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.
- Member for
- 4 years 4 months
ST. PAUL -- Most Minnesotans agree the state's water needs to be cleaned up. They support parks, trails and a wide variety of arts programs. On Nov. 4, voters will decide whether they favor those issues enough to raise the state sales tax 0.375 percent through a constitutional amendment that keeps the increase in place for 25 years. Then-Sen. Bob Lessard of International Falls launched a constitutional amendment effort to improve hunting and fishing opportunities 10 years ago.
ST. PAUL - Hunting and health experts do not fully understand what dangers, if any, lead in deer meat may present, but with the deer hunting season about to open, Minnesota officials say there are precautions hunters should take. However, state officials are resuming a venison donation program for needy Minnesotans after it was canceled abruptly last year over meat safety fears. Since ground venison appears more likely to contain lead contamination, food shelves will distribute only whole cuts this year.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's U.S. representatives agree Congress needs to help fix the country's financial crisis, but on Monday divided their votes on a $700 billion plan to do that. Rep. Collin Peterson said congressional leaders need to talk to more lawmakers than they have for the past couple of weeks. "Clearly, they are going to have to go outside of the circle they have been talking to," said Peterson, adding that the Agriculture Committee that he leads "will be drug into this." Minnesota's representatives split Monday as the House defeated the plan 228-205.
ST. PAUL -- Al Franken's Senate campaign is getting a boost from another well-known Al. Former Vice President Al Gore will campaign for Franken and other Democratic candidates in October. Gore, who lost the 2000 presidential race, will speak at the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party's Founders Day Dinner Oct. 4 on the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus, the party and Franken's campaign announced recently. "Al Gore is a champion for clean energy and a good friend to me and to progressives across the country," Franken said in a statement. "Believe it or not, he's also hilarious.
ST. PAUL -- County officials across Minnesota complain they are forced to collect up to $9 million more in property taxes because the state does not fully pay for prisoners it orders counties to hold. "We're losing money," Kandiyohi County Commissioner Richard Larson said. Chief Deputy Sheriff Scott McNurlin of Goodhue County said the Goodhue County Adult Detention Center in Red Wing houses two to four state prisoners on average, at a cost of $60 per inmate per day.
ST. PAUL -- John McCain promises to change Washington by getting along with the opposition, reforming government and, in general, putting the country first. "The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isn't a cause, it's a symptom," the prisoner of war turned presidential candidate said Thursday night in accepting Republicans' presidential nomination.
ST. PAUL -- Sarah Palin says she is a small-town hockey mom, but Wednesday night introduced herself to the country as the Republican Party's first woman vice presidential candidate. The 44-year-old Alaska governor showed her fiery side in a St.
ST. PAUL -- Now, that's how a political convention is supposed to look: funny hats, loud cheering and long political speeches. Tuesday marked the real start of the Republican National Convention after the official Monday beginning was subdued and short due to Hurricane Gustav. President Bush gave his support to GOP presidential hopeful John McCain in a speech carried by satellite from the White House, and Democrat-turned-independent Sen.
ST. PAUL - Republicans dealt with distractions as they began their national convention Monday, but said the event still will be a success. First came Hurricane Gustav, whose surge and winds were less than predicted, but forced convention officials to trim their plans. Then, Sen. John McCain's running mate, Gov.