The Daily Digest (Drumbeat gets louder for Koch to resign, Kim Jong Il dies, Payroll tax fight continues)

MPR reports that several Republican senators are starting to suggest that if they were in Sen. Amy Koch’s position they would resign instead of bringing further attention to the scandal.

The comments came just two days after senators admitted publicly that they confronted Koch about an inappropriate relationship with a Senate staffer.

Koch has not made any public statements since she announced she was resigning her leadership position on Thursday.

The scramble to see who will be the next majority leader is also starting behind the scenes.

Dave Thompson has already told reporters that he’s considering the job.

Several names have surfaced as candidates for Majority Leader. Interim Senate Majority Leader Geoff Michel told WCCO that he’s considering a run.

David Hann told KSTP that people have asked him to run.

Former Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem tells the Rochester Post-Bulletin that he’s considering a run.

Julianne Ortman and Bill Ingebrigtsen have also been mentioned as candidates for majority leader.

The Star Tribune has a write-thru that says the Republican Party of Minnesota is stymied by debt and scandal.

Under the Dome

GOP Rep. Torry Westrom revised his unionization claims.

Minnesota counties struggle to pay for empty jail cells.

North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has died.

North Korea conducted at least one short-range missile test on the same day the country announced Kim Jong Il died.

Economy

The economy is causing trouble for the nation’s non-profits.

War in Iraq

The last U.S. troops have left Iraq, ending the war.

Congress

Say hello to more gridlock in Congress. House Speaker John Boehner says House Republicans oppose the payroll tax cut deal that that was reached in the U.S. Senate. The bill is expected to fail today when the House votes on it.

The Senate passed a $1 trillion spending bill that includes a payroll tax cut extension for two months.

President Obama says he wants the payroll tax cut extended for the entire year (not just two months).

The Star Tribune says a wind project in Goodhue County has sparked a debate in Congress over subsidies.

DFL Rep. Tim Walz discussed the STOCK Act on Fox9.

Race for MNGOP Chair

A draft Kelly Fenton campaign has started. Fenton, who was elected Deputy Chair earlier this month, said she was not going to run for chair this term but left open the possibility of a run in the future.

Race for Congress

Roll Call writes about whether GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann will run for reelection if she loses in the presidential race. The only nugget for Bachmann watchers is that her spokeswoman declined to speculate.

Race for President

A Public Policy Polling poll of Iowa shows Ron Paul leading the race. Newt Gingrich’s surge is shrinking.

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney begin their final pitches before the Iowa caucuses.

The Fix takes a look at the GOP expectations game around the Iowa caucuses.

Gingrich said the criticism from his rivals is taking a toll on his campaign.

Gingrich says he would send U.S. Marshals to arrest judges that make controversial decisions to compel them to testify before Congress.

The Washington Post says Evangelicals are divided over whom to back.

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann says Iran would bomb the U.S.

Bachmann also talked about the “myth” of the Kinsey report.

Ron Paul said on Jay Leno that Bachmann hates Muslims.

RIP

Czech dissident Vaclev Havel died on Sunday.

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