN) all meet with the Democratic National Committee and proposed an earlier Primary Date for Minnesota....

What We Think a Special Session Compromise Could Consist

Minnesota Report The framework agreement which occurred at the end of the legislative session is effectively dead. As we see the various pieces floating like an aftermath of a shipwreck, we observe a few retrievable pieces. The House DFL will not support any permanent...

Juneteenth & the Concentrated Political Activity in SD65

Minnesota Report On Saturday, during a district wide door knock and canvas DFL activists, allies, friends and supporters met at the Martin Luther King Center to cover the district like a blanket. Many notable politicos we in attendance for the effort organized around...

Kill the Rumors About Tina Smith

Minnesota Report On Friday, on Almanac a question was asked of the members of the couch about future plans for US Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), who is not up for election until 2026, as to whether or not she will be seeking reelection. We spoke with her over the weekend...

Dr Death and the Center of Controversy

Minnesota Report Nicknames in political contests maybe fleeting, but other times they are apropos. Because Republican Gubernatorial nominee, former Senator Dr Scott Jensen (R-MN) has opted out of any COVID-19 vaccinations some have taken to referring to him as Dr...

Special Session Update-???

Minnesota Report Discussions we are having with the members of the Republican Senate Majority, which we see as the essential element, to whether a Special Session occurs, are split. We are hearing assessments of 50/50, but largely contingent of whether the three...

Bank Interchange Fee Regulations

National Report In 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act passed, and it originally was intended to protect consumers from the wild speculative nature banks had been pursuing. The underregulated banking industry was operating very cavalier in its loan practices, and was not...

Ability to Have a Special Session Easier After Filing Deadline

Minnesota Report Well, its June 1st, and yesterday was the last day to file for office in 2022, and the significance is now, no one can file against an incumbent and they are free to make decisions which will impact the state, openly and honestly. Yes, the is an...

Primary Field is Set

Minnesota Report Well, the political play-offs begin in earnest today. We know the cast of characters set to take the field. The vast number of legislative retirements, 55, is not the largest ever seen, but quite significant, when including staff retirements, the...

Its Finstad v Ettinger & Two Potheads

National & Minnesota The results of Tuesday’s Special Primary in the 1st Congressional District, finally solidified on the Republican side later Wednesday.  With former state Rep. Brad Finstad (R-MN01) carrying the day with 13,695 for 38.12% over current State Rep...

Session Update (05-22-2022) Managing Failure

Minnesota Report It’s the last day of the legislative session, and a pallor of a cloudy sky sets the stage for the day. Few of the Capitol observers believe there will be a compromise and this legislation session will end and if there is to be any tangible...

Walz for President

National & Minnesota Report Is it too early to start talking about Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) for President? We think not and had speculated this concept when the former Congressman was first elected. Since our state is the only one with a divided legislature and...

DFL Legislators Will Not Be in Rochester

Minnesota Report We have confirmed, the DFL Legislators intend to stay in St Paul, doing the people’s work and will not be in Rochester to endorse Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN), Lt Governor Peggy Flanagan (DFL-MN), Attorney General Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) or State...

DFLers in Rochester

Minnesota Report With the legislative session in its last days, and the DFL State Convention happening in Rochester. We wonder if the DFL members of the state legislature will be in attendance. The DFL Party allows legislators to be automatic delegates to the...

Will This Framework Bring the End of Session or Unravel Everything?

Minnesota Report Yesterday, we received the following press release from Governor Tim Walz’ (DFL-MN) office. Upon viewing the House Legislative Session, later in the day we learned House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-36B, Brooklyn Park) was working remotely....

County Races 2022

Minnesota Report Hennepin and Ramsey County also held their conventions today. All of the incumbents were endorsed and in Ramsey retiring State Rep Rena Moran (DFL-65A, St Paul) secured the endorsement on the first ballot. Her success was directly attributable to her...

MN GOP Endorsement Contest for Governor

Minnesota Report The balloting for Governor has commenced.   Ballot results                                                                           1st Ballot Candidate Raw # % Dr Scott Jensen 555 29.48% Kendall Qualls   484 23.12% Mike Murphy 392 18.73% Neil...

Session Update: (05-12-2022) Nine Days and Counting

Minnesota Report With House Speaker Melissa Hortman’s (DFL-36B, Brooklyn Park) Wednesday announcement on Twitter of a positive COVID test, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler’s (DFL-46A, Golden Valley) endorsement contest for Hennepin County Attorney on Saturday, the...

Let’s Clarify, How Much of the Surplus Is Actually from Income Tax?

Minnesota Report We asked, the MN Office of Management and Budget to clarify an important question, which is how much of the $9.253 billion surplus was generated from Personal Income Tax. We will be clear, we thought this was a simple question, only to find out it was...

Ilhan Omar Survives Endorsement Fight and Jonesing for Endorsements

Minnesota Report On Saturday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN05) easily fended an endorsement challenge from former Minneapolis Schoolboard and City Council Member Don Samuels (DFL). The contest was over quickly since Omar secured 59% on the first ballot. Leading into...

Is Stauber the Toxic Avenger?

National & Minnesota Report On Friday, Congressman Pete Stauber (R-MN08) transcended on the MN State Capitol to criticize the visit by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland came to Minneapolis to highlight the regions use of parks as a public asset. Why because he...

Cash in the Senate Bonding Bill?

Minnesota Report Yesterday, we spoke with Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R-14, Winona) and asked if there was going to be cash in their Bonding Bill. He said, “No there’s not going to be any cash.” We then said Senator David Senjem (R-25, Rochester)...

Loss of Legislative Institutional Memory

Minnesota Report The tally for loss of legislative years, being kept by League of Cities Intergovernmental Relations Director Gary Carlson has hit 547 years, with the announced retirement of Sen Carrie Ruud (R-10, Breezy Point). We expect there will be more...

Walter Mondale Memorial

Minnesota Report On Sunday, President Joe Biden (D), US Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Presidential Historian Jon Meacham, University of Minnesota President Joan Gable, and Professor Larry Jacobs and others, all spoke about qualities and impact...

Opportunity to Truly House Veterans In-Need in Properties They Own

Minnesota Report If you read our piece Shawn Towle Exposes His Past, you learned about Contained Solutions a nonprofit seeking funding to construct housing, fourplexes across the state, in mainly the core cities and regional centers. As the Capital Investment...

Scrutinize Any and All Who Receive Public Money

Minnesota Report On the Republican side of the aisle in the Minnesota legislature, there is a growing call for intensive investigation into nonprofits especially, in light of the FBI raid in January of the office of Feeding Our Future. The alleged abuse of federal and...

Cort Holten Memorial

Minnesota Report Clubs,  Last week, friends gathered at the Lilliedale Pool and Yacht Club and to remember Cort Holten. During the remembrances, people referred to his work creating the Sentencing Guidelines Commission and the creation of card clubs at the race...

Is Rupert Murdoch Responsible for Sowing Seeds of Division in America?

National and Minnesota Report America was not as divided of a nation before the inception of Fox News, and as it was said by Bill Murray in Stripes in 1982, “That’s a fact, Jack.” Comments by President Joe Biden (D) recently revealed his description of Rupert Murdoch...

What Will the Capitol Discussions Be Like After the Holiday Break?

Minnesota Report Legislators will take an extended break after this week and return to their respective districts across the state, away from the Capitol. Historically, this is a common time that results in a level of course correction, or reality check. When this...

US House Passes the Best Election Bill, Decriminalization of Cannabis

Federal and Minnesota Report On Friday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill for cannabis decriminalization on a mostly party line vote 228-164. We argue this is probably the most impactful vote of the entire legislative session, politically. This removes...

Session Forecast: 4/4/2022

Minnesota Report We spoke with a seasoned veteran lobbyist Bill Amberg who has a law firm and runs his own shop, about how he sees the legislative session playing out. He is often a political source with a good read of the tea leaves. Amberg said, he envisions a...

Surprise, Not, Enbridge is Hurting the Environment

Minnesota Report The announcement last week that Enbridge pipeline Number 3 pierced the watershed, three different times, comes as no surprise to us. The fact it occurred and was actually report, well reported well after the occurrence, isn’t a surprise either. The...

Gas Tax Holiday

Minnesota Report The idea of a Gas Tax Holiday this summer is a worthwhile concept. If a short-term fix to soaring gas prices is what Republicans want, then extract a large amount in response Governor Tim Walz (D-MN). In exchange demand the largest Bonding Bill in...

Shawn Towle Exposes His Past

Minnesota Report On Saturday, at a small gathering of friends and supporters, Checks & Balances Publisher Shawn Towle, got humble and discussed his recent history of living three years on a friends couch and another six months in another friend eldest son’s...

Jennifer Schultz for 8th Congressional District

Minnesota Report On Monday, 4th term Rep Jennifer Schultz (DFL-7A, Duluth) will announce her desire to retain the title Representative, but this time it will be at the federal level in Virginia. She announced she would not be seeking reelection earlier in the...

What a Bakk Bid for Governor, Could Mean?

Minnesota Report We recently had a conversation with former DFL Minority/Majority now Independent Sen Tom Bakk (I-MN) about the possibilities of a run for governor. He said, he had an email from someone who would write a check for the first $1000 just that day. He...

Voting Against ALS Funding, Really?

Minnesota Report While watching the tally board on SF3372, a bill inspired by Sen David Tomassoni (I-06, Chisholm), to fund ALS research, commonly known as Lou Gherig Disease, and economic support for families yesterday on the House Floor, we were perplexed when we...

House Follows Our Call on Russian Divestiture

International and Minnesota Report Yesterday, on House Floor the body moved to divest from Russia and Belarus, of which we were the first to call for state divestiture from Russia in February with the Budget Forecast announcement. On a vote of 126-0 the House passed...

Legislative Forecast 3/10/2022: Muddled and Uncertain

Minnesota Report We plan on providing you a general feeling index of what is happening in the halls of the State Capitol. This will be our aggregate assessment of progress and reconciliation between the House DFL Majority, the Republican Senate Majority and Governor...

The True Irony of 2020 Hindsight

Minnesota Report We wrote a story a few weeks back entitled, Have Republicans Forgotten to Listen to Their Mothers? Which begs the question of Republican candidates for Governor on how they would have responded to the COVID Pandemic and be “Better Safe Than Sorry.”...

Concern Over Merging Monopolies

National and Minnesota Report Checks & Balances has always been opposed to structural monopolies, whether they be a municipal electric utility with a franchise agreement, a cable company through a franchise agreement or a railroad. Now, with family connections...

We Prompted Governor Walz on the Ukraine War and He Responded

International, National and Minnesota Report On Tuesday, Checks & Balances was the only media outlet to broach the topic of the Russian War with Ukraine during the Revenue Forecast press conference. We asked the following question of Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN):...

HIB’s Will Find No Support in the Senate Housing Committee

Minnesota Report We spoke with Sen Rich Draheim (R-20, Madison Lake) regarding activity in his Housing Finance and Policy Committee, and learned a interesting piece of information. The Chair does not support Housing Infrastructure Bonds (HIB) for passage because of...

Finally, a Mask Optional Political Event

Minnesota Report Last night, at the Carpenter’s Union Hall, at the same time as President Joe Biden’s (D) State of the Union Address a bipartisan gathering of people came to commemorate and support Sen David Tomassoni (I-06, Chisholm) and contribute to the MN ALS...

An Unbridled Lopez Franzen

Minnesota Report Yesterday’s, retirement announcement by Senate Minority Leader Melisa Lopez Franzen (DFL-49, Edina), the first person of color to hold the top leadership spot in a senate caucus, to retire rather than challenge Sen Ron Latz (DFL-46, St Louis Park),...

In the Aftermath of Lopez Franzen

Minnesota Report As we look at the DFL Senate Minority, we see a functional problem after the legislative session, which is it functional leaderless situation, post Senate Minority Leader Melisa Lopez Franzen (DFL-49, Edina) retirement announcement. Now, its not a...

Senator Newton to Seek a Return to House

Minnesota Report Sen Jerry Newton (DFL-37, Coon Rapids) a retired US Army Sergeant Major was first elected to the House in a Special Election in 2009, lost reelection in 2010, only to comeback in 2013. He then successfully ran for the Senate in 2016 and announced his...

Moving or Musical Legislative Districts

Minnesota Report When new legislative districts are announced the spate of choices are limited for legislators drawn together with another member or for those drawn out of the districts they currently represent. Those choices are, run in the district you are drawn...

What the Legislative Match-ups Look Like

Minnesota Report Senate Seats  Number of Incumbents Paired: 22 Number of Open Seats: 12 DFL v. DFL: 2 Republican v. Republican: 4 DFL v. Republican: r=t Recent announcements are, Sen Mary Kiffmeyer (R-30, Big Lake) is retiring, Rep Eric Lucero (R-30B, Dayton) is...

The 2022 Maps Are In

Minnesota Report We know, every political is looking at the maps and determining how it affects them. The first two elements of the Congressional Map, which stand out are the 2nd Congressional District loses Goodhue and Wabasha counties, and due to their conservative...

Samuels Set to Challenge Omar in 5th Congressional District

National and Minnesota Report Former Minneapolis City Council, School Board member and staunch critic of the Reform the Police Charter Amendment aka Defund the Police, Don Samuels, is preparing to challenge Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN05) for the 5th Congressional...

New Districts Released at Noon

Minnesota Report We, like every other political person, will be paying close attention to the State Redistricting Panels website, as they release the Congressional and State Legislative Maps today at 12:00 pm. https://www.mncourts.gov/2021redistrictingpanel The impact...

Speaker Tentative Pronouncement on Masks

Minnesota Report On Monday, while leaving the House floor at the end of the session, House Speaker Melissa Hortman while speaking with her Press Secretary Ted Modrich pondered out loud in a manner intended to be overhead, whether the need for masks in the House would...

An Agreement on No-Knock Warrants is Emerging

Minnesota Report The execution of Amir Locke, which all can clearly see on video, maybe the catalyst which brings about an end to No-Knock Warrants. Statements from the Gun Rights Owners Caucus and the BIPOC community, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) and other legislative...

Letter to the Editor: Brett Buckner

National and Minnesota Report As Minnesota’s first digital political publication, we have carried opinion from outside voices throughout our history dating back to 1995. Here is a submission on an issue which is currently under attack in across the nation in...

What Governor and Legislative Leaders Say When They are Together

Minnesota Report We participated in a Zoom call with Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) and the legislative leadership, Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R-28, Winona), Senate Minority Leader Melisa Lopez Franzen (DFL-49, Edina), House Minority Leader Ryan Winkler...

MNGOP Caucus Straw Poll

Minnesota Report Last night, the Republican Party of Minnesota held, in-person caucuses, again, this is the GOP response across the board, as we discussed yesterday in the MN State Senate Office Building in our article Two Different Worlds in the State Senate Office...

Complete Campaign Finance Reports Available Here

Minnesota Report Years ago, Checks & Balances asked for the regular report from the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board to be  provided as an Excel Spreadsheet, and thanks to Gary Bauer our request has been fulfilled each time since. Here are the End of...

Stanek Enters the GOP Field for Governor

Minnesota Report Former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek (R-MN) announced his candidacy yesterday and released this campaign ad. Stanek for Governor. He enters a wide field, but believes public safety will be his edge on the competition. His entrance was met by...

Acceptable Currency is Established When Available for Paying Taxes

National & Minnesota Report If Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN06) wants to mainstream cryptocurrency, there is a simple method. The federal government would need to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Doge, non-fungible tokens (NFT) or any other blockchain protected money...

What Can Get Done in the Short Run, at the Legislature?

Minnesota Report In his talk with reporters, a fully-masked Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) and similarly so, Lt Governor Peggy Flannagan (DFL-MN) talked with reporters after dispensing lemon bars and chocolate covered Rice Krispy bars, to the House said, he thought...

Two Different Worlds in the State Senate Office Building

Minnesota Report If you can make you way in the Senate Office Building, you must first stop at the Senate Clerks Desk, have an appointment or contact a specific senate office and wait to be escorted up. If you go to the 1st floor, where the main hearing rooms are,...

What Can the DFL Senate Minority Actually Do this Session?

Minnesota Report We asked the following question of Senate Minority Leader Melissa Lopez Franzen (DFL-49, Edina) C&B: You have conceded the fact that you are not setting the agenda for this legislative session. So, with the fact that this is going to be a session...

Taxes 2022, the Big Negotiation

National Report If we learned anything from Donald J Trump (R) it is the value of hyperbole and overselling. This is why we have been left with the Big Lie, and the stamp of his Presidency and its greasy stain. If President Joe Biden (D) wants to save his Build Back...

Taxes 2022, the Big Negotiation, Minnesota Style

Minnesota Report As the 2022 Legislative Session commences today, we see an opportunity for a compromise on taxes would be mutually beneficial to both political parties, but would take a Herculean Lift to pass. In the light of a $7.7 billion surplus, which we have...

Is Putin’s Ukrainian Posturing Just a Feint?

International and Minnesota Report As the Biden Administration is focused on the Russian build-up surrounding Ukraine, we wonder as the attention is fixated on this region, what is happening elsewhere around the globe. In the case of Vladmir Putin, are his designs on...

Have Republicans Forgotten to Listen to Their Mothers?

Minnesota Report My mother often said, the adage, “Better safe than sorry.” Which then begs the question “Beware the unintended consequences.” In the contest for the Governorship, the Republican candidates will be constantly fighting uphill against Governor Tim Walz...

2022 Legislative Deadlines

Minnesota Report The announcement by Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman (DFL-36B, Brooklyn Park) and Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R-28, Winona) are set. The first deadline of the 2022 is 25th, the 2nd April 1st (No Fooling) and the 3rd on April 8th. Another...

Muhammad to Enter Ramsey County Commissioner Race

Minnesota Report Nick Muhammad, Executive Director of the Black Civic Network is preparing to announce his candidacy for Ramsey County Commissioner in the 6th District. He has been active in the local political scene helping St Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III (DFL-St...

Moran Running for Ramsey County Board

Minnesota Report Rep Rena Moran’s (DFL-65A, St Paul) name is now added to the list of those not seeking reelection. She will be a candidate for the Ramsey County Board seat being vacated by Toni Carter (DFL). Moran the current House Ways and Means Chair, will...

Santa Walz and the Grinch Senate Republicans

Minnesota Report Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) proposal to allot $700.000 million and provide to single tax-filers under $164,000, $175 and joint filers $350 is receiving a traditional response from Republicans, who are calling it a gimmick and in turn calling for...

A Legislative Compromise on a Congressional Map Still Possible

Minnesota Report A letter was sent from Peter Wattson and Joe Mansky to the chairs of the House and Senate Redistricting Committees, as we had said prior there being a possibility of agreement on a Congressional Map because the two offered by the Wattson and the...

A Conversation with Professor Corrie

Minnesota Report We spoke with Concordia College-St Paul Professor Bruce Corrie about the Redistricting Plan that carries his name. We referred to this plan like a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the United Nations, because their principles were not tied to any...

A Talk with Bakk

Minnesota Report Last evening, we had the privilege to have a conversation with Sen Tom Bakk (I-03, Cook). The first question we asked, was are you running for reelection, to which he said, “I might run for Governor, but I haven’t decided.” We followed, but what about...

E-Stop Pop-ups, E-Buses and Why Not Solar Systems at Bus Stops?

Minnesota Report We have said for years, the commuter parking lots for bus riders should have solar panels to collect energy and not just be parking lots but power stations. Now, with the Metropolitan Council rolling out E-Buses and cities starting to place e-charging...

Nurses Great Resignation Underway at Mayo

Minnesota Report There is a great deal of talk about the nursing shortage, but also the failed responses being made by the healthcare institutions is an issue as well. At the Mayo Clinic, nurses are leaving in droves and the clinics response isn’t being met with much...

Dominos Set to Fall in St Paul

Minnesota Report The announcement of Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter (DFL) not to seek reelection, leads to a scenario we refer to as Dominoes. The reason being how it effects other people, especially other currently serving elected officials. The different...

Walz Checks Headed to a Mailbox Near You

Minnesota Report Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) is pulling a play out of the Governor Jesse Ventura (IP-MN) playbook and proposes to return a portion of the surplus in the form of “Walz Checks.” We expect Ventura will be quick to remind us, too. This is...

Governor Walz Releases His Capital Budget and Priorities

Minnesota Report As this is released, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) is holding small site visits to announce different aspects of his Capital Budget request he is presenting to the state legislature. The information is currently available on the Office of Management and...

What Drove the Crow Wing County Board to Act Like a Bunch of Wingnuts?

Minnesota Report On a 4-1 vote, the Crow Wing County Board voted to call for an election audit, in spite of the fact Donald J Trump carried the vote 63.91% over Joe Biden 34.17%. When all but Commissioner Steve Barrows (District 3) voted in favor we then ask if former...

What is the Debate Over Election Integrity All About?

National and Minnesota Report The crux of the debate is the result and whether of not, your person won. This is not democracy, it’s a foregone conclusion and a foist of one perspective on a voting population. On Friday, New York Times Columnist David Brooks said on...

Sportsbook a Viable Financial Instrument to Pay for Venues

Minnesota Report During the debate over a new Viking’s Stadium in the 2012 session, in which a bill finally passed, we had broadly discussed the idea of using Sports Book gambling as a funding source, prior to the US Supreme Court’s decision Murphy v. National...

Today, Redistricting Oral Arguments Commence

Minnesota Report Shortly, the oral arguments being made by the plaintiffs in the Wattson v. Simon case along with the intervenors, Peter Wattson, the lead is former Senate Counsel with significant involvement in past redistricting efforts); the Anderson Plaintiffs...

The Iron Range’s Similarity with West Virginia

National and Minnesota Report As the ongoing dispute with Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) continues over President Joe Biden’s (D) Build Back Better Plan continues we view the negotiations in a similar light as negotiation with members of the Iron Range Delegation were. Some...

Ignorance Is Not Blissful for Democratic Socialists

Minnesota Report Webster’s defines ignorance as a lack of knowledge, understanding, or education. In politics, all are part of the process and each are achieved over the course of time. Those who argue for a big tent in the Democratic Party may be doing so for a...

Treat Every Dollar Like Every Other Dollar

Minnesota Report Income tax is the problem at the federal level and the reason is every dollar is not treated the same. Investment income is tax at a different rate than waged income and when Warren Buffett decries the fact, he pays less in taxable income than his...

Lack of Faith in Dr Jensen’s Negotiating Prowess

Minnesota Report When you come with the title of Doctor then trust is baked into the formula. So, it is why, when the negotiations over Insulin was placed in Dr Scott Jensen’s (R-47, Chaska) people deferred to the doctor and believed when he said, if Minnesota struck...

The DFL Party Dodges a Bullet

Minnesota Report Earlier this week, the DFL Party State Executive Committee considered and firmly rejected to the formation of a constituency caucus called Democratic Socialists. Now, yes, it is clear, there are hard-left leaning politicians and individuals that...

State Coffers are Flush with a Projected Continuing Upside

Minnesota Report Today, the Office of Management and Budget released the November Revenue Forecast. The amount being a surplus of $7.7 billion. The Minnesota economy, jobs numbers and unemployment rates all surpass the federal figures. The outlook is clear and bright...

The Simmering Tensions Between Boebert and Omar Boil Over

National Report Today, another salvo was fired in the battle between Rep Lauren Boebert (R-CO05) and Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN05). This escalating War of Words, Tweets and floor statements is a sharp example of the culture wars playing out on the floor of the House of...

The Effect of Redistricting on Reelections of Incumbents

Minnesota Report When we considered the number of retirements surrounding redistricting elections, our snap judgment was there were greater number of incumbents who bowed out in redistricting years rather than in a normal election cycle. After a review of he election...

MN Revenues Are Up Again

Minnesota Report Yesterday, Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter announced the October Revenue Figures and once again our state is collecting more money than was forecast in February....

Defining the Political Divides in America

National Report For the entirety of our political involvement, we have felt there is a political matrix. Our thoughts were based on the political polarities of left, right and center. Additionally, those three categories having their own divisions of left, right and...

Hausman Announces Retirement

Minnesota Report We received this message in our email last evening conveyed from the DFL Senate District 66 Chair Ryan Lee. Please see the below message from Representative Alice Hausman of House District 66A: Dear friends in District 66, I am sharing the...

Minneapolis Early Voting with Six Days Until Election

Minnesota Report Focus: Minneapolis With an eye on Minneapolis and its municipal elections, we thought a view of the early turnout numbers compared to 2017 worth visiting. In 2017, 105,928 voters cast ballots from the 259,060 registered voters, with 9,762 registering...

Political Philosophy and Societal Change

Minnesota Report Minnesota, as is the rest of the country, is experiencing a political upheaval. The sides are being drawn on mask mandates, vaccine efficacy and government response to the pandemic. As the debate rages, many people fail to see the forest through the...

Was Frey Defensive or Confident?

Minnesota Report Focus: Municipal Elections Friday’s Minneapolis Mayoral Debate on Almanac, was clearly more of a discussion, and a situation where the three other candidates in the race Sheila Nezhad (DFL-Minneapolis), Kate Knuth (DFL-Minneapolis), and AJ Awed...

Everyone Should Take a Picture of Their Ballot This Election

Minnesota Report Focus: Municipal Elections There is a different campaign effort underway in Bloomington and Minnetonka for the voters who cast ballots in their municipal elections to take a picture of the single vote they cast in the voting booth. This is intended...

Impact of the Referenda

Minnesota Report Focus: Municipal Elections Next week voters in both Twin Cities will decide on the person to run their city and whether or not to institute a Rent Control measure in their respective communities. In St Paul, Mayor Melvin Carter III has not taken a...

No Republicans Dare Call It Treason

Minnesota Report The insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6th was nothing short of Treason. Now, because we are a country of laws and not of men, we have a United States Constitution, which allows for innocence before guilt and a trial in a court of law rather...

Does Trump Suffer from Dunning-Kruger Effect?

National Report It is clear, Donald J Trump (R) is deluded but since he has appeared in movies and on television and event hosted a program, started a couple of casinos and bankrupted them, owned a football team in the USFL, and rose to the highest office in the land,...

Making Malcolm the Scapegoat

Minnesota Report Webster’s Dictionary has two definitions of Scapegoat. 2a: one that bears the blame for others b: one that is the object of irrational hostility Both oddly enough, seem to appropriately fit the threat looming from the Republican Majority Controlled...

This Article is Emblematic of the Iron Range.

Minnesota Report Yesterday’s article in MinnPost by Walker Orenstein, entitled What the report on Democrats’ troubles in ‘factory towns’ means for Minnesota, offers an insight to the shifting political changes on the Iron Range and other communities in Greater...

Lienemann Announces Run for Minnesota Senate

Minnesota Report First candidate announces for the DFL endorsement to replace retiring Sen Chuck Wiger (DFL-43, Maplewood). Lienemann announces run for Minnesota Senate  Leslie Lienemann has announced she will seek the DFL endorsement for the current Senate District...

Osmek Holds the Big Gavel

Minnesota Report Sen David Osmek (R-33, Mound) has been selected by his colleagues in the Senate Republican Caucus to suceed Jeremy Miller (R-28, Winona) as the President of the Senate. He receipt of the gavel will occur the next the body convenes.

America’s Haitian Policies Always Have Been Racist

Federal Report As we see Haitians at the Southwestern border gathering under the Del Rio Bridge and then being forced onto plane destined for return to Haiti and her calls of Racism, we are not surprised. American immigration policies have never favored migration from...

Omar Part of the Problem or the Solution?

Federal and State Report Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-06-MN) is a very vocal element in the Congressional group called the Squad. We dubbed her with the superheroine moniker Word awhile back. As The House debates the two key bills the $1.2 Trillion Bipartisan backed...

Bernstein Deems Republican Trump Supporters as Social Secessionists

Federal Report Today, on CNN, famed Washington Post Reporter Carl Bernstein called it as he sees it and clearly identified Republican Donald J Trump (R), akin to civil war secessionists and identifies their mere existence as a threat to democracy. Now, this is not the...

Why Minneapolis Municipal Elections Results are Actual Lies

Minnesota Report In Minneapolis, if you fail to select a candidate, who is not one of the final two finishers your ballot is deemed “Exhausted,” and you have been functionally disenfranchised. We thought this was an egregious issue on its own, but not we understand,...

Redistricting Eric Eskola Style

Minnesota Report We have conceived of a novel idea, which we have always attributed to Eric Eskola of WCCO Radio and TPT Almanac fame, who posed the question of a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 budget solution of 1999 at a gubernatorial press conference. When Reform Party Governor...

DFL Senate Selects Franzen As New Leader

Minnesota Report Last night the Senate DFL met to choose a successor for Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent (DFL-53, Woodbury) who had announced her resignation earlier this month. As we expected, he 31 member caucus selected Sen Melisa Franzen (DFL-49, Edina). The...

New Minneapolis Ballot Language is as Clear as Mud

Minnesota Report It is good to see the Mill City is on one-hand seeking to follow the governance structure of the Capitol City and empower the mayor. On the other, the language of the proposed Minneapolis Charter Amendment on Police Reform in Minneapolis is still an...

Tony Lazarro’s Contributions

Minnesota Report First off, in order to find all of the contributions Anton “Tony” Lazarro made to candidates, party units and PAC’s you will need to look under a number of names. This is significant because as of now, state law only allows active political campaigns...

Wattson Releases Redistricting Plan

Minnesota Report Today, former Senate Counsel Peter Wattson along with former Ramsey County Election Director Joe Masky, have put forward a redistricting plan in support of their case before the five-Judge Redistricting Panel. The plan accounts for three rural...

Need for a Forensic Cyber Audit at the State Patrol?

Minnesota Report A press release from the MN-ACLU, provides a very disturbing view of a potential cover-up by the Minnesota State Patrol’s use of excessive use of force during the George Floyd protests. If the alleged email and text purge occurred then holding the...

2021 House State Fair Poll

We at Checks & Balances are continuing our tradition of publishing the State Fair Polls found at the State Fair booths in the Education Building. Again, as we have said before, these provide an insight into the mindset and the issues of interest of the legislative...

Minneapolis Ballots Referenda, With or Without Explanation?

Minnesota Report When local a ballot measure is put before voters either by petition or by the will of the city council, the definition of “what is, is,” comes to play. Because referenda is a change of course the interpretation of what the course correction is, is...

The Carnahan Consequences

Minnesota Report We find great interest to hear the words of the embattled MNGOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan say she is being subjected to #MeToo and Cancel Culture, when #MeToo is about men and their power over women and not women and their power over other women and...

If Afghan’s Come to Minnesota, We Will Once Again Benefit in 2030

National and Minnesota Report Just as we did in 1990, 2000, and 2020, if Minnesota receives an infusion of new Afghan refugees and over the next decade, they solidify their connection to our state by raising families we will see a similar effect as we did when the...

Carnahan Leaves the Field

Minnesota Report The recent attention on Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan accomplishes one fact it made her the focus of the gamut of political coverage and not Rep John Thompson (DFL-67A, St Paul). Here is an example of where a salacious story with a sexual...

Bipolar Referenda in Minneapolis

Minnesota Report As of now, there will be two different referendums on the ballot in Minneapolis that effectively have cross purposes. One, proposed by the Minneapolis Charter Commission, would change the city structure to giving the more power to the mayor amending...

Disaggregated 2020-2010 Census Data

Minnesota Report Last Thursday, the Decennial 2020 Census Bloc Data was released by the US Census Department and it provides the information necessary for our state to decide what our political subdivisions will look like for the next decade. This will be, by...

Last Day State of Play During Special Session

Minnesota Report As the legislature prepares to complete it’s work, the House is working on the Tax Bill, making sure it covers the costs of what was spent and needs to be paid for, but interesting the Tax Bill doesn’t actually need to be signed. The...

Will There Be a Bonding Bill? If So, Today is the Day.

  The likelihood of a Capital Investment Bill is a truly up in the air question. On the first-hand Republicans have been quite hostile to Bonding Bills in the odd-number years, because this is off cycle. Secondly, with Sen Tom Bakk (I-03, Cook), former DFL...

06-30-2021 Update to Our Checks & Balances Special Session Scorecard

Minnesota Report As the last day of the Special Session looms, there are key items for consideration including Senate concurrent with the House on the E-12 Education Bill in the Senate, a Tax Bill to line up the revenues and cuts and possibly a Bonding Bill. The...

When Will Cryptocurrency Become a Factor in Campaigns

Minnesota and National Report The existence and mainstreaming of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Ethereum begs the question when will these alternative financial currencies become the coin of the realm in politics? We ask this question, because unlike...

All Eyes on Minnesota

Minnesota and National Report It is clear, many people will be tuning in to hear the sentence imposed on Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. As justice is served to Chauvin the three other officers, J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao will pay close...

06-25-2021 Update to Our Checks & Balances Special Session Scorecard

Minnesota Report As the world’s eye’s turn their attention to Minneapolis and the sentencing of convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin, the Judiciary & Public Safety Bill is still in a holding pattern because the two sides cannot find a suitable...

Is There an Opportunity for a Law & Order Candidate in Minneapolis?

Minnesota Report When supporters of Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) declare the system produces majority winners they’re grossly misrepresent the truth. A majority victory (50%+1) has happened here in Minnesota less than 42% of the time when a reallocation of votes occurs....

Our Checks & Balances Special Session Scorecard

Minnesota Report We thought a chart or a scorecard was a simple way to follow the current situation at the state legislature. We believe, this session is not anything front-of-mind for many Minnesotans, and the issue of concern might be important to many, they are not...

Budget Bills Stalled in MN House

Minnesota Report Yesterday, the MN House of Representatives was set to consider four Budget Bills, HF0013 Legacy Fund Budget Omnibus author Rep Leon Lillie (DFL-43B, North St Paul), HF0008 Agriculture Budget Omnibus Author Mike Sundin (DFL-11A, Esko), HF0007 Higher...

State of MN Response to US Supreme Court Decision on ACA

Minnesota Report Yesterday, the US Supreme Court on a 7-2 decision dismissed the case CALIFORNIA ET Al. v TEXAS ET Al. brought by a number of Republican State Attorney’s Generals in in opposition to the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) aka Obama Care, saying the plaintiffs...

On Tap at The Legislature

Minnesota Report The House and Senate both met at 12:00 pm yesterday. The House took up the issue of the Governor’s Executive Powers and again the DFL House Majority supported Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN). We understand the Senate is planning to do so at the end of the...

Open Ramsey County Board Seat in 2022 Election

Minnesota Report Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough (DFL) announced on Facebook last week his decision not to seek reelection. Prior, to this announcement Mai Chong Xiong, Legislative Aide to St Paul City Council Member Dai Thao had announce her intention to...

The Meatpacking Cyberattack is Russian Coordination for Trump

National and Minnesota Report If you haven’t heard the lasted Donald J Trump (R) pipe dream, he will be reinstalled as President by August. The latest cyberattack on JBS, a multinational Brazilian owned company, hits America right where it hurts just as grilling...

State of Play on a Universal Budget Agreement.

Minnesota Report Our conversations with different sides on negotiations for completing their work on the State Budget for 2021-2022 is that Higher Education, Commerce, Agriculture and the Legacy are close to being completed and all other committees are far apart. The...

It’s Official St Paul, Will be Primarily Mask Free.

Minnesota Report Today, St Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III made the Capitol City a freer place to live, work and breath. In the following statement he called for an end to the city’s mask mandate. Here is the complete release. Today, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter signed...

Wreath Laying Ceremony at Fort Snelling on Memorial Day

Minnesota Report We attended the 6:30 am wreath laying ceremony at Fort Snelling on Monday. In attendance were Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) and US Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN). The solemn ceremony was highlighted by a beautiful rendition of two...

One Wrinkle in the Ointment

Minnesota Report The DFL House Majority and its respective committee chair are suffering from a dosage of fear factor and it stems from the failure of the majority to pass State Aid For Emergencies (SAFE) HF0445 back in February. The fact six member of the DFL Caucus...

George Floyd’s Death One Year Later

Minnesota and National Report It is rather pathetic to know that 368 days after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis Police Officer no significant police reform language has passed with the US Congress or the Minnesota Legislature. The failure to...

What the Budget Deal Entails

Minnesota Report   As we understand it the State of Minnesota is still awaiting direction from the US Treasury Department on how it can use the American Rescue Plan Act funds. The question is how the money will be applied by the Office of Management and Budget....

What Moved the Senate Republicans to Cut a Deal?

Minnesota Report Republicans as the anti-government party, may have seemed to cave at the last minute for no apparent reason, but on Sunday night as we were looking at the end of the legislative session we thought if the current situation continued, they put...

Call for a Federal Capital Budget

National and Minnesota Report Since the Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) has experience with Capital Bonding as Lt Governor, she should propose through legislation the formation of a Federal Capital Budget. This is an idea Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-09, CA) has previously...

It’s Plausible for Ranked Choice Voting to be Banned in Minnesota

Minnesota Report Anyone who has read Checks & Balances for the last decade knows our Publisher Shawn Towle is a staunch opponent of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) and he will be testifying before the State Government Finance Conference Committee on HF1952. The Senate...

Little Public Safety Reform Happens in a Conference Committee

Minnesota Report As people are watching the Conference Committee on S.F. 970 – Omnibus judiciary and public safety finance and policy bill they are seeing a process of going through the motions. It doesn’t make good television and is a series of talking heads many...

Credit for Eight Congressional Districts Goes to Somalis and Hmong

Minnesota Report The fact Minnesota retained it 8 Congressional Districts in 2010 and 2020 is do to the two immigrant populations of Somalis and Hmong who came to our state in the 1970-80’s. If it weren’t for this in migration, we would have lost our federal...

End the Use of Latinex

Minnesota and National Report An interesting position has been brought to our attention from political people who identify as Hispanic, they believe the term Latinex cost Democratic votes in states like Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. The reason...

What Do the Chauvin Verdicts Mean?

Minnesota, and National Report It’s sad that our state is the focal point for so much consternation in this nation. We have now justifiably convicted two police officers for killing people while in uniform, Mohamed Noor and now Derek Chauvin. The key evidence in both...

Passing of a Great Man

Minnesota and National Report The announcement of the death of former Vice-President Walter Fritz Mondale hit hard. Checks & Balances Publisher Shawn Towle had the opportunity to talk with him on numerous occasions especially their shared distain for Ranked Choice...

Call for an End of Cable Broadcast Television Fee

Minnesota Report When something is freely available to the public a private company should not be able to charge you for its use. This is blatantly wrong. The cable television business is doing this by charging nearly $20.00 a month for the use of local television...

In the Ongoing Trump Era, Are There Really Two Sides to Every Coin?

National and Minnesota Report As the influence of Donald J Trump (R) continues to affect the Republican parties at both federal and state levels, as is the case in Minnesota, the push for legislation to tighten voting standards and processes, like Photo ID continue....

Establishing Federal Voting Protections Via Executive Order

National and Minnesota Report President Joe Biden’s (D) Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting is a direct response to what is happening across the nation as Republican controlled legislative bodies work to suppress future electoral opportunities for...

No Incentive to Change

Minnesota Report At the start of the 2021 legislative session when House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-36B, Brooklyn Park) decried the end result of the 2020 saying, “We won’t let is happen again,” she was being a bit Pollyannish. The want for the same not to occur is...

Is Walz Dialed In?

Minnesota Report Republicans breathed a sense of relief when Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) announce a greatly anticipated turning of the dial on Friday. Granted, they do not think it has gone far enough and continue to weigh-in on stripping the Executive Powers from him,...

Fear, Loathing, and Contempt in the US Senate

National Report In Washington, DC politics, the concept of entitlement comes into play often, but instead of being about what is a just do from the government as a social program, which fiscal conservatives look askance at, a different well used political statement is...

When Will Redistricting Commence? Minneapolis Really Wants to Know.

Minnesota Report When word came through that we will not receive the report on Census data until September of this year, it means something significant to the legislative process for redistricting which will not actually do much substantial without actual numbers....

Legislative Lobbying During COVID

Minnesota Report We spoke we a number of lobbyists on how they are plying their trade during COVID and learned they are able to exercise their established connections with experienced legislators, but it the freshmen they are having troubles connecting with. Zoom...

Trump’s Party is Best Called the Neo-Know Nothing Party

National Report When we learned the average education level of a Trump voter was below a high school diploma we were not surprised. The simplistic message that brought about his election was repetitive and sounded like an infomercial for a product you really didn’t...

Fischbach Defends Taylor Greene on PBS

Minnesota and National Report Last night, newly elected Congresswoman and former Lt Governor and state Senator Michelle Fischbach (R-MN07) seemed to defend Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA14) under the sneaky issue of “precedent.” Fischbach may use this as...

Republicans Show Signs of Affiliation with the Neo-Know Nothing Party

Minnesota Report While Republicans Challenge the Premise of One Minnesota, that we’re all in on boat concept of the 2018 Tim Walz for Governor Campaign, we see signs of a seething hostility that exists between Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities. This has been...

An Extremely Detailed Map of the 2020 Election Results: Trump v Biden

Minnesota Report ICYMI: The New York Times has an excellent Election Map showing the results by precinct 2016 and 2020. The color scheme shows clearly the changes when you flip back and forth the different areas of the state. Yes, former Vice-President Joe Biden (D)...

In An Attempt Not To Be a Loser, Trump Became One

National Report As Donald J Trump’s (R) second impeachment trial is set to get underway, we reflect back on the rhetoric he espoused in 2016, which was based on the premise of “If We Lose,” in which he had an excuse delivered prior to the...

Governor’s Proposed Budget for 2021-22

Minnesota Report Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) held a press conference to introduce his proposed budget for 2021-22. To view the press conference click here. One feature of the proposal which prior to the event, drew criticism from the Republican side, is the proposed...

Vaccine Rollout was an Unnecessary IT Failure

Minnesota Report When government commenced the idea of bidding out government contracts to the lowest bidder and effectively privatized the system, they play into the Republican mantra of government being inefficient and ineffective. When systems like MNLARS and the...

Major Security Concern at the State Capitol

Minnesota Report In the aftermath of the US Capitol insurrection, while watching a news story about State Capitol Security we witnessed a disturbing picture. The fence surrounding the building is linked together with a set of standard handcuffs. Now, this may seem to...

America Suffers from Truth Decay and Loss of Trust

Minnesota and National Report As Republican officeholders backpedal and try to distance themselves from twice Impeached and the disgraced Donald J Trump (R) they think people suffer from amnesia. The support for Trump was a support for racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism,...

Republicans and Democrats Still Have Dramatic Differences on Elections

Minnesota and National Report When Republicans continue to criticize election procedures they do so with a common thought, which is some wrong happened, they know it but just can’t prove it. When asked about changes to election law, House Speaker Melisa Hortman...

2021 Forum Conversation with the Legislators

Minnesota Report Yesterday, Dana Ferguson hosted the 2021 Forum Conversation with the Legislators. This is an annual event where the Governor and the legislative leaders field questions from the states’ leadership. During, this conversation there was a brightly...

Trump’s Traitorous Terms Are Treasonous

National Report With the onset of the Civil War, in 1861, General Ulysses S Grant said, “There are but two parties now: traitors and patriots. And I want hereafter to be ranked with the latter and, I trust, the stronger party.” When you listen to the phone call from...

All Eyes on Georgia

National Report We haven’t heard of anyone writing a song with this phrase but it seems like an obvious lyric. As we look to the Peach State and reflect upon the November election. The races of US Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Kelly Loeffler were far different....

2021-2022 Session Commences

Minnesota Report Tomorrow, the MN House and Senate will open the 2021-2022 legislative session, swear-in their new and reelected members have the 2nd legislative session under COVID rules. You can watch the proceedings either on Channel 17 on each body’s website....

MN Senate GOP Releases It’s Committee Information for 2001-22

Minnesota Report Yesterday, Senate Republicans released their list of 2021-22 committee assignments. The list includes both Independent members of their caucus, both Sens Tom Bakk (I-03, Cook) and David Tomassoni (I-06, Chisholm), who have actively participated in...

2020 November Revenue Forecast

Minnesota Report Today, Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter and Revenue Commissioner Robert Doty along with State Economist Laura Kalambokidis will release the November Forecast to provide some light on the state’s financial picture. Revenues have...

Speaker Hortman’s Announcement of 2021-22 House Committee Chairs

Minnesota Report   Yesterday, the DFL House Caucus announced it list of committee chairs for the forthcoming legislative session. There are a number of 2nd term members who have received a gavel, and a notable placement of a woman of color, Rep Rena Moran...

Hortman’s Announcement on Moran’s Historic Appointment

Minnesota Report Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman announced the appointment of Rep. Rena Moran (DFL – Saint Paul) as the next chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Moran expressed gratitude for the opportunity to chair the committee, which has broad...

Senate Majority Leader Announces Positive COVID Test

Minnesota Report Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) released the following statement. “Today I received confirmation of my positive covid test. I have been in quarantine since experiencing symptoms last Monday and will remain in quarantine as long as...

Suckers and Losers Post Election

National and Minnesota Report There are reports out of the White House that Donald J Trump (R) is evolving to a position where he is acknowledging his lose and sees the specter of indictments looming on the horizon. He is soliciting money from supporters to assist in...

A Serious Dose of Republican Cynicism

Minnesota Report Yesterday’s selection of Sen David Tomassoni (DFL-06, Chisholm) as the Senate President, the first time a minority member has held the position since partisan elections began in 1972, could have been done for all the right reasons, like reducing the...

Why the Polls Were Wrong

Minnesota and National Report One of the reasons certain voters, read Trump supporters, are legitimate is their distrust of the news media, is because of the polls they continue to report. The reason news organizations do polling is to manufacture a story or a series...

What the Distribution of Votes Looks Like in Ramsey County

Minnesota Report People tracking the 2020 election returns all know the impact of the Absentee Ballots this election. The weight of those votes is not something visible on the Secretary of State’s website, but the information is available from many Counties if...

Potential Affect of Absentee Ballots on Legislative Races Still Pending

Minnesota Report Just as is occurring nationally, here in Minnesota the Absentee Ballot counting has a possible impact on close elections in the legislature. Already in Senate District 14, Aric Putnam (DFL-14, St Cloud) has moved past incumbent Sen Jerry Relph (R-14,...

Pot Parties Only Imperil DFLers

Minnesota Report One factor is clear and DFLers should take notice, as anticipated the Pot Parties only affected DFL candidates even though only the Legal Marijuana Now party fielded any candidates this election. Now, ignorant voices are being raised and calling for...

Questions for Secretary of State Steve Simon on Elections Day

Minnesota Report We had the privilege to interview Secretary of State Steve Simon (DFL). Additionally, we will be on a Zoom Press Conference with him at 4:00 pm and report what we learned then as well. Stay tuned keep coming back through out the night to see what more...

We Were Hacked

Minnesota Report If you have missed us over the last week and a half, its because Checks & Balances was hacked and being used to send out SPAM. It took awhile to address the problem and required us to takedown the site, scrub the information and repost the...

Status of Absentee Ballots (Updated on Election Day)

Minnesota Report The number of Absentee Ballot requests at the start of Election Day,  is nearly three times the amount in 2016. As expected, the largest amount is coming from Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota Counties. The seven-county metropolitan area accounts for...

Who Voted For The Bonding Bill, and Who Did Not

Minnesota Report If any of the legislator’s who did not vote for the Bonding BIll show up at any of the ribbon cutting ceremonies they should be respectfully asked to leave. Too often, people who don’t vote for something do show up and take the credit for...

Guest Submission: Governor Tim Walz

Minnesota Report Pheasant Hunting: A Tradition Continues in a Time of Uncertainty By Governor Tim Walz   Like many Minnesotans, I grew up pheasant hunting, walking the fields on my family’s farm. It was, and is, a tradition passed from one generation to the next....

Status of Absentee Ballots (Updated 10/16/2020)

Minnesota Report During this pandemic, the number of Absentee Ballot requests, which ended on Tuesday, is up over twice the amount in 2016. As expected, the largest mount is coming from Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota Counties. The seven-county metropolitan area accounts...

MPR Debate in 1st Congressional District

Minnesota and National Report Today, on MPR Congressman Jim Hagedorn (R-MN08) and DFL Endorsed Candidate Dan Feehan (D-MN08) faced-off. Shortly, after the completion we received the following Fact Checks from the Feehan Campaign and thought they were worth noting. In...

Textualism Does Not Exist

National and Minnesota Report The wordsmithing and creationist approach to interpreting the US Constitution is clearly evident in the Judge Amy Coney Barrett hearing in the US Senate Judiciary hearing. As a acolyte of Justice Antonin Scalia she sets off on the wrong...

Looks Like a Bonding Bill Will Pass

Minnesota Report We spoke with Sen David Senjem (R-25, Rochester) regarding HF1 Omnibus bonding bill and inquired as to the likelihood of a passage during the 5th Special Session. He explained how he had initiated talks two weeks back with both the Senate Leadership...

Status of Absentee Ballots (Updated 10/09/2020)

Minnesota Report During this pandemic, the number of Absentee Ballot requests, which ended yesterday, is up nearly twice the amount in 2016. As expected, the largest mount is coming from Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota Counties. The seven-county metropolitan area accounts...

Trump’s Guilt by Omission

National and Minnesota Report Three major questions that are not being answered by Donald J Trump (R), the White House or his doctors. When was his last negative test? This is significant because it will clarify if he was contagious on Tuesday Night, during the...

Status of Absentee Ballots

Minnesota Report   During this pandemic, the number of Absentee Ballot requests, which are still ongoing, is up nearly twice the amount in 2016. As expected, the largest mount is coming from Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota Counties. The seven-county metropolitan area...

Trump Contracts COVID-19

National Report Donald J Trump and first lady Melania, have both contracted COVID-19/Corona virus. They are now quarantined and in isolation. Yesterday morning, news reports starting with Bloomberg, confirmed Presidential advisor Hope Hicks, who had been on Air Force...

Craig Files Suit to Maintain November Election Date

Minnesota and National Report   Today, Congresswoman Angie Craig (D-MN02) a suit to over turn the action by Secretary of State Steve Simon (DFL-MN). Article I of the US Constitution states “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and...

All Eyes on RBG (RIP)

National and Minnesota Report At the same moment Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in state as the first woman, and first Jewish woman, to do so we contemplate what brought us to this situation. While generations of women commonly combine their affection...

Trump Fosters QAnon, and We See Signs of It in MN

Minnesota and National Report Attention is being given to Republican candidates who are showing a sympathy to QAnon. This should not be a surprise since Donald J Trump (R) has spoken favorably about the movement because, “They like me very much.”  This radical fringe...

On Wisconsin

Minnesota and Wisconsin Report It’s usually hard for someone from Minnesota to say anything good about Wisconsin, but this year the electoral results of the Badger State are very significant. If Donald J Trump  loses in the state to our east, he will likely lose...

While Siberia Burns Putin Fiddles Around

Minneasota and National Report Yesterday, FBI Director Charles Wray, testified before the House Homeland Security Committee and confirmed the Russian is playing an active role in trying to influence our elections. The Russian Trolls and spoofed websites are continuing...

Feehan Should Push Hagedorn on COVID, Hard

Minnesota and National Report In this election, every race is not about the actual competitors, it’s about Donald J Trump (R) .Since the 1st Congressional District is home to the prestigious Mayo Clinic, and because of the significance of it in the region both...

Ramsey County Has Stealth SUV’s

Minnesota Report On Monday, we were passed by a Ramsey County Sheriff’s SUV painted black, but without the white side panels clearly displaying what it was. Instead the entire vehicle was painted black and the identification was in a slightly lighter variation or...

A Worthy Slimy Addition to Animal Feed

Minnesota Report The impact of climate change is felt broadly throughout our society and the animal industry is a large contributor to methane gas. This significant in our state because of the poultry, bovine, swine, equine, and other ruminants, but there maybe a...

Walz Announces 4th Special Session

Minnesota Report This information was taken from a press release. Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) announced that he will convene the 4th special legislative session on September 11, 2020. He intends to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by another 30 days,...

Senate Confirmations and Rejections

Minnesota Report There is trouble brewing in River City, or in this case, St Paul regarding various Commissioners appointments by Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN). We have had direct conversations with members of the Senate Republican Caucus, and believe Senate Majority...

Trump Becomes Worse than Nixon Again

National and Minnesota Report Bob Woodward may once again have taken down a President with his book Rage. In the early news accounts, he has also released some taped interviews with Donald J Trump (R) which clearly show he had full knowledge of the impact of the...

We Were Solid on Surly

Minnesota Report On Sunday, the employees of Surly Brewing Company held an informational picket against the company stating the shutdown was a response to their unionization effort and not due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We said as much and believe it to be true. Our...

Another MNGOP Hit Piece

Minnesota Report Another distortion piece hit our mailbox yesterday. It again follows the Trump campaign line and put out by the Republican Party of Minnesota. They, like the Trump campaign nationally, are wasting their money trying to target inner city voters to move...

Subscribe to Checks & Balances

Have You Subscribed Yet?   If you find what you are reading to be unique, thoughtful and informative, we ask you to subscribe to Checks & Balances. Since our inception on December 8, 1995, we have regularly scooped the Mainstream Media, we have provided...

Minnesota Falls From 1st to 11th in Census Data Collection

National and Minnesota Report During the COVID-19 stay at home period, Minnesota held a venerable position of 1st place in self-directed Census completions, either by completing the forms online or by mail. With this pace we were likely to retain our eight...

MN Republican Party is Towing the Trump Line

Minnesota Report We received a mailing from the Republican Party of Minnesota sent out the registered voters list, which clearly shows along with the television commercials that have begun running, what the Donald J Trump (R) campaign intends to convey. They are...

Trump and Biden’s Messages

National Report Now that both political conventions have ended, we have two competing scenarios to reflect upon. Donald J Trump (R) poses a Doom & Gloom scenario of a Vice-President Joe Biden (D) Presidency. Trump attempted to invoke a Camelot moment on the White...

Presidential Debate Points

National Report When former Vice-President Joe Biden (D) and Donald J Trump (R) are set to debate and US Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Vice-President Mike Pence (R) have their respective debates. We envision two opportunities for Biden to unsettle Trump and Harris...

Trump Campaign Poll, Yes, We’re on the List

Minnesota & National Report Since, Kanye West successfully has filed as a Presidential candidate, the question will be how much harder will people have to organize in North Minneapolis to turnout the vote? Or will the citizens of the Mill City and other areas be...

The Games Republicans Play

Minnesota Report There is little the Senate Republican Caucus can do in divided government to restrict the Executive Branch, but once again they are preparing to dismantle the Governor Tim Walz (D-MN) administration one person at a time by voting not to confirm his...

MN DNC Vote

National and Minnesota Report At 1:14:57 on this YouTube Channel, the Minnesota Delegation Votes of 60 for former Vice-President Joe Biden (D) and 31 for US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were jointly announced last night by US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and St Paul...

Lesch Is Sole Endorsed DFL House Incumbent Primary Casualty

Minnesota Report It’s likely to have been due to his gender, but of the 40 Primary contests 23 in the House and 17 in the Senate and of the three contested House Primaries with DFL endorsed Incumbents, Rep John Lesch (DFL-66B, St Paul) was the only liability losing to...

Is Minnesota “In Play” in the Presidential Election? Hell No!

Minnesota and National Report We will be the first to say now, and again, if Republicans are so misguided as to believe Minnesota remains in the same place in 2020 as it was in 2016 it is a bet worth taking. Voter turnout fell by 1.7% from 2012, as did overall...

As Frans Heads Out the Door He Provides More Money for the State

Minnesota Report Management and Budget Office Commissioner Myron Frans announced yesterday his departure for a Vice President position at the University of Minnesota. He will be replaced by former MMB Commissioner Jim Schowalter who returns after a stint as CEO of the...

Will a Trump Defeat Decimate the Republican Party?

National and Minnesota Report Stuart Stevens, as a Republican operative, is accepting responsibility for Donald J Trump (R) and is broadcasting the fact, the GOP is steeped in racism and bigotry. Last night, in an interview on the Newshour, based on his recently...

Our Analysis of the 5th Congressional District Primary

National and Minnesota Report At the onset, we will state we believe Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN05) will prevail because it is hard to unseat an incumbent in a Primary, but if it is to occur it’s most likely in the first reelection contest. In 2016, Omar received...

Back to Kurt Daudt

Minnesota Report When the legislature returns for its third Special Session We expect the rhetoric will not have changed very much and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-31A, Crown) will continue with his diatribe of seeking to strip Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) of his...

Republican Perspective on the Police Accountability BIll

Minnesota Report As an alternative viewpoint and giving undue credit to Senator Warren Limmer (R-34, Maple Grove), Republicans put out the following in a press release. Amid the continued drama surrounding this year’s legislative session that endured a COVID-19...

Campaign Finance Reports for Contest Legislative Primaries 2020

Minnesota Report The pre-Primary filings for the different parties and caucuses are in and as it is our tradition we compile them for your perusal. House Seats House District 1A (Open) Republican Contest Candidate John Burkel (GOP Endorsed) Beginning Cash 0.00 Total...

Low Expectations for Compromise Deal This Special Session

Minnesota Report With Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) constitutional requirement to call a Special Session in order to reconstitute his executive powers, it only forces a date to reconvene the legislature, but doesn’t ensure any significant pressure to bring about a...

Gazelka Negotiating Directly with Reps Mariani and Moran

Minnesota Report There isn’t much progress to report, but we have learned Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) has been in discussion with Rep Carlos Mariani (DFL-65B, St Paul) Chair of the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Policy and Finance...

Gazelka Pre-Special Session II Press Conference

Minnesota Report Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) opened his press conference with the following statement, which clearly sets the stage for where his side of the aisle starts “The first thing we will do is vote to remove the Governor’s emergency...

Trump Polling Numbers in Key States Falter

National and Minnesota Report Yesterday, articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post spelled good news for the former Vice-President Joe Biden’s campaign (D). https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/25/upshot/poll-2020-biden-battlegrounds.html...

Walz Announces COVID-19 Distribution Plan

Minnesota Report Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) put forward his administrations plan for distribution of the latest COVID-19 funds for cities and counties across the state. Because there wasn’t  any agreement between the Senate Republicans and House...

Effects of the Legislative Cooling Off Period

Minnesota Report When Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09 Nisswa) adjourned Sine Die on Friday, we said he did so because the DFL overreached and asked for too much in their proposals for police accountability, which leaves the matter unresolved. The pressures...

Ellison Takes on Big Oil

National and Minnesota Report On Wednesday, Attorney General Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) has taken a bold move in his pursuit to hold oil companies and the Petroleum Institute accountable for the impact of climate change. He joins other states and localities like...

The Politics of Law Enforcement are Based on Where You Live

Minnesota Report The debate on the State Senate floor yesterday, on a series of bills, SF 1 Sen Warren Limmer  (R-34, Maple Grove) law enforcement training funding, SF 3 Sen Bill Ingebrigsten (R-08, Alexandria) Use of force reporting to the BCA, SF 104 (Limmer) Use of...

Political Party and Caucus Campaign Finance Reports for Q1 2020

Minnesota Report The Q1 filings for the different parties and caucuses are in and as it is our tradition we compile them for your perusal. DFL Party (MN DFL Central Committee) Total Receipts 2,976,063.50 Total Expenditures and Disbursements 1,979,557.88 Ending Cash...

Three Senate DFLers Support Ending Governor Walz Peacetime Emergency

Minnesota Report Today, both the House and Senate have taken up a Concurrent Resolution SC1 to end Governor Ttim Walz’s (DFL-MN)  Peacetime Emergency Order. The issue is being debated on the floor of the House at this moment and it passed the senate on a 38-29...

Columbus Replaced

Minnesota Report We went to the site of the Christopher Columbus statue and saw an individual squatting in his place. Doug Schiedel sat “Indian Style” atop the pedestal where Columbus once stood and was allowed to stay there by Capitol Police. He was asked by a State...

2020 Special Session Set to Convene

Minnesota Report Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) put forward his expectations for the Special Session tomorrow. He has extended the peacetime emergency, which fosters the need for a Special Session call, but also a number of issues remain unresolved with the...

Columbus Pulled Down from His Position

Minnesota Report Change is coming. The statute of Christopher Columbus on the northeast corner of the Capitol Complex across from the Judiciary Center always seemed oddly placed. Granted, when placed, St Paul was highly influenced by the Roman Catholic Church and St...

Does Trump Even Know What Antifa Is?

National Report The outrage Donald J Trump (R), the self-declared Stable Genius, started when he twittered away about Martin Gugino being a “setup,” after the 75-year-old peace protester was shoved backwards by two Buffalo police officers and his head struck the...

Riotous Trifecta: Anarchists, White Supremacists, and Local Gangs

Minnesota Report When early reports from Mayor Melvin Carter III (DFL-St Paul) stated the protesters and rioters arrested were mainly from out-of-town it seemed like a narrative was being set, which was later proven false.Our discussions with anyone associated with...

Democrats are Providing the Republican Definitive

Minnesota Report With cries to defund or dismantle the police, and declarations to do so, especially when coming from the Minneapolis City Council, Democrats are giving energy to Donald J Trump (R) and the Republicans. Stoking fears in surrounding communities of...

The Attack Poodle Bows Out

Minnesota Report Sen Linda Runbeck (R-53, Circle Pines) left the legislature the first time to run for Congress against Rep Betty McCollum (DFL-55A, North St Paul) and lost by 18-points with 30.89% to McCollum’s 48.04% and it could have been greater since former...

One Week Ago, Today, George Floyd Died

 Minnesota Report George Floyd died a week ago today at 9:25 pm. He was killed by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck, and held down while handcuffed by, while held to the ground by Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng, while Tou Thao, Chauvin’s...

Day Six: Riots Appear Abated

Minnesota Report Today, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) announced a different time for the curfew from 10:00 pm tonight to 4 am tomorrow. This will allow for people to gather again at the site of George Floyd’s death, which occurred at 9:25 pm. The fact only one fire was...

South Minneapolis Ablaze

Minnesota Report  The intersection of East Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue is the outer edge of the Longfellow neighborhood, and is now a war zone in the aftermath of the suffocation killing of George Floyd by Police Officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on his neck while...

Walz Announces COVID-19 Response #4

Minnesota Report In spite of not having fourteen days of a consistent downward trend on the number of cases, currently there have been 18,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 809 deaths, nor do we have a process for contract tracing in place, yesterday Governor Tim Walz...

Republicans Irked by State Employee Raises Going Forward

Minnesota Report When the Senate Republicans passed the State Employee Contract, they did so with an amendment to only agree to the increase or the first year of the contract, but the interpretation of Office of Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans is they...

What the House Retiree Districts Look Like Numerically

Minnesota Report We have looked at the thirteen house districts in which the incumbent is retiring and have seen an interesting picture. There are nine DFLers, two are freshmen, and four Republicans. Each of the Republican seats are in rural districts and are...

Walz Announces Minnesota Supreme Court Appointment

Minnesota Report Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) announces his first appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court Judge Gordon Moore as the replacement for retiring Justice David Lillehaug. Judge Gordon Moore currently serves as a judge in the Fifth Judicial District...

Walz Set to Announce Future of Peacetime State of Emergency

Minnesota Politics Tonight, much of Minnesota is likely to tune into listen what Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) intends regarding the peacetime state of emergency. At 6:00 pm, he is expected to extend it for the third and final time, without legislative approval, but with...

Three Incumbent DFLers Fail to Secure Endorsement

Minnesota Politics When people lose a DFL endorsement fight they often make claims against the process, shenanigans, or inappropriate actions by their opponents to propel them into a primary contest, especially incumbents. On Friday, Senate Assistant Majority Leader...

Quotes from the 2020 Deficit Communications

Minnesota Report In his release following the $2.5 billion deficit through 2021 announcement the following is attributed to Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN). “Today’s budget outlook confirms what we suspected: COVID-19 will badly damage Minnesota’s economy.” “As I said...

A Restart for Elective Surgeries

Minnesota Report Here is information on the release for restart of elective surgeries. Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-51, providing a roadmap for safely restarting elective surgeries. Starting next week, doctors, dentists, and veterinarians who...

COVID Terms of Art

Minnesota Report In politics, it is frequently the case where some word, phrase or acronym is created to short handedly refer to a department, program or event. Sen Mary Kiffmeyer (R-30, Big Lake) has taken to calling different times BC, AC and MC. BC=before COVID,...

MN Budget 2020 Now Projected Deficit

Minnesota Report The following was posted on the MN Management & Budget website. May Interim Budget Projection Minnesota’s budget and economic outlook has significantly worsened since the coronavirus pandemic. A deficit of $2.426 billion is now projected for the...

Walz Scheduled to Announce Next Steps Forward

Minnesota Report Today, at 2:00 pm Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) will announce his decisions regarding the extension or ending of the stay-at-home order. Walz has announced the Stay-at-Home order is extended and bars and restaurants will remain closed until May18th,...

Trump’s Aggressive Email Campaign

National and Minnesota Report If this is a sign of things to come, the Donald J Trump (R) reelection campaign will clearly cultivate its supporters and alienate its detractors. The volume of emails we have seen in the course of two weeks is significant and they are...

Peterson Taking an Active Role

National and Minnesota Politics Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN07) Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee is not sitting idly by during the COVID-19 Pandemic. He joined Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) and Congressman Jim Hagedorn (R-MN01) at the JBS Pork Plant in...

Republican Questions Mounting About State Employment Contracts

Minnesota Report The beginning of a pushback from Senate Republicans on things remaining as is, is fulmenting in regards to state employees. In a release on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka  (R-09, Nisswa) put out the following statement. Today Senate...

Omar is Keeping an Eye on Her Country of Origin

National and Minnesota Report On Saturday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN05) put out a press release about intimidations and suppression activities by the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency against press entities in Somalia. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)...

What’s Old is New Again with Advertising in Local Media

National and Minnesota Report In 1942, when the nation’s manufacturing industry was focused on production for the war effort the Advertising Council, Inc was formed then renamed The War Advertising Council, Inc and it initially produced advertising on enlistment into...

Results of Trump’s Provision of Hydroxychloroquine, Veterans Deaths

National Report This is unconscionable, the Department of Veteran Affairs has released preliminary results of it trial of Hydroxychloroquine and Erythromycin on patients in the VA and it shows a higher mortality rate. Outcomes of hydroxychloroquine usage in United...

Minnesota Moonshot

Minnesota Report One way to wade out of this COVID-19 pandemic is to utilize our domestic resources. Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) announced a partnership between the University of Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic and the Minnesota Department of Health on COVID-19...

Schools to Remain Closed for the Year

Minnesota Report By all appearances Minnesota schools will not be reopened for the 2020 school year.  Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) is expected to announce this later today. This will extend his Stay at Home Order past May 4th and provide additional anxiety to...

During the COVID-19 Pandemic Don’t Forget About Veterans

Minnesota Report Prior to the start of the stay at home order, Checks & Balances Publisher Shawn Towle was set to have a face-to-face meeting, which became a conference call and then a cancellation with MN Housing and Finance Commissioner Jennifer Leimaile Ho.The...

Federal Candidate Filings and Leadership PACS (MN)

Federal Report The reports for federal candidates show an interesting picture in Q1 of the election cycle. We have list all candidates who have filed. US Senate name office_full party_full state receipts disbursements cash_on_hand_end_period debts_owed_by_committee...

The Return of a Ranked Choice Voting Ban

Minnesota Report We spoke with State Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee Chair Mary Kiffmeyer (R-30, Big Lake) and learned she will be revisiting Sen Mark Koran’s (R-32, North Branch) bill SF3385 Ranked-choice voting local government adoption...

Expectations on Budget Forecast, Prior to Announcement

Minnesota Report We are expecting a February Budget Forecast to be largely inline with the November Forecast. The quarterly report released by Minnesota Management & Budget Office showed a slight improvement on receipts, but some corporate figures are expected in...

House Votes on Insulin and Presidential Primary

Minnesota Report Last night, the Minnesota House passed two bills, HF3100 establishing an Emergency Insulin program 75-52 and HF3068 regulating the Presidential Primary results 72-55. Both set up a conflict with the Senate. In regards to Insulin the DFL wants the...

Expressing the Need for Two Separate Figures in Budget Forecasting

Minnesota Report Since 2002, under the Administration of Governor Jesse Ventura (I-MN) Budget Forecasts have not included inflation and have largely been a misrepresentations of the true cost of of Minnesota government. In her bill, HF150 Rep Jennifer...

Will Minnesota Save the Sail?

Minnesota Report The US Navy saw fit to name only one of its 33 Los Angeles-class submarines after two cities when commissioning the USS Minneapolis-St Paul (SSN-708). Submarines get attention. This one is a unique symbol and should be saved. But “The Mighty MSP” is...

St Paul Delegation Welcome Back Legislators Reception

Minnesota Report On Wednesday February 26th, from 5-7:30 pm the St Paul Legislative delegation is hosting a reception in the Stadium Club at Allianz Field for the rest of the legislature and the political community. This is one of the premier social events during the...

Only the Two Women Leaders Have Home Field Contests on Super Tuesday

National and Minnesota Report When the 14 states hold their presidential primaries, only Minnesota and Massachusetts will have a favorite daughter in the mix. US Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will be under dual scrutiny both nationally and...

Surveying the Bloomberg Campaign Post the Nevada Debate

Minnesota and National Report In spite of not being a candidate for consideration in tomorrow’s caucuses in Nevada Michael Bloomberg (D-NY) attended the debate moderated by NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC anchor Lester Holt, Meet the Press moderator and NBC News...

Klobuchar Already Defeated Trump Cronies

 National Report In 1994, when Amy Klobuchar (DFL) ran for Hennepin County Attorney against Sheryl Ramstad Hvass (R) for Hennepin County Attorney she came up against the likes of Roger Stone and Paul Manafort who were consultants for the sister of Congressman Jim...

Need for Light Rail Conductors

Minnesota Report The call for Ambassadors on the Light Rail lines seems weak and a term that conveys niceties rather than someone in charge. We suggest implementing Conductors rather than glad-handing Ambassadors. A Conductor is defined as “a person in charge of a...

Significant Staff Changes in the MN Legislature

Minnesota Report The return of John Pollard to the DFL Senate as the Minority Chief of Staff is not to only change in staffing throughout the legislature, there are numerous staff changes in both bodies and on both sides of the aisle. An update to contact lists and...

Administration Joins the PolyMet Appeal Call

Minnesota Report Yesterday, the DNR put out the following press release DNR seeks review of Court of Appeals decision on PolyMet permits Today the Department of Natural Resources submitted a petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court seeking review of the Minnesota Court...

Klobuchar Gets Third Ticket Out of New Hampshire

National Report US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) finished a strong third with 19.8% of the vote, last night in the New Hampshire Primary coming 17,361 votes behind first place finisher US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).  He surge is attributed to her performance in last...

Draz Jabs Daudt During Sine Die Debate

Minnesota Report Normally, the opening of the legislative session is mostly ceremonial and functional. New bills are given their first reading, in this case two new legislators, Rep-elects Sydney Jordan (DFL-60B, Minneapolis) and Paul Novotny (R-30A, Elk River) were...

50 Year Anniversary for the Legislative Reference Library

Minnesota Report One of the finest and most helpful institutions is the Legislative Reference Library and it will be celebrating is 50th year of existence tomorrow February 13, 2020. The will be cake and light refreshments from 1:30-3:00 pm. We spend a great deal of...

A Talk with Bakk

Minnesota Report After the Jobs for Minnesotans press conference we had the opportunity to speak with former Minority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-03 Cook). In our conversation we learned the following, no he is not changing parties and yes he will be running for reelection....

PolyMet Support is Diverse

Minnesota Report We attended a press conference hosted by Jobs for Minnesotans and witnessed a coalition of the Chamber of Commerce, Organized Labor and legislative Leadership on both sides of the aisle and in both legislative bodies. The group came together to...

Forum Forum 2020

Minnesota Report It might sound redundant, but it’s not. Prior to the start of each legislative session, the Forum News Service hosted a forum of the governor and legislative leadership. In this instance, Dana Ferguson of the Frum News Service moderated and it...

Two Special Elections and the Results, Stand Pat

Minnesota Report Yesterday, two Special Elections were held to fill the vacancies created by the death of Rep Diane Loeffler (DFL-60A, Minneapolis) and the early retirement of Rep Nick Zerwas (R-30A, Elk River). In Minneapolis, Sydney Jordan (DFL-60A, Minneapolis)...

Still Waiting for Iowa

Minnesota Report Two days after the Iowa Caucuses we are still waiting for the final results. As of now, there are still only 71% of the precincts reported. The most up-to-date site is from the IA Democratic Party https://results.thecaucuses.org/ and other entities...

McCollum Commercials During the IA Caucus Coverage

Minnesota Report On Tuesday, while watching the IA Caucus coverage were surprised to see a number of commercials run by Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-MN04) Chair of the Interior-Environment Subcommittee of Appropriations. The ads were in the tradition of her...

Defense of the Caucus System

National Report (IA) The lack of the Iowa Caucus results is not due to the Caucus System but rather the reporting method. As we have now learned, the problem was with the app used to report the results developed by Shadow Inc, a company founded by Gerard...

After Bakk Ouster Republicans Make Range Appeal

Republicans have just posted a statement from Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) in response to the defeat of Sen Tom Bakk (DFL-03, Cook) by new Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent (DFL-53, Woodbury)....

The Faces of the DFL Leadership in the 2020 Election

Minnesota Report US Senator Tina Smith (D-MN)                               House Speaker Melissa Hortman                                  Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent     There will be a distinct visual change on the DFL side in 2020. US Senator Tina Smith...

Political Party and Caucus Campaign Finance Reports for 2019

Minnesota Report The annual filings for the different parties and caucuses were due last week and as it is our tradition we compile them for your perusal. DFL Party (MN DFL Central Committee) Total Receipts 3,555,902.52 Total Expenditures and Disbursements...

The Imperial Presidency

National Politics With the vote pending on the calling of witnesses in the Impeachment Trial of Donald J Trump (R), and an expectation the call will fail due to the Republican Majority control we believe this constitutes the codification of the Imperial Presidency as...

Know Thy Enemy

National Politics The US v Them mentality in US Politics has been labeled as Tribalism. The concept of there being a Blue Brain and a Red Brain was first voiced in a 1994 survey in England, and later it was documented in a study in 1997. It was again the focus of...

DFL Senate Leadership Contest Tomorrow

Minnesota Politics On Saturday, the DFL Senate Minority Caucus will meet and discuss whether or not they will hold a vote on their leadership moving now, or wait for the normal vote after the election. The contest is a challenge by current Assistant Minority Leader...

Do Republicans Endorse Trump’s Actions?

National Politics The religious statement one often hears when someone thought to be a religious person is found to have committed some transgression of the law, is “Love the sinner, but not the sin.” This seems to be a constant task for Republicans regarding Donald J...

Klobuchar in Iowa

National Politics In spite of being stuck in Washington, DC due to the impeachment trial, while the non-Senators campaign across Iowa, US Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) Presidential Campaign did well on the political talk show circuit on Sunday and also received...

The Value of Voter Data and the Weaponization of Party Identification

Minnesota Report Until the rise of Donald J Trump (R) the fear of others knowing how one votes was a minor consideration. But now, when we regularly hear the vitriol and lies spouted from the podium of the President the fear factor becomes far more real. First off,...

Trump’s Tribe

National Report Much has been discussed about the devolution into tribalism in the American Electorate. In 2003, http://tribe.net was born and it was an attempt to gather together likeminded people with similar interests. This form of tribalism in the social media...

Republican 2020 Vision, Hindsight or Foresight

Minnesota Report Yesterday’s, press conference by the Republican Senate majority discussed much of what they had done in the past legislative session and more what they would like to do during the 2020 session. The issues and initiatives advanced by Senate Majority...

Tackling the Transportation Funding Problem

Minnesota Report Face it, roads, bridges, transit and all forms of transportation fixes and improvements all cost significant amounts of money. Republicans are calling for the use of some cash for projects rather than creating long-term obligations through state...

Klobuchar’s Presidential Fundraising Numbers

National Elections Early reports about US Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) Presidential fundraising numbers at $11.4 million. We thought these warranted a bit of scrutiny to see how well she faired from within Minnesota compared to the rest of the nation. Overall, her...

MN Congressional Districts: Will there be Seven or Eight?

Minnesota Report With 2020 being a Census Year, and at the forefront of a “Stub Election” our term for the two-year state senate elections at the end of the decade, due to redistricting Minnesota has the chance to determine its own political fate. Currently, all that...

Passing of a Behind the Scenes Moveable Force in the SOS

Minnesota Report We attended the visitation for former Deputy Secretary of State Elaine (Voldness) Voss last evening. Today, at 11:00 AM services are taking place at Peace Lutheran Church in Coon Rapids. We had the opportunity to listen to great stories from Former...

Growe and Strudevant Scribing a Book

Minnesota Report Former Secretary of State Joan Anderson Growe (DFL-MN) 1975-1999, the second woman to hold the position, and former Star Tribune Columnist Lori Strudevant are crafting a book for the Minnesota Historical Society due out in August. We are expecting an...

Items to Consider Regarding DFL Senate Leadership Discussion

Minnesota Report    VS    The DFL Senate Caucus had a meeting set for tomorrow, which was postponed by Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-03, Cook) after an email announcement by Senate Assistant Minority Leader Susan Kent (DFL-53, Woodbury) of her intent to...

Revenue Forecast Shows a Significant Surplus

Minnesota Report The Office of Management and Budget released the Revenue Forecast today showing a $1.332 billion surplus. When the legislature reconvenes on February 11th, they will wait for the February Forecast to set their legislative priorities....

Exposing a Fraud

Minnesota & National Report The second week of Impeachment Hearings will continue to dominate our television stations, resulting in many conversations amongst pundits and continue to expose the political divides in our society. The series of testimonies from the...

The Truth Behind Ranked Choice Voting

Minnesota Report Now that the 2019 elections are over in St Paul, we sought information from interim Elections Director David Triplett on what actually transpired and received the following answers to our questions. Additionally, we have a spreadsheet of all of the...

Protecting Our Water Resource

Minnesota Report We were shocked to hear to the boldness of a proposal to ship our water out-of-the state to western states. This resource, a climate change continues to rise, will make water an ever-increasingly demanded commodity, but the exploitation and exporting...

Ward Six Interviews (Thao)

Minnesota Report C&B: All right, I’m interviewing Terry Thao for Ward 6 and Terry, can you tell me when did you move to St. Paul? Thao: Um, I was seven years old, um, so it was ’87, ‘86 with my family. We were part of the secondary migration of the Hmong...

DeMay’s Name on the Ballot

Minnesota Report Jim DeMay will be watching election returns tomorrow night and watching for his own name in the tabulation. The Pfizer Lobbyist is a candidate for School Board in ISD #621 in the communities of Moundsview and North Oaks. DeMay is a known Democrat...

Peterson Votes Against Impeachment

Rep Collin Peterson (D-07MN) was one of two votes against the impeachment of Donald J Trump. This maintains his consistency on the issue since he has been vocally against the position since the conversation began. Because his district is very conservative this makes...

Walz Statewide Tour is Challenging Republican Philosophy

Minnesota Report When Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) began his campaign for governor he advanced the theme of One Minnesota. Now, as a concept this is a worthy effort, it presupposes a similar theme of the University of Minnesota football team’s Row the Boat idea of the...

University Regents Selection Under a Colored Prism

Minnesota Report Today, at noon, both houses of the legislature will meet in joint session for selection of four the University of Minnesota Regents. The positions are the Student Regent, 5th Congressional District Regent, and two At-Large Regents. Since the positions...

There Will Be a Joint Convention on U of MN Regents

Minnesota Report Today, on the House floor House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-46A, Golden Valley) announced there will be a joint convention between the House and Senate for the selection of University of Minnesota Regents. The selection will include the student...

Sanders, Buttigieg and Harris All Miss the Point

National Report During the CNN town hall, when US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated his support for a universal reenfranchisement of the voting rights for felons including the Boston Marathon Bombers (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev) and sexual offenders...

There is An Alternative to the Health Care Provider Tax; A Sugar Tax

Minnesota Report As we listen to the debate of whether the state should continue the Health Care Providers Tax, we keep hearing the argument because there is nothing else. This is not true. We have discussed the idea of a tax on sugar on high fructose-based products....

Need to Change Minnesota Crop Production

Minnesota Report Because of the tariffs imposed on China by Donald J Trump (R), Minnesota needs to change is Agricultural mix. The mono-cultural growing of corn and beans (soybeans) will not be as productive since China was the largest consumer of soybeans and because...

DW High

Minnesota Report Yesterday, during the Responsible on Cannabis press conference we coined a new term DW High. We asked the following questions of Rep Carlos Mariani Rosa (DFL-65A, St Paul). Also present were Health and Human Services Chair Rena Moran DFL-65B, St...

Rep Elkins Don’t Be Bamboozled

When we saw a picture of Rep Steve Elkins (DFL-49B, Bloomington) sitting next to Jeanne Massey from FairVoteMN introducing HF983, we had our normal response, “What is he doing?” We know Elkins is a freshman and that may account for his naivete, but as a resident of...

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If you are reading Checks & Balances, it is clear you find value in it and so we ask for your support. This endeavor started in 1995, has remained at the forefront of political reporting, regularly scooping other media sources and providing an insider’s...

First Paid Political Advertisement Ran Here 21 Years Ago

There were a number of firsts that occurred in the 1998 Governor’s race besides the My Three Sons Primary and the election of third-party candidate Jesse Ventura, In 1997, the Ted Mondale for Governor campaign took out, what is known as the First Paid Political...

Attorney General and the Big Unasked Questions

We have said time-after-time this election will be largely based on support/opposition to Donald J Trump and this will be most evident in the Attorney General’s race. We are hearing reports from homes of traditional DFLers that women are having problems voting for...

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...