The Daily Digest: 12-5-08

The recount was supposed to end today but an envelope containing 130 missing ballots is missing in Minneapolis. The Secretary of State’s office says they’re going to keep the count open in that precinct while elections officials search for the ballots. MPR, Forum Communications, AP, the Pi Press, the Star Tribune and MinnPost have stories.

The campaigns raise $4 million for their effort.

Coleman’s campaign withdraws 650 ballot challenges.

The Las Vegas Sun says Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and NRSC Chair John Ensign (both from Nevada) are getting into it over the recount.

Republicans get a bit more worried as Politico points out that former DSCC Chair (and New York Senator) Chuck Schumer could play a big factor in the recount. Schumer will become chair of the Senate Rules Committee which could determine the recount issue.

The Washington Post profiles the recount.

State Budget

Gov. Pawlenty and DFL legislative leaders have breakfast this morning to discuss the state budget.

Minnesota’s is facing a $5.28 billion deficit ($426 million in this budget cycle and 4.8 Billion in the next two year budget cycle). Gov. Pawlenty says he opposes any tax increases to erase the deficit. He called it a wonderful chance to restructure state government.

DFLers in control of the Legislature say the Pawlenty Administration failed on job creation and argue for a new direction (Will the Senate say Bye-bye Dan McElroy who has not been confirmed?). Pawlenty and lawmakers warn of huge spending cuts. MPR, the Star Tribune, the Pi Press, AP, KARE, Forum Communications, ECM, WCCO, MinnPost, KSTP and Fox9 have stories.

Pawlenty ordered immediate cuts in state spending and notified the Legislature that he may cut spending on his own to balance the budget in the current budget cycle.

The Pi Press and MPR dig deeper into the numbers and find that job losses are a reason for the shortfall.

All types of groups are bracing for the worst.

MPR talks with folks in education, the environment and health care. All are worried about cuts.

WCCO says cities are preparing for looming cuts.

Pawlenty singles out Duluth for bad budgeting.

State Government

Minnesota’s unemployment benefits have been extended.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie will ask the Legislature to allow exit polling.

Obama

Democratic leaders in Congress want President-elect Obama to step up on the auto bailout bill.

Automakers will testify on the Hill again today.

A suit contesting Obama’s citizenship is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Economy

Stocks drop as unemployment surges.

DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar continues her jobs tour across the state.

St. Paul Mayor’s Race

Mayor Chris Coleman jumps in the race. Race for governor next?

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