The Daily Digest (Hilstrom to run for secretary of state, farm bill fails in U.S. House)

Welcome to your Friday edition of The Daily Digest.

State lawmakers are emerging from their post-session hibernation to declare their candidacy for statewide offices. We have another DFLer in the race to succeed Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. And a Republican appears to be signaling that he wants to take on Gov. Mark Dayton.

And in Washington, there is no happy medium. The farm bill was sunk by opposition from both Democrats and Republicans.

DFL Rep. Hilstrom plans to run for Minn. secretary of state (Associated Press)
A 14-year veteran of the Minnesota House has announced that she’ll run for the office of Minnesota Secretary of State. Representative Debra Hilstrom currently faces only one DFL opponent, and said she won’t run without the party’s endorsement.

Zellers to announce political plans on Sunday (MPR News) 
Former state House Speaker Kurt Zellers appears to be running for governor. Although he plans to formally announce his plans this weekend, Zellers has said he’s interested in the office, and the website now redirects to his political page. If he does declare his candidacy, Zellers will be one of three Republican candidates attempting to unseat Gov. Mark Dayton, with more likely to emerge.

Health insurance rebate coming to some Minnesotans (MPR News)
A rule that capped spending on administrative costs for health plans will likely result in rebates for more than 9,000 Minnesotans. The rebates were originally proposed by U.S. Sen. Al Franken.

Sen. Pederson calls his ‘open approach’ a strength in GOP contest to replace Bachmannalls (MinnPost)
Senator John Pederson, the candidate for Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, realizes he’ll need to work on name recognition in Anoka and Wright counties. He said he’s coming up with a fundraising plan.

South Metro Tea Party forms, sets Burnsville meeting (Pioneer Press)
There are already east and north Metro Tea Party groups. Now a south Metro Tea Party group will launch with a talk titled “Exposing the IRS.”

In Washington

Farm bill looked good to pass — until vote (MPR News)
The bill fell victim to politics around food stamp programs. Rep. Collin Peterson said Republicans scared away Democratic votes in part by passing an amendment that allowed states to create programs that require people getting food stamps to work for the benefits. Many conservatives also opposed the bill.

White House Offers Stealth Campaign to Support Immigration Bill (New York Times)
Although the White House is providing technical support for the immigration overhaul, much of the advocacy for the bill is happening behind the scenes to avoid alienating Republicans who don’t want to be associated with the president.

Obama to nominate Comey as FBI director (Associated Press)
The former second-in-command of the Justice Department during George W. Bush’s administration is expected to be nominated to head the FBI. James Comey is best known for confronting the Bush administration over warrantless wiretapping when he was serving as  acting director of the Justice Department.

Labor groups back bills to cap contractor pay at vice president’s salary (Washington Post)
The American Federation of Government Employees is among a group of unions supporting legislation that would cap the pay for all government contractors at $230,700, or the salary of the vice president of the United States. Versions of the proposal are making their way through the House and Senate.

Bachmann: I was an ‘insurgent’ inside the IRS (Star Tribune)
While calling for the abolition of the IRS (her former employer), Rep. Michele Bachmann said she originally pursued a job as a tax lawyer at the IRS so that she could “understand the enemy from the inside out.”