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
- 2 years 3 months
ST. PAUL - Jeff Almer wants his mother's death to mean something. Shirley Almer, who owned Wadena Lanes, died Dec. 21 from salmonella poisoning blamed on contaminated peanut butter. It was the first of at least nine U.S. deaths, including three in Minnesota, attributed to the deadly organism from a Georgia peanut butter factory. "I want to make a difference," Almer said after appearing with scientists and the son of another victim in a Monday University of Minnesota roundtable discussion. "It is in honor of my mom that I am doing this." Almer and U.S. Sen.
Comments about Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposed two-year budget: "It funds budget priorities in order of importance. ... We believe the Legislature will have slightly different priorities." -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty "Cuts at this level will mean significant reductions in service and even further delays in processing civil and criminal cases.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota politicians want guarantees that any federal money spent to bail out a troubled automobile industry be used wisely. For U.S. Sen. Norm Colman, R-Minn., the key is that whatever money is given to the industry, automakers must be accountable. "I have a strong concern that any support we give the auto industry must have strong, fiscal controls and accountability," Coleman said. "The taxpayers of my state will insist on it, and I will demand it." Coleman and Minnesota Gov.
Incumbent Minnesota U.S. representatives notched wins Tuesday. Congressmen declared winners included, with most votes counted: Democrat Collin Peterson of western Minnesota won 72 percent to 28 percent over second-time challenger Glen Menze. Peterson, according to unofficial returns from the Secretary of State's office. The dean of Minnesota's congressional delegation, Democrat Jim Oberstar, in the northeast and east-central area, easily out-distanced political unknown Michael Cummins 66 percent to 34. First-term Democratic Rep.
How Wadena County voted NO 3,892 YES 2,995 Supporters of a proposal to raise taxes to fund outdoors and arts programs celebrated victory early Wednesday morning. With most votes counted, 55.7 percent of Minnesota's voters had supported a constitutional amendment to raise the state sales tax 0.375 percent to fund outdoors and arts programs. Amendment supporter Steve Morse said Minnesotans sent a message that even in tough economic times, they "protect and value their natural resources." "I think it just underscores how passionately Minnesotans feel about Minnesota," Morse said.
Minnesotans who endured a lengthy U.S. Senate race now could be forced to wait into December, or longer, to see who actually won. The Associated Press declared Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman the winner of Tuesday's vote. However, with almost all votes counted today, Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken remain in a virtual tie, forcing a mandated recount of every one of the nearly 3 million ballots. Wednesday morning, the Minnesota secretary of state's office reported Coleman with 1,210,660 votes, for 42 percent. Franken followed with 1,209,665, which was 41.97 percent.
Minnesota voters continued their trend of siding with Democratic presidential candidates, giving Barack Obama a win Tuesday. They gave Obama a 54-44 win. Minnesota DFL Chairman Brian Melendez said the Obama win was expected. His party faithful gathered at a downtown St.
ST. PAUL - Arles Kumpula waited a full year for Tuesday. Or maybe it was more like 81 years. The New York Mills woman, whose Republican roots stretch back to Barry Goldwater, celebrated her 81st birthday as a Republican National Convention alternate delegate Tuesday, a year after her family's birthday gift was money to allow her to attend the convention. "I have been looking forward to this for a whole year," she said shortly after the rest of the Minnesota GOP delegation sang her "Happy Birthday." She has had a workout so far during this, her first, national convention.
Jesse Ventura may become a judge. Not a real judge, just a television version of one. Preliminary talks between Twentieth Television and the former Independence Party Minnesota governor apparently have begun for him to star in a half-hour court television show premiering in a year. Twentieth declined comment, Ventura could not be reached on Monday and there was no answer at his agents' office. The "TV Week" publication reported talks are progressing. An official for the Katz Television Group, which provides television programming advice to stations, told TV Week that Ventura's history as
The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities told rural representatives on Monday that the House budget plan leaves out room for expanded state aid to cities. "We believe that failure to increase funding for LGA this year is tantamount to a tax increase," the coalition's John Sundvor said. The coalition and others who support LGA increases say added state aid would mean local governments can keep their property tax increases down. Democrats who control the House regularly have complained that Gov.