The Daily Digest: Sanders visit today

Good morning. Here are five political stories to follow today.

1. $1 million

That’s how much larger the state’s payroll for commissioners and agency chiefs will be going forward. Gov. Mark Dayton announced raises for his cabinet members yesterday, and the political fallout has once again been swift. Republicans say the raises, which are more than 20 percent in some cases, are much bigger than raises most Minnesotans will see this year. Sounds like a campaign talking point to me. (MPR News)

2. Midwest momentum

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders swings through Rochester, Minnesota, this morning (incidentally, President Barack Obama will be in La Crosse, Wisconsin, today), and the stop is part of a larger strategy to court organizers, small donors and lots of media attention. As Politico points out, the Sanders campaign hopes the news trickles back to voters in states that matter most early in the primary. (Politico)

3. “Loud and proud”

Hillary Clinton is going out of her way to court LGBTQ voters, complete with a “Pride” section of her website that sells t-shirts featuring Clinton’s face and the words “loud and proud.” Count the article from the New York Times that details her efforts as part of a much longer chapter on how Clinton has quickly changed her tune on same-sex marriage. (The New York Times)

4. What’s good for Trump is good news for Dems

Donald Trump is surging in the polls despite some offensive remarks about Mexican immigrants. Guess who’s happy about that? Democrats, of course. They would be happy to make him the face of the Republican party, which is doing its best to woo Latino voters this election cycle. (The Washington Post)

5. SWLRT

Twin Cities officials backed $250 million in cuts to the proposed Southwest Corridor light rail line, hoping to rein in the line’s ballooning costs and save the project. (MPR News)