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 -- Kurt Bills considers himself "The Little Engine That Could." Instead of the children's book version of a little locomotive delivering toys over a mountain while repeating "I think I can," Republican Bills is trying to deliver votes for his U.S. Senate campaign over a rugged and steep political path. The first-term state representative and high school economics teacher from Rosemount said he needs to do the work almost by himself because the Minnesota Republican Party has so many financial problems that it cannot help him.
ST. PAUL -- Death threats, demands to resign and other attacks to have only made state Rep. Mary Franson more determined to stay in office, she says. A Democratic-Farmer-Laborite campaign official sent Internet links to a video clip of a recent Franson speech in Browerville in which she discusses a joke she told in March that led to statewide reaction. In her March YouTube video, the Alexandria Republican said more food stamps are being distributed than ever while parks officials suggest that feeding animals makes them more dependent.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton has apologized for comparing athletes' on-field trauma to that suffered by military personnel. "Some of the psychological dynamics may be similar," Dayton said in a statement released Thursday. "However, I, in no way, meant to compare their challenges with the traumas and hardships experienced by the heroes who fought in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
ST. PAUL -- Conventional political wisdom is that a gay-marriage prohibition on the Nov. 6 ballot would pit Democratic-Farmer-Laborites against Republicans. "It is not that cut and dried," Chuck Darrell said. Darrell, a Woodbury resident and Minnesota for Marriage spokesman, said Democrats are needed to pass a constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. On Nov.
ST. PAUL -- An epic fight between Minnesotans against gay marriage and those who support it mostly has flown under the public's radar for 14 months. "The average Minnesotan is vaguely aware something is going to be on the ballot," said Professor Kathleen Hull of the University of Minnesota. But that is changing as Nov. 6 nears.
ST. PAUL -- State leaders are shooting for a special legislative session in late August, but they must wait until federal officials decide what aid they will provide after last month's northeastern Minnesota flooding. Gov. Mark Dayton hosted the four legislative leaders Wednesday afternoon, emerging from the private meeting saying they agreed the session would be limited to disaster assistance.
ST. PAUL -- Supporters of a constitutional amendment proposal to ban gay marriage are asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to reject a rewritten title that voters will see when they vote on the proposal Nov.
ST. PAUL -- The first Minnesota reaction to today's U.S. Supreme Court health care act ruling came from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chairman, who used it to seek donations. "Victory" is how DFL leader Ken Martin headlined an email to party members seeking contributions to protect the law that Republicans dub "Obamacare." On a 5-4 vote, the court upheld the entire Affordable Care Act, as it is officially known.
ROCHESTER, Minn. -- U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Republicans a couple of weeks ago held a spirited, and sometimes raucous, convention to pick their U.S. Senate candidate. Democrats meet in Rochester Saturday in what is expected to be a quiet event. Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party leaders expect such a quiet event that they joke they will bring in dancing bears to liven things up. "There is not a lot of controversy," DFL Chairman Ken Martin said, not a common situation for his party. The party plans to endorse U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar for a second six-year term beginning at noon Saturday.