1.) On Tuesday the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit that had threatened the opening date of the Minnesota Vikings stadium, ruling that the court was the improper venue for the legal challenge brought by former Minneapolis mayoral candidate Doug Mann. The finding clears the path for the state to sell bonds that will help finance the stadium construction, a transaction that, according to Minnesota Sports Facilities chair Michele Kelm-Helgen, needed to take place by Jan. 23. In a statement that followed the ruling, Gov. Mark Dayton thanked the court for reaching a quick resolution to Mann’s lawsuit. “Today’s decision clears the way for thousands of Minnesotans to get to work on these two important projects,” Dayton said, referring to stadium construction and a $400 million private development that’s planned nearby.
2.) House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt was temporarily faced with a local crisis yesterday, as Senate District 31 Republicans announced they were planning a vote of “no confidence” at their meeting last night, the Star Tribune reports. SD 31 GOP chair Dan Denno explained that committee members thought Daudt had failed to honor his commitment as a fiscal conservative, and had also not met with the group to explain his role in a bizarre incident involving criminal charges against a friend of Daudt’s who pointed a gun at a Montana family during an altercation last fall. “We know mistakes are going to happen… but it’s how you deal with it [that matters],” said Jack Rogers, a committee member and Tea Party activist. Later Tuesday, the group canceled its planned vote after Daudt turned up at the meeting to tell his side of the story.
3.) Sen. David Osmek, R-Mound, held a Capitol press conference Tuesday afternoon in an attempt to keep the heat on Gov. Mark Dayton over the findings of last week’s Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) report. Osmek went public with a letter he has written to Dayton, whom he compared, unfavorably, to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Unlike Christie, who expressed embarrassment and contrition for his own recent scandals, Dayton has failed to be “transparent and accountable” when it comes to his own mistakes, Osmek wrote. The OLA report found that Dayton had inappropriately used a state airplane for campaign purposes and, in another finding, revealed that Dayton’s administration had paid attorney David Lillehaug $77,000 for his legal services during the government shutdown in 2011, when the governor had initially said Lillehaug would work pro bono. In his letter, Osmek said the OLA investigation “calls into question” Dayton’s recent appointment of Lillehaug to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
COMINGS & GOINGS