No sooner did Minnesota Governor-elect Mark Dayton appear at a joint news conference with outgoing Governor Tim Pawlenty yesterday (they agreed to disagree on policy; they agreed that they love their dogs), did he begin to announce his staff for the administration that begins Jan. 3. Today in a press statement, Dayton announced Tina Smith as his new Chief of Staff and Dana Anderson, Michelle Kelm-Helgen and Andrea Mokros to senior leadership positions within his office. Dayton has also chosen Katharine Tinucci and Fatima Villasenor to fill key roles. Yesterday evening Dayton also spoke at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute about poverty in Minnesota.
The big news within the Democratic-Farm-Labor party today was that party chair Brian Melendez would step aside and not seek a fourth term, following the party’s loss of both the state house and senate on Nov. 2. No word yet on who will seek his replacement, but you can bet that The UpTake will cover that horse race. Also on the local political ticker, Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan is under fire for not addressing alleged police misconduct problems.
We took a break from politics last night to bring you the 2010 Twin Cities Social Media Awards from the Rogue Buddha Gallery in the arts quarter in Northeast Minneapolis. Our own Jason Barnett was among the winners.
In the nation’s capital this week, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee explained President Obama’s compromise framework on tax cuts, unemployment insurance & job creation. The President and First Lady also kicked of the holiday season with a Hanukkah ceremony using a menorah from a synagogue that was damaged during Hurricane Katrina, and lit the national Christmas tree with the help of their daughters Malia and Sasha.