Denise Cardinal, a long time political operative who helped form the liberal group Alliance for a Better Minnesota, is headed back to raise money for the group.

Cardinal said this morning that she’s been hired to run Win Minnesota, the fundraising arm for Alliance for a Better Minnesota.

Cardinal will replace Adam Duininck, whom Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed to chair the Metropolitan Council.

Cardinal started Alliance for a Better Minnesota in 2007. It’s been seen as a national model for Democratic organizations. She left the organization in 2010 after Dayton was elected governor.

Win Minnesota and the Alliance for a Better Minnesota have been instrumental in helping Democrats win state and federal elections over the past decade.

You can read our 2012 story about the organization here.

In her new role with Win Minnesota, Cardinal will work with the group’s chief backers including Alida Messinger (Mark Dayton’s ex-wife), labor unions and other prominent donors. She will also have to navigate the new political world that includes Super PACs and other non-profit groups that don’t have to disclose their fundraising and spending.

In the 2014 campaign, several Republican groups including Minnesota Action Network, which is run by former Sen. Norm Coleman, and Americans for Prosperity Minnesota, which was funded by the Koch Brothers, played a big part in helping Republicans win control of the Minnesota House.

Those groups do not have to disclose their fundraising and spending.

Cardinal says she’ll start her new role in about a month.

Good morning!

In Minnesota

A bill introduced in the Minnesota House would keep any videos recorded by police body cameras private, alarming those who say it would hinder efforts to hold police accountable. (MPR News)

The Republican Party of Minnesota has agreed to pay a $26,000 fine to settle federal campaign finance reporting violations. (AP via Pioneer Press)

The top Democrat in the Minnesota Senate is raising doubts about whether a big bonding bill is needed this session. (MPR News)

A package of proposals to reform family law in Minnesota are the result of more than a decade of negotiations capped with difficult but successful compromise, a group of bipartisan lawmakers said Thursday. (Star Tribune)

A Minnesota lawmaker wants to make it harder for parents to leave their children unvaccinated. (Pioneer Press)

Sen. David Tomassoni, facing criticism for taking a job as executive director of an organization that lobbies the Legislature, is being represented in the matter before a state board by an attorney who is also a registered lobbying. (Star Tribune)

National Politics

The Senate approved legislation mandating construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, setting the stage for a veto showdown with President Obama. Minnesota’s two Democratic senators voted no. (Washington Post)

Obama will ask for more a seven percent federal budget increase next week, setting off another potential fiscal fight with Republicans. (New York Times)

The Obama administration will request $1 billion in funding for American Indian education, including millions for school construction desperately needed at schools like one in Minnesota. (MinnPost)

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is doing all the things a potential Republican presidential candidate might do. (Washington Post)

At this point, pretty much every Republican in the Senate is running for President. The latest candidate: South Carolina’s Lindsay Graham. (Politico)

A new report from a prominent environmental think tank says government efforts to promote biofuels have been a misguided idea that has raised food prices and done little or even harm to the environment. (New York Times)

Falling crop prices are raising cost projections for new farm programs even before producers have signed up this spring. (Politico)

The top Democrat in the Minnesota Senate is raising doubts about whether a big bonding bill is needed this session.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said today that he would be surprised if the Legislature passes more than a $200 million package of public construction projects. That runs counter to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, who has said he plans to propose at least $850 million of bonding this year.

Bakk said he thinks $150 million is more likely. But he said the bonding number could grow larger as part of a transportation funding plan.

“I actually am somebody that actually supports bonding for transportation,” Bakk said. “I just think that the taxpayers right now, this year, shouldn’t have to pay for the cost of building a bridge that is going to be used by people for decades. The right public policy is to spread the cost of that out.”

Bakk said for now, he has instructed Senate committees to focus on budget matters rather than bonding projects.

On transportation funding, Bakk said a bill needs to be passed this year or the issue will likely be delayed until 2017.

He said the construction on the state Capitol will result in an abbreviated session in 2016.