In the Know: July 1, 2015

Events today

  • Gov. Dayton will announce raises for his commissioners. Agency head compensation rates have not been updated in 12 years. The new salary levels were based on the recommendations of the bipartisan Compensation Council. The council was comprised of both public and private sector individuals as well as current and former legislators.
  • President Obama will travel to Nashville for a speech on health care.
  • Sen. Franken will visit a Youth Farm site in North Minneapolis, where kids learn valuable skills by growing food and distributing it through local, youth run markets.
  • Sen. Franken, Congressman Ellison and Secretary of State Steve Simon will visit the Minneapolis Urban League to discuss efforts to protect the voting rights of all Americans.
  • What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham and Bobby Jindal will attend events in Iowa. Chris Christie will hold town hall meetings in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders will hold a rally in Madison, Wis.
  • Lt. Gov. Smith will provide remarks at the Canadian Consulate’s Canada Day celebration.

Events Thursday

  • President Obama will visit the La Crosse area “for an event on the economy.”
  • Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders will visit Rochester for a fundraiser brunch and town meeting at 9 a.m. in the Rochester International Event Center.

Save the date

July 8 – Senate District 42 DFL will host a prevailing wage/right to work forum from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Roseville Library, 2180 N Hamline Ave., Roseville. 

2016 election

Nolan says he’ll run again, Duluth News Tribune

Mantorville woman seeks to unseat Duane Quam, Rochester Post Bulletin

Chris Christie warns of blunt campaign in 2016 even if it makes people ‘cringe,’ Star Tribune

Gov. Chris Christie on the issues, Star Tribune

With presidential announcements, Chris Christie seeks political rebirth, Star Tribune

Dear Chris Christie: Candor is not the same as a moral compass, Star Tribune

Liz Warren: ‘I love what Bernie is talking about,’ Boston Herald

Official: Russ Feingold raises more than $2 million in second quarter, Politico

New Jersey could be a tough state for Christie to win, New York Times 

From The Washington Post: In the conservative Twittersphere, not all reaction was positive:

Watching @GovChristie is giving me a flashback to the worst Convention speech in world history. — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) June 30, 2015

In any minute, we’re going to hear about @GovChristie‘s mother’s spaghetti recipe.  — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) June 30, 2015

After this barnburner of a speech, I’m moving Christie’s odds at the nomination from zero percent to one — Allahpundit (@allahpundit) June 30, 2015

The Chris Christie/Rand Paul battle for sixth place will be bitter and epic  — Allahpundit (@allahpundit) June 30, 2015

Christie’s awful record, including judges — Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) June 30, 2015


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Donald Trump overshadowed Christie announcement on social media. Trump’s week-old comments on immigration and the back-and-forth over Mexico continued to dominate the conversation, stirring up Spanish-language media and Tweeters, even on a day when yet another GOP candidate jumped into the fray. The Washington Post 

Jeb Bush has posted 33 years of tax returns: Here are the most important numbers:

  • He’s made more than $29 million since leaving the Florida governor’s office in 2007.
  • He’s worth between $19 million and $22 million — 14 times what he had when his governorship ended.
  • His adjusted gross income was $7.3 million in 2013. (He did not release his 2014 return, nor did he disclose the names of his firm’s consulting clients.)
  • His effective tax rate rose from 17 percent in 2006 to 40.1 percent in 2013. (Contrast that to the 13.9 percent rate that Mitt Romney paid in 2010.)
  • He earned $10 million from about 250 paid speeches during the eight years after he left office. (This averages out to roughly $40,000 a pop.) Ten of those speeches were for the South Korea-based Poongsan Corporation, which the FT notes is a controversial metal and munitions manufacturer. 
  • He pulled down $1.3 million a year at Lehman Brothers until it filed for bankruptcy and then about $2 million a year from Barclays, the British bank which acquired its North American operations.
  • He made some dumb investments. For example, Bush purchased $77,000 in Lehman Brothers stock in July of 2008, two months before the company filed for bankruptcy. He sold his shares the day after Christmas, so that he could get the tax write-off, for $54.
  • He’s given an average of 1.47 percent of his gross adjusted income each year since leaving office to charity ($739,000 from 2007 to 2014).
  • He’s owned funds run by Abbey Capital LP, so some of the tax forms include addresses in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
  • He made almost half a million dollars from investing in Tenet Healthcare, which supported/benefited from Obamacare and whose board he sat on. He more than doubled his money between buying the stock in May 2011 and selling it in October 2013. Read all the returns on

Ted Cruz auditions for “The Simpsons” 

Congressman Keith Ellison

Life as a Muslim lawmaker during month of Ramadan, The Hill


Obama to announce re-opening of embassy in Cuba, Tampa Bay Times



Education (K-12)

Funding cuts force swift end to mandatory ACT testing in Minnesota schools, Star Tribune

American Indian students learn about STEM at the Science Museum of Minnesota, Star Tribune

Export-Import Bank

Loss of Export-Import Bank could affect Minnesota business, MPR


Why were Minnesota Republicans so quiet about the Supreme Court’s marriage decision? Pioneer Press


Health care

Franken: Rural health needs intensive care, Duluth News Tribune


SEIU contract kicks in for 27,000 home care aids in Minnesota, Star Tribune

Union contract for home-care workers is newest front in labor fight, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Working sick and broke doesn’t work, Star Tribune

Obama swings left with overtime regs, The Hill

Supreme Court agrees to hear case challenging workers, Workday Minnesota

The Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear a challenge on collective bargaining rights. The case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, seeks to overturn the 35-year old Abood v. Detroit Board of Education ruling that allows public sector unions to collect fair share fees from non-members to cover the costs associated with representation.  Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson issued the following statement:

“It’s extremely frustrating that at a time when corporations and the super-rich have unprecedented power, the court would agree to take up a case that could further undercut working Americans.

“The court is revisiting a previous decision that gave public sector workers the ability to bargain collectively to improve their working conditions and lives. Overturning Abood would make this harder by forcing dues-paying union members to pay for the representation costs of workers who choose not to pay fair share fees.

“While we hope that the Court will not over turn their previous decision in Abood, an unfavorable ruling will not stop Minnesota’s labor movement from growing. Workers across our state and nation continue to stand up for their rights; we will continue to stand with them and their organizing efforts.” 


McNamara says he’s filing ethics complaint against park lobbyist, Star Tribune

House Ethics Committee dismisses complaint filed by Kahn, Star Tribune

Shouting not an ethical violation, committee decides, Pioneer Press

MN House panel dismisses Kahn’s complaint of threat, MPR 

Major League Soccer

Local owners expected to ask MLS to extend stadium deadline, Star Tribune 

Marriage equality

For Obama, rainbow White House was ‘a moment worth savoring,’ The Washington Post

Where gay marriage stands in the states that didn’t have it, The Washington Post


Medical marijuana

Minnesota patients legally acquire marijuana for the first time, Star Tribune

Long wait for Minnesota medical marijuana patients ends, KSTP

Minnesota’s first medical marijuana distributed at 12:01 a.m., Fox 9

New laws

Aid for the poor included in new Minnesota laws, Pioneer Press

10 new Minnesota laws that kick in July 1, MPR

New laws taking effect in Minnesota, KARE 


Obama sharpens his message on race, The Hill

State commissioner compensation

State leaders’ raises are needed to maintain quality, Star Tribune

Supreme Court

Good Question:  What happens when you ignore the Supreme Court? WCCO


Transportation bill provision sends Met Council scrambling to fund LRT planning, MinnPost


Why is there gridlock at the Wisconsin Legislature? MPR


Federal officials reject threatened status for wolves, MPR

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