poligraph-accurateSen. Amy Klobuchar stopped by the MPR News State Fair booth this week to talk about beer, guns and the economy.

But her answer to a question about student loan debt stood out to PoliGraph.

“When you look at the average debt for students in Minnesota… it’s something like $30,000,” Klobuchar said.

College graduates aren’t trained for the jobs that are available, she added.

“One of the things that I’ve found frustrating is that we have something like 80 percent of our manufacturers in Minnesota have job openings,” she said.

Klobuchar is nearly correct on both accounts.

The Evidence                   

Minnesota graduates carry a lot of debt compared to other states.

In 2012, Minnesota ranked fourth with average student debt around $31,500.

Klobuchar argues that part of the problem is that students aren’t finding good paying jobs after they graduate. Some of those jobs are now in the manufacturing sector, but students don’t have the right skills for the work.

“Some of these jobs are good jobs. They’re running robotics equipment, fixing it,” Klobuchar said. “These manufacturing jobs are no longer the three ‘Ds’: Dark, Dirty and Dangerous.”

Among all Minnesota manufacturers, about 67 percent say it is difficult to attract qualified candidates to job vacancies. Klobuchar’s staff says she was specifically talking about Minnesota’s large manufacturers. Roughly 80 percent of them have this problem.

The Verdict

Although she was a little imprecise, Klobuchar is essentially correct. She earns a State Fair blue ribbon.

Welcome to the Daily Digest.


State Fair campaigning got off to a strong start yesterday.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson wants 13 debates with Gov. Mark Dayton. Dayton is sticking with six debates. (MPR News)

Republican endorsed Minnesota Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald is seeing support for her candidacy erode. (MPR News)

MPR News politics editor Mike Mulcahy interviewed Sen. Amy Klobuchar. (MPR News)

Here’s a video of Dayton taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Billy Czerwinski isn’t old enough to vote. But that didn’t stop him from creating his own super PAC. (MPR News)


A top U.S. military official says stopping the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria would require attacking Syria. (The New York Times)

Ferguson, Missouri, is calmer after a visit from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. (The Hill)

The Government Accountability Office says the United States violated law when it swapped Taliban leaders for an American prisoner of war. (AP via Star Tribune)

Security guards block Michelle MacDonald from the GOP State Fair booth. Tom Scheck/MPR News

The Republican candidate for Minnesota Attorney General is distancing himself from the party’s endorsed candidate for the state Supreme Court.

State Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, said today that he is supporting current Justice David Lillehaug, rather than Lillehaug’s GOP challenger Michelle MacDonald.

Lillehaug is a Democrat who was appointed to the court by Gov. Mark Dayton.

MacDonald won party backing at the Republican state convention. It was later revealed that she was charged with drunk driving and resisting arrest in 2013.

Newman said in a news release that he cannot support MacDonald.

“I believe her conduct in connection with her arrest, as well as recent comments and conduct demonstrate a temperament that is inconsistent with the duties of a Supreme Court Justice,” Newman said.

MacDonald also ran into problems today at the Minnesota State Fair. Republican Party of Minnesota officials voted yesterday to ban her from their fair booth. Security guards were on hand to make sure she stayed away. But MacDonald entered the booth twice.

“I don’t think it’s justice, and I don’t think it’s fair,” MacDonald said after leaving the booth.  “I’m doing nothing wrong, and they’re doing everything wrong.”

MacDonald also pointed out that Republican Party Chair Keith Downey sent out a memo earlier this year telling party leaders that they must support the party’s endorsed candidates or resign their position. She said Downey should resign his position for blocking her from the party booth. An official with the party said Downey would appear at the booth to take questions, but by late afternoon he hadn’t appeared.

(MPR News reporter Tom Scheck contributed to this report)