Today marks the beginning of the Minnesota State Fair, a perennial stop for candidates to shake lots of hands, pitch their platforms and feast on fatty foods.
Today at noon, Gov. Mark Dayton will sit down with Star Tribune editorial writer and columnist Lori Sturdevant for a live interview at the Star Tribune Booth. Dayton's Republican opponent, Jeff Johnson, is also working the fair crowds this morning.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken greeted fairgoers as the gates opened. Franken’s Republican challenger, Mike McFadden, stopped by to challenge him to six debates this fall.
According to a release from the McFadden campaign, three of the proposed debates would be broadcast on either television or radio from the Twin Cities, while the remaining debates would take place in Duluth, Rochester, and Moorhead.
Franken declined an invitation from Minnesota Public Radio to debate his Republican and Independence Party challengers at the state fair.
A version of this item appeared in Morning Hot Dish, the Star Tribune's daily political newsletter. To sign up, go to StarTribune.com/membercenter, check the Politics newsletter box and save the change.
WASHINGTON -- Republicans far and wide congratulated GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden on his quick victory Tuesday.
McFadden clinched the primary election against state Rep. Jim Abeler within an hour of polls closing. McFadden had garnered about 74 percent of the primary vote with 36 percent of the precincts reporting at about 9:20 CT.
McFadden faces Democrat Sen. Al Franken this November.
"Mike McFadden is a problem solver who has proven he can build a winning coalition of Minnesotans who are tired of watching President Obama and Al Franken take this country in the wrong direction,” said Keith Downey, Republican party chair.
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Sen. Jerry Moran, who applauded McFadden's fundraising prowess last month to a roundtable of reporters, said in a statement:
"Minnesota families, workers and seniors are tired of an inept, dysfunctional and incompetent government in Washington ... Mike McFadden's career in business demonstrates that he knows how to get things done."
And as McFadden's supporters heaped praise on the investment banker political newcomer, his liberal detractors criticized him for being too cozy with business.
"If elected to the U.S. Senate, McFadden would put special interests - including his billionaire supporters the Koch brothers - ahead of working families," said Carrie Lucking, executive director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota.
Franken, who won his own minor primary Tuesday, issued a statement an hour after polls closed.
"I've worked hard for Minnesota and I"m proud of my record of standing up for middle class families. I'd be grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the people of our state."
WASHINGTON -- GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden has been plucked to deliver the Republicans’ national weekly address — a sign establishment Republicans are grooming the political newbie and trying to garner him some name recognition.
The Republican response is customary and runs along with President Barack Obama’s weekly radio address.
According to a copy of the prepared remarks, McFadden pushes a message of “independent leadership” in Washington. He touches on slimming down regulations, which he says would create more jobs. He also touts the importance of education as key to having a “highly-skilled workforce” that will move the economy forward.
McFadden’s remarks were recorded earlier in the week.
McFadden, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Al Franken in November, still faces a primary himself Tuesday against state Rep. Jim Abeler.
“This November presents a tremendous opportunity for America to elect new leaders,” McFadden said.
Obama will address why he authorized air strikes in Iraq this week.
According to the White House Saturday: "The president detailed why he authorized two operations in Iraq -- targeted military strikes to protect Americans serving in Iraq and humanitarian airdrops of food and water to help Iraqi civilians trapped on a mountain by terrorists."
WASHINGTON -- The same day GOP House Speaker John Boehner is in Minnesota throwing a fundraiser for himself at the Minneapolis Club, he will traverse up to the Eighth Congressional District for a fundraiser for GOP challenger Stewart Mills.
Boehner will host a fundraiser for Mills, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan, at the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa Aug. 14.
Gold sponsors of the fundraiser include Stanley and Karen Hubbard, executives of Hubbard Broadcasting.
The company, which owns two television stations, was under fire from Democrats earlier this month for pulling negative ads against Mills from their television stations in northern Minnesota. Mills says the independent ads were inaccurate, though they kept running in other parts of the state.
General admission tickets for the Boehner-Mills shindig run $250, but for $10,400 you can get four seats at the "VIP roundtable" and eight spots at the "VIP photo opportunity" and "eight spots to the general reception."
WASHINGTON -- Torrey Westrom, the Republican challenger to 12-term Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson in the Seventh Congressional District, carries tens of thousands of dollars in personal debt for both credit cards and student loans.
Westrom, an attorney and former state senator, owes between $15,001 and $50,000 to U.S. Bank in credit card loans. In addition, he owes between $50,001 and $100,000 to a student loan servicing company, according to personal financial disclosures filed earlier this year.
Westrom's campaign spokeswoman Caitlin Carroll said in a statement: "As small business owners, Torrey and his wife have a credit card for business-related expenses."
The Westroms own a real estate rental property business.
He also carries two mortgage debts, one between $15,001 and $50,000 and another between $100,001 and $250,000.
Personal financial disclosures are required annually of all members of Congress and anyone running for federal office.They must disclose assets and salary in huge ranges, like between $15,001 and $50,000 or $50,000 and $100,000.
Westrom's annual salary as a state senator is $31,140. He also noted on his disclosures that he earned $23,000 at Midwest Injury Law, LLC.
Rep. Peterson's disclosures show he has no credit card debt, but carries three mortgages: one between $100,000 and $250,000 on a residence in Washington, D.C., one between $250,002 and $500,000 on a property in Detroit Lakes and $100,001 to $250,000 on a mortgage owed on Peterson Farms. As a member of Congress, Peterson earns $174,000 annually as a member of Congress.
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