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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REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — Minnesota's U.S. Senate candidates agree trade is important to farmers, but differ when it comes to details. Reactions were varied at a candidate forum Tuesday, Aug. 7. Republican-turned-Democrat Richard Painter's take was: "This trade war is an unmitigated disaster. Farmers will lose their farms over it if we don't turn this situation around." Republican-endorsed Karin Housley assured farmers that she has their back will not let that happen: "I have a direct line to the president."
ST. PAUL—Major Minnesota governor candidates agree they would handle making regulations different than Gov. Mark Dayton. Mainly, they say, they would talk to those affected early in the process. Dayton has got into hot water, especially with farmers, by making proposals before vetting them with those affected. Rural Republicans in the past couple of years often accused Dayton of waging a "war on agriculture."
ST. PAUL—Minnesota Republicans should know something about their two major governor candidates in the Aug. 14 primary election. Jeff Johnson and Tim Pawlenty each has been on the statewide ballot twice. Both say they are conservatives and agree on several issues, such as tamping down the budget and changing taxes.
ST. PAUL—Dealing with sex offenders has been one of Minnesota's most difficult problems for at least 15 years.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota is suing the maker of the best-known opioid painkiller, OxyCotin, claiming it mislead health care professionals and patients alike. "Prescription painkillers can be helpful in relieving pain when properly used and prescribed, but this company misrepresented and minimized the addictive nature of its drugs in order to sell more of them," Attorney General Lori Swanson said about Purdue Pharma on Monday, July 2.
ST. PAUL — Minnesotans should get better service than last July, when the state introduced new motor vehicle license and title computer software, state officials say, but there is not enough money to make it work right. "It is way better than when it was rolled out in July," Commissioner Johanna Clyborne of the Minnesota Information Technology Service said Wednesday, June 27, after a legislative committee received an update. When asked if the state was running the system well, she said: "I think we could do this better."
ST. PAUL—President Donald Trump fully expects to win Minnesota in 2020 if he can visit the state another time or two. "I hate to bring this up, but we came this close to winning the state of Minnesota," he told a packed house in Duluth Wednesday, June 20, as he held his finger and thumb nearly touching. A couple more percentage points in 2016 and he would have been the first Republican presidential candidate to win Minnesota since Richard Nixon in 1972.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon may have said it best: "What a day to be in the democracy business." Simon, whose office runs state elections, was in the center of Minnesota's political world Tuesday, June 5, as the first Muslim in Congress decided to run for attorney general in what turned into a crowded Democratic primary election contest. Six Democrats are running in the Aug. 14 primary election. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minneapolis attracted nationwide attention with his decision.
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota's politics is in high gear as the state attorney general said she wants to become governor, the governor picked who he wants to replace him, a lieutenant governor candidate said she misspoke about E85 and a Democratic governor candidate formally suspended her campaign. Monday, June 4, was one of the wildest days Minnesotans have seen in politics. Tuesday, the deadline for filing for state office, could be even wilder if only a portion of the rumors are true.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Every election year comes the same rote statement: "It is the most important election in a generation." Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton admits that is a cliche. But, this time at least, he said it is true. "I'm not running for office, but I think this is the most important election in my time," said Dayton, who early in January will leave public life after more than 40 years in politics. That is what he plans to tell fellow Democrats when he speaks to their state convention in Rochester on Saturday, June 2.