The Daily Digest (Deal on payroll tax cut, Occupy protesters target Bachmann, Dayton recaps first year)

The Star Tribune reports this morning that the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter has been fined for abuse.

MPR interviewed Gov. Dayton about Amy Koch’s inappropriate relationship, the prospects for a new Vikings stadium and his first year in office.

He told the Star Tribune that jobs are his top priority for 2012.

Dayton says he hopes to have a good working relationship with the next Senate Majority Leader.

AP says Republicans have been secretive about selecting a new leader. They meet on Tuesday to vote on the leadership position.

GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers is scheduled to speak at the U of M’s Humphrey School on Jan. 19.

The city of Duluth and the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe are still at odds over a ruling on a casino payment.

The Pi Press and the Star Tribune have profiles of Michael Brodkorb, the former communications director to the Senate Republican Caucus.

MinnPost takes a look at the difficulty in reporting on the Koch scandal.

Wedding Bells

Gov. Dayton told MPR News that his son, Eric, is getting married next week to Cornelia Oehler in San Francisco. Dayton will be out of the state for most of the week.

Congress

House GOP leaders caved on their insistence that the payroll tax cut be extended by a year. House GOP leadership agreed that they would pass a temporary tax cut that was approved by the U.S. Senate last week.

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, who hasn’t made many votes in the past five months, called the temporary payroll tax cut a “gimmick.”

MPR has statements from the other members of Minnesota’s delegation here.

AP says Americans are frustrated by congressional stalemates.

10,000 troops have left Afghanistan.

Unemployment applications are the lowest they have been since 2008.

A Minnesota organization is suing the FDA over its regulation of nanotechnology.

The Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad is fighting to keep its bolt-action rifles. The Army wants to upgrade them. GOP Rep. John Kline is mentioned.

DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar wants to pass a ban on synthetic drugs.

MNGOP Chair

GOP consultant Pat Shortridge says he’ll serve as MNGOP Chair through 2012 in a volunteer role.

Terry McCall also announced he’s running for chair.

Race for President

AP says President Obama is benefiting from a Republican Party that can’t seem to capitalize on its advantages.

Support for Ron Paul appears to be picking up.

Newt Gingrich is lowering expectations in Iowa.

Mitt Romney declines to debate Gingrich.

Romney says he has no current plans to release his tax returns.

Bachmann is not on the Virginia primary ballot.

Occupy hecklers drowned out Bachmann at an Iowa diner.

Finally

The Digest is taking a break through the rest of the Holidays. We’ll continue to post to the blog but we just won’t be getting up so early to do it.

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy Holidays.

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