Posted at 6:18 AM on March 30, 2012
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Daily Digest
Welcome to the Daily Digest, where the former chief of the Minnesota Security Hospital is under scrutiny, Dayton is poised to veto education-related bills, and the U.S. House passes Paul Ryan's budget.
MPR looks at former Minnesota Security Hospital chief David Proffitt's troubled past - and how the state failed to learn all the details before hiring him.
A patient at the Minnesota Security Hospital, where Proffitt worked, died Wednesday.
The Legislature passed a bill to speed up environmental review and permitting processes. Dayton is likely to sign the bill.
Dayton is expected to veto two education bills - one that would change teacher tenure rules and one that would use state budget reserve to pay back money borrowed from schools.
Dayton said there's still fundamental disagreement over using electronic pull tab gambling revenue to pay for the Vikings stadium.
Stadium suporters say Minnesota will lose money without it.
There was a rally at the Capitol to protest a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.
The Hennepin County Attorney's office charged a construction subcontractor with theft by swindle.
Facing high prices for corn and soybeans, farmers are expected to shift a lot of conservation land to crop production over the next five years in Minnesota.
Members of the U.S. House voted on a slate of competing budget proposals.
Chief among them was a proposal by Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan. His proposal was passed by the House. It would cut domestic spending, change Medicare and overhaul the tax code, the New York Times reports.
The plan is dead on arrival in the Senate.
Congress passed a short-term highway aid bill to avoid a shutdown of construction projects.
Members of the Minnesota delegation weighed in on the stop-gap measure.
Democrats could benefit if the Supreme Court decides the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
The Washington Post looks at whether overturning the individual mandate will translate to election victories for the GOP.
The White House's tough stance on Iran puts it in a tough spot as negotiations over its nuclear program begin, the New York Times reports.
Money in Politics
Super PACs turn to judicial elections.
Sheldon Adelson, a major contributor to a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, met with Mitt Romney's backers. He says Gingrich is 'at the end of his line.'
Conservative donors Charles and David Koch have ties to a new ad that targets Obama on gas prices.
The Minnesota Campaign Trail
Minnesota DFL Party Chair Ken Martin is disappointed two of the three Democrats running for Congress in the 8th District don't plan to abide by the party's endorsement.
On the Presidential Campaign Trail
Romney met secretly with Newt Gingrich in New Orleans the day before the Louisiana primary, ABC News reports.
Health care will be at the center of the GOP presidential campaign, even if Romney, who implemented a health care plan similar to the new law while governor of Massachusetts is the nominee.
The National Republican Congressional Committee is targeting DFL Rep. Collin Peterson's 7th Congressional District seat.
The NRCC, which funds Republican U.S. House candidates, is spending $41,000 on an ad opposing Rep. Collin Peterson, which will air in the Fargo market for a week.
The spot portrays Peterson, a lawmaker some consider a moderate Democrat, as someone who frequently sides with the Obama administration. To make the point, the NRCC calls out Peterson for his votes on the new health care law, which has been the subject of Supreme Court oral arguments this week.
"Peterson voted to keep President Obama's takeover of healthcare, including his half a trillion dollar cut to Medicare," a voice in the ad says.
It's true that Peterson voted to preserve the health care overhaul, but the NRCC's characterization of the law makes this claim misleading.
Peterson doesn't always vote with Democrats. This congressional session he's voted with his party only 56 percent of the time. But during the 110th and 111th Congress, Peterson sided with Democrats around 93 percent of the time.
The health care law is one area where Peterson hasn't always been in step with his party. He was one of the few Democrats who voted against the legislation.
Peterson got a lot of flak for the vote, something he acknowledged at a town hall in March 2010 after the bill passed.
"I'm aware people are very much disappointed in my vote," Peterson said, citing thousands of e-mails and phone calls from constituents, according to the Marshall Independent. Peterson went on to say that, "I will support it, and I will work to make this work."
Less than a year later, Peterson voted against a Republican-led effort to repeal the bill.
But the NRCC mischaracterizes the health care law.
First, it implies that Obama has taken over the nation's health care system. This is not the case, as numerous analysts and fact-checkers have already found. In 2010, national fact-checking organization PolitiFact made the claim its "Lie of the Year."
The law does not take over hospitals, it does not include a new government insurance plan to compete with private insurers, and, while it does require most people to have insurance - the so-called individual mandate that's been at the center of the Supreme Court case - it creates health coverage exchanges where uninsured customers can shop for private plans, PolitiFact explained.
Furthermore, the law does not take a $500 billion bite out of Medicare; rather, it aims to slow future Medicare spending to the tune of $500 billion. Those savings are used to pay for other parts of the law.
Nevertheless, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that Medicare spending will continue to grow into the future - just not as much as it would have without the new law.
It's true that Peterson voted to keep the health care law intact, as the NRCC ad correctly states.
But the NRCC's ad mischaracterizes the law Peterson voted to protect. The health care overhaul maintains - and expands - demand for private insurance and it slows the growth of Medicare spending by about $500 billion.
The NRCC's ad is at best misleading.
National Republican Congressional Committee, New NRCC TV Ad: What's Happened to Colin Peterson? He's Changed, March 29, 2012
Marshall Independent, Candidates, legislators speak at DFL event, By Deb Gau, March 29, 2010
THOMAS, roll call vote on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, March 21, 2010
MSNBC, GOP-led House votes to repeal health care law, Feb. 1, 2011
THOMAS, roll call vote on Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, Jan. 19, 2011
PolitiFact, PolitiFact's Lie of the Year: 'A government takeover of health care', by Angie Drobnic Holan, Dec. 16, 2010
FactCheck.org, A Final Weekend of Whoppers?, March 19, 2010
The Washington Post Fact Checker, Myths and facts about 'Obamacare', by Glenn Kessler, January 18, 2011
The Washington Post, U.S. Congress Votes Database, accessed March 29, 2012
National Public Radio, Romney's Support For Ryan Budget Has Democrats Crying Foul, by Tamara Keith, March 29, 2012
PolitiFact, Medicare 'cuts' in the health care law will hurt seniors, says 60 Plus Association, by Angie Drobnic Holan, Sept. 8, 2010
Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare and Health Reform Tutorial, accessed March 29, 2012
The Congressional Budget Office, The Budget And Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 To 2022, Jan. 31, 2012(1 Comments)