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 - Barack Obama and Mitt Romney rode a desire for change in Washington as Minnesotans packed Tuesday precinct caucuses. Obama, an Illinois U.S. senator, maintained a nearly 2-to11 margin over New York U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton for most of the night. The two will split Minnesota's votes at the Democratic National Convention late this summer. Obama led Clinton 67 percent to 32 percent with 58 percent of the precincts reporting. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, won a closer Republican contest.
ST. PAUL -- Ironically, Minnesota Republicans and Democrats moved their caucuses up to Tuesday in hopes of having more say in who wins the nomination. Minnesota's original March 4 caucuses date may end up being close to the time candidates receive enough delegates to win their parties' nominations. Minnesota is one of 22 states to hold primaries and caucuses Tuesday, a day variously known as Super Tuesday, Super Duper Tuesday and Tsunami Tuesday because it is expected to have a major impact on Republican and Democratic presidential races.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators will be trapped indoors for most of the next few months, but for many their minds will be outdoors. They will debate establishing a new state park, cleaning the state's water, limiting how many walleyes may be caught, whether to raise the sales tax to support outdoors programs and how to preserve forests. Like with most other issues, outdoors advocates realize there is not much money available this year - due to shrinking state revenues blamed on a sputtering economy. "This year we may be more focused on the regulation and the mandates," said Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Finding where to attend political caucuses should be easy for Minnesotans. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's office launched an online caucus finder on its Web site, www.sos.state.mn.us . Democratic-Farmer-Labor and Republican party caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 5. Information for Green, Constitution and Independence party members also is on the site. The DFL and Republicans will vote for presidential candidates on Feb.
Minnesota voters will have more say about who runs for president this fall than ever. State branches of presidential campaigns are springing up in the wake of politically exciting caucuses in Iowa and a primary in New Hampshire. Most candidates will only fly over Minnesota en route to places like California and New York, states much richer in national convention delegates, but when Democrats and Republicans attend caucuses Feb.
ST. PAUL -- State government should focus on helping unemployed workers, not trying to stimulate the economy for a short-term gain, one of the Upper Midwest's most prominent economists says. "I don't think our record to eliminate recessions is very good," Art Rolnick, senior vice president and director of research at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, said in an interview.
ST. PAUL - A design error in the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed Aug. 1 prompted Minnesota officials to look at the original plans of 59 similar bridges. The $500,000 re-evaluation follows Tuesday's preliminary report blaming gusset plates that connect bridge beams for the Interstate 35W bridge collapse. Bridges Minnesota officials gave priority status for the re-evaluation include U.S. 63 over the Mississippi River at Red Wing, U.S. 61 over the Mississippi River at Hastings, and the Blatnik Bridge in Duluth.
ST. PAUL - A federal report clears Minnesota bridge inspectors in the Aug. 1 Minneapolis bridge collapse. While National Transportation Safety Board officials said they do not yet know exactly why the Interstate 35W Mississippi River bridge collapsed, they pointed fingers to undersized gusset plates that connected large I-beams. NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said in Washington today that the plates were too small for the bridge.
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota voters will have more say about who runs for president this fall than ever. State branches of presidential campaigns are springing up in the wake of politically exciting caucuses in Iowa and a primary in New Hampshire. Most candidates will only fly over Minnesota en route to places like California and New York, states much richer in national convention delegates, but when Democrats and Republicans attend caucuses Feb.
ST. PAUL -- Twin Cities residents who took a record 77 million bus rides last year can thank their rural cousins for providing an increasing amount of the fuel. Soybean fields that dot the Minnesota landscape from Canada to Iowa more and more are the source of an oil that when mixed with diesel fuels the buses. More big-city residents are taking the bus each year, thanks to skyrocketing gasoline costs.