Good morning. It’s good to be back. Let’s check the Digest.
1. The recount of 356,971 votes in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District race could begin as soon as Monday and cost around $80,000, although that’s just a preliminary estimate. Republican Stewart Mills will pay the final bill because he requested the recount, and the 2,009 vote margin of DFL U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s lead isn’t close enough to trigger a taxpayer funded recount. Both sides are likely to hire lawyers, and Mills will not be required to pay Nolan’s legal bills. Taxpayers will pick up the tab for a recount of a state Senate election in the St. Cloud area. In that race Republican Jerry Relph has a 142 vote lead over Democrat Dan Wolgamott. (MPR News)
2. Gov. Mark Dayton stormed out of a meeting of the Capitol Preservation Committee Tuesday afternoon in a dispute over whether Civil War art should continue to hang in and near the Governor’s Reception Room in the newly refurbished Minnesota Capitol. Dayton accused state Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, of organizing opposition to moving the Civil War paintings to other parts of the building. (MPR News)
3. Interest groups have channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash to GOP and DFL causes the past few years by moving the money through the local political units of some of Minnesota’s most powerful lawmakers. State law limits how much individual candidates can take from lobbyists and PACs, but the rules are looser for local party units. It’s a campaign-cash pathway that lobbyists and others seeking influence at the Capitol are quietly exploiting. (MPR News)
4. U.S. Rep. Tim Walz is the only Minnesota Democrat to say he will oppose Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s bid to keep her job as House minority leader. Democrats are set to vote today in Washington. Walz will support Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio. He says Democrats need a change after the drubbing they took in the election earlier this month, and that Ryan has shown he understands the needs of rural voters. (MPR News)
5. President-elect Trump has chosen a former Wall Street banker and Hollywood movie financier as his Treasury secretary. Steven Mnuchin is the son of a Goldman Sachs partner. He joined the Wall Street firm after graduating from Yale University. He worked there for 17 years, rising to oversee trading in government securities and mortgage bonds. After leaving Goldman in 2002, he founded Dune Capital Management, a hedge fund. (New York Times)