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Don Davis, Forum News Service, Published June 27 2010

Minn. Political Notebook: Opponents are wondering: Where’s Kelliher?

Minnesota Democratic governor candidates Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza have wondered aloud where Margaret Anderson Kelliher has been.

After a recent education forum they both attended, Dayton said Kelliher has been missing in action from forums. Dayton said he had missed a couple of forums, but he feels it is his obligation to attend all he can.

Entenza still is frustrated that Kelliher has not responded to his request for a series of debates before the Aug. 10 primary election. Dayton jumped at the offer, even though he is leading the race in all public polls and leaders often hesitate to accept debate offers.

In an interview, Kelliher said that she is busy in her campaign and attends events as time allows. The day after Dayton complained that Kelliher was not attending candidate forums, she showed up at one.

Peterson linked

The GOP’s Lee Byberg, candidate to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, is following the lead of many earlier Republican candidates in trying to link Peterson to liberal congressional leaders.

But Byberg may be taking a more biting approach.

“We have watched in horror over the last 17 months as Speaker Pelosi, President Obama and Democrats like Collin Peterson have run our economy into the ground and mortgaged our children’s future with incomprehensible levels of spending and debt,” Byberg said. “Now, rather than face up to the problem and propose a budget, the Democrats will simply ignore their responsibility until after the election.”

Byberg complained that Democrats who control the House will not release an outline of their budget plans, as required by law.

City ties

Gubernatorial candidate Kelliher and her running mate, John Gunyou, pledge to work closer with cities.

Democrats and city leaders often complain about how GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty deals with cities, so the Kelliher campaign is taking a different tactic.

“Minnesota cities have been waiting eight long years for a partner in the governor’s office who understands that cities are Minnesota’s economic backbone – cities with good-paying jobs, strong schools, and growing local economies,” said St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.