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, J. Patrick Coolican, Patricia Lopez, Ricardo Lopez, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Corey Mitchell, Allison Sherry and Jim Spencer.

Posts about 6th District

Bachmann, Fox News host spar over GOP plans to sue Obama

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: June 25, 2014 - 4:45 PM

Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and Fox News host Neil Cavuto tangled Wednesday during a debate on the House GOP plans to sue President Obama, alleging that he's failed to carry out laws passed by Congress.

Speaker John Boehner announced Wednesday that the Republican-led House will vote next month on legislation authorizing a lawsuit.

“Has the president overreached with his power? Absolutely he has,” Bachmann said. “The Constitution is a stop sign for the president … You can’t do anything you want.”

Cavuto called the proposed vote and lawsuit an “enormous waste of effort.”

Later in the five-minute interview, Bachmann suggested Republicans vote to defund the executive branch.

“Make it hurt,” she said. “If they don’t have money, they don’t have power.”

In response, Cavuto accused Bachmann of “being silly.”

“I think you know in your heart of hearts this is a waste of time now. There are far more important things you guys have to be addressing than filing lawsuits past each other,” Cavuto said. “Think about what you are saying. The Democrats would be in their right mind to laugh you out.”

U.S. House votes to name Cold Spring post office for slain officer

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: June 17, 2014 - 2:39 PM

The U.S. House has voted to rename the Cold Spring post office in honor of slain police officer Thomas Decker, who was killed on duty in November 2012.

Written by Rep. Michele Bachmann, the bill would rename the post office the "Officer Tommy Decker Memorial Post Office." Every member of the state's House delegation co-sponsored Bachmann’s bill.

The bill must be approved by the Senate and signed by President Obama before the tribute is approved.

“It’s a fitting tribute to a life well lived and to a man greatly missed,” Bachmann said in a speech on the House floor Tuesday. “Though Tommy is no longer with us, his legacy and example of courage and compassion lives on.”

Decker’s killing remains unsolved. He was shot in the head outside a local bar moments after he arrived to make a welfare check on a resident.

To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 14 Red River Avenue North in Cold...

Cantor has donated $169K to Minnesota candidates in the past decade

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: June 11, 2014 - 12:05 PM

The leadership PAC of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost to a Tea Party challenger on Tuesday in a stunning Republican primary upset, has donated $169,500 to Minnesota candidates over the past decade, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Leadership political action committees take in money and donate it to like-minded campaigns.

During that time period, Cantor’s Every Republican is Crucial PAC has donated $40,000 to Rep. Erik Paulsen, $35,000 to Rep. Michele Bachmann and $34,500 to Rep. John Kline.

Cantor’s PAC has also donated to former congressmen Jim Ramstad, Gil Gutknecht and Mark Kennedy, who Cantor also supported during his failed 2006 U.S. Senate run against Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Former Sen. Norm Coleman’s 2008 campaign against Sen. Al Franken received a $5,000 boost from Cantor.

In 2010, he backed Randy Demmers’s campaign against Rep. Tim Walz in the First Congressional District with a $5,000 donation.

In 2012, he donated $10,000 to former Eight District U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack who lost to current congressmen Rick Nolan. This cycle, he’s donated $10,000 to Nolan’s challenger, Stewart Mills III.

Cantor has also donated $5,000 to state Sen. Torrey Westrom’s campaign in the Seventh Congressional District, marking the first time he's put money behind a candidate vying to unseat Rep. Collin Peterson.

Cantor has also been an ally to Minnesota’s Republicans in his role as Majority Leader.

This year, he’s helped Paulsen shepherd anti-sex trafficking legislation through the House.

A charter school advocate, Cantor has backed Kline’s efforts to enact school choice legislation and rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act.

Cantor and Kline also are among a select group of Republicans tasked with developing a viable GOP alternative to the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s health care law.

Minnesota delegation pushes Army to clarify new rules on sexual assault victim rights

Posted by: Allison Sherry Updated: June 10, 2014 - 5:11 PM

WASHINGTON -- Minnesota's eight House members and both senators collectively urged the Army Tuesday to clarify a new directive expanding legal services to victims of sexual assault in the National Guard.

The Army recently released new rules expanding important legal services to certain victims of military sexual assault, but the rules don't cover National Guard members who become victims of sexual assault outside drill weekends or military duties.

Minnesota's ten members of Congress say the directive will undermine the Minnesota National Guard's ability to "effectively provide support services to survivors of sexual assaults," according to a release.

The letter was led by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar and GOP Rep. John Kline and co-signed by Democrat Sen. Al Franken and Reps. Collin Peterson, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Tim Walz and Rick Nolan, and Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann and Erik Paulsen.

"Our Minnesota service members should not be impeded from seeking critical services in the aftermath of a sexual assault," the letter said. "The Army must provide clear guidance and direction in order for the National Guard to effectively provide these services authorized by Congress."

The letter comes as the Department of Defense scrambles to deal with the increasing problem of sexual assaults in the military. According to the delegation release today, the DoD found in May that overall reporting of sexual assaults in the military in 2013 was 50 percent higher than it was the previous year -- 5,061 in 2013 versus 3,374 in 2012. Previous year-to-year increases in reporting never exceeded five percent.

There are more than 13,000 soldiers and airman in the Minnesota National Guard.

National Democrats turn attention to Kline-Obermueller race

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: June 6, 2014 - 9:15 AM

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has added former state Rep. Mike Obermueller's campaign to its "Emerging Races" list, the ground floor of a program designed to support promising U.S. House candidates from around the country.

The “Red to Blue” program allows the party to send a signal to political donors that candidates have organized campaigns. Obermueller is vying to unseat Republican Rep. John Kline.

But Obermueller’s 2014 congressional campaign has yet to generate the same enthusiasm among national Democrats as his 2012 bid.

At this point in the 2012 election cycle, Obermueller had already reached the top tier of the “Red to Blue” program, less than three months after announcing his candidacy. That year, he lost to Kline by eight percentage points, in what was a closer-than-expected race.

This time around, Kline has managed to accumulate a sizable fundraising advantage and keep the race off the national radar, until now. With the next federal fundraising reporting period just weeks away, the DCCC nod to Obermueller’s campaign could help him make up ground.

Kline had $1.66 million banked for his re-election bid at the end of March, the last reporting period. That’s roughly seven times as much as Obermueller’s $238,000 cash-on-hand total.

A six-term incumbent, Kline is chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee and considered a safe bet for re-election by political handicapping services, including the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

Thus far, Obermueller is the only Minnesota candidate on any of the DCCC’s lists. Democratic candidates in the Third Congressional District, where Rep. Erik Paulsen is seeking re-election, and the Sixth Congressional District, where Rep. Michele Bachmann is retiring, haven’t made the cut.

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