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 -- Gasoline prices and the Iraq war are the hottest issues in Minnesota's hottest campaign. "Nothing could threaten jobs quicker" than continually rising gasoline prices, said U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy, the Republican Party-endorsed candidate. Democrat Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County attorney, said as she travels the state, she hears increasing concerns about the war. While rhetoric spewing from the campaigns already is as hot as it usually gets in the waning days of an election, the public is not tuned. "It's still August," said Klobuchar, who Democrats endorsed in June.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
All blogs are not created equal. Most are not news and not reliable. They are someone's opinion, often not an informed opinion. However, there are good blogs. In politics, those are the ones you want to find. Take a look at www.publicradio.org/columns/minnesota/polinaut for a good example of a political blog (short for "Web log). Recently, for instance, the Minnesota Public Radio blog reported some interesting information: "WCCO-TV's public file says the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has purchased $403,425 in television ads during the last month of the election.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. - Minnesota politicians who can't agree on many issues agreed on one Tuesday - manure is not a hazardous waste. Well, unless you slip on it. In a serious exchange sprinkled with humor, U.S. House and Senate candidates speaking to a FarmFest audience said a Texas judge's ruling that manure is a toxic waste is wrong and Congress should pass a law overturning the decision. U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy, the Republican-endorsed U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Eric Hoplin's arms whipped about as he spoke in his uber-enthusiastic manner. "I just love my job," the animated political wonk said. "There is something new every day." Hoplin, who turns 28 on July 31, added that he "springs out of bed every morning," eager to get to his job as the Minnesota Republican Party's deputy state chairman. No one would argue that he loves the work or that he loves politics.
Last week's headlines didn't look good for corn-based ethanol: "Food-crop biofuels given thumbs down." "Ethanol is sort of a drop in the bucket, scientists warn." "Study says ethanol not best alternative to oil." "Ethanol no 'silver bullet' for world's fuel problems.'" In many cases, ethanol supporters did not care for stories that went with the headlines around the world any better than they liked the headlines. firstname.lastname@example.org reported: "Producing biofuels such as ethanol from food crops isn't worth the effort." Grist Magazine's Web site added: "A new study casts serious doubt
ST. PAUL - A man who for years wanted to be Minnesota attorney general today dropped out of the race. State Rep. Matt Entenza, DFL-St. Paul, said he pulled out because of accusations leveled in the past few days. "While I'm confident that I could win the race for attorney general, obviously in this environment staying in this race would hurt the Democratic Party and the progressive issues we care about so deeply," Entenza read from a prepared statement. Entenza's withdrawal shocked fellow Democrats.
ST PAUL -- A long-time Kevin Goodno colleague was not surprised Tuesday when the Moorhead native announced he no longer will head Minnesota's largest state agency, freeing him to can take a Minneapolis law firm job. "A person with his talents is going to have opportunities," Rep. Fran Bradley, R-Rochester, said. "You have to be prepared to move." Goodno, a Moorhead City Council member before representing his hometown a dozen years in the state House, leaves his post as state human services commissioner July 25 to be an officer with the Fredrikson and Byron law firm.
Johnson under attack The Minnesota Senate majority leader continues to face problems from his January comment that state Supreme Court justices assured him they would not overturn a law banning gays from marrying. Sen. Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar, changed his story a couple of times during the March week when the comments to a group of ministers became public.
Perhaps a road near you someday will be named "Ajax Bank Highway." If the University of Minnesota can get $35 million selling naming rights for its stadium to TCF Bank, it is not out of the question to sell naming rights for highways in this time when policymakers are struggling to find ways to fund crumbling highways. Some states are considering the idea, and with Minnesota lawmakers at a stalemate about how to fund road building and repair, look for that and other innovative concepts to appear in the next legislative session. Not only will Minnesota likely look at new ways of funding r