With an insider’s eye, Hot Dish tracks the tastiest bits of Minnesota’s political scene and keep you up-to-date on those elected to serve you.

Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, Baird Helgeson, Patricia Lopez, Jim Ragsdale, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry, Corey Mitchell and Jim Spencer.

Posts about Democrats

Minnesota House members vote along party lines to sue President Obama

Posted by: Allison Sherry Updated: July 31, 2014 - 1:48 PM

WASHINGTON -- Minnesota's eight House members voted mostly like the rest of the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday on a measure to sue President Barack Obama over executive powers -- the state's three Republicans supported it, the five Democrats voted against it.

At the heart of the House resolution, which authorizes GOP Speaker John Boehner to sue the president, is Obamacare. Republicans say the president has not adequately enforced the law, which they oppose, because his administration has delayed some parts of its implementation, including the requirement that employers provide health coverage.

Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen's spokesman sent over this statement Thursday:

"Congressman Paulsen is concerned about the continued growth of executive power and its impact on our political system. The vote made by the House seeks more accountability of the executive branch through this narrowly defined action. This is more about making sure the president – and any future president – is constitutionally required to faithfully execute our nation’s laws or go through Congress to have them changed."

Joining Paulsen in a yes vote were GOP Reps. Michele Bachmann and John Kline.

Democrat Rep. Betty McCollum said ahead of the vote she was going to vote "no on the Boehner lawsuit and will instead focus my energy on the needs of the families of the Fourth District."

Democratic Reps. Tim Walz, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan also voted no.

"Republicans have failed to get their work done in Washington and they use stunts like this lawsuit to distract attention from that simple truth," McCollum said.

Alliance for a Better MN director moving to Education Minnesota union

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: July 31, 2014 - 1:11 PM

The head of the one of the most powerful Democratic groups in Minnesota will move to one of the most powerful unions in the state.

Carrie Lucking, who has been executive director of the Alliance for a Better Minnesota since 2011, will become Education Minnesota's director of policy, research and outreach.

"I absolutely loved it here and it was a really difficult decision to go," Lucking, a former teacher, said.

But both the Alliance and Education Minnesota have been heavily involved in politics -- and each other. Education Minnesota spent nearly $5 million on political causes since 2008.

The Alliance, which has spent more than $10 million since 2007, has supported Democrats in their election quests. The Alliances' funders received much of their money from Education Minnesota and other unions, the Democratic Governor's Association and Alida Messinger, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton's ex-wife.

Since 2010 Education Minnesota has given at least $660,000 to Alliance's funders and Messinger has donated more than $2 million.

But Lucking said her new job, which will start in September, will not be directly involved in politics and political spending.

"I’ve been living and dying by the election cycling for ten years," she said. "It turns out that’s a long time."

Lucking said the Alliance will be bringing on an extra set of hands to help out during the election and naming a new interim director soon.

Lucking is married to Bob Hume, Gov. Mark Dayton's communications chief.

She said getting distance between their two jobs -- hers at the Alliance in independent political spending -- and his working for a governor the Alliance supports was not one of her considerations in taking the new job.

At home, the couple, who had their first child this year, largely talks about the things all new parents discuss, she said -- food, the baby's inputs and outputs and other domestic affairs.

Updated with contributions from Glenn Howatt

GOP's Johnson, Independence Party's Nicollet release personal tax information

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: July 31, 2014 - 12:46 PM

Following a pattern Gov. Mark Dayton set when he was first running, candidates who wish to unseat the DFLer are releasing their tax returns to the public.

After Dayton released his more recent tax information last week, both Republican Jeff Johnson and Independence Party's Hannah Nicollet released theirs voluntarily.

Minnesota requires candidates for office to disclose very little about their personal finances. The now-traditional tax return release allows Minnesotans to delve a little more deeply into their income and tax information.

According to Johnson and Nicollet's release, both earned less than Dayton, paid less in taxes but gave a greater percentage of their incomes to charity.

Last week, Dayton revealed that he brought in $352,601, a little less than half of which came from capital gains, in 2013 and paid about $106,000 in state and local taxes. He gave $10,000 to charity.

Republican-endorsed candidate Johnson and his wife earned $221,458 last year; paid about $40,000 in state and local taxes and gave away $16,390 to charity. 

Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Hannah Nicollet and her husband brought in about $68,000 in both 2013 and 2012. They gave charities about $9,500 last year and $15,500 the year before.

Other candidates' tax information is not expected to be immediately forthcoming.

Republican Scott Honour's campaign said he would release his tax information eventually. Republican Kurt Zellers' campaign said he would release his but not until after the August 12 primary, because that contest will take the campaign and candidate's energy.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert last year and this one said he would not release his taxes because he said that information is no one's business.

Here's Johnson's release:

Johnson Taxes 2013 by Rachel E. Stassen-Berger

And here's Nicollet's:

2012 & 2013 Nicollet Tax Returns by Rachel E. Stassen-Berger

This post has corrected the spelling of Nicollet's last name.

The cash contest: Major outside political groups have already raised $11 million

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: July 29, 2014 - 6:25 PM

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glenn Howatt

Outside groups -- unions, Democratic and Republican supporters and PACs set up just to support a single candidate -- have raised at least $15 million since the 2012 election.

Those outside groups, which had been slowly raising cash in preparation for the 2014 elections, began piling on money in earnest this summer. Since June 1, the largest independent spending groups raised more than $2.6 million, according to reports released Tuesday.

 As with previous election cycles, union organizations are gearing up with big cash. Education Minnesota, the state’s teachers union, led in fundraising among outside groups with $1.8 million already raised. All told, union affiliated PACs have raised more than $4.6 million to train on the 2014 election.

Much of that cash will benefit Democratic candidates and the Democratic Alliance for a Better Minnesota, which, with its supporters, has already brought in more than $1.8 million.

Republicans-leaning outside groups have already raised $2.6 million. The largest among them, the Freedom Club, launched a major television ad campaign against Dayton in July.

See a breakdown of the fundraising by some of the major outside groups below:

The cash contest: Candidates in key House races rolling in cash

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: July 29, 2014 - 3:19 PM

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glenn Howatt

Candidates in competitive House races are hauling in cash, with five races topping the $100,000 mark in candidate fundraising alone.

These expensive races, according to fundraising reports released Tuesday, tend to hold several factors in common. They include a contested primary or are in swing district and sometimes both.

These costly contests are likely the ones candidates, and donors, believe are most likely to flip parties.

By House district, including money raised by all candidates:

By District:

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT