With the 2013 legislative session fading into memory, election season is starting to ramp up. There's a newly open seat at the state level. And the GOP field of candidates to replace U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is solidifying, although no DFLers have emerged.
DFLer Ritchie presided over two high-profile statewide recounts. Potential candidates to succeed him are already surfacing, one of whom even had a campaign Facebook page already in place.
GOP field for 6th District race taking shape (MPR News)
The field of prospective candidates for Rep. Michele Bachmann's congressional seat appears to be narrowing. A number of politicians who expressed interest in the position have backed off, and a few, like Sen. John Pederson of St. Cloud, are ramping up their campaigns, according to the St. Cloud Times. No DFL candidates have surfaced since Jim Graves announced he was suspending his campaign.
Emmer is expected to make announcement about his candidacy in Minnesota's 6th District in Delano tonight. The Elk River Star News says he was campaigning in Elk River on Monday with a film crew in tow.
Three judge candidates recommended for Ramsey County seat (Pioneer Press)
The Commission of Judicial Selection is recommending three candidates to fill a post in the Ramsey County District Court. Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to announce which candidates he's appointing after an interview process is completed.
New IRS scandal emerges (Associated Press)
New reports allege that the agency wasted taxpayer dollars on conferences for employees. The IRS spent $50 million on conferences between 2010 and 2012, at least one of which included benefits like baseball tickets and luxury suites that cost thousands of dollars a night.
NJ Gov. Christie: Oct. vote for Lautenberg's seat (Associated Press)
By calling the special election 20 days before the general election, Christie is costing the state about $12 million. But analysts say the special election allows Christie to avoid having a popular Democrat like Newark Mayor Cory Booker on the ballot for Lautenberg's Senate seat at the same time as the governor himself is up for election.
Judicial Picks Set the Stage for a Battle in the Senate (New York Times)
The appointments are fueling arguments in favor of rewriting Senate rules so that judicial or cabinet-level nominees won't need 60 votes to be confirmed.
Donilon to Resign as National Security Adviser (New York Times)
Donilon will be replaced by Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Donilon was instrumental in engineering the United State's new relationship to Asian countries. Rice previously was on deck to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, but withdrew after Republican threats to block her.
A host of proposals in the U.S. House Armed Services Committee that would change how the government tracks and prosecutes sexual assaults have garnered bipartisan support.
U.S.-China Meeting's Aim: Personal Diplomacy (New York Times)
Chinese President Xi Jinping is coming to a desert retreat in California to meet with President Obama in an informal environment. Analysts in Beijing say the meeting signals the Chinese president's desire for a stable relationship with the United States at a time when some are wary about what they see as America's attempts to check China's influence.
Obama Orders Regulators to Root Out 'Patent Trolls' (New York Times)
The president is hoping to cut down on a practice where shell companies are used to sue small companies or individuals for infringement of overly broad patent claims. Big companies like Microsoft are already expressing "dismay" about the president's proposal.
Bradley Manning's Wikileaks trial shrouded in secrecy (Christian Science Monitor)
The court martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, who leaked classified government documents, has thus far taken place mostly outside the public's line of sight. The lack of public access to the trial is being challenged in federal court.