The Daily Digest (Verso won’t rebuild, abortion battle surfaces in the 8th, Congress focuses on drought)

Gov. Dayton and other lawmakers are putting a task force together to help determine how to redevelop the Sartell paper mill. The action comes after Verso Paper won’t rebuild in Sartell meaning 260 people who worked at the plant before the explosion are without work.

Gov. Dayton, DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and several GOP legislators will visit Sartell today.

The Legislature has scheduled a hearing that focuses on flood relief for northeastern Minnesota.

Congress

The latest unemployment report will be released today. Job growth figures appear to be going sideways.

President Obama will talk taxes and jobs at a morning speech.

A pile of bills has been left behind as Congress heads home to campaign.

House GOP leaders pushed through a bill to provide drought relief after abandoning the Farm Bill.

DFL Rep. Collin Peterson voted for the drought relief bill. He still chastised the House GOP for failing to bring the full Farm Bill to the House floor for a vote.

DFL Rep. TIm Walz compared the drought relief bill to “patching a roof when it’s raining.”

A report says the drought has intensified in the Plains States.

The drought has muddied the politics of ethanol.

DFL Sen. Al Franken and DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar want President Obama to coordinate a wider plan to deal with the drought.

Airport screeners have reached a contract agreement with the federal government.

The IRS is missing billions from ID theft.

A government report says tax cheats are getting paid by Medicaid.

The Mayo Clinic settled a false billing suit with the federal government.

Special interests win at a Senate panel’s attempt at tax reform.

Lawmakers complain about trackers.

A former National Security Council member writes an op-ed saying GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann’s comments regarding the federal government and the Muslim Brotherhood is the poison of public innuendo.

GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen gets a temporary promotion on the House Ways and Means Committee.

MNGOP Finances

Count Them All Properly Inc. is seeking more time on a Campaign Finance Board order to file as a committee.

Race for Congress

GOP House Speaker John Boehner says he’s confident of his party’s chances of keeping the majority in the House.

The abortion issue enters the 8th District DFL primary battle between state Sen. Tarryl Clark and former Rep. Rick Nolan.

The political arm for Emily’s List, which is backing Clark, sent out campaign mailings questioning Rick Nolan’s voting record on abortion. Nolan says his views has changed since those votes.

The Mankato Free Press says Michele Bachmann’s fundraiser for Allen Quist didn’t raise as much money as Quist initially stated.

AP says there is big spending by GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and DFLer Jim Graves in Minnesota’s 6th District.

Keith Ellison’s DFL primary opponent, who lives in West Virginia, is running so he can showcase graphic anti-abortion ads on local TV.

Race for President

Americans for Prosperity, backed by the Koch Brothers, will spend $23 million in ads on 11 states through September. Minnesota is one of the states.

Ad spending in the presidential race has reached the half a billion dollar mark.

President Obama is running an ad that says Mitt Romney would raise middle class taxes to “lower his own.”

Mitt Romney’s image is sinking in the latest Pew Poll.

Romney released a five-point plan for the middle class.

Michael Moore says he’s not sure whether he would “say I support Obama” but will vote for him.

An attempt at purging Ron Paul delegates in Maine has sparked a civil war in that state’s party.

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