State Republicans want Bachmann v. Klobuchar in 2012

MORNING EDITION

According a Public Policy Polling survey, Minnesota Republicans want Michele Bachmann to run against Amy Klobuchar for Senate in 2012. Bill Salisbury quotes the group’s news release in the PiPress’ “Political Animal” blog:  “Michele Bachmann is by far and away the first choice of Minnesota Republicans to take on Amy Klobuchar in 2012. 36% say they’d most like to see her as their Senate candidate followed by Tim Pawlenty at 20% and Norm Coleman at 14%. The rest of the folks named in the poll register in single digits — Chip Cravaack at 7%, Tom Emmer at 6%, John Kline at 5%, Laura Brod at 4%, and Erik Paulsen at 2%. It’s remarkable to see Bachmann do so much better than Pawlenty on that front, but it just goes to show how much more enamored the party’s conservative base is with her than him.” The state’s conservative base is more enamored of her than their own mothers.

Andy Birkey at the Minnesota Independent deserves combat pay for tracking this stuff, but he reports: “A study last year by the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota found that Rep. Michele Bachmann appeared on cable news programs every nine days on average. Last week, she shattered those expectations by appearing on a cable news program at least once a day from Tuesday through Saturday making 14 national television or radio appearances. Last week, Bachmann hired communications director Doug Sachtleben, a former spokesperson for the U.S. Senate campaign of Christine (“I am not a witch”) O’Donnell. That brings Bachmann’s communications staff to three people. Among what must have kept that staff busy last week: Six Fox News appearances.” What? She rested on Sunday or something?

Newly elected 8th District Congressman Chip Cravaack says he’s going to rejuvenate mining up north. Eric Roper writes in the Strib: “One project in particular, the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in Hoyt Lakes, has been stymied by the environmental regulatory process. He said another mine, the Nokomis Project, has been proposed just south of Ely. ‘This is an unbelievable asset we have, but government has been in the way for us to be able to tap those resources,’ Cravaack said. ‘And that is my number one goal in the Eighth District.’ The Lindstrom Republican said his ‘first meeting’ after the election was with Joe Scipioni, CEO of PolyMet.”

Marcus Fuller of the PiPress offers some details on the Vikings possibly using TCF Bank Field for next Monday’s game with Chicago and the team’s big 50th anniversary celebration: “For the game to move to TCF Bank Stadium, other issues besides getting the building cleared and operational will need to be addressed. For instance, the Gophers’ home seats 50,805, but the Metrodome seats 64,111. And [Gophers associate athletic director Scott] Ellison said more seats cannot be added to make up the difference. Also, the NFL places the hash marks closer to the middle of the field than college football does. As far as serving alcohol, Ellison said the athletic department would have to get permission from the Board of Regents. Alcohol has been banned for sale inside the stadium since it opened in 2009. The concessions aren’t equipped with beer taps, but Ellison said they would likely just sell bottles.” Bud Grant and Fran Tarkenton are planning to attend, and somehow the thought of those two standing outside on a nice, crisp late December night in Minnesota seems appropriate.

California regulators are refusing to let a subsidiary of Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth pay out a $120 million dividend.
 Chen May Yee writes in the Strib: “Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who issued the order Monday to PacifiCare Life & Health Insurance Co., is prosecuting a case against PacifiCare in which he alleges that PacifiCare violated state insurance laws almost a million times. Allegations include underpaying doctors or paying them late, wrongfully denying claims, losing documents and failing to fix problems in a timely manner. It is the biggest case ever brought by California against an insurer.” Yee adds: “The $120 million would come from a statutory surplus, or excess funds, which totaled $773 million as of Sept. 30. But the insurance department contends that since the maximum fine for each of the 993,000 alleged violations is $10,000, any penalties could consume the entire surplus and potentially more.” Talk about an affront to shareholder value.

Librarians for the New York Public Library selected two children’s books by Duluth authors for their prestigious “100 Books for Reading and Sharing” list. Christa Fuller of the Duluth News Tribune notes the honors: “Chris Monroe’s picture book ‘Sneaky Sheep’ and Margi Preus’ chapter book ‘Heart of a Samurai’ … Both writers are getting plenty of chatter right now in the season of year-end and best-of lists — and beyond. Monroe’s first crack at picture books, ‘Monkey with a Tool Belt,’ has been optioned by Chorion, a British production company with the intent of selling it as a weekly TV series.”

Someone’s in book tour mode. The Strib runs Gov. Pawlenty’s Wall Street Journal commentary on the threat of … unions, especially unions of those overpaid federal workers. “Much has changed. The majority of union members today no longer work in construction, manufacturing or ‘strong back’ jobs. They work for government, which, thanks to President Obama, has become the only booming ‘industry’ left in our economy. Since January 2008 the private sector has lost nearly 8 million jobs, while local, state and federal governments have added 590,000. Federal employees receive an average of $123,049 annually in pay and benefits, twice the average of the private sector. And across the country, at every level of government, the pattern is the same: Unionized public employees are making more money, receiving more generous benefits, and enjoying greater job security than the working families forced to pay for it with ever-higher taxes, deficits and debt. How did this happen?” Well you see there was deregulation and no oversight on Wall Street, two wars, one of which we really didn’t need, a big fat tax cut for rich folks that blew the doors off the deficit, then this crash because of all the squirrelly gambling that wasn’t being watched that dropped wages and benefits all across the private sector, except for banking and … oh, never mind.

And Delta … still No. 1 … in baggage fees.
The third-quarter numbers are in and our guys “collected $259.5 million in baggage fees in the third quarter, more than second-place American Airlines and its $151.2 million in fees. Delta took in $256 million in baggage fees in the second quarter. Delta also has collected $733.2 million in year-to-date baggage fees, besting American Airlines’ $431.8 million,” according to a Business Journal item. Did you do your part?

Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Roger Iverson on 12/14/2010 - 07:35 am.

    Is anyone surprised that Pawlenty trails Bachmann for Senate? However, Michelle like Sarah Palin seems more interested in being on Fox than on actually governing. These two would make great color commentators with high salaries and no responsibility for what comes out of their mouths. Their ‘look at me’ needs are high, and their ‘nose to the grindstone’ effort is low. Meanwhile, Amy Klobuchar’s cred is rising with hard work, thoughtful votes, good humor, and a strong national presence. If the obscene amount of outside money Bachmann attracts, does not subtrovert the election process, Amy wins.

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 12/14/2010 - 08:17 am.

    Let’s see… a former “tax lawyer” who (together with most other Republicans, evidently) doesn’t know the difference between gross and net income who has all the shrill demagogic abilities of the Red Queen, Sarah Palin, who speaks in similar non sequiturs, against a strong intelligent, poised, knowledgeable, well-spoken woman with excellent communication skills, who is also capable of reason and logic; I’ll take that matchup.

    Somehow, our Republican friends, their minds corrupted by a continuous diet of the Propagandistic offal daily vomited out by weasel news, have failed to notice that the ONLY place Mickey Bachmann could be elected in Minnesota is the Sixth District.

  3. Submitted by Joseph Skar on 12/14/2010 - 08:20 am.

    In actual news this morning, the city of Minneapolis passed 4.7% property tax increase concurrent with a budget that provides 32 less firefighters and 24 less cops. Thankfully for residents, such as myself, the city still employs three Bike Walk Ambassadors, a Non-Motorized Pilot Project Coordinator, a City Bicycle Coordinator and a Sidewalk Inspector.

  4. Submitted by Tim Walker on 12/14/2010 - 08:57 am.

    So … Congressman-elect Chip Cravaack’s first meeting after the election was with Joe Scipioni, CEO of PolyMet.

    Well, say goodbye to clean drinking water up north everyone!

  5. Submitted by Brian Simon on 12/14/2010 - 10:08 am.

    “Minnesota Republicans want Michele Bachmann to run against Amy Klobuchar for Senate in 2012.”

    Sounds good, assuming she can only run for one office at a time. If Dems want her out of Congress, perhaps the most likely path to success is to get her to quit the House & run for the Senate – a race she would lose.

  6. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/14/2010 - 10:46 am.

    Mr. Skar–
    Maybe with fewer cars and more bicycles on the streets, Minneapolis won’t need as many police a firefighters.
    Besides, bikers are also citizens and pay for services.
    Or is in UnAmerickun not to drive a car?

  7. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 12/14/2010 - 11:59 am.

    “State Republicans want Bachmann v. Klobuchar in 2012″… I got news for ya, so do state Dems!

  8. Submitted by Brad Robinson on 12/14/2010 - 12:16 pm.

    Michele Bachmann’s ability to win and keep her seat is a reflection of the conservative district she represents. In a statewide election her numbers would be similar, or less than, Emmer’s. And given Amy Klobuchar’s more moderate stance on almost every issue, She is a more likely winner. I don’t think Bachmann wants a loss to tarnish her popularity, but her ego may entice her to to try to win a Senate seat.

  9. Submitted by Joseph Skar on 12/14/2010 - 12:55 pm.

    PB – We could ban cars from the city and not justify 60 less cops and firefighters. If you’re not a resident of the city please don’t bother to comment on matters that don’t relate to you. As for me, a resident the city, we have major asset allocation issues. Who can actually justify using funds for three Bike Walk Ambassadors in a recession with 15% unemployment, all while raising property taxes and cutting 100% necessary city services, police and fire. A better use of that money would be to purchase an incinerator and burn the excess cash, at least then you could use the heat.

  10. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 12/14/2010 - 01:03 pm.

    Mr Skar doesn’t seem to realize the tremendous savings in governmental expenses that would happen if more people rode bicycles. Less wear to roads, fewer road expansion projects, lower health care costs from more active people, fewer buses, fewer traffic accidents, etc., etc.

    Isn’t it funny how the supposedly fiscally conservative people are in favor of some of the most wasteful things?

  11. Submitted by chuck holtman on 12/14/2010 - 01:54 pm.

    Bike Walk Ambassadors are several enthusiastic young adults working in targeted communities to change thinking about walking, biking and driving. They are paid very little. And while their combined salary might equal that of a police officer, they are paid not from city funds, but from a federal transportation reform grant that could not be used to hire a police officer or fireman.

  12. Submitted by B Maginnis on 12/14/2010 - 02:19 pm.

    “And given Amy Klobuchar’s more moderate stance on almost every issue,”

    Um, is being pro-abortion moderate?

    Rovick – Please look outside. You will see VERY few bicycles.

  13. Submitted by B Maginnis on 12/14/2010 - 02:20 pm.

    Bike Walk Ambassadors….only in Frozen Omaha!

  14. Submitted by Arito Moerair on 12/14/2010 - 02:24 pm.

    Bring on Bachmann. The 2012 election climate is going to be VERY different from 2010. Obama will be running again, and he will bring out way more voters. It would already be a favourable election for Klobuchar, but with wingnut zealot Bachmann on the ballot, there would be a serious floor-mopping.

    Bring it on.

  15. Submitted by Steve Sundberg on 12/14/2010 - 03:20 pm.

    Re: the “booming” Federal hiring sector.

    I don’t know what Pawlenty’s complaining about. There are 30% fewer Federal employees now than were working for the government in 1970 … back when Nixon was President.

    Source: http://www.opm.gov/feddata/HistoricalTables/TotalGovernmentSince1962.asp

    With all the tax breaks they get, you’d think private sector employers would be vacuuming up the unemployed. But, oh, that’s right: They ship jobs overseas, instead.

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