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Economy and jobs


Crime and the Minnesota Economy Revisited: Brace for Property Crime Surge

At about the same time Smart Politics posited the question as to what effect, if any, the rising unemployment rate and economic downturn would have on the state’s violent crime rate, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s office issued a press release documenting how violent crime has declined in every Minneapolis precinct...

Will Violent Crime in Minnesota Increase Along With the Jobless Rate?

The news released on Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development that Minnesota’s unemployment rate had reached 6.4 percent, prompted Smart Politics to examine how the current jobless trend, and specifically the large rate of job loss, is unprecedented, going back decades in the state. The problems...

Minnesota Unemployment Rate Reaches Highest Level in Nearly A Quarter Century

The news gets bleaker and bleaker for workers in the Gopher State. The November 2008 seasonally adjusted jobless numbers have been released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development: unemployment rose to 6.4 percent – up from 5.9 percent in October. The number of unemployed Minnesotans increased by...

Minnesota Unemployment Trend Worst In 22 Years

The October 2008 unemployment numbers released late last week by Dan McElroy, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, reveals the Gopher State is enduring its worst jobless trend in more than two decades. October’s 6.0 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate marks the second time out of...

Live Blog: Al Franken on the Economy

1:00 p.m. In the fifth of a series of candidate forums sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute, DFL U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken is giving a speech entitled, "An Economy That Works for the Middle Class." 1:05 p.m.Humphrey...

Live Blog: Erik Paulsen, GOP 3rd CD Candidate

12:00 p.m. In the third of a series of candidate forums sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute, GOP 3rd Congressional District candidate Erik Paulsen is giving a speech entitled, "Why We Need Forward Thinking Leaders to Solve the...

Live Blog: Ashwin Madia, DFL-3rd CD candidate

12:00 p.m. In the second series of candidate forums sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute, DFL 3rd Congressional District candidate Ashwin Madia is giving a speech entitled, "Green Technology, Green Power, and Greenbacks: A Plan to Protect Our...

Upper Midwest Delegation Votes 6-2 As $700 Billion Financial Industry Bailout Sails Through Senate

The United States Senate voted 74 to 25 Wednesday night, in support of a revised bill that would, in part, fund $700 billion in a ‘rescue’ of the financial industry. The Upper Midwest delegation voted 6 to 2 in favor of the bill, with Democrats Russ Feingold and Tim Johnson...

Upper Midwestern House Delegation Split in Support of Financial Industry Bailout Bill

The rejection by the U.S. House today of the $700 billion financial industry bailout package was the result of a stranglely-cobbled coalition of conservative Republicans, blue-dog Democrats, and liberal Democrats. The bill, backed by President George W. Bush, eventually won the support of just 205 Representatives, with 228 voting ‘nay.’...

Economic Concerns Nothing New to Upper Midwesterners

While sometimes it is difficult to get Democrats and Republicans to agree on anything, the economic concerns facing the nation are at the forefront of the minds of the electorate for both major political parties in the Upper Midwest and across the country. In fact, public opinion has not been...

Wisconsinites Extremely Dour on the National Scene

The latest in a series of biannual polls conducted by Wisconsin Public Radio and St. Norbert College over the past decade demonstrates that Wisconsinites view the state of the nation—its institutions and economy—to be of grave concern. An incredibly low 18 percent of the 400 adults surveyed between March 25th...

Economic Conerns Continue to Dominate Upper Midwest

In monthly surveys tracking what is the most important issue facing the next president, the economy has emerged as the dominant issue across the Upper Midwest. SurveyUSA asked 600 likely voters in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin closed-ended questions with eight choices as to what was the most important concern facing...

South Dakota Passes Qualified Minimum Wage Increase

This week South Dakota enacted legislation increasing the state hourly minimum wage—contingent upon an increase in the federal minimum wage law. South Dakota's current minimum wage is fixed at $5.15 per hour—identical to the federal law—and will not increase until July 1, 2007 or until a federal raise is...

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Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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