Daily Digest: Election spending, DNC, protests in Tahrir Square

by Jessica Van Berkel

Gov. Mark Dayton had big spenders on his side in the Minnesota governor’s race, according to campaign finance reports released Tuesday. He spent $4.7 million last year – 70 percent of which came from private loans. His Republican opponent Tom Emmer spent $2.8 million. The difference is partially attributed to a stacked Democratic primary, where Dayton was up against candidates including Matt Entenza, who chocked up $5.7 million in spending – the most of any candidate across party lines – with the majority coming from his own pockets. The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a nonprofit organization working to elect Dayton, spent similarly: $5.7 million, primarily for negative advertising against Emmer. The organization’s donors included unions and rich Democrats.

The Twin Cities lost the race to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention to Charlotte, N.C. Minneapolis-St.Paul was one of four finalists for the location of the presidential convention. Local politicians like Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak told the Star Tribune they were disappointed, but pleased the Twin Cities made it into the top tier.

The New York Times’ photoblog of today’s protests in Egypt show hundreds of thousands packed into Tahrir (Liberation) Square in Cairo. Protestors showed their disdain for President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule, beating a picture of him with their shoes and hanging a representation of the president from a streetlight. The crowds remained peaceful, and the country’s military vowed not to use force against protestors.