An hour before Vice President Joe Biden was scheduled to arrive at Macalester College to lead a campaign rally for gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton Tuesday, state Republicans staged a prebuttal at a restaurant a block away.

GOP state party Chairman Tony Sutton said a win by Dayton or Tom Horner would amount to "more government, more taxes and less jobs," ripping Obamanomics, Daytonomics and Hornernomics. The latter was a reference to Independence Party candidate Tom Horner.

Shortly after that, Sutton's communications director, Mark Drake, encountered DFL state party Chairman Brian Melendez outside the gym at Macalester where the two shook hands and bantered a bit.

"You guys gonna put Horner on stage?" Drake asked.

"Why would we put a Republican on stage?" Melendez deadpanned. Horner is a former Republican Party member.


Klobuchar seeks oversight of wireless

Piggybacking on Verizon's announcement Sunday that it would give $90 million in refunds to customers, Sen. Amy Klobuchar wrote a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging "robust oversight" of the wireless industry's billing practices.

Klobuchar, along with Democratic Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Mark Begich of Alaska, wrote to the FCC Tuesday citing the Verizon case and a recent FCC survey that found one in six wireless customers have experienced "bill shock" over unexpected charges.

The letter said the FCC's involvement in the Verizon dispute led to the company agreeing to reimburse the money to 15 million customers. The refunds stem from Verizon charging customers for data services they were not using.

"Before the FCC's engagement, many customers were left with no choice but to pay for services they simply did not use," the senators wrote.

In December 2009, Klobuchar and Begich introduced legislation attempting to curb high early termination fees attached to many cell phone contracts.


Swanson nabs NRA endorsement

Scoring a valuable endorsement, DFL Attorney General Lori Swanson has won support from the National Rifle Association.

In a statement, Chris Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist and head of the NRA Political Victory Fund, said that Swanson's "commitment to preserving our Second Amendment freedoms has earned her the NRA-PVF endorsement ... Lori Swanson's support for individual gun ownership rights has earned her an 'A+' rating -- the NRA-PVF's highest."

Swanson is running for a second term against Republican candidate Chris Barden. It is the second time in less than a week that the organization has backed a Democrat over a Republican. The NRA recently endorsed U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., over his Republican challenger in the first congressional district, state Rep. Randy Demmer. Both had received "A" ratings from the group.


Franken takes on Tea Party candidate

Sen. Al Franken may have once shared a television stage with Delaware Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell, but now the former "Saturday Night Live" writer is going to stump for her opponent.

Franken will host an event Thursday for Delaware Democratic Senate nominee Chris Coons, who is challenging O'Donnell, the Republican candidate in the Delaware Senate race.

Back in the '90s, Franken appeared with O'Donnell as panelists on TV host Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect," where the pair battled on sex, condoms and welfare reform.

Franken is not the first Minnesotan to get involved in the contentious Delaware Senate race that's attracted national attention since O'Donnell upset establishment Republican Rep. Mike Castle: Last month Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he was backing O'Donnell's Senate bid.