Good morning. It's a busy week so the Digest won't include the full round up of reports but I'll try to hit on all of the major issues. The normal digest will return next week.
Republican Tom Emmer is set to announce his running mate today and a person close to the campaign says it's Metropolitan Council member Annette Meeks. The pick comes three days before Republican party delegates decide whether to endorse Emmer or Marty Seifert.
Seifert is keeping up the pressure on Emmer's DWI arrests and support for DWI legislation. The campaign sent out a letter by a police officer criticizing Emmer's support for the legislation.
AP fact checks Emmer's proposed legislation.
Meanwhile, former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton holds a news conference this morning to renew his call to raise the state income tax on the wealthy. The news conference comes just three days after Democrats backed Minnesota House Speaker as their candidate for governor.
Kelliher and other DFL Party folks participated in a statewide fly-around on Monday.
Kelliher's campaign got a boost after Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner dropped out of the race. Gaertner didn't back Kelliher but said she didn't see a path to victory after Kelliher was endorsed.
Meanwhile, Democrat Matt Entenza is moving ahead with his primary run.
Under the Dome
The House also passed ignition interlock.
Senate Republicans block a vote on the financial overhaul bill.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Governor Pawlenty and former Gov. Mike Huckabee shared the stage at a Minnesota Family Council fundraiser.
Huckabee also said moving to Florida was not "political."
Pawlenty will also speak at Augsburg College on Saturday.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer will announce later this morning
Emmer will make the announcement official at 9 this morning. He's vying for the Republican endorsement against fellow legislator Marty Seifert.
Republican Rep. Tom Emmer announced today that he's selected Metropolitan Council member Annette Meeks as his running mate. Meeks is a well known conservative who has appeared on radio and TV and written newspaper editorials. She also served as Deputy Chief of Staff to former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, worked for the conservative group called Center of the American Experiment and is the founder of the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota.
Emmer praised Meeks for being a conservative who pushes to restructure government and said she actually wrote the book on it. He pointed to the Minnesota Policy Blueprint, a book Meeks wrote for the Center of the American Experiment. In it, Meeks called for the elimination of the office of the lieutenant governor - the job she's now running for.
Meeks also served on Gov. Tim Pawlenty's stadium commission in 2004 that called for a variety of tax increases to pay for new stadiums for the Vikings and Twins. The commission also called for the taxes to be levied without voter approval.
Emmer's top GOP rival, Rep. Marty Seifert, said Meeks is a strong candidate. He said the biggest concern he's heard is that both Meeks and Emmer represent the metropolitan area. Seifert, of Marshall, picked Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah as his running mate.
Both Emmer and Seifert have been working hard to win the Republican Party endorsement at Friday's state party convention. Both say they'll drop out if they don't win party backing.
Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton has frequently promised to tax the rich if he's elected governor, but now he wants the current state Legislature to pass his proposed income tax increase and direct the new revenue to public schools.
The proposal, which would face a certain veto from Gov. Pawlenty, would raise income tax rates by 2 to 3 percent on people making $1 million or more per year. It also appeared to be a challenge to House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL endorsed candidate for governor, who Dayton will face in the Aug. 10 primary. He denied his plan was aimed at Kelliher.
"I'm not talking specifically about anybody," Dayton said. "I'm enlisting the Legislature as an ally."
Dayton outlined his plan today during a State Capitol news conference. He said a tax increase on millionaires could help restore cuts made in education under Pawlenty.
"During the Pawlenty years, state education aid has been cut by an average over $1,400 per student in kindergarten through 12th grade." Dayton said.
But a reporter pointed out that the per pupil funding formula has not been cut under Pawlenty, although the number remained flat a few years. Dayton then clarified his assertion.
"Well, it's not been increased relative to inflation, Dayton said. "Then it's effectively a cut. This is $1,400 in real (dollars) after inflation, to make it clear."
Asked where he got his $1,400 per student figure, Dayton said it was from Minnesota 2020. His answer prompted a few chuckles. Minnesota 2020 is the think tank founded by former state representative Matt Entenza, who will also face Dayton and Kelliher in the DFL primary.
Michael Brodkorb, deputy chairman of the state Republican party, was quick to blast Dayton's tax plan as well as his school funding number.
"I don't believe that's accurate," Bordkorb said. "It calls into question his entire candidacy."
UPDATE: DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher told MPR that Dayton is not paying attention that there's "a roadblock named Tim Pawlenty in office":
"What he's not paying attention to is that we have tried a number of times to send to this governor and sent this governor progressive income taxation. I think that former Senator Dayton is out of touch with what's going on."
Republican gubernatorial hopefuls Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert will both appear on MPR's Midday on Wednesday morning at 11. It should be a good show since it's just two days before the MNGOP endorsing convention. Both Emmer and Seifert say they'll drop out of the race if they don't win party backing.