The Daily Digest

Welcome to the Daily Digest, where we’ve learned more about election-year fundraising, McCain rebukes Bachmann’s Muslim Brotherhood comments, and Romney continues to feel pressure to release his tax returns.

Around Minnesota

Health care spending has slowed in Minnesota.

Common Cause Minnesota is seeking criminal charges against the Republican Party of Minnesota and its former chair, Tony Sutton.

Outside spending groups and ballot question funds had to file finance updates on Tuesday.

The marriage amendment foes have racked up $750,000 since June.

Business-backed political funds saw a recent uptick in their fundraising.

Voter ID opponents out-raised amendment supporters in the last month.

In Washington

Sen. John McCain condemned Rep. Michele Bachmann’s comments that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the Obama administration. He took to the Senate floor to defend Huma Abedin, a deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who Bachmann named specifically in her call for an investigation.

Bachmann’s former presidential campaign manager Ed Rollins penned an opinion piece about her comments, saying that having worked for Bachmann he is “fully aware that she sometimes has difficulty with her facts, but this is downright vicious and reaches the late Senator Joe McCarthy level.”

The PoliGraph says that Sen. Al Franken’s claims about campaign spending are accurate.

The public’s opinion of the Supreme Court declined after its health care law decision, the New York Times reports.

Health care reform opponents are pushing for new court challenge.

The Race for Congress

Bachmann’s DFL opponent Jim Graves is fundraising off her Muslim Brotherhood comments.

Eighth District DFLers are signalling support for mining.

Ron and Rand Paul are holding a fundraiser for Kurt Bills in Virginia.

The Presidential Race

While President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats continue to pressure Mitt Romney to release his tax returns, Romney continues to refuse.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty defended Romney’s refusal to release more of his income tax returns.

Congressional Democrats plan to propose a bill that would require presidential candidates to make their tax returns public.

Romney has also declined to reveal his bundlers, key fundraisers who bring in lots of cash from smaller donors for the candidates. But USA Today has done some sleuthing and come up with this list.

The Minnesotan’s mentioned include Dirk Bak, Craig Bentdahl, Bill Guidera, Steve Knuth, Paul Maynard, and Robert J. Ulrich.

Pawlenty watch continues. He said on Fox News that Romney doesn’t need a “flashy” running mate.

The New York Times reports a similar take: “Mr. Romney has been guided by a simple principle: do no harm to the ticket.”

In a Fox News poll, voters pick Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for VP.

Economic fears are hurting the Obama campaign, a new poll shows.

The Republican National Committee confirmed that Ron Paul will be up for nomination at the party’s national convention in Tampa.

Foreign Affairs

A bomb attack in Syria killed several members of President Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle, the New York Times reports.

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