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Here are a few gems from today’s Morning Hot Dish newsletter:
Rebecca Otto engages with 'young' tweeter
Good morning and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
A bit about life in Dublin roughly a century ago, courtesy of historian Tim Pat Coogan: In a survey conducted in 1910, some 20,000 families were found to be living in one-room abodes. Infant mortality was 142 per 1,000, compared to 103 in London. It was discovered that 46,574 women and 27,999 children were observed passing through the portals of 22 Dublin pubs kept under survey for a two week period. Mental illness to the point of “insanity” was estimated at 63.5 per 1,000.
Who was at the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities dinner last night? Any good stories?
Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will meet with GOP legislative leaders this morning. Nothing public on Dayton’s schedule.
House and Senate are in session, and lots of committee work, including the paid family leave bill in Sen. Ron Latz’s committee, and some contentious issues in House Environment early this a.m.
A chill in the bromance? I’m told that before they shook hands at a transportation event Wednesday, Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk hadn’t spoken since Friday. Tough to see how they get to unemployment benefits for the Iron Range this week unless something comes together quickly. Bakk is quite serious that he wants nothing else in the bill, while Daudt and his caucus want the unemployment insurance tax cut and have leverage, and so we’re at stasis. Goes to show you, sometimes when interests and ideologies clash, there’s no amount of cocktails or fishing trips that will bring agreement.
From Dayton release: “I want to correct any misunderstanding from yesterday about my position on a bill providing retroactive, 26-week unemployment benefits to workers on the Iron Range. I strongly support the passage of such legislation without any other provisions attached to it.”
Perhaps it was coincidence, but that release went out about 20 minutes after I watched Dayton and Bakk confer privately at the transpo event. Dayton had said Tuesday he would sign anything in front of him that gave benefits to the Range workers, but he reiterated Wednesday he wants what everyone keeps calling a “clean” bill.
Release: Gov. Mark Dayton announced today the commencement of a process to fill a vacancy on the Minnesota Supreme Court, created upon the upcoming retirement of Associate Justice Christopher J. Dietzen at the end of August.
Who are your picks? I’m thinking Prince.
House GOP release: Please see the attached letter from Congressman Erik Paulsen and Representative Greg Davids, co-chair of the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. This letter is a follow-up to the letter Representative Davids sent to the IRS on March 2nd, 2016 requesting relief for Minnesotans who may face tax penalties due to MNsure's inability to process and distribute necessary 1095-A tax forms. Thousands of Minnesotans still have not received these forms necessary to file their taxes.
Former Rep. Jim Rostberg was in the House Wednesday and got an ovation. Raised eyebrows among press corps veterans considering he was taken away in cuffs during his tenure. Guess everyone should get a chance at redemption.
The 2015 lobbying spending report came out Wednesday and the Chamber and the Biz Partnership were tops, followed by the teachers union and two municipal groups. Spending was actually down a bit, surprisingly, though some groups still had not filed. I wondered if business didn’t need to spend as much because Republican allies now have the House. Tobacco spent big, too. I wonder when you’ll have to be 21 to smoke here.
Some items for your calendars:
The Partisan Divide: Congress in Crisis, Tuesday, April 5 at noon, Humphrey Forum, Humphrey School: Former Reps. Tom Davis and Martin Frost tackle this question in their new book “The Partisan Divide: Congress in Crisis.” Former Rep. Tim Penny will moderate.
New Directions for the Republican Party with Peter Wehner, former W speechwriter, Tuesday, April 12 at noon Humphrey Forum.
Strib DC reporter Allison Sherry reporting from Washington:
Outgoing Metropolitan Airports Commission Executive Director/CEO Jeff Hamiel is retiring soon and in DC this week at a trade conference with a bunch of other Minnesota airport bosses. They are staying just a block away from two famous competing Irish bars near Union Station. Hamiel told Sherry his 69th birthday is today and he’ll be hitting the Dubliner, where President Obama famously dropped in 2012 and had a pint on St. Patrick's Day. Remember: Obama has Irish ancestry, which explains a lot.
Anyway, congratulations Jeff and have fun!
State Auditor Rebecca Otto continues to be one of the more eccentric users of social media among elected officials. Here she is at the end of an argument with a GOP operative about gas taxes. Curious choice to engage at all, and here’s what she wrote on Twitter: My guess is you're young. Nothing wrong with that. As you gain experience in life, you will get savvier. Not free. And then, minutes later: Again in time you will learn that we have to take collective responsibility for infrastructure needs. She went on to speculate that her opponent in the Twitter debate must be in his early 20s.
Last time I checked, there were older people, even people in their 30s, opposed to the Dayton gas tax proposal.
Finally, thanks to alert reader Rep. Pat Garofalo, who questioned the assertion by Dave Wasserman in Wednesday’s newsletter about how many winner-take-all delegates remain in the Republican nominating race. Here’s a good explainer on the remaining delegates and how they’ll be apportioned. While it’s true that there aren’t many winner-take-all states, many remaining states have a hybrid “winner-take-most” system where if you win a congressional district, you get all the delegates for that district. So, for instance, California has 53 congressional districts, and the winner of each congressional district will win three delegates. Which means that whether Trump can get to 1,237 may come down to the early June California primary and who can win places like … Compton. Pretty crazy, but that’s where we are.
Now I’ll quote the only two lines of “Straight Outta Compton” that don’t have expletives:
When I'm called off, I got a sawed-off
Squeeze the trigger and bodies are hauled off
Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Stay safe and don’t drive drunk.
-- J. Patrick Coolican