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D.C. Memo: Holding everyone in contempt

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
During her Fox News town hall appearance, Sen. Amy Klobuchar endorsed finding Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.

The D.C. Memo is a weekly recap of Washington political news, journalism, and opinion, delivered with an eye toward what matters for Minnesota. Sign up to get it in your inbox every Thursday.

Welcome to this week’s edition of the D.C. Memo. This week in Washington: looking ahead at the Census, watching Klobuchar on Fox and watching Beto exit a minivan in the rain. So let’s get on with it.

The Census

The 2020 U.S. Census is set to decide both Minnesota’s Federal funding, and if the state will retain or lose a seat in the U.S. House. But what does adding a question about citizenship do to response rates? Read more from MinnPost.

“The main issue is that it’s not tested. They’re usually very slow to add things. They’re very deliberate,” Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower said of the U.S. Census Department. A reasonable estimate of the impact is not there. So many things rest on the quality of this data. We don’t have good information on what the impact will be.”

Klobuchar town hall (but on Fox)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar opened up the second Fox News presidential candidate town hall, held in Milwaukee, without mincing words — she agreed that Attorney General Bill Barr should be held in contempt. “The Attorney General is the people’s lawyer. The attorney general is the attorney general of the United States of America. And he should be showing up and answering questions,” she said.

Earlier that day, the House Judiciary Committee voted on party lines to hold the Attorney General in contempt for failing to provide them with an unredacted version of the Mueller report.

The town hall as a whole allowed Klobuchar to make the case that she is a lot of things: a progressive, someone who gets things done, and someone who wants to toe the line between what people like about the Trump administration and what they don’t. The New York Times Lisa Lerer has a quick primer on her case here.

You can watch the Fox Town Hall here in three parts.

The presidential treatment

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke visited Minnesota on Wednesday, traveling to Lakeville and Minneapolis. “O’Rourke emerged from a minivan out front, greeted every person who stood in the rain and walked into the taproom soaking wet,” according to the Pioneer Press.

What else

  • HuffPost reporter Maxwell Strachan spent time in Minnesota’s 5th District, to profile Rep. Ilhan Omar. “Let’s be clear: Were her comments harmful and hurtful? Yes. Is she getting a ridiculous amount of ink spilled and press because she is a black hijabi-wearing Muslim refugee? Yes,” said Rabbi Michael Adam Latz of Minneapolis’ Shir Tikvah synagogue.
  • Rep. Betty McCollum questioned Interior Secretary David Bernhardt about climate change, quoting a U.N. report on the loss of biodiversity due to human actions, asking if he would the consider scientific evidence in how he crafted domestic energy policy. Bernhardt gave a clear answer: “Are we going to stop oil and gas development because of this report? The answer to that is no,” he said. Read more at High Country News.
  • Vice President Mike Pence landed in Fargo, North Dakota this morning, before heading to Glyndon, Minnesota to promote the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Quote of the week

“In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer,” from an analysis of President Trump’s 1985-1994 tax returns in the New York Times.

What I’m reading

HuffPost: These 2020 Presidential Campaigns Plan To Pay Their Interns

At least six Presidential candidates plan to pay their interns this cycle, a striking break from past presidential election cycles in which interns were relegated to long hours of unpaid labor.

ProPublica: What Happened to All the Jobs Trump Promised?

ProPublica checked to see how many of Trump’s promised 8.9 million jobs actually came through and how many he can be credited for. The answer: 797.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for sticking around. Until next week, feel free to send tips, suggestions, and sound advice to: gschneider@minnpost.com. Follow at @gabeschneider.

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