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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

April Common Ground E-Newsletter

2013 April 26

Bipartisanship – Topped with Cheese and Baked at 350, for About 45 Minutes

We here at Project Vote Smart often lament the lack of civility in Congress and in state legislatures across this nation. These days, it seems like nothing can get Democrats and Republicans in the same room. At least nothing that isn't cheesy and baked.


No, we're not referring to cheesy platitudes or half baked policy proposals, we're talking about the annual Minnesota delegation “Hot Dish Off”. Rep. Keith Ellison, co-chair of the Progressive caucus, and Rep. Michelle Bachmann, chairman of the Tea Party caucus, might not agree on a whole lot. But they're willing to set aside those differences once a year in the name of a time honored (three years old) tradition that highlights an important part of Minnesota culture and cuisine.


For those of you east of the Mississippi, or west of, say, the Rockies, or really just not from Minnesota – a hotdish is a casserole. Wikipedia makes the important distinction that these special casseroles “typically [contain] a starch, a meat or other protein, and a canned and/or frozen vegetable, mixed with canned soup.” You know, to differentiate them from all the other casseroles out there. These dishes are a big deal in Minnesota, with different specialties by region, and fiercely guarded recipes . Rep. Tim Walz, who won this years competition with his “Herman the German” recipe underlined the importance of hot dish in Minnesota society. As he explained to the Star Tribune, “This is bragging ...

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Hotdish #1: The Bachmann Recipe

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As of this morning, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.,has joined an increasingly long list of senators that will not seek reelection in 2014.

Bipartisanship – Topped with Cheese and Baked at 350, for About 45 Minutes

2013 April 22

We here at Project Vote Smart often lament the lack of civility in Congress and in state legislatures across this nation.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Bullying in Schools

2013 January 25

Throughout the past decade there has been a national trend of legislation on bullying.

April Common Ground E-Newsletter

2012 April 24

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'Supercommittee' misses deadline

2011 November 22

The U.S. Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction was established with the goal of improving both the short and long term financial outlook of the US and reducing the deficit “...by at least $1,500,000,000 over the period of fiscal years 2012 to 2021” But they missed their deadline...