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 Minnesota U.S. senators

Former Gov. Quie backs Abeler in GOP U.S. Senate race

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: July 7, 2014 - 1:50 PM

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Abeler told supporters Monday that he had picked up the support of former Gov. Al Quie in his primary run against better funded Senate candidate Mike McFadden.

"Jim continues to connect with the people all across Minnesota," Abeler said in an email.

In the missive, Abeler notes that rival McFadden has cash and established support on his side. McFadden won the the GOP endorsement to vie against Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken in May and has raised almost $3 million to Abeler's $112,000, as of their last reports.

But Abeler told supporters he sees 'shades of" the Virginia House race that saw U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's surprise upset to little funded upstart David Brat last month in Minnesota.

"Simply spending a lot of money does not assure a good outcome," Abeler said. "Wasted money in one campaign does mean that other campaigns, such as critical MN House seats or the governor's race risk becoming underfunded because of unnecessary resource drain."

Last month, Quie endorsed former House Rep. Marty Seifert in the governor's office. Seifert, like Abeler, is challenging the Republican party's endorsed candidate in the August primary. Four years ago, Quie, who served in the U.S. House from 1958 to 1978 and was governor from 1979 to 1983, endorsed Seifert and then Independence Party's Tom Horner for governor. The Horner backing got him banned from Republican Party activities for two years.

Photo: Jim Abeler and Al Quie//source: Jim Abeler for U.S. Senate campaign

GOP Senate hopeful Mike McFadden, Sen. Al Franken parade around in the 8th CD

Posted by: Allison Sherry Updated: July 3, 2014 - 11:31 AM

WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sen. Al Franken and his GOP rival Mike McFadden are both decamped in the critical 8th Congressional District this holiday weekend riding Independence Day parade routes.

McFadden is fishing with four of his sons today on the Lake of the Woods in Baudette. On Friday, McFadden will walk in both the Delano and Walker Fourth of July parades and stop for lunch at the Old Creamery Cafe in Rice, where he will talk to voters "about what their frustration with Washington and what they're looking for in a U.S. Senator," campaign officials said.

Franken will walk parades in Aurora and Gilbert tonight and tomorrow will walk in the Eveleth, Tower, Ely and Biwabik parades, staffers said.

Both sides see the 8th CD as critical to a victory in November. It's known to be a swing district and subject to the whims of the national mood.

Obama defends record, tries to reignite Democrats

Posted by: Baird Helgeson Updated: June 27, 2014 - 1:50 PM

President Obama spent the second day of his visit Minnesota visit offering a strong defense of his record and spark some energy in Democrats as they head into a high-stakes election season.

“Your cares and your concerns are my own, and your hopes for your kids and your grandkids are my own,” he told a crowd of 2,000 people gathered at Lake Harriet on Friday. “And I’m always going to be working to restore the American Dream for everybody who’s willing to work for it.  And I am not going to get cynical; I’m staying hopeful, and I hope you do too.”

Obama is trying to keep the U. S. Senate in Democratic hands in the coming election. Losing the Senate would be a major blow to any accomplishments he hopes to achieve in the final two years of his term.

Republicans are trying to frame Obama as out of touch with average Americans and are highlighting new data showing sagging growth in the U.S. economy.

“Instead of coming to Minnesota to listen and consider a different approach on the struggling economy, it’s clear President Obama’s visit is all about doubling down on his failed, partisan agenda and pumping up Democrats ahead of a tough midterm election,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short.

Republicans have also tried to highlight that the Twin Cities mother who has come to embody the trip for the president had been a Democratic campaign worker in Washington state.

Obama came to Minnesota after Twin Cities’ mother Rebekah Erler wrote him a letter about the hardships of raising a family.

Obama had lunch with Erler on Thursday and sprinkled anecdotes through her life throughout her speech.

“It’s amazing what you can bounce back from when you have to,” she wrote to the president. “We’re a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times.”

Obama took that personal anecdote to make a larger statement about the country.

“And that describes the American people,” he said. “We, too, are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times.”

The President's Remarks at Lake Harriet Band Shell by Rachel E. Stassen-Berger

Klobuchar, Franken won't accompany Obama to Minnesota

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: June 26, 2014 - 9:50 AM

U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken will not fly to Minnesota with President Obama this morning because of a Senate vote to confirm Stuart Jones as the new U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.

The Senate vote is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. EST. Air Force One will depart Andrews Air Force shortly after 11 a.m.

“[Klobuchar] will return to Minnesota later this afternoon and looks forward to events with the President over the next two days,” said Brigit Helgen, the senator’s spokeswoman.

Franken spokesman Ed Shelleby said:Because of today’s Senate vote to confirm the Ambassador to Iraq, Sen. Franken needs to be in Washington and will not be able to travel with the President to Minnesota, but he looks forward to spending time with the President in Minnesota tomorrow.”

Democratic Sens. Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar to ride out with Obama on Air Force One Thursday

Posted by: Allison Sherry Updated: June 25, 2014 - 4:44 PM

WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar will ride out with President Barack Obama Thursday to  Minneapolis and attend events with him both days, staffers confirmed Wednesday.

Both Franken and Klobuchar say they want to talk to the president on the plane about the recent flooding in Minnesota.

Klobuchar will speak at the Lake Harriet Bandshell Friday, where Obama is scheduled to make a speech on the economy.

Neither office was able to confirm attendance Tuesday because the Senate voting schedule was still in flux.

Other confirmed Democrats from the Congressional delegation attending at least some of the events with Obama: Rep. Rick Nolan, Rep. Tim Walz, Rep. Betty McCollum and Rep. Keith Ellison. Rep. Collin Peterson will not go to any of them.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton was enthusiastic about the visit earlier in the week, telling the Strib: "I would be glad to appear with President Obama," he said. "I would want to appear with any president of any political party."

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