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Political notebook: Pawlenty updates campaign site

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ST. PAUL - Tim Pawlenty's campaign Web site is undergoing an update, fueling speculation that he may seek a third term as Minnesota's governor.

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The two-term Republican governor has not said whether he plans to run again, but it might appear that way after rolling out his new www.timpawlenty.com.

A Pawlenty video welcomes people and a form next to the video asks visitors to "join the team." It also features a large red box where visitors can click to contribute to his campaign.

The site is to continue its overhaul over the next few weeks. The campaign also is using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Pawlenty has used his campaign to push some of his priorities between elections.

At least a dozen Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party members say they are thinking about running, or observers think are considering getting into the 2010 race.

Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton is running, one of the biggest names in the race. One of the best-known people who has not announced she is running, but is thought to be thinking about it, is House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

Different announcement

When politicians announce they are running for statewide office, they usually either call reporters to their home town or they fly around to Minnesota's key media centers.

But Matt Entenza did something different Thursday when he announced his gubernatorial plans. He began in his home town of Worthington, then flew around to other greater Minnesota venues. But unlike others use who use the fly-around announcement plan, the former House Democratic leader completely skipped the Twin Cities, where most political reporters work.

The Worthington Daily Globe's Ryan McGaughey reported that Entenza credited Worthington for his success.

"When I was 15 and lost my father to alcoholism, this is the town that rallied around me and my family," Entenza said.

He added: "It's where I learned about following your dreams and where I got a terrific education that enabled me to go on to get scholarships and go to college."

'Everybody's drinking'

Much of the Minnesota legislative talk the last few days has been about "sin tax" increases the House DFL plan seeks.

Those are the higher taxes proposed for alcohol and tobacco products.

Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, doesn't see a problem with alcohol, or why drinking it should be called a sin: "Everybody's drinking wine all over the Bible"

Rough day in Senate

The other day was pretty rough day in the Minnesota Senate, where Democrats squabbled with one another and a senator reacted angrily to criticism she received after changing her mind on a key public safety vote.

First, a turf battle emerged within the Senate DFL caucus when two committee leaders publicly bickered over the handling of an environment and natural resources spending bill.

Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley, who leads an environment policy committee, wanted the spending bill to make a stop in his committee because he said it included policy items not previously heard in his committee.

That bothered Sen. Ellen Anderson, DFL-St. Paul. Seated next to Chaudhary in the Senate Rules Committee, Anderson told her colleagues that Chaudhary did not show up for part of her committee's recent hearing when the spending bill's policy items were discussed.

Chaudhary sits on Anderson's committee. Maybe if Chaudhary had attended, Anderson charged, he would know about the policy proposals.

During a Senate floor session a short time later, an angry Sen. Ann Lynch, DFL-Rochester, stood up to respond to jeers she received from colleagues when she cast a "yes" vote on a public safety budget bill after earlier voting against it. With her vote, the bill just passed on its second try.

"I've not been here very long, but I know this much," Lynch said. "No member of this body should ever be ridiculed, chastised or hissed at while that voting board is open. Nobody. Ever."

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