Welcome to the Daily Digest, where Brodkorb meets with Senate leaders, SCOTUS announces its Arizona immigration ruling, and the presidential candidates react.
Unbeknownst to his lawyer, Michael Brodkorb met with Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem and Deputy Senate Majority Leader Julianne Ortman at a St. Paul coffee shop Monday.
Gov. Mark Dayton will be in Mankato today, and may make an announcement about Highway 14, which connectss North Mankato and Nicollet, the Mankato Free Press reports.
The state's two parties are still whittling away at their debt.
Local governments spent more than $8 million on lobbying last year, the Star Tribune reports.
Some Minnesota towns are limiting the number of parade marchers who can accompany political floats.
Jim Graves, a Democrat challenging Rep. Michele Bachmann, is the wealthiest candidate on the congressional ballot.
Our Vote Our Future, a campaign aimed at defeating the photo ID amendment, will announce its statewide co-chairs today at 9:30.
The Supreme Court announced some important rulings Monday, but not on the health care law.
It's unlikely the SCOTUS ruling will open the door for other states to impose stricter immigration laws.
The court struck down a Montana law limiting corporate giving, effectively reaffirming the court's 2010 Citizens United decision.
And it decided that states may not sentence juvenile murderers to life in jail without the possibility of parole.
A federal court decision has opened the door for public television and radio stations to accept political advertising.
The Presidential Campaign
The Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona's immigration law could help President Barack Obama's campaign.
Obama said he was pleased that the Supreme Court struck down parts of the law, but said he was concerned about the provisions the court left untouched.
Romney said states have a right to secure their boarders.
Obama continues to hit Romney on outsourcing jobs while at the helm of Bain Capital.(1 Comments)
Officials with the "Our Vote Our Future" group are trying to convince voters to reject a proposed requirement for all Minnesotans to show photo identification at the polls. During a news conference today, Mondale said said he's offended by the amendment. Mondale said the two recent statewide recounts proved to him that Minnesota doesn't have any election problems.
"There wasn't one suggestion, one hint, one whiff of a problem in the processing and the casting of the ballots," Mondale said. "We passed this test many, many times. This is a clean, solid, exemplary state."
Carlson said he thinks Minnesotans should be skeptical of the amendment, which he claims is an attempt to prevent some people from voting. He said he's willing to travel the state and debate the issue. Carlson also said the ID requirement would be one of the largest unfunded mandates he's seen.
"It imposes millions and millions of dollars across our local governments and doesn't provide a penny to pay for it, to say nothing of the millions on the state side to pay for these magnificent ID cards." Carlson said.
Former Congressman Tim Penny and civil rights leader Josie Johnson are also co-chairs of the campaign.
Dan McGrath, a spokesman for the pro-amendment group Minnesota Majority downplayed the announcement. McGrath said he's confident voters want a better system for election integrity and won't be swayed by some former politicians.
"These guys are no election experts," McGrath said. "It's not going to have any impact on the campaign."
WASHINGTON - The U.S. House will vote on Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for not sharing information about a botched gun-running operation with House investigators. Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack is using the issue as fodder for a fundraising appeal.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms planned Fast and Furious operation as a sting, intending to ship thousands of guns to Mexican drug dealers with the intent of tracking the weapons and arresting the dealers who moved the guns into the criminal underworld. Instead, the U.S. government lost track of the weapons and at least one was used in the death of American agent Brian Terry.
Although operations like Fast and Furious began under the Bush Administration, Republicans have insisted that Holder and other top Justice Department officials know more about the operation than they are sharing with Congress.
"The best way to hold Holder and the entire Obama Administration responsible is to elect authentic conservatives to Congress," writes Cravaack. "This is why I'm asking for your help to post the best possible fundraising report ahead of Saturday's Federal Election Commission deadline."
Some House Republicans have also claimed that the Fast and Furious operation was a pretext for the Obama Administration to crack down on American gun owners. While not directly subscribing to this theory, Cravaack also called Holder a "radical anti-gun extremist" in an earlier fundraising pitch based off of Fast and Furious.
About fifty people protested outside of General Mills headquarters in Golden Valley today to speak out against the company's opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Chuck Darrell, with the group Minnesota for Marriage, said he believes General Mills should stay out of the debate.
"The purpose of the rally is to send a message to General Mills and all Minnesota companies that marriage matters to a majority of Minnesotans," Darrell said.
The group will be holding similar protests each of the next three days. Organizers asking supporters to deliver their General Mills products to a local food shelf.
John Ruiter from Edgerton, Minnesota drove two hours to attend the protest. He said he's no longer buying General Mills products.
"Here's a huge corporation that's making a statement that's actually favoring a minority of people," Ruiter said. "The majority of the people that do business with General Mills, and they are families, with children. As far as I'm concerned, we won't buy any of their products anymore."
It's unclear whether the protests will have any impact on General Mills' bottom line. The Fortune 500 company had $15 billion in sales worldwide in 2011.
General Mills spokesman Tom Forsythe declined to answer questions but released a written statement saying the company acknowledges the strongly held views on all sides of the amendment debate.
"We respect and defend the right of others to disagree," Forsythe said in the statement. "But General Mills has worked to create an inclusive culture for our employees for decades. As a Minnesota-based company, we believe it is important for Minnesota to be viewed as inclusive and welcoming as well."
The debate over the proposed marriage amendment is expected to be one of the most contentious in this year's campaign.
MPR's Heather Beckius contributed to this report...
Leaders of the Minnesota House and Senate are scheduled to be in Duluth tomorrow to get a first-hand look at some of the damage cause by last week's flooding.
The bipartisan delegation will include House Speaker Kurt Zellers, Senate Majority Leader David Senjem, House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, and Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk. State Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel will also travel with the group, along with the House and Senate transportation committee chairs.
The legislators are scheduled to meet with Duluth City officials, St. Louis County officials and neighboring community leaders at 11:30 a.m. at the Duluth Public Safety Building.
Zellers and Senjem said last week that they would be open to a special legislative session to pass a package of disaster relief, if Gov. Mark Dayton decides to call one.
Attorneys for a former GOP staffer have set a deadline for the Minnesota Senate to settle its case. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, attorneys for Michael Brodkorb requested the two sides try to reach a settlement.
"Prior to filing a Summons and Complaint in this case in District Court, to save on expenses and avoid unnecessary publicity, I suggest that we sit down for early mediation on this matter in order to try and reach a global settlement," wrote Brodkorb's attorney Phil Villaume.
Villaume also said he wanted attorneys representing the Senate to notify him whether they are open to mediation before July 16.
The letter notified the Senate that Brodkorb intends to also sue Senate Secretary Cal Ludeman for invasion of privacy.
"Mr. Brodkorb's unemployment information is 'absolutely privileged' and by releasing said information, Cal Ludeman and the State of Minnesota are liable to Mr. Brodkorb for invasion of privacy."
Ludeman confirmed to MPR News in April that the Department of Employment and Economic Development rejected Brodkorb's application for unemployment benefits. He declined comment today. Ludeman has previously said that the Senate will not settle with Brodkorb.
The Notice of Claims was filed yesterday, the same day that Brodkorb met privately with GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem and Deputy Senate Majority Leader Julianne Ortman. Senjem and Brodkorb declined to say what was discussed at the meeting.
Brodkorb is planning to sue the Senate for wrongful termination, defamation of character and invasion of privacy. He's seeking at least $500,000 in damages. He claims that he was fired in December for having an affair with Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch even though female staffers who had affairs with their male employers were treated differently. Koch resigned her leadership position after being confronted about the affair. She is not running for re-election.
Brodkorb's attorneys say they're waiting for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to weigh in on the matter before they file suit.
Last week the Senate Rules Committee approved $85,000 in taxpayer money to pay for an outside attorney to help prepare for the pending litigation.
Here's the Notice of Claims:2 Comments)