The Daily Digest (Tax hikes create border issues, NSA whistleblower revealed, Obama defends NSA program)

In today’s Daily Digest, we take a look at worries along the border about higher taxes in Minnesota.

And the furor over revelations that the government is collecting data from the phone calls of millions of Americans continues as the man who leaked the secret documents comes out into the open. Obama is defending the program, saying it has prevented terrorism.

There won’t be a Daily Digest on Tuesday because the Capitol View blog is going into the garage for some repairs. We’ll be back on Wednesday with a fresh new look.


Along ND border, Minn. business owners say higher taxes hurt (MPR News)

In a year where oil-rich North Dakota is cutting taxes by $1 billion, some Minnesota business owners are saying that it’s difficult to compete with businesses across the border. But a University of North Dakota economist says tax disparities across state lines don’t appear to usually threaten businesses.

Federal judge issues order in Brodkorb case to allow confidentiality (MPR News)

The lawsuit of former GOP Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb continues as a federal judge has ruled that many of the documents in the case can be made private. Brodkorb is suing the Minnesota Senate for his December 2011 firing after he had an affair with then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch.

Early retirement getting more rare for Minnesota public employees (Pioneer Press)

Incentives for public workers to retire early are disappearing. That could partly be the result of the cost of early retirement in a difficult economy, but it’s also a conscious shift across the nation as employers question whether it actually makes sense to set more experienced workers adrift.

Minnesota: More light, but still loopholes, in public employee payouts (Pioneer Press)

The Minnesota Legislature passed a provision this year that requires more public administrators to disclose why the government paid them to leave their jobs. A broader version of the law was defeated after opposition from government workers, teachers and school administrators.

Would-be candidates sniffing out SoS race (Politics In Minnesota)

Democrats and Republicans from a variety of backgrounds are assessing their prospects in the race to succeed Democrat Mark Ritchie as Minnesota secretary of state.

Q&A with 6th Congressional District candidate Tom Emmer (MPR News)

Former state Rep. Tom Emmer has announced he’s running to succeed Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th District. He spoke about his decision on MPR’s Policast on Friday.

Minn.’s Dayton sets out on 10-day European mission (Associated Press via Star Tribune)

Governor Mark Dayton is leaving Wednesday on a trade mission to some of the state’s main export markets in Europe. The governor will lead the 35-member delegation, which includes his two sons, to Germany, Sweden and Norway.


Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations (The Guardian)

The leaker behind revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting phone data of Americans has revealed his own identity. Edward Snowden, 29, is a former CIA technical analyst who has been working at the NSA for the last four years as a contractor. He’s currently taking refuge in Hong Kong and says he expects to face repercussions for the leaks.

Obama defends phone data collection program (Associated Press)

President Barack Obama said the program has helped prevent terrorist attacks. He argued that Americans “can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience.”

Senate Digs In for Long Battle on Immigrants (New York Times)

As the federal immigration bill moves towards a vote in the U.S. Senate, the Republican Party is bitterly divided between conservatives who vow to oppose the bill and moderates who are trying to woo Latino voters. One of the bill’s sponsors is Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, he recently told a radio show that the current incarnation of the bill likely won’t be able to earn enough Republican support to overturn a filibuster.

At U.S.-China shirt-sleeves summit, formalities and suspicions were on display (Washington Post)

The summit in California was designed to resolve tensions among the two countries. It appeared to slightly break with tradition by embracing less formality than previous talks with China.