The Daily Digest

The tone of the legislative session could be set today when Gov. Dayton meets with two business groups. His afternoon meeting with the Minnesota Business Partnership is closed press. But he is also scheduled to address the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce tonight. What Dayton says to those leaders could determine whether he’s willing to work with two organizations that spent heavily to defeat him in the election.

On Wednesday, Gov. Dayton signed an executive order that expands the federal Medicaid program to 95,000 more Minnesotans. That wasn’t the surprise. The surprise was how Dayton handled the large volume of protesters who attended the event.

It’s rare that protesters are allowed to attend a gubernatorial press conference. It’s unheard of that a governor allows them to speak at the podium.

The state’s mining interests are carefully watching Dayton’s pick to be DNR commissioner. One name to watch is Tom Landwehr who just terminated his lobbyist registration on Tuesday (h/t Brian Bakst).

Minnesota is the top state in welfare spending.

Dayton appointed Minneapolis attorney Mike Rothman as his Commerce Commissioner.

Dayton appointed Minneapolis Attorney Myron Frans as his Revenue Commissioner. Frans won’t serve until April.

The Legislature doesn’t have much on its plate today. A House education committee meets today and there are no meetings scheduled for tomorrow.

Minnesota lawyers seek to block cuts to the state’s justice system.

Congress

John Boehner officially became Speaker of the House yesterday when the GOP took control of the House.

President Obama is turning to experienced hands as he reshuffles his staff.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs is leaving the White House.

Democrats say the House GOP is exempting $1 trillion from the deficit.

GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen says government transparency and the economy are the top issues for the Republicans who took control of the U.S. House.

DFL Rep. Tim Walz discusses life in the minority.

GOP Rep. John Kline is one of the leaders in trying to repeal the federal health care law.

DFL Rep. Collin Peterson says efforts to repeal the health care law have “no chance.”

Pawlenty for Prez Watch

Gov. Pawlenty is scheduled to be on “The View” next week.

Bachmann for Prez Watch

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann isn’t ruling out a bid for the White House.

Bachmann said she’s not taking anything off the table during an appearance on Fox. Watch it here.

The Iowa Republican says Bachmann could win the Iowa Caucuses if she does run.

  • http://www.minnesotacentral.blogspot.com Minnesota Central

    FYI : An Insiders Poll (http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2011/01/insiders-romney.php) shows Pawlenty as the third most likely GOP nominee.

    There are two ways to look at it …

    #1 – Pawlenty is down from second place from the poll taken a year ago.

    #2 – He is deemed more acceptable than Gingrich, Palin, Huckabee, etc.

    The assement is that “Pawlenty was seen as a diligent contender who has spent considerable time out on the hustings making the case for his candidacy. But he nonetheless slipped into third place in this survey, perhaps reflecting the skepticism of party professionals that faces any rookie on the national stage. Pawlenty “must prove he can fundraise and organize to be taken seriously,” said one GOP Insider. ”

    IMO, this continues to be good news for Pawlenty … Romney will continue to take the potshots and as the Last Man Standing this will help.

    Too bad, the pollsters did not include Ms. Bachmann …