Good morning!

Minnesota

The four GOP candidates for governor debated on MPR News. Here’s the round up. (MPR News)

Minnesota House Democrats want to make access to birth control a campaign issue this fall. (MPR News)

MNsure plans to spend another $3.16 million to get help from a New York-based consultant for fixes to its troubled information technology system. (Pioneer Press)

Former Gov. Jesse Ventura may have won his defamation suit in court, but in the court of public opinion, he appears to have lost. (Washington Post)

National Politics

The August recess beckons and Congress is kinda sorta getting stuff done. The Senate opened debate on its own version of a border bill. (Politico)

But Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is rallying House Republicans against a much less ambitious House bill pushed by Speaker John Boehner. (Washington Post)

The VA overhaul bill passed the House. (Politico)

…as did a far more controversial measure by House Republicans to sue President Obama. (NPR)

Some evangelical conservatives are embracing new EPA greenhouse gas emission regulations. (New York Times)

After building the world’s most expensive fighter jet (that still has serious reliability problems), the Air Force says it’s time to buy cheaper airplanes. (New York Times)

Officials with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce said today that Bill Blazar will serve as their interim president.

Blazar has been with the chamber since 1992 and most recently was the business organization’s senior vice president of public affairs and business development. He takes over for David Olson, who died earlier this month.

The chamber’s board will discuss and adopt a search process at its annual planning retreat in August, according to a news release.

“The Minnesota Chamber is strong in spite of the devastating loss of its longtime president, David Olson,” said Board Chair Jeff DeYoung. “Its vision and strategies are clear thanks to an engaged board of directors and dedicated staff, both of which have been built over many years.”

The Minnesota Chamber lobbies on behalf of 2,300 businesses at the state Capitol.

Good morning!

Minnesota

After days of deadlock, a jury sided with former Gov. Jesse Ventura, finding that he was defamed in a book. Jurors awarded Ventura $1.8 million. (MPR News)

The former governor tells the Star Tribune he’s overjoyed that his reputation is restored. (Star Tribune)

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson was back campaigning for the Republican nomination for governor today, eight days after emergency surgery to repair a perforation in his stomach. (MPR News)

With only two weeks to go before a four-way primary between Republican candidates for governor, Orono businessman Scott Honour has the cash advantage. (MPR News)

But DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has a considerable cash advantage over the Republicans. (Star Tribune)

All four GOP candidates for governor say they’re focused on cutting spending. (MPR News)

MPR is hosting a debate between the four candidates today at noon. Listen to it live. (MPR News)

County elections officials are looking into voter registrations linked to mail drops. (Star Tribune)

Former U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger has endorsed Jim Abeler for Senate over Mike McFadden in the Republican primary contest. He says Minnesotans deserve an experienced policy-making conservative to represent them.

National Politics

The European Union and unleashed a wave of tough economic sanctions intended to push Russia into backing down from its destabilizing role in eastern Ukraine and President Obama immediately followed, announcing a new round of targeted U.S. sanctions against “key sectors of the Russian economy.” (Washington Post)

House Republicans unveiled a significantly pared-back emergency funding package of $659 million for the border crisis and are angling for a Thursday vote before Congress flees Washington for the August recess. (Politico)

A ruling by the National Labor Relations Board could open the door to unions at thousands of McDonald’s restaurants across the country. (New York Times)