Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Are those bona fide re-election sounds Bachmann is making?

ALSO: Legislative leaders won’t promise stadium vote; Minneapolis boosters seek ways around stadium limits; Klobuchar looking strong; victory over WalMart short-lived; and more.

Are those bona fide re-election sounds Bachmann is making?

By Brian Lambert | Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012

Today in Bachmannia: Our Favorite Congresswoman has/is/was declared/declaring her intentions of running again … At Politico, Jonathan Easley says, “Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) said she would run for a fourth term, but then quickly qualified her response in an interview Wednesday. Speaking on FOX News, Bachmann seemed caught off guard when asked directly if she’d be running for a fourth term. ‘I, very — yes,’ she said. However, Bachmann quickly qualified her response to indicate that it was an option she would be considering. ‘I believe I’ll be looking at that, very seriously looking at coming back for a fourth term’. … The contentious nature of the primary season, coupled with some high profile missteps, sent her back to Minnesota with a low favorability rating in her home state. According to a statewide Public Policy Polling survey released on Tuesday, only 34 percent of those polled have a positive view of her, while 57 percent have an unfavorable view. Only 37 percent said she should run for re-election.” Those people at least love their freedoms.

But in an interview with the AP, Our Gal sounds like she’s all in. The Huffington Post says: “Bachmann announced Wednesday she will seek a fourth term in the U.S. House following her failed presidential bid. Bachmann declared her plans in an interview with The Associated Press. The Republican congresswoman had been mum on her plans since folding her presidential campaign after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses earlier this month. ‘I’m looking forward to coming back and bringing a strong, powerful voice to Washington, D.C.’, Bachmann said. Bachmann will be a formidable candidate in Minnesota’s 6th District, where other Republican hopefuls had stood aside until she made a decision on running for re-election.”

MinnPost’s Devin Henry covers the Bachmann developments here.

MPR’s State of the Union reaction roundup piece by Brett Neely says: “Republicans heard little to move them towards compromise on jobs programs and spending cuts, and DFLers were cautious about progress given the deep divide on Capitol Hill. ‘A lot of these things are going to be a very difficult lift,’ said DFL Rep. Tim Walz after the speech. But he held out hope for his bill to ban insider stock trading by members of Congress. Obama said he would sign the STOCK Act if it reached his desk. … Minnesota Republicans were less impressed with the speech. ‘Well, you know, it’s kind of like the president’s speech last year,’ said freshman Rep. Chip Cravaack. ‘He says the right thing but what he does seems to be another story, especially when he was talking about trying to eliminate regulations’. … GOP Rep. John Kline said in written statement that the president’s speech just reinforced divisions between political parties and classes.”

This from Tuesday: Tom Scheck of MPR writing on stadium discussions: “KSTP’s Tom Hauser, who moderated a legislative panel, directly asked GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers, GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, DFL House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk whether an up-or-down vote should be held this session. Senjem initially said such a vote should be held but then hedged a bit when asked if it would be held ‘this session.’ ‘I got 37 members that this thing has to churn through, so I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out,’ Senjem said. Zellers also didn’t commit to holding a vote. He said he believes a similar demand in the 1990s delayed the Twins stadium for several years. ‘I don’t think it’s fair to Mark and Zygi [Wilf] to wait again for nine or ten years,’ Zellers said. ‘I don’t think they have the patience for this. I know their lobbyists don’t but I think it’s really important to make sure it’s a process that is thorough and if you say yes or no now I don’t think that’s fair to them.’ Thissen said he thinks there should be a vote this year.” Before, you know, the election flips this dog back to the DFL’s problem.

Mike Kaszuba and Eric Roper at the Strib zero in on how exactly stadium boosters are going to get around several pesky rules to build it in Minneapolis: “Ted Mondale, Gov. Mark Dayton’s top stadium negotiator, said that stadium legislation will seek to nullify a Minneapolis charter provision that requires voter approval if the city pays $10 million or more for a sports facility. The requirement, which city voters approved overwhelmingly in 1997, specifically includes city sales taxes. Minneapolis has proposed diverting those funds to help pay for a Vikings stadium. Mondale said negotiators would argue that the city sales tax revenue would be deposited with a newly created — and independent — stadium authority that would spend the money. Because of that, he said, the city charter would not apply.” Now that is abiding by the spirit of the law.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, currently up for re-election against all-but-non-existent competition, has been rated the sixth most popular senator by a national poll. Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib reports: “Klobuchar is the nation’s sixth most popular U.S. senator, according to Public Policy Polling, and would easily beat either former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty or Rep. Michele Bachmann in a re-election campaign. The new poll, released Tuesday, also found that few Minnesotans had heard of Klobuchar’s announced Republican challengers and she led each of them by 23 percentage points or more. In hypothetical matchups, Klobuchar would get 54 percent to Pawlenty’s 39, and the sitting senator would get 58 percent to Bachmann’s 35 percent. Neither Pawlenty nor Bachmann has shown any interest in running against Klobuchar, however. ‘Amy Klobuchar continues to be one of the most popular senators in the country and should have little trouble winning re-election,’ said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. The poll, conducted among 1,236 Minnesota voters Jan. 21-22, found that 61 percent of Minnesotans approve of the job Klobuchar is doing, while 28 percent disapprove. Those numbers are similar to approval ratings Klobuchar received last year.”

David Phelps at the Strib tells the story of a Minnesota guy who took on WalMart and won … but died along the way: “Just one day after a key filing in his effort to recoup unemployment benefits, [Jim] Cunningham was struck and killed by a train. In late December, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that the state and Wal-Mart were wrong to deny unemployment benefits after Cunningham was fired. ‘My dad felt he had been treated unfairly and he wanted to correct that,’ said his daughter Heidi Schauer. ‘The decision brought magic back to 2011, and Dad would have been proud of that.’ Of the 31,000 judicial decisions involving state unemployment cases last year, 354 were taken to the Appeals Court. Of those, only seven were reversed. Adding to the unlikelihood of his case, Cunningham was represented pro bono by Justin McCluskey, a law student from a legal aid clinic at William Mitchell College of Law. McCluskey had never argued a case in a courtroom prior to appearing before the state Court of Appeals on behalf of Cunningham. ‘I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but it was not intimidating,’ said McCluskey, a 27-year old St. Paul resident who made the dean’s list and graduated cum laude.”

Reacting to the State of the Union address, Steven Hayward at Power Line writes: “One of Clinton’s few good points was his support for religious freedom.  He backed legislative acts, and issued administrative rules, to support religious freedom and autonomy from government during his eight years in office — a disposition that largely went unnoticed by friends and critics alike. I ascribe this to Clinton’s Arkansas upbringing and membership in the Southern Baptist Church — a decentralized Protestant denomination that is very harmonious with America’s democratic character. As is well known, Obama’s religious outlook is thoroughly imbued with the radical liberation theology of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Wright’s liberation theology is not really theological at all (I used to call it “Marxism with salsa” back in its Latin American incarnation in the 1980s), but above all it supports massively increased political power over everyone, including especially fellow people of faith suffering from false consciousness. If there’s anything that liberals hate more than the rich these days, its people of faith who are unwilling to see the divinity of government.” So Rick Perry was right in his famous ad, huh?