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.: Allison Sherry and Jim Spencer.

Posts about 3rd District

Interactive: Meet your 2014 Minnesota congressional candidates

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: May 7, 2014 - 11:54 AM

Minnesota’s Democrats and Republicans have selected their candidates to do congressional battle this year.

Over the last several months, activists have gathered in small meetings across the state to pick their favorites. Now their slates are complete. 

In most districts, those picks are expected to have clear sailing to the general election. In at least one, the party-endorsed candidate will still face a primary.

In the map below, find out about this year's congressional combatants.

Graphic: Jamie Hutt, Star Tribune

Star Tribune staff reporter Allison Sherry contributed to this post.

U.S. House and Senate fundraising figures

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: April 16, 2014 - 10:56 AM

Here’s a look at what U.S. House and Senate candidates raised during the first fundraising quarter of 2014 and how much cash on hand their campaigns had at the end of March.

Candidate name

District

Party

 Q1 Fundraising

 Cash on Hand

Aaron Miller

First

Republican

 $47,500

 $43,164

Tim Walz, incumbent

First

Democrat

 $195,000

 $411,216

John Kline, incumbent

Second

Republican

 $270,817

 $1,660,000

Thomas Craft

Second

Democrat

 $5,506  $2,966

Mike Obermueller

Second

Democrat

 $81,148

 $238,211

Paula Overby

Second

Democrat

   

Erik Paulsen, incumbent

Third

Republican

 $431,763

 $1,979,136

Sharon Sund

Third

Democrat

 $33,578

 $28,835

Betty McCollum, incumbent

Fourth

Democrat

 $144,652

 $214,079

Keith Ellison, incumbent

Fifth

Democrat

 $288,043

 $229,460

Thomas Emmer

Sixth

Republican

 $206,094

 $252,738

Philip Krinke

Sixth

Republican

 $62,057  $315,744

Rhonda Sivarajah

Sixth

Republican

 $172,759  $214,808

Joe Perske

Sixth

Democrat

   

James Read

Sixth

Democrat

 $26,711  $34,171

Torrey Westrom

Seventh

Republican

 $136,924  $170,729

Collin Peterson, incumbent

Seventh

Democrat

 $218,000

 $522,650

Stewart Mills III

Eighth

Republican

 $203,000

 $355,738

Rick Nolan, incumbent

Eighth

Democrat

 $265,772

 $478,000

Jim Abeler

Senate

Republican

   

Chris Dahlberg

Mike McFadden

Senate

Senate

Republican

Republican

 $600,000

 $1,800,000

Julianne Ortman

Senate

Republican

   

Al Franken, incumbent

Senate

Democrat

 $2,722,189

 $5,933,851

Rep. Paulsen has nearly 70 to 1 cash advantage over likely Democratic opponent

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: April 15, 2014 - 10:18 AM

Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen has a 68 to 1 cash advantage over his likely Democratic opponent.

After raising nearly $431,800 during the first quarter of 2014, Paulsen has $1.979 million banked for his reelection bid, according to his campaign.

Paulsen’s likely Democratic challenger, Sharon Sund, has $28,835 cash on hand after raising almost $33,600 during the first two weeks of her campaign, which began in mid-March.

Sund, a former Hennepin County DFL chairwoman, is the lone challenger to Paulsen in the state’s Third Congressional District.

“For sure, we’re talking a David and Goliath story, but David had some things … going for him,” Sund told the Star Tribune last week.

Paulsen calls for criminal investigation of former IRS official

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: April 10, 2014 - 9:28 AM

Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen voted to send U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder a letter that seeks a criminal investigation of actions by former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, whom Republicans accuse of improperly scrutinizing tax exemption requests from conservative organizations.

“Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of this decision, has refused to testify before Congress and explain the actions of her department,” Paulsen said in a statement released Wednesday. “The Department of Justice needs to hold Ms. Lerner accountable and show that using a government position to push a political agenda will not be tolerated.”

The House Ways and Means Committee's fourteen-page letter to Holder suggests Lerner, the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division, used her post to improperly influence agency action against only conservative organizations, denying these groups due process and equal protection rights under the law. It says she specifically targeted Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS group for IRS examination.

Leaders of two Minnesota groups – the Rochester Tea Party Patriots and Minnesota Majority – believe the IRS targeted them for extra scrutiny.

The letter also claims Lerner impeded official investigations by providing misleading statements in response to questions. Committee Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan released a statement that accused Lerner of "shamefully" attempting to blame the "mistreatment on low-level employees.”

In a post on his blog last year, Paulsen called the IRS actions “simply un-American.”

Voting along party lines, the Ways and Means Committee decided Wednesday to send the letter to Holder.

The top Democrat on the committee, Sander Levin of Michigan, said the Justice Department is already investigating the IRS's actions.

“Republican members of the Ways and Means Committee have decided that they do not want to be left behind in the Republican campaign to declare this a scandal and keep it going until November,” Levin said in a statement.

4 9 14 Lerner Referral

Rep. Erik Paulsen to take on soccer pros tonight at DC stadium

Posted by: Allison Sherry Updated: April 8, 2014 - 11:00 AM

WASHINGTON -- GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen, a member of the Congressional Soccer Caucus and coach of his daughter's soccer team, faces actual pros in a soccer match here tonight benefitting after-school programs.

Paulsen will suit up at RFK Stadium, the home field for D.C. United, with other members of the soccer caucus, including Democratic Reps. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Colleen Hannabusa of Hawaii.

The members will also play with representatives from several embassies (watch out for Brazil, Spain and Italy) as well as professional players from D.C. United and the U.S. women's national soccer team.

The pros include John Harkes, former U.S. national team captain, Brianna Scurry and Staci Wilson, both former players on the U.S. women's national soccer team, and Ben Olsen, the current head coach for D.C. United.

The Congressional Soccer Caucus is an uncustomary kumbaya-like group of people -- Democrats and Republicans who have joined together to promote soccer. The game is a benefit for the U.S. Soccer Foundation, which will donate the money to after-school programs, according to its website.

"Spending more time with my colleagues outside the Capitol helps build bipartisan relationships," Paulsen said, in a statement. "While I've competed in other Congressional competitions, soccer is the sport I grew up playing, and I'm excited to kick the ball around with some of the best players to ever wear the U.S. jersey."

 

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