The Daily Digest

The final county canvassing board (Itasca County) wraps up its work today, Republican Tom Emmer and the MNGOP will get a good idea of how difficult it will be to overcome Mark Dayton’s nearly 8.800 vote lead.

MPR takes a look at whether Emmer can win and finds he may have to pull a rabbit out of a hat. One important note: Republicans aren’t offering specifics in to their claims of voting irregularities. They say they will release the details only if and when a lawsuit is filed.

On Thursday, Emmer said he “won’t be a part of” any efforts to delay Dayton from taking office. Emmer first made the comments on WCCO Radio. The host, Michelle Tafoya, gave to Emmer’s campaign (audio of the interview is available at the previous link).

The MNGOP looks like it will file its first legal filing in the recount today.

The Emmer campaign announced today that Mike Vekich, who headed the Minnesota Lottery, will direct Emmer’s transition team.

Dayton met with budget experts earlier this week.

Several good government groups will monitor the recount.

A KSTP-TV/Survey USA poll says IP candidate took more votes from Dayton than Emmer.

MPR News and the Humphrey Institute will review its polling methods.

Under the Dome

A KSTP investigation finds that welfare funds were used for alcohol, tobacco and other products.

MPR says the GOP welcomes new faces and ideas to the Minnesota Senate.

Forum Communications profiled incoming MN House Speaker Kurt Zellers.

Forum Communications says GOP Sen. Michelle Fischbach is ready to take over as Senate President.

The Star Tribune says the state will start require teaching applicants in 2012 to submit a video along with that resume.

Ridership for the Northstar Commuter Rail Line is five percent below projections.

The U of M will name its final candidates to become the next president of the U of M later today.

The DNR is removing old dams at a slow pace.

The DNR is also keeping tabs on the state’s water supply.

The state will review retaliation claims at a Hasting Veterans Home. DFL Sen. Al Franken is mentioned.


President Obama says he’s not caving on his plan to cut taxes on the middle class or his plan to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on top earners.

The GOP says there will be no compromise on their plan to extend the Bush tax cuts.

An AP poll says the public backs the GOP on their tax cutting plan but doesn’t agree with efforts to repeal the federal health care law.

During a trip to Asia, President Obama failed to secure a free trade agreement with South Korea despite hopes a deal would get done.

Obama hailed the power sharing agreement in Iraq.

A Pentagon report says lifting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would do little harm.

Business Week profiled GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Former GOP Sen. Rod Grams will be GOP Rep.-elect Chip Cravaack’s interim Chief of Staff.

Pawlenty for Prez Watch

Gov. Pawlenty’s final weekly radio show is today.

Pawlenty took legal action against the new federal health care law. His official spokesman says no taxpayer funds were spent on the lawsuit. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson declined to file a lawsuit on the state’s behalf.

He talked it up on Fox News.

Pawlenty also said during his Fox News appearance that he’ll be in California next week with the RGA.

The Fix ranked Pawlenty as #3 on the top five prospective GOP nominees.

Public Policy Polling says Pawlenty is only polling at 19% in Minnesota among 2012 GOP hopefuls.

That poll prompts Nate Silver to question whether Pawlenty is top tier.

The first 2012 GOP primary debate is scheduled for Spring of 2011.

News Cut asks “Is Pawlenty overrated?”

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