Daily Digest: No pay, no problem?

A short week doesn’t mean a shortage of news. Three days into the new year it’s clear the political spigot is going to be tough to shut off in 2018. Minnesota is back to full strength in the U.S. Senate but has question marks around its state Senate. The Trump White House is offering its usual oodles of news. To the Digest:

1. Day one of Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach’s tenure is in the books. And for taxpayers, it was a freebie. Fischbach sent word she won’t be asking for the $96,000 salary for the job she didn’t really want but couldn’t avoid. It’s a move designed to buttress her argument she’s a state senator first and lieutenant governor second. But the fight over her two-job stand is far from over. (MPR News)

2. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is no more. President Donald Trump disbanded the panel last night, explaining that many states refused to provide it “with basic information relevant to its inquiry.” The White House said it wanted to avoid endless legal battles. Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon was among the information holdouts, saying the voting data requests were intrusive and the panel lacked credibility. Simon said time would be better spent focusing on “cyber-intrusion from outside forces that want to disrupt our elections.” The early termination of the commission likely means both sides will retreat to their pre-inquiry talking points about whether voter fraud is a widespread problem. (USA Today)

3. What’s that Harry Truman saying about finding friends in Washington? Trump might want to get that dog. The forthcoming book that has all of Washington talking has Trump fuming. In it, there are explosive claims attributed to former senior adviser Steve Bannon about Trump’s family as well as the campaign’s activities. Trump unloaded on Bannon on Wednesday, minimizing his standing in the campaign and his subsequent administration and saying his one-time aide had “lost his mind.” Efforts to cast doubt on the author’s accuracy are in full swing. (Washington Post)

4. Speaking of books, Rep. Keith Ellison’s trip through a Minneapolis bookstore is getting some attention, too. The Minnesota congressman and deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee caused a stir with a photo he put on social media. The photo shows him holding a copy of the “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” and includes a caption about the book striking fear in the heart of the president. Ellison’s party has sought to keep its distance from the Antifa crowd given its violent tactics. (Fox News)

5. Next legislative session could bring changes to the board that sets rules governing police licenses. In advance of that, the Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (POST Board) is on the verge of adding more misdemeanor offenses that could lead to officer license sanctions. Lawmakers say they still want to dig into the board’s authority to make sure it is doing enough to police the police. (Star Tribune)

6. Remember the Amazon sweepstakes? The company is still searching for its next corporate headquarters and Minnesota’s bid is on the tall pile. The public still doesn’t know much about what incentives were implied or offered outright because Minnesota officials and a regional development partnership took steps to get around disclosure laws. It’s not the first time and probably won’t be the last that government agencies decide that secrecy surrounding subsidies is the way to go. (Public Record Media)