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.
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ST. PAUL -- Rod Hamilton is becoming an outspoken cheerleader for rural Minnesota. Last month, the Republican state representative from southwestern Minnesota criticized House Democrats for electing Minneapolis and St. Paul lawmakers as their leaders. Now he complains about an anti-agriculture attitude from too many in politics. "They try to demonize agriculture," Hamilton said. "It is unfortunate. People within the ag field, or everybody who has a vested interest ...
ST. PAUL -- Joe Moren taught high school students about the Electoral College for 40 years, but he really came to understand it Monday when he cast a vote for Barack Obama. The 82-year-old Hibbing man, one of Minnesota's 10 electors, has been active in Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party politics most of his life, but usually not in the spotlight, saying: "I enjoyed being a king-maker rather than a king." When he cast his vote Monday, he became the ultimate "king-maker" along with 534 other electors around the country.
ST. PAUL -- The State Canvassing Board certified the winners of two legislative election recounts during a brief Tuesday meeting. Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, won by 12 votes over Democrat Bob Cunniff in the closest legislative race. Democrat Kevin Dahle heads to the Senate after the board certified his 71-vote win over Republican Mike Dudley in their district south of the Twin Cities. The four candidates dropped challenges they had made during the recounts, so the state board did not need to rule on who would be awarded the votes.
ST. PAUL -- More than a fifth of Minnesotans will sit down at a computer, or talk to someone using a computer, a year from now answering a series of questions. It may look like they are on Travelocity planning a vacation, or maybe searching Amazon.com for the right gift. Instead, they will be buying health care insurance.
ST. PAUL -- Few states are as far along as Minnesota in establishing a state-based health insurance exchange program, and at last report only 17 have decided to set them up. Six states have opted to work with the federal government to set up exchanges and 16 will leave it up to the federal government. The other 11 states have not announced their plans. The exchanges, due to come on line in 2014, would give uninsured Americans a place to compare and buy health insurance policies.