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Home / News / The Capitol Note: Dayton, others support Otto, while Ellison backs Entenza

The Capitol Note: Dayton, others support Otto, while Ellison backs Entenza

1) After a flood of DFL leaders moved to shore up support for state auditor Rebecca Otto, last-minute DFL challenger Matt Entenza picked up a small win with an endorsement from US Rep. Keith Ellison.

Earlier in the day, a swath of politicians ranging from Gov. Mark Dayton to Sen. Jeff Hayden had backed up Otto. But, citing their longtime friendship and Entenza’s progressive values, Ellison said he supports the former House minority leader for the job.

“Matt has taken on corporate interests, prosecuted white-collar criminals, and stood against photo ID.  He introduced the first bill ever in the legislature for marriage equality in 1995,” Ellison said in the statement. “He brings a valuable progressive voice to the discussion about the future of our state.”

2) US Sen. Al Franken‘s re-election bid will soon get some more outside help from Alliance for a Better Minnesota, WIN Minnesota and Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun-control group founded by former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords.

Americans for Responsible Solutions, which has raised more than $14 million so far, will support Franken because he voted to expand background checks for purchasing firearms, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

“Americans know that gun violence threatens the safety of our communities, and that our political system desperately needs leaders willing to stand up for the rights and responsibilities of gun ownership and challenge the conventional thinking. We’re looking forward to seeing common-sense approaches to reducing gun violence win in November,” said Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly said in a statement.

3) Another man may be closer to being released from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, the Associated Press reports. US District Court Judge Donovan Frank ordered the state to prove why one man shouldn’t be immediately released from the program.

The state Department of Human Services said it plans to argue the man is still a threat and should continue his treatment. The judge’s order comes as a consequence of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of those in the program, which argues that it’s unconstitutional because offenders can be detained indefinitely. The issue is ongoing.


  • The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) announced Wednesday that it has endorsed Democrat Susan Witt in House District 37B, where she is running against incumbent Rep. Tim Sanders, R-Blaine.
  • The state health insurance exchange has listed the job opening to replace outgoing COO Erik Larson, who is due to resign from that post by mid-July. Qualified applicants should have a Master’s Degree in business administration, public policy, public health, healthcare administration or related experience; the position pays up to $136,000 per year, commensurate with experience. More information at the state jobs board website.
  • Conservative think tank the Center of the American Experiment is hosting an event at the University of St. Thomas today featuring guest speaker Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation. The event, which begins at 10:30 a.m., is free of charge, but seating is limited. More information here.
  • Clarise Tushie-Lessard will leave her post as press secretary for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman to take a new role with Goff Public, that firm announced Wednesday. Tushie-Lessard, who has also worked on campaigns such as the pro-gay marriage Minnesotans United for All Families, will serve in the PR firm’s media relations team.
  • Gov. Mark Dayton has reappointed Edward Reynoso, chief lobbyist for the Teamsters Local Joint Council 32, to the Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership board. Reynoso’s term carries through 2016.

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