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Minnesota Government Update


June 18, 2010



KSTP SurveyUSA Gubernatorial Poll
KSTP released a statewide poll taken this week showing Mark Dayton with a significant lead over the DFL endorsed candidate, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, and Matt Entenza in the DFL gubernatorial primary. Voters were asked that if the primary election were held today, which DFL candidate they would support to face Republican Tom Emmer and the endorsed Independence Party candidate, Tom Horner. Dayton has a clear lead with 39 percent of the vote. Kelliher polled at 26 percent, and Entenza at 22 percent. Only 11 percent of participants were undecided. The same poll showed Dayton as the only DFL candidate capable of beating Tom Emmer, the Republican candidate.  The poll had a 500 sample size and a 4.5 percent margin of error.

Horner Leaves Himle Horner
Tom Horner, the endorsed Independence Party candidate for Governor, announced this week that he had sold his remaining stock in Himle Horner, the public relations firm he cofounded more than 20 years ago. Horner said his exit from the company has been in the works for over two years. Todd Rapp, current Himle Horner President, bought 50 percent of Horner’s shares in 2008. Rapp said the company will be renamed before the end of the year to reflect Horner’s departure. 
 
A statement issued by Horner’s campaign said he will have no professional involvement with the firm during the remainder of his gubernatorial race. He does, however, plan to continue working with one client on his own. He will continue to advise Twin Cities Hospitals, who are in the middle of a labor dispute with the Minnesota Nurses Association. 

Race to Replace Governor Pawlenty
The gubernatorial candidates are in full campaign mode now that summer has arrived and the legislative session has ended. Representative Tom Emmer (R-Delano) and his running mate, Annette Meeks, plan to travel around the state holding town-hall meetings. They hope to get a genuine idea of the concerns and priorities of Minnesotans. 
 
Former U.S. Senator and DFL candidate for Governor, Mark Dayton, launched a new television ad campaign this week. Dayton, who is self-funding his run for office, said his ads will continue at least until the August primary election, but he has purchased less air time than he has in past races. He said his goal is to re-introduce himself to Minnesotans and introduce his Lieutenant Governor running mate, state Senator Yvonne Prettner Solon (DFL-Duluth). 
 
Matt Entenza, a former state representative whose campaign is also mostly self-funded, started airing his commercials on TV in April. Despite serving six years in the state House of Representatives, Entenza has less name recognition among the three candidates. He already has at least three different ads and has spent close to a million dollars on air time, and the election is still months away. It is money well spent, he says, to get his name out there and to reach voters across the state. 
 
DFL-endorsed candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher kicked off her “No Stone Unturned” jobs tour Sunday afternoon at the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis. Kelliher said she intends to travel the state in the coming months to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Minnesota families. “As Governor, I will leave no stone unturned to get Minnesotans back to work,” she said. Kelliher visited Duluth, Keewatin, Faribault, Brainerd, and Richfield during the first week of the tour. 

Pawlenty’s Press Secretary Resigns
Brian McClung, Governor Pawlenty’s press secretary and longtime spokesperson, said Wednesday that he will be leaving to start his own consulting practice, McClung Communications and Public Relations, after nearly six years in the Governor’s office. McClung’s last day with Pawlenty is Friday, and he will be getting to work right away with his new undertakings. Monday will be his first day directing MN Forward, a political collaboration of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Business Partnership. The pro-business fund will use advertisements and campaign literature to influence the Governor’s race and legislative contests across the state. 
 
McClung was hired as press secretary and advanced to Director of Communications, and then to his current position as Deputy Chief of Staff.   “He’s been one of my closest advisors during both terms and I greatly value his insights, loyalty and expertise,” Pawlenty said in a statement. Bruce Gordon, a current staffer in the Governor’s office, will take over as Communications Director and serve as Pawlenty’s primary spokesperson. 

MnRA President Submits Resignation
Buzz Anderson announced this week that, after 10 years, he will be stepping down as President of the Minnesota Retailers Association, effective September 30, 2010. Anderson said in a statement Wednesday that he is proud to have been a part of the organization but thinks it is time for the MnRA to have new leadership. The Association will start accepting resumes from interested candidates and hope to have a replacement before Anderson’s departure.

For up-to-date information about the Minnesota Legislature, tune into Almanac: At the Capitol. This lively and informative program is aired Wednesdays during the legislative session on Twin Cities Public Television at 7:00 PM on Channel 17 and at 10:00 PM on Channel 2.

Almanac: At the Capitol is seen on all public television stations throughout Minnesota and in Fargo. Winthrop & Weinstine is the exclusive law-firm partner and a sponsor of the program.

For more information and to see previous broadcasts, check out the Almanac: At the Capitol Web site at http://tpt.org/aatc/.

 
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