Civic beat // Emmer chosen

It’s Emmer over Seifert at brisk GOP convention

In what turned out to be a brief afternoon for the Republican Party’s gubernatorial hopefuls, Tom Emmer on April 30 quickly squeezed out colleague Marty Seifert to get the endorsement.

“Government has literally invaded every aspect of our life,” Emmer said in a fiery pre-balloting speech. “We will look forward, and we will set a course for where this state needs to be.”

Emmer, a three-term state representative from Delano, consistently led fellow legislator Seifert throughout the afternoon’s ballots, of which there ended up being only two. Seifert conceded after the second round of voting, when Emmer’s lead increased to 12 points.

“Get your Seifert stickers off, and put your Emmer stickers on!” Seifert told his supporters.

The event was in stark contrast to the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s convention a week earlier. It took the DFL five ballots, more than 12 hours and a concession from R.T. Rybak to endorse Margaret Anderson Kelliher, a candidate who now has to compete with another pair of fellow party members before being able to appear on the November ballot. Both Republican candidates alluded to a need to stand together as a party, especially now that they already have someone who’s believed to be a shoo-in for the general election ballot.

“I want to thank Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza for running in an expensive and wasteful DFL primary,” Seifert said during his pre-balloting speech to an uproar of applause. “Thank you, Mark and Matt.”

Emmer’s platform includes education and tax reform. He wants to reduce government spending and eliminate the corporate income tax to support small businesses. He also already has a lieutenant governor picked out, GOP insider Annette Meeks.

“Republicans are the only real hope for a return to prosperity,” Emmer said.

As he conceded, Seifert said he would not seek another term in the House of Representatives, instead opting to retire from public life.

“I will go back to the city I love and the family I love and be Dad again,” Seifert said.

The primary is Aug. 10, the election Nov. 2.

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Independence Party endorses longtime GOPer for governor

The state Independence Party has endorsed Tom Horner as its candidate for governor.

Horner, a political analyst and founding partner of public affairs firm Himle Horner Inc., is a longtime Republican who is running to represent what the Independence Party called “the voice of the middle in Minnesota.”

“In a time where the candidates from the two older parties have become more extreme, Tom represents the true home of Minnesotans,” according to a party news release.

Horner’s endorsement was sealed after a single round of balloting at the party’s
May 8 convention. He received 68 percent of the vote, beating out fellow candidates Rob Hahn, Jim Koepke, Chris Pfeifer and John Uldrich.

“Minnesotans are hungry for respectful conversation,” Horner said in his victory speech. “They are hungry for solutions. They are hungry for leadership that says it is time for everybody to sit at the same table, to make joint decisions, to have a clear vision of where we are going and to get there together.”

The primary is Aug. 10, the election Nov. 2.

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Supreme Court rules Pawlenty erred with cuts

Gov. Tim Pawlenty exceeded his authority by unilaterally cutting $2.7 billion from the state budget last year, the state Supreme Court ruled this month.

In the 4-3 decision, released May 5, Chief Justice Eric Magnuson said it’s the Legislature’s responsibility to create budgets and the governor’s to execute them. Although the unallotment tool Pawlenty used last year is meant to fill budget gaps, it should only come into play after unforeseen circumstances affect adopted budgets. Because Pawlenty’s own veto of the Legislature’s proposed budget created last year’s hole, unallotment did not legally apply, according to the decision.

The case involved only the unallotment of a relatively small diet program, but the ruling could void all of Pawlenty’s cuts. In a statement, the governor said he strongly disagreed with the court.

“Nonetheless,” he said, “it will require the Legislature and my administration to address its budget impacts. The funds do not exist to reinstate my unallotments, and the state budget needs to be balanced without raising taxes.”

The decision arrived less than two weeks before the scheduled end of the legislative session. By law, the budget has to be balanced.

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Tuthill, Uptown Association to host town hall meeting

City Council Member Meg Tuthill (10th Ward) is scheduled to lead a town hall meeting this month to talk about the future of Uptown.

Sponsored by the Uptown Association, the meeting will focus on the importance of neighborhoods and businesses working together as the area evolves. Tuthill owned an Uptown business for three decades before successfully running for office last year.

The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 20 at Bryant Square Park, 3101 Bryant Ave. S. Registration is required. Do so by May 17 at uptownminneapolis.com or by calling 823-4581.