The Daily Digest: 11-1-07

Governor Pawlenty says he’s been assured by India based Essar Global that they will not violate any U.S. or international laws when it does business in Iran. Pawlenty says those assurances are enough for him to support the steel mill project in Nashwauk. The Star Tribune, MPR, Forum Communications, the Pi Press, the Duluth News Tribune, KARE-11 and Reuters have stories.

The Pi Press has an interesting look at how increased levies do not always mean better schools.

DFL Rep. Joe Atkins wants to prevent sex offenders from giving out candy at Halloween or dressing up as Santa Claus. Atkins couldn’t say if this has ever been a problem in Minnesota. The Pi Press and Fox9 have stories.

Experts look to timber as a next generation energy source.

The Pi Press says smoking violations were reviewed at 31 sites since the smoking ban went into effect.

I-35W Bridge

A Judge says bridge construction can continue. The Star Tribune and AP have stories. Major construction starts today.

A U of M MRI lab remains shuttered as a result of the bridge collapse.

A labor union and DFL state lawmakers take the press corps on a bridge tour to point out deficiencies. They’re calling for more money for transportation. The Pi Press, KARE11 and KSTP have stories.

Congress

A House committee approves a pared down bridge bill. DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is mentioned.

DFL Rep. Keith Ellison wants to ban photo ids as a voting requirement.

The Law of the Sea Treaty heads for a full senate vote. GOP Sen. Norm Coleman voted against it in committee.

Minnesota based Medtronic is facing increased Congressional scrutiny. DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is mentioned.

DFL Rep. Tim Walz says caring for veterans will be a long term issue.

The Prairie Island Indian Community seeks removal of nuclear waste. GOP Rep. John Kline is mentioned.

The U.S. House passed legislation that would require more employers to give their workers advance notice before they become unemployed. Kline criticized the plan.

President Bush names a former North Dakota governor as the next Ag Secretary. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned. Peterson, who is the House lead on the Farm Bill, says he can work with him.

The GAO says it’s easy to cheat on trucker drug tests. DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is shocked by the findings.

The EPA halts arsenic testing in south Minneapolis.

2008

DFL State Senator Terri Bonoff officially announces her bid for Congress on Monday. She’s running in the 3rd.

The Rochester Post Bulletin quotes New York Senator (and DSCC Chair) Chuck Schumer as saying GOP Sen. Norm Coleman is “extremely vulnerable.” He won’t take sides between DFL candidates.

Kessler says Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race is expensive.

The DFLers in the Senate race debate in Prior Lake on November 10th.

Some will also participate in a chili cook-off in Meeker County.

Eric Black raises an interesting point regarding Mike Ciresi and Iraq – Why wasn’t he more vocal during the original debate?

DFL Rep. Keith Ellison and DFL U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken are among the “most influential liberals.”

Stu Rothenberg wonders if 2008 will be an anti-incumbent year.