The National Republican Congressional Committee has created a website that looks, at first glance, designed to support Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson.
The site, with the address http://www.collinpeterson2014.com, says in large letters "Collin Peterson for Congress" and invites people to sign up and donate.
But in smaller type it says, "Washington is broken, and Collin Peterson is part of the problem" and if visitors click the "donate" button the site will take them to a NRCC website.
The Peterson web page is part of a nationwide tactic from the Republican campaign group to drive traffic to sites that trash Democratic House members. The NRCC has set up similar sites targeting Democrats in California, Arizona, New York, New Hampshire and elsewhere.
Allison Myhre, spokeswoman for Peterson's campaign spokeswoman, said the microsite won't work in Minnesota.
"I doubt that voters out here are going to buy into a deceitful and dirty campaign sanctioned by Sen. Westrom and the Washington, DC Republicans who are running his campaign," she said. State Sen. Torrey Westrom is running against Peterson in the western Minnesota district Peterson has long represented.
Democratic blogger Sally Jo Sorensen wrote of the site: "Clearly, the NRCC isn't worrying about being Minnesota Nice in this race."
Alleigh Marré, NRCC spokeswoman, said: "Democrats are clearly nervous about these effective websites. They don't want voters to know the truth about their candidates' disastrous records. We appreciate Democrats drawing attention and driving traffic to these negative sites."
Peterson has not announced whether he will run again for the seat he has held since 1990.
Updated to correct spelling of Sally Jo Sorensen's last name.
A bipartisan coalition in Congress – including four Minnesota Democrats – is pressing leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to explore potential solutions to the propane shortage in the Upper Midwest.
“As members representing the Midwest, we respectfully write today to request a hearing into the current propane shortage, the long term outlook of Midwestern supply and potential solutions to the problems,” the members wrote.
“As you may know, households and businesses across the Midwest have seen significant spikes in the price of propane fuels during the severe winter cold. Any further reduction in supply threatens to leave our constituents without the fuel necessary to heat their homes and keep livestock and poultry barns warm.”
U.S. Reps. Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Rick Nolan and Collin Peterson signed the letter along with lawmakers from Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin also signed the letter.
Last week, Gov. Mark Dayton’s executive council extended an emergency order to alleviate Minnesota’s propane shortage. Suppliers have been unable keep up with demand during the brutal cold that has battered businesses and homeowners.
Friday is Federal Election Commission deadline day when federal candidates and groups must file their fundraising figures for 2013.
Follow along as we update our chart below with the cash hauls reported the the campaign finance agency.
Note: You may need to scroll a bit to see all the numbers.
Seats at President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night will be filled with the legislative priorities of the 113th Congress.
On a night when the president lays out his blueprint for the year, members of Congress often choose their guests to convey a message of their own: the person often symbolizes a policy or issue the lawmaker is promoting.
In Minnesota, those issues range from job training and fighting poverty to ending child sex trafficking and repealing President Obama’s health care law.
Here’s a member-by-member look at the guests of the state’s congressional delegation:
U.S. Sen. Al Franken will host Erick Ajax, vice president and co-owner of E.J. Ajax and Sons, a Minneapolis-based metal-stamping company. Franken has introduced legislation that would create a multi-billion dollar grant program to fund partnerships between businesses and two-year colleges to fill job openings in high-demand fields.
Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy will be U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s guest. A supporter of Mayo's partnerships to help match students' skills with jobs, Klobuchar has introduced legislation that would fund 100 new science, technology, engineering and math-themed high schools and support scientific research.
Owatonna Mayor Tom Kuntz will be U.S. Rep. Tim Walz's guest. Walz and Kuntz released a joint statement this month calling for passage of transportation funding bills in both houses of Congress in 2014.
U.S. Rep. John Kline will host Keith Anderson, vice chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. The tribe is the largest employer in Scott County, which is part of Kline's district in the southern suburbs and exurbs of the Twin Cities.
U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s guest for President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday will be Vednita Carter, founder and executive director of Breaking Free, a St. Paul-based organization that helps women escape prostitution. Paulsen, the author of two bills designed to combat child sex trafficking, wrote a letter to Obama this month, requesting that he address the issue during the speech.
U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum’s guest will be Clarence Hightower, executive director of the Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties, an anti-poverty agency. This year, McCollum plans to push for more federal grant money to be distributed to not-for-profit agencies, such as the Community Action Partnership, to tackle poverty.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges will attend President Obama’s State of the Union speech as the guest of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison. The two are working on plans to close the achievement gap in the city’s schools and radically reduce the amount of garbage the city sends to landfills, with the eventual goal of reaching "zero waste."
Dr. Julie Anderson, a family physician from St. Cloud, will be U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s guest. A University of Minnesota Medical School graduate, Anderson has concerns about how the Affordable Care Act will affect her practice. Bachmann has been one of Congress’ most vocal critics of the health care reform law.
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, who will not bring a guest, gave his pass to U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, according to staff.
As a result, Nolan will have two guests – Carri Jones, chairwoman of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and Melanie Benjamin, executive director of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Nolan's northeastern Minnesota districts includes five of the six Minnesota Chippewa Tribe bands.
Republican U.S. House candidate Torrey Westrom raised $84,000 in December in his bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson in the state’s conservative-leaning Seventh District.
Westrom, an attorney and state senator, announced his candidacy in early December, which means he didn't have the full fundraising period, which included the final three months of 2013, to rake in donations.
Citing a “tremendous surge of support” in just over three weeks as an official candidate, a release from Westrom’s campaign indicates that 97 percent of his contributions came from Minnesotans.
“I am humbled by the overwhelming amount of support I’ve already received from my neighbors,” Westrom said in a statement.
Westrom's release did not list his cash on hand total.
Peterson raised $165,000 during the fundraising period and has $357,000 banked for a possible re-election bid, but has not revealed if he will seek a 13th term in Congress. The top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, Peterson has been wrapped up in farm bill negotiations for months and expects to announce his plan once a deal is reached.
Westrom has the backing of the national Republicans, who consider Peterson vulnerable because he hails from a district that backed Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. The seat covers much of western Minnesota from the Canadian border down to southern part of the state.
Despite the district's conservative tilt, Republicans challengers haven't posed much of a threat to Peterson, a conservative Democrat who has coasted to re-election for much of the past 20 years.