Daily Digest: Foot dragging or due diligence?

Good morning, and happy Friday. Hard to believe it was just Monday when we had that big eclipse. Here's your Digest.

1. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Thursday she's still considering the nomination of a state Supreme Court Justice to a federal post, echoing comments from fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken as Republicans accuse the pair of blocking a conservative appointment. President Donald Trump nominated Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to a vacancy on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which serves Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Arkansas. Elevated to the state's highest court in 2010 by then- Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Stras was also on Trump's shortlist for the U.S. Supreme Court. But more than three months later, Stras' nomination is still in limbo. Klobuchar and Franken haven't given Stras their sign-off through so-called blue slips -- a privilege given to home state senators before judicial nominations progress for final Senate confirmation. (AP via MPR News)

2. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen writes in the Star Tribune that the two senators should allow the nomination to proceed. "Stalling Stras’ nomination is the latest example of partisan game-playing in Washington. By blocking his confirmation, the senators are keeping an outstanding legal mind off the Eighth Circuit court, and preventing another Minnesotan from joining a court where the majority of judges are from other states. This is unacceptable," writes Paulsen. (Star Tribune)

3. Gov. Mark Dayton warned Minnesota advocates of legal recreational marijuana that they won’t be successful on his watch. Dayton ruled out the possibility Thursday during an interview with MPR’s Kerri Miller at the Minnesota State Fair. Asked by a member of the audience about the changing attitude toward cannabis nationally, the DFL governor said he won’t loosen Minnesota’s marijuana laws during his final year of his term. Dayton went on to list problems he said stem from drug abuse — though he focused on opioids and other illicit drugs. He said making marijuana more readily available goes in the wrong direction. “If somebody wants to use marijuana, go visit California or Colorado. But don’t bring it back here,” he said. “But I don’t see it as improving the quality of life of those societies.” (MPR News)

4. A mini-doughnut stand at the Minnesota State Fair continues to raise money for a DFL political action committee without telling customers where the money will go. The booth was the focus of Republican-sponsored legislation last session. "We as Minnesotans like transparency, we like integrity," said Rep. Randy Jessup, R-Shoreview, who authored legislation in the House that would have forced the DFL PAC to post a sign on the booth making customers aware of where the money goes. It was removed from a state government bill in final negotiations. "You don't know where the money is going from any of the booths out here," said John Treadwell, a board member of the DFL political action committee that includes several local party units. He said their booth shouldn't be singled out. (KSTP TV)

5. Jacob Frey was seen as the business-friendly candidate when he announced his campaign for mayor at the beginning of the year. But that's changed. His inability to stop a $15 minimum wage or to help restaurants insert an exception for tipped workers, combined with growing downtown public safety concerns, have opened Frey to criticism in the business community — even from one-time supporters looking for an alternative to Mayor Betsy Hodges. “There’s no daylight between Jacob and Betsy right now,” said Steve Minn, a developer who gave Frey’s campaign $1,000 in January. “He’s done a ‘me, too’ vote on everything for the last six months. The guy who was ambitious and energetic and full of vision for the last 3½ years is suddenly following and not leading. I get it, he’s in a campaign season, but it’s worrisome.” (Star Tribune)

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