Any thought that The State Canvassing Board would have to view thousands of ballots was changed on Saturday. That's when attorneys for Republican Tom Emmer withdrew all but 24 frivolous ballot challenges in Hennepin County.
The State Canvassing Board allowed the Emmer campaign was allowed to review the so-called frivolously challenged ballots because the State Canvassing Board granted the Emmer request but warned of penalities if the campaign presented weak challenges to the board.
Emmer reasserted his control over the recount process on Friday. He said he would withdraw many of the ballots. He also said he's waiting for a Supreme Court opinion and an update to the Statewide Voter Registration System. Watch video of his newser here.
Delegates at the MNGOP State Central Committee meeting voted to penalize 18 Republicans who publicly supported the IP's Tom Horner.
The faithful urge Democrat Mark Dayton to erase the income and racial gaps in the state (if he's elected).
MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton says he isn't sure if he'll run for party chair again.
DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez is under fire (subscription required).
Under the Dome
MPR says opponents of same-sex marriage say the time is right for an amendment banning gay marriage.
The Pi Press says Republicans hope to change Minnesota's election law.
A deal on extending the Bush tax cuts appears close.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison says the GOP's stance on tax cuts and the deficit is "dumb."
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann says the GOP leadership faces an "insurrection" if they don't push the health care repeal.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Pawlenty starts fighting any suggestion that he was a goalie during his time in office. The only problem, as Politico points out and everyone Capitol reporter knows, Pawlenty said it for years.
Editorials like Lori Sturdevant's latest don't help Pawlenty's talking point of ending his term with a surplus.
Pawlenty poured cash in Iowa.
Newt Gingrich is inclined to run in 2012.
Politico says Mike Huckabee also wants some respect.
Former GOP Gov. Al Quie says he laughed heartily when he heard GOP delegates effectively voted on Saturday to ban him and seventeen other Republicans from the party for two years because they endorsed IP candidate Tom Horner's campaign for governor.
"If you want to be a Republican you continue to be a Republican," Quie said. "Which I will continue to do."
Quie told MPR's Morning Edition that he will remain a Republican but expressed concern over where Republican Emmer stood on certain issues.
"it was a tough struggle for me," he said on backing Horner over Emmer.
Quie says his family has a long history of being a Republican. He said his grandfather supported Abe Lincoln and his father backed Hoover. Quie says the decision won't have an impact on him because he he usually attends precinct caucuses but asks not to be elected as a delegate so other people can serve.
Here's the full interview: Listen
Gov. Pawlenty is headed to Fort Lauderdale, Florida today to speak to speak to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event. A person with knowledge of the trip says the Chamber invited Pawlenty to come speak at the private event.
The person with knowledge of the trip says it's a political trip and will be covered by Pawlenty's federal Freedom First PAC. The governor is scheduled to be back in Minnesota tonight.
In other Pawlenty news, here's Pawlenty's speech to the MNGOP State Central Committee meeting on Saturday: Listen
Minnesota State Demographer Tom Gillaspy told me today that he's optimistic but not 100 percent certain that Minnesota will keep all eight congressional seats when the 2010 reapportionment study is released.
The U.S. Census Bureau releases information every ten years that prompts states reapportion the number of congressional seats in the U.S. House. The decision is based on population figures. Minnesota currently has eight seats and there has been some concern that Minnesota will lost a seat because the state's population is growing at a slower rate than other states.
"It's going to be very close," Gillaspy said. "We're a cusp state."
Gillaspy said one thing that's working in Minnesota's favor is that state's citizens had a higher response rate when it came to filling out the initial census request. He said that means the state is less likely to miss counting people in the state.
Gillaspy said he expects the Census Bureau to release the figures in the final week of 2010. He said the Census will release two numbers. The state's population and the number of seats the state has through reapportionment.
One side note: There have been some concern from Democrats that a Republican controlled Legislature could try to jam through a redistricting bill if Governor Pawlenty is forced to hold office longer because of the extended contest between Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer. Those fears are a bit exaggerated. Gillaspy says it's unlikely that the Census will give the state the population information needed to help lawmakers draw the districts for Congress, the Legislature, etc. until late February.
Another side note: Republicans in the Minnesota Senate announced today that GOP Sen. Geoff Michel of Edina will be the lead on redistricting issues for their caucus.