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 - Republican presidential candidate John McCain put pressure on his Minnesota campaign volunteers Thursday night, telling them that what they do could spell the difference between him winning and losing. "Minnesota may determine who the next president of the United States is," he said, adding that if his volunteers don't do a good enough job that he could lose. He told the 125 volunteers gathered in a steamy St. Paul Republican call center that he was just using the "straight talk" that is his trademark.
MINNEAPOLIS - North and south ends of the new Interstate 35W bridge rapidly grow toward each other over the Mississippi River. The keystone in the middle of the new span should be put in place less than a year after the old 35W bridge collapsed, killing 13 people and injuring 145 others. "The bridge is going to look pretty much complete," Project Manager Jon Chiglo of the Minnesota Department of Transportation said about the Aug. 1 collapse anniversary date. It is the most-watched bridge construction project in the country, and some important eyes were looking at the work on Tuesday.
ST. PAUL -- Sen. John McCain visited Minnesota Thursday, the day a prominent a political writer declared Gov. Tim Pawlenty McCain's No. 1 choice as a running mate. McCain, R-Ariz., stopped in the Twin Cities late Thursday at the end of a day of long-distance sparring with Democratic candidate Sen.
ST. PAUL - A soft-spoken John McCain answered Minnesotans' questions for 53 minutes Thursday night, telling them the Iraqi war is going well and that he is not ready to say if Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be his running mate. McCain, in a town hall meeting with what his campaign called 250 undecided voters, said he is an independent politician. "I was not elected again this year Miss Congeniality of the U.S.
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Education could help dissipate concern about lead in venison meat, officials of seven Midwest states decided Wednesday. Deer hunters could be educated about how to best shoot deer, how to field dress the carcass and what kinds of bullets to use. Meat processors could be shown how to remove potentially dangerous lead and shown that ground meat could pose more of a hazard than other cuts. The public can learn how to spot lead in meat and discover ways to avoid lead poisoning problems.
ROCHESTER, Minn. - Many Minnesota Republicans want the party to move further to the political right. Even some presidential hopeful John McCain supporters sound more like backers of maverick candidate Ron Paul, the Texas congressman who has ignited a desire to return to GOP politics of old. "There is a level of frustration, mainly with ourselves," Bill Weber of Luverne said Friday as the Republican state convention began at Rochester's Mayo Civic Center. Once Republicans were elected, they "tried to out-Democrat Democrats," he said, spending too much money.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty and legislative leaders want Minnesota counties to ignore a one-sentence provision in a new tax law, but the request angers county leaders because they want flexibility the new law would offer. As written, the law would allow counties to reduce spending in areas ranging from health care to libraries.
ST. PAUL - Ask Minnesota Education Commissioner Alice Seagren about how students will benefit from the new Minnesota Mathematics and Science Teacher Academy and she will give you a simple answer: "We are hoping that all kids will love math much more than they do now." Teachers from across Minnesota gathered Wednesday to organize the academy, an effort to make math and science teaching more relevant - and as Seagren says, more exciting - to students. Teacher training centers will be in Thief River Falls, Mountain Iron, Fergus Falls, Staples, Marshall, St.
ST. PAUL - State Sen. Tom Bakk has become the second Democrat to file paperwork establishing a governor campaign committee for the 2010 election. However, he said in a Wednesday interview, the committee is only to allow him to investigate a candidacy.
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has launched his "Vote in Honor of a Veteran" program. The initiative is meant to increase voter participation this fall and recognize military veterans. Participants can seek a button from Ritchie's office and write on the button the name of a veteran they want to honor. They are being encouraged to wear the buttons in advance of the fall election and when they go to vote Nov.