Welcome to the Daily Digest.


State Sen. Torrey Westrom, who is running against 7th Congressional  District Rep. Collin Peterson, has been named a ‘contender’ in the NRCC’s Young Guns program. (MPR News)

State Sen. Julianne Ortman, who is seeking the GOP endorsement to challenge Sen. Al Franken, says she raised $375,000 in the first quarter of the year. We still don’t know how much money Ortman actually has in the bank. (MPR News)

Former Republican state Sen. Nancy Brataas of Rochester has died at 86. (Star Tribune)

Some businesses are worried about the pending minimum wage hike. (MPR News)

After protests, Condoleeza Rice defends Bush administration during her speech at the U of M. (Star Tribune)


Health care plan enrollment hit 8 million, with 35 percent of people signing up for care under the age of 35. (NPR via MPR News)

President Barack Obama’s latest budget proposal would raise taxes by $1.4 trillion over the next decade according to the CBO. (AP via Star Tribune)

Obama wants Democrats to defend his signature law during the midterms. (Politico)

Outside political groups, which typically run negative ads, are going positive. (The New York Times)

Where’s the snow?

The Minnesota tourism board launched a $3.7 million ad campaign yesterday featuring several television spot meant to lure people to the state. Those commercials look really nice. But I want to know: where’s the snow?

State Sen. Julianne Ortman Jennifer Simonson/MPR News

State Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, says her U.S. Senate campaign raised $375,000 during the first three months of 2014.

Campaign officials say that’s a more than 300 percent increase over Ortman’s 4th quarter 2013 fundraising.

Her fundraising total now stands at $610,000.  That’s well below businessman and political newcomer Mike McFadden’s $2.8 million total, but it is  much more than any of the other Republican Senate candidates have been able to muster.

McFadden said he ended March with $1.8 million dollars in campaign cash on hand. Ortman has not yet released her cash-on-hand number.

Elbow Lake Republican state Sen. Torrey Westrom will be getting additional assistance from Washington in his campaign to wrest the 7th Congressional District seat from long-time Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson.

Westrom, who was already part of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s ‘Young Guns’ program for promising congressional hopefuls, has been elevated to a ‘Contender.’

That means Westrom will be getting additional tools and support to run his campaign and mentoring from established Republicans already serving in Washington, according to a press release from the NRCC.

The 7th District district is generally conservative, and this year the NRCC has been trying to paint Peterson as out-of-touch with the district.

But pollsters aren’t convinced that Peterson is as vulnerable as the NRCC is making him out to be. For instance, University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato lists the 7th as a “Likely Democratic” as does the Cook Political Report.