Politics with Rachel E. Stassen-Berger

Ex-aide to Bachmann pleads guilty to campaign finance misdeeds

A former top official for Michele Bachmann’s failed presidential campaign pleaded guilty on Wednesday to concealing payments he received from the presidential campaign of former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, to switch his support and ditch Bachmann. Former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson, Bachmann’s one-time campaign adviser in Iowa, entered the guilty plea for one count of causing a federal campaign committee to falsely report its expenditures and one count of obstruction of justice. Sorenson admitted he had supported one campaign for the 2012 presidential election, but secretly negotiated with and took cash from another campaign to switch his support.

Feds sue city of St. Anthony over rejection of Islamic center

Dayton wants more answers from railroads on ag shipping problems

Hot Dish blog: Rep. Rick Nolan to campaign, fundraise with a Kennedy

With concerns, Minneapolis council panel gives initial Southwest LRT consent

New office aims to zap the gap in Minneapolis public schools

Senate GOP leader reveals plans to roll back president's successes

inside dish

Stitches and dignity

Conor McFadden, eldest son of U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden, has joined his dad on a series of campaign stops, including at the Minnesota State Fair. Conor, a Stanford University student and football player currently on hiatus to help with his father’s campaign, has become used to being recognized — and ribbed — for starring in a campaign ad in which he relates the tale of his father removing his stitches with a pair of scissors to save $100 on a clinic visit. On a recent visit with a reporter, Conor McFadden showed off the scar between his eyebrows, saying he’s used to the attention. “I’ve pretty much given up my dignity at this point,” he laughed. – Abby Simons

Spending

According to Federal Election Campaign data, Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District race has attracted the most money from outside groups so far. The contest between Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan and Republican Stewart Mills has already seen nearly $1.4 million in PAC spending, with much of it coming from Nolan supporters, such as the House Majority Fund and the AFSCME union. In contrast, the race for the Seventh Congressional District seat, which Republican Torrey Westrom hopes to snatch from longtime Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson, has only seen $245,000 in independent expenditures. Interestingly, the last filing documenting outside spending in that race was from eight months ago. Minnesota's U.S. Senate race, so far, has drawn relatively little interest from independent spenders. According to FEC filings, outside groups have spent about $140,000 to weigh in on the battle between Democratic Sen. Al Franken and Republican Mike McFadden.

seen elsewhere

Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal: Dayton son sells riverfront condo for $3M

Washington Post: Obama’s immigration decision could roil 2014 election

The New Yorker: AIPAC has consistently battled the Obama administration; is it now losing influence?

Los Angeles Times: Wisconsin race for governor is the tightest in the country

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