The congressional work break is ending, with the House convening in the afternoon. Papers throughout the district reported on Congressman Walz's visits throughout the district. One of the last stops was Austin. The Herald reports in Walz visits Austin for roundtable with businesses owners:
First District Congressman Tim Walz commended the City of Austin Thursday for its collaborative efforts such as the Hormel Institute.
Calling the research facility a worldwide leader that combines resources of the city, Mayo Clinic, the Hormel Foods Corporation and the University of Minnesota, Walz told a roundtable of area business people that he has enjoyed watching a community long anchored by a meat packing plant reinvent itself. . . .
The Caledonia Argus has published a group of moving photos of the burial of a Fallen Marine laid to rest in Houston County cemetery.
Harrison Ornes writes the editors to say Republicans want the ‘Bad Old Days':
Just as they did with Social Security in the 1930’s and Medicare in the 1960’s, Republicans are saying ‘No’ to reform of our health insurance system once again!
Just last week 68 Minnesota Republican legislators urged state Attorney General Swanson to repeal the new health insurance law. They want to return to the bad old days of medical bankruptcies. They want to let insurance companies deny people’s legitimate medical claims and to deny care to those of us with pre-existing conditions.
Alliance for a Better Minnesota reported that in just one day, thousands of average Minnesotans had showered these legislators with over 140,000 letters. Their message? That working people don’t appreciate the Republicans putting insurance companies ahead of them yet again.
I just wish the Republicans would stop being against any and all reform efforts, and cooperate for once with the Democrats for some positive change.
The Fairmont Sentinel reports in Pending cuts hurt the vulnerable:
The $347 million in proposed cuts to the state's health and human services budget may look good on paper, but could actually increase costs to the state in the long run.
"The cuts to human services acts as a tax on the most vulnerable people in Minnesota," said Steve Larson, public policy director for ARC Minnesota. "It will be more expense on these people and their families."
Members of ARC Minnesota and ARC Southwest, along with Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, and directors of programs such as REM and STEP Inc., gathered Saturday to speak out about how some of the proposed cuts will affect people with disabilities and the organizations that serve them. . . .
The Jackson County News notes Another Senate candidate, the entry of Rep. Doug Magnus into the open seat created by the retirement of Senator Jim Vickerman. Here's the lineup so far:
Magnus joins two Jackson County residents, Mike Garbers and Kim Hummel, in the race for the GOP nomination. Murray County Commissioner Kevin Vickerman recently announced his intention to seek the Senate seat currently held by his uncle, Jim Vickerman, DFL-Tracy. Kevin Vickerman is also running as a Democrat.
Readers at the Mankato Free Press write to say New law will benefit Americans with cancer and Respect Walz for his restraint, transparency. Independence Party activist Michael Burger wants A [tea] party for the radical centrists.
The editors give an thumbs down to having Falsehoods reign:
Thumbs down: To a large portion of society and a stunning number of Republicans who accept loopy falsehoods as facts while party leaders fail to disavow such nonsense.
A new Harris Poll found those polled who identified themselves as Republicans believe as fact: That President Obama was not born in the U.S. and so is not eligible to be president (45 percent); that Obama is Muslim (57 percent); that Obama wants to take away Americans’ right to own guns (61 percent); that Obama is doing many things Hitler did (38 percent); that Obama is the “domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitution speaks of” (45 percent); and that the president “may be the Anti-Christ” (24 percent).
It’s one thing to vehemently disagree on political issues, it’s another to disregard well-vetted facts in order to demonize.
In Two for tea: Tax day protest being organized the papers reports on the local rally for Thursday:
. . .Speaking, though, will be restricted to a pre-ordained list of local residents and political candidates asked to talk about three issues: fiscal responsibility, constitutional limits on government and the importance of free markets.
So far, one Independence Party candidate for Congress is planning to speak, as are Republicans seeking congressional and legislative seats. Democrats were invited but are not expected to attend.
Johnson Jr. is on the board of the Minnesota State University College Republicans, but he characterizes his views as independent/conservative. His father was active in the Ross Perot presidential campaign and was a supporter of Jesse Ventura’s campaign for governor.
“We don’t want the Republican Party to think they’re going to absorb us,” Johnson Sr. said. “We’re not an organization that endorses candidates.” . . .
The Rochester Post Bulletin says Independence Party endorses Wilson to run against Walz. Steve Wilson was endorsed by the GOP for SD28 in 2006 and has spoken at several Tea Party events. There will be a Tea Party rally in Rochester on April 15, the paper reports in School district investigates e-mail encouraging protest at Tea Party rally. The lineup of speakers:
. . .Maves said several candidates are expected to be at the rally representing the Constitution Party, Independence Party and the Republican Party. Several speakers are expected to address the crowd at 6 p.m. They include KROC conservative radio host Tom Ostrom, Republican Secretary of State candidate Dan Severson and former Republican 1st District Rep. Gil Gutknecht.
Gutknetcht's [sic] speech is aimed at firing up the crowd to get conservative candidates elected. He said that while he has not been involved in the Tea Party movement, he said he has been impressed by how passionate members are about politics. . . .
The paper looks forward to this weekend's GOP endorsing convention in Republicans set to endorse challenger of Walz and profiles each Republican contender. As these are rich fodder, I'll discuss them in a separate post in the morning.
District Republicans are hosting several candidate forums in advance of Saturday's endorsing convention. The Owatonna People's Press reports in Local Republicans plan fundraiser, free public forum:
The forum will be upstairs [Tuesday] at the Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna. A fundraiser — an ice cream social — begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission to that is $5 per person. The forum itself will start at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge to get into the forum.
The room can accommodate more than 100, Schiell said. The forum will be a warm-up for the endorsing convention in Mankato, when delegates will select one of the five to vie against Walz in the upcoming election.
According to their web site, the WSU College Republicansto host First District GOP Candidate Forum on Wednesday, April 14 at 7:00 p .m.
Bonnie Austin of Wykoff sent a Letter about immigrant workers to the editor of the Fillmore County Journal: she supports CIR. A university student writes Letter about many helped by Walz Vote in appreciation of a provision in the health care bill which allows her to retain coverage on her parents' health insurance plan should she need it.
Agri News notes that Vilsack focuses on health care benefits for farmers.
William Shores tells the editors of the St. Peter Herald that there's More to story with Health Care Reform Act:
. . . Republican members of Congress have called it the ruination of “the best health care system in the world”. Don’t believe it. Indeed, the USA has the best-trained providers, the best hospitals, the best and newest technology....and yet ranks in the lowest quartile among industrialized nations in many health quality indicators, including infant mortality. . . .
. . .Technically, we can’t call the Republican Congressmen liars on this issue. With their privileged position and Cadillac health insurance, they do indeed have the “best health care system in the world”! They just don’t want to share it.
The Winona Daily News reports Spokesman: Pawlenty filled out census form. I'm happy he remembered where he lives.