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
- 5 years 11 months
ST. PAUL—Jeff Johnson and Tim Walz will be Minnesotans' choices for governor this fall. "I think we sent a message, people want something different," Republican Jeff Johnson said shortly after 10 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 14, as vote counting wound down in the state primary election. Johnson said he was not for the status quo, and campaigned as the most conservative governor candidate. Johnson's opponent, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, conceded the race. Pawlenty said he is done with politics. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to have served."
ST. PAUL—New Minnesota driver's licenses will be more difficult to forge, be easier for law enforcement officers to read and contain more information. Some of the new licenses, and identification cards, will be available starting Aug. 6, but "people don't need to rush in and apply for a new card," Dawn Olson said on Monday, July 16. Olson, the state Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services director, said Minnesotans with a current valid licenses or IDs can continue using them.
ST. PAUL — Once upon a time, Republican candidates would not speak ill of another candidate in the party. These days, forget that. Take the Tim Pawlenty-Jeff Johnson race for the GOP nomination for Minnesota governor. Here are two politicians who have been considered nice guys. But a month before the Aug. 14 primary election, they are treating each other like Republicans might treat Democrats. Or vice versa.
ST. PAUL—Gov. Mark Dayton said he read a couple of news stories over the weekend about unexpected financial shortfalls schools face, and on Tuesday, May 1, produced a request for $138 million in "emergency" funding. He said that 59 districts face immediate budget deficits, and he wants to split the "emergency" money among all districts across the states. Republicans who lead legislative education finance committees said they have done a good job of funding schools in recent years, and more funding likely will not come.
ST. PAUL -- A state representative, who often fights for agriculture and people with disabilities, stands accused of inappropriate behavior.
ST. PAUL — About 450 sex offenders and mentally ill and dangerous Minnesotans could be released from state custody before they are fully treated, lawmakers and the Dayton administration say, so state leaders are rushing through legislation to keep them supervised. "It could be days or weeks" when offenders would be released, Acting Human Services Commissioner Chuck Johnson said Monday, April 23, before senators unanimously approved the bill. The House still must take up the measure.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers will be drawn into a gun debate that has blossomed since last week's Florida school shooting that left 17 dead. Protect Minnesota, an anti-gun violence group, will lead a Capitol rotunda rally at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22. Among legislation those art the rally will oppose are giving gun owners more freedom to defend themselves and to carry guns without permits.
ST. PAUL — Gary Wayne Jackson Jr. has pleaded not guilty to killing his 23-month-old son early this year. Jackson appeared in federal court in St. Paul Monday, Feb. 12, and entered his plea during a brief arraignment. Federal Magistrate Judge Leo Brisbois gave a federal prosecutor and Jackson's attorney a March 5 deadline to file motions. A hearing on motions is planned in front of Brisbois March 26 in the Duluth federal courthouse.
ST. PAUL — Last week's precinct caucus governor straw poll has taken its second victim: former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. "I am grateful for the support and encouragement I have received," the Democrat said Monday, Feb. 12. "So, it is with a heavy heart that I announce today the suspension of my campaign for governor of Minnesota." State Rep. Paul Thissen of Minneapolis dropped out of the race the day after the Feb. 6 caucuses.
ST. PAUL -- Political organizations targeted a pair of Minnesota special legislative elections, only to see voters opt for no change in political power. A Democrat will replace a Democrat in the state Senate while a Republican takes over for a House Republican after elections Monday, Feb.