The Daily Digest (House GOP to get vocal on local school levies, Bachmann goes on offense, House Committees reshuffled)

MPR is reporting that Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature will openly challenge local school district levies over the next few months. House Education Chair Pat Garofalo says he hopes his campaign will also discourage some school districts from even requesting a levy increase.

Tidbit: The unprecedented move shows that Republicans are concerned that they will be blamed for the financial woes of schools. It also highlights the coming election battle over property taxes.

MinnPost says the House GOP is using an accounting trick to claim that schools are seeing a big bump in pay.

The Pi Press says schools are waiting to see how Congress changes the rules regarding the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Under the Dome

The shutdown slowed tax collections.

Tidbit: House and Senate Republicans are a bit worried that the November forecast won’t be pretty.

The Minnesota House made changes to their committee structure. GOP Rep. Steve Smith is out as chair of the House Judiciary Committee. The committee will become a subdivision of the House Public Safety Committee. GOP Rep. Tom Hackbarth, who was suspended and then quit his role as committee chair last year, gets a gavel on an Energy Subcommittee.

Gov. Dayton holds a meeting today to discuss efforts to keep Asian Carp out of Minnesota waters.

Dayton held an economic round table in Brainerd on Friday. He’s on the Iron Range and Faribault this week.

State Senators talked about jobs in St. Cloud on Friday.

MPR says a Zebra mussel research project is a long shot for Legacy funds.


The Redistricting Panel scheduled public hearings across Minnesota.

Tidbit: Southeastern MN is noticeably absent from the schedule.

Same-sex marriage ballot initiative

Richard Carlbom, a spokesman for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman who also managed DFL Rep. Tim Walz’s 2010, will lead the effort to defeat the ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage.

9/11 Anniversary

A nation remembers.

Minnesota remembered the attacks.

Forest Fire

A forest fire in the BWCA has grown to 4,500 acres.


President Obama will submit his jobs plan to Congress today.

Politico says Republicans are looking to pass bits and pieces of Obama’s plan but privately say they don’t want to give him “a win.”

NPR has a look at corporate taxes.

The Washington Post says the current capital gains tax rates are helping the wealthy more than lower income Americans.

The Postal Service is working to avoid a default.

DFL Rep. Tim Walz says he supports the infrastruture spending in President Obama’s bill.

DFL Rep. Betty McCollum says Congress should pass the transportation bill.

GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack did not attend President Obama’s speech last week.

Cravaack was one of several members of Congress who recorded a video message remembering 9/11.

Race for Congress

Democrats are in danger of losing a seat vacated by Democrat Anthony Weiner.

AP says GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack is preparing for a tough race in 2012.

Tidbit: Democrat Tarryl Clark declined to be interviewed for a story that gave a general overview of the race.

Race for Legislature

The primaries for the Minnesota Senate seats in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park are held tomorrow.

Race for President

Tim Pawlenty announced on Fox and Friends this morning that he’s backing Mitt Romney for president.

A new CNN national poll shows Rick Perry leading his rivals.

Politico says Perry has enjoyed lavish trips and other perks during his time as governor.

Mitt Romney released a video today saying President Obama is linked to organized labor.

Michele Bachmann’s campaign says Bachmann will go on offense tonight. She will highlight her differences with Texas Gov. Rick Perry at tonight’s debate in Florida.

Bachmann will appear on NBC’s Tonight Show on Friday.

She also met with Iowa and Iowa State fans on Saturday.

The Des Moines Register says Bachmann is depending on Iowa now more than ever.

A Florida evangelical leader is backing Perry over Bachmann.

The L.A. Times says Floridians are considering Perry’s statements on Social Security.

A Pro Bachmann PAC will air an ad hitting Perry on illegal immigration.

R.T. Rybak is now a vice chair of the DNC.

Final Notes

MPR’s Catharine Richert has agreed to do The Daily Digest twice a week (Tues and Thurs) so expect to read her byline a bit more in this space. She’s awesome and is helping someone who is a bit fatigued from doing the morning roundup.

Tidbit: You can follow Richert, who starts her Daily Digest duties tomorrow, on Twitter.

A few people have asked if the Digest can be sent in e-mail form. Sign up for that here.

  • Ralph Crammedin

    Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature will openly challenge local school district levies over the next few months.

    This is not surprising. Demeaning and damaging Public Education is central to the anti-science, anti-education Republican War on the Middle Class.

  • Final Notes

    MPR’s Catharine Richert has agreed to do The Daily Digest twice a week (Tues and Thurs) so expect to read her byline a bit more in this space.


    Bolding speaking for the Silent Majority of MPR listeners (and Daily Digest readers), how much your recap is appreciated … Katherine has been a great addition … WE are lucky to have you both.

  • Rich

    It was my impression the GOP encouraged local control over spending. “Local government should be responsible to the voters with regards to spending and taxation”.

  • danno

    The handwriting on the wall must be in huge letters, and there must be people permanently stationed there to read it for Republicans. Too many people in the state have been voting for sound bites and hopefully, are beginning to see some truth. For example, people who like their farm subsidies claim to be against taxes (which of course, pay for the subsidies.) People vote for no new taxes, but are beginning to believe that there might be a connection to their property tax problems. It is a slow learning curve when the current majority party has never supported education. Que sera.

  • Just read the POLITICO story on the Post Office … as I see it … there are two solutions pending … HR 1351 – United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011 which has 202 co-sponsors including Republicans and Democrats since this is a local issue.

    The other bill, HR 2309, is written by the Committee Chairman Darryl Issa (R-CA) and has one co-sponsor. As the POLITICO story mentioned, Issa has a website promoting his legislation (taxpayer funded website) that has some interesting ideas … like selling advertising on postal vehicles/offices.

    So the tally is 202 to 2 … but this just shows the power of a committee chairman. BTW, no Republican in the Minnesota delegation has become a co-sponsor of either bill but all Democrats have signed onto HR 1351.

    This is a self-made crisis … in 2006 Congress passed the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) mandating that the Postal Service would have to fully fund retiree health benefits for future retirees … so despite the reductions in personnel, USPS still must “deposit” a prescribed amount into the Federal Treasury … An audit done by the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General came up with the figure of $75 billion in pension overpayments … the simple fix is to stop the overpayment … but IF Congress did that it means they have less monies coming into the Treasury to pay for other programs (Global War on Terror, Medicaid, Charter Schools, Foreign Aid, or whatever program that someone wants funded.)

    The other unasked question should be : IF the Post Office does eliminate 220,000 jobs, does the Federal Government have any plan to retrain these workers for other careers ?