Politics with Jennifer Brooks

Klobuchar jabs Buttigieg; Topic du jour: Housing

By Jessie Van Berkel

Good morning.

Whew. For those with the time (and political stamina), yesterday was a beastly day of TV. What stood out to you from the full day of impeachment hearings and debate coverage? Impeachment inquiry hearings resumed at 8 a.m. today.

If you missed the fifth Democratic debate, here are five takeaways. Patrick Condon’s got the answer to the question we asked yesterday in Hot Dish: Will Sen. Amy Klobuchar go after Mayor Pete Buttigieg? And Torey Van Oot rounds up the Klobuchar reactions, finding out what viewers thought of the well-workshopped boyfriends line and more.

This morning, both of those candidates are meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton, who is holding back-to-back meetings with five candidates to talk about civil rights and racial equality. Klobuchar is last in the lineup, and a release from her office said she “will offer remarks and discuss her positive economic agenda for the country that includes economic empowerment for all Americans.” Sharpton didn’t endorse anyone in 2016, but Democratic candidates have been working to win his blessing for the past year.

Another retirement announcement in the Minnesota Legislature.

Rep. Duane Sauk, DFL-Rochester, is retiring after two terms in the House. From Sauk’s statement: “I look forward to spending my final legislative session continuing our efforts to build a Minnesota that works better for everyone, and after casting my final vote I look forward to spending more time with my family in Rochester.” He won the 25B seat by two percentage points in 2016, but held it last year by a wide margin (60-40).

In south metro Senate District 56, Democrat Lindsey Port (who told Torey Van Oot earlier this week she was weighing a run) has made it official. She announced her candidacy and highlighted some of what she’s looking to tackle. “The issues facing us today are urgent, they keep us up at night balancing budgets, fearing for the safety of our children, and praying we don’t encounter a health crisis that will bankrupt us,” Port’s announcement said.

Now the news I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting: The November forecast! We’ve got a date and a time. State officials plan to make the big announcement about the state’s economic outlook at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. This will shape Gov. Tim Walz and legislators’ work headed into next session.

Minnetonka High School will host state health officials, Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, and Rep. Heather Edelson, DFL-Edina, to discuss the school’s anti-vaping program Friday. Edelson plans to push for a law next session that will take the Minnetonka “Escape the Vape” model statewide.

We’ve got a lot of housing-related news today. U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is proposing spending $1 trillion — yup, trillion — to add 12 million new units of affordable housing over the next decade, Condon reports.

And in today’s edition of “Where’s Walz?”, the governor and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan are focused on housing earlier in the day with Flanagan announcing affordable housing grants for people with disabilities and Walz discussing new affordable housing investments in the state. This afternoon Walz is participating in an event with Minnesota National Guard leaders honoring Securian Financial’s work with veterans.

Housing advocates were blowing up Walz’s Twitter feed on Wednesday with the hashtag #Bonds4Housing. They are making the pitch for the governor to include $500 million to support housing in his public works borrowing proposal (aka bonding bill).

I’ll leave you with a question from Lt. Gov. Flanagan (h/t TVO) — Is she #twinning? (I’d say the glasses sell it).

— Jessie Van Berkel

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