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 -- Minnesota's two major attorney general candidates agree public safety is important, but disagree on how much emphasis it should receive. Jeff Johnson wants to emphasize crime fighting if he is elected. Matt Entenza, meanwhile, prefers balancing public safety with consumer protection needs. Johnson, the Republican candidate, said during a Moorhead stop on Wednesday that easing the methamphetamine problem and getting tough on sex offenders are his top priorities.
Candidates often ignore people perceived as minor candidates because to mention them can give them credibility. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's campaign manager issued a news release after a recent bit of good economic news and mentioned four candidates, two or three of whom would have to be considered minor ones: "Minnesota's job growth has gone from lukewarm to red hot.
ST. PAUL -- Farm state federal legislators of both parties are upset an emergency funding bill passed last week did not include money for farm disasters. "Farmers and ranchers have waited long enough for relief, and I will not let my colleagues in Congress forget that we must find a way to provide nationwide agriculture disaster assistance," U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said. A proposed part of the emergency bill would have paid $175 million to Minnesota and a like amount to North Dakota farmers who suffered weather-related losses. Sen. Norm Coleman and Rep.
ROCHESTER -- Democratic Party Chairman Brian Melendez wants to talk to Becky Lourey. So does Mike Hatch, the party's endorsed candidate for governor. But they are not going to like what she has to say. Melendez and Hatch want Lourey to drop out of the governor's race, allowing Hatch to concentrate on beating Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Nov.
ROCHESTER -- Matt Entenza looked to the back of the Mayo Civic Center and gave a thumbs-up sign to two of his Worthington High School teachers. "The lessons I learned in Worthington, the lessons I learned from the Copperuds are not lost on me," the DFL attorney general candidate said during his nomination acceptance speech Sunday. "I won't forget where I came from." Entenza, the House minority leader, is a St. Paul lawyer and former assistant attorney general. He will take on Republican Jeff Johnson, a Plymouth House member also with rural roots.
ROCHESTER -- Amy Klobuchar talked change in Washington as Minnesota Democrats endorsed her for U.S. Senate. First, however, she must set aside veterinarian Ford Bell, who skipped the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party endorsement in favor of concentrating on the Sept. 12 primary. That didn't seem to bother Klobuchar, who received her endorsement during the first day of the DFL state convention in Rochester. She said she is aiming for the Nov. 7 U.S. Senate election and U.S. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Democrats will pick a governor candidate when they gather in Rochester this week and they will debate whether recess should be required for school kids. In between, they will coronate Amy Klobuchar as their U.S. Senate candidate, although she will be challenged by a persistent veterinarian, Ford Bell, in the Sept. 12 primary election. And, of course, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party state convention will feature countless speeches from politicians and would-be politicians, including Russ Feingold, a U.S.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Republican Party activists left Minneapolis fired up for the Nov. 7 election. "It is exciting to hear from who we have running for office," first-time convention delegate Kenneth Cobb of Bemidji said Saturday as time ran out on the three-day event. The 28-year-old echoed party leaders who spoke from the stage since Thursday: "We believe we have the right message." Gov. Tim Pawlenty reminded mostly conservative delegates Friday that Minnesota has a liberal tradition.
Both were born in southeastern Minnesota -- one in 1947 and one in 1951. Both are Lutherans. Both entered the Minnesota Legislature in 1979. But watching House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, and Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar, this year showed why in marriages opposites attract. When spouses or legislative leaders are too similar, there may be more fights than progress. Rewind to May 10, a week and a half before the 2006 legislative session had to be wrapped up.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Gov.