We're taking a moment from watching the fun in Washington to wish a happy birthday to our friend Chris Schmitter, Walz's 2008 campaign manager while on leave from Walz's staff. We know how much you love the Bodeans, and here's a clip of their hit song with some of the boss's new friends in it.
Also, we got you a new president for your birthday. Hope you like the gift.
In news from the district, it looks that while Walz was an early superdelegate endorser of Obama, he's not going to be a rubber stamp. Mark Sommerhauser's article, Walz reluctant to release second round of bailout money, is getting play beyond the pages of the Winona Daily News. The AP version of the article is online at WCCO, KARE, and KTTC.
Walz, DFL-Minn., didn’t agree with Democratic leaders and then-Sen. Obama’s support for the bailout bill last fall, and Walz isn’t buying Obama’s new request to access the remainder of the funds when he becomes president.
Obama pressed Congress last week to quickly confirm his authority to spend the remaining $350 billion from the Troubled Assets Relief Program. But Walz, who was elected to a second term in November, said the public first must know more about who’s receiving the funds and how they are spent.
“I’m very skeptical of them getting more money,” Walz said.
Last week, Walz proposed requiring institutions that receive bailout money to report it online; the proposal, if adopted, would be part of a TARP reform bill discussed in the House last week. The House is expected to continue debating the measure later this week, though it’s unknown how it would fare in the Senate, which already voted to release the remaining TARP funds.
If the House votes on whether to release the TARP dollars, Walz will “almost certainly vote against it,” spokeswoman Amanda Frie said.
MPR reports on Rochester's George Thompson's trip to DC in Diversity leader reflects on Obama inauguration:
"He said, 'Dad, we got to be there. We got to be part of this monumental activity.' And I said, ' George, there's going to be all sorts of people. It's going to be congested, it's going to be cold,'" said Thompson.
Thompson made a few phone calls and got two tickets from U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, a Democrat who represents the Rochester area.
"I called my son, and I could tell his feet were off the floor two to three feet, and I was, too. And I started to think of the magnitude of this," said Thompson.
He says even last year, he did not think it was possible for the United States to elect an African-American president. He says this victory is a unifying one. . .
The First District bloggers at 2009 Barack Obama Inauguration Experience are on the ground and posting via iphone.