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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Updated 11:30 a.m.
ST. PAUL - Rep. Marty Seifert steps to the microphone late this morning in what many expect to be the first of many announcements related to Republican governor campaigns. Seifert plans to step down as House Republican leader. It is likely that the Marshall lawmaker will tell reporters that he is exploring a gubernatorial bid, although he could formally announce his candidacy. More announcements are expected as nearly 20 Republicans are thinking about jumping into the race now that Gov. Tim Pawlenty decided to skip running for a third term.
Updated 11:30 a.m.
ST. PAUL -- Five Minnesota Supreme Court justices must decide whether thousands of greater Minnesota voters' absentee ballots were unfairly rejected in the 2008 U.S. Senate race. Republican Norm Coleman's attorneys Monday told the justices that laws were not evenly applied, and actions in larger counties such as St. Louis, Ramsey and Hennepin tilted last November's U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's request to overturn a federal law that threw Dakota and Winnebago Indians out of the state can become a way to teach about mistreatment over the years, American Indians and a state legislator say. The 1863 law banning the two tribes has been replaced with presidential and congressional actions, and Dakota Indians live on four Minnesota reservations, but the law remains on the books. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's soaring home foreclosure rate, a top issue a year ago, has eased a bit in the Twin Cities, but not so much in other parts of the state. And as the foreclosure situation swells, especially in rural Minnesota, options are scarce. Ed Nelson of the Minnesota Home Ownership Center said that those outside the Twin Cities are more likely to find fewer options to get out of foreclosure because, ironically, they often did everything right when picking their mortgages. The housing crisis began with sub-prime mortgages that were issued without enough collateral.
ST. PAUL -- On this Memorial Day weekend, the Minnesota Veterans' Affairs Department is beginning to take online registration for a June 13 celebration to honor Vietnam-era veterans. Veterans organizations hope to attract people from across the state to the state Capitol grounds to honor Vietnam era veterans. Registration is optional, but the department asks veterans to sign upat www.mnhonorsvietnamvets.org/registration or call 651-296-2562 by June 10. Veterans who register will receive a lapel pin when checking in on June 13. The free event, which is open to anyone, will feature a 2 p.m.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators met almost 19 weeks with one overriding job: Balance the state budget. They left the Capitol for the year Monday, leaving Gov. Tim Pawlenty to finish the job. A last-minute flurry of activity failed to nail down an overall state budget agreement, which Pawlenty says means he will cut spending on his own.
ST. PAUL -- Money talk became emotional Sunday as Minnesota representatives sustained two vetoes -- one that ends a health program for the state's poorest and sickest residents and the other that would have raised taxes $1 billion. With the Legislature facing a midnight tonight deadline for adjourning, the House votes cement Gov. Tim Pawlenty's position that he will cut state programs on his own to balance the state budget.