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 - Minnesota not as exciting as New York City? A Politico story says that may be a reason interest in the St. Paul Republican National Convention lags behind past GOP confabs and the Democrats' Denver convention. "While excitement is building for a Democratic Party convention capped by Barack Obama's historic acceptance speech before a sold-out, 75,000-seat football stadium, the GOP convention the following week is shaping up to be a considerably more staid affair, marked by the conspicuous absence of many of the usual convention attendees," Politico reports.
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.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty debated the Russia-Georgia crisis on national television Sunday in an appearance that pitted him against another vice presidential hopeful. Pawlenty, reportedly high on Sen. John McCain's running mate list, said Americans would prefer that his candidate face foreign leaders. But Indiana U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh rattled off a list of foreign-policy items that he said showed his candidate, Barak Obama, would be the best to deal with other countries.
ST. PAUL -- If you are a health-care professional looking to make a profit, don't chase an ambulance. If you are a musician, don't claim to be someone you are not. If you are in the habit of sending text messages while driving, don't. If you own a home, you must have carbon monoxide detectors near bedrooms. If you are a music lover, you may be able to buy tickets on line without fighting a ticket reseller's computer. And if you are a teen, you need to know about new restrictions on your driving. Today (Aug.
ST. PAUL - Former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams is focused these days on his central-Minnesota radio venture, but the Republican also is fed up with his political party. "I'm so damn unhappy with the Republicans right now," Grams said in an interview. "I'm so unhappy with the candidates that we have I could puke. I wanted to get out there and mix it up." Grams said he considered challenging GOP Sen. Norm Coleman, but was too busy in his private life this year to make a run. But Grams said he will ponder a run for governor in 2010, saying he'll make that decision within a year.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Army National Guard is attracting more recruits than any other part of the military and is exceeding its recruiting goals. Of all military personnel in Minnesota, 43 percent go to the Army National Guard, recruiter 2nd Lt. Mindy Davis said. "That means that in Minnesota that the Army National Guard is far and away the No. 1 choice," Davis said. Across the country, about 20 percent of military enlistees sign up for the Army Guard. Indiana and Mississippi Army Guard units attract about the same percentage as Minnesota.
ST. PAUL - One of the country's most expensive U.S. Senate races may not be quite as entertaining as it could have been, with former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura declining to run. Ventura, who turns 57 today, told CNN's Larry King on CNN Monday night that he will stay out of the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota against expected major-party standard-bearers incumbent Norm Coleman and challenger Al Franken.
ST. PAUL - Federal actions to backstop a pair of mortgage giants are good as far as they go, but Minnesota observers say homeowners deserve more attention. "That is just an attempt to protect the market," said professor Prentiss Cox of the University of Minnesota "There is a distinction between helping homeowners and protecting the market." The Federal Reserve Bank on Monday announced that it was prepared to loan Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac money to allow the two firms to remain solvent.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota's agriculture commissioner says the country's grocery stores are misleading Americans when they claim that corn-based ethanol is driving up food prices. "Some of this message is the result of calculated efforts from groups such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association," Commissioner Gene Hugoson said.