Daily Digest: The Legislature up for grabs

Good morning and happy Thursday. I hope you managed to stay dry last night. Have I mentioned yet that MPR News is hosting a debate watching party on Monday night? No? Well, Stephanie Curtis will host at the  Nomad World Pub in Minneapolis. The doors open at 7:30 and the debate begins at 8. If you want to go just sign up here so we can get a head count.

You are welcome to attend or just listen to the debate on the radio or online wherever you are. Let’s check the Digest:

1. The campaign for control of the Minnesota Legislature is front and center this year, given the lack of a major statewide race such as governor or U.S. Senator on the ballot. Voters will decide whether Minnesota continues to have divided government or whether Democrats should control the House, the Senate and the governor’s office. The fight for control will be decided in a handful of key districts around the state. (MPR News)

2.  A German deradicalization expert has finished testified in federal court this week about six Twin Cities men who pleaded guilty to terrorism charges. Daniel Koehler is training probation officers and others involved in the terrorism cases, and he’s evaluating each defendant to determine how radicalized they are. It’s part of a new program that Judge Michael Davis is creating,  focused on rehabilitating individuals who have been radicalized or convicted of terrorism crimes. (MPR News)

3. Here’s a good question. Why does DFL U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison raise and spend so much campaign money? He won with 72 percent of the vote two years ago, and his district largely matches his liberal views. He’s raised more than $2 million over two years and has spent about half of it. A lot of the money goes to pay staff and Ellison sends some of out to other candidates. (Pioneer Press)

4. Republican Jason Lewis is about to face a barrage of ads opposing his run for Congress in the  2nd District. His DFL opponent Angie Craig is already outspending him. Now the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has booked $300,000 worth of  ads against him. The seat is currently held by Republican John Kline, who’s stepping down, and obviously Democrats think they have a good chance of picking it up. ( Pioneer Press)

5. In the face of ongoing questions and criticism, former President Bill Clinton Wednesday night defended the foundation that bears his name. In a speech in New York, Clinton said the Clinton Global Initiative must continue in some form after he leaves it. Overall Clinton argued that foundation has helped 435 million people in 180 countries, and he called attacks against it a smear campaign. But the speech came even as the former president is planning to shut the foundation down. (Politico)