A Minnesota judicial panel on Tuesday released new political district lines that place U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann, a Republican, and Betty McCollum, a Democrat, into the same congressional district, according to Bachmann's office.
Bachmann said that she will run for her old 6th District seat even though newly drawn congressional maps put her home in the 4th District, currently represented by McCollum.
"I'm announcing today that I will be running in the 6th Congressional district. I'll continue my service to the people in the district where I essentially went to junior high, high school, college, had my babies born and we built our business and we have our church and our family," Bachmann said.
Members of Congress don't have to live in the district they represent, so Bachmann is free to run wherever she likes in Minnesota. She said she has not yet decided if she will move her home into the new district.
"That decision will be made. I'm not sure what we will be doing on that front," she said.
In a fundraising email, she accused the court of "liberal bias."
Meanwhile, in a statement, McCollum accused Bachmann of "running away."
McCollum was in the Minnesota Capitol on Tuesday, hours after new maps showed her district spreading east into Stillwater.
“First of all, I am running and I am running to win,” she said. “I am very excited about the new 4th Congressional District.”
McCollum’s new district would grow by about 20 percent and include more of Washington County.
“It’s a good district for me to get out and meet the families and talk to them about creating more jobs,” she said. “I am working on making sure our children have the best education possible and am moving forward on getting the economy going.”
McCollum appeared relieved by the new maps, having not been happy with changes to her district proposed by Republicans and even her own party.
“I was very concerned that both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party put out very partisan maps,” she said. “The judges have drawn these maps, after having taken public input and holding hearings, and I look forward to my new district. But first I have to earn their vote and earn their support. Like I said, I am going run and I am going to run to win.”
McCollum said she plans to highlight her work on transportation issues, which she said will ignite long-term economic growth for her district and the state.
McCollum has already had a loud voice on an issue gripping Stillwater, a proposal to build a new taxpayer funded bridge connecting the area to Wisconsin.
“Stillwater deserves to have their bridge replaced,” she said. “But they need to have it replaced in a way that is fiscally responsible. … So, nothing has changed.”
The new congressional and legislative boundary lines also will determine partisan power for a decade to come.
In the congressional maps, the panel appears to have made minimal changes to equalize population throughout the state's eight congressional districts. The court kept the same basic shapes they districts have had since 2002, rather than stretching the districts along east-west lines as some had suggested.
While congressional candidates need not live in the district they run to represent, state legislative candidates must reside in the district they want to represent for at least six months before the November 6 Election Day. That gives lawmakers and candidates until the first week in May to move into a new district if their current district is unappealing or has them matched against a legislative colleague.
View the court's maps below and check this post often through the day for updates.
A Minnesota court will release its redistricting plans on Tuesday, which will send the Capitol into a frenzy of map-study as lawmakers peer into their political futures.
Legislators and members of congress are anxiously awaiting the judicial plans, anticipating that some of them will end up in districts that are less friendly and others will be matched against colleagues.
A special court panel is doing the job of drawing the political lines because the DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-controlled Legislature failed to agree on the maps.
The panel had previously been unclear about exactly when it would release the plans. On Monday it confirmed that it would make their plans public at Tuesday at 1 p.m.
According to the court, the release will include:
"a. The Panel’s orders regarding redistricting;
b. Statewide and Twin Cities area congressional district maps;
c. Statewide and Twin Cities area legislative district maps;
d. Selected maps of metro areas around Minnesota where it is impossible to discern the legislative districts from the statewide perspective; and
e. Various Maptitude reports."
Former state Sen. Tarryl Clark’s $228,000 raised in the third quarter topped incumbent Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack as well as two of her challengers for the DFL nomination.
Cravaack, who raised $206,000 in the third quarter, still maintains the edge in his campaign war chest in the 8th District, as the freshman Republican has $382,000 cash on hand compared to Clark’s $236,000.
For third quarter fundraising, which spanned July through September, Clark outraised DFLers Rick Nolan and Jeff Andreson. Nolan, a former U.S. representative, raised $66,000 and has $32,000 cash on hand. Anderson, a Duluth City Council member, raised $20,000 and has $21,000 in the bank. Daniel Fanning, who recently entered the race, did not have to file a third-quarter FEC report.
Here’s how the third quarter went in the rest of the state’s congressional districts:
Democratic Rep. Tim Walz raised $221,000 in the third quarter, and has $504,000 cash on hand. Republican Mike Parry declared he was running this month, so he does not have fundraising numbers to file yet.
GOP Rep. John Kline raised $184,000 this quarter, and has $686,000 in the bank.
Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen raised more in the third quarter than any Minnesota House member who isn’t running for president, hauling in $340,000. He’s also the first Minnesota House candidate to top $1 million for the cycle. Paulsen has $904,000 cash on hand.
Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum raised $106,000 in the third quarter, and she has $107,000 cash on hand.
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison raised $188,000 this quarter, with $157,000 in the bank. Chris Fields, the Republican who has challenged Ellison, raised $12,000 this quarter since he filed his candidacy August 22. He has $2,800 in the bank.
Rep. Michele Bachmann raised $4.1 million in her presidential bid, which includes $200,000 from her dormant congressional committee. Thanks to a quick spending pace, she has $1.5 million in the bank.
Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson raised $70,000 in the third quarter, only $13,000 ahead of Republican challenger Lee Byberg, who brought in $57,000. The problem for Byberg, who lost to Peterson in 2010, is that Peterson has $610,000 in the bank, while Byberg has $89,000
By Jim Spencer and Jeremy Herb
President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress Thursday night was high political theater. But when the pomp and circumstance that rivaled a State of the Union address ended, many paralyzing differences remained between the White House and Republican members of Congress who will have to agree to make the president’s dream a reality.
As it often does, the Minnesota delegation formed a representative microcosm of the entire Congress. Democratic senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken saw promise in the $447 billion plan, in part because Obama plans to pay for most of it with reductions in other spending.
“I like the tone he took,” Franken said of Obama. “We need jobs now. We need to build roads now.”
The speed with which Congress is willing to act on the American Jobs Act that Obama plans to send to the House and Senate next week will say a lot about the legislature’s sense of urgency.
Republicans like Rep. Erik Paulsen liked portions of the president’s proposal that called for passing trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. He also liked the president’s call to get rid of red tape in the permitting process for construction projects. But Paulsen, who represents Minnesota’s Third District, stopped far short of endorsing the heart of the president’s plan.
Plans to spend $140 billion to rehire teachers laid off in the recession, to build roads and to repair schools sounded too much like earlier economic stimulus spending to Paulsen, which he considered a failure. So did a $62 billion extension of unemployment benefits and $245 billion in payroll tax cuts for small businesses and individuals.
Second District Republican Rep. John Kline echoed those sentiments.
“I was pleased to hear the President heed the call of Americans by expressing a desire to work together to promote long term economic growth,” Kline said in a statement. “Unfortunately, his call for more stimulus-type measures ignores the reality that people – not government – are our nation’s true job creators.”
Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack of Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District did not attend the president’s speech. His spokesman Michael Bars said in a statement that Cravaack “was huddling with his team listening carefully to the president’s speech.”
“Rep. Cravaack will examine all pro-growth proposals that mitigate excessive, job-destroying regulations that saddle small businesses and job creators,” Bars said.
Asked about Republicans who skipped the speech, Paulsen said it was a mistake. “I mean look, he’s the president of the United States, and you should be here to listen to his points of views,” Paulsen said. “That’s part of the whole opportunity to break the gridlock is to have the exchange of ideas.”
Stormy weather delayed Rep. Michele Bachmann’s arrival at the Capitol. She listened to the speech on the way in, she said. Bachmann, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, later held a press conference in which she slammed the president’s jobs proposal.
None of this bodes well for quick action on a jobs plan that must pass the Republican-controlled House to become law. White House officials would not say whether parts of the president’s plan can be parceled out without destroying the whole thing.
"It seems to me that this is all of a piece," Franken said. "I don't know if it all unravels if part of it doesn't pass."
In a background briefing with reporters, an administration official said: “If there are Republicans or Democrats out there with good ideas, we want to hear them.”
But the president wants Congress to act quickly.
If it doesn’t, if it gridlocks on Obama’s jobs plan the way it did on the budget and the debt ceiling, Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison predicted that an already angry public will not blame Obama.
“What the president has done is go in front of the American people and say, Congress needs to address your urgent crisis,” Ellison said. “So Republicans and Democrats better figure out a way to get over their differences so they can help you … Basically, we’re going to have to do something or we’re going to look like we don’t care.”