This is my mean face (
by Tony Petrangelo
May 18, 2013, 10:00 AM

The Weekly Wrap 5-18

♣ The big news this week was the passage through the Senate, and the signing by Governor Dayton, of the Marriage equality bill. That happened on Monday and Tuesday.

The next day, Wednesday, Minnesotans United for All Families, the organization that was instrumental in the defeat of the Marriage amendment last November and in the passage of Marriage equality this session, announced that they have formed a Political Action Committee (MN United PAC) to help out lawmakers who took tough votes on the issue.

“Minnesotans United recognizes that casting a yes vote in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry was a decision that many legislators struggled with,” Minnesotans United manager Richard Carlbom said in a release. “MN United PAC will work tirelessly to ensure that the leaders in the Legislature – Republican and Democrat – who voted yes for marriage this year have the grassroots and financial support they need to be re-elected. These legislators cast an important historic vote, and now it’s our turn to show our appreciation and tell them that we’ve got their back.”

♣ I had been skeptical of anything substantive coming out of the various investigations into Michele Bachmann’s failed Presidential campaign, because up until now the parties involved mostly deal in slap-on-the-wrist style justice. That has changed:

The FBI joins the Office of Congressional Ethics, the Federal Elections Commission and an Iowa state Senate ethics committee in probing whether Bachmann’s presidential campaign paid an Iowa state senator from her MichelePAC, a fund that should not have been used for campaign expenses, and whether the state senator stole the email list of an Iowa home-school group from another Bachmann staffer, Barbara Hekki, prior to the Iowa caucuses in January, 2012.

♣ That news is coupled with this (possibly related?) development:

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has purchased TV advertising time for the next two weeks with a Minneapolis station, according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission.

Of course, May of an off-year is a really dumb time to go on the air. I mean, May of an election year isn’t a good time for a house candidate to go on the air, so May of an off-year, well, let’s just say it doesn’t make a lot of sense on it’s own.

What could possibly be so important that she would air TV ads so early?

Oh that’s right… repealing Obamacare. That thing that the house does when it’s not on vacation. Seemingly the only thing the house does when it’s not on vacation.

And did the Senate or White House have any comments on this?

There had been some chatter about Michele Bachmann possibly not seeking re-election to her sixth district congressional seat. For example:

Lots of Republicans say off the record that they are hearing a growing chorus of rumors that Bachmann may retire. And they are downright expansive about the fact that the party will be thrilled if she does. But absolutely no one to whom I have spoken claims to have heard it from her or from members of her innermost circle.

I think the fact that she’s running ads touting Obamacare repeal throws cold water on that idea.

♣ From the desk of Minnesota’s third district US Representative Erik Paulsen:

The three-term Minnesota Republican issued a statement Monday saying he has decided “not to seek election for a different office in 2014.” Instead, he said he plans to seek another term in the U.S. House.

And with that Emo Paulsen concludes his dalliance with running for Senate. Unless he changes his mind, which wouldn’t be the most shocking thing in the world:

Twice now he’s said the he isn’t running for the Senate. And twice now he’s sort of retracted that, not saying that he is running mind you, just saying that he isn’t not running.

The other thing that is so utterly lame about this announcement is that he didn’t announce that he’s running for congress again, which he most certainly is. Instead he will do that at a future time, no doubt with an announcement of a big pending announcement.

♣ Speaking of a person who may run against Senator Franken:

State Senator Julianne Ortman held a press conference today to try and finger U.S. Senator Al Franken for playing a role in the current controversy over the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) giving unwarranted scrutiny to certain conservative 501(c)(4) groups.

As I’ve pointed out before, the problem that Julianne Ortman faces, and for that matter, the problem that every Republican in the legislature who has been rumored as a possible Senate candidate faces, is that they all voted for the anti-marriage amendment.

Good luck trying to run away from that vote MNGOP, you’re going to need it!

♣ We’re going to get a poll next week! Courtesy of the fine people at PPP:

Minnesota and North Carolina are the states we’ll poll this weekend.

In Minnesota we’re mostly interested in thoughts on what Republicans to test against Al Franken and Mark Dayton. We’ll obviously look at gay marriage too and any other ideas you have in the state would be much appreciated as well.

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