Republican Tom Emmer will end his nearly weeklong silence and hold a news conference at 1pm to discuss the race for governor and the expected recount.
He'll hold the newser just three hours before Democrat Mark Dayton is scheduled to meet with Governor Pawlenty.
Emmer met privately with Pawlenty on Monday. His campaign staff didn't disclose the meeting to reporters until it was over. He also sent out a fundraising e-mail asking for money to pay for the recount.
Emmer's attorney says the campaign has given no thought to waiving the recount.
The MNGOP also hired political operative Ben Golnik to head the GOP's recount efforts.
Dayton announced his transition team on Monday.
Meanwhile Emmer's personal attorney is asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit against Emmer.
Under the Dome
Speaker-elect Kurt Zellers says he won't push legislation through until the next governor is seated. His spokesman sent out a clarification saying the statement should be viewed within reason. In other words, Zellers will start passing a budget if a governor isn't seated in March or April.
A lot of school districts are planning for levy referendums next November.
More Minnesota smokers also use chew or snuff.
The Washington Post says GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's leadership run if looking shaky.
Democrats are having a tough time finding someone to head the DSCC.
Several Democrats also say Nancy Pelosi should not run for House Minority Leader.
An indictment says Somali gangs ran a sex ring in three states (including Minnesota).
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Fox News writes about Pawlenty in its 12 in 2012 series.
Ventura for Prez Watch
MinnPost writes that Jesse says he could run. Haven't we heard that before?
Republican Tom Emmer has scheduled a post-election news conference at 1 pm today at the State Capitol. The news conference will be the first public comments Emmer will make about the expected statewide recount in the governor's race. Emmer hasn't addressed the public or held any interviews since Election Night. Democrat Mark Dayton leads Emmer by fewer than 9,000 votes.
The news conference will come just three hours before Democrat Mark Dayton is scheduled to hold a private meeting with Governor Pawlenty. Emmer met privately with Pawlenty on Monday.
Update: MPR News will provide live coverage of Emmer's news conference.
Republican Party of Minnesota officials announced today the hiring of former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice and State Canvassing Board member Eric Magnuson as chief litigator for the party and Emmer for Governor.
Magnuson joins a legal team currently headed by Michael Toner. In a news release, state GOP chairman Tony Sutton said he was pleased with the addition.
"Eric is an enormously talented litigator who is independent minded, thoughtful and substantive," Sutton said. "As a former member of the State Canvassing Board, Eric understands the issues at stake during this process. Eric is a tremendous addition to our legal team, and I know he will do his part to make certain that every legally cast vote is counted."
Republican Tom Emmer says he's going to let the legal process involving a statewide recount of last week's gubernatorial election run its course. But Emmer isn't saying how far he'll push the issue and didn't give a definitive answer about who will make that decision. Emmer talked with reporters today for the first time since Election Night. He refused to say whether he thinks he can make up Democrat Mark Dayton's unofficial lead of nearly 8,800 votes but says outstanding issues remain.
"Since 10AM last Wednesday, we have done nothing but close the gap. I don't know what's going to happen. All I know is that at the end of the day, Minnesotans need to to have confidence that this was done in a fair, open and honest manner. That every vote was counted and this was the outcome that they expected. That the legal process that is in place was followed."
Meanwhile, the state Republican Party announced today that former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson will be the chief litigator for the Republican Party and the Emmer campaign.
Side note: Emmer used the term "process" 44 times in his nearly twenty minute news conference.
Pawlenty ranks #2 in the power rankings
The National Journal's The Hotline is ranking Pawlenty #2 in its rankings of presidential contenders. The Washignton D.C. based publication says Pawlenty is ranked second among the potential candidates in the "strongest position to win the GOP nomination."
Here's what "The Hotline" says about Pawlenty:
Like Romney, Pawlenty is acting like a traditional candidate, putting together the staff and resources necessary to jump in with both feet. He's certainly got the executive experience and conservative credentials, but early reviews of his public appearances make us wonder whether he's exciting enough to inspire a primary audience. Our burning question: Does "Minnesota Nice" play in presidential primary politics?
This is a double edged sword for Pawlenty. Just like polls that show him in the middle or bottom of the 2012 pack can both help and hurt. They help because he has no where to go but up. His high ranking means in this ranking shows he has little room to grow and could lose critical momentum if he falls a rung or two.
Democrat Mark Dayton met privately this afternoon to talk about a possible transition. Dayton is leading Republican Tom Emmer by an unofficial margin of more than 8,700 votes, which is a small enough margin to likely trigger an automatic recount in the governor's race. Dayton said after his hour long meeting with the governor that Pawlenty was gracious and offered his top revenue and finance staff so Dayton could start crafting a budget if he's elected governor.
"If I am elected and have a certificate, I expect this to be a very smooth transition as it should be for the benefit of the people of Minnesota."
Dayton said again he is confident his lead will hold, but he isn't presuming anything. Emmer and the state Republican Party today hired former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson to handle any litigation involving the recount. Emmer said there is a legal process for counting the votes and he will let it play out before making any decisions about any other steps to take.
For his part, Dayton said it appears Emmer and the MNGOP are preparing for a lengthy court battle. He says he believes the issue should be settled once the statewide, hand recount is complete in December.
"I believe under present circumstances and all known facts that should be the conclusion. And whichever side is on the losing side there has an incumbent responsibility to the people of Minnesota to accept that outcome, to honor that outcome, to not cast undue aspersions on that outcome because this is about Minnesota."
Dayton also said he intends to disclose all of the funds he raises to fund the recount. Republican Tom Emmer said he and the Republican Party will follow the law. The Campaign Finance Board announced that candidates and political parties don't have to disclose donations and can accepted unlimited amounts of money from outside groups.