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 -- Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon smiled all 12,800 feet down from an Army airplane Tuesday, becoming the first state executive to parachute onto the Capitol mall. "It is a magnificent view," she said after her feet were firmly planted on the ground. The 66-year-old Duluth woman continued her smiling as she was peppered with questions, saying that she would jump from an airplane again "now that I know what it is like." Prettner Solon made her first skydive, in tandem with Amy Sgt.
ST. PAUL -- A group of military veterans and family members plans to fight a proposal to define marriage in the Minnesota Constitution that effectively bans gay marriages. Lori and Jeff Wilfahrt of Rosemount, whose gay son died in Afghanistan last year, joined Tuesday in announcing the formation of Veterans United. "He died for the men and women who were on the road that day and he died for the Constitution," Wilfahrt said of his son, Cpl.
ST. PAUL -- Former Minnesota Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Legislators have the duty to write ballot titles for proposed constitutional amendments, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled today, eliminating those that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie rewrote earlier this year. The court also ruled that a proposal to require Minnesota voters to show photo identifications before casting ballots will be in front of Minnesotans on Nov.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Vice President Joe Biden pounced on Republicans, with his main targets Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, during an early afternoon downtown Minneapolis rally. "Clearly, Republican obstructionism has slowed our progress but it has not stopped our progress," he declared during a 37-minute speech. Biden shouted that the country's economy is growing, despite Republican efforts. He blamed the GOP on holding back progress that would form 14 million more jobs. Republican presidential candidate Romney and running mate Ryan want to bring back failed economic policies from the George W.
ST. PAUL -- The Democratic Minnesota House leader wants Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, to leave the Legislature after police reports indicate he and a teen-aged boy had oral sex at a highway rest area. "As I shared with Rep. Gauthier, I believe he should withdraw from the race for re-election," House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said in a Monday statement. Gauthier was released from St. Luke's hospital in Duluth on Saturday and Thissen said he talked to the lawmaker after that. "I am deeply disappointed with Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Former Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher is among new Minnesota State Colleges and Universities trustees. Gov. Mark Dayton Tuesday named Kelliher, who he beat in the 2010 primary election for governor, and five others to the board. Trustees govern 24 two-year colleges and seven state universities. Among those on the 15-member board are three students who serve two-year terms.
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.