The Daily Digest (Bills wins GOP backing, Klobuchar defends her budget approach, GOP convention becomes a Paul party)

Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race is coming into clearer focus now that Republican Kurt Bills won the GOP endorsement. He’s aiming to challenge DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar in November. Bills, who teaches Economics at Rosemount High School, is relying on a campaign message to “bring Econ 101″ to Washington D.C.

Meanwhile, MPR has a story that has DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar defending her approach to the federal budget.

Under the Dome

Gov. Dayton discussed the Vikings stadium and the Tax bills with MPR’s Tom Crann.

The Star Tribune says Minnesota is taking the lead on e-gambling.

Frac sand sediment spilled into the St. Croix River.

The Pi Press says state education officials have pared down problem schools criteria.

Federal officials will review Minnesota’s progress on health exchange.

Congress

President Obama and the G-8 say the economic recovery will take both growth and cuts.

The House OKs the continued war in Afghanistan.

Minnesota soldiers receive a pay exemption.

Leaders are focused on an end game to the war in Afghanistan at the NATO summit.

Protesters marched through Chicago to protest the summit.

GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack warns of a looming budget showdown at the GOP convention. Michele Bachmann, John Kline and Erik Paulsen didn’t attend the convention.

GOP Rep. John Kline wants answers on mine safety.

DFL Rep. Betty McCollum’s effort to cut military spending on military bands was approved in the Appropriations Committee.

Race for Legislature

The Caucus campaign committees will start ramping up their fundraising activities. The House Republican Campaign Committee is holding a major fundraiser this week.

States are lining up against the Citizens United ruling.

DFLers failed to endorse a candidate to replace DFL state Rep. Tom Rukavina.

GOP state Rep. Carol McFarlane has opted to retire and will not challenge GOP House Majority Leader Matt Dean in a primary.

Party Politics

Janet Beifhoffer defeated Pat Anderson to become RNC Committeewoman. Anderson served in that post for a year. Delegates reelected Jeff Johnson as RNC Committeeman.

Amendment to ban same-sex marriage

Supporters and opponents of the amendment held events over the weekend.

Bill George, the former CEO of Medtronic, wrote an op-ed urging voters to defeat the amendment.

President Obama’s stance on same-sex marriage has fueled fire in battleground states like Minnesota.

Race for President

Ron Paul’s supporters had a near sweep of the delegates at the state delegation. The showing means 32 of the state party’s 40 delegates at the Republican National Convention are committed Ron Paul supporters.

Paul’s big showing came after he spoke to the delegates and raised money for the party.

The sweep means several key party officials including state Rep. Keith Downey, deputy chair and the party’s treasurer were denied the endorsement.

Mitt Romney’s campaign had little presence at the convention.

GOP governors are praising an economy that Mitt Romney is characterizing as “troubled.”

The White House visitor logs show lobbyists have a presence there.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a surrogate to President Obama, is denouncing ads that criticize Bain Capital.

Tim Pawlenty is now not ruling out a run for Vice-President.

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