The Digest leads today with something that hasn't been done in decades. The Medal of Honor was bestowed upon a living Service member. President Obama gave the honor to Army Sergeant Salvatore Giunta.
You should watch the 60 Minutes interview with Giunta here.
Under the Dome
MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton, Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb and the GOP legislative leaders will announce new committee chairs this morning in St. Paul. They will then fly around the state to tout the chairs and the new committee structure. The MNGOP is paying for the trip.
On Tuesday, Republicans in the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate have set up a committee structure that has a lot fewer committees than their DFL counterparts.
Here's the House committee structure.
Here's the Senate committee structure.
Meanwhile, the House DFL fills out their leadership roster.
The Wall Street Journal says states are giving Washington a lesson in belt tightening. Minnesota is mentioned.
The lone finalist for the U of M job starts his job interview today.
The EPA says there's too much lead in Eagan's air.
Parts of the state are running out of water.
A court sides with Xcel over the Prairie Island expansion.
I'm told the MNGOP will file a lawsuit as early as today that involves the gubernatorial election.
Republican Tom Emmer reached a deal over his lawsuit with St. Louis and Pine Counties.
Democrat Mark Dayton picked up five votes on Emmer after Hennepin County did its post election review.
Dayton is scheduled to do several interviews with radio stations across the state today.
He underwent neck surgery last week.
A top RNC aide quit his post and blasts RNC Chair Michael Steele. The aide blames Steele's lack of fundraising for the potential loss in Minnesota's governor's race.
President Obama's bipartisan meeting on tax cuts has been postponed.
The head of the TSA says airline passengers should submit to screenings or don't fly.
New York Congressman Charlie Rangel, a Democrat, is found guilty of Ethics violations.
Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl undercut a potential vote on a nuclear treaty ratification.
The Pi Press says millions may lose unemployment if an extension isn't granted.
The foreclosure mess could threaten banks.
The ban on earmarks exposes divisions in both parties.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum defends the process and says she'll work to protect funding for Central Corridor.
Senators aim to move ahead on the food safety bill. DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is mentioned.
GOP Rep. John Kline pledges to check his federal role on education.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann turned down a seat on the Appropriations Committee.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Gov. Pawlenty is in San Diego for RGA meetings. The 2012 contender will be in the company of other possible 2012 contenders.
The Washington Post says GOP governors are looking to rebrand their party.
Gov. Pawlenty meets the turkey on Saturday this year.
Gallup has Pawlenty polling at 4 percent among 2012 hopefuls.
The talk show hosts rank their 2012 picks.
A day after unveiling a new streamlined committee structure, incoming Senate GOP Majority Leader Amy Koch and House Speaker-designate Kurt Zellers named the legislators who will chair those revamped committees.
Here's the list:
Senate committee chairs
Capitol Investment- David Senjem
Agriculture Budget & Policy-Doug Magnus
Commerce & Consumer Protection Budget & Policy-Chris Gerlach
Education Budget & Policy-Gen Olson
Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Budget & Policy-Julie Rosen
Environment & Natural Resources Budget & Policy-Bill Ingebrigtsen
Health & Human Services Budget & Policy-David Hann
Higher Education Budget & Policy-Michelle Fischbach
Jobs and Economic Growth Budget & Policy-Geoff Michel
Local Government & Elections-Ray Vandeveer
Judiciary & Public Safety Budget & Policy-Warren Limmer
State Government Innovation and Veterans Budget & Policy-Mike Parry
Transportation Budget & Policy-Joe Gimse
House committee chairs
Ways & Means-MaryLiz Holberg
Property & Local Tax Division-Linda Runbeck
Education Finance-Pat Garofalo
Education Reform-Sondra Erickson
Health and Human Services Finance-Jim Abeler
Health and Human Services Reform-Steve Gottwalt
Ag & Rural Development Policy & Finance-Rod Hamilton
Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Policy & Finance-Tom Hackbarth
Commerce & Regulatory Reform-Joe Hoppe
Capital Investment-Larry Howes
Public Safety & Crime Prevention Policy & Finance-Tony Cornish
Civil Law-Torrey Westrom
Judiciary Policy & Finance-Steve Smith
Transportation Policy & Finance-Mike Beard
State Government Finance-Denny McNamara
Veterans Services Division-Bruce Anderson
Legacy Funding Division-Dean Urdahl
Government Operations & Elections-Joyce Peppin
Higher Education Policy & Finance-Bud Nornes
Jobs & Economic Development Finance-Bob Gunther
Rules & Legislative Administration-Matt Dean
Revenue Commissioner Ward Einess announced today that he's leaving his post on 12/3 - one month before Governor Pawlenty's term is scheduled to end. Einess will set up his own government affairs practice.
He's the second top budget person in the Pawlenty Administration to announce his departure in the first week of December. Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Tom Hanson is leaving his post on 12/2 to become a lobbyist.
The next Revenue forecast is scheduled for 12/2.
Democrat Mark Dayton is trying to get off on the right foot with some of the committee chairs that will be analyzing his budget plan in the Minnesota Legislature. This morning, Republicans in the Minnesota House and Minnesota Senate released their list of committee chairs.
Dayton issued an advisory complimenting them. The release also says he plans on meeting with legislative leaders in both parties in the "coming days." Here's the release:
St. Paul- As House and Senate Republicans announce new committee chairs and the Caucuses elect new leadership, Mark Dayton released the following statement:
"I congratulate the new Committee Chairs in both the Minnesota House and Senate, and the newly elected leadership in the Caucuses. Minnesotans are counting on all of us to work together to address the serious challenges before us, and, should I be declared the winner on December 14, my Administration will stand ready to work with the new leadership in the State Legislature to serve the people of Minnesota."
Dayton is arranging meetings with the legislative leadership of both parties in the upcoming days.
Tom Emmer's campaign and the Minnesota Republican Party today filed a petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court that could result in some votes being thrown out in the contested race for governor.
The GOP alleges that there is evidence that some election judges failed to reconcile the number of registered voters who signed in on Election Day with the number of votes cast in their precincts. State Republican Party chair Tony Sutton says under state law if there are more votes than voters in a precinct, the excess votes have to be thrown out.
"Phantom votes have no place in the final count," Sutton said. "There is a clear statutory remedy that must be followed, namely that excess phantom votes are removed from the certified vote count."
DFLer Mark Dayton's recount director Ken Martin says the move is a sign of desperation on the part of Emmer and the Republicans.
"There are six days now until the state canvassing board meets. In the 11th hour the Republican Party decides to introduce essentially a Hail Mary pass here, to delay the process that's going to occur."
Dayton currently leads Emmer unofficially by more than 87-hundred votes. If the court agrees with the GOP, it would likely shrink the pool of votes that would be included in a likely recount.
Here's the GOP filing.
I'll post video of the newsers once it's embedded.