The Daily Digest: 12-9-08

A spokesman for GOP Sen. Norm Coleman says the campaign will announce that they are withdrawing more challenged ballots today. That comes one day after Democrat Al Franken pulled back 425 more ballots.

Minneapolis also gave up its search for the missing ballots and there’s some controversy regarding the sorting of rejected absentee ballots. MPR, the Star Tribune, the Pi Press and AP have stories.

Roll Call reports that Senate Democrats may join the recount but Politico refutes that.

City Hall Scoop says neither GOP Sen. Norm Coleman nor his campaign or office has been notified or are being investigated regarding Nasser Kazeminy.

State Budget

Gov. Pawlenty and legislative leaders will discuss all things budget and session at an Associated Press round table this afternoon.

DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and DFL Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller were on Midday yesterday. There’s a standing request for Gov. Pawlenty to appear as well.

The judicial branch continues to fight for funding.

The State Arts Board is worried it has a bulls-eye on its back.

Obama

Some anti-drug groups are pushing back on GOP Rep. Jim Ramstad as Drug Czar.

President-elect Obama and former VP Al Gore will meet today to discuss climate change.

The Supreme Court rejects the Obama citizenship claim.

Reuters predicts a swift confirmation for Obama’s Attorney General pick.

A Fergus Falls band will march at the inauguration.

Economy

The bailout bill could have a “Car Czar.” A deal is reportedly close.

Twin Cities hospitals cut 613 jobs. The Star Tribune and MPR have stories.

The Tribune Co. (which owns the Chicago Tribune) files for bankruptcy.

State Government

The Pi Press takes a look at the tax rates in metro area communities.

Former Attorney General Mike Hatch (a Democrat) wants to create a multi-party runoff election to winnow the choices in November to two.

Iron Range lawmakers tell the Mesabi Daily News that an environmental review of a northern Minnesota mining development won’t get much traction because of the deficit.

The range also rolls out the red carpet for India businesses.

Student groups want limits on tuition increases at the U of M.

The Minnesota Daily also says higher ed costs are getting difficult for students to afford.

Minnesota’s moose population declines as the temperature increases.

Environmental groups launch studies of the Mississippi River.

Pawlenty touts the projects from the 2003 “Pawlenty/Molnau” transportation package.

Minnesota’s Ag Commissioner continues to promote Minnesota’s crops worldwide.

Congress

Mayors ask Congress for more money. DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is mentioned.

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann gets on a “Most Embarassing”list.

DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is pushing a plan that would create a clearing house for credit default swaps.

Pawlenty

Gov. Pawlenty will talk health care at the U of M this afternoon.

Gov. Pawlenty’s trade mission to Israel costs the state $37,000.

Gov. Pawlenty has a column calling for the federal government to cut up the credit card. It’s a good time to mention that he backtracked last week on his stance regarding federal stimulus money for states. He now says he’ll take the money.

Pawlenty also provides written answers to questions posed by ECM.

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