The Daily Digest

The political climate in Washington D.C. got a bit more interesting on Tuesday night. That’s because voters in Massachusetts elected Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate. Democrats lost their filibuster proof majority (which may have unhinged health care reform).

Brown said his win shouldn’t be a referendum on President Obama but it’s clear it will be considered that way.

Obama called Brown to congratulate him.

DFL Sen. Al Franken told MPR News this morning that he’s skeptical the health care overhaul bill will be passed before President Obama’s State of the Union on January 27th. He said “I doubt that’s going to happen,” when asked if Congress will rush the health care bill through. He also said “We may need to pick up a Republican” to pass the bill. I’ll post the audio once it’s available.

For those wondering, Obama was sworn-in one year ago today.

A poll says voters are skeptical of Obama’s promises.

Politico says Democrats may still be successful on some key issues even though they lost the power to end filibusters in the Senate.

President Obama calls to expand “Race to the Top” education funding.

DFL Rep. Tim Walz expects zero GOP votes for a second stimulus.

GOP Rep. John Kline says he’s “cautiously optimistic” about Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s agenda.

DFL Rep. Keith Ellison will hold a hearing on the foreclosure crisis on Saturday.

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann distances herself from questionable comments from Pat Robertson.

DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar didn’t get a commitment from President Obama regarding his $500 billion transportation funding bill.

2010 Race for Governor

Joe Repya, a one-time Republican who even ran to become MNGOP Chair, will run for governor as a member of the Independence Party.

Democrat Mark Dayton, who announced he was running for governor last year, will officially kick off his campaign this morning.

Chalk this one up as a surprise. GOP state Rep. Morrie Lanning says he’s still considering a run for governor.

The I-P will caucus online on February 2nd.

Under the Dome

The Legislative Auditor says officials with Minnesota Management and Budget were notified about data breaches with its employee verification software. He says he’s looking to see what happened after that. MPR revealed that a contractor may have breached private data of state employees.

The MN Supreme Court put Gov. Pawlenty’s appeal of an unallotment order on the fast-track. MPR, the Star Tribune and AP have stories.

Pawlenty proposes tougher DWI laws.

Lawmakers look for ways to reduce childhood obesity.

A lawsuit challenging Central Corridor has been filed.

An ex-employee of the Department of Labor and Industry is accused of scamming businesses.

City Pages ranks the Top Ten most influential lobbyists.

2010 Race for Congress

A Willmar business executive plans to run for Congress. The Republican would challenge DFL Rep. Collin Peterson if he wins the GOP endorsement.

SD 26 Special Election

Gov. Pawlenty will campaign for GOP backed Mike Parry. Pawlenty said Parry’s Twitter comments about President Obama were questionable but said his apology should suffice.

A slate of other Republicans and Democrats are also campaigning for Parry, Democrat Jason Engbrecht and I-P candidate Roy Srp.

Missed this one yesterday – The candidates debated the issues on Monday night.

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann backs Mike Parry in SD26. It would be news if she backed anyone but a Republican.

Pawlenty for Prez Watch

Mitt Romney says Scott Brown’s win is a clear signal the White House is “arrogant.”

Most don’t want Sarah Palin to run in 2012.

2010 Race for the Legislature

Former GOP Rep. Ron Erhardt will run again for the seat he lost in 2008 but as a DFLer. Erhardt ran as an independent in ’08 after he lost the GOP endorsement to eventual winner Keith Downey.

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