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Minnesota


Minnesota Legislature Ranks Near Bottom in Proportional Representation of African-Americans

Although Minnesota has the 4th highest percentage of women serving in state legislatures nationwide, the Gopher State only ranks 40th in the country in terms of proportional representation of African-Americans in St. Paul. Out of the 201 legislators in the State House and Senate, only 2 members are black -...

What Euphemism For 'Tax Increase' Do You Prefer?

"The word-mincing going on around here gets creative." That was what Republican House Minority Leader Marty Seifert said at a media availability session last Friday in reference to 'Democratic-speak' and how he believes the DFL will seek to raise taxes, without saying they are about to raise taxes. Seifert...

Obama's New Stem Cell Policy Likely to Have Strong Support in Minnesota

President Barack Obama's decision on Monday to permit federal funds for a greater spectrum of embryonic stem cell research is likely to be met with overwhelming support in the Gopher State, as well as the Upper Midwest generally. Obama's directive overturns his predecessor's policy that limited the use of federal...

Minnesota Ranks 4th in the Nation in Electing Women to State Legislatures

Unlike its Upper Midwestern neighbors, Minnesota continues to be among the nation's leading states in electing women to state legislative office, according an analysis by Smart Politics of data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. For the second straight election cycle, 34.8 percent of Representatives and Senators in...

Pawlenty Approval Rating Sinks to Lowest Level Since October 2006

Perhaps it is due to the Governor presiding over record spikes in unemployment statewide. Perhaps it is the Governor's stated opposition to the federal stimulus legislation that landed Minnesota billions of dollars. Or perhaps the Governor is losing his public relations battle with the DFL leadership in St. Paul over...

Why (the DFL Thinks) Pawlenty Does Not Want A Structurally Balanced Budget

One of the frequent refrains heard throughout the DFL leadership this session has been a criticism of Governor Tim Pawlenty's budget as failing to be structurally balanced beyond the 2010-2011 fiscal years, and a disapproval of the Governor's use of one-term solutions, such as tobacco bonds, to facilitate the State's...

Minnesotans' Approval of Obama Holds Steady As Support Wanes Nationwide

Barack Obama began the first week of his presidency with nearly 70 percent of the American public approving of his early job performance. One month later, while Obama’s approval rating has dipped by double-digit margins in many states, Minnesotans are sticking behind the man they elected president on November 4th....

Live Blog: House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher

8:05 a.m. Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher is giving a talk at the Humphrey Institute this morning entitled, "Leading for Minnesota's Future." 8:08 a.m. Speaker Kelliher compares the time of her childhood in the 1970s and early 1980s to the current budget and financial crisis today. Her family had...

Will the DFL Get a Second Chance at a Veto-Proof Majority in 2010?

The DFL's failure to secure a veto-proof majority in the State House in the 2008 elections means, among other things, that they are required to take more heed of Governor Tim Pawlenty's proposals in this session's battle over how to balance the budget (and how structurally balanced it should be...

House Speaker Warns New Budget Forecast Will Make Minnesotans' Stomach Sick

Although the new budget forecast for the state of Minnesota will not be released until Tuesday, state lawmakers are already confirming the doom and gloom that many Gopher State residents fear they will soon be facing. At the end of January, during the unveiling of his budget proposal, Governor Tim...

Breaking News Analysis: Minnesota's January Unemployment Numbers Set State Records

Every month Smart Politics writes a new analysis on the latest dire unemployment numbers released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and each month our analysis unearths new trends behind the numbers that document why the current economic trend is the worst in generations. January’s seasonally...

The Unsinkable Michele Bachmann

The Rothenberg Political Report came out with its first U.S. House rankings for the 2010 election cycle on Wednesday, and both of Minnesota's competitive Republican-held Congressional districts made the list. Erik Paulsen's 3rd CD and Michele Bachmann's 6th CD are listed as "Republican favored" - two of ten GOP seats...

Despite Democratic Shift, Minnesotans Are No More Liberal Than Four Years Ago

Smart Politics recently documented a notable shift in Party ID in Minnesota favoring the Democrats in recent years, and found that this shift is more of a result of Democrats attracting independents to their corner than the Republican Party losing its base to independents. However, despite this shift in Party...

Democrats Lure Independents to Make Gains in Party ID In Minnesota and Upper Midwest; GOP Base Solid

Although President George W. Bush lost Minnesota in the 2004 presidential election and Republicans lost 14 seats in the Minnesota House from the 2002 election cycle, the GOP still held a slim advantage in Party ID in Minnesota that year, as well as across the Upper Midwest. That advantage has...

Eric Holder Fallout: How Do Minnesotans Feel About Race Relations in America?

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s provocative commentary and characterization about the state of race relations in America on Wednesday night before his Department of Justice employees has drawn both great fire and praise from across the political spectrum. Holder’s comments, however – a mixture of prose that challenged America to...

Minnesota: Where Is Your Outrage Towards Harry Reid?

As the Minnesota U.S. Senate election trial ends its fourth week on Friday, partisan criticisms against Norm Coleman continue to mount from the left. Coleman has been accused of belaboring an election process which has left the Gopher State now without its full complement of Senators in D.C. for 47...

Why DFLers Can Stop Agonizing Over Losing to Paulsen and Bachmann

As Barack Obama's victory in Minnesota was never in doubt, the DFL had three main priorities in the 2008 election: 1) Win Norm Coleman's U.S. Senate seat, 2) pick up at least one U.S. House seat (either Jim Ramstad's open 3rd CD seat or Michele Bachmann's 6th CD seat), and...

Marijuana Arrests Decline As Legislative Support for Medicinal Use Builds

A bipartisan group of Minnesota legislators made an impassioned plea last week, hoping to build political momentum for the legalization of medical marijuana in the Gopher State. While neither Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher nor GOP Minority Leader Marty Seifert have endorsed such a bill on the House side, neither have...

Marty Seifert Not Impressed with DFL 'Mavericks' Nor Their Party's 'Sloppy Majority'

In a media availability held at the Minnesota House Minority Leader's office Friday morning, Republican Marty Seifert expressed great 'disappointment' that voter ID, his caucuses' top priority on election reform, failed to get out of committee this week. Seifert is fairly confident his caucus will get another shot at...

DFLers in Safe Districts Shoot Down Voter ID Bill

To the surprise of few, the House State and Local Government Operations Reform, Technology and Elections Committee voted down Republican Tom Emmer and Mary Kiffmeyer's "Voter Integrity Act of 2009" on Thursday morning by a vote of 11 to 8. The bill would have required residents to show a valid...



Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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