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Political Notebook

Johnson under attack

The Minnesota Senate majority leader continues to face problems from his January comment that state Supreme Court justices assured him they would not overturn a law banning gays from marrying.

Sen. Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar, changed his story a couple of times during the March week when the comments to a group of ministers became public. But he still claimed to have had a brief conversation with one justice.

Last week, a state board reported that Johnson now denies talking to any justice on the issue.

The leader of Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage, Jeff Davis, continued his Johnson attacks.

"Sen. Johnson's actions have damaged the credibility of his office and undermined the integrity of the Minnesota Supreme Court," Davis said.

Race gets hotter

The Mark Kennedy-Amy Klobuchar race for Minnesota's U.S. Senate seats is getting hotter than summer temperatures.

Sometimes the campaigns, political parties and groups supporting the candidates are major contributors to e-mail traffic jams, send several news releases a day. For instance:

From the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee: "Despite trying to make himself over as a reformer heading into a rough Senate campaign, Mark Kennedy is a fixture on the GOP's special interest fundraising circuit -- a fact punctuated by his latest special interest event scheduled for this afternoon."

From state Republican Chairman Ron Carey, after a Democratic release that said Kennedy removed all references to President Bush from his Web site: "With today's false attack on Mark Kennedy, it's clear the Klobuchar attack machine has once again fallen for the blogosphere's misinformation hook, line and sinker. ... The fact is Mark Kennedy's Web site includes 72 mentions of the word 'Bush.'"

From state Democrats: "Scrub-a-dub-dub, Kennedy wants no Bush in his tub."

Commissioner leaves

Sheryl Corrigan is leaving the Pawlenty administration after running the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Corrigan, a former 3M manager, does not have another job lined up.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.