The Daily Digest

Welcome to the Daily Digest where we’re still parsing the effects of the state’s new political maps, the GOP presidential candidates debated in Arizona and a new report shows that the debt would increase under their tax plans.

Redistricting

MPR takes a look at what the new maps mean for the political future of the Legislature.

Here’s what some paired incumbents are saying about a future run.

The Washington Post says that the new map may make things slightly better for Democrats.

Around Minnesota

A state Senate committee passed a voter ID bill.

Minnesota got $26 million to fund a state health insurance exchange.

The state’s foreclosures dropped 17 percent in 2011.

The state’s teachers react to a bill that would consider job performance when making cuts.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill requiring that teachers prove they have basic academic skills before they get a teaching license.

The Burnsville school district won’t say why it paid its former director of human resources more than $250,000 to leave her position, the Star Tribune reports.

The state is sponsoring a campaign to get more people signed up for food stamps.

House Majority Whip Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, a lawmaker not previously involved in the Vikings stadium debate, introduced a bill that would use cash from electronic gaming to pay for an Arden Hills facility, the Pioneer Press reports.

State Senate Republicans are announcing their own Vikings stadium financing plan at 10 a.m. today.

In Washington

President Barack Obama proposed closing corporate tax loopholes and cut subsidies to reduce the corporate tax rate to 28 percent.

He signed a bill to extend the payroll tax cut.

On the Campaign Trail

The GOP candidates debated for the last time before the primaries in Arizona and Michigan, and Super Tuesday.

At some points during the debate, Santorum had trouble defending his record, particularly on earmarks.

Earmarks and Congress were among the Washington Posts’s debate losers.

In criticizing Obama’s plan to lower the corporate tax rate, Mitt Romney offered some hints about his own, the Washington Post reports.

While Romney lead Marriott International, the company used complicated tactics to avoid paying taxes, Bloomberg News reports.

Slate dissects Romney’s rhetoric on abortion over the years.

A new Gallup poll has Santorum leading in the Midwest and with weekly churchgoers.

A second Gallup poll shows that both Santorum and Romney do well when matched against Obama.

A new report shows that the debt would increase under three of the four GOP candidates’ tax plans.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina was in Minnesota yesterday, fundraising and getting students at Macalester College and the U of M fired-up about this year’s election. At Macalester, he, Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak and Rep. Betty McCollum told stories about how they got involved in politics that were meant to motivate the students.

Among other things, the students asked tough questions about the president’s stance on torture, how campaign strategy changes depending on the GOP nominee, and why they should be expected to volunteer for the campaign if they have to work to pay off student debt.

Minnesota Campaigns

In Minnesota, Rep. Chip Cravaack’s opponents are focusing on his family’s move to New Hampshire at coordinated rallies around the 8th.

Pete Hegseth, who has all but officially announced he will run for the GOP endorsement to run against Amy Klobuchar, has updated his website and is soliciting donations.

Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette, a Democrat, says he may run against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Money and Politics

A fourth of super PAC donations are coming from just five wealthy donors.

The Washington Post games out the fundraising winners and losers for January.

The New York Times writes that this race has spawned super-donors who are giving millions far earlier than ever before.

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