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Does Keith Ellison Have a Mandate? Rep. Sets Freshman Re-election Record

If it seems as if Keith Ellison has a free hand with which to cast controversial votes in the U.S. House, such as his 'present' vote for the Israeli-Gaza House resolution, he probably does. The DFL Congressman registered the second largest margin of victory of all time in the 5th...

Stance of Ellison and McCollum On Israeli-Gaza Resolution Shines a Light on Liberal Voting Records

The "present" votes registered by Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum a week ago Friday on the U.S. House resolution to recognize "Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, stirred up a bit of controversy...

How to Save Minnesota's U.S. House Seat: More Teenage Mothers?

Last month Smart Politics examined the political impact on the state of Minnesota should it lose one U.S. House seat as projected by many analysts, including a recent report issued by Election Data Services. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data detailing the teenage...

DFL Prospects in Ramstad's 3rd CD Open Seat

After Republican U.S. Representative Jim Ramstad announced his retirement Monday, effective at the end of this term (his 9th), the buzz around Minnesota politics was that his open seat would produce a competitive Congressional District race—one that was ripe for the picking for the DFL. And there is data...

Live Blogging at Congressman Ramstad Event

12:00 pm. Jim Ramstad's speech today is entitled "Life as a Centrist in the New Congress." Ramstad has touted his moderate, centrist credentials in recent years, and there is evidence in his voting record to bolster this claim. In 2006, the Republican congressman was rated fairly dead center -- the...

Smart Politics Live Blogging at Congressman Ramstad Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live covering Republican Congressman Jim Ramstad (MN-03) from the Humphrey Institute on Tuesday, August 14th, from Noon to 1:15 pm. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled " "Life as a Centrist in the New Congress" and...

Live Blogging: Congressman Oberstar on Transportation Policy

12:00 p.m. The title of Congressman Jim Oberstar's (MN-08) talk today at the Humphrey Institute is "Transportation Policy and America's Future." Oberstar is the Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, after serving more than a decade as its ranking Democratic member. In part due to the 17-term Congressman's...

Smart Politics Live Blogging at Congressman Oberstar Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live covering Congressman Jim Oberstar's (MN-08) talk at the Humphrey Institute on Monday, June 25th, from Noon to 1:00 pm. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled "Transportation Policy and America's Future," and is the sixth...

Live Blogging: Congressman Keith Ellison Event

9:30 a.m. Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-05) came into the 110th Congress as one of the Democratic Party's new stars (and the only Muslim in the House), despite his predecessor (longtime Congressman Martin Sabo) failing to offer a ringing endorsement during the 2006 campaign. Ellison nabbed a prized seat on the...

Smart Politics Live Blogging at Congressman Keith Ellison Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live covering Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-05) from the Humphrey Institute on Monday, June 11th, from 9:30 - 11:00 am. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled "Leveling the Playing Field for Working Families: Promoting a Consumer Justice...

Live Blog: Rep. Walz Event

10:00 am. Freshman Democratic congressman Tim Walz's (MN-01) talk today is entitled "Tomorrow's Foreign Policy: What We're Teaching Today's Students and Why It Matters." 10:10 am. Walz begins his talk by discussing the importance of opening a line of communication between citizens and the government. He explains how his first...

Smart Politics Live Blogging At Walz Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live from the Humphrey Institute on Thursday, April 12th, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am at Congressman Tim Walz's (MN-01) speech on educating students about U.S. foreign policy. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled "Tomorrow's...

Smart Politics Live Blogging At McCollum Event

Smart Politics will be blogging live from the Humphrey Institute on Monday, April 9th, from Noon to 1:00 pm at Congresswoman Betty McCollum's speech on her recent trip to Afghanistan. The talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, is entitled "American Foreign Policy: A...

Upper Midwest House Delegation Votes 16-6 in Support of Iraq War Resolution

On Friday the U.S. House vote 246-182 for a resolution disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007 to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq. The non-binding measure had near unanimous support from within the Democratic Party, with 229 of 231...

Tim Walz Plays Hardball...and Goes Hitless

On Tuesday afternoon rookie Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz (MN-01) was interviewed by Chris Matthews on MSNBC's political show Hardball. Earlier in the day Walz had spoken multiple times on the floor of the U.S. House supporting a Democrat-backed resolution criticizing President George W. Bush's decision to add more troops...

Upper Midwest Representatives Receive New US House Committee Assignments

Earlier this week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced new Committee assignments for Freshmen members, plus added existing members to new Committees as Democrats increased their membership on Committees with their 30 seat gain in November's election. Starting his 6th term, Ron Kind (WI-03) was assigned to the influential Ways and...

MN-08: An Intriguing Matchup

Minnesota's 8th Congressional District (comprising the northeastern Iron Range counties), is home to one of the more unusual Congressional races this year, in which DFL incumbent James Obserstar, the senior member of Minnesota's US House delegation, is being challenged by Republican Rod Grams, a former US Representative in his own...

MN-02: Rowley Closes Gap

Coleen Rowley, the DFL candidate in Minnesota's 2nd US House district, has closed her deficit to 2-term GOP incumbent John Kline from 20 to 8 points in less than three weeks, according to polls released by SurveyUSA in late September and mid-October. The poll's media sponsor is KSTP-TV Channel...

Upper Midwest US House Races Tighten in GOP Held Districts...But Is a Revolution Afoot?

A recent spate of polls tracking US House races in the Upper Midwest reflect what is perceived by most political analysts to be a nation-wide trend: GOP-held districts that were secure in 2004 now seem to be competitive or near competitive. The GOP leads the current Upper Midwest US House...

US House Redistricting: Iowa Gets Lowest Marks for Proportionality

In the coming year or so states will begin to outline plans for the redistricting process that will go into effect in 2012 after the 2010 Census results. One way to measure the 'success' of these processes is to examine to what extent the proportion of votes cast for...

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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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