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.
- Member for
- 3 years 2 months
LITTLE FALLS -- They call it an RV, for recreational vehicle, but in this case it should be known as a CV, campaign vehicle. Wrapped in Emmer for governor signs, the 10-year-old rented motor home is a story of its own. Republican governor candidate Tom Emmer credits his wife, Jacquie, for finding the rental unit, which he called a great value to the campaign.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson puts consumer protection at or near the top of her priority list. Her main challenger, Chris Barden, talks first about suing the federal government over health care reform, followed by election law changes and says that after 40 years of Democrats in the office it is time for a Republican. To say the two have differences certainly is an understatement. Even though he says he is not parroting the party line, Barden's main themes mirror those of other conservative Republican candidates.
ST. PAUL -- State disaster relief is on its way to weather-damaged communities, but officials said they may be back for more help next year. Legislators unanimously ap-proved $80 million in disaster relief during a special session Monday, with most heading to southern Minnesota communities hit by floods fed by record September rains. Wadena and other communities affected by a June 17 tornado outbreak will get $6.6 million from the bill. The House quickly approved the measure 131-0 and the Senate 66-0.
Update 10 a.m.
OWATONNA -- Sweat covered the former U.S. senator's face. A lot of sweat. Mark Dayton, now running for governor, spent time in Owatonna cleaning up a home basement after recent flooding. His well-worn gloves and jeans showed that the man born into one of Minnesota's best-known and wealthy families is no stranger to manual labor. "You learn a lot about the real world," Dayton, a Democrat, said about helping others. Homeowner Dorene Kruger and her family had moved out much of what was damaged when the sewer flooded her basement.
BUFFALO -- Mark Dayton raised a shotgun up to his shoulder, squeezed the trigger and, well, missed. But he hit the clay "birds" more often than not during a traditional Democratic-Farmer-Laborite event in Buffalo, a trap shoot that takes candidates off the political firing line and puts them on an actual firing line. The event was a morale booster for Dayton, even if he did not hit as many targets as he wanted. "I love you, Mark," one woman told Dayton as he entered the Buffalo Gun Club. An older man talked about Dayton's grandfather, and Dayton responded with a story about his first hunti
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators head back to St. Paul on Monday to approve spending disaster-relief funds in what is supposed a neat, clean afternoon affair where lawmakers hear the proposal, vote for it and go home. At least that is what Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he and legislative leaders want and expect. Some legislators promise to bring up other bills, but they may have little chance since any item other than disaster funds would need massive support even to be debated. Pawlenty on Thursday said he would call a special session to begin at 1 p.m. Monday.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota legislators will meet Monday to appropriate money to help flood and tornado victims. Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced early today that he will call the special legislative session, which he wants to last no more than one day, to begin at 1 p.m. Monday. His announcement follows a late Wednesday Washington action in which President Barack Obama declared 21 southern Minnesota counties a federal disaster area. Obama's declaration means that debris removal and public facility repair will be funded with 75 percent federal funds.
ST. PAUL - Twenty-one southern Minnesota counties will be eligible for federal disaster assistance after President Obama on Wednesday night declared the area a flood disaster area. Federal funding is available to state and local governments and some non-profit organizations for repair and replacement of facilities damaged in last month's flooding. The Wednesday night action in Washington opens the door for the Minnesota Legislature to meet in a special session in St. Paul in the next few days.
ST. PAUL -- Legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Pawlenty tentatively agree to spend $80 million on disaster relief, mostly for southern Minnesota communities hit by extensive flooding last month. Wadena's efforts to recover from a June 17 tornado could get a piece of the appropriations, $750,000 to plan a new community center. Wadena leaders had sought $20.5 million. Negotiators Tuesday approved the bill, but must wait to make the numbers final for an Obama administration decision whether to declare most of southern Minnesota a flood disaster area.