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Posts about 6th District

Palin backs Tom Emmer’s U.S. House bid

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: September 16, 2014 - 8:53 AM

Sarah Palin is calling on conservatives to help send Republican Tom Emmer to Congress to “put career politicians in the penalty box.”

In a Facebook post packed with hockey references, Palin wrote: “This former hockey player, coach, and current hockey dad won’t have any patience for their ‘gross misconduct.’”

Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, is widely respected by conservative activists. But Emmer likely won’t need much outside help to win the race to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The Sixth Congressional District is the most Republican-leaning seat in the state and Emmer, a former state representative and conservative radio talk show host from Delano, is a heavy favorite to defeat Democrat Joe Perske in November.

Palin also backed Emmer's 2010 bid for governor and waded into Minnesota politics earlier this year when she endorsed Republican Julianne Ortman in the U.S. Senate race. Ortman ultimately lost the party endorsement to businessman Mike McFadden.

McFadden backs Rep. Bachmann proposal to rescind passports of ISIS fighters

Posted by: Allison Sherry Updated: September 9, 2014 - 11:23 AM

WASHINGTON -- GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden said Tuesday he favored a proposal introduced this week in the House that revokes passport and re-entry privileges for American citizens who fight overseas for Islamic militants.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Michele Bachmann Monday.

Bachmann's bill, dubbed the Terrorist Denaturalization and Passport Revocation Act, amends existing laws and rescinds re-entry privileges for people who join terrorist armies overseas. A companion measure was introduced by Texas Republican Sen. Cruz that goes a step further and allows the U.S. government to strip citizenship of any person joining military forces with countries at war with the United States. 

McFadden's spokesman said he thinks Cruz's bill could be unconstitutional based on previous Supreme Court rulings on citizenship revocation.

Bachmann, who was on Fox News last night talking about her bill, endorsed McFadden at the May GOP convention in Rochester.

McFadden said in a statement Tuesday: "It is necessary that we have policies and procedures in place to prevent this from occurring and to ensure that trained terrorists do not come back to the United States with the ability to launch terror attacks here at home."

McFadden is hoping to unseat Democratic Sen. Al Franken in November. Expecting a Franken response to the legislation in the next couple hours.

Bachmann tells Fox News she's 'very concerned' about Islamic State

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: September 9, 2014 - 12:48 PM

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren that Americans who join, support or fight with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant should lose their U.S. citizenship, and touted her legislation that would bar anyone who does so from returning to the country.

On Monday, Bachmann introduced her “Terrorist Denaturalization and Passport Revocation Act.” Upward of 100 Americans are believed to be fighting with ISIL. Federal authorities say at least a dozen Somali men and three women from Minnesota are among those who have fled the country to fight alongside or aid extremists in the Middle East.

“The FBI … told me yes, there are Minnesotans that are in Syria fighting for the Islamic State. I asked them … if these individuals want to come back to the United States, they have U.S. passports, would be allowed to do so,” Bachmann told Van Susteren. “I was blown away when the FBI told me they could come back into the United States … as many of them have.”

Islamic State's advances and reports of brutality, including the videotaped beheading of two U.S. journalists, have ramped up pressure on Congress to support efforts against the militant group.

Bachmann’s measure would amend existing U.S. law to make becoming a member of, fighting for, or providing material assistance to a designated foreign terrorist organization the equivalent of renouncing U.S. citizenship. The bill is similar to legislation that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is advocating for in the upper chamber.

The House Intelligence Committee, of which Bachmann is a member, met Monday to discuss ISIL and other international threats.

Piggybacking on Bachmann's bill, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden also called for strict penalties for Americans going abroad to fight with ISIL and like-minded groups.

"It is necessary ... to ensure that trained terrorists do not come back to the United States with the ability to launch terror attacks here at home," McFadden said in a statement.

By the numbers: Outside spending on federal races

Posted by: Updated: August 28, 2014 - 1:41 PM

According to Federal Election Commission data, Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District race has attracted the most money from outside groups so far.

The contest between Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan and Republican Stewart Mills has already seen nearly $1.4 million in PAC spending, with much of it coming from Nolan supporters, such as the House Majority Fund and the AFSCME union.

In contrast, the race for the Seventh Congressional District seat, which Republican Torrey Westrom hopes to snatch from longtime Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson, has only seen $245,000 in independent expenditures. Interestingly, the last filing documenting outside spending in that race was from eight months ago.

Minnesota's U.S. Senate race, so far, has drawn relatively little interest from independent spenders. According to FEC filings, outside groups have spent about $140,000 to weigh in on the battle between Democratic Sen. Al Franken and Republican Mike McFadden.

The FEC calculations only include expenditures that represent, "spending by individual people, groups, political committees, corporations or unions expressly advocating the election or defeat of clearly identified federal candidates."

This post first appeared in our Morning Hot Dish political newsletter. If you're not already getting the political newsletter by email, it's easy and free to sign up.  Go to StarTribune.com/membercenter, check the Politics newsletter box and save the change.

Ex-Bachmann aide pleads guilty to taking cash to quit her presidential bid

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: August 27, 2014 - 2:45 PM

The former top Iowa adviser to Michele Bachmann’s failed presidential campaign pleaded guilty to concealing payments he received from former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign to switch his support and ditch Bachmann.

Former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson entered the guilty plea for one count of causing a federal campaign committee to falsely report its expenditures and one count of obstruction of justice.

Sorenson admitted he had supported one campaign for the 2012 presidential election, but from October to December 2011, “he met and secretly negotiated with a second political campaign to switch his support to that second campaign in exchange for concealed payments that amounted to $73,000,” according to a Justice Department release.

The Justice Department said Sorenson was paid about $8,000 a month with payments funneled through two companies before reaching Sorenson and his wife.

Sorenson publicly announced that he switched his support from Bachmann to Paul on Dec. 28, 2011, just days before the Iowa Caucus. The defection was a significant blow to Bachmann, whose campaign lost steam after she won the Iowa straw poll in August of that year.

At the time, Sorenson said it was clear that Bachmann was no longer a viable contender.

“The fact is, there is a clear top tier in the race for the Republican nomination for president, both here in Iowa and nationally,” Sorenson said. “Ron Paul is easily the most conservative of this group.”

Bachmann’s congressional staff did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sorenson’s plea.

In his plea, Sorenson also admitted that he gave false testimony to an independent counsel appointed at the request of the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee.

“Today, Mr. Sorenson has taken responsibility for his crimes,” said Acting Assistant Director in Charge Timothy A. Gallagher. “Exploiting the political process for personal gain will not be tolerated, and we will continue to pursue those who commit such illegal actions.”

Last year, a special investigator found probable cause that Sorenson violated Iowa’s ethic rules by taking money from committees tied to Bachmann’s campaign by laundering the money through separate consulting firms.

Iowa Senate ethics rules prohibit legislators from receiving payment for work on political campaigns.

On two separate occasions, Sorenson issued written statements to the Senate Ethics Committee, denying that the Bachmann campaign paid him.

Bachmann has also denied the allegations that her campaign paid Sorenson.

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