Winona Daily News political reporter and blogger Mark Sommerhauser notes in Walz can say he saw it coming:
. . . Here’s what I wrote back in October, when Walz was in the minority among Democrats by opposing the biggest of the bailouts, the $700 billion TARP plan:
"Walz told the Daily News on Monday afternoon that the bill must do more ... to limit compensation for executives of failing banks and lending companies."
I double-checked my notes from that interview just to be sure; Walz said the TARP provisions regulating executive compensation were "way too nebulous" and cited a "need to stop golden parachutes" for bank CEOs.
Looks like Walz can justly claim he foresaw this mess before it was made.
Read the whole post at the WDN blog.
Bicycle advocates met with Congressman Walz in Washington:
We were fortunate to actually get to meet with congressmen Eric Paulson and Tim Walz and Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann. Since he represents southeast Minnesota, members of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota extended a personal invitation to Congressman Walz to speak at the LAB National Rally/Twin Cities Bicycling Club Weekend on Wheels in Winona July 31 to August 2 in Winona. The added bonus is that he serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and will be on the front lines as the next version of the federal transportation bill is authorized.
We only ask that Congressman Walz leave the spandex bike pants to Jim Oberstar.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota - Campus Notes thanks Congressman Walz, Senator Klobuchar and former Senator Coleman for an earmark:
With $418,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Saint
Mary’s University plans to assist and mentor K-12 educators in targeted
Minnesota school districts.
The “Teachers Teaching Teachers” program received a $228,000 grant for professional development for teachers from the DOE’s Fund for the Improvement of Education Programs of National Significance, and a grant of $190,000 for technology upgrades from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. Sponsors of the grants included Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.).
The “Teachers Teaching Teachers” project will enhance educators’ professional development through technology, and enable K-12 teachers from high-need Minnesota school districts to engage in meaningful collaboration with each other and with content specialists from Saint Mary’s University, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). . . .
Congratulations to the Caledonia Girls Basketball Team. The Argus reports State champs! Warriors finish off perfect 31-0 season with 54-50 win.
A readers writes to the Mankato Free Press to say Prevailing wage law promotes safety. AFSCME leader Frank Hawthorne tells the Rochester Post Bulletin that the Employee Free Choice Act levels playing field.
The St. Peter Herald reports, Council approves Hwy 169 layout, for a project funded by the Recovery Act. In Waseca, the paper says Sheriff’s Office seeks stimulus funds for staffing costs.
Kind, who represents western Wisconsin, doesn’t endorse all of Obama’s agriculture-reform proposals but says farm policy must be overhauled in a larger effort to control the federal deficit. U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, DFL-Minn., balks at an Obama proposal to eliminate direct payments to certain farms, and says cutting agricultural subsidies will do little to rein in the red ink.
“This is the only program in the government that comes in under budget,” Walz said.
Walz -- along with leading U.S. House and Senate lawmakers -- appears reluctant to revisit debate on the 2008 Farm Bill, which eliminated some subsidies to megafarms but did little to shift its focus from subsidizing commodity crops.
In the 2010 federal budget, Obama has proposed a $250,000-a-year cap on U.S. Department of Agriculture payments to farmers, a move that Kind supports. Just one farm in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District collected more than $250,000 in USDA subsidies in 2006, while none in Wisconsin’s 3rd District topped that threshold, according to the Environmental Working Group.
There are 22,163 farms in Minnesota’s 1st District and 29,905 in Wisconsin’s 3rd District, according to USDA statistics.
Walz has criticized an Obama proposal to eliminate direct payments to farms with annual sales of $500,000 or more. That approach doesn’t account for volatile input costs and could even hurt large dairy operations in Winona County, Walz suggested. Kind backs a different proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., which would eliminate all subsidies to farms that top $250,000 a year in gross income; the current income threshold is $750,000 a year.
“If you’re an individual that makes $250,000 of profit in a given year, you really shouldn’t be receiving subsidies,” Kind said.
Walz and Kind’s ag-policy differences may derive from their districts-- southwest and south-central Minnesota farmers depend heavily on corn and soybean subsidies, while western Wisconsin leans more on dairy and conservation-reserve payments. Agricultural subsidies are big business in both areas: Walz’s district ranks 11th out of 435 U.S. House districts in the total amount of USDA payments from 1995 to 2006, while Kind’s district ranked 30th.
The Worthington Globe reports that polar explorer and environmentalist Will Steger scheduled to speak at conference on biosciences. The Globe also reports that Steven Burrill, the venture capitalist who will invest $1 billion in Pine Island's Elk Run biotech park, will be speaking at the conference.