Posted at 7:01 AM on January 10, 2012
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Daily Digest
Welcome to the Daily Digest, where the state's campaign finance board is investigating the MN GOP, Obama's chief of staff resigns, and it's GOP presidential primary day in New Hampshire.
The state Campaign Finance Board will investigate the Minnesota GOP after the party revealed it is in a financial bind.
The metro's plow budgets are benefiting from a winter no-show.
Meanwhile, businesses are struggling.
There are elections today for state House and Senate seats.
Sen. John Marty is challenging Ted Mondale's numbers on the cost of the Vikings stadium.
Gov. Mark Dayton says the Arden Hills stadium site is not out of the question.
Minnesota affordable housing groups are getting a boost.
The USDA will be shuttering facilities to save cash.
The White House's chief of staff is stepping down.
The Associated Press profiles his replacement.
The White House is also dealing with fallout from a new book.
The U.S. isn't spending as much on health care.
On the Campaign Trail
It's primary day in New Hampshire. Mitt Romney is on track to win.
Politico wonders where the Tea Party is in the Granite State.
Obama says the GOP candidates are just like congressional Republicans opposing his policies.
Romney's rivals didn't much like it when he said that he likes being able to fire people.
Newt Gingrich is going negative.
A pro-Gingrich super PAC has been given a last minute injection of cash to run ads against Romney criticizing his past as chief of Bain Capital.
The Wall Street Journal examines Romney's career as Bain chief.
As he attacks Romney's record at Bain, Gingrich has a past in the investment world as well.
Here's a video of Tim Pawlenty defending Romney's record.
With her presidential campaign behind her, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is preparing to return full-time to her job representing Minnesota's 6th District in Congress.
Bachmann press secretary Becky Rogness said the following of Bachmann:
"She will continue to fight to keep our nation safe, free and sovereign by tackling the most pressing issues including our debt crisis, prevention of a nuclear Iran, and Obamacare's crippling effects. She is also dedicated to seeing the proposed St. Croix River Crossing Project through to completion. She is optimistic about what the rest of the 112th Congress will bring."
Congress reconvenes Tuesday, Jan. 17. Bachmann ended her presidential campaign last Wednesday, one day after her sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.
Bachmann still has not said whether she will seek re-election to a forth term.
According to the website, GovTrack.us, Bachmann has missed more than 12 percent of her votes since January of 2007 when she was sworn into congress. The website's statistics show Bachmann missed more than 90 percent of votes during the forth quarter of 2011.
Democrats accuse Bachmann of neglecting her Minnesota constituents in favor of her presidential ambitions, and they will likely to continue leveling that criticism if Bachmann runs for another term.(1 Comments)
A Minnesota Senate panel will meet next week to look into vacation, sick time and retirement payments to government employees, including officials with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system.
The Senate Subcommittee on Employee Relations announced today that the hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19. The hearing will also provide an update on union contract negotiations. According to a news release, Senators plan to "gather more information on the depth and extent of reported allegations, review the current compensation plans, and address any inadequacies in the system."
Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, announced back in November that he would hold a hearing to address the issue.
"Recent reports suggest that MnSCU administrators and employees in other areas of the government workforce have received excessive vacation and sick time payouts upon leaving or retiring from their position," Parry said at the time. "Reported amounts range from a single individual payout of over $300,000 to more than $86 million total paid from 2009-2011."
Democrats running in special elections for the Minnesota Senate and the Minnesota House won convincingly tonight.
Democrat Kari Dziedzic garnered nearly 80 percent of the vote in the Minneapolis district that includes northeast Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota. Dziedzic replaces Democrat Larry Pogemiller who left his position to direct the Office of Higher Education.
Democrat Susan Allen won 55 percent of the vote in her Minneapolis district. Allen, who will be the first Native American woman to serve in the Minnesota Legislature, replaces Democrat Jeffrey Hayden who was recently elected to the Minnesota Senate.
Tonight's elections don't change the makeup of the Legislature. Republicans continue to hold the same majorities in both the House and Senate.