Led by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, members of Minnesota's congressional delegation honored former congressman and U.S. senator Rod Grams on the House floor Thursday. Grams died at his rural Minnesota home Tuesday after a long battle with colon cancer. He was 65.
Grams, a former KMSP-TV anchor, served a single term each in the House and Senate during the 1990s.
Thursday's tribute to Grams included a moment of silence.
"With his keen eye and long-term vision, Minnesotans had a dedicated advocate here in the halls of Congress," Bachmann said.
Here's the video:
Republican Phil Krinkie, who is running for the Minnesota U.S. House seat Michele Bachmann will leave, said that he lent his campaign $300,000.
"I've never run a campaign in the red yet," said Krinkie, a former state representative who ran for Congress in 2006. "I don't intend to start doing deficit spending now."
He said he was committed to making sure that his campaign had the resources to compete and was prepared to make good on that pledge. Krinkie said he did not know how much of his own cash he would end up putting into his campaign.
According to a financial disclosure filed with the U.S. House, last year Krinkie made $100,000 as president of the Snelling Companies, a family-owned heating and cooling company of which he is president, $80,000 as president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota and his wife made $152,000 as lobbyist for Minnesota Hospital Association lobbyist. He also reported assets in several rental properties and other concerns.
Krinkie announced his campaign in July. By that point, fellow Republican candidates Tom Emmer reported having $200,000 cash on hand; John Pederson reported $32,000 and Rhonda Sivarajah reported $16,000.
Minnesota Republicans Erik Paulsen and John Kline have rejected Democratic calls to sign a petition to force a straight up-or-down vote in the U.S. House to reopen the federal government, now in its eighth day of shutdown.
While President Obama appealed Tuesday to “reasonable Republicans,” House Democrats have embarked on a longshot strategy to force a vote through a parliamentary maneuver called a “discharge petition.” It would require the signatures of 218 House members to override the opposition of House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP leadership.
Democrats, a minority in the House, say they could produce about 200 of the needed votes. But breaking the logjam would require another 18 or so Republicans to defy their party’s leaders, who have made blocking the implementation of the President Obama’s health care overhaul a condition of funding the government.
Kline has remained silent on the prospect of a “clean,” no-strings-attached vote on funding the government. Paulsen has said he would be willing to consider it, making him one of an estimated 20 House Republicans possibly willing to do so. (Paulsen’s stance has also drawn protests from more conservative Republicans in Minnesota).
Rep. Michele Bachmann, the only other Minnesota Republican in the House, is not on anybody’s list of wavering Republicans who might be willing to drop the GOP’s demands for defunding or delaying Obamacare.
Obama also called on Boehner Tuesday to hold a vote on reopening the goverment without conditions.
U.S. Reps. John Kline and Michele Bachmann are greeting veterans at the World War II Memorial this afternoon, a day after the monument was barricaded because of the federal government shutdown.
Several members of Congress escorted dozens of veterans from Iowa and Mississippi past the barriers Tuesday so they could see the monument.
After public outcry, the National Park Service decided today that all veterans traveling to the memorial as part of the Honor Flight Network, which brings World War II veterans from the across the country to see the monument for free, will be allowed access.
Efforts to defund President Obama's health care law by the Tea Party wing of Congress, including Bachmann, has contributed to the federal shutdown that shuttered the national monuments.
Bachmann also showed up at the World War II Memorial on Tuesday after the veterans breached the barricades.
U.S. Rep. John Kline posted the picture below to his Twitter account today:
Congressional candidate Tom Emmer's newest campaign commercial raised eyebrows this weekend.
Candidate commercials are nothing new, but this may be the first time a congressional candidate has blended a pitch for his campaign alongside a pitch for new siding.
"Hi, I'm Tom Emmer and I'm running for Congress in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District," says Emmer at the start of the 31-second commercial. "If you're looking for someone to do remodeling, siding or general construction -- residential or commercial -- I can tell you without qualification, you need to call the folks at Integrity Exteriors and Remodelers. They're the best."
The Emmer campaign rushed to explain that the candidate wasn't cutting a commercial -- just offering a testimonial to the company that helped build his campaign office.
"Integrity Exteriors and Remodelers did a wonderful job on the build out of the Emmer for Congress Campaign Office that we are now leasing in Otsego," Emmer spokesman David FitzSimmons said in a statement. "They asked Tom for a testimonial of the work they did and he was more than happy to support a local business out of Elk River. It was not Tom's intention for this testimonial to be used in a broadcast capacity or advertisement for the campaign and we have asked Integrity to discontinue its use."
Integrity Exteriors and Remodelers has not yet returned a call for comment.
The campaign has not yet responded to questions about whether Emmer was paid for his testimonial. Federal campaign law bans candidates from accepting campaign donations from corporations.
The sight of a candidate making a corporate plug is something of a political novelty.
"I've never seen anything like it, and I have literally watched thousands and thousands of ads," said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics."I've never seen a combination of political ad and product promo."
The video was originally spotted by blogger Sally Jo Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie.