“The five major candidates for Minnesota governor chased support from rural voters on Wednesday, promising to partner with farmers and the food industry as they made their first and only joint appearance ahead of next week’s primary election. … But the candidates — state Rep. Erin Murphy (D), Attorney General Lori Swanson (D) and Rep. Tim Walz of the DFL; and Republican former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson — rarely directly engaged with one another. … The candidates all pledged solidarity with farmers on issues like biofuels, a yearslong trend of low commodity prices and the consequences of President Donald Trump’s tariffs on foreign goods, which has boomeranged on soybean producers slapped with tariffs from China, an important buyer.”
“Walz and Pawlenty, though from different parties, both have more experience with contemporary agriculture policy than their three rivals. They came off as the most comfortable at Farmfest, despite the midday heat.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
EDUCATION. “Traditionally, education has been a top priority for Minnesota voters, and that’s likely to come into play as voters decide whom to support in the DFL and GOP primaries for governor next Tuesday. And issues such as school finance, curricula and preparing the future workforce have historically been some of the most pressing subjects that governors confront. … But while some candidates said they would continue DFL Gov. Mark Dayton’s goal of expanding early childhood education on the road to universal prekindergarten, others said it’s time for a new approach to reduce the achievement gap.”
Johnson: “Let’s try some things we haven’t been doing. In particular, let’s give parents more choices and let’s give them more control over the schools that their kids already go to.”
“Johnson said providing families with vouchers or tax credits to help afford sending their child to another school is a good option, along with passing a “parent trigger” law. A number of states have such laws, which allow families to have a referendum on a school and potentially force major changes such as turning it into a charter school. Pawlenty said he also supports school choice and a parental trigger option. Both he and Johnson have said when it come to early education, they prefer targeted early learning scholarships rather than the statewide expansion that Dayton has pushed.”
“The DFL primary candidates … have all emphasized the need for more money for schools. Support for education has not kept pace with inflation, DFLers said.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Swanson released an attack ad Thursday against Walz. The 14 second TV ad criticizes Walz for missing votes in Congress and claims that is proof he won’t stand up to President Trump. (AP)
Swanson’s former deputy, D’Andre Norman, who left in 2014, reinforced accusations that she campaigned from the Attorney General’s office.
Norman: “It was all true, unfortunately. Nothing in there was not right and correct.” (The Intercept)
What We're Following See More »
President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen said he "was directed to violate campaign law at the direction of a candidate for federal office. At the same candidate’s direction, he said he paid $130,000 to somebody to keep them quiet, which was later repaid by the candidate. He didn’t identify the candidate or the person who was paid, but those facts match Cohen’s payment to Clifford and Trump’s repayment."
A jury has found former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty [of] five counts of filing false tax returns, one count of not filing a required IRS form, and two bank fraud counts. ... The jury said it was deadlocked on the other 10. U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on those other charges."
A D.C. judge "has tossed out a defamation lawsuit brought by three Russian oligarchs against former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele over his discussion of them in the dossier he prepared during the 2016 US presidential election campaign describing Donald Trump's links to Russia. The men — Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman, and German Khan — are investors in Alfa Bank and had sued Steele and his company, Orbis Business Intelligence Limited, alleging that the dossier defamed them by linking them to Russian efforts regarding the presidential election." The judge cited D.C.'s anti-SLAPP act in his ruling.