And now Minneapolis has a half-naked candidate for mayor emerging from a swim to proclaim: "I will not take money from the developers. I will not take money from the political angle. I will not even go to the strip clubs anymore. Wake the f*** up!"
Jeffery Alan Wagner, one of nearly three dozen candidates for the highest office in Minnesota's biggest city, then walks back into the water.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched online and print ads in six college newspapers that single out Republicans, including U.S. Rep. John Kline, on the issue of student loan rates.
The ads will run in the Minnesota Daily, the campus newspaper of the University of Minnesota, which is not in Kline's district.
With the rate on federally subsidized student loans set to double on July 1 if Congress doesn't act, lawmakers remain divided over a solution. Without an agreement, the loan rate for undergraduate students would double, rising from 3.4 percent to 6.3 percent.
Last week, House Republicans passed Kline's plan to address the pending increase by switching loan rates to market-based system. But it's unlikely to become law because Democrats don't approve of it. The day before the House approved Kline's legislation, the White House threatened to veto it, arguing that the plan would create uncertainty for students and families.
For the second consecutive summer, the pending rate hike will be a hot-button issue for college students across the country. On average, Minnesota college students graduate with a $30,000 loan debt.
During an event at the White House today, President Obama publicly called on Cognress to prevent the loan rates from doubling. Like Kline, Obama has also voiced support for a switch to market rate loans, which would end the system in which rates are set by Congress.
Kline, the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, spent Thursday touring campuses and meeting with students in his district.
"It's time for the president to stop politicizing the student loan issue," Kline said in a statement today. "Instead of holding campaign-style events, the president should urge his Senate colleagues to put forward their own plan to solve the problem."
Facing a similar deadline on the student loan issue last summer, Congress simply extended the 3.4 percent rate for another year. Now the matter has resurfaced, with little more than four weeks until zero hour.
The DCCC would not reveal how much they're spending on the ad campaign against Kline.
Gov. Mark Dayton is intensifying pressure on legislators to legalize same-sex marriage this year.
The governor’s campaign sent out an appeal to supporters Wednesday urging them to contact their legislators and press them to support a measure that could be days away from a vote to legalize same-sex marriage.
“I believe all of us should have the freedom to marry legally the person we love,” Dayton says in the note. “But our opponents won’t let go. They’re targeting legislators with harsh mailings, pressuring them to vote no. They’re threatening to go after members who vote ‘yes’ in the coming elections.”
Dayton calls the measure “historic legislation” and said supporters need to turn up the volume at the Capitol.
“Urge lawmakers in St. Paul to follow their consciences and pass the freedom to marry,” he said. “We cannot legislate love. Committed, same-sex Minnesota couples deserve to make their own decisions for their own families. It’s a simple, yet profound ideal.”
Advocates on both sides of the marriage issue are meeting privately with dozens of legislators in the closing weeks of the legislative session. Supporters have held rallies as opponents have held rallies and traveled the state holding meetings and events, urging Minnesotans to stand firm on the current definition of marriage.
Dayton said in a recent interview he expected to be more closely involved in the final days before the vote to help persuade uneasy legislators to legalize same-sex marriage.
"I have told them I will weigh in where they think I can be most effective as the vote comes close," Dayton said in the interview.
Dayton said he plans to increase his lobbying efforts in the hours leading up to the vote.
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