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, Baird Helgeson, Patricia Lopez, Jim Ragsdale, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry, Corey Mitchell and Jim Spencer.

Posts about National campaigns

Former Gov. Quie backs Abeler in GOP U.S. Senate race

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: July 7, 2014 - 1:50 PM

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Abeler told supporters Monday that he had picked up the support of former Gov. Al Quie in his primary run against better funded Senate candidate Mike McFadden.

"Jim continues to connect with the people all across Minnesota," Abeler said in an email.

In the missive, Abeler notes that rival McFadden has cash and established support on his side. McFadden won the the GOP endorsement to vie against Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken in May and has raised almost $3 million to Abeler's $112,000, as of their last reports.

But Abeler told supporters he sees 'shades of" the Virginia House race that saw U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's surprise upset to little funded upstart David Brat last month in Minnesota.

"Simply spending a lot of money does not assure a good outcome," Abeler said. "Wasted money in one campaign does mean that other campaigns, such as critical MN House seats or the governor's race risk becoming underfunded because of unnecessary resource drain."

Last month, Quie endorsed former House Rep. Marty Seifert in the governor's office. Seifert, like Abeler, is challenging the Republican party's endorsed candidate in the August primary. Four years ago, Quie, who served in the U.S. House from 1958 to 1978 and was governor from 1979 to 1983, endorsed Seifert and then Independence Party's Tom Horner for governor. The Horner backing got him banned from Republican Party activities for two years.

Photo: Jim Abeler and Al Quie//source: Jim Abeler for U.S. Senate campaign

Obama has landed in Minnesota

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: June 26, 2014 - 12:46 PM

President Obama will land in Minnesota today at noon and stay through Friday.

Today, the president will arrive shortly after noon and participate in an invitation-only town hall at Minneapolis’ Minnehaha Park at 2:10 p.m.

At 7:30 p.m., he will attend a high-dollar fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at Sam and Sylvia Kaplan's Minneapolis home. The Kaplans have long been major Democratic donors and Obama appointed Sam Kaplan as U.S. ambassador to Morocco.

On Friday, Obama will speak about the economy at Minneapolis’ Lake Harriet Band Shell. The event is open to the public, but advance tickets are required.

The trip to the state will be Obama’s seventh, and his first overnight stay here as president. He also visited Minnesota three times as he campaigned for the office in 2008.

 

The passionate politics of seersucker

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: June 12, 2014 - 10:55 AM

In this politically divided nation, even a striped cotton fabric can inflame ire.

Seersucker puckers passions as well as suits.

Congress has been caught up in the politics of seersucker as well. Back in 2012, the Senate discontinued its tradition of inviting all political stripes to don the stripes.

"Seersucker Thursday would have been on June 21," the Washington Post's Dana Milbank wrote two years ago, "but on the evening before, the Senate cloakroom’s staff notified members that the custom was being discontinued. (Sen. Trent) Lott’s former colleagues thought it would be politically unwise to be seen doing something frivolous when there’s so much conflict over major issues."

But this year, it came back, thanks to the efforts of Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy.

"It’s more than puckered striped suits—it’s Capitol Hill camaraderie,” he said in a statement.

We've surveyed folks on Twitter and found that seersucker gets an overwhelming "yes" among @RachelSB followers. See our complete poll below. You, too, can weigh in:

 

GOP group blasts Dayton over health insurance overhaul

Posted by: Updated: June 12, 2014 - 8:12 PM

A leading group opposing Minnesota Democrats has launched its first television advertisement attacking DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the state’s health insurance exchange.

The 30-second ad ties President Obama’s health insurance overhaul with the troubled launch of the state’s health insurance exchange, MNsure.

"Barack Obama and Mark Dayton promised Minnesotans that Obamacare would help make things better,” said Ben Golnik, chairman of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition. “MNsure remains a mess defined by missed goals, lost policies and bonuses for executives who failed in their jobs. Dayton is so out of touch with Minnesotans he even claimed Obamacare was working 'phenomenally well.'"

Dayton’s campaign dismissed the ad as misleading.

"The reality is that today more Minnesotans than ever have access to quality healthcare at the lowest rates in the nation – with MNsure reducing the number of uninsured Minnesotans by 40 percent in its first year,” said Dayton campaign manager Katharine Tinucci, citing a new University of Minnesota study.

The ad is part of a larger strategy in which Republicans nationally are blasting Democrats over the health insurance overhaul. Democrats are starting to punch back hard with stories of Americans who have been helped by the program. They are also highlighting that Republicans have not unveiled an alternative.

“This is a reminder of the Republican approach that would bring Minnesotans back to the days of out of control healthcare costs, discrimination against preexisting conditions, and lack of coverage for basic services like mammograms," Tinucci said.

Golnik said they will spend somewhere around $50,000 to run the ad statewide on cable and digital broadcast. That is generally not enough money to give the ad significant statewide reach.

The head of Alliance for a Better Minnesota, the main outside group attacking Republicans, would not say when they will launch their first ad.

"When it's strategically smart" said Carrie Lucking, executive director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota.

She also jabbed Golnik's group, however, saying that the group would not run "an ad attacking Obamacare the day after we learn that it's reduced our uninsured rate by 40 percent."

Here's the ad:

Pew poll: Primary voters tend toward extremes, partisans more partisan

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: June 12, 2014 - 10:15 AM

A new nationwide poll from the Pew Center on People and the Press finds that consistent conservatives and liberal make the decisions in primaries at the same time Democrats and Republicans' contrasts grow.

The poll, which surveyed 10,000 adults, found that those who are consistently conservative are more likely to turn out to vote. The same was true for consistent liberals, although to a slightly lessor extend.

The results are instructive for campaigns facing heated primaries, as Minnesota will experience this August, and for voters who may be unhappy with the election outcomes.

Ideological Consistency and Primary Voting

Adults on the more conservative and liberal ends of the spectrum are also more likely to vote in all elections and more likely to give money to political causes.

Notably for Democrats hoping to boost this year's midterm election turnout, conservative adults are significantly more likely to say they always vote than liberal adults.

The findings come as people are less likely to hold much in common with people of the opposite party.

Perhaps because of those differences, Republicans and Democrats over the past two decades have a growing dislike of each other.

Read the complete report here.

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