In the Know: November 4, 2015

Events today

  • 9 a.m. – the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement meets.
  • 10 a.m. – The Legislative Water Commission meets.
  • 10 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Smith will provide opening remarks at a national MedTech Conference being held in Minneapolis, which attracts medical device industry leaders from across the United States. Following her remarks, Lt. Gov. Smith will visit Minnesota medical device company booths in the expo hall. Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave. S, Minneapolis.
  • 11:30 a.m. (EST) – House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller and Democratic member Tim Walz discuss the VHA at Brookings – ‘Examining concerns about the Veterans Health Administration’ event, hosted by Brookings Institution Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, featuring. Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C.
  • 1 p.m. – The Legislative Commission on Data Practices will meet and discuss contracting for Minnesota health care plans and data practices.
  • 7 p.m. – CD3 DFL Fall Fundraising Event: An Evening with Vice President Walter Mondale, moderated by Don Shelby. The event will be held at Hughes Pavilion, Centennial Lakes, 7499 France Ave. S, Edina. To inquire about ticket availability, please contact Phyllis Richerson, event co-chair at

Mark your calendars

  • Nov. 10 – North Metro Chapter, DFL Senior Caucus, 11:30 a.m., Little Venetian Inn, Little Canada, speaker Ramsey County Sheriff, Matt Bostrom.
  • Nov. 10 – #ReclaimOurCity – Working Families March. Low-wage workers from across Minneapolis will march for $15, paid sick days, fair scheduling, and an end to wage theft in our workplaces, in Minneapolis, and in all Minnesota. 5:30 a.m. University and Broadway, NE Minneapolis. 7:30 a.m. Macy’s in Downtown Minneapolis (700 Nicollet Mall). 9:30 a.m. Minneapolis City Hall.
  • Nov. 10 – Congressman Ellison will host a Summit on the Economic Reality of Black Minnesotans from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Franklin Middle School, 1501 Aldrich Ave N, Minneapolis. The event is co-hosted by Sen. Bobby Joe Champion and Rep. Rena Moran. This summit will feature two panels: the first to share the economic reality Black Minnesotans face and the second to lay out solutions, including saving and wealth building, entrepreneurship, combating mass incarceration, and wages and benefits.
  • Nov. 11 – Minnesota DFL Education Priorities and Progress – A Town Hall Event, 6:30 p.m. Hosted by the Senate District 61 DFL Central Committee. The event will cover recent activity in the Minnesota legislature and progress toward the DFL Action Agenda, along with hopes and dreams for the 2016 session. Parents of school age children and taxpayers that provide education support through the state budget and local levies are encouraged to attend, become informed, ask questions, and discuss ideas with legislators and key communicators. Panelists include: Rep. Thissen; Sen. Torres Ray; and Josh Crosson from Education Minnesota.
  • Nov. 14 – Olmsted 25 DFL, SD 25 DFL, SD 26 DFL will host a “Big Tent Debate Watching Party” for the Democratic Presidential Debate. All Democrats and friends are invited.  The party will be in the lower level of the downtown VFW Post 1215, 16 6th Street SW in Rochester. This is a union establishment. Appetizers will be served. People attending will purchase their own beverages. Since we are serving food, youth are welcome to join us. No cost to attend.


  • Nov. 10 – SD 44 DFL will host “The-Never-Too-Early-To-Think-About-The-Next-Election” Chili Cookoff and Silent Auction. 6 p.m., LTD Brewing Co., 8 8th Ave., Hopkins. 
  • Nov. 21 – CD 6 Unity Dinner – Drawn Together. 5 p.m., Teamsters Local 120, Blaine. Keynote speaker is Congressman Tim Walz. Click here for ticket information.
  • Nov. 27 – DFL Senior Caucus Gala Celebration. Royal Cliff Banquet Center, 2280 Cliff Rd, Eagan. Registration 3 p.m., program 4 p.m. and dinner buffet 5:30 p.m. There will be guest speakers and DFL elected officials. Tickets are $20 for this great conversation and exceptional Italian dinner.
  • Dec. 2 – SD54 DFL, River Oaks Golf Course, 11099 S Hwy 61, Cottage Grove, 6 – 8 p.m.

2015 election

Larson elected Duluth’s first female mayor, WDIO

Election results, KARE

2015 general election results, Star Tribune

Union-backed Caucus for Change sweeps St. Paul school board race, Star Tribune

Municipal elections: Change sweeps St. Paul school board, Duluth poised for first woman mayor, MPR

Ohio votes down legalizing pot for medical, recreational use, MPR

Republican victories leave Kentucky Democrats reeling, MPR

Just like the midterms one year ago, it was another awful night for Democrats. Washington Post

  • Republican Matt Bevin won a big upset in the Kentucky governor’s race. The guy who Mitch McConnell crushed by 25 points in a 2014 primary will now become just the second Republican to govern the Bluegrass State in four decades.
  • Democrats failed to pick up Virginia’s state Senate. It’s a huge blow to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who went all-in to make it happen. Democrats could have won by capturing just one seat because of the tie-breaking authority of Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D). But Republicans held every single seat.
  • Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, designed to protect the rights of gay citizens and others, failed by a wide margin.
  • Ohio rejected marijuana legalization by a two-to-one margin.
  • Even in San Francisco, the sheriff who steadfastly defended the city’s “sanctuary city” policy went down. Fox News: “Ross Mirkarimi and his office received heavy criticism after Mexican illegal immigrant Francisco Sanchez allegedly shot and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle on San Francisco’s waterfront July 1. Sanchez had been released from Mirkarimi’s jail in March even though federal immigration officials had requested that he be detained for possible deportation.” The city also rejected new regulations on Airbnb.

The South is becoming even redder, and the realignment that began a half century ago is nearly complete. President Obama is toxic, even in non-federal elections. Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant easily won reelection, too, and the GOP increased its majority in that state’s House from 67 to 73 (of 122 members). That’s nearly a super majority. Republicans even toppled the House Minority Leader, per the Clarion Ledger. Washington Post

But, but, but: Turnout was VERY low across the country. Republicans could over interpret the results at their own peril. The presidential election, exactly one year way, will have dramatically larger and more diverse turnout, which works against the GOP. Serious structural problems persist: the Grand Old Party is still too white, too male and too old. Washington Post

2016 election


Franken gets serious about flipping Senate to Democrats, Politico


Presidential candidate Rand Paul to campaign in Minnesota, MPR

Presidential campaigns are becoming more partisan, right? Wrong. Washington Post

Clinton meets with Trayvon Martin’s family, CNN

Marco Rubio spent lavishly on a GOP credit card, but some transactions are still secret, Miami Herald

Affordable Care Act

GOP win in Kentucky sets up unprecedented Affordable Care Act fight, Washington Post

The outgoing Democratic governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear, used an executive order to expand Medicaid and create a state-run exchange under Obamacare. Half a million people, around a quarter of the state’s population, got coverage as a result. Kentucky has seen the largest drop in its uninsured rate of any state in the country. It’s currently 9 percent, down from 20.4 percent before Obamacare. Washington Post


GOP campaigns consider their options after Trump breaks ranks, Washington Post


Xcel seeks 9.8 percent electric rate hike in Minnesota over three years, Star Tribune

Keystone XL delay is a setback for public safety in Minnesota, Star Tribune

Obama will decide on Keystone pipeline before he leaves office, Washington Post

Fond du Lac Tribe

Minnesota Fond du Lac tribal leader takes White House job, Pioneer Press

Forced arbitration

Franken stumps to end ‘forced arbitration,’ Star Tribune 


Emmer confident that Ryan can articulate conservative values, KNSI

National abortion rights group targets GOP lawmakers, Pioneer Press


U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger: Minnesota must face Islamophobia head-on, Star Tribune 

Major League Soccer

Here’s the skinny on the MLS stadium, Pioneer Press

Minnesota Capitol

Messy House: Capitol restoration to limit public access to lawmakers, MPR


KSTP/SurveyUSA Poll shows 26 percent say Trump will be GOP nominee, KSTP

Poll finds Americans, especially millennials, moving away from religion, MPR

It’s official: Twin Cities the best place to live in the U.S., says list of lists, Star Tribune

Cruz rising in Iowa; Clinton back out to dominant lead, Public Policy Polling

Trump and Carson lead nationally, Bush fades, The Hill

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Hillary Clinton slightly expanding her national lead. She gets 62 percent of Democrats, to 31 percent for Sanders. Martin O’Malley received just 3 percent. Their last poll has Clinton up 58 to 33. Washington Post

Real ID

Dayton, Legislature to seek Real ID extension, Pioneer Press

State Auditor

Legal tab in auditor’s fight over audit law grows past $100K, MPR


Why local officials aren’t freaking out about the $1.48 billion price tag for Bottineau LRT, MinnPost


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