1st District

Klobuchar disagrees with Walz on Guantanamo detainees

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

The Austin Post-Bulletin reported today that Senator Amy Klobuchar does not think Minnesota has the capability to house detainees from Guantanemo Bay – a stark contrast from comments made yesterday by fellow Democrat, Rep. Tim Walz.

“There is no place in Minnesota for prisoners from Guantanamo,” Klobuchar told the paper. “We do not have the high-security facilities needed to hold these detainees.” The senator voted last month to withhold funding to transfer detainees to the United States, pending a more complete plan from the Obama Administration.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Walz said that Minnesota facilities like the Federal Medical Center in Rochester have held high-level terrorists in the past and are capable of handling Guantanemo Bay detainees.

“If all the procedures are in place as they’ve been done with everyone else; if we’re very clear on what legal avenues these people have, I think our professionals there can handle it,” Walz said.

His office issued a follow-up statement later in the day.

“If the process the President has put in place deems that they be held in detention facilities in the United States, I am confident it will be done in the most secure manner.  We know, for example, that the people who work at America’s SuperMax facilities are professionals and patriots and when called on they have done their patriotic duty and held detainees securely as long as we ask them. The same goes for the professionals at the Federal Medical Center – Rochester who might be called on in the event prisoners are found to have serious health issues. The reality is we already are holding over 300 terrorists, including al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists, securely in American detention facilities,” the statement said.

Walz’ comments on Tuesday prompted the National Republican Congressional Committee to release their own statement Wednesday morning:

“By willingly accepting the idea to house dangerous terrorists in Minnesota, Tim Walz is revealing the lengths he will go to put his constituents at risk in order to provide cover for his party’s flawed proposal. How much longer will Walz continue to carry water for the Democrat’s reckless position that a majority of Americans adamantly oppose?” NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay wrote in an e-mail.

Guestposter Kevin Diaz: Walz rakes in campaign dollars

Friday, July 13th, 2007

diaz_1.jpgWASHINGTON — Freshman Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., reported Friday that he has raised more than a half-million dollars since last November’s election, when he upset incumbent Republican Gil Gutknecht.timwalz.jpg

Walz, a rising star in the Minnesota DFL, logged a total of $565,295 in contributions as of June 30, the end of the second quarter reporting period. After retiring some campaign debt, he was left with $482,413 in cash on hand.

Walz said he’s “humbled” by the support he’s received since taking office in January. “I truly appreciate the outpouring of support,” he said.

The strong fundraising figures also reflect the importance both parties place on winning the First Congressional District in Minnesota, a swing district that had been in Republican hands since Gutknecht was first elected in 1994.

Since then, Democratic leaders in Congress have made it a priority to protect freshmen who helped them win back control of the House.

Kevin Diaz

Guestposter Patricia Lopez on a draft-Walz effort that’s meeting nothing but resistance

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

lopez.jpgOld-line political operative Jim Goff, part of the short-lived Kelly Doran for Governor/Senator campaigns, apparently is mounting a one-man effort to draft U.S. Rep Tim Walz for the Senate race.

Goff, who did not return reporters’ phone calls or emails, has been circulating a draft petition that would pit the first-term Rochester congressman against his former benefactors, humorist Al Franken and attorney Mike Ciresi.timwalz.jpg

Walz’s congressional and campaign staff have emphatically (and repeatedly) said that their man is not interested in entering the Senate race and is intent on winning re-election in the First District.

“We are really, really focused on re-election in the first,” said Walz campaign manager Richard Carlblom. “It’s very flattering to even be considered, but Congressman Walz is really dedicated to re-election in his own district in 2008.”

franken.jpgCarlblom noted that both Ciresi and Franken helped Walz in his upset victory over Republican Gil Gutknecht in 2006 and that Walz “is good friends with both of them.”

Andy O’Leary, executive director of the state DFL, said he’d seen a copy of the petition — but knew of no one who had signed it or who intended to sign it. “We’ve had no contact with Mr. ciresiGoff,” O’Leary said.

Walz has been high on politicos’ radar since his win in what had been a Republican district, but a serious draft attempt would face a major hurdle: a Walz Senate run would leave Dems without an incumbent in the first district and vulnerable in what is already a targeted race for Republicans.

“I do know from my conversation with Walz and his staff that he’s committed to running in the first district,” O’Leary said. “In our minds, this [petition] is a nonstarter.”

Patricia Lopez

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